🕹️Thumb Punks 09.30.21: Castlevania, C64, Resi Evil, & Weird Computer Mice


Happy Thursday! The Super Monkey Ball Deluxe remaster is getting mixed reviews, with some outlets saying the physics and controls are slightly off. Have you played it, and what do you think?

Thanks for reading!

Benjamin @ Thumb Punks

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Now You’re Playing with Power: The Nintendo Switch is getting N64 and Sega Genesis games, with some tasty looking controllers to boot. Starting in October, subscribers to the new ‘Expansion Pack’ service can even play N64 titles with four-player online multiplayer.

Launch games include Super Mario 64, Mario Kart 64, Starfox 64, Yoshi’s Story, Ocarina of Time, Mario Tennis, Dr. Mario 64, Sin & Punishment, and left field choice WinBack.

On the Genesis front, we have Castlevania Bloodlines, Contra: Hard Corps, Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, Ecco The Dolphin, Golden Axe, Gunstar Heroes, Musha, Phantasy Star IV, Ristar, Shining Force, Shinobi III, Sonic 2, Street of Rage 2, and Strider. Phew!

A slew of titles are promised in the future, with heavy hitters including Majora’s Mask, Pokemon Snap, Paper Mario, Banjo-Kazooie, and many more.

For $50 a piece, you can buy a wireless Bluetooth N64 or 3-button Genesis controller for the Switch.

It’s not all good news, however: a 6-button Genesis controller is exclusive to Japan, and the games are rumored to be the slower 50Hz versions.

CastleMania: Eagle-eyed readers of last week’s email will remember a rumored Castlevania GBA collection had been rated in Taiwan. Well, they’ve only gone and bloody released it; Castlevania Advance Collection bundles Circle of the Moon, Harmony of Dissonance, Aria of Sorrow, and the SNES’ Rondo of Blood, and is available for PS4, Switch, Xbox, and PC now.

It’s A-Me!: Chris Pratt will play Mario in a new Super Mario Bros. movie. The original live-action film was an infamous disaster, but this looks more promising, with Jack Black as Bowser, Anya-Taylor Joy as Princess Peach, Charlie Day as Luigi, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, and Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, among others. It hits cinemas on December 21, 2022.

Commodore 64 - Angry Video Game Nerd (Cinemassacre, 31 minutes)

AVGN takes a satirical look at the C64, a computer that helped define the 80s. There are bugs and terrible games, but we can’t help but have a fondness for the little beige box.

Three Weird 90s Computer Mice: Burgers, Corvettes, and Chaos (LGR, 27 minutes)

Featuring some mouth-watering footage of 90s PC gaming, LGR chronicles some of the weirdest (yet oddly appealing) computer mice you’re likely to see.

How the Mario Characters Got Their Names (Gaming Historian, 23 minutes)

Want to know why Peach is called Peach, and what the heck a Donkey Kong is? Gaming Historian has you covered, revealing the surprising origins of the names of Nintendo’s most iconic characters.

The Lost Resident Evil 4.5 | RE: Degeneration (N-Gage / iOS) | DELISTED (Stop Skeletons From Fighting, 16 minutes)

Resident Evil 4.5 is a weird one: a kinda sequel to Resident Evil 4 that only saw release on the ill-fated N-Gage and, later, iOS. Derek gives us the lowdown, and even covers the J2ME versions, too.

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.


In Defense of the Jaguar (Retro Gaming Authority, 24 minutes)

One of the bigger flubs in gaming history, the Jaguar looked, on first blush, like a winner; made by veterans Atari, it technically knocked the SNES and Genesis into a cocked hat. It wasn’t to be, with the later PlayStation and N64 overshadowing the console. But was it as bad as history would have us believe?

Golden Sun – 2001 Developer Interview (Shmuplations, 20 minutes)

Originally printed in Nintendo Dream magazine, this interview with key Golden Sun staff Hiroyuki Takahashi (Planner/Scenario Writer), Shugo Takahashi (Director/Scenario/Planning), and Toshiharu Izuno (Assistant Producer) is illuminating stuff.

15 Best Castlevania Monsters and Bosses Ranked (Den of Geek, 12 minutes)

Bang on time for the new Castlevania collection, Den of Geek run down the 15 best big bads from the series. #1 was never in doubt, but we’re a bit miffed at Death’s placing.

Kya: Dark Lineage (HG101, 7 minutes)

A third-person action-adventure game on a console full of them, Kya: Dark Lineage stands out, even if it hasn’t lingered in the memory. HG101 look back at maybe developer Elden Games’ finest moment.

Quiz Time: Complete the Mario Kart course name: Wario…?

Answer at the end of this email!

PAC-MAN (Switch, $7.99)

Using the Japanese version of the ROM, the classic chew-em-up finally arrives on Nintendo’s handheld.

Xevious (Switch, $7.99)

2 for 1 with the Arcade Archives releases this week, the second being 1983 vertical shoot-em-up Xevious. Better known for its NES port, the original offers hours of blastin’ action for the retro faithful.

ActRaiser Renaissance (Switch/PS4/PC/iOS/Android, $VARIES)

So here’s a bolt from the blue: 1990 SNES action-platformer cum god-em-up ActRaiser has been remastered for modern systems. And it’s quite the looker. It backs it up in the gameplay department too, with new stages, bosses, and 15 new tracks by original composer Yuzo Koshiro.

Geist Force (Dreamcast, $FREE)

A prototype of canceled Star Fox-esque shooter Geist Force has been preserved and released to the internet. It’s worth playing, too – it seems nearly finished, and seems sure to fill the Lylat Wars-shaped hole in your life.

  • Happy Birthday to Wave Race 64, which on Tuesday somehow turned 25 years old

  • G-Darius HD, a remaster of shmup Darius, is out now for Nintendo Switch and PS4

  • Neo Geo Pocket Color Selection Vol. 1 has been released on Steam, and is 20% off for a limited time

  • And Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain is out on GOG, and is currently on sale for $6.29

  • Is it too early to think about Xmas? This Hallmark SNES tree ornament doesn’t think so

  • Super Nintendo World is adding a new Donkey-Kong themed area in 2024

  • And just after Ninty revealed the DK series has sold 65 million lifetime units, too

  • The Disney Classic Games Collection detailed in last week’s newsletter is out in November for $29.99. Already own the original? You can add The Jungle Book and Aladdin as DLC for $9.99

  • A physical edition of Space Invaders forever will be released for the Switch. Containing Space Invaders Extreme, Space Invaders Gigamax 4 SE, and Arkanoid vs Space Invaders, it ships with a host of physical goodies

Quiz Answer: Colosseum.

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