Retro/Classic Feed

N64, Genesis Games Coming To Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pass

FAAM9byVEAc1FEfAfter years of slowly trickling games from the Nintendo Entertainment System and Super NES libraries onto the Nintendo Switch, new consoles will make their debut in late October... with a catch.  Coinciding with the introduction of classic Nintendo 64 games including Super Mario 64, Star Fox 64, and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time as well as Sega Genesis games such as Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Ristar is a new tier of paid service for the Nintendo Switch Online service.  For a price yet to be announced, players will have to buy the NSO's Expansion Pass to access the new console libraries.  If you want to overdose on 1990s nostalgia, Nintendo will sell wireless N64 and Sega Genesis controllers for $49.99 each.  Jay Peters at The Verge has all of the details along with the full list of launch titles for both consoles.

I will upgrade my NSO subscription to access the N64 games as very few of those have come back around again beyond the Wii Virtual Console days and it will be convenient to be able to play my old favorites in an easily accessible format.  Nintendo has even announced the addition of games such as Banjo-Kazooie to the service in the future (which is a big deal all by itself).  The Genesis games, on the other hand, have been kept in circulation for years thanks to compilation titles for modern consoles and even now-retro consoles (there are generous collections for multiple generations of Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox) plus the Sega Genesis classic micro console.  These games are cheap and easy to find.  Sure, add them to Switch, but I can't help but feel that they aren't that big a splash.  Even the novelty of Sega titles on Nintendo hardware was done back in the GameCube and Game Boy Advance years.  Hopefully we'll see games that have been in the vault show up eventually.


Power Button - Episode 335: Getting A Handle On 20 Years Of Nintendo GameCube

Power ButtonIt is absolutely anniversary season in the world of video games as this week we're commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the release of the Nintendo GameCube.  Join us for a discussion about the best and worth that the system has to offer along with some personal favorites and memories.  The big hitters like Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Mario Sunshine, and The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker are covered, of course, along with games including Sonic Gems Collection, Wario World, Spider-Man, Viewtiful Joe, and plenty 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 334: 30 Years Of 16 Bits

Power ButtonThe anniversaries just keep on coming as this week we turn our attention to the thirtieth anniversary of the release of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in North America.  Bundled with Super Mario World and debuting with release titles SimCity, Pilotwings, and Gradius III, the Super NES would go on to host some of the very best video games of all time.  On this week's episode, we discuss the console's highs and lows along with some personal memories of how playing Super NES games were important moments in our lives. 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 333: Metroid Memories

Power ButtonIt's been thirty-five years since Nintendo released the original Metroid, and since then the franchise has gone to sport sequels, interquels, remakes, and spin-offs.  That's a lot of territory for what essentially boils down to four (soon to be five) games that make up the central plot of the series.  On this week's podcast, we're celebrating Metroid's big anniversary with a look back at the games, how they fit together, which ones we played over the years, and what's coming up next.  Join us for an hour of discussion. 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. 


Special Appearance By... Samus Aran

Super Mario RPGWhile Nintendo's Metroid series has taken several years-long breaks over the years while other franchises like Super Mario appear annually in some form, the heroic Samus Aran has popped up in other places where you wouldn't really expect her while her own series is on hiatus.  From puzzle games to racing games to pinball games, she's turned up to give players a smile.  The Metroid Database has chronicled these cameos from 1987-2016 across multiple consoles and even into some third-party games where she and her enemies really shouldn't belong without permission.  Most fans remember her playable appearance in Galactic Pinball for the Virtual Boy, but my favorite cameo has to be Super Mario RPG.  Backtrack to the Mushroom Kingdom at a specific point in the story and you'll find Samus in bed at the castle where she says she's resting up for Mother Brain.  She's gone soon after.  Wherever she went this time, I hope she was successful.


Game & Watch Strikes Back

Game & WatchNintendo has revived its old Game & Watch line for the anniversaries of Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda, but the $50 handhelds you can buy today are not representative of what the product line used to be.  The original Game & Watch units used primitive LCD graphics instead of full color screens, so it's understandable why Nintendo isn't reproducing the exact old hardware.  Now you can sample the Game & Watch experience with Itizso's lovingly created digital reproductions of three different Donkey Kong handhelds, models DK-52, JR-55, and DJ-101 — that's Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong II, and Donkey Kong Jr. to you and me.  Play the games, look at the time, read the instructions, check out the box, and wish that the faux-amiibo included for decoration were real products that I could display in my game room.  It's a window to a different time and, let me tell ya, these games get much better from here.

(via @DrTomTilley)


Power Button - Episode 332: Birthday For Barrel And Banana

Power ButtonWe're celebrating the fortieth anniversary of Nintendo's original Donkey Kong arcade game this week on the podcast with a salute to some of the gorilla's best games spanning from the very beginning through his 16-bit rebirth into the modern era.  Join us for memories and a to-do list of games you need to play; yes, the Country series is in there, but we also go into the weeds with lesser known games such as King of Swing and Barrel Blast.  You'll be busy long after the discussion ends. 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. 


A Symphony Of Sonic

Sonic SymphonyThe video gaming community is celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the original Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Genesis this month, and Sega is celebrating too with a series of events, products, and new games all coming out this year.  Last week one of those events blew the doors off the Internet, so if you missed the Sonic Symphony, it's time to set aside two hours and watch some of Sonic's greatest musical hits performed by a symphony and fan-favorite rock bands such as Crush 40 that have contributed to the franchise's soundtracks over the years.  The expected games are all represented with Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and Sonic Adventure are all featured, but there are some deeper cuts such as a medley from the Game Gear titles that are largely overlooked now, there's a Sega Saturn-era piece that covers Sonic Jam of all things, and there's a surprising focus on the disastrous Sonic the Hedgehog from 2006 that is notorious for its unfinished state, but did feature great music.  Noticeably, the Sonic the Hedgehog 3 / Sonic & Knuckles medley did not include any selections from the music tracks composed by Michael Jackson and his team that are now allegedly the reason why the games have not been re-released on any platform since 2011.  I enjoyed the show and even if you're not familiar with everything in the concert, I bet you will too.


Who Is Shantae?

Shantae

Plenty of us passed over WayForward's Shantae when it was released for the Game Boy Color back in 2002.  After all, it showed up very late in the GBC's lifespan and, if you didn't know any better, you might mistakenly peg it as a childrens' game about a cute little genie that uses the power of dance to fight her enemies including the dastardly pirate, Risky Boots.  Boy, did we miss out.  There's actually a lot of tricky platforming and sly innuendo that makes the game more appropriate for an older audience than a younger one.  As series co-creator Matt Bozon says, the games are "too sexy to be a kid's brand, and too girly for a male gamer brand."

It took a while, but that little game eventually spread its wings into a whole franchise of fantastic character platformers in the Metroid style of collecting new abilities and backtracking to see what has opened up in previous paths.  Today there are a bunch of Shantae games spanning a variety of platforms (not including the games that were cancelled before they could really get off the ground including pitches for Super NES and Game Boy Advance versions), and it can be difficult to keep them all straight.  WayForward has produced a short retrospective detailing all of Shantae's adventures in celebration of the entire series arriving on Nintendo Switch (including that first GBC game!) and, soon, other contemporary platforms.  Review your history lesson and then jump in with whichever adventure appeals to you the most.


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.