Tag Archives: #retrogames

Sega Genesis Flashback Review !!!

Sega Genesis Flashback is an attempt to capture a seemingly new, or at least reinvigorated, market while also not being too ambitious. At $80, the same price as the Super Nintendo Classic Edition, the Genesis Flashback struggles to approximate the user experience of Nintendo’s throwback. Instead, it tries to best it with back-of-the-box bullet points that, while impressive sounding, do little to cement its superiority.

Last year’s NES Classic Edition upended the low-end plug ‘n play console market, long dominated by a company called AtGames, which is responsible for the Atari and Genesis consoles littering checkout aisles everywhere. AtGames has been at this for a long time, but the low price is about the only thing easy to recommend on one of its consoles.

Still, the company doesn’t have trouble moving units over the holidays. But when the NES Classic Edition happened, AtGames needed a response.

HARDWARE
The hardware is where the Sega Genesis Flashback gets a few things very right, but each checkmark in the positives column comes with a companion check mark in the negatives column. The Genesis Flashback comes with two 2.4 Ghz wireless controllers, an improvement over the SNES Classic’s short wires … but, while also a step above AtGames’ previous infrared wireless implementation, the wireless latency still isn’t great, and the controllers feel cheap, hardly like exact replicas of classic Genesis controllers.

Some other minor gripes: The battery tray is secured with an obnoxious tiny screw, and the package doesn’t include the controller’s necessary AAA batteries.

 

But the Genesis Flashback also wisely includes the standard DB9 port that the original Genesis had, meaning your old (or eBay-acquired!) controllers will work just fine on the Flashback, a major improvement from the SNES Classic’s bizarre choice to use a Wiimote expansion port. The negative on that one? AtGames throws in not bad, but not excellent, wireless controllers instead of taking the opportunity to offer excellent wired controllers. Another negative: You will have to use the six-button Genesis controller, even though many of the included games don’t require it. No three-button pads allowed.

The wireless controllers do include two notable enhancements on the original Genesis controllers (and the SNES Classic controllers, for that matter): a Menu button, giving players access to the system’s UI from the couch, and a Rewind button, letting them quickly access what is essentially an undo function for video games. If you opt for the six-button Genesis controller, its Mode button serves as the Menu button here, and you can invoke the Rewind feature by pressing Back + Start. This is a thoughtful solution that, strangely, Nintendo still fails to adopt in its offerings.

 

While Nintendo has wisely opted to use USB power for its miniature consoles, AtGames includes a barrel-plug power supply, removing any opportunity to power the console off your HDTV, or easily replace a missing plug. It’s a minor complaint, but it seems indicative of AtGames’ failure to recognize some of the more clever simplifications its competition has introduced and how audience expectations may have shifted.

In the positive column, the Genesis Flashback actually looks like a Genesis. While AtGames’ previous Genesis consoles were generic plastic boxes, the Flashback is barely “mini” in the Nintendo sense, but a scaled-down Genesis. Here it is next to my classic “High Definition” model 1 Genesis:

SOFTWARE

The games run badly. In fact, they ran so badly on the first unit AtGames sent me — the same unit that other outlets reviewed back in July (!) — that the company told me it had an issue with the emulation software and asked me to not review it, in order to give them a chance to send me an updated unit. A reasonable request, considering the product wouldn’t be released until late October, albeit curious why a subpar product was sent to reviewers that far in advance of release in the first place.

Nevertheless, I waited … and waited … and waited. I sent emails. Finally, the new unit was shipped and, curiously, it had a new embargo, a strange request given it was for a review of the same product they shipped to myself and other reviewers months ago. Even more curious: While some other issues were corrected in this updated unit, as best I can tell it similarly suffers from framerate issues, just like the July unit. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Now, let’s talk about the user interface because … well, it’s something else. While Nintendo pairs its Classic consoles with a charming — and fast! — UI that makes navigating your library a charm, AtGames has created what is arguably the world’s least-intuitive interface.

