🕹️Thumb Punks 06.24.21 - Sonic, Quake, Mario 64, & Games Worse Than You Remember


Happy Thursday! With the N64 celebrating a special day yesterday, what’s your favorite memory of the console?

Thanks for reading!

Benjamin @ Thumb Punks

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Birthdays!: Sonic The Hedgehog celebrated his big 3-0 yesterday with a special concert of the tunes to some of his biggest games. And what a gig it was: kicking off with a rousing performance by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, before Tomoya Ohtani Band and the beloved Crush 40 took the stage.

In other anniversary news, both the Nintendo 64 and Super Mario 64 turned 25 yesterday. Ya-hoo!

We All Scream for Widescreen: Super Mario World is now available in true widescreen! Previously, the BSNES emulator stretched the background image, with enemies only appearing when they hit the 4:3 threshold. You can see it in its full 16:9 glory here!

CastleMania: A compilation of classic GBA Castlevania games has been listed on the Australian ratings board. While few details are known, fans are speculating it will include Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance, and Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow. More news as we get it!

Double Trouble: Sticking with the Game Boy Advance, a new MiSTer FPGA core allows for multiplayer action on a single screen – watch it in action!

MiniDrive: Remember the Sega Genesis Mini? Those lucky folks in Japan are getting a new (albeit non-functional) accessory for it. The Tower Mini Zero is a dinky version of the Power Base Converter that allowed players to enjoy Master System games on their Genesis. Take a look!

Laser 128 and XT - Clones better than the originals! (The 8-Bit Guy, 24 minutes)

Clones of the Apple II, the Laser 128 and XT feature a slew of features that make them better than the original. The 8-Bit Guy investigates.

Games that are Worse than We All Remember (Game Sack, 27 minutes)

Retro games are seen through rose-tinted glasses, but some don’t match up to the memories. Game Sack take a look at titles that don’t quite hold up, with some contentious entries.

Quake Review - 25 Years Later (GmanLives, 27 minutes)

It can’t be another birthday, can it? Indeed it is, this time for FPS classic Quake. 25 years old, it is for some the best in the series. Gman shows us why, with some Aussie sarcasm and humor thrown in.

How Nintendo Failed Into Super Mario Kart (Wrestling With Gaming, 19 minutes)

Originally an F-Zero project, Super Mario Kart morphed into the series we know and love. But it’s a bit complicated than that, as Wrestling With Gaming explores.

When Nintendo went Hollywood: a casual conversation with the man who helped shape the N64 (Eurogamer, 17 minutes)

Giles Goddard is the man behind Star Fox and 1080 Snowboarding for the venerable Nintendo 64. Here he talks about his time working at the big N and his experiences with the console.

ONCE UPON A TIME (OR THIRTY YEARS AGO) (SonicRetro, 12 minutes)

This look back at Sonic’s history is a personal piece, charting the highs and lows as a fan of the blue blur. Thankfully, the future looks very bright.

Earthworm Jim 3D put the series on life support (Destructoid, 8 minutes)

Speaking of highs and lows, the 2D Earthworm Jim games are fondly remembered action platformers. The 3D iteration, however, stunk to high heaven. Destructoid look at the game that killed the franchise.

The Dark Crystal / Gelfling Adventure (HG101, 4 minutes)

Game based on movies often suck, so it’s always nice to find a diamond in the rough. The Dark Crystal is a 1983 graphic adventure for the Apple II, Atari 8-bit, FM-7, PC-88, and PC-98, based on the film of the same name. The HG101 cast their eyes on this under-the-radar title.

Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, $19.99)

“The iconic Alex Kidd is back! Jump straight back into Miracle World and experience it like you’ve never seen before. Complete with new HD graphics, gameplay improvements and animations, rediscover all the levels from the original game, as well as brand new levels which expand the lore and story behind Alex Kidd.”

Seicross (Switch, PS4, $7.99)

“"SEICROSS" is a shooting game released by Nichibutsu in 1984. Taking place in an interstellar city, drive your bike, GILGIT, and rescue Petrimen while avoiding attacks. Enemy bikes can be defeated by bodily hitting them to knock them over or into walls and other objects on the terrain. Use these tactics in combination with beams to fight.”

River City Ransom (USA) Nekketsu Hack 1.0 (NES, $FREE)

“This patch will restore the japanese version of River City Ransom, called Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari, using the plot, names and graphics of japanese game, replacing several sprites, managing to restore Japanese graphics to the characters.”

Akane (ZX Spectrum, $FREE)

“Seven days have passed since Ony Anthrax contaminated Sindara's kingdom with its deadly poison. Akane, the last representative of the Haoken clan and Riuken's fiancée, arrives at the laboratory where Riuken was last seen alive. You will have to use your ninja skills such as the power of the Dash to reach places inaccessible otherwise and the launch of shurikens to make your way through the enemies you will find, but be careful, Akane like the rest of the inhabitants of Sindara is poisoned, use the antidotes that you will find by her way to recover temporarily.”

Quiz Time: What was the first multicolor vector game (hint: it wasn’t Tempest)?

Answer at the end of this email!

  • HG101’s new book, Retro Game Super Translation Selection II, is now available for $3.99

  • If you’re really, really quick, you can nab 2001’s Arma: Cold War Assault for free on Steam and GOG

  • The Valis trilogy is being released for the Switch and reprinted for the PC Engine to celebrate the series’ 35th anniversary

  • 3DO dumpster fire Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties is being re-released by Limited Run Games. The 1993 FMV game will hit the PS4, Switch, and PC later this year

  • Retro game fan Simon Lock has amassed a collection of every first-party PS1 memory card

  • Arcade museum the… er… Game Center Museum has opened in Nagoya. With around 70 machines, it’s open until August 29th

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

Quiz Answer: Space Duel.

Thanks to AusRetroGamer https://ausretrogamer.com/15-atari-facts-you-may-not-have-known-about/ for the question! Have a better one? Send it over and I’ll put it in a future edition!