Hi all. As you’re reading this, Dave is heading off to the land of the rising sun for the Tokyo Game Show and countless other gaming delights (and maybe even some non-gaming culture too!). Having visited Japan four times myself, I always look forward to hearing what others think of this wonderful country. I’m also look forward to articles about the various game related goodies he digs up. Anyway, on with today’s retro gaming news…
The second trailer for Disney’s ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ was released last week. This new look at the film is a little more sentimental than the first and also contains a few repeated segments. Notwithstanding this, an inevitable grin surfaced upon picking out more classic gaming references and more than a few 80s inspired cues in the soundtrack. Despite the release date in Australia (December 26) being almost a full two months after the USA (though it’s still long before the mid-February release in the UK), and the somewhat clunky tie-in iOS game putting me off a little, I’m rather looking forward to watching this one in the cinema just after I return from my next sojourn to Japan (I had to throw that one in).
Space Invaders…along with Pac Man, Donkey Kong, Galaga and Mario, is there a more iconic set of pixelated images that even those who aren’t gamers are still familiar with?
Taito (now a subsidiary of Square-Enix I recently found out to my surprise) has recently launched a website that acts as somewhat of a portal for all things Space Invaders. The site currently contains a timeline (somewhat thin), links to current games, loads of merchandise, and even opportunities for licensing and merchandising. Opportunistic and cynical marketing or taking control of their own brand…who’s to say. One thing’s for sure, that simple sprite evokes some early 80s memories for this gamer. And then there’s all that merchandise that has me reaching for the credit card…
The site can be reached at www.spaceinvaders.net
I’ve played very little of the Metroid games in my time. Through the history of Nintendo’s consoles from the NES to the Wii I’ve played and owned hundreds of games on Nintendo consoles, but I’ve not had the pleasure of extended play of any of the numerous Metroid titles. This is obviously something that I must remedy! Edge-Online have just posted an excellent three page read about Super Metroid that makes me want to go through these titles even more. You can read the article here.
Although I’m not much of a PC gamer, I might have to bust out Boot Camp on my MacBook Pro to play all of the games in the current Bundle-In-A-Box package. They currently have a hybrid Windows / Mac game bundle that’s exceptional value for money. For a minimum of $0.99 you can get get five retro-inspired games including Armalyte, a new neon-flavoured arena shooter with the non-too-subtle name of Death Ray Manta, and my pick of the bunch Space Giraffe – Jeff Minter of Llamasoft fame’s sublime synaesthetic twist on Tempest. With a bunch of extra games if you beat the current average, plus a heap of possible extras (dependent on sales), this is definitely worth looking at if you’re into retro games with a modern twist.
Finally, I couldn’t end this post without a quick mention of two new versions of Gridrunner. As one of my most played games of the year (and probably my favourite – read my review), the iOS version blends near perfect control and difficulty progression in a Namco-alike package. Recently released was a free to play iOS version (link here) with a $0.99 upgrade to the full version if you like it (if you have taste in retro games, you will) and now a $2.99 OS X version (link here). The OS X version supports mouse, trackpad, keyboard and joystick support. Though there’s some minor issues with the trackpad on Snow Leopard powered Macs (like mine), it hasn’t stopped me from hitting ever so close to the top of the current world leaderboards after only a couple of games. ;) PC and Android gamers don’t fear – the current crop of eight iOS Llamasoft games are being ported in your direction.
Llamsoft games on Ouya anyone?