 

CONCLUSION

The sad thing about the Sega Genesis Flashback is that, while it may be enough to satisfy the under-the-tree urge in the absence of alternatives, every unit purchased represents a lost future customer for a good Genesis throwback console. AtGames has been selling the composite video variant — the so-called Firecore — since 2009, blanketing the impulse-buy aisles at Bed Bath & Beyond stores nationwide. Each one of those is a bulwark against a future good Genesis release.

Sega has done meaningful, arguably irreparable harm to the consumer proposition of purchasing its classic games, while Nintendo has elevated 30-year-old products to must-have status. As a one-time Genesis kid whose nostalgic sweet spot is a Sega Genesis, I feel qualified to say that the Genesis deserves better from its owner. But as long as Sega is willing to license out its platform instead of making its own hardware, it seems unlikely to get better than this, the most declarative console war victory imaginable.

In my opinion, the Genesis was the best console of the 16-bit era. But if you want to purchase the best 16-bit plug ‘n play system this holiday, get the SNES Classic Edition.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Pictures And Video From Coleco Expo !!!!!

Coleco the 80s competitor to Atari, for Americ’a video game love is BACK and in a big way. Coleco held its first Coleo Expo in Edison New Jersey this past weekend. Coleco Expo was fun for all ages, as it had lots of retrogames, toys , cosplay , virtual reality and more!!!… Coleco did a good job at putting this convention together, as it brought many great memories of Colecovision and other great games from the 80’s and 90’s back to life. We are looking forward to going back to Coleco Expo  in 2018. Here are some pictures and videos from the event. 

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Superfanworld At The Coleco Retro Gaming & Collectable Toy Expo!!!!

 

Do you remember Coleco? The Originator of the ColecoVision and Cabbage Patch Doll. Well we are back! The Coleco Expo will be held on Saturday, August 5th and Sunday, August 6th at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center in Edison NJ. The event will feature nearly 100 vendors selling vintage and classic games, comics and collectibles. In addition, there will be a variety of artists doing commission pieces and featuring their work. We will have guest speakers from the comic and gaming industries discussing their projects with Atari, Nintendo and Coleco. Anticipated panelist include Marvel Comic Artist Joe Del Beato who has done artwork for Sectaurs, Avengers, and G.I. Joe as well as master toy designer Tim Clarke- co-creator of Sectaurs, Boglins Fraggle Rock puppets, and the Muppets. We will be giving away two stand-up arcades to Coleco Expo guests- the Zaxxon and Double Dragon! We encourage all attendants to dress up as their favorite superhero or villain! We have several cosplay guests attending in their best costumes and are even hosting a cosplay contest on Saturday, August 5th at 6:15 pm with $1,000 in cash prizes- all are welcomed to participate! Superfanworld.com will be there and will have EXCLUSIVE pics and videos right here on Superfanworld.com!!!!

Get your tickets at : ColecoExpo

Great COLECO Merch : 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Sonic Mania

Sonic Mania News


Sega held a panel at San Diego Comic-Con delving into the imminent Sonic Mania. Here’s a run-down of what was unveiled, with specific info courtesy of The Sonic Stadium.

First up we got some behind the scenes info. In early development the game was called Sonic Discovery, but it was only after the game was pitched to Sonic Team’s head Takashi Iizuka that the game was rechristened Sonic Mania. The early build the team pitched was also noteworthy for featuring a fully playable Studiopolis Zone.

We also get confirmation about the game’s story, which will be told through sprite-based cutscenes much like Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Early drafts featured Dr. Eggman retiring and his robots forming their own gang, the Hard Boiled Heavies. These villains got their own theme a few days ago, so while the story won’t be quite the same, they’ll still be a factor.

Attendees got a closer peek into the game’s narrative and characters thanks to a manual that was distributed to the audience. Give it a look

Mania will also be getting a fully animated intro courtesy of Tyson Hesse, who worked on the adorable animations seen in the pre-order trailer. This will be uploaded the day before release on August 14th if you can’t wait to see it in-game.

The most significant announcement, however, was of the game’s special stages, which look to take a page from Sonic CD’s, with Sonic chasing after a UFO.

