News 8/19/2022: John Deere Doom, Ship of Harkinian, E.T’s Legacy, NFL Blitz

“We scour the Earth web for indie, retro, and niche gaming news so you don’t have to, drebnar!” – your faithful reporter

Rich Stanton at PC Gamer reveals how a hacker has not only circumvented John Deere’s controls that prevent farmers from repairing equipment they ostensibly own, but have gotten Doom to run on them. It’s also a good rundown on John Deere’s exclusionary practices and the attempts they’ve made at defending them.

Jim Normal’s post at NintendoLife reporting that internally at HAL Kirby Star Allies and Kirby and the Forgotten Land were both considered as part of a single larger project is pretty light, but is worth it for director Shinya Kumazaki admitting that Kirby is “a strange and surreal thing.”

The Verge has a longer article by Derek Hill about Zelda fan project The Ship of Harkinian, which while based off of Ocarina of Time was constructed off of a clean-room, open-source reimplementation, and isn’t distributed in a form that can be run, but must be compiled using resources from a supplied rom file for the game.

I need to convert this AVIF file from the game’s promo page to JPEG ASAP

At The Inverse, the headline on a David Grossman article breathlessly tells us “You Need To Play The Most Exhilarating FREE Game On Nintendo Switch Online ASAP.” It’s Tetris 99, which is cheating a bit since most of its features are locked off if you don’t fork over the lucre. Also by David Grossman at The Inverse, “You Need To Play The Most Overlooked Horror Game Of All Time On Switch ASAP.” It’s Castlevania: Bloodlines. The article’s title outright says Castlevania and not horror, for some reason. They like to make with the hyperbole over at The Inverse.

At The Escapist, making the best of its second life after recovering from its old Gamergate phase, Jesse Lab laments that “I Wish We Had More JRPGs Like Live-A-Live Than Xenoblade Chronicles 3.” I can appreciate that opinion, as a one-celled lifeform with a rudimentary brain I have difficulty with weird invented combat mechanics, and every time I’ve tried to make sense of Xenoblade Chronicles 2’s weird systems my functional limitations become apparent.

Image from Mobygames

It has now been forty years since the release of the game of E.T: The Extra Terrestrial on the Atari VCS/2600, so it must be time to rehash once again whether it killed the nascent video game industry or not. This time it’s a video post at IGN without an obvious credit, which takes the provocative (but accurate!) take that while E.T. is flawed due to being pushed out the door by Atari before Howard Scott Warshaw had sufficient time to polish it, it has many good qualities and shows real vision. My take: Atari games were glutting the market, but it seems unlikely that they could have also killed American arcades, which were also being glutted with machines released by fly-by-night companies, and probably in the end it was capitalism that killed the beast.

Do you remember NFL Blitz? Hell yeah! Midway’s smashmouth take on football akin to what they did for NBA Jam! It was awesome, it… wait… isn’t pro football undergoing some kind of reckoning about how many of its players die young due to damage received during their careers? Polygon’s Owen S. Good reports both that 1up is working on an NFL Blitz revival cabinet, and also that in recognition of football’s changing attitudes it’s modifying the original game in some ways to reduce the violence, such as by disabling the “late hits” that was part of the original releases.

At Rock Paper Shotgun, Alice O’Connor brings forth news of Backpack Hero, a game we’ve been aware of for a while, which sort of combines roguelite randomized situations with spatial inventory shuffling. It also uses the term “roguelikelike,” which we appreciate.

Our regular report from Kotaku is from Claire Jackson, about that voxel remake of Doom that’s been making the rounds. Finally, after 30-or-so years, you can see its sprites as smoothly rotated as its environments.

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