One of the interesting things about fully exploring retro gaming is discovering the subtle differences between different versions of a game.
Back in the early to mid ’80s, there were sometimes quite significant differences between the various platforms’ take on an established game. This was due to a combination of factors: most frequently it was down to the technical limitations of the host platforms, but sometimes it was due to the programmers responsible for the ports not having all of the resources they needed, and consequently having to do the coder’s equivalent of holding things together with sticky tape.
Namco’s port of its classic arcade title Dig Dug for the Famicom — easily accessible today as part of the Namco Museum Collection 1 cartridge for the Evercade retro gaming platform — is a good example of (probably) the former. Either way, it’s a distinctive version of Dig Dug that is well worth playing, even if you’re well familiar with the arcade original!
Continue reading Dig Dug: Diggin’ Dirty
Do you like to shoot, but also to think? Then you should give Namco’s Galaxian a shot (no pun intended) — it’s a game where attempting to go in all guns blazing will quickly end in failure.
The Famicom version, seen here as part of the Namco Museum Collection 1 cartridge for the Evercade, is a great adaptation of the arcade classic with pretty authentic sound and visuals — and a very authentic challenge factor!
Witness my intergalactic incompetence in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!
Helicopters are cool. At least they used to be in the ’80s and early ’90s. I’m not sure we’d get a TV show where the helicopter was the star today.
Anyway, with how fashionable helicopters were in this time period, it’s not surprising that we got a fair few video games where helicopters played a leading role. And one such example was FireHawk, developed by the Oliver Twins and published by Codemasters and Camerica in 1991 as an unlicensed cartridge for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
It’s not one of the Oliver Twins’ better-known pieces of work, but it is a fun time. And, as luck would have it, we now have easy access to it as part of the Oliver Twins Collection for the Evercade retro gaming platform. So let’s take a closer look!
Continue reading FireHawk: Lafia Strike
The Oliver Twins are, it’s fair to say, probably best known for their Dizzy series of arcade adventures on 8- and 16-bit home computers. But they made a bunch of other interesting games, too.
Super Robin Hood for NES is a reimagining of the twins’ very first commercially successful game, originally released for Amstrad CPC. It’s a fun platformer that gives you a sense of freely exploring an interesting environment, despite it actually leading you on a linear path from start to finish.
Check it out in the video below, read my writeup for more information — and, of course, don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!
It’s time to kick some ass with the excellent NES version of Double Dragon, which as you’ll know if you’ve read my piece on the subject, is deliberately different from the arcade version.
This version, found on the Technos Collection 1 cartridge for the Evercade — number 10 in the collection, if you’re counting — is a solid brawler with some interesting mechanics, and remains fun to play today, even with its numerous rough edges.
Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!
As a great man once said: kick, punch, it’s all in the mind. It’s also all within easy reach of two buttons and a directional pad, as Exploding Fist demonstrates.
Originally released on 8-bit home computers and helping to birth the whole fighting game genre, Exploding Fist’s NES port never quite got finished and released back in the day — but thanks to Piko Interactive and the Evercade, we can now enjoy this early take on virtual martial arts at our leisure.
Check it out in the video below, read a bit more about the game if you feel like it — and, of course, don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!
The Tower of Druaga is an important part of gaming history — yet it’s also a game that has somewhat divided opinion over the years.
Back in its native Japan, it was widely loved and appreciated for its revolutionary nature at the time of its original release; in the West, however, it was lambasted for its slow pace, obtuse mechanics and monstrous level of difficulty.
Regardless of your feelings on it, you can now play the Famicom version as part of the Namco Museum Collection 2 cartridge on the Evercade retro gaming system. So let’s take a closer look, and see why this game is so important.
Continue reading The Tower of Druaga: Persevere, Sir Knight
One of the nice things about the Evercade is how it’s not only bringing us new opportunities to enjoy classic games, it’s also fully embracing the “new games for old platforms” indie development scene.
A specialist publisher in this part of the business is Mega Cat Studios, who make it their business to pick out some exciting examples of modern games for classic hardware, and bring them to a wider audience. And a fine selection of such titles can be found on the Mega Cat Studios Collection 1 cartridge for the Evercade.
Multidude is a great example of the sort of thing you can expect: fun, enjoyable experiences that work within the limits of classic platforms but provide distinctly modern-feeling gameplay challenges to explore. Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!
Everyone knows and loves Namco’s Dig Dug — it’s an all-time classic of arcade gaming’s golden age. But not so many people know about Dig Dug’s official sequel.
This is partly due to the fact that it didn’t leave Japan until pretty late in the 8-bit home console era, several years after its original launch — and as such, it got rather overshadowed by most of its contemporaries.
Now, though, we can enjoy it in all its glory on the Namco Museum Collection 2 cartridge for the Evercade retro gaming system. Take a look in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.
The Oliver Twins are an important part of British gaming history, and Super Robin Hood is a particularly noteworthy title — its original incarnation on the Amstrad CPC was the duo’s first commercially successful game, and the first of many games Codemasters would publish for them.
The version of Super Robin Hood we find on the Oliver Twins Collection cartridge for Blaze’s Evercade retro gaming system is a substantial reimagining of this game rather than a note-for-note remake. The original Amstrad CPC version came out in 1986 while the twins were still at school, whereas the NES incarnation found on the Evercade cart hit the market in 1992. This was after the boys had decided to do this programming thing full time — and after they’d really figured out a few things about what makes a solid game from a design perspective. At least their poor old CPC didn’t have to work 23-hour days any more!
While the twins’ myriad Dizzy titles are their more well-known work, there’s a lot to like about Super Robin Hood — particularly this later reimagining. So let’s take a closer look!
Continue reading Super Robin Hood: Feared By the Bad, Loved By the Good