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Category Archives: Faux Retro

stardew valley switch

Stardew Valley Console Multiplayer Will Be on the Nintendo Switch First

Since Stardew Valley was released, fans have been eagerly awaiting the release of its multiplayer mode. Now, more than a year after the game’s initial release, multiplayer is headed to consoles and PCs. Surprisingly, the multiplayer functionality will be making its console debut on the Nintendo Switch. During Nintendo’s “Nindies Showcase” presentation (which can be viewed on Nintendo.com) the company announced that Stardew Valley multiplayer will be debuting on the Switch this summer. According to Nintendo, it will be the first console to support Stardew Valley‘s multiplayer mode. ConcernedApe, the game’s developer, has confirmed that Stardew Valley co-op will be coming to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as well. @EmotionalDaisy yes, I think it will come to Xbox and PS4 about 1 month after Switch — ConcernedApe (@ConcernedApe) February 28, 2017 He also clarified that while the Switch would be the first console to get multiplayer, it will still be coming to PC first.…
Stardew Valley Truffle

Stardew Valley: Truffle Guide

In Stardew Valley, it might not be immediately clear where you can find truffles or what to do once you have one, and several players have been confused about this. So here’s a super quick guide to help you solve the mystery of truffles. To acquire truffles, you must have at least one adult pig. In order to get one of those, you’ll have to have at least one Deluxe Barn, which is the third tier of Barn. (You’ll have to go to the Carpenter’s Shop and upgrade your Barn to a Big Barn, then your Big Barn to a Deluxe Barn.) Once your Deluxe Barn upgrade is complete, you can visit Marnie’s Ranch (south of your farm) to buy a pig.…
Stardew Valley Wagon

Stardew Valley: 16 Tips for Beginners

Stardew Valley seems like a pretty simple game at first, but once you dig in you’ll find a deceptively complex, deeply layered experience. In my first save file, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how things worked, and by the time I made it to Fall, I had learned an enormous amount of information that, had I known it when I started the game, would have saved me a lot of time and headaches. So I started over and had a very successful first year. Below is a list of things I wish I’d have known sooner: Turn on Autorun Yes, you can enable autorun in the options menu. It will save you from cramping your pinky finger by holding down Left Shift all the time.…
Stardew Valley Spirit Festival

Stardew Valley: Calendar of Important Dates

In Stardew Valley, there are several dates you’ll want to keep in mind as you farm your way through the seasons. You can find most of these dates on the calendar outside of Pierre’s shop (you can also buy a calendar for yourself), but there are some events that aren’t listed. Here is a list of the important dates in Stardew Valley: Spring Spring 4 – Spring onions are in season Spring 5 (Year 1) – The mine opens Spring 7 – Lewis’ birthday Spring 10 – Vincent’s birthday Spring 13 – Egg Festival Spring 14 – Haley’s birthday Spring 15 – Salmonberries are ripe Spring 18 – Pam’s birthday Spring 20 – Shane’s birthday Spring 24 – Flower Dance Spring 26 – Pierre’s birthday Spring 27 – Emily’s birthday Summer Summer 1 (Year 1) – An earthquake opens up the path to the spa Summer 4 – Jas’ birthday Summer 8 – Gus’ birthday Summer 10 – Maru’s birthday Summer 11 – Luau Summer 12 – Crab mating season, causing an unusually large amount of shells to wash up on the beach Summer 13 – Alex’s birthday Summer 17 – Sam’s birthday Summer 19 – Demetrius’ birthday Summer 22 – Dwarf’s birthday Summer 24 – Willy’s birthday Summer 28 – Dance of the Moonlight Jellies Fall Fall 2 – Penny’s birthday Fall 4 – Blackberry season begins (though you might not see any berries ripen until about the 8th) Fall 5 – Elliott’s birthday Fall 11 – Jodi’s birthday Fall 13 – Abigail’s birthday Fall 15 – Sandy’s birthday Fall 16 – Stardew Valley Fair Fall 18 – Marnie’s birthday Fall 21 – Robin’s birthday Fall 24 – George’s birthday Fall 27 – Spirit’s Eve Winter Winter 3 – Linus’ birthday Winter 7 – Caroline’s birthday Winter 8 – Festival of Ice Winter 10 – Sebastian’s birthday Winter 14 – Harvey’s birthday Winter 17 – Wizard’s birthday Winter 20 – Evelyn’s birthday Winter 23 – Leah’s birthday Winter 25 – Feast of the Winter Star Winter 26 – Clint’s birthday…
Stardew Valley Flower Dance

Stardew Valley: Where Is the Spring Flower Dance?

In Stardew Valley, your character will be treated to various festivals throughout the year. One of the first is the Flower Festival, which includes the Flower Dance, though it can be a little tricky to find in your first year. On the day before the festival (Spring 23), you’ll find this reminder in your mailbox: If you follow its instructions, it can be a little confusing. You’ll want to enter Pelican Town, go to the south edge of the town, then head due west. Of course, there’s an easier way to get there: Just head straight south from your home. You’ll end up finding a bridge to an area that’s otherwise inaccessible at this point in the game. Cross it and follow the path and you’ll be enjoying the festivities with the rest of them.…
Siralim Sorcery Realm

Siralim: A Guide to Realms and Resource Gathering

A huge part of Siralim — especially as you get deep into the game’s systems — is gathering resources. The game’s infinite, randomly generated dungeons have no shortage of things to collect, though some Realms are better for gathering certain items than others. For those looking to stock up on a specific resource type, we’ve created this guide to the things you’ll find in every Realm. You start the game with a single Realm available to you, and that Realm is tied to your character class. For example, if you start off with a Sorcery Mage, the Sorcery Realm will be available to you. As you go through the game, you can unlock the other Realms by performing Rituals. The Realm you end up in will be random based on the Realms you have available to you, but if you purchase a Scroll of Alteration from Bynine in the War Room, you can choose which Realm you’ll end up in next.…
Bad Box Art Mega Man

An Illustrated History of Mega Man Box Art

In March of 2012, Capcom launched Street Fighter X Tekken, a fighting game that pitted Capcom’s own Street Fighter characters against Namco Bandai’s Tekken characters. To top it off, Pac-Man joined the battle to represent Namco’s greater universe, and Mega Man showed up to support Capcom. But it wasn’t the classic Mega Man we all knew and loved; it was this guy: This character was officially dubbed “Bad Box Art Mega Man” and was a reference to the cover art for the original Mega Man game. Yes, on the original box art, Mega Man dressed in yellow and carried a pistol instead of having a blaster built into his arm. One must wonder, had the person who created this ever actually played Mega Man?…
Ogg

A Chat with Bubsy’s Michael Berlyn – Part 3: Ogg and the Theory of Interactive Storytelling

In the first two parts of this interview series, Michael Berlyn talks about the history of Bubsy, his departure from the game development scene, and his reemergence as a “casual” game developer. At this point in the conversation, Mr. Berlyn talked a bit about his more current projects, which you can find more about on the Flexible Tales website. Michael Berlyn: The website shows basically four interactive story products that are all graphically based and are story-driven. There’s nothing like them, nor was there anything like them when we decided to do them. My wife and I collaborated on them. She’s a writer too, and she worked on a lot of products with me, like Tass Times [in Tonetown], which she did most of the work on, and Dr.…
Mega Man in Fallout 4

Fallout 4 and Pixel Art Homages to Retro Gaming

Fallout 4 has been so well received that Pornhub claims they noticed a significant drop in traffic the day it came out. This shouldn’t surprise anybody who’s been paying any attention; Fallout 4 has some great storylines, some amazing characters, and creative tools that allow players to do all sorts of settlement building. Then there’s the people who do things like this: A friend of mine made that, which might be the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. I asked him his overall opinion on Fallout 4, to which he said the following: “Rescuing my kidnapped son and avenging my dead husband can seriously wait until I have built a giant Samus Aran that gives you the thumbs up as you enter town.” And no, he wasn’t joking.…
Dorke and Ymp Cover

