Retro Reading #8

Oo-er, someone was bad and didn’t do their work on Saturday. This week, I’ve mostly been playing the Donkey Kong Land series as part of my backlog elimination mission. I think the first game had the best level design of the series, but the second and third games, which were essentially adaptations of their equivalent Donkey Kong Country games, had the better gameplay. I’m hoping to finally beat The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past this coming week – it’s been a long time coming.

Not a whole lot happening in terms of new retro articles, so I’ll start throwing in a few older articles I think are worth reading to beef things up. If you’re observant, you might have noticed that the site now has a favicon; I’m finally getting stuck into some of the design stuff, so hopefully things will start looking a little more unique in the coming weeks.

Neo Geo games coming to PlayStation Network at PS3 Attitude (thanks Brenna)

Not content to let the Virtual Console guys have all of the fun, SNK will be bringing Neo Geo games to PSN. Nothing spectacular just yet – the ESRB site names Alpha Mission II, Baseball Stars Professional, League Bowling and Super Sidekicks as the first batch of titles.

Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist, The Feeble Files, Sanitarium, The Superhero League of Hoboken, Realms of the Haunting, Joe & Mac: Caveman Ninja, The Cliffhanger: Edward Randy, Sword of Vermillion at HardcoreGaming101

HG101 posted their monthly update earlier in the week, and it’s heavy on the PC adventure games once again. It was nice to see them do an entry on Joe & Mac – it’s a solid little action-platformer that not too many people know about. Heck, the only time I ran into the original machine was at the Tara Cafe in 1992.

Sukeban Deka II (Mark III) and Saint Seiya: Ougon Densetsu Kanketsu Hen (FC) English translations, Tecmo Super Coach (NES) 2009-10 Season Hack at Romhacking.net

It’s always a glorious day when a translation or major hacking project is finished – most usually end with the death of relatives and/or hard drive crashes. Sukeban Deka II was apparently the last remaining SMS/Mark III game that was not available in English either officially or via translation patch, a neat little fact to note.

Omikron: The Nomad Soul Retrospective at Eurogamer

Most of the big name Internet gaming sites have terrible retro coverage, so I tend not to post any of the updates they do, but I thought this little piece on Quantic Dream’s first game was worth a look, especially since Heavy Rain was just recently released (and turned out to be pretty good, too).

The Lost Levels: Super Mario’s Wacky Worlds at 1Up Retro

1Up’s Frank Cifaldi’s twice-monthly Lost Levels column is always a good read, but moreso this time since it features one of the lost Mario games, the ill-fated Super Mario’s Wacky Worlds for the CD-i. I’d say from looking at that article and Philips’ Zelda games, we’re better for having lost this one, especially since developer Novalogic’s intention appeared to be to develop the game as cheaply as possible and funnell the budget into other projects.

Diddy Kong Racing Beta (N64), Jet Force Gemini (GBC), Kirby’s Adventure Beta (NES), Mercenaries Beta (PS2/Xbox), Rush Club (PS2/Xbox/GCN), The World is Not Enough Beta (N64), Shadow Stalker (SNES) at Unseen64

Busy week for the boys at Unseen64, with some extra stuff in addition to their usual selection of information about betas and cancelled games. I thought the Jet Force Gemini game for the GBC looked alright – it’s a shame that Rare’s GBC titles didn’t experience the level of success they anticipated.

Interview: Nick Bruty at Unseen64

Nick Bruty is one of the original members of the Shiny Entertainment team (you know, when they were good), and a founder of Planet Moon Studios. This rather brief interview mostly discusses his work on Earthworm Jim 2.

What if we had Ura Zelda for the 64DD? at Unseen64

Someone unearthed footage of the boot-up sequence from Ura Zelda for the 64DD. The uploader is not saying how he got this working, though, so don’t get too excited.

Classic Article: The Lost Levels – Sonic and the Secret Games at 1Up Retro

Frank Cifaldi looks at a bunch of Sonic games that never made it – you’ll know of most of them, but there’s a few surprises in there.

This week’s Virtual Console release: Nothing, yet again!