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      Game Culture

      Achievement Hunter time!

      Achievement Hunter time!

      Mega Cat Studios had the awesome chance to converse with the Achievement Hunter fan, Jefflez from Reddit! We asked about their experiences and stories from the guys they admire on Achievement Hunter and the AH fan community they belong to. They gave us a sneak peek at how their community dynamics are! Here's how our interview with them went.

      AH Group Picture from the Achievement Hunter official Twitter page

       

      How did you discover Achievement Hunter and how long have you been in the community?

      Oh man if I had to guess, I was browsing YouTube way back in 2010-ish and I got recommended a rage quit Michael did in Mirrors Edge, which I was playing at the time. And I remember just laughing and then going to the AH channel and subbing immediately. So yeah about 13 years I've been with this community, it's been a wild ride for sure 🤣

       

      What were the biggest issues you encountered in the community?

      Ooof, after all this time, I'd say welcoming new things, whether it be ideas, cast members, or just something against the norm.

      Ever since the days when even Lindsay was featured as a small role in letsplays, I've seen comments always nitpicking the new members whether it be for how they play, or just how they flow in gameplay. And occasionally when they'll start a new series, people would immediately dislike it and do not let it grow the way it should. Not to say that everything AH puts out is Gold, but hey no Channel has consistently perfect content, but sometimes the Community would be way harsher than they need to be. 

      One example would be the Galacticraft let's play or Skyfactory series, and more recently ya dead ya drad.

      Especially when members left, it would create unnecessary divides in the community, when Ray first left, everyone had thought "oh they ousted him out" when it was just Ray wanting to do better things, and blatantly ignoring explanations. Worse when Ryan was removed for good reason, god that whole month was terrible just hope some people would sympathize with him and actually bully the AH members on social media. Like, y'all don't think that was hard for them too?

      The community really does have some one-way relationship sometimes, but those are the vocal minority, the true enjoyers like me just watch, leave a like, and go on.

       

      What would be the best memory or moment you’ve experienced?

      Oh man, I'd say the day they started doing GTA IV let's play. Those let's play we're just back-to-back hilarious, and I'll never forget rushing home from school with my mates and we'd scramble to watch the next one. Between that and the recent UNO Livestream 🤣

       

      What would be your all-time favorite video from Achievement Hunter and why?

      Ummm. Ironically I'd say either the first Gmod Murder or Prop Hunt videoThose 2 series I always go back to, and both videos just perfectly depict what AH is all about, fun times with friends and making everything funnier in-game wise

       

       

      Should other people also try and check out Achievement Hunter or Rooster Teeth? Why so?

      Absolutely! While I personally don't check out everything they put out, they do seem to offer something for everyone. I mean I remember watching Red Vs Blue and discovering RWBY way back in the day, and now I'm anxiously waiting for Volume 9. And while the members may often change, sometimes you'll find that you like the actual person themselves and you can check out their personal streams. RT/AH really does offer a nice community for people who appreciate gaming, fictional stories, or even just chatting around. It really is a nice place on the internet

       

      With that, does that makes the community special?

      Oh absolutely. It may have its problems, but it really is people just loving to hate, they still think the channel will miraculously be like the old days.But in reality, it's just the same group of people who love playing video games

      Sure it may be different by comedy standards, but that's kinda the test of time. What's funny now may not be funny 10 years from now.


      Who do you think would enjoy the community as well?

      Anyone who likes to play games really. Very LGBT friendly too, and I don't listen to Face Jam but I hear that's also good for food reviews too, so really just anyone who enjoys internet/gaming culture

       

      How would you describe your experience and stay in the AH community?

      I've always had a good experience here, whether it be in the YouTube comments, the subreddits, or even on the old RT forums. Of course, during times of controversy, it wasn't always pleasant, and a lot of ignorant/hateful posts, but after a few days it's back to normal cause it really is jus people who love to hate. But in time I've made lots of cool friends that I continue to play games online with and it's a time of my life I'll never forget

       

      What are your suggestions for the whole AH community?

