Tag Archives: retro

Retrogasm: Gunstar Heroes Review

Gunstar Heroes 3

What a game. What a bloody brilliant game.

But first, let’s talk about how I’m playing it. Back in the day I used to have standalone copy of Gunstar Heroes but it – like many of my old carts, was either traded in or lost to the ravages of time. Now I have it as part of this pretty nifty four-game compilation simply called ‘Classic Collection.’

Gunstar Heroes 2

When I fired this up for the first time I was a confounded by the game select music. See if you can tell what it is:

It’s the Columns music. Weird isn’t it?

Anyway, Classic Collection is certainly a curious package, because it comes with three titles that I would regard as staples of Sega’s 16-bit stock and one oddity. Altered Beast is a fairly risible port of the company’s big arcade smash, Flicky was created by members of Sonic Team and Alex Kidd is widely regarded as one of Sega’s old school mascots, so it makes sense for these games to be included.
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Retrogasm! Joe & Mac: Caveman Ninja

joe-and-mac-caveman-ninja
Joe & Mac: Caveman Ninja is a curious beast, forged in the hellfires of early ’90s popular culture, where words like tubular and bodacious were being used in adverts as a way of peddling Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures to the bright-eyed children of the Saturday morning cartoon generation.

I was one of those kids, sitting there watching Phillip Scofield and Gordon the Gopher compere some of the finest cartoons known to humanity like Transformers, The Raccoons and Dungeons and Dragons. Even Super Mario had his own super show, and it seemed that all over the globe marketing executives were sitting around their mahogany boardroom tables, brainstorming what killer toy line or product they could work into a cartoon series next while guzzling Tab Clear. It was a great time to be a kid, I’m sure, at least it felt that way looking back.

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Week of Rage: Closing Statement (of Rage)

Well that’s it, yet another Week of Rage tribute done and dusted. Will I do a third one? Well that depends on how much more content I can find to write about. It’s encouraging to see the Streets of Rage fan community growing over time, so who knows? Perhaps the devoted players will give me more than enough to write about in future.

The reaction to my tribute and Matthew Drury’s Streets of Rage 4 petition has been a real eye-opener. Some of my regular readers and friends signed the petition, letting their nostalgia run riot. Others, decided not to sign it, simply for fear that SEGA would ruin the franchise like it has sadly done to other greats like Golden Axe and Shinobi. It’s fair enough. After all, would you be happy knowing you fuelled the downfall of something you held so dear?

Absolutely heartbreaking.

I remain hopefully optimistic however. The new screens for Sonic the Hedgehog 4 released today are a total hark back to the roots of the series. Even though a new Streets of Rage is miles off SEGAs radar right now, maybe this game is indicative of other classic franchises getting the same treatment? Maybe we’ll see Toe Jam and Earl 4 with Xbox Live capabilities, a new Ecco the Dolphin or hell, even the return of Alex Kidd?

Downloadable content market places such as Steam, Xbox Live Arcade, PSN and Virtual Console have done so much for retro gaming. They are a low-cost, low-risk outlet for studios to break new ground and roll the dice with anything other than a ‘safe’ sell. Just look at Capcom’s Mega Man 9 and 10 sequels. Released as a digital download, the games were never going to make the developer a massive profit, but who cares? It didn’t cost them much to make or market it using Xbox Live Arcade, but in the end, the fan service earned them a lot fo love from gamers.

Pure, unfiltered fan service, the way it should be done

With that in mind I write, just in case, by the smallest miracle that someone from SEGA ever visits my blog – Please SEGA, do the same for us and make a new Streets of Rage in the same style as the old titles. You have nothing to lose after the way you destroyed Golden Axe, Altered Beast and Shinobi. If anything, you will only gain credibility from the gamers that helped fund your early, less stable years. In that regard, you owe us, just as much as we owe you for keeping us entertained for so long.

Thanks again readers, hopefully I’ll see you here again for Week of Rage: Stage 3 if it ever comes around.

