Power Button - Episode 316: The Tomb Raider Rises

Power ButtonPlayStation Plus offered Square-Enix's Rise of the Tomb Raider as a free download earlier in the summer and since my fiancee is an Uncharted fan, I suggested she might want to try it out since they have some similarities.  She enjoyed it, got me into playing it, and that led to this week's podcast discussion in which we brief Blake Grundman on our experiences with the dry monologues, hunting animals with poison mushroom arrows, avoiding the gory deaths, and tracking a mythical witch.  Good luck to you, Lara Croft!  With us at the controls, you'll need it. 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. 


There Sure Are A Lot Of GameCube Controllers

GameCube ControllerSome people collect video games, but other people collect video game controllers.  Consider the collection of Nintendo GameCube controllers on display at The Controller Library as maintained by Carl Synnett, for instance.  You're probably thinking that if you've seen one GameCube controller, then you've seen them all.  How many can there be?  I mean, there's your basic wired model, and then the wireless WaveBird, and then maybe a few different color variations, and you're done, right?  You've got some nerve, mister.  There's a lot to see from prototypes cobbled together from spare parts to Club Nintendo-exclusive variants to specialized models used in hotels to some downright strange creations that integrate extra functions in surprising ways.  There's even room in the collection for the more recent version of the controller produced during the Wii U and Switch eras for Super Smash Bros.  Spend some time browsing and prepare to be intrigued.


Xbox Series X Price, Release Date Announced

Xbox Series XMicrosoft and Sony have been playing a game of announcement chicken over the past months, each seemingly waiting to see what the other will charge for their next generation console.  Microsoft moved first this morning, announcing that the new Xbox Series X will cost $499 at retail with a release date of November 10 in North America.  Yesterday an early leak revealed a budget version of the console, the Xbox Series S, which lacks a disc drive and cannot output 4K video for a reasonable $299.  The X price is pretty much on target for what a box of its capabilities would cost, but that $299 S price could really shake things up.

Not everyone is equipped or financially able to upgrade their home entertainment systems to 4K, so why pay extra money for a console that can output a resolution you won't be able to use?  Losing the disc drive is a benefit to those who go all-digital with their libraries, but I feel like the S is really meant to be a lean, affordable Xbox Game Pass machine.  For a comparatively low startup cost and a monthly fee, there's more than enough games to play than most people will have time to enjoy, plus it was also announced this morning that Microsoft and Electronic Arts are teaming up to bundle the EA version of Game Pass, EA Play, into Game Pass at no additional cost.  If you're primarily a Game Pass player who doesn't buy physical media anymore, it's hard to beat the S package.  Your move, Sony.


Lost F-Zero: GP Legend e-Reader Tracks Recovered

F-Zero: GP LegendNintendo released a trio of F-Zero titles for the Game Boy Advance to diminishing returns internationally.  The second of the three, 2004's F-Zero: GP Legend, was based on the anime of the same name and included support for the e-Reader accessory exclusively in the Japanese version of the game.  These e-Reader cards were distributed through a combination of retail and Cardass card vending machines and added new tracks, racers, and course ghosts into the game.  You can probably guess what happened next; the cards were hard to find, then they improperly preserved in the online community, and it wasn't long until the add-on tracks and other scannables fell into obscurity.  Thankfully, F-Zero modder Guy Perfect has spent the past few years working on adding these e-Reader add-ons into all regions of the game (even those that did not originally support it such as the North American release) without the need for the e-Reader or the cards and eliminates the limit on how many courses can be saved to the game at once.  The mod is finally complete and ready for the green light.  Here's the breakdown of what's going on here from the mod's documentation:

This hack is a mod for all three versions of F-Zero: GP Legend (Japanese, North American, PAL) that incorporates all of the e-Reader content directly into the game. The modifications are as follows:

All versions
• Time Attack and Training are now permanently unlocked
• Card e+ is now permanently added to Time Attack and Training
• All 20 e-Reader courses are available in the Card e+ cup
• Challenge ghosts are available on select courses
• Existing save files will automatically be migrated on first boot

Japanese version
• e-Reader exclusive machines are now available if they were still locked
• The e-Reader+ option has been removed from the Link menu

PAL version
• The Card e+ cup menu has been localized for each language

The courses are available in the "Card e" cup for time trials and training modes and, having played them, I can say there are some bizarre layouts here that I've never seen in a typical F-Zero game.   There are courses shaped like a hand, a foot, and a bird.  Want to race through a lightbulb?  Here's your chance.  Take a look at these layouts.  The developers were having fun with these.

 

 

I love to see the fan community working to preserve this sort of content that would otherwise be lost to time.  I asked Guy to explain a little more about the work that went into the project.

Continue reading "Lost F-Zero: GP Legend e-Reader Tracks Recovered" »


Power Button - Episode 315: A Celebration Fit For A Plumber

Power ButtonNintendo opened the floodgates on its Super Mario Bros. thirty-fifth anniversary plans and game announcements this week with lots of new products on the way to celebrate the occasion.  On this week's podcast, we're discussing all of the news including the Mario Kart Live toys, Super Mario 35 battle royale game, Super Mario 3D All-Stars coming to the Switch, and so 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. 


