News 9/22/2022: Lunar Lander, Service Shutdowns, Dirty Dwarves

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

It’s not been a great day on our distant planet. The glorps on the neighboring island are playing their brachiis again. It makes my audio-sensing apparatus quiver painfully. You humans are lucky to just have ears, drebnar. Anyway, down to bidness.

Wayne Williams, BetaNews: A game that lets you play Lunar Lander in the Windows File Copy dialog box.

Alana Hauges, Nintendo Life: The 3DS and Wii U are losing their ability to connect to Facebook and Twitter, or to share screenshots. Entropy ruins/services loved meet their end/goodbye useful features. A haiku!

Andrew Liszewski, Gizmodo: The Analogue Pocket gains the ability to play Super Nintendo games. But how long will it be before it, too, goes obsolete? Aw, don’t mind me, I’m just feeling my ages. It cannot accommodate SNES carts, so it runs rom image files, and uses an unofficial core, although it doesn’t need any jailbreaking to do so.

Mobygames is a godsend for screenshots like this.

jeremy1456, Infinity Retro: a list of hidden gems for the Sega Saturn. On it: Darius Gaiden, Dark Wizard, Dark Savior, Enemy Zero, Galactic Attack, Golden Axe: The Duel, Highway 2000, Last Bronx, Legend of Oasis, Sky Target, Scorcher, SCUD: The Disposable Assassin, Shinobi Legions, Steep Slope Sliders, and Three Dirty Dwarves. I’ve always been tickled by the title of Last Bronx. I suppose it must be a sequel to a game called Penultimate Bronx. I think the writer overstates the Saturn’s 3D prowess, it came at that awkward time where 3D was just getting underway, but the Saturn was a sprite-pushing powerhouse, hence all the 2D games for it.

Rockstar Games is disappointed

John Walker, Kotaku: Rockstar responds to the GTA6 leak. The leak is only of video footage, not of the game itself, but Take-Two is already attempting to use the DMCA (which you’ve certainly heard me rant about before) to scrub it from the internet. Grand Theft Auto 6 is not Retro, Indie, nor Niche, so we are not inclined to say much about it, except to say that intellectual property laws are a labyrinth of awfulness, and I will not stop railing against them so long as there remains goo in these cell walls of mine.

Bill Toulas, Bleeping Computer: Hackers compromise Steam accounts using a “browser-in-browser” phishing attack. They trick people using fake login forms to get them to reveal their account information. Particularly targeted are the accounts of professional gamers, who are tricked into signing up for a fake tournament. The accounts are then ransomed for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Ah, this age we live in.

Finally, Vikki Blake at Eurogamer: Sega is abandoning the Yakuza brand and replacing it with Like A Dragon, in order to accommodate the gameplay in games like the feudal spinoff Like A Dragin: Ishin.

News 9/13/22: Velma, Host Mode, Monocraft, VMUs

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

From Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai at The Verge. More news on Billy Mitchell, retro game record holder and villain of King of Kong. Now, in addition to having his Donkey Kong record stripped from him then reinstated, he has been accused by forensics experts of having used MAME to achieve two of his Donkey Kong scores that were represented as coming from arcade hardware. It has to do with differences between how MAME and the arcade machine build their game playfields for display when a level begins. It’s interesting reading! Mitchell has sued Twin Galaxies over defamation over how he achieved his records, which this evidence could play a role in.

At NicheGamer, Fingal Belmont presents a list of 24 3DS games to get before its eShop closes. There are ways to get new software on a 3DS after the store closes, but they aren’t legal means, and won’t get any income to the games’ creators, and we all want that!

Ryan Gilliam writing for Polygon tells us that Velma in the WB Smashlike Multiversus no longer “calls the cops” on opponents, instead bringing in her friends’ van the Mystery Machine to carry them off. To explain: Velma has a special game mechanism where her opponents sometimes drop clues when they perform attacks. If Velma can collect enough of them, it summons a vehicle (formerly the police, now the van) to cart that opponent away.

