Tag Archives: retro game

Is Mighty No 9 the Most Mighty No 9 theGame of All Time? – Up at Noon Live

The year was 20xx… wait, I meant it was 2013 when Keiji Inafune first introduced the Kickstarter campaign for Mighty No. 9 to the world. It was a project that would fill the void of Capcom canceling two Mega Man projects (Mega Man Legends 3 and Mega Man Universe), and everything about the game had fans wanting to throw money at the project. After raising almost $3 million, it seemed like it was smooth sailing with development already underway, but things very quickly went south.As a longtime fan of the Mega Man franchise, it was a no-brainer for me to fund $60 to make Mighty Mo. 9 a reality. I didn’t have over-the-top expectations. Instead, I expected something in the realms of something we’ve seen from Inti Creates, who was working on this game with Inafune. After working on Mega Man 9 and 10, Inti Creates worked on Azure Striker Gunvolt for the 3DS. It was an awesome game and I would have been happy with something in that realm of gameplay and art, but I’ll get into the game’s visuals and graphics a bit later. Long story short, everything leading up to the eventual release of the game was a mess including terrible communication from Comcept, horrible marketing from that godawful trailer from Deep Silver, and just bad planning from Inafune as he tried to release the game on multiple platforms all at once. I could even get into the announcement of Red Ash before Mighty No. 9 was released, but that’s something for another time.A lot of reviews I’ve read called this game nothing more than a Mega Man clone. Well, what do you expect? It’s modeled after both Mega Man and Mega Man X, so there are bound to be similarities, and I enjoyed a majority of it. I liked that Beck had an infinite dash ability, albeit it was a bit broken and felt like something you should have earned like in Mega Man X. The combat system was fast and a bit unique, thanks to some pretty fun stages. What I didn’t like was that you needed to dash through enemies after weakening them in order to absorb their Xei (which is pronounced Cei), which slightly changes Beck’s abilities including a speed boost, extra damage or the ability to pierce opponents. It also makes it annoying that you also need to do the dash on bosses and sub-bosses 3-4 times as you weaken them, or they regain all that life in a short matter of time while not taking other damage.

In the Mega Man series, many of the boss abilities worked in your favor if used correctly, but you can throw that logic out of the window as Mighty No. 5’s and Mighty No. 7’s abilities are just pretty broken in general. Mighty No. 5’s weapon not only works great for speedrunning through stages, but also against bosses quite well. Using Mighty No. 7’s weapon gives you near invincibility, where you can just stand there and swing and not have to worry about damage. With these two as well as Beck’s normal gun, I just never found myself needing to use anything else.

Something else that was heavily criticized was the graphics. I totally agree that indie games with less of a budget look so much better than Mighty No. 9. Previous screens made the game looked so clean and polished, something that would have probably been better implemented had Comcept not tried to release this game on every single system from the start. It’s not terrible, it’s just not great, especially those explosions which looked like they were pulled straight out of a Nintendo 64 game. I love the retro look of games like Vanillaware’s Odin Sphere Leifthrasir, and after Mega Man X7 and Mega Man X8, it’s better to keep the series 2D or 2.5D with the only exception being Mega Man Legends.

mn94Now my biggest gripe isn’t the combat or the art style; it’s the music. There is at least one track in every Mega Man game that I’ve loved to listen to over and over. Mighty No. 9’s music isn’t bad, but it isn’t great and feels a bit lacking.

Last and certainly least are the Missions and Online Mode gameplay. Honestly, this game would have been fine without them. It’s just an assortment of challenges to take on such as “destroy all targets”. You know, like the ones you did in Smash Bros. where you get from point A to point B in X amount of time. It felt a bit like the training missions from Metal Gear Solid. As for the online elements, you know, the reason why the game was delayed for just about a year to fix the code? Well it just wasn’t worth the wait. It’s needless in every aspect, but at least Comcept kept their promise to include it since it was a Kickstarter goal that was made. I think I would have rather seen a Mighty No. 9 Power Battles arcade-style game instead of the race mode.

Out of all the extras, I think it was the boss rush mode that I enjoyed the most. Mighty No. 9 doesn’t have the Robot Masters re-fight… oh sorry, I meant Mighty Numbers re-fight since you end up helping out all the others. Instead, you just have back-to-back fights against each number with all of Beck’s abilities at your disposal.

mn92Was this game worth the $60 I originally pledged? No, especially since I have yet to hear about any of the extra backer awards I should be receiving. For $30 or even $25 used, sure it’s worth playing a few times. I think the bar was set way too high not only from the fans but also Comcept, especially when they tried to do everything at once.

The biggest problems overall is that it fails to offer anything impressive to make it stand out from other Mega Man games. You can feel all the work that went into it, as Comcept tried to create something unique but just misses that mark.

I leave off wondering one important question? Whose idea was it to make the final boss play like the Yellow Devil from Mega Man 1? It should never be a final boss because it’s just an overused concept that plays out better leading up to the last battle.


