Retro/Classic Feed

Banjo-Kazooie In The Mushroom Kingdom

Banjo-KazooieIf you consider how Nintendo characters tend to hop around each others' worlds, it makes sense how Rare's Banjo-Kazooie exists in the same world as Nintendo's Super Mario Bros.  Banjo appeared in the Nintendo 64 version of Diddy Kong Racing (back when the two companies were best of business buddies) who, of course, co-starred with Donkey Kong Country's Diddy Kong.  Kong co-starred with Donkey Kong in DKC, and he bumps into Mario all of the time in the Mario vs Donkey Kong series which, and you know where I'm going with this, stars Mario himself.  This transitive property gets us to a place where Banjo and Kazooie may have visited Princess Peach's castle at some point in time, and thanks to ROM hacking, we get to see that encounter.  Luke Ford is working to transplant Super Mario 64's levels into Banjo-Kazooie.  The hack doesn't seem to be publicly available and this video is from 2016, but it delighted me so much that I had to share it.  It's strange to see the bear and bird duo wandering around Whomp's Fortress and the castle gardens, but they're an interesting fit and I would be interested in playing through the entire game with them just for the novelty factor. 


8-Bit Darkwing Duck On Patrol

Darkwing Duck

He is the terror that flaps in the night!  He is the Perler bead sculpture that I bought at Megacon a few weeks ago!  He is Darkwing Duck as seen in Capcom's Nintendo Entertainment System game of the same name which was recently re-released as part of The Disney Afternoon Collection for modern consoles and PC.  I came across the Perly Pixels Perler bead art shop while I was roaming the dealer tables and this Darkwing sculpture caught my eye immediately.  In fact, artist Luis had the whole Capcom Disney set there including characters from Rescue Rangers and Talespin, but I knew I had to have Darkwing.  He's remarkably well crafted from his 8-bit sprite and the first aid box base is modeled after the health pick-ups in the game.  It's very well done and I'm happy to share it with you all here.


Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 Announced

Mega Man Legacy Collection 2Capcom brought back the original six Mega Man games for the Mega Man Legacy Collection last year, but right away people began to ask why the other numbered sequels in the series did not make the cut.  Now the company is back with Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 which offers Mega Man 7, Mega Man 8, Mega Man 9, and Mega Man 10 with all of the usual museum modes and new challenge options included.  It's due out in August 2017 for the Sony PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox One, and PC for $19.99 both digitally and at retail in a box.  All of the downloadable content for the latter two games are included, too.  Here's the trailer:

I was very pleased with the original Legacy Collection (so much so that I bought it twice; once for PS4 and again for 3DS) and I'm definitely interested in this second collection as well.  There are a few classic series Mega Man titles still unaccounted for here.  Most egregiously, 1998's Mega Man & Bass for the Super NES is missing in action.  Perhaps Capcom is choosing only to use the numbered sequels in these collections or perhaps the company does not want to bother with translating the Japanese-exclusive title into English for international release.  The game was translated when it was ported down to the Game Boy Advance in 2002, but that version is notoriously difficult to play thanks to challenging controls and a notoriously cropped screen.  Trust me, you don't want that version back again!  We're also missing the five Game Boy games, the Wily Wars set for the Sega Genesis (which could be redundant, I suppose), and Mega Man Soccer for the Super NES.  Why, there's enough additional Mega Man titles left to bundle together in a third collection...


Follow The Aeros

Aero the Acro-batI'm long on the record of being a fan of the Aero the Acro-Bat series from the Super NES era (so much so that, as you'll recall, I tracked down the original design documents for the first game in the franchise), but I never managed to pick up a copy of the Game Boy Advance version of Aero's debut adventure.  While wandering around the dealer area at Megacon last weekend, I browsed the display case at one of the game vendors and found the game pak in great condition for a mere $6.95, so naturally I had to have it.  It's a mixed bag of ports; the music took a hit from the original Super NES version (as did most 16-bit ports to the GBA thanks to the handheld's comparatively lesser quality sound capabilities), but there are a few new additions to the game that help to clearly define the storyline and the goal of each level.  It joins my collection and hopefully I can give it the level of play that it deserves.  According to the save data already on the cartridge, the previous owner never even completed the third level!  Yes, I can definitely do better than that.


Once More Unto The Mega Man Breach

Mega ManMega Man music remixes are not hard to find (even if it seems like more than half of them are someone twanging away at Air Man's theme or metal raging at Dr. Wily's Mega Man 2 fortress theme), but I like to point out when I come across something special.  Today's selection comes to us from the original Mega Man for the Nintendo Entertainment System and is a soulful, almost forlorn take on the first theme of Dr. Wily's stages"Breach" by Brandon Strader is available as part of the tribute album For Everlasting Peace: 25 Years of Mega Man from OverClocked ReMix, and it's rare to hear a Mega Man remix with such spirit and energy behind it while still enhancing the original source material.  There's genuine talent here that evokes the uphill battle of Mega Man's original campaign against Dr. Wily and the Robot Masters.  Fight on, blue bomber!  For everlasting... oh, you know the rest.

(image via The Mega Man Network)


Bring Metal Man To Your Desktop

Metal Man Room by Orioto

I am in ongoing awe over Mikaël "Orioto" Aguirre and his video game art.  Suitable for framing, it has been a mainstay of my desktop for years.  One of his latest creations showcases Mega Man and Metal Man locked in combat from Capcom's beloved Mega Man 2.  The detailed background sparks the imagination and brings some color to your display, so it's just the thing you need to start the week.