Unreleased SNES Game Dorke and Ymp Finally Got an Official Cartridge Launch in 2015

Back in the 1990s, a little Swedish company called Norse attempted to make a game for the Super NES. Dorke and Ymp was to be a charming little puzzle platformer featuring a goblin and an imp who find artifacts and deliver them to an evil wizard. Unfortunately, Norse was unable to find a publisher, so the game was never finished and never released. Until 2015. Piko Interactive acquired the game’s code, which was about 50% complete, and chased down the original programmer, artist, and composer to assemble the original development team. This team fixed bugs, added a new Volcano world with several levels, and added four boss fights based on the original game’s story. Then, Piko went full-on retro and released it on Super NES cartridges, homebrew style.…
LankyMario

Mario Maker: The Skinny Mushroom Power-Up Is Now a Part of Mario History

Super Mario Maker is a gloriously addictive game that lets you finally live out every retro gamer’s biggest Mario-related fantasy — the ability to simply draw Mario levels and bring them to life on your TV screen. Buried deep within its code is a delicious treat, a new type of mushroom that turns little Mario into a tall, lanky Mario. Just look at this guy: People have dubbed this the “Weird Mushroom” (according to the Super Mario Wiki), but it’s not uncommon to hear it referred to as the skinny mushroom or the Luigi mushroom. (I like the term “lanky mushroom” myself.) It grants you powers typically associated with Luigi, like an extra high jump and less traction on surfaces. (It also gives you terribly bad posture.) This power-up apparently has a 1 in 10 chance of showing up wherever a Super Mushroom is placed in a level, but you can also unlock it for permanent use by clearing all of the game’s Nintendo World Championships courses, which might take a bit of time.…
Robot Tank Atari 2600

How I Missed out on Robot Tank’s Official Medals

Robot Tank for the Atari 2600 was an incredibly innovative game for its time. Sure, it was pretty much Activision’s answer to the Battlezone arcade game, but it was also so much more than that. Interestingly enough, this was a very early example of the first-person shooter genre, coming out way back in 1983. That’s nine years before Wolfenstein 3D (1992) and ten years before the original Doom (1993). Yes, that means that 20 years before publishing the first Call of Duty game (2003), Activision published a first-person shooter for the Atari 2600. Granted, your character is driving a tank, but everything is seen from a first-person perspective and you shoot things. That still counts in my book. Of course, if we’re okay calling Robot Tank a first-person shooter, it wouldn’t be fair to not extend the definition to 1980’s Battlezone as well.…
ToeJam and Earl Hyperfunk Zone

ToeJam & Earl Kickstarter Hits Its Second Stretch Goal, the Hyperfunk Zone

ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove launched a Kickstarter to raise $400,000. It was a nerve-wracking experience for fans, as the deadline loomed closer without the project reaching its goal. However, the team at HumaNature Studios seemed to have pulled an 11th-hour feat of funkitude, hitting their goal with just two and a half days to go. Since then, the backers have been piling up in support, pushing the project through not one but two of its stretch goals. The first stretch goal allows players to use old school ToeJam and Earl skins. Not sure what that will look like, but I assume they’ll be made of pixels. The second is a bit more exciting: The Hyperfunk Zone from Panic on Funkotron.…
ToeJam and Earl High-Five

ToeJam & Earl Kickstarter Is a Success!

