Thumb Punks 01.28.21 - Mario Kart DS, Killer Instinct, & One Heck of a Game Gear Redesign


Happy Thursday! This week we’ve got a look at the GameCube’s launch games, little-know facts about Mario Kart DS and Killer Instinct, and a nifty looking Game Gear redesign.

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Benjamin @ Thumb Punks

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Mario Kart DS (Did You Know Gaming, 11 minutes)

Possibly the best portable Mario Kart game, the DS iteration goes under DYKG’s microscope. With unused characters and other assets galore, it’s a fascinating look at how the game changed from concept to finished cart.

Game Room Update: Is it an UPGRADE or OVERKILL? (MetalJesusRocks, 12 minutes)

Challenged by a friend, Jason hooks up his retro consoles to a high-end analogue video switcher using premium cables and boots up his old CRT TV. The results are outstanding, but the $250 price-tag might be a little out of our budget for now.

Playing EVERY GameCube Launch Game In 2021 (TripleJump, 16 minutes)

TripleJump takes the original US GameCube line-up, now 20 years old, for a test drive. With Luigi’s Mansion, Star Wars Rogue Squadron II, Super Monkey Ball, and others, it takes us back to a time before you could only get a couple of remasters for a new console, if you could get the new console at all.

7 Legacy Sonic Games That Were Never Rereleased (Nintendo Life, 12 minutes)

For such a mammoth franchise, it’s surprising how many Sonic games have fallen through the cracks and not had a rerelease or remaster. Don’t hedge(hog) your bets that some are on the way, though.

Would you like your retro video game, website, ‘zine, or other project featured here? Just hit reply and send us the details!


Review: Turrican Flashback (Destructoid, 9 minutes)

ININ Games’ Turrican compilation feels like a missed opportunity; it’s pretty bare-bones, has no new modes, and is missing Super Turrican 2, for one. We can’t fault the underlying quality of the games, though.

People Still Really Love the Apple II (Wired, 6 minutes)

It’s always nice when more mainstream media covers the retro gaming community, with Wired featuring homebrew game Nox Archaist alongside interviews with key developers for the Apple II.

Age of Empires II Is Still Getting New Civilizations, More Than 21 Years Later (Kotaku, 4 minutes)

Has it really been 21 years since the launch of Age of Empires II? The classic RTS has just received new DLC featuring two new factions and three new fully-voiced campaigns.

New SEGA Game Gear Concept Has Finger Print Reading Analogue Sticks (RetroDodo, 5 minutes)

Yowzers – Joseph Dumary has put together a concept video for a Game Gear console rerelease that looks mind-blowing. Sega… pretty please?

RESET: the Unauthorized Guide to Video Games is a forthcoming new TV series by VICE. If it’s anywhere as good as their excellent Diggin’ in the Carts docs, we’ll be over the moon. Check out the trailer!


Celeste Classic 2 (Browser/PC)

Indie darling Celeste was based on a homebrew version released for modern 8-bit console, the PICO-8. Developer Noel Berry has just dropped a sequel to that original game online for free. Berry good!

Final Fantasy VI - Ted Woolsey Uncensored Edition (SNES)

Super Nintendo classic Final Fantasy VI (III in the US) didn’t have a fair shake first time around; the SNES, PlayStation, and GBA Western ports were all compromised in some way. This hack gives fans the version they always wanted, with the definitive script, uncensorings, and all kinds of other changes.

Yanga (ZX Spectrum)

Serdjuk brings us this puzzle game where you take the role of a Viking boy trying to rescue his true love, who has been kidnapped by the evil wizard, Darlock. A simple premise, but the gameplay promises a layer of depth that’s sure to keep you hooked.

BattleTech - Operation REVIVAL (Sega Genesis)

Vikfield updates BattleTech: A Game of Armored Combat with weapon and damage properties from Mechwarrior 4 and various source books. A must-play for fans of the series.

This wooden Nintendo merch is eye-poppingly gorgeous. Check it out at


The SEGA TEST mock exam: prepare to be humbled (Retronauts, 8 minutes)

How much do you know about Sega? This 20 question quiz (now with answers) runs the gamut of facts about the corporation. Our score to beat – an astonishingly weak 5/20. To be this good takes ages.

Early Killer Instinct Character Sketches (DK Creations Ltd., 11 minutes)

Hot on the heels of last week’s Donkey Kong scribblings, former Rare concept artist Kev Bayliss takes use through development art for seminal 90s fighter, Killer Instinct. Did you realise that Fulgore was originally a ninja?

Boo Haunt (Retro Studios) [Nintendo DS – Cancelled Concept] (Unseen64, 3 minutes)

More concept art goodies – in 2006 to 2007 Retro Studios had a game based on Boo, Mario’s ghostly foe, in development. Featuring enemies and locales new to Mario lore, it’s a look at what could have been.

Bloodborne PSX (Lilymeister, 2 minutes)

One to keep your eyes on – 2 indie developers are recreating Bloodborne for the PlayStation 1, and it look surprisingly feature-complete. We’ll take any chance to revisit the streets of Yharnam.