      If I had to suggest, Be more open-minded, like if we get a new member/series just give it time to grow, let them get the reins in, and if it's a struggle for you to watch still, voice your criticism and move on. Just don't be an asshole about it. And try to remember that this is a company that started out from just 5 dudes in college that got drunk and played video games a lot. Yeah, it's different now, obviously, but it's not like these bigger media companies like IGN or Gamespot or even the parent company Warner Bros. themselves.

      They are just entertainers and they gotta do their best to entertain. Also, it's okay to stop watching, maybe just try the podcasts or other stuff, but its okay to move in from something that doesn't make you happy.

      And don't be afraid to check out members' personal streams, sometimes they ARE better when not under YouTubes/WB Age-Restricts vision

       

      Check out Achievement Hunter in Youtube, Twitter, and Instagram

      Want to see more of things like this? Or maybe you like cats, retrogames, or the NES? If you do, let's have a catjam together! Join Mega Cat Studios on Discord for more fun and excitement!

      The Apocalypse is coming. Run.

      The Apocalypse is coming. Run.

      Have you ever had dreams about the apocalypse or maybe fighting off zombies? We did, and Mega Cat Studios had the awesome chance to interview the Producer from Coldwild Games, Vladimir Slavabout the development of their up-and-coming turn-based zombie RPG, Stories from the Outbreak. Get your guard up and prepare your weapons as we get to know their story on making this game.

      How was this game born?

      We want to make fun games that try to tell a story or provide a specific experience. The main idea is to combine and reflect on the fragmentation of society through gameplay mechanics and the fates of different people.

      What was development like?

      The project was overambitious at first, but we toned it down and focused on a few systems that we wanted to perfect. The map became smaller, but much more intense in terms of events. The Combat was the primary focus for multiple months of development.

       

      What did you learn about yourself through this game?

      That longer projects are still tough to complete but are doable. We’ve learned that we can rely on one another and solve things together, through ups and downs.

       

      What makes this game special?

      Eastern/northern-European setting. There are not many games that take place in Latvia, showing a pretty unique fusion between different cultures.

       

      How does sound play a role in the game?

      We’ve tried to create an apocalyptic atmosphere with a soundtrack made by Roman Lamcev: he actually built some of the instruments that he used to record it, to give the soundtrack a “makeshift” vibe, as if it was made with instruments built after the apocalypse.

       

      What games influenced this one the most?

      Octopath Traveller, Darkest Dungeon, Slay the Spire, Faster than Light

       

      Any fun stories or wild moments during development?

      When I had to describe a conversation system between characters to the team, I took a chat log and split it algorithmically: * person 1 does something -> * person 2 reacts -> * person 1 gives a reply. Based on this, we’ve built an in-game conversation engine.

       

      Do you think preserving older gameplay mechanics in new games is important?

      I think every mechanic should serve a purpose and answer the question “what am I trying to achieve.” If an older game mechanics achieve something best – there is no need to discard it only because of its age.

       

      What's your favorite memory as a gamer?

      Playing Heroes of Might and Magic 3 and appreciating every part of it.

       

      Who will enjoy this game the most?

      People who like JRPGs and games with roguelike mechanics; people who like apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic games.

       

      Bottom Line, why must someone play this game?

      Zombies, stories, amazing turn-based combat.

       

      How do you want this game to be remembered?

      I want the final version of the game (post-early access) to be not only great gameplay-wise but also a storytelling tool that shows the fates of different people and how they deal with hardships and go through the apocalypse together, as different as they might be.

       

      What's next?

      Early access release, then a marathon towards the full one. More characters, more items, more stories to tell.

       

      Anything else you'd like to add?

      Thank you for your questions and good luck with your own games!

       

      Check out the game on Steam

      Check out Stories from the Outbreak trailer here:

       

      Follow Coldwild Games on TwitterFacebook, and Youtube to get the latest updates from them!