The Tee Lopes-composed special stage music was also unveiled at the panel, and thankfully it was uploaded to YouTube earlier today. Check it out:


Sonic Mania launches August 15th for Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One and PC. We’ll be sure to bring more on the retro throwback as we approach release!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Nintendo surprised fans with the SNES Classic

snes-classic
Yesterday, Nintendo surprised fans with the SNES Classic, a mini console that bundles together 21 of the best classic games from the company’s 16-bit console in one tiny package. But perhaps no one was more surprised than veteran game creator Dylan Cuthbert, who learned the gadget would include one additional surprise: his long-canceled game, Star Fox 2. Yesterday evening, Cuthbert and several members of the original Star Fox 2 team went out to have a much-belated launch party for a game they’d made two decades earlier.

Star Fox 2 was a sequel the 1993 original, which saw Nintendo branch out in a new direction with a sci-fi-themed rail shooter on the SNES. In the game, Fox McCloud and a team of anthropomorphic animals / pilots defend their home planet from powerful alien invaders. The game let players pilot an angular craft called the Arwing, as they battled robots, alien creatures, and spaceships through expansive levels.

Star Fox was also one of the most technically impressive SNES games. By utilizing a new graphics processor called the Super FX, the team behind the original Star Fox were able to squeeze 3D graphics onto a console built for 2D games. Star Fox was the first Nintendo game to use polygonal graphics, setting in motion the company’s trend from 2D to 3D gaming. A big reason for that accomplishment was the technical wizardry of Cuthbert and his team at British developer Argonaut Software, who worked with Nintendo on the game.
Star Fox 2

When it came time to create a sequel, the team similarly wanted to make something that would wow players on a technical level. They set to work on not only designing a new game, but also developing a new version of the Super FX chip that would offer twice the memory and significantly faster processing. They experimented with all kinds of ideas, including the ability to pilot your ship using a full 360-degree range of motion. Cuthbert says that he rebuilt the original Star Fox engine “considerably” to fit all of these new ideas and gameplay features.

The game wasn’t merely a prototype; it was completed. The press was even shown demos at CES in 1995. But Star Fox 2 took a long time to develop — so long that the final product showed its age as new, more powerful platforms like the original Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn were released.

“The release [of Star Fox 2] got set back about a year or so, and half a year later, the Nintendo 64 system was due to come out, so we thought, ‘Is it too late to ask people to shell out for this?’” Nintendo design luminary Shigeru Miyamoto explained in an interview with the late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. “And other companies’ game consoles were using polygons all over the place, so we didn’t think we could catch up even if we stuck this expensive chip in the cartridge, so we rethought it.”

The decision was made to cancel Star Fox 2, though many of its ideas — like 360-degree flying and the introduction of a tank vehicle — made their way into Star Fox 64, which was released in 1997. “We wanted to use that structure from Star Fox 2 to make scenes with a stronger sci-fi bent, and we wanted to make the Arwing feel more comfortable to fly,” Miyamoto explained. When former Nintendo programmer Kazuaki Morita started experimenting with the N64, Miyamoto realized it was the right platform for these ideas. “When I saw those, I thought, ‘Ah, now we can make it like a science fiction film!’” he explained.

Cuthbert, meanwhile, went on to found Kyoto-based studio Q-Games, best known for the “Pixeljunk” series of experimental games. Years later, Cuthbert would return to Star Fox when Q partnered with Nintendo to create a remake of Star Fox 64 on the Nintendo 3DS. “The idea was to faithfully recreate the contents of Star Fox 64,” Cuthbert, who served as director on the project, explained during the same interview with Iwata. He described the 3DS version as “a rebirth.”

Having moved on to new companies and projects, Cuthbert and the original Star Fox 2 development team aren’t directly involved with the release on the SNES Classic — which explains his surprise at yesterday’s announcement. “I wonder if this is a first?” Cuthbert wrote on Twitter. “We mastered Star Fox 2 [22] years ago and it’s finally getting a release. Guinness World record?”


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Commodore 64 History..

