🕹️Thumb Punks 09.23.21: Sir Clive Sinclair, Metal Gear Solid, & 500 Xbox and Dreamcast Prototypes


Happy Thursday! This week two retro gaming legends have left us. What are your favorite memories of the ZX Spectrum?

I’ve reviewed retro-tinged Metroidvania The Mummy Demastered for HG101. Check it out!

Thanks for reading!

Benjamin @ Thumb Punks

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RIP: Sir Clive Sinclair, inventor of the ZX Spectrum, passed away on Thursday the 16th following a long-term illness. He was 81. After forming Sinclair Radionics in 1961, he released the Speccy in 1982, a machine that would help define the decade. He was knighted by the Queen in 1983. Eurogamer have a fantastic look back at the man’s life .

In other sad news, Mick McGinty died on Saturday the 18th at age 69. The Nebraskan native was responsible for some of the 16-bit era’s most iconic art, some of which has been collected by VGDensetsu.

WATA Price: Video game auctions got silly again when a sealed copy of Sonic The Hedgehog for the Sega Genesis was sold for $430,500. Even series co-creator Yuji Naka was shocked. For their part, Goldin Auctions have responded, claiming it was from a very early print run.

Deluged: Nearly 500 OG Xbox and Dreamcast prototypes have been shared by Hidden Palace. Including unreleased ports and games that have never been released, the biggest surprise is a version of Sega GT with Luigi as flagman. It’s thought that he appeared in the build as an internal developer joke.

Remasterama: Developer Digital Eclipse has begun discussions to remaster seminal fighting game Marvel vs. Capcom 2. It would mark the game’s return after it was delisted from the Xbox 360 and PS3 online stores in 2013.

The Castlevania Advance Collection has been rated for PS4, Xbox, Switch, and PC in Taiwan. Thought to be a compendium of all the Castlevania titles that appeared on the GBA, it’s rumored to include the SNES’s Castlevania: Dracula X, too. M2 are in charge of the ports, with a release date TBC.

ININ Games and Strictly Limited Games are rereleasing classic Cotton games for the series’ 30th anniversary. The collections will span the SNES, Sega Genesis, and Sega Saturn titles, with the first two receiving both digital and physical releases. Switch and PS4 ports are rumored, but yet to be confirmed – we’ll be sure to keep you in the loop!

Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and Lion King is set to be rereleased with added content: the SNES version of Aladdin, and The Jungle Book. The Ninty version of Aladdin is very different to the Genesis port, so it’ll be a plum time to compare the two. The release date is TBC, but you can expect versions for the PS4, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.

Premaster: GamesMaster, the cult British gaming game show, is returning later this year. It will be aired on E4 in the UK, and available worldwide on YouTube.

How the Demo Scene Works! (The 8-Bit Guy, 31 minutes)

Proudly Commodore-focused, 8-Bit Guy looks at the retro demo scene. Likening it to magic, some of the graphical and musical feats people have squeezed onto older hardware are incredible.

Series that Made a Poor Jump to 3D (Game Sack, 26 minutes)

Some stellar 2D games rocked the world in the late 80s-mid 90s, but with new hardware came new possibilities. However, some games didn’t translate, at least at first blush. Game Sack take a look at these mediocre 3D sequels, including Earthworm Jim, TMNT, Mortal Kombat, and more.

The Mystery of the Scorpion 16 (Nostalgia Nerd, 34 minutes)

The Scorpion 16 is a Sega Genesis clone with a foggy history. Previewed on British TV in 1994, it has taken until now for Nostalgia Nerd to land one – but what’s it all about?

NES Games You Didn't Know had Sequels in Japan (JohnRiggs, 14 minutes)

The 80s and early 90s were a different time, and it was difficult to find out about games that were released exclusively overseas. John Riggs delves into Japanese-only sequels to popular Western titles, including Kid Niki 2, the Destiny of an Emperor follow-up, Spartan X 2, and more.

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Metroid (Hand-Drawn Game Guides, 36 pages)

Hand-Drawn Game Guides were due to release some exceptionally beautiful game guides for NES titles. Despite a successful Kickstarter, the project was shut down by Ninty and backers’ money returned. What a surprise, then, that a digital copy of the Metroid guide has been released for all to enjoy. The link above takes you straight to the PDF.

Uncovering The Real History Of The Women Who Pioneered Video Games (Kotaku, 8 minutes)

Mary Kenney’s forthcoming book, Gamer Girls: 25 Women Who Built the Video Game Industry, chronicles the unsung heroes of video game development. In this interview, Kenney reveals her reasons for writing the book, covering everything from Street Fighter II to Kingdom Hearts and beyond.

Creating the iconic soundtrack for Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (Game Developer, 15 minutes)

To say MGS has a corker of a soundtrack would be underselling it; it remains a key video game OST to this day. Game Developer sits down with the composers behind the music for a deep dive into the tunes.

Mario is a bully and Wario is innocent (Polygon, 6 minutes)

Hot take time: Polygon put together the case that Wario may be the hero of the Mario franchise after all, including retro comic scans and more.

Quiz Time: Who was Impossible Mission’s (C64) big baddy?

Answer at the end of this email!

Soldam (PS4/Switch, $7.99)

A 1992 Jaleco title, Soldam is a falling block puzzle game with Easy, Soldam, and Challenge modes, and a Shodown Mode where you can challenge your friends in 2-player online action.

Kung Fu Remaster (Demo) (Amiga OCS, $FREE)

Now a spin-off title more than anything, developer McGeezer has added five extra levels, player weapon pickups, additional weapons, and more. And it all looks fantastic, using the full power of the Amiga. Download the ADF here.

Asteroids RX (Spectrum 48k, 128k, Next, $4.99)

Had to include a Speccy game this week, and Asteroids RX more than fits the bill. It’s a 'from scratch' conversion of two classic Atari games, Asteroids and Asteroids Deluxe and, sweetly, dedicated to Sir Sinclair himself.

Petscii Robots (Atari XL/XE, $10-$45.00)

Save the human race from evil robots in this action adventure game. Originally released for the Commodore 64 and Apple computers, this monochrome text version brings it home to the Atari.

  • A Polish bank is offering these beautiful bank cards featuring some superb pixel art

  • There’s now a TV game show based, of all things, Frogger. It airs on Peacock in the USA

  • Billy Mitchell’s website has been acquired by a mystery individual who has laid out why the world records are allegedly fraudulent

  • Footage has been released of a Glover remaster

  • Preorders for physical Game Gear title Heroes Against Demons are open. Just want the ROM? Grab it for free here

  • Fans gathered to say goodbye to the Sega Ikebukuro Gigo arcade on Monday

  • This art for the Zelda exhibition at the International Manga Museum in Kyoto is amazing

Quiz Answer: Elvin Atombender.

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

(Image Credit: A little homage to The Simpsons Arcade Game, by davidbcooper)