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July 2014

Pump It Up At Castle Rock In Rayman Legends

I'm late to the party, yes, I know, but I've just started playing Ubisoft's Rayman Legends.  I'm working with the Sony PlayStation 4 version since that's what GameFly sent me as a rental despite the game's Nintendo Wii U origins.  The exact platform is irrelevant today though because each version includes this awesome level I'm showcasing.  It's Castle Rock, one of the stages that times the background music and foreground action together.  Play the level correctly and all of the action syncs up.  I love when this kind of thing happens in games by accident (see my playthrough of the Throwback Galaxy from Super Mario Galaxy 2, for example), so of course I had to show off this stage which deliberately invokes the gimmick.

OverClocked ReMix Launches Game Boy Remix Album

This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Nintendo Game Boy and to celebrate in a musical style, OverClocked ReMix has prepared a new album of music featuring remixes of classic tunes from handheld games such as Super Mario Land, Donkey Kong, Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge, Mega Man II, Donkey Kong Land, Batman, and The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening among other deeper cuts such as Solarstriker.  It's more great free video game music from the top community in rearranging the soundtrack of our people and comes highly recommended based on what I've heard of the album so far.  It's darn near impossible to go with a OC ReMix release, after all.

Today's Pinball Moment Features The Fantastic Four

Get comfortable because today's moment of pinball involves the Fantastic Four table from Zen Pinball 2, and unlike the past few video features that last five minutes or so before I reach Game Over, I rally and keep the action going here for fifteen minutes.  Watch as I trigger missions, rack up bonuses, and engage the multiball. 

Eyewitness Account Of The Retrode Experience

RetrodeLast year I directed you to an interesting article about how to rescue your valuable save data before aging video game cartridges succumb to dead batteries.  Once a cartridge's battery dies, your long hours of leveling up characters, collecting the best weapons, and unlocking all the secrets die with it.  Thanks to the wonders of aftermarket homebrew technology, it's possible to copy that data off of the cartridge to store on a PC.  Platypus Comix outlined a few ways to do it previously, but now site proprietor Peter Paltridge has acquired a rare and expensive Retrode device in order to show us all how to use it with Super NES and Sega Genesis cartridges.  Here's a piece of his report:

Like a modern PC plug-in should, the Retrode does not need a CD to install or anything else annoying to bother with. You plug it in, it grabs the firmware (the "RETRODE.CFG" on the left) and your games appear as files. From here, preserving your game saves is as easy as drag-and-drop. You can also dump the ROMs with this, of course, but....why? Next came the most important test....downloading emulators and testing out the saves I'd copied. Would it really work? Was the Retrode worth all the hype and expense? I was so relieved to see my Chrono Trigger save had at last escaped its cart. You can play Chrono Trigger as many times as you want and keep all your experience from the previous game you played (in fact, the game expects you to do this, as challenging the final boss before it's time will get you many different endings throughout). Building that save back up on another device would require a horrendous amount of time I no longer have.

Paltridge goes on to discuss the process and challenges of rescuing save data from Game Boy, Game Boy Advance and Nintendo 64 cartridges with the use of special add-on adapters.  I love enthusiast utilitarian toys like this and I looked into trying to track down one of the last Retrode's on the open market (they're going fast now that the creator has a steady job and no longer produces them).  It's sad that the Retrode is out of production, but it is a product for a niche market and can't be that profitable a venture.  It seems cheaper and easier to pick up a RetroN 5 retro console that can play those old cartridges and store save game data to conventional SD cards as a part of its standard operation, but that wouldn't be nearly as awesome as using a kludgy device that requires a little luck and magic to make it work.  It just feels like this whole process should not be so simple.  Rescuing save data ought to be a quest unto itself.  Of course, considering how difficult it is to find a RetroN 5 in stock right now, buying one of those is an entirely different challenge.

Pinball With Moon Knight And Friends

Today's pinball moment features the Moon Knight table from Zen Pinball 2 for the Sony PlayStation 4.  It's another video broken into two halves thanks to the PS4's fifteen minute buffer limit, so be sure to see both parts for the exciting conclusion (spoiler: the ball falls down the drain at the end as all pinball games must finish).

And Now, A Wolverine Pinball Moment

Today's moment of pinball comes from the Wolverine table in Zen Pinball 2.  This is another favorite table of mine despite the fact that I've never been able to trigger any of the advanced missions, but pinball is what you make of it and I continue to hone my skills at the lower level tasks.  It's a fun table with lots of animation and interaction.  Enjoy four minutes of me trying to find my way through adamantium and rage.

Here's The Third Hour Of Guacamelee!: Super Turbo Championship Edition

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In this, the third hour of Guacamelee!: Super Turbo Championship Edition, I continue to explore and take on new challenges.  Thrill as I learn the power to cross dimensions at will, take on X'tabay in a thrilling boss fight that I lose a few times before I win, become a chicken, and so much more.  Since this is a Metroidvania-style game, I backtrack often and poke around dead ends.  It's about exploration and discovery just as much as making progress.  Fun for me, sure, but is it fun to watch?  Let me know.

Power Button - Episode 139: The Future Of Strategy Guides With Keri Honea

Power ButtonFour years ago way back in Episode 7, we welcomed the owner of Strategy Guide Reviews, Keri Honea, to discuss printed hint books and map tomes with us.  The passage of time has changed how guides are produced and marketed, so it was high time she returned to brief Blake Grundman and I on the future of strategy guides.  Join us for a discussion of what's new in the world of strategy guides, how guides are evolving in the new generation of hardware, and which major games in the works have a guide in development along side them. Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes, 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.

Contest Reminder!

Captain AmericaI hope everyone is enjoying the Zen Pinball 2 videos that I've posted over the past few days.  There's more to come, but what's even better than watching me play pinball is to play pinball yourself.  Don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a bunch of free tables for the Sony PlayStation 4 version of Zen Pinball 2.  There's a great mix of tables in this prize pack; there's Marvel material, some Street Fighter, a few original Zen creations, and much more.  These kinds of PSN codes don't come along every day, so don't miss out on your chance to win.  Check the contest entry page for all of the details.  You can even enter daily for multiple entries.  When I return from my current hospital stay, I'll pick a winner and one of you out there will be knee deep in pinball tables.

And Now, A Street Fighter Pinball Moment

While Zen Studios has come a long way in terms of table design since creating its Super Street Fighter II Tribute table for Zen Pinball 2 and Pinball FX2, it's one of my favorite releases in the series.  Let's take a moment and watch me challenge the table to a fight.  It's not my best performance, but it's more fun than it should be.