      Interview with the Speedrunner star, Niftski!

      Interview with the Speedrunner star, Niftski!

      Mega Cat Studios had the chance to interview the title holder of being the fastest person to finish Super Mario Bros. Any% with a total running time of 454798ms, in the speedrunning community, Niftski! He shared his insights and issues with the community as well as some motivations for those who are aiming to enter this community! Here’s how our interview went!

       

      How did you discover speedrunning? 

      I discovered speedrunning through Bismuth and Summoning Salt’s Super Mario Bros. speedrunning YouTube videos, and it greatly sparked my interest.


      What made it interesting for you to check it out? 

      Super Mario Bros. was a game I grew up playing ever since I was around 5 years old and seeing people speedrun it gave the game a whole new feel and interest.

      What were the biggest issues you encountered in the community? 

      Occasional bad apples and immature people that come along in the community are probably one of the only issues, but pretty much every community in speedrunning has to deal with that.


      What would be the best memory or moment you’ve experienced? 

      Although I’ve beaten this run twice, the day I got my former world record of 4:54.948 in SMB1 Any% is still to this day the best memory I’ve experienced in speedrunning. It is also still to this day the happiest day I’ve ever had in my life.

      Should other people also try and check out speedrunning? Why so? 

      Absolutely. If you are bored of casually playing games you’ve already played many times and want to add a fun and competitive aspect to it, speedrunning is probably the best way to go about that!


      What makes the speedrunning community special? 

      Everyone uplifts and motivates each other while promoting positivity and the hope that they can improve their speedrunning times.


      Who do you think would enjoy speedrunning as well? 

      Members from other gaming communities that take interest in competitive and fun games (like I was at one point with games like CS: GO) would likely also love speedrunning.

       

      How would you describe your experience and stay in the community? 

      Out of a few other communities, I can say by far that this community is the best and most positive one I’ve ever been in.

       

      What made you stay long in this community? 

      The friends I’ve made along the way, my interest in the game, and the positivity that has been spread along the way have made me stay with this community.

      What are your suggestions for the speedrunning community? 

      Surround yourself with positive people and always believe in your abilities, as it is very likely that you haven’t even reached your full potential yet.


      What is your message to those who admire and watch you? 

      You can do anything you put your mind to, my world records are not by any means unbeatable and at the end of the day, we are all human!

      Anything else you’d like to add? 

      Always believe in yourself, because at the end of the day, nobody else can achieve things on your behalf 😊

       

      Check out Niftski on Speedrun.com and follow him on Twitch and Youtube to get more updates on his speedruns!

       

      Want to see more of things like this? Or maybe you like cats or the Game Boy or the NES? If you do, let's have a catjam together! Join Mega Cat Studios on Discord for more fun and excitement!

      Get ready to rumble! Big Boy Boxing is punching through your way!

      Get ready to rumble! Big Boy Boxing is punching through your way!

      *Ding ding ding! Think slapstick, pixel art, and boxing rolled into one. This is how our showcased game for this month is seen. Mega Cat Studios had a chance to interview one of the founders of Soupmasters, Martin Calander, about their upcoming slapstick boxing game, Big Boy Boxing! Ready for the punch? Here’s how it went! 

       

      How was this game born?

      The game was born after we created many funny characters with personalities during school time. And we needed a game to showcase them, first, we tried to make traditional smash bro like fighting game, but that didn't work out. After a while, we decided to try making a punch-out-esque game with our characters, and it evolved from there.

       

      What was development like?

      We are still in the development phase, but it's been souper fun!

       

      What did you learn about yourself through this game?

      I've learned that things take double the time I think they will when developing a game!

       

      What makes this game special?

      The characters, the slapstick humour, and the fast-paced boss-rush gameplay!

      How does sound play a role in the game?

      In gameplay, sounds are used as "tells" for the bosses' attacks. And the voice acting gives the characters another level of personality and relatability.

