Articles tagged with: arcade

News Round-up: December 6 - January 4

mossy_11 on Tuesday, 04 January 2011. Posted in News

apple-logoHighlights in Apple news this past month include the announcement that the Mac App Store will open on January 6 and the passing of a new milestone in market capitalisation. Apple’s market cap now stands at over $300 billion, which is still some $70 billion behind Exxon Mobil -- the largest US company. This marks a great year in stock for the company, which passed $200 billion back in March and rose to become the second biggest US company in May (leapfrogging Microsoft).

virtualboxOpen-source x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualisation tool VirtualBox received a major update shortly before Christmas. Version 4.0 provides a major reworking of the GUI, adds support for new virtual hardware, removes the 1.5/2 GB guest RAM limitation on 32-bit hosts, and more. See the changelog for a full run-down and the official site for a download.

boxerIn news we missed last month, MS-DOS emulator Boxer has entered public beta for version 1.0. New builds were released throughout December, with the biggest changes being that games can be imported “painlessly” from CDs or folders, there is a dedicated games folder automatically created, and the program launches with a welcome panel. Check out the official Boxer website for more details.

MAME and SDLMAME were updated three times over the past month. The latest version (0.141) adds support for the games Heavy Unit, Poizone, Silver Game, and Jack Potten’s Poker, in addition to providing a long list of improvements and bug fixes. Check out the MAME website for full details, and grab the latest SDLMAME build from here.

More updates after the break.

The Legacy of Tron (updated)

Pixelcade on Thursday, 16 December 2010. Posted in Retro Game of the Week

Editor's Note: I wasn't alive when Tron came out, but Pixelcade's youth was touched by both the original film and the many games it spawned. Check out this detailed run-down of the franchise, which is fused as always with a personal history. -mossy_11

1982 -- Robotron 2084 was driving people crazy fighting the hordes of robots bent on our destruction, Men at Work were asking “Who Can It Be Now,” and a young programmer/hacker named Kevin Flnn (Jeff Bridges) decided to hack into ENCOM. This would be the start of a great adventure into 3D graphics in film and a franchise that has a huge niche market around the world.

The movie Tron started as an animated feature, but cooler heads prevailed and Lisberger Studios pushed for live action and 3D technology well ahead of its time. It was all about sucking the player into the game and virtual world -- something today's viewing audience takes for granted. On July 9, 1982 Tron earned over $33 million -- in the U.S. alone -- and spawned what we are starting to see come back full circle this December 16th.


mossy_11 on Monday, 15 November 2010. Posted in Retro Game of the Week


Razzle Dazzle! Boomshakalaka! He’s on fire! These nonsense words and phrases are permanently imprinted on my psyche, so great was the impact that Midway's arcade basketball game, NBA Jam, had on my youth. In honour of the recent franchise reboot, I’m taking a look back at the original NBA Jam. I hope you’ll join me.

When I was a kid, my friends would often have their birthday parties at video game arcades. We had the entire arcade to ourselves for a few hours, with unlimited play on any machine. The first thing I looked for was always NBA Jam; I couldn’t get enough of its wild antics and crazy fun. This was basketball, minus the boring bits, with the kind of self-mocking edginess that attracted me to movies like Wayne’s World and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

News Round-up: October 8 - November 9

mossy_11 on Tuesday, 09 November 2010. Posted in News

mac_os_x_lion_bannerThe next major version of Mac OS X will be called Lion, it was revealed at a “Back to the Mac” media event on October 20. Due for release in mid-2011, Lion promises to bring dozens of features and ideas from the iOS devices. It remains to be seen how well these features will work with the larger Mac screen and a keyboard/mouse set-up.


But the big talking point has been the Mac App Store, which will be similar to the iOS App Store. Many (including myself) predicted this move to a central repository for Mac software, and the general consensus seems to be that it is a good thing -- provided the Mac App Store remains just one of many ways to obtain software for your Mac. Apple is soliciting submissions for the store, which is due to launch early next year.


