Yesterday Nintendo announced the Super Nintendo Classic Mini, but Sega, Atari and AtGames aren't taking the news sitting down. Declaring "the Retro Gaming War is On!", AtGames is answering with a salvo of classic gaming hardware from Atari and Sega. First up is the Atari Flashback 8 Gold Edition, which comes bundled with 120 games and unlike the first 7 Atari Flashback consoles, this one has 720p HDMI output and allows for game saves and a rewind feature. The Sega Genesis Flashback has similar features, 85 built-in games and the ability to play original Genesis cartridges. Both consoles come with two 2.4ghz Bluetooth controllers, replacing the rather finicky infrared controllers from older models.
AtGames is also refreshing their handheld lineup, with the Atari Flashback Portable and the Ultimate Sega Genesis Portable Game Player. Both have a rechargeable battery, 2.8 inch display, TV output and are expandable via SD card.
I have mixed feelings about these new devices. AtGames has done a pretty decent job with the Atari Flashback over the years so I'm glad to see it getting a revamped menu system and HDMI output. That said it's still just running 2600 games, not 5200 or 7800 titles. I grew up playing on an Atari 800 8-bit computer, so if they included some of those games they would definitely have my money.
As for the Sega Genesis Flashback, I really hope AtGames has improved their build quality because their previous Sega consoles were pretty sub-par. The emulation was spotty at best and those wireless IR controllers were a real nightmare. Thankfully the Genesis Flashback looks like an entirely new product, I just wish they would expand the library with some 32X and Sega CD titles. Considering what a pain it is to track down and hook up the 32X and Sega CD, simply emulating them out of the box would be a real system seller.
In the end however, it might not matter. If Nintendo has the same embarrassing hardware shortages with the SNES Classic that they had with the NES Classic last year, AtGames might be able to swoop in with their readily available products and sway frustrated shoppers. I guess we'll see when these new consoles arrive this September.
While the original Farming Simulator 17 was a pretty full game, Farming Simulator 17 Platinum is poised to offer a gigantic increase in content. While adding a South American backdrop (with new scenery, local cows, and a railway network) might be enough to satiate most fans, the game also promises to have more vehicles, livestock, crops, and a bunch of Platinum-only content. The game hits retailers on Nov. 14th.
Boy, the NES Classic Edition was a fiasco and a half wasn't it? Between baffling hardware shortages and a paltry 30 game library you couldn't expand, Nintendo's first foray into the plug-n-play market could have been handled a lot better. Personally, I just opted to play my Cyber Gadget Retro Freak instead.
But now the inevitable day has come, and Nintendo has announced the Super Nintendo Classic Edition. It's slated for launch on September 29th for $79.99. This is a bit galling, considering the NES Classic cost a mere $60 and had 30 games, while the SNES Classic will only have 21!
Ah, but there's a catch: the SNES Classic will have Star Fox 2, a game that was nearly completed in the sunset days of the SNES but never released...officially. Star Fox 2 was scrapped in favor of moving most of its ideas over to Star Fox 64, but the game was practically finished and as a result, a beta rom has been floating around on the internet for years now. I've played around with it and it has a pretty decent fan translation too. Even my Retro Freak will play it! That said, seeing the oft-rumored Star Fox 2 finished and officially released by Nintendo makes the SNES Classic a tempting buy...if they make enough of them this time, that is.
Check after the break for a full list of games and features.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was remastered and packaged exclusively with Infinite Warfare special editions, much to everyone's disappointment. Well, now they're finally releasing it by itself (after saying they wouldn't), but there's still several problems.
One, it's only on Playstation 4 to begin with. It's coming out for PS4 this Tuesday, with the Xbox One and PC coming at an undisclosed later date.
Two, it still costs $40. It was already ridiculous enough to charge for the special editions of Infinite Warfare, but now if you would like to play this remastered 10 year old game, you still gotta pay 2/3 of full price.
Three, that price doesn't include the 9 year old DLC. This version isn't even the whole package, and if you want to play the DLC, you'll need to pay an additional $15.
I genuinely think Modern Warfare is one of the greatest games ever made, but this marketing has just been ridiculous. For the Xbox One players out there, just go buy a used copy of the Legendary Edition of Infinite Warfare; Modern Warfare remastered is coded into the disc.