It’s official: The ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove Kickstarter is a success. HumaNature Studios was asking for $400,000 to help fund a brand new game in the ToeJam & Earl franchise. Today — March 25, 2015 — that goal has been reached. When that nerve-wracking line between “not funded” and “funded” was crossed, there were only about 50ish hours left in the campaign, so it came right down to the wire. For the studio, this means it’s go time. They’ve got quite a bit of work in store for them — drawing and coding and building and whatnot. For fans, though, all that’s left to do is wait.…
ToeJam and Earl Hot Tub

ToeJam & Earl’s Greg Johnson Gets Hit with the “Love Hose”

In March of 2015, I spent about 40 minutes on Skype with Greg Johnson of ToeJam & Earl fame. He was in the middle of the ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove Kickstarter, so I brought up the fact that, with the series back in the limelight, there are all sorts of interesting stories that people are sharing about their experience with the games. I wondered what it was like to experience that fresh batch of love from a creator’s perspective. Greg told me: It’s been very eye-opening for me and for the other members of the team. And Mark [Voorsanger, co-creator of ToeJam & Earl] as well. But I’m the one that’s kind of getting it mostly directed at me.…
ToeJam and Earl Ship Piece

Talking ToeJam & Earl with Greg Johnson – Part 3: Drugs

This is the final part of a three-part interview with ToeJam & Earl creator Greg Johnson. You can read the second part here, or start from the beginning by clicking here. Josh: So, back to ToeJam & Earl… This is going to be a super weird question probably, but this is something I’ve genuinely always been curious about. How much would you say that drugs influenced ToeJam & Earl? Greg: [Laughing] That’s funny. Well, I don’t know. I mean, I don’t do drugs, and I never have. Any type. That’s sometimes shockingly surprising to some people who are absolutely sure that ToeJam & Earl came out of some drug-induced state of mind. Josh: It almost feels like, if you’re looking, you can see some references and things.…
Doki Doki Universe

Talking ToeJam & Earl with Greg Johnson – Part 2: How Race Affected Doki Doki Universe

This is the second part of a three-part conversation with ToeJam & Earl creator Greg Johnson. You can read the first part here. Josh: I’d like to transition real quick to Doki Doki Universe, because I finally did get a chance to play it. I was really blown away by a lot of the things you did with it conceptually, exploring what makes us human and what that might look like to an alien. Because you’ve got this very human character who’s a robot, and he experiences some pretty traumatic stuff (that’s kind of glossed over a little bit for kids), but it has the issue of being abandoned somewhere for 20 years [correction: it was actually 32 years] and just kind of patiently waiting for someone to come pick you up… That really affected me deeply on a lot of levels.…
ToeJam and Earl Say What's Up

Talking ToeJam & Earl with Greg Johnson – Part 1: Developing a Beloved Game Franchise

On March 18, 2015, I had the opportunity to spend about 40 minutes chatting on Skype with Greg Johnson, one of the creators of the ToeJam & Earl franchise. We mostly talked about the original ToeJam & Earl game, but we also brought up the more recent ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove (which was funded on Kickstarter in March of 2015), and Doki Doki Universe, which Johnson also created. It was an incredibly interesting conversation, in which we explored racism, drug references, linguistics, and more. Read on for the full interview. Josh: Since you announced this [ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove‘s Kickstarter campaign], there’s been so much enthusiasm. It seems like it’s almost coming out of the woodwork probably.…
ToeJam and Earl New Look

ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove Gets a Fresh Design

When it was first announced that ToeJam & Earl would be getting a brand new sequel, the prototype version of Back in the Groove looked like this: While the layered look is really neat, it felt perhaps a little sloppy. Well, apparently the fans have spoken up, and HumaNature has responded by revamping the design aesthetic a bit. On the game’s Kickstarter page, they posted an update that includes screenshots of the new look: Much better, eh? Really, it was just a matter of thickening some of the outlines, but the effect is pretty astounding. The backgrounds have this 1990s comic strip feel to them, which sounds like it’s much closer to the original vision Greg Johnson had for this. At least, the way the Kickstarter describes it: “it all looks like underground comics from the 90’s.…

