🕹️Thumb Punks 05.20.21 - TimeSplitters, Mega Man, & a Cyberpunk Game from 1993


Happy Thursday! With a couple of Mega Man mentions in this week’s newsletter, I’m trying to work out which is my favorite (maybe #2!?). What’s yours?

Thanks for reading!

Benjamin @ Thumb Punks

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"One wrong move and we're all paradoxed.": It’s actually happening: there’s a new TimeSplitters game in the works! Key staff, including founders Steve Ellis and David Dovak, have reformed Free Radical in Nottingham, UK, as a subsidiary of Deep Silver. There’s no release date – yet. Work is expected to begin in a few months, and we’ll be sure to keep you posted as more news becomes available.

Switched On: Nintendo has announced its next five retro releases for the Switch Online service, available from May 26th. They include:

  • Joe & Mac (otherwise known as Caveman Ninja) (SNES)

  • Spanky’s Quest (SNES)

  • Super Baseball Simulator 1.000 (SNES)

  • Magical Drop II (a Japan-only title that is available for the first time in the West) (SNES)

  • Ninja JaJaMaru-kun (also released in the West for the first time) (NES)

Wylie Minogue: Rare SNES title Mega Man: The Wily Wars (known as Rockman Mega World in Japan) is being released physically in North America for the first time. A compilation of the first three Mega Man games with enhanced graphics and sound, Retro-Bit open preorders at 10ET on May 21st for $69.99. Goodies include a blue sparkly shell housing a blue circuit board to match along with a 5-volt chip, battery-backed saves, gold-plated contacts, beveled insert points, and a host of prints, covers, manuals, and all that good stuff.

ForEver?: There are four new compilations arriving for the Evercade and Evercade VS. For the first time, these include arcade versions of games instead of the console equivalents. The carts include:

  • Atari Arcade 1 (Liberator, Lunar Lander, Missile Command, Centipede, Asteroids Deluxe, Pong, and more)

  • Data East Arcade 1 (Bad Dudes vs Dragon Ninja, Burger Time, Sly Spy, Dark Seal, and more)

  • Gaelco Arcade 1 (Alligator Hunt, World Rally, Thunder Hoop, and more)

  • Technos Arcade 1 (Double Dragon II: The Revenge, The Combatribes, Mysterious Stones: Dr John's Adventure, and more)

Preorders open May 28th, with the comps due in early November.

Pipe Dreams: The council in Walsall, Birmingham, UK, have made a strange addition to the town centre that looks suspiciously like Mario warp pipes. People aren’t happy.

How did Street Fighter Alpha 3 manage to fit on a single Game Boy Advance Cart? (Modern Vintage Gamer, 12 minutes)

Street Fighter Alpha 3 for the GBA is pure technical wizardry, somehow shrinking the arcade game onto an under-powered handheld in a 32Mbit cartridge. Want to know how they did it? MVG has you covered.

Street Fighter's Mythical Unwinnable Matchup (TheoryFighter, 7 minutes)

It’s a double-whammy for fans of Capcom’s seminal fighter this week. All being equal, beating Zangief with E. Honda is thought to be impossible, owing to the reach of the former’s spinning piledriver. But does it hold weight? TheoryFighter delve into the facts behind the myth.

What is the galaxy from Mario Galaxy's logo? Solving a 14 year mystery (Thomas Game Docs, 13 minutes)

Speaking of mysteries, it has taken 14 years for people to work out which photo lurks in the background of Super Mario Galaxy’s title screen. This detective-style expose is far more interesting than it first appears.

The Animation of Mega Man (Video Game Animation Study, 60 minutes)

This deep dive into the animation of the seminal Mega Man series is illuminating stuff, and will make you take another look at some of your favorite blue bomber games.

CyberSpace (Amiga Lore, N/A)

In March 1993, a hugely ambitious cyberpunk game was previewed in the major PC and Amiga magazines. Based on a board game, CyberSpace was promised for an October release but never materialized. In an extensive project, Amiga Lore have brought together all the information about the game for your reading pleasure.

The Fighting Game Glossary (Infil, N/A)

Speaking of extensive projects, Infil has released his glossary of one-on-one fighting terminology. Featuring text, video, and the chance to filter terms by specific game, this is one to bookmark and pore over.

The sands of time (Kimimi The Game-Eating She-Monster, 8 minutes)

The Sega CD port of the original Prince of Persia slightly remixes the formula, with an all-new final boss. Kimimi breaks down the differences between this and other versions, with personal reminiscences along the way.

Angel Eyes (Hardcore Gaming 101, 18 minutes)

Soon to be brought to the PS4 and Nintendo Switch, Angel Eyes is a 1996 one-on-one fighter for the arcades and PS1. Developed by Tecmo, it features a cast of ninjas, innovative gameplay, and is a bit of a hidden gem. HG101 investigates.

Jelly Boy Prototype (SNES, $FREE)

Exclusively released in Europe in 1995 by Probe, a prototype of Super Nintendo platformer Jelly Boy has been uploaded by Hard4Games. Check out the video detailing the differences, too.

Missile Command (Amiga, $FREE)

Towerbyte Developments have brought seminal arcade game Missile Command to the Amiga, free of charge, for any Amiga with 512kb of memory (or your emulator of choice).

Revenge of the Mutant Camels (Improvement) (C64, $FREE)

Revenge of the Mutant Camels had problems at release, most notably the janky collision detection. This improved version fixes that, while adding a new high score table, cartridge image compatibility, and a level skip, amongst others tweaks.

Mutant from the Deep (MSX, $FREE)

From the website: “Mutants from the Deep is a submarine shooting game that mimics the technical limitations of the MSX1 computers. Choose your character, enhance your gear and fire your weapons in 8 directions as you swim into the dangers of the deep.”

Quiz Time: TimeSplitters is coming back – but what were the names of the two protagonists in TimeSplitters 2?

  • Game Center GX head honcho has declared the PS2, GameCube, and Game Boy Advance as officially retro. Who are we to argue?

  • Famicom sidescroller Getsu Fūma Den is being remade for modern systems. And, by Joe, it’s quite the looker

  • This 1990 video of Japanese arcade is pure nostalgia fuel, and very endearing

Could you share this email? Forwarding it to just one retro gaming friend helps us keep this newsletter free. And if you send it to 10, we’ll love you forever.

Quiz Answer: Sergeant Cortez and Corporal Hart.

Thanks to Teddy for the question! Have a better one? Send it over and I’ll put it in a future edition!