(Edited by Marcus Schmerl and Jen Beauchamp)
Breaking news: A port of Xenon II for the Atari Jaguar, created by Cyrano Jones of Reboot fame, has just been approved for release by the Bitmap Brothers. Although the original Bomb the Bass soundtrack cannot be used (due to the license running out years ago) the well known gaming and chiptune musician 505 has provided tunes for the game. More news soon, but until then check out the video preview below.
I recently watched one of the localised episodes of GameCenter CX (from SA-GCCX.com) which featured the NES/Famicom release of Gradius as Arino’s Challenge. I forgot how difficult the game really is, and even with the Konami code it was a challenge for Arinoさん.
Over the years there has been a plethora of releases set in the Gradius universe. One of the sequels, Gradius II, is currently in development (unofficially) for the SEGA Mega Drive. This is exciting as previously it was only released on the Famicom, Sharp X68000 and PC Engine CD as a Japanese exclusive. A YouTuber by the name of rael16x has posted a number of progress videos of this Mega Drive port, and it’s looking pretty impressive!
A description of the video that was uploaded just over two weeks ago explains the various aspects of the game as it currently stands. It also mentions that it is being developed using the SDGK of the Mega Drive development kit in C Language. To follow the progress of the game, you can visit nendo16.jimdo.com (which is written in Japanese). The site shows not only this video, but other games that are in development or available to download for the Mega Drive.
In more SEGA-related news is the forthcoming release of the officially-licensed action figures (based on the low polygon models) from the 1993 arcade classic Virtua Fighter. There are two characters to choose from: Akira Yuki and Sarah Bryant. Each figure will feature replaceable heads and different facial expressions. Both figures stand at around 14-15cm tall and are fully posable so you can recreate a range of moves from the original game.
The first figures will feature the standard player one costumes that are seen in the game, with alternative options to become available at a later date. Both can be pre-ordered at amiami.com for around ¥4500 and should be released in September this year.
Yet another port of Doom is being developed…surprise! This time it for the Atari Falcon, an advanced (for the time) Atari ST compatible home computer which actually came out one year prior to Doom’s release. Going by the name BadMooD, this port is coming along nicely! As can be seen in the video above, the game features lighting, extra visual effects, identical textures to the original, music, and sound effects.
As with many of these fan projects, the game is still a work in progress. Those interested in following the progress of this port, or even contributing to the project, should visit devilsdoorbell.com. There is also progress on (get this!) a port of Quake II for the same Atari computer!
Whilst on the topic of Doom, finally in this week’s Retrospektive is news of a documentary covering it’s storied history. It explores Doom’s lasting impact on games, and in particular how it shaped and influenced subsequent first person shooters. It also delves into the origins of Wolfenstein 3D’s engine that preceded Doom, and looks at the still vibrant community creating mods for the classic shooter.
This is a very well made documentary and an amazing history ‘lesson’, so please – take 50 minutes to kick back and enjoy it. Similar videos are available at the Ahoy YouTube Channel.
Thank you Sam for the heads-up on this video.