Retro/Classic Feed

Power Button - Episode 368: The Making Of Karateka

Power ButtonJordan Mechner was a man with a dream: a dream of making a game for the Apple II about a karate man who punches and kicks his way past minions to save a princess.  Forty years ago he created Karateka, and now Digital Eclipse has partnered with Mechner to create The Making of Karateka for modern platforms.  This digital documentary exhibition features video interviews, design document scans, and playable prototypes of Karateka as well as a modernized remake.  On this week's podcast, we spend an hour discussing this first in Digital Eclipse's new Gold Master Series of making-of titles to see what all the fuss is about.  Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, 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. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way. 


Power Button - Episode 365: Forty For Famicom

Power ButtonWe're celebrating the fortieth anniversary of Nintendo's Family Computer in a big way on the podcast this week with a supersized discussion about the history of the console, its unique accessories, special games, and fun facts.  Don't you dare say it's the fortieth anniversary of the Nintendo Entertainment System!  We're not doing that episode until 2025. Also, there's more to say about Doctor Who: The Edge of Reality from last week.  Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, 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. 


Sonic Goes Underground

Sonic UndergroundSonic the Hedgehog has enjoyed quite the run in animation over the years, spanning Saturday mornings to weekday syndication to streaming exclusives and beyond.  It can be difficult to keep all of the shows straight.  Which show was slapstick comedy and which was darker and serialized?  Which one had Sonic's human friends?  Wasn't there one where Sonic was a prince and in a band with his brother and sister?  Say what?  Yes, that last one happened for forty episodes in 1999 in which Sonic, Manic, and Sonia the Hedgehogs used the power of residual payment-generating rock music to fight back against Dr. Robotnik's forces while they searched for their mother, Queen Aleena.  It's Sonic Underground and Dan Larson at Toy Galaxy explains just how this show happened and how it was tossed aside once it had made enough money on a thin budget.

 

I wasn't into the Sonic cartoons when I was a teen, but I remember knowing they were out there and being confused by Sonic Underground's promos.  The premise is so far removed from the plot of the games that I figured it had to be a totally different concept that had the Sonic licensed grafted onto it in order to get it made.  We're talking about a Sonic show where Sonic has siblings that are not part of the games, but can't find space to include Tails.  Building a series around original music that the animation studio could use to generate additional revenue ahead of the needs of the story feels slimy as well.  While Sonic was meant to be be in a band in the original pitch for the Sega Genesis title that made him a star, the concept was dropped early in development.  This could've been a fun throwback to a discarded idea, but certainly doesn't feel that way.  I'm glad to know the history of Sonic Underground, but I don't feel that I missed out on much.


A Tale Of Two Link Commercials

LinkTime is making fools of us all again as Nintendo's Game Boy classic The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening turns thirty years old.  Thirty!  How on earth did that happen?  The gaming community is celebrating, of course, and as part of the discourse, a pair of commercials for the game have reappeared.  If you want to know how different the culture was between Japan and the United States in 1993. just watch these two advertisements.  The Japanese commercial features a peppy song and the game's cast appearing as dancing puppets, while the American counterpart is a man on a castle set rapping nonsense lyrics that tell us nothing set against projected footage of the game.  Which one makes you want to play this game more?

 


Ghostbusters: Special Edition Hack Adds New Characters And Surprises

Ghostbusters: Special EditionThe famed Ghostbusters franchise has spawned many video games over the years ranging from the original 1984 business simulator from Activision to last year's Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed for modern platforms, but one of the games that tends to be forgotten is a 1990 title for the Sega Genesis developed by Compile.  Titled simply Ghostbusters, the game is a basic action platformer featuring an original story in which players can choose between Peter Venkman, Egon Spengler, and Ray Stantz to walk, jump, and shoot through a series of standard 2D levels, as was the style at the time.  It's a fun diversion, but fans noticed the absence of the fourth member of the team, Winston Zeddemore, who is entirely missing from this adventure.  Now, decades later, game hackers BillyTimeGames!, Linkuei, and Danielo Dias have worked together to create a special edition of the Genesis game that not only adds Winston into the mix with his own unique graphics and moves, but also adds a built-in save feature, new uniform colors, a more challenging difficulty level for those who want it, secret cheat codes, and even the fifth Ghostbuster himself, Louis Tully, as an extra playable character (his stats are the worst of everyone)!  Check out the RomHacking.net to learn how to apply the patch file to the game and give this expanded experience a try.


