Retro Game of the Week


seanstar on Monday, 02 August 2010. Posted in Retro Game of the Week

Editor's note: I never really got into the F-Zero games. I thought they looked cool and knew they had a cult following, but found them too intimidating to seriously try. Nevertheless, I had enough experience with F-Zero on the SNES to admire the series from afar. Seanstar has provided an interesting look at the entire series here, with the biggest take-away being that F-Zero games seldom disappoint (unlike certain other arcade racing franchises). -mossy_11


SNES-F-Zero-OriginalBox-f-smThe year is 2560. Burgeoning intergalactic trade and the social and economic boon that followed created a new class of wealthy investors looking for new and exciting forms of entertainment. And so was born F-Zero, an intergalactic grand prix of high stakes and higher speeds, bringing together characters of all species and cultures from across the universe...

In actuality, F-Zero was the brainchild of Nintendo's EAD studio. It debuted on the Super Nintendo in 1990. From the outset, F-Zero was notable for its technical prowess -- inventing the mode-7 3rd-person racing genre, creating never-before-felt physics that hugged the line between driving and skating, laying out a palette of vibrant and distinct worlds and machines, giving the SPC sound chip a fair workout, and all the while never compromising on fluid gameplay that flew with such speed it would put Sonic the Hedgehog on edge.

Phantasie III - The Wrath of Nikademus

jetboy on Monday, 26 July 2010. Posted in Retro Game of the Week

Editor's note: I'll admit I knew nothing of the Phantasie games before reading this, but jetboy does a great job of explaining the appeal of his favourite entry in the series. I'd appreciate it if someone could explain to me what exactly I'm supposed to do in the game, though, because I went wandering and now I'm completely lost. -mossy_11



My favourite game of all time, Phantasie III, was released for the Amiga back in 1987, and I emulate it using E-UAE (in combination with a handy, legal, ROM/OS package called Amiga Forever). Since most Amiga games were distributed on floppies, I also use a utility called WHDLoad, which allows you to install the floppy versions on your hard disk and remove the nostalgic switching between 100 floppies process. This is my suggested setup if you want to play Phantasie III using MacOS as your host OS, because while there are other versions (notably DOS and Apple II), the graphics and sound for the Amiga version are unequivocally better. While I love Apple, the Apple II version is clearly the worst, and it just makes no sense trying to play it. If you really canʼt get the Amiga version going, I suggest you go with the DOS version because itʼs somewhere in the middle. [What about the Atari ST and Commodore 64 versions? -ed.]

Metal Gear

dickmedd on Monday, 19 July 2010. Posted in Retro Game of the Week



Editor's note: This is a fantastic overview of the Metal Gear series that goes a long way to explaining its lasting appeal, and also provides an easy introduction to the uninitiated. I just wish the first two games weren't so hard. -mossy_11

Had a good game of Splinter Cell, Thief, Assassin's Creed, Hitman or Tenchu lately? If so, you owe a fair amount to producer Hideo Kojima for spearheading the development of the 'stealth/espionage' video game genre in his acclaimed Metal Gear series.

Chances are you have played, seen, or at least heard of the 3D Metal Gear Solid instalments on the PlayStation systems (the first two rank highly in best-selling lists), but you are unlikely to have played Kojima's original MSX2 creations, unless you live in Japan.

In the original Metal Gear you play as Solid Snake, a special forces operative assigned to infiltrate the military base/state 'Outer Heaven' in order to liberate your comrades and eliminate the enemy weapon, Metal Gear -- a giant, walking, nuke-firing Mecha -- which always seems to be in the wrong hands. The first game in the series establishes a recurring theme of the series: a mission undertaken by one barehanded agent -- you heard right, if you want a gun, you better try and find one. Via radio and radar assistance, you must avoid detection by carefully sneaking through various corridors and floors in order to guide Snake towards completing his mission.

Rayman 2: The Great Escape

jack59splat59 on Monday, 12 July 2010. Posted in Retro Game of the Week

Editor's note: Thanks to jack59splat59 for being the first to volunteer for our new Retro Game of the Week community feature. Check out his article then post your thoughts in the comments. And if you haven't played Rayman 2, get out there and do it now! -mossy_11

Released on January 6, 1999 for the Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, and PlayStation, Rayman 2 took the iconic Rayman into 3D for the first time. It has since been ported to several other systems, including the Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3 (PSN), and iPhone, and is on many "Best Games of All Time" lists.


Prince of Persia

mossy_11 on Monday, 05 July 2010. Posted in Retro Game of the Week

1197316255-00It’s a simple story that has been told in various guises for thousands of years: the beautiful princess is held against her will by the evil usurper of the throne. The hero must come to her aid and save the kingdom from tyranny, undertaking a gruelling series of trials along the way. Jordan Mechner’s 1989 Prince of Persia added a strong sense of urgency to the plot with a strict one hour time limit. Fail and the princess dies; the kingdom falls to the evil Grand Vizier Jaffar. Succeed and become the champion of the people; the tyrant Jaffar dies.

You emerge in the deepest depths of Jaffar’s dungeons, unarmed and with only your wits to defend you against the many guards and traps scattered throughout. In just one hour you brave perilous drops, retractable spike pits, collapsing floors, armed guards, and several other kinds of traps, all of which can slice and dice your avatar in the most terrifying ways. With the odds so firmly stacked against you, it takes remarkable skill -- and more than a little luck -- to reach the end of the game, where you meet the tyrant Jaffar himself for a fight to the death.