Happy Thursday! What are you playing this weekend? I’ve got the urge to delve into the PSP’s many retro compilations – any suggestions?
Thanks for reading!
Benjamin @ Thumb Punks
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Earthbound: Just when you think there wasn’t anything else to learn about Earthbound, up pops a floppy disk containing a build from halfway through localization. Why is this so interesting? Because it features unused scenes, text, gameplay ideas, shocking revelations, and comments from key staff. Take a deep dive into the discoveries at the Video Game History Foundation.
The Simpsons: Classic arcade game The Simpsons is being released as a ¾-sized cabinet by Arcade1Up, 4 player and all. This, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and WWF WrestleFest were our jams back in the early-90s, so this has zoomed right to the top of our Xmas lists. Excitingly, more machines are due to be revealed at E3.
Taito Mini Arcade: Onto an arcade cab you can fit in one hand: Taito are releasing a mini-arcade machine featuring 40 games, with another 10 (and a trackball controller) available as an add-on. Neatly, you can pop out the screen and convert it from landscape to portrait. Combine that with the ability to change the 8-way joystick to a 4-way variant, and this looks an intriguing machine to say the least. Dubbed the Taito EGRET II Mini, it’s available for preorder now and ships on March 2nd 2022.
Super Mario Kart: Modder MrL314 has restored an official track editor that was cut from the retail release of Super Mario Kart. While unofficial editors already exist (we’re looking at you, Epic Edit) It’s an exciting development that could allow budding game designers to put tracks together like Nintendo developers in 1991.
John Wilson: John Wilson, founder of Zenobi Software, has sadly passed away. He was 74. Zenobi were best known for their text adventures, including The Balrog, Caverns, and The Secret of Little Hodcome. RIP.
Game Boy Advance (GBA) Game Facts (DidYouKnowGaming?, 11 minutes)
A smorgasbord of GBA facts, from well known games (Pokemon, the Minish Cap) to lesser know titles (Hamtaro and The Hobbit, anyone?).
SECRETS, CODES, & INTEL | The Legend of Zelda Declassified NES (NESComplex, 23 minutes)
More revelations here, with the original Legend of Zelda falling under the microscope. From the shocking (rivers of blood?) to the informative (you can select where the whirlwind takes you with the warp whistle), there’s something new for every Zelda fan.
Is Battle Clash Worth Playing Today? (SNESDrunk, 6 minutes)
While several games allowed you to use the SNES’s Super Scope, few titles required it. Battle Clash is one such game, a blaster where you take down giant mechs. It’s by Intelligent Systems, who brought us Fire Emblem and Advance Wars, and shares those titles’ cartoony looks and stellar presentation.
The Story and Games of System-3 (Kim Justice, 107 minutes)
In this feature-length presentation, Kim Justice breaks down the history and highs and lows of System-3, best known for their International Karate and Last Ninja games. The doc, expertly researched, is worth every minute of your time.
A Look Back At Nintendo's Long History Of Art, Music And Game Making Software (NintendoLife, 8 minutes)
On the eve of the release of Nintendo’s Game Builder Garage, NintendoLife take a look at other times the big N branched out. And it’s been more than a few, from the Family BASIC and Mario Paint through to Wario Ware D.I.Y and Super Mario Maker, with some more obscure titles thrown in for good measure.
Welcome to another fantasy zone – get ready? (Kimimi The Game-Eating She-Monster, 6 minutes)
Jinmu Denshou falls under Space Harrier’s shadow, being an into-the-screen shoot-em-up. Thankfully, it adds a bunch of its own ideas and deserves a second look. Kimmi takes a look at the Hucard with much to prove.
Shadowrun on Genesis is hotter than a tall cup of soykaf, chummer (Destructoid, 7 minutes)
Both the Genesis and SNES had distinct versions of the Shadowrun games, but both were fantastic. The Sega version is a top down adventure that caters to different playstyles. Destructoid break down the ups and downs of the table-top inspired title.
Firestriker (HG101, 9 minutes)
Known as Holy Striker in Japan, Firestriker is a RPG/pinball mash-up. Weird, yes, but somehow it works. HG101 explore the ins and outs of this hidden gem.
Hacha Mecha Fighter (Switch, PS4, $7.99)
Published by Hamster, Hacha Mecha Fighter is a cutesy shoot-em-up from 1991 only ever released in Japanese arcades. Buy it on PS4 and you get a free theme, too.
Worron (C64, $FREE)
Unreleased for a whopping 34 years, the final version of Firebird’s Worron is now available for download. It’s similar to Sabre Wulf, but with some platforming thrown in.
Silk Dust (C64, VIC20+32K, C128, Plus/4, PET models with at least 32K of RAM, Amiga, CPC 664 or CPC6128, MSX, ZX Spectrum 48K, MS-DOS, Macintosh 68k, CP/M, Olivetti M20, RC2014, Atari 800, Apple II, Atari ST, $FREE)
Available for pretty much every system ever, Silk Dust is a text adventure that sees you trying to solve a mystery around a 10,000KM rally raid.
Devwill Too MSX (ZX Spectrum, MSX, $3.00)
Originally released for the ZX Spectrum, arcade platformer Devwill Too is now available for the MSX. It features 44 unique screens, metroidvania elements (yay!), and a combo system (double yay!).
Quiz Time: What were the names of the Great Giana Sisters?
Answer at the end of this email!
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(Image Credit: "Game Boy - Link's Awakening" by Rachid Lotf)
Quiz Answer: Giana and Maria.
Thanks to Jason for the question! Have a better one? Send it over and I’ll put it in a future edition!