Power Button - Episode 360: Metroid Prime Revisited

Power ButtonAfter twenty long years I have finally completed Metroid Prime from Nintendo and Retro Studios, so with the game now back for another encore on the Switch, let's spend an hour discussing it.  We'll also cover another 2002 hit, Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection, if we have time, but we won't have time.  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 358: This Game Must Be Terrible

Power ButtonWe all make snap judgments from time to time, and sometimes those quick decisions take us in the wrong direction.  On this week's podcast, we're discussing games that we immediately dismissed for one reason or another and then later tried only to discover that they are actually fantastic.  Would you believe that we initially passed on such classics as Mega Man, BioShock, and Sly Cooper?  There's plenty more where those came from in this supersized episode. 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. 


1993's Super Mario Bros. Movie Wasn't That Bad

Super Mario BrosWith the new Super Mario Bros. film from Nintendo and Universal on the horizon, it's the season for looking back at the original Super Mario Bros. film from 1993 starring Bob Hoskins that bombed at the box office and has been held up for decades as a terrible film.  The thing is, watching it as an adult with fresh eyes, it's not so bad.  Yes, it has problems and is very far from a faithful adaptation of the source material, but there's some fun stuff going on in it, and Joe Ramoni at Hats Off Entertainment is going to tell us why.  His latest look back at cult classic media focuses on the movie, outlines how it went wrong, and clues us in to the good parts still in the film and the good parts that were cut during editing.  Ramoni says in the video that the movie isn't currently streaming anywhere, but that's not quite true.  RiffTrax Friends has it with the riffing commentary baked right in.As I've said before, I saw the film on opening night when I was in the sixth grade with a group of my school pals, and while it wasn't the best movie ever, I had a good time with it and even now is a fun memory. 


Peter Griffin Builds A Donkey Kong House

Family Guy Donkey Kong HouseI know that watching Family Guy has fallen out of the zeitgeist, but you're missing out on some prime Millennial-targeted humor if you're skipping it.  On this past Sunday's new episode, "Single White Dad", Peter Griffin gets his old Nintendo Entertainment System out of storage to share "the best video game of all time", Donkey Kong, with his son.  Chris is not impressed with it though, asking about the missing microtransactions that will slowly bankrupt the family and the lack of children screaming racist taunts into his earpiece.  This leads to some classic Griffin family hijinks when the two team up to build a live action Donkey Kong level on their house.  Oh, that Peter!  When will he learn?


GoldenEye 007 Quickies

Goldeneye 007 Box

As I said on our most recent podcast in which we tore into the re-release of GoldenEye 007 on Nintendo Switch and the Microsoft Xbox platform, replaying the classic Nintendo 64 game has sent me down the rabbit hole on all things GoldenEye.  I rewatched the movie, listened to the soundtrack, watched making-of videos both deep dive and high level, and much more, so I knew I had to put the best of these things together here to share. It's a collection of retrospective videos, re-orchestrated music, technical breakdowns, and alternate versions. Enjoy!

 

The first video above is a post-mortem of the game's development presented by Director Martin Hollis in which he spends an hour on a deep dive of the game's inception, initial planning, development, testing, and release. There's some fun stories in there including how the game was initially reported to be a Super NES title, how the game was too ambitious for its own good, its Virtua Cop origins, and a last-ditch attempt to fix a critical bug during lot check. The second is a short documentary produced but cut from the original release of the Rare Replay compilation, but was leaked online some time ago after GoldenEye was cut from that package. It's only appropriate that it lives on now that the game has been included after all these years.

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