Microsoft didn't have much to say with regards to actual games in their E3 conference this year, sticking mostly to discussing new hardware, which, admittedly, was exciting. It looks like this was intentional, however, and that they are simply keeping their cards close to their chests, according to Gamereactor.
After discussing Scalebound in particular, marketing head Aaron Greenberg discussed the dangers of announcing games too early. Waiting for the right moment can certainly pay off; Fallout 4's announcement, along with a release date mere months away, was one of the greatest E3 moments of all time to this writer.
As for what these games are, it's anyone's guess. Microsoft has a bevy of properties they could be making additions to, or it could be new IP. I have a feeling we'll start to hear more as we get closer to the Xbox One X's release.
The notification had gone straight to my spam folder, but Atari is back in the hardware business and making a new console. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is on Kickstarter with a scientifically accurate exploration game he's co-creating called Space Odyssey. And this landscape designer analyzed The Witcher 3, Mass Effect, and Dishonored.
What are you playing?
Patrick Aloia, Staff Writer, @PatchesAloha
I'm playing more PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. I've had a busy week, so it's my perfect unwind game, still. Otherwise, I'm hacking away at Hollow Knight, which is nice, and some of it really nice, but I don't know if I'm completely sold on it yet. Might be a bit of Metroidvania/Souls clone fatigue, which I talk way too much about, but it's only because I gravitate so easily to those games. I'll also be using Strafe to unwind, since it's so sincerely dumb and mindless. I'm pouring more hours in that game than I care to admit.
Sean Colleli, Staff Writer, @scolleli
After the welcome reveal of Metroid: Samus Returns at E3, I'm replaying AM2R: Another Metroid 2 Remake. This is to thumb my nose at Nintendo a bit, but honestly more so I can refresh my memory. I have a lot of faith in MercurySteam and I'm incredibly excited to experience their reimagining of Metroid II come September. That said, AM2R is a revelation, and I'm not sure if anything can compare to the quality and attention to detail from a decade of fan dedication.
I've also picked up Saints Row 2 during the GOG summer sale. Now I remember why my friends and I referred to the Saints Row series as "GTA, but you know, fun."
Dan Colonna, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org
I just wrapped up Blackwood Crossing on PlayStation 4. After finishing this game, I don't think I'll ever view narrative gaming the same way. Here was a heartfelt story wrapped in a clunky game. And yet, in spite of its shortcomings, this tale it told left a mark on me. If you're in the mood for some feels, pick it up.
As with most Nintendo Switch owners, I am now an ARMS combatant. Initially, I was playing this game with the Pro Controller—that is to say, the stationary method of gaming. Before too long, I decided to give the boxing motion controls a try. After about 10 minutes of waving my arms around like a goofball to no avail, I was waving my arms around like a goofball with some wins under my belt. This game is great fun, and the character design is out of this world. Nintendo is trying new things, and it is good.
Kinsey Danzis, Staff Writer, email@example.com
Not much time for games this week between family travels and preparation for adopting a cat, but during my downtime I'm finally attacking Mirror's Edge Catalyst. I bought it ages ago during the Xbox Spring Sale, having held off on it initially due to complaints of monotony and disappointment, but I finally remembered it was sitting in my library and decided to crack it open. So far I think the open world aspect is a bit more repetitive than expected, but I'm enjoying the freedom that I couldn't get in the original Mirror's Edge. The graphics are such a huge improvement, though, and I honestly think it's a beautiful game to play.
Dave Gamble, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org
After a tense and lengthy trek (on foot, because I stupidly left my extension cord required to craft a Quad in my Bambi suit when I changed into something less orange) across a good chunk of Altis, only to get whacked within a quarter mile of my destination (and, insult to injury, I never knew what hit me), I decided I've had just about enough of the Arma 3 Exile mod.
Having reached my personal limit with one-shot deaths and the frustrations therewith, I'm heading back to Far Cry 4, where I know that I can survive a bit more abuse. I suppose it's a sign of my propensity to return to the well known that I already know I'm going to lapse right back into my Far Cry modus operandi, which is me making cowardly attacks on outposts from above with rifle-fired grenades being plunked from the relatively safe perch of the little gyrocopter. It's also a sign on my ineptitude that I have the process of respawning and getting myself quickly to a replacement chopper down to an art. Story line? What story line??