Many thanks to all of the contributors who help keep the spirit of Streets of Rage alive today: Yuzoboy, Sidd the Kidd, Gil Costa, Bobi and Rosen, Roel Mastbergen, Bomberlink, Red Rum, the team at OverClocked ReMix,  and last but by no means least, thanks to the tireless efforts of Matthew Drury, you rule man!

All the best,

Dave – Streets of Rage fan since 1991

Week of Rage: OpenBoR Showcase – Vampire Hunters

Following on from Wednesday’s OpenBoR showcase title Nightslashers X, here’s another Castlevania-inspired homebrew project by Bonus JZ entitled Vampire Hunters.

I’m sort of cheating here a bit as the game plays more like a 2D platformer rather than a full scrolling beat em up. However, although the game is only at demo stage it’s already shaping up to be a worthy homage to the Castelvania series.

Based around the Richter/Alucard point of the Castlevania timeline, one or two players can get to grips with either charatcer and journey to Dracula’s castle to put him back to sleep afterhis 100-year slumber is once again broken.

The screen looks a bit hectic with enemies so the balancing may not yet be complete, but at any rate, I’m very keen to see how this project progresses.

Download the Vampire Hunters demo via Lavalit here

Gameplay footage:

Week of Rage: Contender – X-Men Arcade

Ah now we’re talking. You might have seen my post about the Simpsons arcade game a few days ago, but if ever a game came close to contending with Homer and company, Konami’s 1992 X-Men tie in is that very game.

Cutting and pasting the same format as Simpsons and the Ninja Turtle arcade titles, X-Men came as either a two or four player cab. Two players is fine but if you wanted the full-on experience, four-players was the only way to roll. Players could duke it out with Magneto and his crew as Wolverine, Cyclops, Dazzler, Colossus, Nightcrawler and Storm.

Check out this footage from stage one and ‘marvel’ at the awesomeness (sorry)

Along the way, the heroes would battle a ‘who’s-who’ of villains, including Juggernaut, Pyro, The Blob, Mystique and Wendigo. Continue reading

Week of Rage: Bare Knuckle Mobile

If you’re lucky enough to live in Japan, you will have been one of the first to play SEGAs ‘new’ Streets of Rage title, bare Knuckle Mobile. I say ‘new’ because it’s actually a remake of the first game with sprites and move-sets ripped from Streets of Rage 2.

That’s not to say it isn’t an interesting concept and for a mobile title, the visuals are pretty decent, with each stage given a graphical touch-up. The screen shudder effect when you throw enemies is even more violent this time too, giving your grapple moves that bit more weight.

Check out this gameplay footage:

Nice huh? Although the soundtrack simply can’t stack up, kudos must go to the developer for trying to replicate Yuzo Koshiro’s songs with the technology available to them.

The game features all three original characters, Axel, Blaze and Adam, as well as the classic Murphy power ups.

Let’s just hope it sees a UK release soon, I’d love to get to grips with this game someday.

Week of Rage: Streets of Rage 4 Petition

The aim of this tribute week is to underline the solidarity of Streets of Rage fans across the world. Throughout this week I have posted interviews with only a handful of the passionate people out there devoting their precious time and energy to preserve SEGAs series and compliment it with their own fan works.

Once again I must thank Matthew Drury, creator of Streets of Rage.net, the world’s largest Streets of Rage fan community for his tireless efforts in helping to establish a strong fan base and deliver the game to new generations of fans.

Matthew has also started an online petition that he will one day send to SEGA asking for a fourth game, a brand new sequel to be made. Personally I am behind this 100% and can’t see why SEGA has ignored its fans for so long. For the record, I am a massive SEGA fan, so I mean no disrespect to them in saying that, but you you can firmly count me as one of the people desperate to see them return to the franchise.

So if you have been reading my blog this week and you are a fan of the series. Please take just a moment to sign this petition to help us, the Streets of Rage fan community, to make out long-standing dream become a reality. Thank you.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN MATTHEW’S PETITION