Blaze’s new retro gaming handheld, the Evercade, officially launches on May 22, 2020, with the company hoping to get units in the hands of everyone who preordered by June 12, 2020 at the latest.
Since I’m planning some extensive coverage of this device and its games as soon as mine arrives — fingers crossed it’s towards the beginning of that release window, but we’ll have to wait and see at the time of writing! — I thought I’d take the opportunity to talk a little bit about this new device, why it appeals, and why I hope it ends up being a success.
Plus, if you’ve not yet heard of the Evercade, you can find out a bit more about it for yourself. Everyone wins. Hit the jump and let’s get started!
Continue reading Evercade: The Case for Curated Retro Gaming
One thing I feel like we’ve lost somewhat over the procession of console generations we’ve lived through is a feeling of “uniqueness” for each platform.
Sure, Nintendo still does its own thing and its games are immediately recognisable, but I’m talking more about a very clear look, sound and feel of games on a specific platform; partially a product of the hardware itself, and partially that of the companies specifically choosing to produce work for that platform in particular.
I hadn’t really spent a lot of time with Super Castlevania IV for Super NES until recently, but within about five minutes of delving into it in earnest thanks to the Castlevania Anniversary Collection for Switch, Xbox One, PS4 and PC, I’m absolutely convinced that it is the perfect example of what a SNES game really “is”.
Continue reading Super Castlevania IV: The Quintessential SNES Game
Stunt Race FX — or Wild Trax, as it was known in Japan — is not a game that gets talked about nearly as much as many of its contemporaries.
There are a number of reasons for this, chief among which was that it released in 1994, when excitement for Sony’s PlayStation — originally intended to be a CD-ROM-based add-on for the Super NES, lest we forget — was reaching a fever pitch; the 32-bit system would release later that very year, wowing everyone with its smooth, texture-mapped polygonal graphics, high-quality audio and impressive arcade ports.
As with many things that got overshadowed at their time of original release, however, Stunt Race FX remains a fascinating piece of Nintendo history that remains worth exploring.
Continue reading Stunt Race FX: A Last Hurrah
Minigolf is, to borrow a phrase from a completely different sport, a funny old game.
Typically implied to be a rather silly, chaotic affair rather than something to be taken seriously, your average minigolf course nonetheless tends to include a variety of fiendish obstacles to negotiate, many of which will tax even the most skilled putters among us.
Kirby’s Dream Course, being a minigolf game that takes place entirely in a digitally rendered dreamworld, is free to do even more ridiculous things with its course design than would be possible in reality. And herein lies its main appeal.
Continue reading Delving Into Kirby’s Dream Course – #2
It’s weird how some memories stick with you for the longest time, for seemingly no reason whatsoever.
Prior to picking up a copy again recently, I hadn’t played Top Gear on the Super NES since the early ’90s when it was first released. And yet upon firing it up I confirmed something I had suspected for a while: its music had indeed been stuck in my head for nearly thirty years.
I was also pleased to discover that Top Gear is indeed still a whole lot of fun — and a great example of a type of racing game that has been rendered largely obsolete by the advances in technology over the years.
Continue reading SNES Essentials: Top Gear
Super Mario World marked the point at which “Mario games” were no longer really one series, though this didn’t become obvious until much later in retrospect.
Still, the fact that its sequel was called Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island rather than Super Mario Bros. 5: Yoshi’s Island should have tipped you off a bit… and if that didn’t work, then the fact that you didn’t actually play Super Mario would definitely do the job.
The “rebranding” that Yoshi’s Island ultimately underwent was a good idea though, because although having elements in common with its predecessor, it’s a distinct type of experience in its own right. And one of the best platformers on the SNES.
Continue reading SNES Essentials: Yoshi’s Island
One of the biggest sources of playground arguments in my youth was whether Super Mario World or Sonic the Hedgehog was “better”.
I owned a SNES, so I should have been firmly in the Team Mario camp, but at the same time my brother was working on games magazines and regularly brought consoles home with him for us to try out — including a Mega Drive with Sonic the Hedgehog. And as such I learned to appreciate both on their own merits.
While less outright “impressive” in terms of spectacle than Sega’s classic — a fact that Team Sonic liked to rely on in aforementioned arguments — Super Mario World was certainly a game that kept me coming back for more. And for my money it remains one of the best Mario games — perhaps one of the best platformers — of all time.
Continue reading SNES Essentials: Super Mario World