The Commodore 64, also known as the C64, C-64, C=64,[n 1] or occasionally CBM 64 or VIC-64 in Sweden,[5] is an 8-bit home computer introduced in January 1982 by Commodore International(first shown at the Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas, January 7-10. 1982)[6]. It is listed in the Guinness World Records as the highest-selling single computer model of all time,[7] with independent estimates placing the number sold between 10 and 17 million units.[8] Volume production started in early 1982, marketing in August for US$595 (equivalent to $1,477 in 2016).[9][10] Preceded by the Commodore VIC-20 and Commodore PET, the C64 took its name from its 64 kilobytes (65,536 bytes) of RAM. It had superior sound and graphical specifications compared to other earlier systems such as the Apple II and Atari 800, with multi-color sprites and a more advanced sound processor



Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Nintendo Switch Has Arrived !

After more than a year and a half of speculation, we finally know what Nintendo’s NX project is: the Nintendo Switch. The company revealed the first details today via a three-minute video posted to its website. You can watch it above, and read our breakdown of the trailer here.

The Switch isn’t a surprise to anyone who’s been following rumors surrounding the system. It is, as has been reported, a hybrid device — the console itself is essentially a tablet, yet it’s designed to be hooked up to a TV for home use. The tablet has two controller modules that attach onto the side for regular portable play, and they can be detached for on-the-go multiplayer or attached together to form something that resembles a regular controller.

It is simultaneously low-key and extraordinarily ambitious. Here are a few quick thoughts based on the trailer.

  • The name is good! It’s catchy, it conveys the core concept, and it’s altogether new. That’s three points over the Wii U, at least.
  • The hardware is… complex. Nintendo has its work cut out explaining how on earth these controllers are going to be used in practice. The video’s scenario of two Switch systems with four split controllers being used to play an NBA game beside an actual basketball court late at night seems impractical, to say the least. And attaching the controllers to the tablet had better be as effortless as the video makes it seem.
  • The system isn’t aimed at kids. At least, that’s not how Nintendo wants to position it right now. The trailer is all about how the Switch’s versatility helps it slot into the lives of the types of busy, young, mostly male adults you’d find in a typical tech company’s ads.
  • We still know almost nothing about the Switch’s power. The tablet base unit has actual vents, which is unusual for a mobile device and possibly puts the custom Nvidia chip in the ballpark of the Shield Android TV. As for the screen’s resolution or overall quality — or even if it’s touch-sensitive — we’ll have to wait for further announcements. But moving to mobile hardware is probably a smart decision, because Nintendo has been technically outgunned for the past two console generations without having many advantages to show for the low-power approach.

All in all, the Switch looks like a unique product that will no doubt serve as an effective canvas for Nintendo’s frequently dazzling software output over the next few years. It’s a smarter, more flexible realization of the Wii U concept, and I’m going to buy one.

But then I always was, and it’s reasonable to wonder who else will. The Wii U, which was largely a disaster for Nintendo, traded on a similar but less practical hybrid approach where the tablet-style controller only worked inside the home and was used differently across various games. It was mishandled at every level, causing Nintendo to squander the dominant position it attained with the Wii.

Nintendo’s genius with the Wii was to identify and define an untapped userbase, resulting in what was to all intents and purposes a market of one — tens of millions of people bought Wiis that would never have considered an Xbox. But by the time the Wii U launched, that userbase had moved on; the rise of mobile gaming appeared to have captured the same type of customer that would have been interested in a casual console. Or there was the possibility that the Nintendo Wii’s success was more like a novel toy than a game console.

The Wii U was a feeble effort to keep up with the shift of non-traditional gamers to touchscreen gaming, seeing Nintendo losing its nerve and chasing the puck rather than skating to where it was going to be. The system was slow, the tablet hardware was laughable, and the platform was archaic. As a vector for excellent software for Nintendo fans, it was well worth buying; for almost anyone else, it wasn’t. Since its late 2012 launch it’s sold just 13 million units, the lowest figure for any Nintendo home console by some distance.

I don’t know if the Switch can sell any fewer than 13 million units — my suspicion is that that figure isn’t a great deal larger than the absolute baseline of Nintendo fans who will buy every system no matter what. But how many more can it sell?

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail