“He’s Making A List And Checking It Twice…”


Image courtesy atarimania.com (thanks!)

Yeah, yeah. I’m in the middle of a little (but not little at all) listing project for the fine folks over at Digital Press where I’m one of a few staff wroters who still works on the print ‘zine that gets published whenever we have time to get an issue out.

Everyone contributing to the next issue is going to be submitting a list of 30 “best” console or PC titles from each era 1971-2004 (for a total of up to 90 games from each writer) and those lists will get tallied up and then blurbed for readers to debate about later and perhaps get into unnecessary fisticuffs over.

Okay, that’s NOT the goal at all, but you know how the internet reacts to the most humble stuff these days. Then again, the DP readership is generally more mellow and reserved (well, usually). So I’m gathering whatever pops up from the staff collision at the end of the month will be quite a read. My own list is made up of mostly common games with a few oddball entries added in because they were and still are games that made quite an impression on me back in the day.

Anyway, let me get back to my compiling. I’m having a big brain battle over the final era thanks to so many systems to choose from, way too many PC games being too good and me trying to squeeze a mere 30 games out of thousands that also deserve to be included. Ah well -small world problem, right? If I don’t post anything again today, have a Happy Thanksgiving passed out in front of your TV or wherever else you’ll crawl for a nap after your turkey overdose.

Super Star Wars Lands on PS4, Vita: The Force Is Strong With This One


It feels 100% weird to say this, but there’s an old Super Nintendo game on a new Sony console and not so new handheld that’s a nice surprise for any Star Wars fan. Granted, Super Star Wars was also on the eShop for the Wii back in 2009, but this updated version for the PS4 and Vita offers a number of tweaks that include new save features, leaderboards, trophies, and updated display and controller options. Nope, it didn’t get a big HD visual overhaul at all, so hopefully you’re happy with the original 1992 SNES visuals in all their 2D and Mode 7 pseudo 3D glory:

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if you’re grinning like a loon because you have a PSN account, a PS4 or Vita (the game is Cross Buy, by the way) and $9.99 ready to fly out of your wallet, you’re already buying this before you’ve finished this sentence. Me, I’m still a little freaked that there’s a SNES game on a non-Nintendo platform and the earth hasn’t exploded from that fact. Oh,and new players to this one will find it hard as hell and a bit janky in spots. But it’s still a ton of challenging fun as well as a nice nostalgic trip into the past. Whatever strings Disney pulled to get this to happen (I’m thinking that this was a Sony Imagesoft-produced game back then may have helped) sure worked out alright although it would have been a better deal to get the SSW trilogy out for something like $20 or so.

Eh, we’ll see what the future brings for those ancient games about a galaxy far, far away. This new deal has me hoping that Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic I and II show up on a Sony console at some point. Playing both of those classics on my Vita would be a total mind-blowing thing to see happen in the near future..

Battlezone Trailer: Rebellion’s Newest Makes Me Feel Very Old

As someone who spent plenty of time in the arcades and at home playing the original Battlezone and its Atari 2600 port respectively and later the pretty awesome PC game and the not so awesome looking but still enjoyable N64 version, this newest take on the classic makes my bones ache. It sure looks spectacular and fast as can be, but the more Tron-like vibe and gaudy color scheme is very mildly rubbing me the wrong way. But that’s solely because I haven’t played the game yet. Sometimes it takes getting used to a visual style choice to fully enjoy a reboot, but I’m not going to be one of those internet whiners ranting about cosmetics. I trust veteran developer Rebellion enough that I feel comfortable that once I have my paws wrapped around a controller (and VR or no VR), I’ll be grinning nostalgically and having to have someone drag me away from the game at some point.