       

      What games influenced this one the most?

      Punch-Out!! for the Wii, Cuphead by Studio MDHR, and Undertale by Toby Fox.

       

      Any fun stories or wild moments during development?

      One really fun thing I've worked on is new approaches and ways of animating Pixel-Art, which hasn't really been developed since 3D in games was introduced.

       

      Do you think preserving older gameplay mechanics in new games is important?

      Yes, definitely worth preserving.

       

      What's your favorite memory as a gamer?

      My time creating plugins and mods for Minecraft.

       

      Who will enjoy this game the most?

      Lovers of 2D Animations or pixel art will surely enjoy this game.

      Bottom Line, why must someone play this game?

      You won't find another retro pixel art game with this level of animation and over-the-top characters. 

       

      How do you want this game to be remembered?

      I want the players to remember the characters in the game, and the journey those characters have been through! 

      (Here are some of the characters that will appear in the game!)

      RyanPsychoFreezy Star    Hank

      What’s next?

      We are working on getting this game ready for testers!

       

      Anything else you’d like to add?

      Be sure to wishlist Big Boy Boxing on steam! It's the easiest and best way to support us for now!

       

      Check out Big Boy Boxing trailer:

       

      Follow Soupmasters on TwitterInstagramDiscord, and Youtube to get the latest updates from them!

      Run, Shoot, and Compare the Computer Ports for Contra

      Run, Shoot, and Compare the Computer Ports for Contra

       

      Experiencing all the computer ports of Contra gives the audience the literal notion of masochism, and in this article, we inspect the important reasons behind this fact, by introducing the Arcade version first, and comparing these ports with the original title.

       

      CONTROLS

      The original Arcade game utilizes automatic movement in the air, and this means that while you’re holding the right direction, for example, and hit the jump button to move in the air, the character goes to the right automatically, even if you released the desired direction during the process. But you cannot shoot upward and downward while moving along the x-axis in the air; as pressing up and down directions, in the same position, makes your character stop along the said axis. An automatic movement in the air doesn’t necessarily mean that you cannot change your direction after each jump.

      The game sometimes doesn’t detect the lowest platform on the screen, as descending through the lowest one can make your character die:

      But the Amstrad CPC port is different; you have one button to fire, an up direction to jump, and a down direction to drop down to lower platforms, meaning that the whole control scheme is made up of the main directions, plus one button to action. Holding this button will result in shooting, with all the weapons acting like machine guns in the game. So, you cannot crouch, until you’re shooting, and you cannot jump, while you’re shooting! Also, there is no way to fire downward, the lowest platform detection remains the same, and the automatic movement in the air is dropped.

      The ZX Spectrum one is weird, making it a unique title compared to the other conversions; automatic movement in the air made a return, but there is no stopping the character; the scrolling seems working, but you’re not able to go to the left; every other thing seems fine, but there is no shooting downwardly. Also, the ability to change your direction after each jump in the air, is only present in the tunnel levels, with no diagonal shooting in its boss fights. And here’s the worst part; if you jumped, the game pulls the last standing position, and is forcing you to aim only at that angle in the air, without any option to change so, until you hit the ground and repeat the process with another jump!

      The Commodore 64 is not official, but rather a romhack. It's still being included because it is well done, and Commodore 64 is awesome. It inherited its own issues and limitations for controls: no shooting downward, no automatic movement in the air and no lowest-platform detection. However, all the weapons act like machine guns, and no problem can be experienced with diagonal shooting in the game, but for some reason, the jump button (space bar) doesn’t function normally, and you have to tap it multiple times to make it work! Not to mention that the fire button means JOYSTICK, and the jump button means KEYBOARD:

      The MSX2 title, has the nearest controls to the Arcade game, as you have the ability to fire downwardly from the air. However, the automatic movement in the air is gone, with the jumps pulling the sensitivity of the button you’re pushing, with no shooting left-upwardly.

