Category Archives: Gaming

We’ve Got Space To Chat About Lunar Lander

This article is from Retro Gamer. Click the title to hop over there.

Our current Retro Spotlight forum topic focuses on Lunar Lander, Atari’s devilishly difficult arcade game from the Seventies. Inspired by the space race that saw the USA put a man on the moon in 1969, the game tasked players with balancing thrust, gravity and momentum to safely land a spaceship on the hazardous lunar surface. Failure to come in at the correct speed or angle would result in the destruction of the craft.

While Lunar Lander wasn’t a failure by any stretch of the imagination, and was noteworthy as the first Atari arcade game to use vector graphics, its popularity was eclipsed by that of Atari’s other vector space-based game, Asteroids. Despite that, it went on to inspire a whole range of similar games and named its own subgenre.

If you fancy chatting with other like-minded retro gamers about this, head on over to the forum topic by clicking here.

Go to Source – Retro Gamer

 


Jump Into The Forum For A Chat About Donkey Kong

This article is from Retro Gamer. Click the title to hop over there.

Jump Into The Forum For A Chat About Donkey Kong

This week’s Retro Spotlight on the forum is Nintendo’s arcade classic Donkey Kong, which is a fascinating game for all kinds of reasons. In the Eighties it was subject to all sorts of battles, as Universal unsuccessfully sued Nintendo over copyright infringement, while Atari and Coleco clashed over conversion rights. In the arcades the game has been the battlefield for vicious high score competitions, featuring stunning victories and astonishing allegations of cheating, and even inspired the documentary The King Of Kong. Donkey Kong himself went on to become a huge gaming star in his own right, appearing across a variety of platform games and a series of bongo-based music games for the GameCube. Oh, and then there’s the small matter of the little bloke you play as, some guy named Mario. We don’t quite know what happened to him later on. If you fancy chatting about the game, just click here to go straight to the thread.

Incidentally, one of our favourite versions of Donkey Kong is the excellent Game Boy game, which starts off like the arcade game before becoming an astonishing original puzzle platformer. And issue 196 of Retro Gamer is out today, with Nintendo’s green-screened masterpiece on the front cover. Pick that up in all good newsagents, or order it directly via My Favourite Magazines here.

Go to Source – Retro Gamer

 


Discuss Missile Command’s Explosive Impact On Our Forum

This article is from Retro Gamer. Click the title to hop over there.

Discuss Missile Command's Explosive Impact On Our Forum

Many videogames have had plots involving a character having dreams of apocalyptic terrors, but few have been directly inspired by them. Yet that’s exactly what drove Atari’s Dave Theurer to create Missile Command, as the Cold War meant that the threat of nuclear destruction was an ever-present source of paranoia in Eighties America. Thankfully, Russian aggression is a thing of the past today (Are you sure? – Ed.) and rogue states haven’t been able to create their own nuclear weapons (Nick, please – Ed.), so we don’t have to worry about the prospect of a mushroom cloud on the horizon any time soon.

Thankfully the game itself was significantly more fun than radiation sickness, as you used a trackball to try to intercept missiles targeting six Californian cities. And if you enjoyed playing Missile Command in the arcade, or indeed an a home system, you might fancy discussing it in the Retro Gamer forum, where the game is our current Retro Spotlight. Click here to head straight for that topic.

Of course, if Missile Command isn’t your thing, there’s plenty more to do on the Retro Gamer forum – discuss other games, post high scores or even give feedback on the latest issue of the magazine. And if you haven’t picked up issue 195 yet, you can do that now – just click here to head to My Favourite Magazines and order your copy.

Go to Source – Retro Gamer

 


Feeling Froggy? Hop Over To The Forum

This article is from Retro Gamer. Click the title to hop over there.

Feeling Froggy? Hop Over To The ForumIf you’re a fan of Frogger, you’re in good company. The original arcade game was a smash hit that attracted a broad spectrum of fans, and the amphibious hero had a hugely successful comeback run starting in the late Nineties – and that’s not to mention his cartoon appearances or the classic episode of Seinfeld dedicated to George’s pursuit of a high score. And now he’s the star of this week’s retro gaming spotlight, kindly provided by community team member AllenTheAlien. If you fancy a chat about one of the best non-violent games from the golden age of the arcades, click here to visit our forum.

Of course, the company that brought Frogger into being was Konami, and this month we’re celebrating the company’s 50th anniversary with a special issue. As well as the regular magazine (featuring a gorgeous full art Castlevania cover), readers get The Mini Konami Companion, a guide to 50 of the legendary developer’s greatest games, and a sticker sheet featuring sprites and artwork from across the company’s history. To pick up your copy, visit your local newsagent or order directly from us at My Favourite Magazines.

Go to Source – Retro Gamer

 


Jumping Flash!

This article is from Retro Gamer. Click the title to hop over there.

A screenshot of Robbit looking at a frog enemy, which is wearing a top hat

This review was originally published in Official UK PlayStation Magazine issue 2, January 1996

Platform games have been around since the dawn of man but it’s taken until now for them to enter the third dimension. PSM reckons this game’s a real gas

Be warned: gamers of a nervous disposition, afeared of precipitous heights and prone to attacks of vertigo and nose bleeds should turn the page. For Jumping Flash takes you on a perilous platform adventure, leaping majestically from pillar to post high above the ground (which in turn hovers above the clouds). And you also get to shoot stuff, too.

