Retro/Classic Feed

Power Button - Episode 328: A Love Letter To The Delisted

Power ButtonSony made some waves in the gaming community recently when it was announced that they were closing the PSN stores for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, and PlayStation Vita.  There was such a loud uproar of resistance to this news that Sony doublebacked on the plan and will leave the PS3 and Vita stores open while the PSP is still closing down.  This led us to start talking about our favorite video games that have been delisted from online stores, never to be seen again.  This week's podcast is all about those lost games that we still love and may or may not have had a chance to buy such as The Simpsons arcade game, Castlevania The Adventure ReBirth, ModNation Racers, Noby Noby Boy, and many more.  Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes, Amazon Music Podcasts, and Google Podcasts, 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 Resurrection For Sega Dreamcast Resurrected

Castlevania ResurrectionSega and Konami had trouble making a partnership involving the famed Castlevania franchise work.  Despite releasing Bloodlines for the Genesis in 1994, plans to produce Castlevania titles for the 32X and Dreamcast never did come to fruition as those hardware platforms went down in flames in the market.  One of the more intriguing cancelled games is Castlevania Resurrection for the Dreamcast which focused on the then-origin of the Belmont family line, Sonia Belmont from, 1997's Castlevania Legends, as she embarked on a 3D adventure that was to be a step up from what the 3D Castlevania titles on the Nintendo 64 offered.  While a few screenshots have made it out over the years since the game was canned in 2000, it's only now that a playable demo from E3 1999 has made it into eager fans' hands.  Playable in emulators and real Dreamcast hardware, it's supposedly 25% complete and includes four playable areas that were shown to the press behind closed doors.

Castlevania Ressurection, dans sa version prototypale de l’E3 99, comporte ainsi 4 stages (et un cinquième accessible via émulateur). En sachant que le titre, selon les rumeurs, n’est pas allé au-delà des 25 % de développement, cela laisse envisager qu’il subsiste peut-être une autre version mais si c’est le cas, elle ne doit pas être beaucoup plus avancée. Les intentions étaient là, la réalisation n’a rien de spectaculaire pour une Dreamcast mais il y a tout de même de jolis effets et certains décors sortent du lot. Le titre de Konami aurait pu être un très bon jeu mais il semblerait que des dissensions entre la maison-mère japonaise et la filiale américaine (tiens, ça me rappelle un autre éditeur) aient eu raison du projet. C’est dommage car le potentiel était là.

I've never felt satisfied playing a Castlevania game in 3D and I don't know if Resurrection would have changed my opinion, but it certainly looks sharper than the games that would come after it for the Sony PlayStation 2, Lament of Innocence and Curse of Darkness.  We'll never know if the finished game would have lived up to expectations, but at least now fans can have a taste of what was in in development.


2021 Hallmark Gaming Ornaments Revealed

Caped MarioOver the past few years Hallmark has produced a variety of its popular Keepsake ornaments for a range of video game franchises, and while we started out with just a handful of Super Mario ornaments, this year the product line as revealed early by Keepsake fan site Digital Dream Book has expanded to include a little something for everyone from Caped Mario's famous Super Mario World appearance to a pair of 8-bit pixelized Link and Princess Zelda ornaments to commemorate the thirty-fifth anniversary of The Legend of Zelda with Sonic the Hedgehog and his pals showing up for the Sega crowd.  There's even ornaments from Mario Kart, Pokémon, Mortal Kombat, Fortnite, Kingdom Hearts, and Minecraft.  Oh yes, and I can't forget to mention the little Super NES replica following on from last year's Nintendo Entertainment System ornament that will light up and play sounds.  You can see all of these and more in the Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments Dream Book when it's officially released later this month.  It's going to be an expensive holiday season.  I love collecting these ornaments, getting my start as a young teenager with the Star Trek line and continuing on through the years.  Here's the complete lineup with pricing and release dates.

  • Caped Mario (Super Mario World) - $17.99, 7/10/21
  • Donkey Kong (Mario Kart) - $18.99, 7/10/21
  • Link (The Legend of Zelda) - $8.99, 10/2/21
  • Princess Zelda (The Legend of Zelda) - $8.99, 10/2/21
  • Super NES console - $19.99, 7/10/21
  • Charizard (Pokémon) - $17.99, 10/2/21
  • Sonic and Tails (Sonic the Hedgehog) - $19.99, 10/2/21
  • Knuckles (Sonic the Hedgehog) - - $17.99, 10/2/21, Limited Availability
  • King Mickey (Kingdom Hearts) - $17.99, 10/2/21
  • Sub-Zero (Mortal Kombat) - $17.99, 7/10/21
  • Crackshot (Fortnite) - $17.99, 10/2/21
  • Enderman (Minecraft) - $18.99, 10/2/21

 

Donkey Kong, Super NES, and Charizard 2021 Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments

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Power Button - Episode 327: Twenty Years Of Playing With Advance Power

Power ButtonNintendo's Game Boy Advance turns twenty years old in month, so it's the perfect time to reminisce about one of the strongest handheld libraries that only use a single screen.  On this week's episode we're sharing GBA stories, covering the usual suspect games like Super Mario Advance, and recommending some obscurities such as Drill Dozer, marveling at unusual accessories including motion sensors, rumble paks, TV tuners, media players, and the e-Reader.  Join us for an hour of conversation about the popular handheld.  Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes, Amazon Music Podcasts, and Google Podcasts, 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. 