      And even this port doesn’t solve the lowest-platform detection problem.

       

      GAMEPLAY

      The Arcade version is your typical Contra; a variety of arsenal with pseudo-3D levels, and technical achievement, with visually impressive features. You have 3 continues, even if you have hundreds of coins, and you’ll get killed if you dive into your enemies. Also, the game uses some methods to make one of the oldest examples of level design with just two buttons, where an obstacle fixes the player’s position in the last level:

       

      The original title gives the player an opportunity to ignore a few mini-bosses in the game, creating opportunities to fool them:

       

      And about the Amstrad CPC port; the R power-up is replaced with a machine gun, no continues across your journey, and the scrolling effect is not smooth as well:

       

      And what’s the problem with the scrolling effect the game has? Well, the bullets of your enemies, for example, can go through sections of a level, but a weapon, as the power-ups of the game, disappears when the screen gets scrolled.

      In the ZX Spectrum port, there is no design for the power-ups that you’ll get; you hit their cases, and you get the weapons, and losing your lives doesn’t mean losing your arsenal. However, the game is still hard, since you’ve got no way to increase your lives through your progress (with no continues), and the scrolling effect creates big problems in the waterfall level (with bad enemy placement):

       

      But thankfully there are some tricks for the final bosses, as they don’t react to you while not being revealed completely:

       

      The ability to fool bosses in the Commodore 64 conversion, to an extreme degree, is its ridiculous gameplay feature, as this boss is ignorable, and you can scroll through the level with no threat ahead:

       

      The opportunity to play with unlimited lives, WITHOUT any cheat codes, is the main benefit you could get from this version, as the game asks so from the player:

       

      The MSX2 port, feels a lot like a bootleg version, as the enemies seem to come from another world:

       

      While the weapons came from another universe:

       

      As you have to aim in the worst ways ever in your gaming life:

      And you must go through nearly 20 stages, to put an end to this expedition!

       

      The scrolling effect is a lot like the Amstrad CPC port:

       

      And the whole game feels like an RPG version of Contra:

      While it’s the first time that you have a health bar for each of your lives.

       

      VISUALS

      The original Arcade title is a technical achievement for its era: more than just one design for weapons’ looks, and different kick-back effects with a great game-feel:

       

      The game also uses parallax scrolling, with parts of the background moving at a different speed than parts of the foreground:

       

      The Amstrad CPC port seems like a demake version; no different design for the weapons’ looks, and no different kick-back effects, like the Arcade game. And the main problem is that the color of your bullets is the same as that of your enemies, so you don’t know when to crouch. The ZX Spectrum port has the same problem, plus the fact that the color of your bullets can be the same as the whole environment:

       

       

      There is nothing special about the Commodore 64 conversion, as it’s like a demake version of the Amstrad CPC title. Compared to the Amstrad CPC port, the color of bullets is clearly distinctive, and compared to the ZX Spectrum port, every object has its own visual identity.

      The MSX2 version is more colorful than the Commodore 64 port, and unlike the CPC one, is the closest conversion to the original game with its great color palette. However, since it’s like a bootleg version of the original game, you can sometimes see the character changing its color scheme from stage to stage, with no logical reason!

       

      UNIQUE FEATURES

      If you wait for minutes in the Arcade game, you’ll see some objects diving into the character and enemies appearing, to punish the player for waiting for too long:

       

      The Arcade version also, looks more realistic than the other ones, because if you want to start shooting diagonally, the character shoots some bullets, somewhere between your main angle and the desired direction, till he reaches the desired diagonal direction you want:

       

      As a sad conclusion of your ultimate efforts, the Amstrad CPC port has a dark message at the end of the game:

       

      The unique feature of the ZX Spectrum title though, is its main menu, providing the player with a variety of options, as you can see:

       

      In the Commodore 64 one, you can complete the game with unlimited lives, as said above in the Gameplay section.

      And, the ending of the MSX2 version is its reward for your hard attempt: