When contemplating video games from years gone by, it’s all too easy to focus exclusively on the “classics” — those defining experiences that went on to have a huge amount of influence on everything that came afterwards.
But the highly influential and historically significant nature of these games means that, by this point in time, most of the things which can be said about them have probably already been said. These days, I personally find it much more interesting to dive into the dustiest of dusty archives and dig out some stuff that, while perhaps not as well-regarded as the “greats” from over the years, might do some unusual, experimental and creative things with established formulae.
One of the best things about Blaze’s Evercade retro gaming platform is that the people behind it clearly understand this. And so, while the Evercade’s Atari Collection 1 cartridge contains established, all-time early ’80s classics like Asteroids and Centipede for Atari’s monstrously popular 2600 console, it also features 1990’s MotorPsycho — a double-whammy of overlooked goodness in that it is 1) a game that will likely be largely unfamiliar to a lot of people today, and 2) it came out on the Atari 7800, a console no-one bought. So let’s take a closer look!
Continue reading MotorPsycho: The 7800’s Best Motorcycle Racing Game
For quite a while, games that ostensibly simulated “real” sports and activities weren’t necessarily concerned with realism — they were concerned with being fun video games first and foremost.
A good example of this is Electronic Pool for Atari ST by Microdeal. This game resembles real-life pool but doesn’t follow many of its rules — and in doing so it manages to create an entertaining arcade-style experience. (One might argue that it’s quite similar to Data East’s Side Pocket, but this certainly isn’t an official adaptation of that…)
Rack ’em up and join me in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.
Every self-respecting princess needs a good maid to tend to her needs — even when the princess in question is as determined to do things her own way as Merurulince Rede Arls is.
In such situations, it pays for the maid in question to have a longstanding relationship with the princess in question, as that means the princess might actually listen to the maid at those times when she finds herself frustrated enough to accidentally call a parent a “poopyhead” to their face.
Keina knows how to handle Meruru, in other words. And witnessing their relationship with one another is one of the most heartwarming parts of Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland.
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Keina Swaya
Good horror, as we’ve previously talked about on The MoeGamer Podcast, is about more than just spooky scary skeletons and gallons of gore. And good modern horror games tend to be a natural evolution of the narrative-centric adventure game genre.
A good example of this is The Coma from Korean developer Devespresso games, which originally released for PC in 2015 before getting a “Recut” version for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch two years later. This is a game that challenges players to solve a seemingly supernatural mystery while on the run from a ruthless killer — and without any means of fighting back.
At the same time, there’s some interesting narrative content designed to get you thinking, too. It’s a fine use of your time this spooky season — so let’s take a closer look.
Continue reading The Coma: Recut – Extracurricular Horror
One of Activision’s most fondly regarded games from the Atari 2600 library is Kaboom! — a simple affair that gratuitously rips off Atari’s own Avalanche, because apparently Atari had very little interest in porting that themselves.
Kaboom! also got a port to Atari 8-bit, and it’s a good ‘un. The enhancements over the original 2600 version may be fairly subtle, but they all add to the experience, making for a straightforward but enormously addictive little game that you’ll find yourself spending a surprising amount of time with if you let it get its claws in.
Check it out 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
Happy weekend, everyone! Hope you’ve all had a fine time. I’m just coming off a week off from the day job so I’ve got lots of things I actually want to do done, which is a nice feeling. Back to the daily grind tomorrow, though… boo.
There’s been some interesting stories this week, probably the most notable of which is the sordid history behind the Golden Axed prototype Sega put up on Steam for a limited period. But let’s also not forget the guy from the Google Stadia team who thought telling Twitter that streamers should pay licensing fees for the games they stream would be in any way a good idea. He’s been very quiet ever since.
Anyway, that aside, let’s check out what you might have missed in the last week!
Continue reading Around the Network
It’s time for the original deathmatch! Outlaw was one of the first games available for the Atari 2600, and it remains a beloved competitive multiplayer game today.
Unlike its stablemate Combat, Outlaw actually also offers a single-player mode. Okay, it’s not a particularly good single-player mode, but at least you can get in a bit of target practice by yourself — something which you definitely couldn’t do in Combat. And, of course, the two-player funtimes still hold up brilliantly today.
Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!
With how long the Atari 2600 stuck around — and its position in the early days of the games business — it’s no surprise that games from its latter days bear little to no resemblance to its launch titles.
There are few games in which this is more apparent than Solaris, the official follow-up to Star Raiders on the 2600. But not the sequel to Star Raiders on the Atari 8-bit; that was just called Star Raiders II. Also, just to confuse matters, both Star Raiders II and Solaris were originally intended to be licensed games based on the movie The Last Starfighter, but for one (mostly Tramiel-shaped) reason or another, neither ever happened.
Fortunately, we can still enjoy Solaris for ourselves today. Check out my writeup for more thoughts, enjoy the video below and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!
Following the initial batch of ten cartridges for the Evercade retro gaming platform, one of the releases that people were most excited for was cartridge number 11: a double pack featuring arena shooter Xeno Crisis and platformer Tanglewood.
We’ll get to Xeno Crisis in due course, but I wanted to make a point of looking at Tanglewood first. Because while Tanglewood was, like Xeno Crisis, a successful Kickstarter project that ended up being released on both Mega Drive and modern platforms, it’s Xeno Crisis that has had the lion’s share of attention to date. And you know how much I love an underdog. Or an underfox, in this case.
Fortunately, Tanglewood is a lovely game in its own right, so I’m glad I decided to give it a look first. Let’s explore together!
Continue reading Tanglewood: Outfoxed at Every Turn