The font Monocraft

It’s at Kotaku that Ashley Bardham reports that Twitch is ending their “Host Mode” feature. Through this feature, a channel that isn’t stream itself can choose to host another stream, a loved feature that enables one channel to “raid” another, granting them all its viewers. Twitch says the feature is going away on October 3.

Blogfriend Benj Edwards writing at Ars Technica informs us of a new coding font by Idrees Hassan based off of the typeface used in Minecraft. It’s an OpenType font called Monocraft, so it should work in Windows, macOS and Linux, and it’s available here.

Andy Chalk writing through PC Gamer explains that Crystal Dynamics has managed to reclaim ownership of the Tomb Raider and Legacy of Kain franchises after Square Enix let them go, and Eidos Montreal owns the Deus Ex and Thief series.

Image from Wikipedia, credited to Evan Amos

And at VG247, Alex Donaldson tells us of an Indiegogo project to make an updated version of the Dreamcast’s iconic VMU memory cards. The updated devices will be compatible with the Dreamcast and the original cards, which had an LCD screen that could run simple games, and could even be connected to each other to trade information, but will have more powerful hardware and better screen resolution. The project is here.

News 8/23/22: Falcom, DLC, Playing Cards, Shipping

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

News posts has been light lately. I’ve been worried I’ve been starting to congeal. Even alien blob creatures get older. Well let’s go with what we have–

Kerry Brunskill at PC Gamer breaks the news about Startrader, a shmup made by Falcom for the PC 98. Falcom was mostly known for its classic and unique RPGs, while the PC 98 was mostly known for its erotic anime-styled games that could somehow make full-color pictures (yes, often of naked women) often with only 16 colors and a whole lot of dithering. Startrader went against both the RPG and eroge trends, but still managed to host some amazing artwork.

How did they do that in 16 colors?

At NintendoLife, Kate Gray suggests 3DS and Wii U DLC you should get, if you can, before their eShops shut down. Games discussed include Fantasy Life, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Spirit of Justice and Dual Destinies, the many songs of Threatrhythm Final Fantasy and its Curtain Call sequel, and Fire Emblem Fates.

Kotaku’s Luke Plunkett brings us a sad story of a couple of packs of Nintendo playing cards from the 50s, that were bought at auction but, once opened, turned out to have been ruined by age. The arrow of time is one-way, sad to say. Ow, my nucleus!

And it’s not game related, but a friend-of-the-blog suggests, from Benj Edwards at How-To Geek, this guide for shipping fragile electronics.

News 7/26/22: Tactics Risk of Space Jam

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

Kenneth Seward Jr. at Kotaku tells us about things he wished he knew before starting Multiversus, the Space Jam: A New Legacy of fighting games. Besides that Steven and Garnet are best characters? Not due to gameplay properties, just because.

In further X is the Y of Z news, at Polygon, Mike Mahardy makes the claim that Risk of Rain 2 is the Super Mario 64 of (their word) roguelikes. Blogmate rodneylives once did a Q&A with the Risk of Rain folks back at Game Developer, when it was Gamasutra. It’s cool!

Risk of Rain 2, image from developer’s site

Kite Stenbuck of SiliconEra confirms Nintendo’s confirmation that the 3DS and Wii-U eShops will be closing in March 2023. This is further after they stop accepting cash for points at the end of August. Yay for forced obsolescence! Wait, no, not yay! Boo, in fact!

Next, at Eurogamer, Victoria Kennedy tells us that Stray‘s robot language has been deciphered. I mean, this is a surprise? It’s just a substitution cipher. People do those for fun! It’s not exactly the Codex Seraphinianus, is it? No word on whether cat language has been decoded yet, in its infinite complexity. (MEOW = “Gimmie food!”)

IGN: Logan Plant posts about a split-screen mod for Zelda: Breath of the Wild. In fairness, they’re stretching the definition of mod a lot with this one: “of course” it’s not playable on console. It does link to an old 2017 post of fun Breath of the Wild mods that include a playable Waluigi.