The Pico Cassette cartridge

Photo/IllutrationThe Pico Cassette cartridge for “Ninja JaJaMaru-kun,” still in development, is plugged into the headphone jack of a smartphone. (Naoyuki Fukuda)

Amid the enduring popularity of the retro games that took the nation by storm in the 1980s, two IT start-up firms are running a crowdfunding campaign to finance an old-school, plug-in gaming system for smartphones.

The firms are now working to develop their first offering, “Ninja JaJaMaru-kun,” for a commercial release probably in November.

The Pico Cassette system is being developed jointly by Tokyo-based Beatrobo Inc. and Sirok Inc. The former has a proven track record for its PlugAir, a physical device that allows access to music and video content stored in the cloud when it is plugged into a smartphone’s headphone jack.

Making use of this technology, the Pico Cassette cartridge establishes a connection to the Internet when it is plugged into a smartphone and allows the user to play an exclusive video game, according to the developers.

“We want to revive video games that linger on in our memories,” said Beatrobo President Hiroshi Asaeda.

“Ninja JaJaMaru-kun” is an action game in which the player controls a ninja boy to destroy enemies with “shuriken” throwing stars. It became a big hit after it was released for a home video game console in 1985.

The target price for a Pico Cassette cartridge is set at 1,980 yen ($18).

The companies are running their campaign on crowdfunding website Makuake to raise a total of 10 million yen to prepare for porting retro games to smartphones and producing cartridges.

The campaign has raised more than 4 million yen so far.


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New E3 Demo of Cuphead Fuses Retro Cartoons and Retro Games

Though we may not recognize it now, American animation during the dawn of the 20th century dramatically changed how people across the world view entertainment forever. Anthropomorphic object and exaggerated facial expressions were by no means new to the world of cartoons, but were given new life through frame-by-frame animated shorts by studios like Fleischer Studios. Many of these cartoons would later influence Japanese anime, upon which many modern video games draw for their own visual stylings.

Yet the earlier heydays of cartoonery are rarely explored by contemporary video games (save, perhaps, for Peacock from Lab Zero’s Skullgirls). Studio MDHR plans to do just that, though, with their upcoming run-and-gun platformer,Cuphead in Don’t Deal With the Devil. The project, which began in 2010, blends the surrealism of 1930s animation and the mayhem of classic arcade platformers like Metal Slug to create a game that stands out from the rest of the indie pack.

cuphead 2

Cuphead’s premise is simple: the titular Cuphead and his friend Mugman lose a bet with the Devil. They must pay off that debt by giving the game’s bosses the ol’ one-two. The game focuses mainly around these boss fights, as well as platforming sections, swarms of regular enemies, a weapons and ultimate ability mechanic, and secret area exploration.

As for those boss fights, Studio MDHR has stated that they plan to implement over 30 of them. If they reach that number, Cuphead will have surpassed Treasure’s Alien Soldier for the Guiness record of “most boss fights in a run-and-gun game.” Niche record, sure, but notable nonetheless.

Cuphead footage from E3 (via YouTube user Etalyx) gives us a glimpse into one of those boss fights, as well as some of its regular gameplay:

Studio MDHR is also committed to keeping the core fundamentals of both retro animation and retro gaming close toCuphead’s heart. The Mouldenhauer brothers of Studio MDHR have imbued Cuphead with the mechanical nuances and system esoterica that give old arcade games their rich texture. The game’s animations and music, meanwhile,attempt to replicate the same meticulous processes practiced by animators and composers nearly 100 years ago.

Cuphead is set to release some time in 2016 for Xbox One and PC. You can follow Studio MDHR’s Twitter here.


Ratchet & Clank’: Video game movie

At long last, it seems Hollywood has pushed the reset button on its approach to video game adaptations.

From the reviled 1993 live-action rendition of “Super Mario Bros.” to last year’s loathed arcade-inspired “Pixels,” big-screen interpretations of games have almost always failed to score with critics and audiences. With four films based on popular interactive series set for release in 2016, could this finally be the year video game movies win over filmgoers?

After decades of commercial and critical pitfalls when attempting to turn games into movies, Hollywood is trying out a few bold new strategies in an effort to tap the interactive medium for the latest hit movie franchise, including hiring A-list talent and collaborating more closely with game makers to rework their immersive creations for movie theaters

“Ratchet & Clank”

The first to launch is an animated film now in theaters that’s based on Insomniac Games’ zany platforming series for Sony’s PlayStation systems, starring wise-cracking alien tinkerer Ratchet and his witty robot sidekick Clank. The game creators didn’t simply foist their 14-year-old franchise onto filmmakers. They insisted on joining forces.

“Ratchet & Clank” features several of the interactive series’ original voice actors with a story by former Insomniac Games senior writer T.J. Fixman. The game studio also outsourced a few of their own artists to work with the film’s animators to guarantee their intergalactic romp looked and stayed true to what made the game franchise a victory.