Super Mario 64 But You Are The Scary Piano

Mad PianoHobbyist ROM hackers and modders have made minor changes to classic video games since the dawn of computer gaming.  Well, maybe not the dawn.  Perhaps the week after the dawn.  When I was first dabbling with console emulation back in the 1990s I saw a glut of crudely changed games clearly altered for shock value such as nude and/or racism-inspired hacks of Super Mario Bros. where all someone did was change a few pixels here and there.  Today that scene has evolved, and while I'm sure there are still young teens making trash for their own amusement, most hacks and mods today focus on quality of life improvements, creating new levels, reviving canceled features left dormant in the game data, and even changing the player character into someone completely different.  For instance, here's a mod for 1996's Super Mario 64 that removes Mario from the equation and replaces him with the terrifying, sharp-toothed piano from the Big Boo's Haunt level.  Once confined to a dingy room, the mad piano is free to explore the world.  Ramming into familiar foes with mighty chompers, the piano seems absolutely unstoppable.  It's somehow able to grab Bowser and swing him around even without arms and can even don wings to fly free.  Go, piano, go!  You've earned it.

(via Platypus Comix)


Watch The Nelsonic Mario Watch

Nelsonic Mario watchToday when you talk about handheld gaming, most players think of a Nintendo Switch or a mobile device connected to a remote play or cloud gaming service.  Twenty years ago, handheld gaming meant carting around a Game Boy Color.  Thirty years ago?  Well, there was the original Game Boy, of course, but for a cheaper and more portable experience there were the Nelsonic gaming watches featuring famous licensed franchises from Nintendo including Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and Donkey KongI wrote about my cherished Mario watch back in 2006, but Brian Crecente at Pad and Pixel dug into the history of the gaming watch concept and details how Mario wound up on our wrists once upon a time.

“Of course, the game-changer was the Pac Man game watch,” he said. “Again, I think the reason Bernie saw this first was because we were the demographic of the kids putting hundreds of quarters into the arcade versions. To play this game on your wrist was just too unbelievable. We had two suppliers in Hong Kong making the game for us. Both had color screens that looked identical to the arcade version and made that thoroughly annoying munching sound. One version actually supplied four colored mini joysticks to insert into the port in the watch face and play the game as if it were in the arcade.”

I had no idea Nelsonic was producing these watches into the Super NES era with a Star Fox model.  Today these watches are more of a unique collectible and conversation piece than an practical way to tell time or play a video game.  I wore my watch to my office job once on a lark and spent most the day explaining what the hell was strapped to my wrist.  Now it resides in my gaming collectibles display case with other Mario memorabilia.


Power Button - Episode 324: 2020's Biggest News Revisited

Power ButtonWith the portal sealed and 2020 banished back into Hell, it's time for our customary look back at the most memorable video gaming news from the year that was.  Thanks to the coronavirus, 2020's news was largely "inside baseball" in nature as nobody could safely stage a large physical presence at a convention or trade show, but there was still plenty to talk about as Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. celebrates its thirty-fifth anniversary, Apple and Epic go to war over - what else? - money, Microsoft goes on a buying spree, and so much more. Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes, Amazon Music Podcasts, and Google Podcasts, 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 320: Gaming's Greatest Weddings

Power ButtonIn celebration of my own imminent wedding day, this week's podcast is all about gaming's greatest weddings!  From Bowser kidnapping Princess Peach for a wedding on the moon in Super Mario Odyssey to the shotgun weddings of Fallout 2 to the Mad Moxxi love potion scheme of Borderlands 2 to, uh, Booster kidnapping Princess Toadstool for a wedding in Marrymore in Super Mario RPG and beyond, we're talking about the good, the bad, and the matrimony.  Join us for seventy minutes of discussion before I head off to say my vows. Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes, Amazon Music Podcasts, 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 319: Into The Console Wars Documentary Trenches With Directors Blake J. Harris and Jonah Tulis

Power ButtonOne of our favorite books here at Power Button, Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation, is now a documentary streaming on CBS All-Access, so it's the perfect time to talk to the book's author and friend of the podcast Blake J. Harris and his co-director on the film, Jonah Tulis.  Join us for an hour of conversation in which we discuss topics such as how the book made the transition to the screen, the difficulty of clearing all of those archival clips for use, the visual impact of showing key moments in the story as actual archival video instead of just a textual description ("$299."), new material in the film that isn't in the book, and so much more.  Console Wars is a fascinating book and a fantastic movie, so I highly recommend that you experience both.  Thanks to Blake and Jonah for joining us this week! Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes, Amazon Music Podcasts, 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 Dangerous Darkwing Duck Musical Medley

Darkwing DuckSince the first video games to feature music were created, fans have tried to take those simple composition and tap them out on a piano or strum them out on a guitar.  Over the years, the fan community has continued to advance, taking increasingly complex melodies and turning them into impressive new creations.  If your game includes Super Mario or Mega Man in the title, then there's no shortage of people who can perform your tunes.  The familiar strains of World 1-1 or Air Man's theme are a bit overdone these days, but deeper cut games deserve to have their moment in the sportlight too.  Consider Capcom's 1992 release for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Darkwing Duck.  It's rare that you hear of a fan who can perform the music from that game, but today is your lucky day as LloydTheHammer has published a YouTube video of his take on a medley of the game's entire soundtrack.  From Quackerjack's bridge theme to Megavolt's wharf music to Bushroot's forest jam, it's all here and waiting for you to get dangerous.