🕹️Thumb Punks 10.21.21: The Last Thumb Punks Newsletter, But...


Happy Thursday!

This is the last edition of Thumb Punks. Thanks for your support, and I hope you had as much fun reading it as it was to write it!

But wait – we’re working on something new under the Thumb Punks umbrella. I hope to have more news for you before Xmas!

In the meantime, if you want to keep up with me, check out my blog. I’ll be adding original long-form articles on retro games, music, movies, books, TV, pro wrestling, and everything in between in the next few months!

Thanks for reading!

Benjamin @ Thumb Punks

RIP: Legendary Namco pixel artist Hiroshi Ono passed away on October 16 after a long period of illness. ‘Mr Dotman’ created sprites for Galaga, Dig Dug, Mappy, Xevious, and more, as well as logos, marquees, and cabinet art for a host of machines, including Pac-Man. A documentary charting his life is already in the works.

Switch Up: The Expansion Tier for Switch Online will cost $49.99/€39.99/£34.99 for a 12 month individual membership, while a Family Membership will cost $79.99/€69.99/£59.99 for 12 months. The new service will allow you to play classic N64 and Genesis titles, but the price is a bit of a shock, more than double the cost of the standard tier. Will you be subscribing?

In other Switch news, the official N64 and Genesis pads for the console will launch on October 25 at $50/£40 each.

Our ‘Cade: Seems we spoke too soon about the decline of arcades: SEGA have announced plans to open a new venue in Ikebukuro, and right across the street from the old Gigo location to boot. The three-floor arcade will feature video games in the basement, and is mooted as ‘Vol.1’ of the area’s redevelopment.

Captain’s ‘Logue: The Analogue Pocket will soon get its own OS, and will offer FPGA emulation of retro systems. You’ll be able to add box art, create playlists, use save states, and much more. The console is due to ship in December.

SOS: Mark Payne of retro gaming channel Mark Fixes Stuff has suffered a house fire and lost all of his possessions. Thankfully, he and his family are OK. If you’re able to do so, you can support him by subscribing to his Patreon or donating via PayPal.

Ranking Video Game Movies with Scott the Woz (Cinemassacre, 63 minutes)

This ties in with a project we’re working on – watching every video game movie ever made (ever). 1995’s Mortal Kombat stands up as a hokey good time, but the less said about House of the Dead, the better.

Why Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is amazing (Cannot Be Tamed, 16 minutes)

Castlevania is all the rage these days, and Cannot Be Tamed takes a look at the history of arguably its best entry.

Sega Master System Movie Games (Sega Lord X, 20 minutes)

Movie time, again. This round it’s Sega Master System titles based on films, ranging from pretty solid to hot garbage. Gamers of the time will remember licensed titles stinking, and some of these absolutely honk.

Queen's weird PC game (minimme, 19 minutes)

We’ll say it: compare Queen’s three greatest hits albums against any other artist’s, and Freddy Mercury & Co. will come up trumps. But EYE is a strange beast; a game featuring Queen iconography but having sod all to do with the band, with some bizarre game design choices. Minimme investigates.

Front Mission: Gun Hazard – 1996 Developer Interview (Shmuplations, 19 minutes)

Translated from Famicom Tsuushin magazine, this interview with key development staff shines new light on the SNES’ underrated hybrid side-scrolling role-playing shooter.

How to Make Old PC Games Look (and Play) Better on a Newer Computer (Lifehacker, 9 minutes)

Not just for newbies, Lifehacker have a trick or two for emulation veterans too. We’ve just found out there are widescreen hacks for many PS2 titles; this weekend is now fully booked.

Cybernator may not be the worst name for a great game, but it’s definitely up there (Destructoid, 6 minutes)

Known as Assault Suits Valken in Japan, Cybernator is a chunky mecha action game that, much like Front Mission, slipped under many people’s radar. Destructoid take a sideways glance at a game that deserves another look.

Graveyard: Daytona USA (Hardcore Gamer, 7 minutes)

Daytonaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Let’s go away! As part of a new feature, Hardcore Gamer cast their minds back to the venerable racer that, scandalously, is not available for modern systems.

Quiz Time: What’s the name of the dinosaur in Tekken 3?

Answer at the end of this email!

Arcade Archives Rally-X (PS4/Switch, $7.99)

Namco’s 1980 maze racing game hits modern systems. It features art by Hiroshi Ono, making it a timely purchase.

Gleylancer (PS4/Switch/Xbox, $6.99)

Available for a discounted $5.59 if you’re quick, this Japan-only 1992 Mega Drive shmup has had the full rerelease treatment from Ratalaika Games, adding display options, button configurations, save states and a handy rewind feature, and a full English translation.

Ys vs. Trails in the Sky: Alternative Saga (Translation) (PSP, $FREE)

A long time coming, this PSP genre-bender from Falcom gets a full English patch. It’s rare to find a title that brings to mind Final Fantasy and Power Stone at the same time!

Virgil's Purgatory ZX (ZX Spectrum, $4.00)

You get 44 unique screens in this new ZX Spectrum port of a Metroidvania platformer, originally released for PC in 2016. It look suitably spooky for the season, and there’s a MSX version incoming too.

  • Preorders for Cotton Guardian Force Saturn Tribute Collector’s Edition are now open, but are selling out fast

  • Hamster, curators of the Arcade Archives releases for Switch and PS4, have trademarked ‘Console Archives’. No word yet on what it’s for

  • You can now play Doom via Twitter

  • The forthcoming GTA collection will have GTA V-style controls. Thank the lord… we still have nightmares

  • Check out the new trailer for the Zelda Game & Watch

  • Ace-looking Mega Drive run-and-gun Metal Dragon can be preordered now

  • As can two snazzy versions of the Missile Command replicade

Quiz Answer: Gon.

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