In other Apple news, the new 11” MacBook Air fills a long-vacated hole in Apple’s laptop line-up -- last occupied by the 12” PowerBook. The base price of US$999 makes for a very tempting deal. Xserve, Apple’s rackmounted server line, will be discontinued on January 31. Apple has provided an "Xserve Transition Guide" to help existing users migrate to the Mac Mini or Mac Pro server solutions. Apple also revealed that its port of Java for Mac OS X is officially deprecated.

apple-logoApple also reported a Q4 revenue of $20.34 billion, an all-time record for the company. Year-over-year Mac and iPhone sales increased by 27 and 91 percent, respectively, while iPod sales dropped 11 percent in the same period. Check out the press release for a full run-down.

Leading Mac emulation headlines is the news that PowerPC Macintosh emulator SheepShaver has been updated twice in as many weeks. The new build offers a number of ‘under the hood’ changes, partial support for bin/cue files, and 64-bit mode for Snow Leopard users. See the E-Maculation forums for a download link and additional information. [Thanks WatchSmart for the tip.]

More emulation news after the break...

Solar Jetman: Hunt for the Golden Warship

Pixelcade on Monday, 20 September 2010. Posted in Retro Game of the Week

Editor's Note: I've never heard of this game, but it looks interesting -- like a more complicated Lunar Lander with added story elements and better physics. Pixelcade gives you a run-down. - mossy_11

SolarjetmancoverWelcome readers back to the "games that you probably didn't know existed and have lots of gravity and physics involved in them" series. This week I bring to you Solar Jetman: Hunt for the Golden Warship. The game was developed by Zippo Games for Rare and released in the US by Tradewest, then in Europe by Nintendo. I'm not sure how that lineage goes but well there it is (as laid out by Wikipedia). I first encountered Solar Jetman at a yard sale in the early 90's and to my luck found a great game for a super low price. Upon bringing it home and powering up my NES I was hooked.

You control a small jet pod that is ejected from your main mothership. Should your jet pod be destroyed (1 hit unless your shields are running) you revert to a single lone space explorer. This does not end your game but makes you a very easy target. If you return to the mothership you'll be given another pod to continue the mission. The real challenge is getting the items you collect back to the mothership. With gravity being different you have to be creative on how to move them. Some will suck you right back to the surface while others will not even move an inch.

Shenmue Series

dickmedd on Monday, 13 September 2010. Posted in Retro Game of the Week

Editor's Note: The Shenmue games have always struck me as emblematic of Sega's downfall. Full of outrageous ambition and short-sightedness, yet charming, beautiful, and magical. The video game industry lost something special the day the Dreamcast died, and it was more than just the conclusion to this epic story. Read this for a trip back to a time when Sega made games like no-one else, and we loved them for it. -mossy_11



Prepare to step into another world. A world where shopkeepers and traders get up early to ply their trade, ladies step out of their front gate to sweep away the fallen leaves and gossip, young men kneel polishing their motorbikes, and old men go to the park to sit thoughtfully or practice Tai Chi. This is a world in which the sun rises and sets, skies aren't always clear, and, on a snowy day, you might witness the murder of your father at the hands of a mysterious man in long Chinese robes. You've just entered the fantastically vivid world of Yu Suzuki's Shenmue!


Pixelcade on Monday, 30 August 2010. Posted in Retro Game of the Week


Incoming Transmission from Atari Mission Control circa 1982. Message as follows: "Your mission is to travel to alien planets, wipe out enemy bunkers, gather fuel units and make the solar systems safe for you and future generations of space pioneers." End Transmission.

I was a bit young to have played Gravitar at launch -- being just 3 years old at the time -- but I discovered it later in my life at a local arcade, pushed back in a corner, collecting dust. What attracted me to the machine was the awe-inspiring hand drawn artwork of the marquee and what I could see on the sides of the machine. Graphically, this game was highly outdated by then. It was a vector-based game (meaning it used a different monitor system) in a time of pixels and higher sprite counts (which is saying something since it was only about 1985).


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.