The U.S. Open has come and gone, so I only have another week or so of relaxing each evening with a round at The Golf Club, paired with a double of Glenlivet. And another on the back nine. By next week I will be fully into golf remission until the British Open in July. The Golf Club is the closest thing I've found to a reasonably priced golf simulator, and I'm enjoying it while I can. The Golf Club 2 releases next week, and I'm terrified that they're going to ruin it. If they make it any harder, I'm going to have to cut back on the scotch, and who wants to have to do that?
Charles Husemann, Editor-in-Chief, @chusemann
This weekend I'm going to dive back into The Division. Ubi invested a lot of resources into upgrading the game since it launched, and I'm thinking another trip into the Dark Zone is in order. Right now I'm debating if I want to start a new character fresh or try to find the thread of where I left off last year. Time permitting, I might also see if I can get a few rounds of BattleTech backer beta in, and maybe pick something up off the Steam summer sale.
Randy Kalista, Staff Writer, email@example.com
The Steam summer sale started Thursday, so we'll see just how big of a dent it makes in my wishlist and my wallet by the July 5 end date. Six months in, however, and I've stuck to my New Year's Resolution: Buy One, Play One. Meaning, I don't buy a game—I don't care at what price—unless I'm going to play it right then and there. My console and PC library continues to slowly grow, but at least I can say that I've played every game I own.
That said, I've really got my eye on RimWorld. Partially because I'm reviewing the Psych Ward DLC for Prison Architect, and the two art styles are so similar that I had to dig to make sure the two games weren't from the same developer. They're not. But they both have squat Russian-nested-doll-looking characters, the view is so top-down that every building is only one story tall, and, for the most part, you only have tangential control of all the onscreen characters as they go about their Dwarf Fortress-styled lives. I just want something that's going to tell me a story right now, and RimWorld has so many quiet, meaningful variables that I just might get lost in its psychology/ecology/diplomacy/gunplay/interpersonal relationship blueprints.
Steam sale update: I added and played the medieval city builder Banished to my library on the first day, along with Dungeon of the Endless on the second day. Stay strong, Buy-1-Play-1 resolution. I'm $7.50 poorer, but two excellent games richer.
Rob Larkin, Staff Writer, @Rob_GN
I'm on a gaming-free weekend as a result of a lost bet with my wife two years ago and the chip she is now cashing in. I will however, be cleaning out my inbox and hope to get to inbox zero on my Gmail, have a truckload of catch-up to do on a MOOC course on machine learning I am taking, and will hopefully be starting my first real-life iOS app (schoolwork aside), if I can get around to first swapping out our laptops, because if I'm doing dev work it's going to be done on her year-old MacBook Pro, not my five-year-old MacBook Air. All of this is to be done sitting in front of an oscillating fan because we're having a bit of a heatwave in Britain and it is not comfortable.
Nicholas Leon, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org
I'll be exploring more in Uncharted 4 this weekend. I've found that the gunplay in that game is quite energetic, if at least a little frustrating. It makes me curious, however, as to why the video game equivalent of Indiana Jones (Nathan Drake) is killing so many people. I mean, of course they're all bad guys trying to kill him, but shouldn't that have an effect on him? I understand that Naughty Dog was trying to go for a more mature tale with this supposed final outing, but the way the game tackles violence disturbs me.
But besides the unrealistic effect that violence has on Nathan Drake, I really like Uncharted 4's loading screen. There is simply a percentage point on the bottom left corner, and a spinning doubloon on the bottom right. It's very old school, which is why I like it. That and the fact that this is basically the closest thing to a Goonies video game adaptation we're ever going to get.
Fire Pro fans, the long wait is finally over. Spike Chunsoft has revealed that the early access version of Fire Pro Wrestling World is almost ready to hit the mat, and it will be here in a few short weeks. Fire Pro Wrestling World will be released on Steam early access on July 10th, and will cost $19.99.