ToeJam & Earl Are Coming Back

One of the best multiplayer games of the 1990s was ToeJam & Earl for the Sega Genesis. There was so much to do and so many laughs to be had, and the hip-hop stylings made it the perfect way to have a blast For years I wanted a true sequel with more presents, more levels, and more crazy characters to run into. After 24 years of waiting for this very thing, I’m ecstatic to report that the time of waiting is coming to an end. Greg Johnson, the original creator of ToeJam & Earl has launched a Kickstarter campaign for the brand new ToeJam & Earl: Back In The Groove, a game harkening back to the retro glory of the original.…
ToeJam and Earl Say What's Up

ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove – A List of Returning Features from the Original Game

ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove has been officially announced, and along with the announcement came a Kickstarter campaign and a press packet. I’ve combed through these things extensively, and I’ve compiled a list of features from the original ToeJam & Earl that will be making a return in Back in the Groove. The Isometric Viewpoint (Source: Kickstarter, Press Material, and Screenshots) One of the hallmarks of the original ToeJam & Earl (which never saw a return in later games in the series) was its isometric viewpoint. Greg Johnson has sent out conceptual screenshots that show how this old school approach looks on modern technology. Stacked Levels (Source: Kickstarter, Press Material, and Screenshots) In ToeJam & Earl, levels were stacked.…
ToeJam and Earl Hangin

It’s Official: ToeJam & Earl 4 Is Back in the Groove

I followed some clues, which led me to the discovery that a brand new ToeJam & Earl sequel was in the works. ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove will be a true sequel to the original game, with the old isometric viewpoint and randomly generated, stacked levels, and it’s been fully funded via Kickstarter. Since then, I’ve been in touch with Greg Johnson, the man behind this new funky venture (and 50% of the men behind the original ToeJam & Earl). He was kind enough to clarify a few things in a press kit he recently sent out, and I’m kind enough to share them with you, the clever and attractive Retrovolve audience. Johnson has mentioned before that the direction that ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron took was not the intended vision for the game but one that was sort of dictated by Sega at the time.…

Is ToeJam & Earl Getting a True Sequel after 24 Years?

Am I dreaming, or have the stars aligned in such a way that a true sequel to the Genesis classic ToeJam & Earl might actually exist? Recently, Tim Evans (of GeekParty, Retrovolve, and the Tim and Andy Show) talked about the game’s 16-bit sequel, Panic on Funkotron, saying it was one of his biggest gaming letdowns and calling it “a mediocre side-scrolling platformer.” While I don’t necessarily agree with him (I actually enjoyed Panic on Funkotron as a kid), I will admit that changing the format from an isometric, exploration-heavy game to a side-scrolling platformer was a weird design choice that might not have worked in the best interest of the series. On that very post, a user named Greg Johnson left this comment: He claims to be the designer of all the ToeJam & Earl games, explains that the design direction in Panic on Funkotron wasn’t ever his initial intent and was influenced by Sega, and claims that he is finally working on a true sequel that’s closer to his original vision.…
ToeJam and Earl Loot

Several Versions of a ToeJam & Earl Sequel Were Pitched Unsuccessfully

ToeJam & Earl was a beloved masterpiece of a game when it launched back in March of 1991. So when Greg Johnson, one of the creators of the game, wanted to make a modern-day follow-up to his bizarre little roguelike, the industry should have thrown a party in celebration of this epic return of the alien duo, right? Apparently, there are a lot of publishers who don’t think so. Back in 2013, Johnson made an appearance on the Sega Nerds podcast, and he talked about his efforts to get a new ToeJam & Earl game greenlit: There was a point at which I was pretty actively pitching, going around to a lot of publishers and trying to get a new TJ&E game off the ground.…

Centipede: Infestation Is Exactly the Game I’ve Been Longing For

2014 was a bad year for gaming. Rather than rant about it for a half an hour, I will simply say that 2014 was the year developers appeared to stop caring. Broken games shipped almost weekly, gamers were nickle-and-dimed for underwhelming DLC, and games seemed to focus more-and-more on grandiose cinematic sequences than actual gameplay. It felt like the year that fun died. Still, I just can’t break the habit of strolling down the gaming aisle every time I go grocery shopping. 2014 was the year I left with just food more times than not. My bank account was pleased, but my persistent desire to game was not. My last re-supplying trip was different, however, and I began 2015 with one of my best gaming purchases in recent memory.…
Mighty No. 9