Image blatantly scraped from The Verge

And Wes Fenlon at PC Gamer tells us about changes made to the upcoming remake of Tactics Ogre, many of which undo changes made to the previous remake of Tactics Ogre. I wish someone would remake my old Tactics Ogre Disk 2 on PS1, which snapped clean in half when I sat on it. I cried for fifteen minutes.

Link Roundup 5/12/22

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

Greetings to all humans down there on planet Glorb-III, also known as Earth. Let’s get started, drebnar!

A lament from Reddit on how Streetpasses are impossible to get now. If only Nintendo had thought to include them on the Switch. Probably it’ll take another ten years before they realize what a good idea they had.

Chris Moyse from Destructoid tells us this week’s Arcade Archives release is Taito’s Fighting Hawk!

Kate Gray from Nintendo Life writes about the thing that all video game journalists are someday destined by fate to write about: Earthbound. It’ll happen here too someday, you can rely upon it. And Alana Hauges frpm Nintendo Life has some words to say about its sequel Mother 3!

From Polygon, Michael McWhertor enthuses about how great is the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game, Shredder’s Revenge.

Chris Friberg of Den of Geek tells us his picks for the 15 best NES RPGs. #1 is Dragon Quest III! (What do you mean, don’t spoil it? I’m an alien, I spoil everything drebnar!) He also ranks Wizardry pretty high, he has great taste!

Over on Hackaday, Robin Kearey tell us about a reimplementation of the classic Tamagotchi using modern hardware!

Blake Johnson of CBR.com asks if a collection of the DS Castlevania games could ever be released? While the fan favorite remains Symphony of the Night, the DS games are excellent and retain many of its greatest elements.

The image in question, from History of Hyrule’s Twitter feed. Hi Melora!

Go Nintendo’s rawmeatcowboy points to the discovered female Link art from Japanese guidebooks that History of Hyrule uncovered! Hey, that image looks familiar! Meanwhile, comicbook.com’s Connor Casey tells us that professional wrestlers Steve Austin and Cody Rhodes disagree as to which is the best Legend of Zelda game, respectively, Breath of the Wild or Ocarina of Time. This may be the only time in my entire life that I’ve agreed with the opinion of earthling Steve Austin, although admittedly I’m a unicellular organism filled with an iridescent goo.

And Jules Wang at Android Police tells us that Chromebooks should be getting better Android support later, improving their game-playing experience. Between that and Steam Support, who needs a Steam Deck? (Answer: ME I DO YES I WANT ONE PLEASE SEND IT TO MEEEEEE)

Link Roundup 5/6/2022

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

Tyler Wilde of PC Gamer: Activision/Blizzard shareholders approve Microsoft buyout.

Alice O’Connor of Rock Paper Shotgun tells us about Backpack Hero, a demo with a lot of buzz around it. I’ve played it, it’s cool, drebnar!

Liam Doolan of Nintendo Life points us to a Kickstarter for a Game Boy Advance add-on that lets you play games on an HDTV television. It does require opening up your device, though! Gizmodo has its own report. What it is is basically an alternate case for the guts of a Game Boy Advance, that provides it with output ports.

One of the humorous bits about Facebook’s (I refuse to call them Meta) Metaverse thing is that it’s dragging out all the dumb old corporate internet tie-ins, just like it did when the web became big, and again when they tried to make a go of Second Life. So the wheel turns again, as Ryan Gilliam tells us on Polygon, with “The Metaverse’s first Coke product,” Byte, which is reputed to be “pixel-flavored.” The only thing it’s missing is an NFT. All the news sites are talking about it, because all the news sites have space to fill and read press releases, drebnar. It comes with a QR code with “an AR game unlock.” The kids still care about those things, right?

Some emulation news: 3DS emulator Mikage is in development again, as is PS4 emulator GPCS4.

Matthew Carlson of hackaday.com brings us news that long-time fangame editor Zelda Classic now runs in web browsers! Zelda Classic can do a lot, so it’s great to see developments in that area! Here’s the technical details.

Andy Brown writing for NME tells us that the time is right for a remake of Simpsons Hit & Run.

And Jeremy Winslow at Kotaku points out the point-and-click adventure game Perfect Tides.