To keep things consistent every week, we'll mix things up more often than usual. This means bringing you the latest retro gaming news from across the board and also giving you the 4-1-1 on some of the newest retro consoles. After all, these go hand in hand. More consoles, more action-packed games to play. No matter how strange these consoles may be. 2 new Amiga ports and an interesting console coming up. So if you’re curious, stick around!
First up, we got a new Amiga port of a car crashing, high-octane classic, brought to us by BSzili. It's a brand new 1.0 version of Death Rally, a top-down racing game originally developed by the ever-popular Remedy Entertainment. While you'd assume it's a run-of-the-mill racing game with an edgy title, it's way more intense than you think.
Death Rally takes players to a world where you not only have to win the race, but you also have to annihilate your opponents. With both driving skills and the racetrack itself, you'll take down the competition one by one before facing the undefeated master, the adversary. It's not all about the race, as you'll find yourself making deals with the shadiest individuals to get the cash necessary to build the ultimate death rally machine.
It's all about playing the game and not just driving headfirst into your enemy. If you're interested, all you need is a working Amiga with the proper specs to give everyone at the death rally a run for their money. So happy trails, and don't get totalled.
BSzili strikes again with yet another awesome Amiga port. This time we go from death race to outer space in a galaxy far, far away. We are looking at an Amiga port of the Star Wars FPS game Dark Forces, a game developed and published by Lucas Arts, originally released in 1995 for MS DOS and Macintosh. So talk about a classic.
Regarding development, BSzili based this Native Port of Dark Forces on the Force Engine. And while there was already a 68K Mac version of Dark Forces, there wasn't much info to go around. For the Amiga port, Bszili had to strip away most of the forest engine's new features but didn't have much trouble later on. Just like before, this Amiga port is readily available on any working console. So if you want to be that stormtrooper that never misses, it is best to check out the Star Wars retro classic.
Last but not least console time! Now we've had some nice retro console releases in the INAO and some modern releases in the ASUS ROG Ally. Well, it looks like a certain meteor won't be denied as they release their own quirky console. The TJD T101.
Given its rather strange shape, a lot of people on Discord thought it was a prank. Meteor Rich quickly debunked this by dropping their entire showcase. The very chunky TJDT 101 features a huge 10.1 inch, 1920 by 1200, full HD display with a 60-hertz refresh rate. So by today's standards, we're looking at an iPad with buttons. That's wild.
Well, it does look kind of weird. We can't deny its specs on paper, its sports an AMD Phoenix Ryzen 7 7480U, which is pretty impressive for a handheld. Still, we need more info to drop before we consider it a worthy opponent to the consoles in the current market. But that design, though, really, that's wild.
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As we enter December, we crank up the action as we wait for some nice seal-tight suggestions in the following weeks. There's no better way to kick off 2022’s last month than some ass-kicking. This time we're looking at a side scroller, a platformer, and a straight-up brawler. Perfect when it comes to satisfying every retro action connoisseur. We hope you came prepared because things are about to get wild!
We rarely get games that are both indie and completely new. Immortal Ka by Josyan checks both boxes. It's clearly an homage to Awesome 16-bit arcade Classics like Ghost and Goblins and even Super Big Karnak. So far, the game is just a prototype, but whatever's been finished is very much playable. The game follows your classic story from the olden times.
The Gods have condemned all humans, so ancient Egypt finds itself corrupted. Now, thousands of evil creatures from the world of the Dead have come to tremendous. Maibe is a lonely hunter from the outskirts of Luxor who somehow gained some supernatural powers. She's the only one with a pure enough soul to save us. So it's up to you to make sure that she does.
The game features, Egyptian-themed levels, nice aesthetics, and a complete arsenal of weapons to help you defeat all the mythological creatures that come your way. If you're into the myth boss love a bit of retro action and wanna save the world, then Immortal Ka is worth checking out.
Amiga owners and enjoyers can rejoice once more as we get another cool Home Brew installment. Back then, Lemming880 platformers Boxx 2 and Boxx 3 were released on the Amiga system. Both of these games were a ton of fun, as they required players to collect as many coins as possible, all while avoiding deadly traps, killing bad bosses, and aiming to reach the exit to complete each level.
It was intense, for sure. Well, that's not exactly the news here. The spicy update comes in the form of Lemming880, releasing a full remake of the very first Boxx game. The Scorpion engine makes its ground return, giving the game updated graphics sound effects, And brand new coding based on the ongoing Boxx 4 project currently in development.
It's nice to see all this come together and even nicer to know the Boxx remake is now available for download.
The Amiga Live just released a hack of 1994 Amiga's Last Action Hero. So yes. Keep the Arnold Schwarzenegger memes coming. Earok dropped the surprisingly cool news saying “Amiga live did a hack of the Last Action Hero a while ago and I got permission to repost it here. It features a raft of gameplay balance tweaks to improve on the Notorious Film Tie-in”
The particular hack is nice as it gives players who just discovered the game a smoother experience. We're talking about unlimited continues, more lives, a hundred percent health restoration, increased loop speed, and more
While the movie wasn't the best one out there and the game back then didn't get much recognition, this little tweak in 2022 might just give it the cult following It deserves. Now, all we need is some really good voice acting.
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Now, who doesn't love to chew gum? Here at Mega Cat Studios, we chew gum every chance we get. And we also had a chance to interview one of the developers of Garbage Pail Kids: Mad Mike and the Quest for Stale Gum, Tim Hartman, of Retrotainment Games, and here's how it went!
How was this game born?