It Belongs In A Museum!

Mega Man for four hundred damned dollarsWe were on the road again this past weekend and, while wandering a mall, my girlfriend and I came across another local used video game store.  This one was smaller than last week's find, but it was stuffed with cartridges and discs spanning the late 1970s to present.  It didn't take long for my attention to drift to the lit glass case at the front of the store which contained boxed copies of Super NES games and loose Nintendo 64 and Virtual Boy cartridges, but what really leapt out at me were the price tags.  I'm accustomed to seeing high prices for the Super NES games of my youth, but this place wanted $400 for Mega Man 7 which is, last I checked, available for $8 on Nintendo's Virtual Console service across three different consoles.  Now yes, that is like comparing dollars to downloads, but c'mon — four hundred damned dollars for Mega Man 7?  Seriously?

I had to ask, so I dug down deep and channeled my late father who had a habit of asking shopkeepers if they were serious about this kind of thing.  "I have to ask," I said to the clerk, "Do people actually pay this kind of price for Mega Man 7?"

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Mini-Review: Mega Man X: Command Mission

Mega Man X: Command MissionThis article was originally published at Kombo.com on October 13, 2004. 

Capcom's futuristic take on the blue bomber has resulted in some of gaming's most memorable side-scrolling platformer games, but in recent years Mega Man X has begun to slip somewhat. His more recent adventures have been half-hearted misfires, containing more frustrating moments than actual fun. Poor localization/translation has also dogged the series in addition to some rather dismal voice acting. The Mega Man X storyline has also been circling the drain for some time, as one game in the series contradicts another (the end of Mega Man X6 proclaims that X's Maverick Hunter partner Zero has gone into a deep sleep for one hundred years so that he can star in the spin-off series Mega Man Zero, and yet Zero appears alive and well in Mega Man X7 and X8) and, on occasion, one game will contradict itself. When Capcom announced that an RPG starring X and friends was in development many fans shuddered at the thought of the company that seemingly couldn't tell a consistent story in an action game taking a stab at a plot-intensive RPG. It would seem those fears are misplaced, as X's first RPG — Mega Man X: Command Mission for the Nintendo GameCube and Sony PlayStation 2 — actually tells a coherent story and features voice acting from actors who can actually, well, act. Add in a deeply customizable battle system and plenty of playable characters and it would appear that if this is Capcom's attempt at bringing some cohesion to the Mega Man X saga, than they look to be successful.

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Wario Is The Crossover Hero We Need

Wario Ducktales

Nintendo and Hudson briefly took greedy anti-hero Wario in a surprising direction in 1994 when they dropped him into Bomberman's world in the Game Boy title Wario Blast.  For a hot second there I had hoped that this collaboration would be the beginning of a fun new career for Wario: professional party crasher.  I wanted him to drop into other game properties where he may not exactly be welcome and cause all kinds of trouble.  Imagine the possibilities!  Mega Man discovers that Wario has sold the Robot Masters for scrap.  Teenager Dave turns to his friends Bernard and Wario to save Sandy from Dr. Fred in Maniac Mansion.  Dracula gets more than he bargained for when Wario raids Castlevania. 

Above all else, I truly believe that the world is a poorer place because we were never given the natural team-up adventure with Wario and Scrooge McDuck of Ducktales scouring the world in search of treasure.  Working as reluctant partners in search of gold, they could work together until the time was right to try and screw the other over.  The co-op gameplay opportunities practically program themselves!  I know you're nodding your head in agreement right now as you read this.   It's the crossover you never know you needed in your life.  Nintendo, Disney, and Capcom, please start making calls.  This needs to happen!

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Will You Buy Street Fighter II Again?

Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final ChallengersCapcom's Street Fighter II has been ported to all kinds of game consoles and computers.  You can find it on the Super NES and Sega Genesis, of course, where it premiered as one of the best selling arcade ports of the 1990s, but it's also available on the Game Boy, Commodore 64, Amiga, Master System, Saturn, TurboGrafx-16, Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox, PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Wii U, New 3DS, PlayStation Portable... my point is that it's widely available on just about every platform out there.  You most likely own one if not multiple options for playing Street Fighter II in one form or another.  Now Capcom is about to release it yet again, this time for the Nintendo Switch as Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers at a MSRP of $39.99.  That feels very steep for a game that has been around the block this many times, but Capcom has added some new features to the game for its Switch debut.  Nintendo UK offers up the complete list, while Javy Gwaltney at Game Informer summarizes the details

The standout addition is the Way of the Hado, a motion control first-person action game that's goal is to make the player "feel what it’s like to be Ryu." Staple modes like Arcade and Versus will also be included alongside Buddy Mode, a tag team battle mode, and Fight Requests as well as the ability to save replays of your matches.

There's also a digital art book included.  While I would like to have Street Fighter II on my Switch, I have to admit that I'm on the fence about it over the cost, but as I think about that, I wonder if I'm not actually the target market for this version of the game.  I first played Street Fighter II on a neighbor friend's Super NES back in 1992 and have kept up with the latest updates to it over the years.  I bought it on PS2 as part of an anniversary compilation, I own it on PS3 as the HD Remix upgrade, and I carry it in my pocket on my iPhone as a decently playable app.  I also own Street Fighter III on PS3 and Street Fighter IV on PS3, PS4, 3DS, and iOS.  I even have the underwhelming Street Fighter V on my PS4.  Clearly my Street Fighter needs are met.

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