🕹️Thumb Punks 09.16.21: Gamecube Bonanza, F-Zero, & The Best Atari 2600 Games


Happy Thursday! This week there are more than a couple of retro gaming-themed items of clothing and accessories. What’s your favorite piece of classic gaming wardrobe?

Thanks for reading!

Benjamin @ Thumb Punks

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Heart-Shaped Box: The Nintendo Gamecube turned 20 on Tuesday. The list of stellar titles released for the console included Mario Kart: Double Dash, Resident Evil 4, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Eternal Darkness, Viewtiful Joe, Metroid Prime, Animal Crossing, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, and Super Mario Sunshine. Phew! Which was your favorite?

Let’s A-Lego!: The internet is a-buzz with news of the new Super Mario 64 Lego set. The 2064 block set is a giant Question Block on first blush, but open it up and there are recreations of Peach’s Castle, Bob-omb Battlefield, Cool Cool Mountain and Lethal Lava Trouble, and it includes microfigures for Mario, Princess Peach, King Bob-omb, Chain Chomp, and more. It’s released on October 1 exclusively via Lego stores and their website for $169.99.

In more block-breaking news, it’s rumored that some of the initial sets released will soon be discontinued. They include Boomer Bill Barrage Expansion Set, Whomp’s Lava Trouble Expansion Set, and the Builder Mario Power-Up Pack. If you fancy those, get in quick!

Lost Classic?: German retailer Galeria Kaufhof has unearthed some complete copies of Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals for the SNES. A new listing has the game, including original packaging and manual, for the oddly reasonable price of €79.99.

Wake Up: Eden Pixel’s Alwa’s Awakening is getting a physical release via Retro-Bit’s new Digical imprint. The game was designed for the NES, and the new 8-Bit Edition will bring it to the console for the first time. There are three new areas, two new songs, and it’s available as both a cart and a character-themed USB stick (with swanky stand) containing the ROM. The cartridge is $59.99, the stick $19.99, and preorders are open at Retro-Bit’s website. Limited Run have a version for the Switch including the game and its sequel, Alwa’s Legacy.

Sonics: To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Sonic The Hedgehog, series composer Masato Nakamura has released a new version of the main theme with lyrics! Put together by his band, Dreams Come True, a second, faster version is available on Spotify, though you’ll need to be fluent in Japanese for the best experience.

Greendog (Angry Video Game Nerd/Cinemassacre, 16 minutes)

“Greendog is one unlucky surfer. He lost his board and got stuck with a cursed necklace. Greendog has to fight his way past a lot of crazed creatures and monsters to find the Aztec treasure or he'll never get rid of the curse! But the real curse is The Nerd having to play this game!!”

The Detail Finally Found after 19 Years - Smash Bros Melee (Shesez, 22 minutes)

“Lets take the camera absolutely anywhere we want to learn more about Melee!”

My Sega DREAMCAST Game Collection (111 games that Rock 🤘) (MetalJesusRocks, 23 minutes)

“Here is my entire Dreamcast game collection! Over 100 games including the best games, rare & expensive, imports & hidden games!”

The F-Zero Saga Revisited - From SNES Launch To GameCube Perfection And Beyond (Digital Foundry, 69 minutes)

“The game that introduced us to Mode 7 on its launch for Super Famicom and SNES, F-Zero enjoyed a long and distinguished history across three generations of Nintendo home consoles - plus some excellent Game Boy Advance support. But with F-Zero GX, it was also a series that bowed out at its absolute peak. John Linneman and Audi Sorlie assess the history of the series and the technology that delivered some outstanding futuristic racing.”

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Gamecube’s Birthday (Various, Various)

In celebration of the little purple box’s 20th birthday, pretty much every video game website has an article up espousing the virtues of the console. They include a personal look back via Eurogamer, another via Den of Geek, Inverse’s list of best games for the system, NintendoLife’s video list of the same (and a hardware retrospective to boot), with Kotaku and VideoGamesChronicle chipping in too.

Kingdom Hearts Review (InfinityRetro, 10 minutes)

Disney’s Kingdom Hearts was a standout PS2 title, but how does it hold up 19 years later?

Games The Defined the Atari 2600 (RacketBoy, 81 minutes)

A fantastic piece of work – a thorough exploration of the best Atari 2600 games.

Yoshi’s Safari is what happens when Mario finally snaps (Destructoid, 5 minutes)

An oddity in the Mario series, Yoshi’s Safari is a lightgun game starring everyone’s favorite green dinosaur. Super Scope titles were thin on the ground, and this is one of the weirdest.

Quiz Time: What’s the name of the first track in F-Zero X?

Answer at the end of this email!

Pop Flamer (PS4/Switch, $7.99)

“"POP FLAMER" is an action game released by JALECO in 1982. Players control the POP FLAMER to defeat monsters as they pop all the balloons in each stage. You'll need to refuel your flamethrower by popping balloons, since the flames get weaker each time you use it.”

Pacman 500 (Amiga 500, $FREE)

“This is a (successful) attempt by jotd to create a 1:1 port of the famous arcade game on Amiga 500 using 100% 68k assembly.”

Siemb Chronicles: Arkos the Traitor (Amstrad CPC, $FREE)

A Turrican-esque action platformer by ESP Soft where you plow through enemies to reach the evil Arkos the Traitor on the planet of Hypsis.

Dune II The Maker (PC, $FREE)

An open-source remake of the classic RTS reaches version 0.6.0, with rewritten AI, support for 128x128 Skirmish maps, super weapons, and much more.

Quiz Answer: Mute City.

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