The early access version of the game is already coming with a ton of features including multiple match types, creation modes, new moves and 1v1 online play. It seems like they are using Fire Pro Wrestling R as the base game for early access and will build upon it from there. Hell, I would easily pay $20 if they just released Fire Pro Wrestling R again because as I have said many times, in my opinion, that game is the best professional wrestling videogame ever made.
No word yet on a release date for the PS4 version but I would assume that will be announced once the Steam version gets ready to head out of early access and into an official release.
I think it was as early as 1984 when Meig's Field, conveniently located on the waterfront of Chicago, became the default launching spot for the earliest versions of what would eventually become the Microsoft Flight Simulator dynasty.
Thousands upon thousands of pilots made their first virtual flights here, and it had always been something of a Mecca for real-world fliers as well. I myself landed there once, and would certainly have returned many times had the airport not been diabolically bulldozed in the middle of the night in March of 2003 to make room for a relatively mediocre park. Mayor Daley made a lot of enemies that day, and Microsoft had to find a new default location.
It was a pretty good twenty year run for Meigs, and we will never get that airport back, but thanks to the newly released KCGX Meigs Field scenery pack for Aerofly FS2 we can relive the experience of flying down along the coastline with the city of Chicago right alongside and landing close enough to get a fairly cheap ride into town.
"Few airports hold as much nostalgia, familiarity, and emotion for aviation enthusiasts. Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, Meigs Field operated as the gateway to corporate Chicago for over half a century. Now, twelve years after its closure, Merrill C. Meigs Field (KCGX) has been recreated by Orbx and IPACS with the utmost attention to detail and accuracy. Depicted as it was in its final years, virtual pilots are welcomed to return to what was once the busiest single strip airport in the United States and enjoy it in high definition. Featuring a fully modeled terminal, highly detailed static aircraft, and other historically accurate elements, the airport has been brought back to life. In addition to the airfield itself, the city of Chicago waterfront and parks district have been included as well. This special release for Aerofly by Orbx includes 12,000km2 of photoreal coverage, animated people and ferris wheel plus many other details to discover."
Available now on Steam for $24.95.
Look, I know: it's just chess. It shouldn't be a big deal. And it's not. Sixty-four squares, white pieces line up over here, black pieces line up over there. Same as it ever was since the 15th century. But I have to admit, Chess Ultra looks really good.
I mean, there are two key discussion points you have to have in the meeting room if you're going to make a chess video game. One, can we sell more of a game whose gameplay mechanics have been locked down for 600 years? And two, I don't have a two. But what can one company possibly do to light a fire under the latent video game chess industry?
Well, you go big or you go home. And it looks like Ripstone isn't going home. These are the most detailed environments I've ever seen in any chess game ever, where not only are the pieces detailed like they're ready for a Forza camera mode, but the environmental storytelling (that's a strong term) surrounding the chess board is littered with the trappings of the chess player's lifestyle.
And that's what kicks this one up into a league of its own. Be it realism or high fantasy, Chess Ultra is selling a lifestyle. Yes, those are some mighty fine-looking chess pieces you have there. But did you see the coffee service, the stack of books topped with Bram Stoker's Dracula, and the Moleskine diary adjacent to the board? What about the museum-quality setting with marble busts down the hall, where, by contrast, you're playing on a cheap card table, sitting on folding chairs, and sipping from disposable coffee cups with garish little sugar packets sitting on the side? Oh, and don't miss the part where you're playing against Death, under the light of a dozen candles, with pieces that looked like they were carved from brimstone quarried out of the Ninth Circle of Hell.
But Chess Ultra also makes a statement by coming out on every this-gen platform, barring the Nintendo Switch. Not only did it launch on June 21 on Steam, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, but also on Vive, Oculus, and PlayStation VR. I haven't done the research, but I haven't seen too many games come out with quite that big of a spread this generation yet.
The game features 10 Grandmaster-approved AI levels. Local and online multiplayer with ELO ranking system. Classical, Blitz, and Marathon time controls. Full Twitch integration. And tutorials (they sound like video tutorials, however) meant to improve your game.
Good show, Chess Ultra. I'm not sure if you're going to hit #1 on any Microsoft, Sony, or Steam sales charts, but you've made it onto my wishlist. Sick distortion of Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata," too. Worthy of an Assassin's Creed trailer.