Rare Replay to Xbox One in August

I look forward to August 4 when the Rare Replay collection is out for the Xbox One. The game was announced at Microsoft’s pressbriefing at E3 in June.

The collection will contain 30 classic Rare games from 1983 to 2008. You will among others find games like Jetpac, Atic Atac, Sabre Wulf, Underwurlde, Knight Lore, Battletoads, Banjo-Kazooie and Perfect Dark. For a complete list, check the bottom of this page. The disc will also come with bonus content.

It looks like a creat collection. Some of the games I’ve played, some are totaly new for me.

Rare Replay can be pre-ordered from Amazon.co.uk (£19.85) and Amazon.com ($29.99) [affiliate links].

Rare Replay

Complete list of games in Rare Replay:

Atic Atac
Lunar Jetman
Sabre Wulf
Knight Lore
R.C. Pro-Am
Battletoads (NES)
Cobra Triangle
Snake Rattle N Roll
Digger T. Rock
Solar Jetman
R.C. Pro-Am II
Battletoads Arcade
Killer Instinct Gold
Blast Corps
Jet Force Gemini
Perfect Dark
Conker’s Bad Fur Day
Grabbed by the Ghoulies
Perfect Dark Zero
Kameo: Elements of Power
Viva Piñata
Jetpac Refuelled
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts
Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise

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Retro Freak is 11 consoles in 1

Retro Freak

I recently learned about the Retro Freak console. It’s a Japanese console like the Retron 5 and can play games from 11 different consoles. Like the Retron 5, the console is based on emulation, can output video via HDMI with different filters, and can use the good old controllers.

From what I can understand from the Google-translated page, games can be ripped to a internal memory/SD-card so you can play them later without the cartrigde in the console. The ripped games will only be playable on the console they where ripped on.

I’m not sure if Retro Freak will get an official release outside Japan, but it can be pre-ordered from Play-Asia.com [affiliate link] for US$ 169.99 with a release date October 2015.

List of consoles the Retro Freak support:

  • Famicom
  • Super Famicom
  • Super Nintendo (SNES)
  • Game Boy
  • Game Boy Color
  • Game Boy Advance
  • Sega Genesis
  • Sega Mega Drive
  • PC Engine
  • TurboGrafx-16
  • PC Engine SuperGrafx

Looks like it won’t support NES, the European/US version of Famicom.

Source: cybergadget.co.jp, Click here for the Google-translated page

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Retro Gamer #143

Issue 143 of Retro Gamer looks great:

  • Back to the Nineties – June 1998
  • F-Zero: A Racing Revolution
  • Peripheal Vision: Light Phaser
  • The making of: Xenophobe
  • The history of Repton
  • Top 25 Atari T games
  • Ultimate Guide: Masters of Darkness
  • Amstrad GX4000: 25 years on
  • The making of: Dugeon Keeper
  • Minority Report: PC Engine CD
  • The Making of: Max Payne
  • Future Classic: Blur
  • From the Archives: Black Isle Studio

Retro Gamer issue 143 available on Imagineshop.co.uk.

Retro Gamer #143

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Kickstarter – Commodore: The Amiga Years book

I’ve found a new Kickstarter to support. Commodore: The Amiga Years book is a new book by Brian Bagnall. It was funded on opening day and will last until July 15.

Take a journey from Amiga’s beginnings in 1982 to when Commodore filed for bankruptcy in 1994. Dozens of brilliant and motivated engineers produced a computer with graphics, sound and multitasking capabilities years ahead of Apple and IBM. A lot happened in that decade, and this book will describe to you the most relevant parts in a definitive history of the Amiga story and Commodore’s final descent.

Commodore: The Amiga Years book

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What is the Retro Video Game System?

Until recently, I hadn’t heard about Retro Video Game System (RETRO VGS). It’s an upcoming retro console and it will be Kickstarted sometimes in July-August this summer.

The Retro VGS is brand new hardware. And unlike the Retron 5, there is no emulation, only hardware. The console will target 16-bit as the sweetspot. I quite don’t get how it works, so I inklude a quote from the What’s going on under the hood? section in the F.A.Qs-page:

(Steve Woita) Think of it as hardware that is reconfigurable by the cartridge. The RETRO VGS will have its own cool configurations (ways to make a game), and it can also be hardware-configured to be other old-school architectures that a lot of developers are used to developing for.  Specifically, and at this current time, it’s an FPGA and ARM system. If a developer wants to make a Neo Geo game, they would include an HDL (Hardware Description Language) file that configures the FPGA to operate like a Neo Geo. The developer would code their game to run against the Neo Geo platform. This HDL code along with the actual Neo Geo game will be on the cartridge. Once that cartridge is placed in the RETRO VGS, it will become a Neo Geo and play that game. So in this case, the language is: 68000 and Z80 code. If you wanted to do a new Atari 2600 styled game, you’d include a 2600 HDL file that configures the FPGA to replicate the logic of the original 2600 hardware and then you’d include your new 2600 game on that cartridge too. These two files are then paired up on the cartridge and when plugged into the RETRO VGS, will turn the console into a 2600. So the language that would be used in this case is: 6507 (6502 with less address space). Does that help explain things a little “bit” more? Oh and we’ll have a nice little ARM chip for some more fun stuff.  We’ll be supplying the validated cores for developers to choose from and you don’t have to know how to program an FPGA to make a game, it just gives us a lot of hardware flexibility, I didn’t want to lock us in to a specific ASIC design.