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Word has it that Rebellion may also be redoing the late 90’s PC game as well, which would be excellent if they went with a more “realistic” look to that one while adding elements from their popular Sniper Elite series. Hopefully, we’ll also see this on the Vita either as a Cross Play/Cross Buy or standalone solo and multiplayer game just because the handheld needs a bonafide smash hit. Tanks are ALWAYS awesome and there aren’t any decent portable games with them these days. Eh, we’ll see as usual. Oh, if someone at Atari isn’t looking at either Star Raiders or Space Lords as possible future reboots, they need to start doing just that. Technology has finally made making even more definitive versions of both classics possible and on multiple platforms as that. Get on it, people – call me if you need some ideas. I work cheap (but not free!).

Shadowgate on iOS: Castle of Doom Goes All Touchy-Feely

Shadowgate Dread Pumpkin 

Oh joy! Or should I say Zo-Joi! Shadowgate is now available on the iPad. $4.99 gets you this revamped classic that was a PC exclusive now on your tap and slide tablet of choice (well,if your tap and slide tablet of choice happens to be an iPad 3 or better). While not a “horror” game per se, exploring the gloomy deathtrap that is Castle Shadowgate can be a bit frightening at times. Hey, when you walk into a room filled with treasure and see that rather pissed off dragon eyeballing you, you’ll either get smart and get lost or get greedy and roasted up but good. Unless you have a certain item that can withstand a blast of fire or two. Yes, that was a free game tip.


The beautiful artwork in this remake alone is worth the five bucks you’ll spend. Fortunately, Zojoi has made the new version of their 1987 classic every bit as devious and challenging as the original with even more to do and some super-challenging difficulty options for you adventure game masters out there. As if this wasn’t a good enough deal, Zojoi has also gone and made iOS versions of its four original MacVenture Series games. For $1.99 each you can play the classic Shadowgate, The Uninvited, Deju Vu and Deja Vu II.

And yes indeed, The Uninvited IS a horror game (and a good one at that):


I shall leave you with the lovely lady in red above (that’s blood, by the way… YOUR blood!)- go get some yourself cheap classics today and have yourself an adventure (or four).

READS: The Haunt of Fear Still Packs A Moldy Wallop

The Haunt of Fear DH

Sometimes a good old scare is all you need and with Halloween right around the corner (with a baseball bat in claw), you can stay safely indoors and get your fright on thanks to Dark Horse Comics. They’ve been reprinting a bunch of lovely volumes of classic EC Comics and the latest, The EC Archives: The Haunt of Fear Volume 2 comes highly recommended. Coming to a comic shop near you October 28, this 216-page full color hardcover collects The Haunt of Fear #7–#12 and features art from Johnny Craig, Graham Ingels, Jack Davis, Jack Kamen, George Roussos, Ed Smalle, and Joe Orlando. I’ll tease you with a page from the very first tale in the book, a real corker called Room For One More:


I think that rather unbalanced Rodney needs to reconsider his greed for that last space in the family mausoleum before it’s too late, right? As usual, the book compiles the issues in their entirety including all the original ads, text pieces, and letter columns. Nope, you can’t order anything from those well-aged adverts, but reading the letters should get you smiling at how some took these illustrated tales of terror to heart back in the day. Feel free to also check out previous volumes in Dark Horse’s EC Archives for even more variety in classic horror, sci-fi, crime, humor and more stories from the pre-Comics Code days.

Humble Mobile Bundle Brings Kemco RPG’s Galore For Dirt Cheap

Humble Mobile Bundle Kemco1 

If you’re into a bit of 90’s JRPG nostalgia, own an Android compatible device and have yet to try some of Kemco’s modern but retro games yet, this new Humble Mobile Bundle is going to be right up your alley.  Pay a buck to get three games, but beat the average price of $5.56 and get six titles with a seventh to unlock soon and up to three more games if the total sales reach goals of $100k, $150k, and $200k.

Humble Mobile Bundle Kemco

Here’s a quick look at one of the games in this deal, The Legend of Ixtona, which is a turn-based strategy RPG:

Remember, the more you pay (or get friends in on the cheap deal), the more games come your way down the road. This sale lasts forabout two weeks, so jump on it and spread the good word while you’re at it.

