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Category Archives: Faux Retro

Alice: Madness Returns Is the best Sega Dreamcast Homebrew Ever

The world was introduced to the 3D platformer as we know it with Super Mario 64 in 1996. It offered up all the colorful environments and exploration that the original Super Mario Bros. did over a decade earlier, but added the Z-axis into the equation to further encapsulate players in the game’s engaging microcosms. Franchises like Spyro the Dragon and Banjo-Kazooie built upon and even improved this new standard of 3D gaming before having their hard work destroyed by the drollest implementation of interactive produce collection ever devised when Donkey Kong 64 was irresponsibly released for the Nintendo 64 in 1999. Thankfully, the genre was revived by the likes of Jak and Daxter and Ratchet & Clank on the next generation of consoles.…
Black sigil

Black Sigil: Blade of the Exiled Is the Best 16-Bit RPG You’ve Never Heard Of

Imagine you’ve been transported back to 1995. It’s just before New Years, and you’re 13 years old. It’s late at night, and your parents are sound asleep. The only sound you can hear is the rhythmic tapping of blizzard snow on your window above the sweet sound of Yasunori Mitsuda’s “To Far Away Times.” You’ve just finished Chrono Trigger, and like anyone in the throes of addiction, the back of your mind itches with the desire for more. Fast-forward to 2014. A box of random Nintendo DS games arrives at your door. One is bad, two are mediocre at best, and one is shockingly, heart-breakingly good — and you’ve never heard of it before. This game is Black Sigil: Blade of the Exiled, the only title developed by now-defunct Canadian company Studio Archcraft.…
DuckTales Remastered Money Bin

DuckTales Remastered Fulfills My Childhood Dream of Swimming in Scrooge’s Money Bin

As a kid, I watched absurd amounts of DuckTales. In fact, I can’t think of a single cartoon I’ve  spent more time with. Obviously, a huge part of the magic of DuckTales is seeing Scrooge McDuck swim through the piles of gold coins in his money bin. As impossible as that would be in actuality, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. Capcom’s DuckTales Remastered finally makes that dream come true, at least in some small way. See, the game gives you the (completely optional) ability to step into the spats of Scrooge McDuck and take a swim in all that shiny money. It’s handled quite well, too. The controls feel perfect, and that’s a phrase I never expected to type in relation to what’s essentially nothing more than a money-swimming minigame.…
Denny's Hashteroids

Denny’s Atari Remix: Denny’s Reaches out to the Hungover Atari Demographic

Denny’s has absolutely everything I look for in a hangover cafe. They’re open 24 hours a day, they serve breakfast all day long, they have coffee, and they attract the sort of crowd that’s not going to judge a guy for being an alcoholic. Plus, there’s a Denny’s within walking distance of my house, so no one has to drunk drive to get there. Denny’s recently released an app called Denny’s Atari Remix, which is 3 old school Atari games remade as breakfast-themed iOS games. There’s Centipup, which is a version of Centipede that requires you to shoot Pancake Puppies and other breakfast items with ketchup (even if ketchup would taste awful on Pancake Puppies.) Hashteroids is Asteroids with hash browns and ketchup, and Take-out is Breakout with bacon, eggs, and pancakes.…
Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf

Strike Force Foxx Has No Aspirations to Be Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf

If you were a kid who was super into playing war, the early 90s were pretty awesome. There was this whole Desert Storm business going on, and Capitalist America used it as a golden opportunity to sell toy guns and army figures to children. Hell, I remember they released a whole series of collectable cards to commemorate that conflict. (I think I’ve got a few extra General Schwarzkopf cards lying around, if anyone wants to trade something for them.) Anyway, as part of this war profiteering racket, Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf was released for Sega Mega Drive, and I played the absolute crap out of it. To this day, I have a fondness for flying helicopters across an isometric desert and rescuing tiny little pixel people, and that fondness spawned from Desert Strike. So when Strike Force Foxx was released for Nintendo 3DS, I noticed three things: It has the word Strike in the title.…
Shovel Knight

Shovel Knight Is Mega Man Meets DuckTales

Shovel Knight was basically pitched to me this way: “It’s like 8-bit Mega Man meets the first NES DuckTales game.” That’s probably the most spectacular description of a video game I’ve ever heard, and it’s actually fairly accurate. Shovel Knight features the pogo-jumping mechanic from DuckTales, only with a shovel instead of Scrooge McDuck’s cane. Even if you can’t use your shovel to pogo across spikes the way Scrooge can with his cane, you can use that shovel to dig up gemstones, which is a pretty Scrooge McDuck-y thing to do. And Mega Man. The level design brings to mind some of the the Blue Bomber’s 8-bit adventures. As does the music, though that’s largely the fault of Manami Matsumae, who wrote music for Mega Man and Mega Man 10.…
Dikembe Mutombo's 4 1/2 Weeks To Save The World

Fear Not the Apocalypse! Dikembe Mutombo Is Back!

The film industry had Citizen Kane. The music industry had Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Now, gaming’s magnus opus — the standard bearer by which all titles past and presents will be forever judged — has finally arrived. Its hero is not a gunslinging space marine, nor is he a medieval warrior capable of toppling giants with but the blade of his sword. No, our hero is a 7-foot-2, forty-six year old Congolese former NBA center named Dikembe Mutombo. The marketing geniuses at Old Spice decided to throw convention to the wind, ditching traditional forms of advertising such as television commercials and Internet banner ads. Instead, a meeting of the minds at Old Spice HQ resulted in the greatest piece of digital interaction ever devised: Dikembe Mutombo’s 4 1/2 Weeks To Save The World. This awe-inspiring tapestry of 90’s basketball, old school shoot-em up action, and stupid Internet memes should have won every single gaming-related award of 2012.…
The Super Mario Bros. Fragrance Collection Made Us Wonder What Bowser Smells Like
The Minds Behind the Games
Retrovolve Reviews Books: The Minds Behind the Games by Patrick Hickey, Jr.
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
The 3D Platformer: How 1996 Witnessed the Birth of a Genre
Pokemon Nintendo Power
Nintendo Power Predicted a “Pokémon Trade War” in 1998