Power Button - Episode 277: Thanksgaming II

Power ButtonAs we enter the annual holiday season buffered by Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, it's time for us to present our traditional Thanksgaming podcast episode in which we discuss all of the gaming things that Blake Grundman and I are thankful for this year.  From the more rational choices like price drops and availability to the special moments money can't buy like playing with family, we have an hour of introspective thought for you to enjoy with your plate of turkey and potatoes.  Save a slice of pie for us!   Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes and Google Play, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way. 


A Smashing Castlevania Halloween Musical Moment

Richter BelmontHalloween at Press The Buttons means spending a moment appreciating Konami's Castlevania franchise which is enjoying a resurgence thanks to the recently released Castlevania Requiem compilation and, better still, appearances from Simon Belmont and Richter Belmont along with a host of Castlevania elements in Nintendo's upcoming Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.  Composers lined up for a chance to rearrange the franchise's most famous and beloved music and the official Smash Bros. website has been offering sample clips over the past few weeks.  ""Lost Painting" from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night will appear in Smash, as will a medley of tunes from Castlevania II: Simon's Quest: "Bloody Tears" and the mansion theme "Monster Dance".  At long last, it's a great time to be a Castlevania fan again!

 

 


Power Button - Episode 276: Belmont Meets Blue Bomber

Power ButtonOctober saw the glorious return of both Richter Belmont and Mega Man as Konami ported Castlevania: Rondo of Blood and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night to the Sony PlayStation 4 while Capcom released an all-new adventure for the Blue Bomber in Mega Man 11.  On this week's Power Button episode, Blake Grundman and I discuss both of these recent releases with a contentious, tense discussion over whether Castlevania Requiem is worth the time and money and a more friendly approach to Mega Man 11.  Also, be sure to tune in for Blake's Extra Life charity stream this weekend and help him meet his donation goal to help the Beaumont Children's Hospital. Happy Halloween, everyone!   Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes and Google Play, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way. 


Full List Of PlayStation Classic Games Revealed

PlayStation ClassicAfter teasing us in September with the announcement of its PlayStation Classic mini console, today Sony has announced the full list of games that are included on the device due for sale in December.  As you'll recall, the PlayStation Classic is the company's PS1 nostalgia box and while we had plenty of suggestions for the included game library on Episode 273 of the Power Button podcast, Sony didn't exactly take our advice as there's not a Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, Tomb Raider, or Castlevania title to be found.  Here's what did make the cut for the North American version courtesy of the PlayStation Blog:

  • Battle Arena Toshinden
  • Cool Boarders 2
  • Destruction Derby
  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • Intelligent Qube
  • Jumping Flash
  • Metal Gear Solid
  • Mr Driller
  • Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee
  • Rayman
  • Resident Evil Director’s Cut
  • Revelations: Persona
  • Ridge Racer Type 4
  • Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
  • Syphon Filter
  • Tekken 3
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six
  • Twisted Metal
  • Wild Arms

That's certainly a collection of PS1 games.  The Japanese version of the console trades out a few of these games for a few RPGs that were popular in that country that didn't quite catch on elsewhere.  I'm passing on this one because I don't have any PS1 nostalgia that isn't already met by the downloadable classics on the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita, but I'm sure there's a subset of the gaming community out there that reads this list and is instantly transported back to childhood Christmas mornings of 1996-1999 or so.  There are definitely some gaps in this list though and I also expect I'm not the only person who read this and said to himself, "Huh, OK.  Not my thing but you kids have fun."  The PlayStation Classic will likely sell well, but I wonder how much longevity it will have once its plugged into a TV after those first few days of post-purchase excitement.  Will players still be excited about Battle Area Toshinden weeks later?


Power Button - Episode 275: A Tribute To Developers (Part 2)

Power ButtonPicking up from where we left off last week, this episode of the Power Button podcast continues on with our discussion of our favorite development teams.  This installment focuses on Rockstar Games, Konami's teams behind the latter-day Castlevania games, Blizzard, Sonic Team, and many more.   Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes and Google Play, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way. 


Power Button - Episode 274: A Tribute To Developers (Part 1)

Power ButtonWe've talked a lot about our favorite video games over the years, but on this week's episode of the Power Button podcast we're talking about some of our favorite video game developers.  Insomniac Games, PagodaWest Games, Naughty Dog, Nintendo's litany of internal studios and partnerships, and much more.   Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes and Google Play, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way. 


The Long And Winding Road Of Not Playing Mother 3

Mother 3

More than a decade after Nintendo released the long-anticipated Mother 3 in Japan, the company's American arm shows no sign of offering the game in English.  Fans have clamored for that sequel to make an appearance for such a long time now that I've grown numb to the anticipation, but Clyde Mandelin who worked on the unofficial translation of the game is still a believer.  He's chronicled the long path of Nintendo not localizing Mother 3 on his Legends of Localizations website as Mother 3's Timeline of Hope in which he takes us from those innocent days of the announced EarthBound 64 for the Nintendo 64 through the Game Boy Advance years into Virtual Console territory and beyond.

