Seasons after Fall Shouldn’t Remind Me of Sonic & Knuckles, But It Does

Seasons after FallSeasons after Fall is an upcoming indie platformer from the folks at Swing Swing Submarine. It includes an adorable fox character and what appears to be a season-shifting mechanic that allows you to swap between seasons (the trailer only shows winter and fall, but I’m told the final game will include all four seasons). It’s very interesting stuff.

But I can’t stop comparing it to Sonic & Knuckles.

[Read more…]

Retro Rewind: Gunpei Yokoi

gunyok_feattopToday’s Retro Rewind is focused on just one person: a man by the name of Gunpei Yokoi. Yokoi was the designer of many of Nintendo’s most popular products, including the Game & Watch, Kid Icarus, Metroid, and the Game Boy.

But Yokoi’s contributions to the gaming industry are even more impressive than they might initially seem. If it wasn’t for Mr. Yokoi, the great Shigeru Miyamoto may have never become a successful game designer. When Miyamoto developed Donkey Kong, it wasn’t approved until Yokoi, who had been with Nintendo for much longer, brought it to the president’s attention.

Gunpei Yokoi was also responsible for the cross-shaped D-pad, which has been featured on nearly all game consoles since the NES. Yokoi created the D-Pad in response to the growing complexity of handheld games.

When his Game Boy was being developed, Gunpei was tasked with creating a scaled-down version of Super Mario Bros. Thanks to his creativity, he was able to make something truly unique for the handheld: Super Mario Land. The game was a hit, and numerous sequels were released.

super mario landAfter leaving Nintendo, Yokoi went on to form his own company, Koto. He later developed the Bandai Wonderswan, which was immensely popular in Japan. Thanks to his experiences with the Game Boy, Yokoi was able to keep costs low and availability high.

While Gunpei Yokoi lost his life to a car accident in 1997, his legacy lives on. He was one of the most important individuals in video gaming, and modern games owe a lot to this man.

Retro Rewind: Nintendo’s Failed Partnerships

RetroRewindLogo

Nintendo was the company that helped pull the industry out of the proverbial bargain bin after the great crash of 1983.

Along with Sega, Nintendo brought video gaming back into the living room, setting a quality-control standard and ushering in an age of affordable, dedicated video game machines. Having been in the toys industry before delving into video games, Nintendo was always looking to innovate with new ways to entertain.

However, not all was mushrooms and fire flowers in the land of the big N. Back in the 1980s, Nintendo very much wanted to break into magnetic and optical media for use with its consoles. The Famicom Disk System, while a huge success, was worrisome because it was piracy fodder. Nintendo wanted the Super Famicom to have a disc-based edge that was hard to duplicate, so the company contacted Sony about developing a CD add-on for the SNES, a deal which famously fell through. Oddly enough, this led to Sony using the CD technology to develop its own console, the PlayStation, which was originally going to be the Nintendo Play Station or SNES-CD.

rr_nintBut even without the Sony deal, Nintendo wasn’t ready to give up on optical media. Enter Philips, who co-developed the CD-ROM XA technology with Sony. This partnership also ended prematurely, and once again bore a console of its own: The Philips CD-i. Unlike the PlayStation, though, the CD-i was a huge flop (though due to contractual obligations, Philips was allowed to make a mediocre Mario game and three hilariously poor Zelda titles). However, the system was famous for being one of the first with internet connectivity, and sported a vast array of educational titles.

So that’s your history lesson for the week. If it weren’t for Nintendo, the PlayStation might not have existed, and we wouldn’t have classic CD-i titles like Stickybear Math.

Retro Rewind: Professor Layton’s Art Style Is Strangely Nostalgic

lay_featttopUnlike most Nintendo DS owners, I was very late to the Professor Layton party. I didn’t pick up the games until long after they’d captivated people across the globe.

[Read more…]

Internet Arcade Review: Super Hang-On

Super Hang-On LogoIt’s been a long, arduous road. In fact, it’s a downright miracle that I made it this far and still remain one step ahead of the blood-thirsty cabal of ninja assassins hunting me down. If not for my rapacious wit and pristine physical stature, I’m sure I would have been mincemeat by now. But it’s taken a toll like you wouldn’t believe, not just on my mental state but on my wallet as well.

[Read more…]

Retrovolve Takes a Look at Freedom Planet

fp_topGeekParty’s own Louis Garcia already took a look at Freedom Planet, a Sega-inspired indie platformer, but our friends over at Retrovolve just discovered this gem and wanted to share their take as well.

Freedom Planet isn’t just a retro-styled game like Super Meat Boy or Hotline Miami. It’s something I’d describe as “full retro.” It doesn’t wear a vintage gaming costume but instead opts for the full monty, tightroping that fine line between merely ripping off classic franchises and ripping them off with style.

Comparisons to Sonic The Hedgehog and Gunstar Heroes aside, Freedom Planet has gorgeous graphics and animation with innovative level design, huge challenging bosses, and some pumping tunes for a true sensory feast.