Power Button - Episode 314: Avengers Beta, Assemble!

Power ButtonHave you heard about this new Marvel's Avengers game coming out soon?  We certainly have, and on this week's podcast we're discussing the beta version of the game that has been available on and off for the past few weeks.  Corey is back with us this week to help us pick it apart, put it back together, and look ahead to the finished version of the game and beyond to the datamined list of future playable characters.  Excelsior, and all of that stuff! 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 313: Paper Mario, The Origami Killer

Power ButtonWe can't resist a new Paper Mario title (except for when we do), so on this week's episode of the podcast we're discussing the first half of Paper Mario: The Origami King for the Nintendo Switch.  There are lots of spoilers in here for the red and blue streamer areas plus a little bit beyond, so hold off on joining us for this one until you reach the Monty Mole village if you are concerned about spoilers.  We'll pick up the second half of the adventure when Blake gets around to finishing it. 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. 


Williams Pinball: Vol. 6 Coming To Pinball FX3

Williams Pinball Volume 6Zen Studios has gone quiet over the past few months when it comes to new pinball table announcements for Pinball FX3, but the company is back on track with the upcoming Williams Pinball: Volume 6 which includes three more classic Williams tables coming to the usual platforms Sony PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows 10, and Steam. Mobile users can play through the Williams Pinball app on iOS and Google Play.  This pack includes 1990's infamous FunHouse (with Rudy!),  1987's Space Station, and 1990's Dr. Dude and His Excellent Ray.  There's no announced release date yet, but the tables will include the usual FX3 features including challenge modes and leaderboards.  You know, the usual.  If it ain't broken, don't fix it.  Check out the trailer.


PS5 To Be Compatible With Some PS4 Accessories, But Not All

DualSenseAllowing a previous console generation's accessories to be compatible with a new generation of hardware can be a double-edged sword.  On the one hand, it's great for players if those nice arcade sticks, steering wheels, and cameras bought last generation work with the next one because there's no need to replace perfectly functional equipment.  On the other hand, forcing a clean break with accessories allows the console manufacturer to better control their messaging and draw a line in the sand regarding what does and does not work with the new hardware.  I'm reminded of when Nintendo made their Wii controllers compatible with the Wii U which sounded like a great idea at the time but ultimately confused customers in just what accessory worked with what piece of hardware.  Now with Sony preparing to launch its new PlayStation 5, players are wondering if anything from the PS4 era will carry forward.  This morning the company clarified that information

Which existing PS4 peripherals/accessories will work on PS5?

  • Specialty peripherals, such as officially licensed racing wheels, arcade sticks, and flight sticks, will work with PS5 games and supported PS4 games.
  • The Platinum and Gold Wireless Headsets, as well as third-party headsets that connect via USB port or audio jack, will work on PS5 (the headset companion app is not compatible with PS5).
  • The DualShock 4 wireless controller and PlayStation officially licensed third-party gamepad controllers will work with supported PS4 games. 
  • Both the PS Move Motion Controllers and the PlayStation VR Aim Controller will work with supported PS VR games on PS5.

Please note, not all PlayStation officially licensed or third-party peripherals/accessories may work on PS5. We recommend checking with the manufacturer to confirm whether a product will work on PS5 and specific titles. 

Will DualShock 4 work with PS5 games?

No, we believe that PS5 games should take advantage of the new capabilities and features we’re bringing to the platform, including the features of DualSense wireless controller.

Is the PlayStation Camera for PS4 compatible with PS5?

Yes, PlayStation Camera will work with PS5 for playing supported PS VR games. It will require a PlayStation Camera adaptor that will be provided at no additional cost to PS VR users. More details on how to get the adaptor will be announced at a later date.

I'm very glad that most of my PS4 gear will work with the PS5, particularly the PS VR equipment.  It's also above and beyond for Sony to send out free adaptors for the PS Camera, so that is greatly appreciated.  As for the DualShock 4 controller, I understand why that will not work with PS5 games.  Sony is showcasing new technology in the DualSense controller that comes with the PS5 and players may be unable to properly play those new games with a controller not built to support them.  Just imagine playing a PS4 game with a DualShock 3 controller from the PlayStation 3 era.  Sure, you'd have your basic buttons, but add-ons like the touch pad, light bar, and audio jack would be missing, and regardless of how you feel about those features, some PS4 games require them and will assume you have them on the controller.  Sony is not going to allow players to use older controllers that will negatively impact the experience of their new console, particularly in the launch window when people will show off their new purchases to friends and family.


Power Button - Episode 312: Xbox Series X Xhowcase

Power ButtonMicrosoft broadcast a special hour-long look at upcoming games for its Xbox Series X console recently, so on this week's podcast we spend eighty minutes discussing the showcase and talking about which games interest us the most.  We also dig into the console's Smart Delivery promises and touch on how Microsoft buying up a whole slate of developers is about to pay off for them.  We'll leave a light on for you, Battletoads! 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.