I originally intended for this to be a simple article on my EarthBound Central site. It quickly grew so big that I was going to give it its own dedicated section on the site instead. But then it eventually grew so big that I decided to turn it into another of my Legends of Localization books. It was going to be titled “C’mon Nintendo, Give Us Mother 3”, and it even hit a bunch of news sites when I first announced it.

Unfortunately, due to schedule conflicts and other boring stuff, I had to drop the book plan. I’d rather share my findings than sit on it and do nothing, so I decided to package my raw notes and share them here in celebration of the 10th anniversary of of the MOTHER 3 fan translation.

I have no doubt the book version would’ve been far better, but hopefully these raw notes will still be interesting and useful in some way.

As I read through the timeline, I discovered something interesting about myself: reading it made me frustrated and even a little angry; not angry that the game never released officially in English, but angry that fans spent so much time and energy scouring supposedly secret images for Mother 3 clues that weren't there, dissecting documents that were later exposed as hoaxes, reading tea leaves to declare that the game was truly coming this time because the planets were in alignment... so much excitement wasted on what turned out to be nothing each and every time.  Reading the entire Mother 3 non-release saga of fans searching for substance in the emptiness condensed down into just a few pages was like reading pure concentrated nonsense, and it triggered that part of my reactionary lizard brain that wants to cry out that we're all wasting our time looking for clues in the nothingness and it's not worth all the fuss.  Either a game will be released or it won't be, and there's not a damn thing we can do about it.  I think maybe I need to go outside for a while.


Power Button - Episode 273: PlayStation Classic Means Blake Has A Problem

Power ButtonSony is joining the retro console market with its upcoming PlayStation Classic featuring twenty built-in original PS1 games in the style of Nintendo's classic mini consoles.  This week on the Power Button podcast, Blake Grundman and I explore some of the games from the PS1 library that we believe have earned a place on the console.  Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Tomb Raider 2, Parappa the Rappa, Spider-Man, Mega Man X4, and more all deserve a shot.   Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes and Google Play, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way.


Power Button - Episode 272: A Farewale To Telltale

Power ButtonAs we spent the week watching Telltale Games crumble into mismanaged dust, it's only right to take an hour to reminisce about the best of times and the worst of times regarding the beloved developer of adventure games.  Sam & Max, Back To The Future, The Walking Dead, Tales From The Borderlands, Game of Thrones, Puzzle Agent, Law & Order, and beyond fill the conversation as we sent the studio off in style.  Special thanks to all of the developers formerly of Telltale who worked so hard to bring us these memories.  You all deserve better than to be unceremoniously dismissed without warning and we know you'll land in better places soon.   Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes and Google Play, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way.


Castlevania Returns For PS4

Castlevania RequiemIt just wouldn't be the Halloween season without Castlevania, and considering that Konami has backed away from the video game publishing world over the past few years compared to its output from the 1980s-2000s, well, let's just say that it hasn't been the Halloween season for the past few years.  That's changing on October 26 as Konami has announced that it's bringing two Castlevania classics, Rondo of Blood originally for the PC Engine and Symphony of the Night from the PS1, to the PlayStation 4 with trophies, 4K/1080p upscaling, and more.  The PlayStation Blog fills us in on the new content.

Both games are the originals emulated for the PlayStation 4, with several updates that take advantage of the new hardware. This includes 4K/1080p upscaling, multiple high resolution backgrounds, different rendering options such as smoothing and full Trophy support. Word of warning though, that Platinum will be tough to get. Elsewhere, Requiem will make use of the DualShock 4’s vibration, analogue stick and speaker, with the latter meaning you’ll hear a cool little chime when you pick up an item.

It's $20 for the pair bundled together under the name Castlevania Requiem It appears from the screenshots that these are not the original PCE and PS1 games, but instead the versions of the games that were included as secret unlockables in the 2007 PlayStation Portable release of Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles.  That game featured a new side-scrolling 3D remake of Rondo as its spotlight title with the original Rondo and Symphony included as bonuses, although unlocking those bonuses was nearly impossible without a guide (and even with a guide, it's difficult).  Notably, the PSP version of Symphony includes, among other things, a relocalized script and a second playable character: Maria Renard*.  While Symphony purists hold the original PS1 version in high esteem, the PSP version is a different experience that puts a fresh spin on a classic.  It's the right call to include it here, and hopefully we'll see more classic Castlevania titles brought back in the future. 

* She's not the same playable Maria from the Sega Saturn version of the game, and my goodness you don't want to play that version.