Thumb Punks 03.04.21 - Street Fighter, Polymega, Alex Kidd, & Weird Super Mario Bootlegs


Happy Thursday! In this week’s retro gaming round up we’ve got an epic Street Fighter article, the Polymega, Alex Kidd, and some of the weirdest bootleg Mario games you’re likely to see.

I’m currently playing The Mummy: Demastered, a fantastic pixel-art Super Metroid clone, and am spending the weekend playing the sequel to 1991’s WWF WrestleFest, RetroMania Wrestling, which launched last Friday on Steam. What are you playing?

Thanks for reading!

Benjamin @ Thumb Punks

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Bootleg Super Mario Games Ft. rabbidluigi (DidYouKnowGaming?, 14 minutes)

Mario’s popularity has seen many unscrupulous developers try to knock him off. DYKG present a rogue’s gallery of games that range from head-scratchingly baffling to laughably atrocious. Want more madness? Check out these Super Mario Kart hacks, including a Street Fighter racing game with hadoukens.

CodeWheels - Early Anti-Piracy that was easy to bypass (Modern Vintage Gamer, 18 minutes)

CodeWheels are an archaic copy protection device by today’s standards; a circle of card on top of a slightly larger circle of card, both with symbols, numbers, or letters on them. By rotating the smaller circle you would be able to solve a code the game generates before letting you play. MVG delves into the history of the devices, and how crackers were able to get around the system.

Video Game Keyboards | Punching Weight (Stop Skeletons from Fighting, 19 minutes)

Keyboards are an odd accessory for video game consoles, which are designed primarily for gamepads. SSFF take a look at the popular and obscure, and the games that support them. Still got peripheral vision? Check out his run down on games that support two (!) N64 mice.

Best Arcade Games Never to Get a Super Nintendo Port, Part 6 (SNES drunk, 11 minutes)

Hidden gems aplenty here, folks: from those you may have heard of (Vendetta, Captain America and the Avengers) to those you almost certainly haven’t (Hotdog Storm? The First Funky Fighter?).

Xenocider is a new Dreamcast shoot ‘em up that’s reminiscent of Sin & Punishment and Space Harrier. Find out more (and download a demo!) here.


Street Fighter: The Movie: The game: An oral history (Polygon, 46 minutes)

In the latest of Polygon’s retrospectives about the Street Fighter franchise, they take a look at the game based on the movie of the game. Probably the series’ low point, it has an interesting back story which is told through interviews with the key development staff. Essential reading for fans of the titles, and 90s kids in general.

How M2 went back to the Game Gear for its magnum opus (Eurogamer, 11 minutes)

GG Aleste 3 is an unsung space shooter that missed out on wider fame by being confined to the Game Gear. An ambitious full-blown sequel rather than a scaled down port, Eurogamer review the game and talk with M2 about their efforts to bring it to modern consoles.

Hardware Review: Despite The Delays And Drama, Polymega Is The Ultimate All-In-One Retro Machine (NintendoLife, 19 minutes)

It was worth the wait: the Polymega is the retro gaming console of your dreams, in spite of its hefty ($450) price tag. NintendoLife break down the machine in detail. We’ve added it to our Xmas 2021 list already.

Juka and the Monophonic Menace (Hardcore Gaming 101, 9 minutes)

Juka was developed by the same team who made hidden gem Scurge: Hive, and features music by future Shovel Knight/Shantae composer Jake Kaufman. Unfortunately, it doesn’t live up to expectations, despite having some neat ideas. HG101 looks at why.

Peter Molyneux is a divisive figure among video game fans, and Kim Justice’s extensive free documentary lays out the highs and lows of a chequered career.


Super Mario FPS (PC)

Following on from the GoldenEye/SM64 crossover, an enterprising coder has created a Super Mario 64 themed first person shooter. Morbidly fascinating, it’s already a big hit with the speedrunning community. What’s your best time?

Custom Textures for the PS2 in PCSX2 (PC)

Pure witchcraft – developer Topaz-Reality has come up with a way to replace textures in emulated PS2 games, uprezzing their appearance. Time to play those old classics again!

Alex Kidd 3 Curse In Miracle World (Sega Master System)

A painstaking labor of love, this, Yeti Bomar has produced a fan-made Alex Kidd sequel that rivals the quality of some retail releases.

L'abbaye Des Morts (C64)

Winner of the Indie Retro News C64 Game of the Year 2019, platformer L’abbaye Des Morts is currently free to download. No word on if this is a limited time deal, so grab it quick!

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


Birthdays! Pokemon is 25, the PlayStation 2 is 21, and Chun-Li celebrated her 53rd (!) yesterday… Nintendo were considering a feature for the DS that would have allowed you to cast the top screen to a TV. I guess they wanted to, ahem, ‘Switch’ things up… The Nintendo Story doc on Crackle is getting good reviews… Amiga dungeon crawler Black Dawn Rebirth has been set free by the developer… Juro Watari, creator of Virtual On, has left SEGA after 25 years… The mind boggles – someone has used deep learning to animate old video game covers. Trippy (and a little scary)!