Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Nintendo PlayStation - Further Updates


Just when it seemed that this fabled machine had disappeared back into the ether from whence it came it's owner is back with a much needed update. It looks like the machine will be on display at a Hong Kong retro event HK.Retro very soon, where it will be powered up publicly for the first time.

With so little news about this console oddity, I was beginning to think that maybe Nintendo, Sony or both had stepped in and hushed up the owner. Even though it was acquired legally I thought there maybe some legal rights to it held by the original developers, some complex EULA which gives them rights to it in perpetuity. If there is it seems like they're not enforcing them at the moment.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Sharp X1 - Obscure Systems Showcase

Another video I've made showing a few games for another often overlooked computer system, the Sharp X1. Japanese computer manufacturers liked to have a lot of strings to their bow, often releasing many incompatible systems with overlapping capabilities, and Sharp of course were no exception. They'd already had some success with their 8-bit MZ line, but the X1 series was more focused on gaming, graphics and multimedia rather than productivity. Less well known than NEC's offerings, but still relatively successful, a lot of good games were released on the X1.
The stand out titles here are probably Namco's arcade conversions and the tough but oddly original Brain Breaker. Ther's a very in depth article about Brain Breaker over at Hardcore Gaming 101, which is well worth a look and gives it a far better treatment than I could hope to.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Achtung! The Unofficial Game and Watch Collectors Guide - Out Now!

This guide from David Gschmeidler and Gerhard Meyer is available in English, but surely the original German is the best way for the authentic Teutonic Game and Watch appreciation experience.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

iMPdraw - Amstrad CPC Art Package

An interesting new release for the Amstrad CPC and CPC Plus computers on, a new art package. 
There's a lot more info here, but in French.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Vectrex Roli - Doing what he does best, Vectrex Homebrew!

Another video from Austria's finest retro gaming YouTuber, this time featuring a a selection of three Vectrex hombrews including an all new title, Marine Fox. I could listen to this guy talk all day. 

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Introducing the Recreated ZX Spectrum - The Other One

Yep, the other re-imagined ZX Spectrum has arrived, the one from Elite Systems. Unlike the Vega it's not a plug and play, but essentially a Spectrum shaped Bluetooth keyboard with an accompanying 'app' that lets you play some Speccy games.  The keyboard was always the very worst feature of the original Spectrum and it was only the original and very first models in the Spectrum line up that had the rubber membrane thing. Later models, like the Spectrum + and 128 had much nicer, if not actually good, keyboards to remedy this problem. I'm not sure what the sales figures were, but I wouldn't be surprised to find that later Speccies with better keyboards outsold the rubbery original. It seems odd then that Elite would focus their recreation on the crappiest and most quickly abandoned part of the Spectrum, but I suppose it's iconic and maybe get's peoples attention.
A Spectrum with a less crappy keyboard
I've no idea what the app is like, I'm guessing it's a Spectrum emulator with paid downloads, but everything I've read is a bit light on details. By the sound of things it will function as a 'normal' Bluetooth or  wired keyboard with a lot of devices, so you may well be able to use it with your favorite PC emulator or even Word if you're really that way inclined.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Prepare for the erm... Afterbirth!

What's got to be one of the least appetisingly titled DLC packs in a good while finally has a release date. The new pack apparently has over a 1000 new rooms, a new playable character and probably a load of other stuff too. The bad news is it's not free, unlike Shovel Knight's recent upgrade. Oh well.

Video Game? What Video Game? Take a look at the UK video game market of the late 80's/early 90's

This video, put together by UK video game distributor Telegames, was supposed to be a buyers guide to current systems on the market. It covers a pretty wide range of systems, from the Atari 2600 all the way up to the Megadrive.  It also includes systems that I don't ever remember seeing in the UK, like the Colecovision and the Atari 7800. Probably the most interesting part though is the small segement at the end about the fabled never released Konix Multisystem. The Multisystem has become fairly legendary amongst collectors with  odd bits of information being discovered over the years, culminating with the discovery of software images and even the release of an emulator

Saturday, 5 September 2015

ZX Spectrum Homebrew Lirus

There's no footage of this interesting new homebrew in action yet on YouTube, just the trailer from the developer, so I thought I's remedy that with a play through of the first 5 levels. This has to be one of the best Speccy homebrews I've seen in a while and it's no surprise since developer RetroSouls is also responsible for the excellent Alter Ego games that came out over the past couple of years.

Lirus is an original take on the multi directional Robotron style shooter game, with excellent presentation and fantastic title music. Slower paced and the classics of this genre it's still a lot of fun to play and quickly gets challenging. What really makes it unique is the emergent behavior of the enemy viruses that you are tasked with killing. Rather than moving around the stages like traditional enemies they multiply and spread gradually across the stage like cellular automata, a nice idea that adds an unusual challenge.   Definitely worth checking out.

Friday, 4 September 2015

DragonBox Pyra Gets Closer

The DragonBox Pyra, successor to the Pandora open source console, seems to be edging closer to release. Accoring to the latest news on the Pyra Blog, hardware is in production and prototype units are expected in November.
The path to release for the Pandora was anything but smooth, with people waiting months or even years to receive the console they paid for, but here's hoping that the reorganised team behind the new device have learned from the experience.

As ever the expected price for the machine is as vague as the release date, but it certainly looks cool. 

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

More Chaotic Constructions - Mattel Aquarius Demo

Looks like all the results for the Chaos Constructions Party 2015 are in at  Including a very rare showing for the Matel Aquarius with this demo.

Admittedly it isn't the most impressive scene demo you'll ever see, but it's rarity makes it worth a watch. 

If you're not intimately familiar with failed home computers of the 1980's then you may not have heard of this system. It was pretty undistinguished in every way apart from it's crappyness and was toy company Mattel's attempt at entering the home computer market. They had had some success with the Intellivision console, but they couldn't repeat it here and the system was canned within 5 months.