Go check out Retrovolve’s review and gameplay footage to get a better idea of what Freedom Planet has to offer.

Internet Arcade Review: Bio-Attack

Bio-Attack Logo

Every week, GeekParty’s editor asks Julian Watkins to review a few retro titles from the Internet Arcade. But instead of cooperating, Julian makes things up. We don’t even know if he’s playing these games.

Deep within the bowels of Frederick “Rick” Moranis, Bio-Attack takes us on a journey to fight his inoperable colon cancer and rid him of this awful, deadly malady. In fact, rumor has it that Mr. Moranis had cancer inserted into his body to get into character for this role. Though, there ended up being no actual mention of his involvement in this game upon release.

Mr. Moranis filed a lawsuit against Taito, Bio-Attack’s developer, after the game became internationally successful. The company used his likeness but refused compensation. He was denied  13% of the game’s net profit, a deal he had struck with Taito after it had become clear just how successful this game would become. Taito only agreed because they were sure they had a real dud on their hands and just wanted to get the damn thing out so they could be done with it.

Bio-Attack 1

Little did they know that Mr. Moranis, a then unknown choreographer, would skyrocket to fame. His career would go on to span 20+ years, garnering him 3 Oscars and a cavalcade of accolades from the Hollywood elite.

In fact, rumor has it that Mr. Moranis even tried to option off the rights to make a Bio-Attack movie, but these efforts would prove unsuccessful in light of the bad blood that would forever remain between Mr. Moranis and Taito. When the dust had settled, Moranis was the victim of several costly lawsuits, and he was passed over for the role of John McClane in the original Die Hard movie. The role would eventually land in Bruce Willis’s hands, only receive direct-to-video release dooming all hopes of kickstarting a lucrative film franchise.

Mr. Moranis would later succumb to his battle with colon cancer. It was impossible to remove an inoperable cancer from his body, unlike inBio-Attack, where you can simply blast the cancer cells with your tiny doctor ship.

He is survived by his two sons Armando and Riviera Moranis.

Internet Arcade Review: Crush Roller

Crush Roller

There was a time in this country when you could leave your doors unlocked without fear of intruders or marauders. A time when a woman could walk safely and comfortably alone at night without fear of attack or harassment. A time when babies could openly, nay brazenly, enjoy candy in public under no supervision without fear of theft or mugging. A time when the rule of law was respected and revered, even heralded. Authority meant something and was more than just a target of resentment and suspicion, criticism and ridicule.

And then Crush Roller was released in 1981 and all of that came to a grinding halt.

Crush Roller rocked the very foundation of this country and called into question what it meant to be an American. Crush Roller re-wrote the book of love and changed the title to “Pooning.” Crush Roller burned the Bible and spread the ashes on the cold granite floor of the Vatican. Crush Roller was all like “sup?”

Crush Roller was, and is to this day, a frequently over-looked if not completely forgotten maze-puzzler that deserves to be played by women and men alike.

Crush Roller is me, and I am Crush Roller.

[Comic] How to Videogames : Nostalgia is Money

I know what you’re doing, Nintendo and Sony. And I won’t fall for it.

Seriously, though, I want to own these so badly. I should probably buy a second PS4…

How to Videogames: Nostalgia is Money #comics #howtovideogames #ps4 #retro #3ds

A photo posted by Josh Engen (@joshuaengen) on

Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire Can’t Hide the Original’s Issues

Pokémon X and Y were incredibly enjoyable titles that the franchise desperately needed. The combination of a new world, new Pokémon, new cities, and a strange desire to customize clothing all helped to create an experience that was difficult to put down. Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire, however, doesn’t elicit the same feelings.

Yes, it’s nice to see the continued trend of older versions being re-released on new hardware with modern features, but there’s a problem with Ruby and Sapphire: they just weren’t good games to begin with.

“Boredom” and “sadness” are the words that I would probably use to describe the opening moments of the game. Heart Gold and Soul Silver were a joy to revisit due nostalgic memories, but Ruby and Sapphire may have been better left forgotten. Plus, man, just look at the original style of our hero:

Pokemon Omega Ruby Alpha Sapphire Can't Hide The Original's Issues

Image Source: ModDB

And look at our hero now:

pokehairThat hair looked so much better in 2D. Vomitrocious.

The slow start further proves how badly the franchise needed to be updated for modern times. While I still enjoy Heart Gold and Soul Silver, they drag on and on during the opening scenes. The same is true with Alpha Omega and Ruby Sapphire, despite the fact that the game does its best to speed things up early. It’s like when person puts on cologne instead of actually taking a shower. You get a mish-mash of body odor and cologne combining to make a stench that’s still foul despite the fact that you can’t quite walk away from it.

Not that I think Pokémon smells like body order. It’s one of my favorite franchises, but Alpha Ruby and Omega Sapphire haven’t done enough to remove their third-generation stench.