The RETRO VGS will both have HDMI and analouge output. It will have two USB-ports and two oldschool 9-pins connections. There will be no firmware to update and no Internet-connection. The game will come on cartridges.

If you think the console looks like an Atari Jaguar, you’re right. They will use the same original tooling Atari used.

I’m looking forward to hear more about RETRO VGS in the comming months.

Retro Video Game System

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Mega Man Legacy Collection comming this Summer

Mega Man Legacy Collection

In the summer of 2015, Capcom is releasing Mega Man Legacy Collection as digital download on Xbox One, PS4 and PC. The game will also appear on the Nintendo 3DS in the winter.

The collection will include the six first Mega Man games. It will be in 1080p and include leaderboards, challenges and replays. It will cost you $14.99/£11.99.

Quote from Capcom:

Leaderboards, challenges, replays: Challenge Mode takes moments from each title and weaves them into a series of, well, challenges! So things like ‘can you do these six areas strung together with one life bar’ or ‘try fighting all six Mega Man 1 bosses in a row.’ And to keep the quest for the best time alive, the top performers in each Challenge will have their replay data uploaded and viewable to everyone! There will be many challenges to vex seasoned players AND help train newcomers in the ways of the Blue Bomber.

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Retro Gamer #142

Retro Gamer issue 142 landed in my mail here the other day. And this is some of the things to read in the latest issue:

  • Back to the Nineties – May 1998
  • The Bluffer’s Guide to Shoot’em-ups
  • The Making of: Black Widow
  • The Greatest Multiplayer Games Ever!
  • The History of Rebelstar
  • Texas Instruments TI-89
  • Ultimate Guide: Bionic Commando
  • The Making of: Blade Runner
  • From the Archives: Loriciels
  • The History of Twisted Metal
  • In the chair with… Andrew Hewson

Retro Gamer #142

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Pac-Man 35th anniversary!

Namco released Pac-Man on May 22, 1980 in Japan. So this make the games 35th anniversary! Happy birthday!

Pac-Man (NES, 1993)

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Kickstarter: ZX Spectrum – a visual compendium by Bitmap Books

ZX Spectrum: a visual compendium

The new Kickstarter from Sam Dyer og Bitmap Books is a great success. On Friday 15th May, they launched ZX Spectrum: a visual compendium by BITMAP BOOKS. Just within hours, they met their £20.000 mark, making this book a reality.

Sam Dyer og Bitmap Books have previously released Commodore 64: a visual Commpendium and Commodore Amiga: a visual Commpendium which are great books.

A quote from the Kickstarter:

Sinclair ZX Spectrum: a visual compendium will focus on the visual side of the computer; from in-game pixel art to game maps to box artwork, the book will be crammed full of beautiful high-resolution, full-colour imagery. The ZX Spectrum is a true British icon and at the time boasted cutting-edge product design. This unique and iconic image is something that we want to capture; the ultimate aim is to produce a book which proudly pays homage to this classic home computer.

You have until June 15 to back this Kickstarter.

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Review: Lemmings (Amiga, 1991)

Lemmings (Amiga, 1991)

Take command of the wackiest collection
of misdirected rodents ever seen on your screen.

This is the description of Lemmings on the back of the Amiga box. In the manual it also says that the Lemmings ar cute, but stupid.

The first time I played Lemmings, was on a PC DOS-machine in the beginning of the 90’s. It’s been a while, so I doesn’t remember exactly. Bu the game was first released on Amiga, on February 14, 1991 and it sold very well. Because of the popularity, it was convertet to almost all computers and console under the sun at the time.

For those of you who haven’t played Lemmings before (and for those who have, but started to forget), these small creatures have only one purpose in life: to walk. They walk and walk unless they’re told to do othervice, or walk of a cliff or something and dies.

Lemmings (Amiga, 1991)

Luckily, you can tell the Lemmings to do other stuff too:

  • Climber – can climb the walls
  • Floater – has a paracute and can jump off high places without dieing
  • Bomber – destroy everything around themselves
  • Blocker – blockes the path and make the Lemmings turnaround and walk the other way
  • Brigde Builder – build bridge/stairways
  • Basher – can smahs rocks
  • Miner – digging diagonally downwards
  • Digger – digging downwards
  • Nuke ‘Em – every Lemmings on the screen turn in to bombs

Which ability you can assign to a Lemmings, varies from levels to levels.

There are four difficulties in the game: FUN, TRICKY, TAXING and MAYHEM. Each harder than the other. They all have 30 levels which makes it 120 levels in total.

There is also 20 levels of 2 player fun. I haven’t tested that, but from what I’ve seen, it looks like fun.

When you have passed a level, you get a password so you can continue from there next time you play.

I like it best on FUN. You can mostly get the levels on the first try. The MAYHEM-levels are way harder. In the first levels of FUN, all the abilities are available for you to use. In that way you can learn how they works until you reach the harder levels.

The graphics is very good. Even though the backgrounds only have one colour, the landscape is very detailed. The Lemmings is only 8 pixels high, but you can see them walk, digg, the hair waves. The Amiga is able to show 100 Lemmings on screen at the time.

The sound is also good. You will recognize many of the tunes. The developers wanted to use old themes from movies and TV-shows, but dropped it in the last minutes, to not come in conflict with copyright holders. They used public domain tunes or made their own. And you got to love the “Oh! No!”-sample.

It’s been 25 years since the release of the game, but Lemmings is still a great game. It’s fun and very entertaining.

A forgotten Blocker, a rogue Miner or
a misplaced bridge could spell disaster for every Lemming on screen.

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