Robbit – a robot rabbit – is the hero of the moment, charged with a mission to thwart the dreaded Baron Aloha, an intergalactic property developer, no less. The Baron has stolen vast tracts of your planet, in order to create huge floating holiday villas in space. And that’s the honest truth.

But apart from some glossy video sequences, scenario and game actually share little common ground, so let’s dispense with the made-up-ities and progress directly to the hands-on stuff.

The real point of Jumping Flash is simply to collect four large carrot-shaped power-ups. These are secreted around each level on platforms of varying height and accessibility: some are very low and easily seen, some are mind-bogglingly high and buggers to locate. Predictably, Robbit is able to hurl himself skyward with some force. Time your button-presses correctly and the mechanical leporid performs three such gravity-defying jumps, cumulatively hurling himself hundreds of feet in the air. And therein lies the game: by a mixture of precision leaping and seat-of-the-pants-throwing-yourself-into-the-abyss-type manoeuvres, you have to seek out the four carrotty objects and exit the level.

Hindrances include a variety of nefarious, missile-gobbing creatures – flowers, hippos, giraffes, frogs, fat purple things on legs, and so on – that bar your path and fire harmful substances at you. These are dispatched by shooting them or by landing on them from a height – preferably a great one.

Complete three levels and (surprise, surprise) a boss monster appears in its own arena, waiting for you to kill it – or, more typically, vice versa. These end-of-world guardians are often the biggest challenge that the game offers up, as the straightforward platform stages – especially the early ones – are far from impossible (although the time limits have been tightened up from the Japanese original). This is slightly annoying as battling the bosses merely gets in the way of the real fun, which is throwing yourself around tiny platforms, buildings and balloons suspended in the stratosphere.

A screenshot of Robbit looking down from above at a fire-breathing dragon enemy

The play mechanics of Jumping Flash are brilliantly honed, so that you frequently have to take leaps of faith toward platforms you’re not quite sure you’ll reach. Later levels have tiny ledges and floating balloons which you have to negotiate with your clumsy big bunny feet. And the superlative fairground world has Robbit scooting around the place on towering, multicoloured rollercoasters – a singular gaming experience and no small error.

There are some six worlds in all, split into two areas plus the boss bits. So in total there’s just 18 areas – and a couple of them are boring underground levels, where Robbit is like a caged bird, unable to utilise his greatest asset. However, SCE has updated the UK game with a redesigned World 5, and Ridge Racer-style ‘Extra Worlds’ which you access upon completion of the game (as long as your score is high enough!). So there’s actually a lot of game to be had if you stick with it.

To suggest that Jumping Flash is innovative is a criminal understatement: there’s never been anything quite like this in terms of sheer brain-popping wow factor. Peering over a ledge, about a thousand feet in the air, is an awesome feeling: jumping off that ledge is a blast.

The ability to shoot things does feel like something of an afterthought: you can envisage the designers thinking. ‘Well, if we don’t put some shooting in, no one will buy it! But it might have been more in keeping with the theme of game simply to rely on Robbit’s size 27 stompers to stroy the baddies. Blasting them out of existence feels like a cheat, somehow.

Still, Jumping Flash is a very, very clever game. The hazy depth-cued graphics are spot on, and the gameplay – though less than perfect – is captivating enough to keep your average player battling away for a couple of weeks.

And should you defeat the good Baron, you’ll no doubt find the odd moment when you load up Jumping Flash, just to revel in the sheer thrill of jumping around like a rapid Robbit. This, dear readers, is what 32-bit gaming is all about.

VERDICT

GRAPHICS: 8
Vertigo-inducing

SOUND: 5
Standard aural accompaniment

LIFESPAN: 5
A flash in the pan, really

GAMEPLAY: 8
Astounding airborne action

PRESENTATION: 6
Bizarre video clips

ORIGINALITY: 9
Totally new concept

OVERALL: 8 out of 10
Jumping Flash is one of the new breed of games that only PlayStation can do. It’s a whole new gaming experience, so if you I can afford it, jump at the chance!

A screenshot of Robbit leaping over stage 1-2, with scenery including a hot spring, lava river and frying pan with fried egg

Go to Source – Retro Gamer

 


Bitmap Books To Release Metal Slug: The Ultimate History

This article is from RetroCollect – Retro Gaming Collectors Community. Click the title to hop over there.

BitMap MS2Bitmap Books are at it again and this time it’s all about slugs. Not garden slugs, but Metal Slugs.

Metal Slug: The Ultimate History looks set to be the first officially licenced book to cover the history of the extremely popular franchise that begun in arcades in 1996.

Bitmap Book have also announced that SNK have offered ‘unprecedented access’ to it’s vast archives of concept artwork and illustrations, some of which ‘are being made public for the first time’.

The book will also contain eleven exclusive interviews that of which will include Kazuma Kujo and Toshikazu Tanaka speaking about the creations and ‘evolution’ of the run-and- gun phenomenon .

The book promises to offer the ‘most complete’ insight into the series yet.

BitMap MS 1

Bitmap books have a superb history of quality books that have captured gaming moments in history that for the past few years have been a great source of reference and nostalgia whilst sitting on the coffee table.

Without a doubt, this one will be no less than what fans of the series deserve.

Let’s hope Peregrine Falcon Squad are up to the task.

Metal Slug: The Ultimate History will be available for pre-order in July and delivery is planned for September 2019. Bitmap Books will release more details soon.

Go to Source – RetroCollect – Retro Gaming Collectors Community

 


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