BUY IT! MVD Entertainment Has Reptiles and Ants For Sale

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Oh yep. I’ve since forgotten who introduced me to Amphetamine Reptile Records way back in the day, but it was a fine and more than a little insane musical journey that was great while it lasted. MVD Entertainment Group is getting me (and some of you) to relive those glory days of noise rock with what’s going to be one of the best documentaries on the subject, Eric Robel’s The Color of Noise in a Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack. This trailer gives you a little taste of what to expect when the doc appears on home video November 24 and even better, MVD and AmRep will also re-issue some of the best releases from the label’s catalog on vinyl and CD starting in December 2015 and continuing into 2016 and beyond. Continue reading

Pocky & Rocky With Becky On Virtual Console: Bust Up Cute Baddies, Not Your Wallet


Given that complete used copies of the low production run Game Boy Advance title Pocky & Rocky With Becky can fetch over $200 and new/sealed ones over $300, Natsume finally getting the game out on the Wii U Virtual Console is a great thing for those who missed out on the game and don’t have hundreds to drop on a copy these days.


For a fraction off those ridiculous auction prices (and yes, the Japanese versions of that cart run a lot more) you can get all the deceptive cuteness the game delivers along with harder than you may have thought gameplay. Well, the game isn’t really that difficult. It’s just that one hit from any enemy will knock Pocky, Rocky or Becky out of action and if you lose all your lives, you’re restarting from the beginning of one of the seven stages. Anyway, that’s your heads up for this one. Natsume has been on a nice roll of getting a few GBA titles onto the eShop such as this one, Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town and the great, under appreciated RPG, Car Battler Joe (which also comes highly recommended).


Other Natsume GBA games headed to the eShop are Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town along with the two Medabots games, Medabots Rokushu and Metabots Metabee. All three should be popping up in the eShop in North America later this year. Alrighty then, let me let you get yours. Off and away with you now – you’ve got some cool (and now cheaper) games to buy and play.

When Your Week Is Nuts, You Dress Accordingly


Let the wild week begin, whee. I’m prepared at least on the outside for three days of crazy thanks to holding on to these Psychonauts T-shirts I picked up a few years back at a press event. Perhaps I should also intentionally mix up my socks and randomly pick a mismatched pair to add some more variety? Eh, we’ll see. Wearing two different sneakers or shoes is where I draw the line, though. Okay, week… bring it. I’ve got your number and then some…

Attack on Titan & Arslan: The Warriors of Legend: Omega Force Still Has Some Chops


I’ve been a fan of Omega Force’s work since Dynasty Warriors and Destrega on the original PlayStation shook up the fighting game genre. Of course, like many fans, Dynasty Warriors 2 was the game that made me really fall for the developer. While that series has seen quite a few entries and spin-offs into other series, it’s been their work on licensed and original games using that familiar engine that have really been the ones to watch. Between the Dynasty Warriors Gundam games, Fist of the North Star, Hyrule Warriors and now the one-two punch coming to consoles soon in the form of Attack on Titan and Arslan: The Warriors of Legend, it’s been fun to see Omega Force take on popular anime and game characters as they bring their Musou engine into new territory.


It’s too bad a great little sleeper like Trinity: Souls of Zill O’ll on the PS3 never got the attention it deserved. That game is worth tracking down thanks to it being more of an action/RPG than a straight up Dynasty Warriors clone. A bit tougher to track down but worth it Warriors: Legends of Troy. While it’s not an Omega Force game (Koei Canada did the programming job), it takes elements of the Musou games, adds some M-rated gore (in a nod to Zach Snyder’s version of 300) and makes for a nice and lengthy diversion once you’re hooked in. Another sleeper (but one that hasn’t been forgotten) is Bladestorm: The Hundred Years’ War, which earlier this year got a PS4 and Xbox One update/sequel called Bladestorm: Nightmare.

Both Attack on Titan and Arslan: The Warriors of Legend are coming to PS4, PS3,and PlayStation Vita with North American release dates for AoT to be announced as they get closer to completion. Arslan lands in Japan October 1st for PS3 and PS4, and it seems that Europe and North America will get these two plus an Xbox One version at some point.