“It’s crucial for anyone who works with the worlds and characters that we created to fully understand them,” said Ted Price, CEO of Insomniac Games. “We had lots of open conversations with everyone working on the project. As game creators, we always want to tell more stories. This was just another way to do that for an audience that’s hungry for it.”

Over the past 20 years, game publishers have typically handed over movie rights to Hollywood with little to no creative control. While the results have sometimes hit the mark (“Tomb Raider,” ”Resident Evil”), they’re usually unsuccessful undertakings that veer way off course from the originals (“Doom,” ”Double Dragon.”)

Shawn Layden, president of Sony Interactive Entertainment America, said he’s been working with Rainmaker Entertainment and Blockade Entertainment to faithfully adapt “Ratchet & Clank” and silly stealth series “Sly Cooper” into animated films, as well with his colleagues at Sony Pictures to craft live-action versions of treasure-hunting adventure “Uncharted” and post-apocalyptic saga “The Last of Us.”

“I’m old enough to remember a time when people thought it was crazy to make movies out of comic books,” said Layden. “That’s certainly changed over the last decade. The really great games now have narratives featuring all sorts of age-old storytelling tropes. It’s become another great fountain of content that can be applied across other media.



A sneak pic of Pokemon Go!!

First Pokemon GO Gameplay Footage Leaks Online

If there’s anything that Nintendo has been capitalizing on lately, it’s keeping details to a minimum and leaving fans hungry for more information. But while hopeful new game releases and the release of an upcoming system (theNintendo NX in May) remain somewhat under wraps, Nintendo’s mobile gaming initiative has skyrocketed into the minds of the mainstream thanks to the success of Miitomo, a mobile app that brings Nintendo Mii characters to the mobile platform for mini games, social events, and achievements.

Buried under all of this hype (or, for some fans, frustration) is Pokemon GO, the interactive mobile app developed by Niantic that brings the excitement of Pokemon to the real-world stage. While the game is still in its beta testing stages, one player decided to show the world his adventures as a Pokemon trainer by cutting together a nearly 10-minute preview of Pokemon GO‘s gameplay.

Whether players are out in the city or in their back yard, Pokemon GO (and its developers, Niantic) promises instant immersion via augmented reality and new Pokemon to catch around every corner. In the footage, YouTuberDarkathion creates his trainer, wanders his area, and catches a few Pokemon – along with acquiring eggs and gym gameplay along the way. The battle system sticks to its roots; a major perk for players who simply want the Pokemon experience on a somewhat “real-world” platform. While the description states that the footage is only intended for viewing by people already in the beta, the video’s accessibility says otherwise. The game includes all of the basic staples that harken back through the generations of Pokemon RPG games: along with the similar battle system, trainers are expected to compete in gym battles to raise their levels, with an upgraded Pokedex to show you just how many of the little critters you’ve managed to catch.

While Pokemon GO is currently undergoing a “field test” in Australia and New Zealand, little more has been released about the game, and any sign of a release date remains in limbo. While Pokemon GO was originally planned to debut at GDC, the developers at Niantic withdrew the demo just before the show with the claim that they were focusing on getting the product ready for its beta launch. Fans are eager and hopeful for this summer’s E3, where Nintendo is expected to focus on upcoming games like the next installment to their Legend of Zelda franchise, and its new mobile vertical.

Pokemon GO Gameplay First Pokemon GO Gameplay Footage Leaks Online

With the massive success of Nintendo’s Miitomo experience and high hopes for a future in mobile gaming,  is not only a property that makes sense, but one that can make or break Nintendo’s further endeavors on the mobile platform. Luckily, this isn’t Niantic’s first rodeo in augmented reality – the studio scored this particular gig after their first mobile game, Ingress, became a smash-hit thanks to its unique game play style. What the future holds for Pokemon GO is still a  mystery, but at least eager players have a unique chance to familiarize themselves with the game ahead of time.




Shower Time!

Retro gaming is the spice of your life. You wear a Super Mario wristwatch, gave your cat aSuper Mario cat tree and decorated your home with a fully playable room-size Ms. Pac-Man game.

It’s time to claim your rightful place in the halls of old-school gaming glory. You need to star in your own epic retro adventure by standing inside a Retro Gaming Shower Curtain as you level up your cleanliness game and scrub your way to winning. The curtain looks like the cover to a classic game cartridge. It comes from ThinkGeek and is strongly aimed at Nintendo fans with its references to “Cleantendo” and “Super Shower Time” done up in a Super Mario-style font.

The clear window built into the expanse of vinyl sets this curtain apart from other geeky shower accessories. The graphics evoke the 8-bit look of early video games with blocky bits of water coming out of a shower head.

Think of this as just one step toward turning your bathroom into a cosplayer’s delight. Maybe you’ll want to mix things up by adding a Star Trek transporter bath mat or aDarth Vader shower head. Be sure to whistle the Super Mario theme music while you’re cleaning behind your ears.

The Retro Gaming Shower Curtain sells for $24.99 (about £17, AU$33). It may not be the best choice if you have a living situation where people might walk in on you while you’re showering, but a nice hot shower should steam it up pretty well.