Mighty No. 9 Seems Like the Exact Game Keiji Inafune Wanted to Make

I’ve been a fan of Mega Man for as long as I can remember. I grew up on the old 8-bit games, battling bosses and taking their robotic powers into the wee hours of the night. (Oddly enough, Mega Man 6 was perhaps my favorite of the NES era, though I’ll admit that 2 and 3 are objectively better games.) But you know who’s (almost) certainly a bigger Mega Man fan than I am? Keiji Inafune. Inafune has had his hand in the Mega Man series since its inception, enough that people have taken to calling him “The Father of Mega Man” (though this is a title he denies himself). He loves the IP enough that he told Capcom he’d stick around to see Mega Man Legends 3 through to the end, even after he resigned from the company.…

Freedom Planet Is The Best Sonic Game Since The Genesis

It’s impossible to talk about GalaxyTrail’s Freedom Planet without mentioning Sonic The Hedgehog. For one the indie title was borne from a Sonic fangame but beyond that it just reeks of the Genesis’ most famous platformers extending from the blue blur like Gunstar Heroes and Ristar. It feels like a Genesis platformer with the power of a Neo Geo behind it… …and my god is it ever glorious. You choose between three distinct Sonic-esque furries. One is super fast, one can fly a ways, and one is more suited to close combat. Sound familiar? Well, I’ve always said the line between homage and ripoff is drawn with love, and this is definitely a more than a heart-shaped box of chocolates. The only real distinction between the 16-bit Sonic games and Freedom Planet in terms of gameplay are combat the health system.…

Super Smash Bros. On Your Calculator?

Yeah, you read that right. Some quirky genius who goes by the name of “Hayleia” programmed a version of Nintendo’s ultra-popular fighting game Super Smash Bros. for the TI-83/84 series of graphing calculators. The real kicker is that it looks and plays really nice. Well, nicer than you’d expect a calculator game to look. Right now, there’s only a smattering of stages and you can only play as either Fox or Falco, but the game looks extremely promising nonetheless. I still have one of those devices from my learnin’ years, so I followed the instructions found on this thread and sure enough, there’s Smash Bros. right under my Bowling and Breakout games. If you have a TI-83 or TI-84 take a look at these.…
Sonic Fan Remix

Sonic Fan Remix Was Prettier Than Sonic 4

Sonic the Hedgehog has one of the strangest yet most dedicated fandoms in video game history. Look no further than Sonic Fan Remix for evidence of this. The goal with this fan-made project was to remake stages from Sonic 1, 2, and 3 in stunning HD. To my knowledge the only piece of it ever released was a three-act demo of Emerald Hill Zone, though hopes for anything more than this seem to be dead in the water. There was a brief attempt to revive it in 2013, but if that gained any sort of traction, I’m not aware of it. Either way, the bite-sized piece released to the public was ridiculously gorgeous. The amount of detail crammed into the visuals here is astonishing, which you can clearly see in the video below.…

Super Marion Is a Real Thing (Sort of)

We’ve been sifting through a lot of old gaming magazines lately. Josh recently argued against Next Generation magazine’s proclamation that Super Mario 64 was the greatest game of all time. The folks at Next Generation even held the game in high enough reverence to hilariously refer to it as “Super Marion 64.” Upon reading this, I did the only logical thing a person could to and headed straight to Google to see what the Internet had in store for this bizarro-world incarnation of the beloved Nintendo icon. I was not disappointed. I am a complete sucker for dumb retro-styled games starring basketball players, so Super Marion Bros. is just about everything I ever could have dreamed it would be. It’s a decently-enough produced marketing video highlighting an aging power forward with no charisma, complete with rival shit-talking and glaringly out-of-place corporate advertising.…
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