The game was born out of our love for the Garbage Pail Kids and the Nintendo Entertainment System.
As young kids in the '80s, Greg and I grew up fans of trading cards and various products that emerged as the GPK craze broke out. Garbage Pail Kids were loved by kids, hated by adults, and snubbed by the gaming industry in the NES era. They were controversial, which may have kept them out of the space. We like to say that we're creating the Garbage Pail Kids game they've long deserved.
What was development like?
The design process for this game flowed very well as our team loved the opportunity to work with Topps to bring their characters to life and felt natural to do so. It was a real treat to get deeper into the GPK lore since many of us on our team are lifelong fans and collectors.
One of the main ideas was to bring as many GPK characters to life as possible; so we went through the cards, found ones we liked that we thought would work, and then brainstormed about what they could do in the game to make them unique and add variety. In the end, we were able to include 40+ characters.
Developing for the NES is nothing but difficult though. You have to deal with the challenge of game development along with hardware restrictions, space constraints, and more. But this is what we love and what GPK deserved so we wanted to make it happen.
What did you learn about yourself through this game?
Personally, I learned that it was very difficult to make the tough choices of which characters to use and which characters not to use in the game. There are so many amazing characters in the GPK universe and it was super tough to narrow it down.
What makes this game special?
It's a legit game made for the original NES and directly ported to modern consoles like Nintendo Switch, Xbox, and Playstation. You get the same game regardless of where you’re playing it.
Even though it is littered with GPK lore, characters, and fun, gross elements, it is however a game someone can pick up and play without being familiar with the Garbage Pail Kids. We designed it with the idea that every level has something new and surprising in it. It also has minigames, a trading-card mechanic, fun NPCs, and a silly story. Our audience is anyone who likes games. It's also cool to give people a chance to get their first new NES cart, which is something a lot of players have never experienced before.
How does sound play a role in the game?
A quirky and unique brand like Garbage Pail Kids deserves an equally goofy soundtrack that’s fun to listen to and a fun set of sound effects. Complete with burp and fart samples, the sound is definitely a highlight of the game.
What games influenced this one the most?
We started by making the game we wanted to play. It wasn't a case where we were looking at another game as a model or a direct inspiration.
Any fun stories or wild moments during development?
Getting to work with Adam F. Goldberg, Ira Friedman at Topps, iam8bit, Digital Eclipse, and Joe Simko was particularly fun, as we got to smash a ton of '80s nostalgia and love for the era into this goofy project.
The wildest moment for me personally was when I was having a meeting with Ira Friedman, and my son threw up during it. I quickly yelled out Up Chuck (a character in the game) while Ira assured me it was a Luke Puke.
I still laugh about this every time I think about it.
Do you think preserving older gameplay mechanics in new games is important?
Yes, but I think it is healthy to have both new and fresh mechanics whenever possible when developing. Old mechanics are tried and true, being very familiar to players, but taking a chance on fresh mechanics can really help create a new experience. For example, Leaky Lindsay and Luke Puke both have projectile attacks but Lindsay’s snot rockets are the classic straight-ahead shots while Luke’s projectile vomiting follows an arching path. This allows for some unique combat with Luke because you can hold B to get more distance, rain the attack down onto enemies below or leave a pile of puke in front of an enemy and wait for them to step in it and take damage.
What's your favorite memory as a gamer?
My favorite memory as a gamer is playing Baseball Stars for the NES with friends like my business partner Greg Caldwell. Creating our own leagues and teams, playing full seasons, keeping stats, throwing controllers, and getting into fights over gameplay is something I will cherish forever.
Who will enjoy this game the most?
Garbage Pail Kids: Mad Mike and the Quest for Stale Gum is for old kids like us and young kids like our children. We think the older crowd who grew up with the Garbage Pail Kids will have a great time with it. It's fun and silly and gross -- which makes it great for younger kids as well. Ultimately, it's for people who want to experience a retro game, whether this is their first time experiencing an 8-bit game or they've been playing NES since they bought one new.
Retro gamers will enjoy this the most, but I feel modern gamers who give it a chance will be quite surprised by the various hero characters and their unique offensive arsenals. Each of our hero characters has a unique strength that will help you tactically in the game if you pay attention.
Bottom Line, why must someone play this game?
You must play it to experience what people are calling "The Grossest Game of the Year.” And if you knew GPK from the ’80s, it’s a fun trip down memory lane.
How do you want this game to be remembered?
I'd like this game to be remembered as us giving the Garbage Pail Kids the 8-bit game they have always deserved. The brand was so iconic and important, so them not having a game back in the late '80s was a travesty.
Right now we are continuing to market Garbage Pail Kids: Mad Mike and the Quest for Stale Gum and our other games, Haunted: Halloween '86,Haunted: Halloween '85, and our newest open-world, mystery-adventure called Full Quiet. In addition to creating our own IP, we’re also entertaining ideas to bring existing IP to life in retro form, especially for others who never got their moment in the 8-bit sun.
We love retro and remain committed to that space with whatever we do which includes the publishing venture 8-Bit Legit, consisting of Retrotainment Games and our partner Mega Cat Studios. In 8-Bit Legit, we take games from cartridge to console.
Anything else you'd like to add?
It's all about 8-bit. It's what we do at Retrotainment. The cartridge comes first. We also think it's cool to expand the NES catalog with games that have been passed over back in the day. Keep an eye out for what goofy game we can cook up next in our 8-bit laboratories. And as always, shout out to the NES homebrew community for making all this possible. We love being a part of such a vibrant, passionate, growing community!