Retro Games – ISS Deluxe!

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Football games – a staple of home and arcade games machines for as long as man or machine can remember, they have been an endless source of fun and vitriol for me since my Spectrum days. While I played a good many football games before getting a SNES, they mostly paled in comparison to that fateful day when International Superstar Soccer Deluxe arrived in the Nightman household. At this point, the only true multiplayer experiences I had had in my own house were on Super Mario Kart and Super Bomberman – both classics, and when ISS joined the drawer of games in my brother’s bedroom we had a new King.

There’s a strong case for ISS Deluxe being the best football game ever – sure it didn’t have real player names, and it obviously cannot compete with the graphics and sheer amount of options we have in the likes of Pro Ev and Fifa today, but for pure, terrifying enjoyment there is none better. With some ultra smooth, balanced gameplay, it was and is still a delight to play, without getting bogged down by all the realism and extras of today’s versions.

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As with all my gaming posts, this is part review, part personal recollection – more of why I liked it rather than why it is actually good. This was one of the many SNES games that I had immense fun playing by myself on, as well as with others and therefore have plenty of fond memories. To start with some review-ish comments, the game (as the title suggests) only features international teams meaning there was no local or national team rivalry when playing. When you’re young though you’ll find anything to be rivals over, such as who gets the pound coin from Granda, or who gets the five twenty pence pieces. I can’t recall how many teams were actually in the game, but it was at least 16 (probably more than 30), and featured all the main European and South American giants, along withe counties from Asia, Africa, and unlockable All Star teams. The teams did not feature real player names, due to licensing issue, but thanks to how much I played this game versus how much international football I watched I was probably more familiar with the invented player names than the real ones. Thanks to some graphical flourishes though, you could tell quite clearly who certain players were – Roberto Baggio had a ponytail, Ruud Gullit had a massive mop of dark weaving hair, while Chris Waddle had the uncanny ability to sky rocket every penalty.

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Boutros

Before you started your game there were a wealth of options, and before you got near those you even had a nifty title sequence followed by the eternal battle cry of ‘International, Superstar Soccer – DELUXE!’ On the main menu you had a variety of game modes – one off friendly match, short league, short cup, World Cup, World Series (ahem), penalties, training, and the ever popular Scenarios mode which saw you having to meet some explicit challenge such as winning a game with only a minute remaining and being a goal behind, to beating a vastly superior team with a vastly inferior team. These were a great, addictive extra, but I never could beat them all.

Penalties mode is as you would expect, while Training allowed you to hone your skills in peace. All of this was set to some funky, jazzy, and hyper-infectious music which I’m humming out loud as I type. The meat of the game of course comes in the actual competitions, and in these you had a wealth of options I had certainly not experienced before – kit types, weather types, night versus day, stadiums to choose from, how long you wanted games to be, and even changing the skills of the team and the keeper. Before starting any game you could choose your Keeper skill out of a range of 10, from essentially a man with no limbs in goals, up to essentially a brick wall. This led to many multiplayer moments of hilarious treachery as you would switch your opponent’s keeper skill down to one when they weren’t looking and laugh as every shot you hit went sailing into the net as they screamed on helplessly confused. The outfield players skills and fitness were displayed neatly as smiling faces – pink and smiling meant they were on fire, while sagging and purple meant they were at death’s door – again you could customize these to your liking. The honest way to play in the player versus computer tournaments was of course to cope with what you were given – if your best player was purple, you had to choose to risk playing him, or dropping him for some reject on the bench who never normally got a 90 minutes.

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Your typical one-sided affair

The graphics in the game are as bright and crisp as you would expect for a SNES game, but it really shines in the little details, such as player animations, and amount of stuff happening on screen. You could have multiple players on the screen, the handy map running at the bottom, rain booming down, and there would never be a drop in rate or change in how smooth the play was. Players and their kits were instantly recognizable, and there was a large selection of hilarious animations to wade through, from goal celebrations (including the Klinsman) to tackles, step overs, headers, and shrugging innocently to the crowd after being booked for snapping someone’s legs. Tackling was one of the most fun parts of the game, made even more fun by the (under-used nowadays) shoulder charge. Sometimes you would get so infuriated by your opponent, especially if they were cackling in the room beside you, as the somehow dodged every tackle and scored every goal that you would spent an entire half shoulder charging around the screen in an attempt to injure as many of their players as possible. This led, not only to a multitude of bookings and sendings-off, but also the immortal ‘DIRTY PLAY, REF!’ as you knocked someone to the ground and got away with it. Off the ball shoulder charging was great fun, and you would not be caught for doing it. Now that I mention it, you could also choose from three referees, one strict, one lenient, and one Collina. No matter who was there, I tended to get red cards more often than not for my exuberant 100 hard dash followed by elbow in the face on screen antics.

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Wasn’t me, ref

One other fun thing to do was slide tackle the goalie when they had the ball in their hands. This also tended to lead to an immediate red card, but sometimes you could get away with it which was always hilarious. In my house the SNES belonged to my older brother and at weekends he would sometimes have friends round to play Bomberman, ISS, and Mario Kart, and I would get brought into the action. This of course meant 4 player tournaments, and the dreaded two versus two, or two versus 1 player games. I think in all the games we ever played against my brother, we never beat him in a 2 versus 1. I still have nightmares about coming so close to victory one or two times, only for some mishap to defeat us. My brother’s friend Keith and I would team up. I was okay at the game, not as good as my brother, while Keith was worse than me, but for some reason we thought 2 was better than 1. I still remember leading one game 1-0 with seconds to go on the clock when Keith dove in with a Dirty Play Ref and gave away a penalty. 1-1. Into injury time I had a chance and smashed the ball from all of 40 yards into the cross-bar. This somehow fell to my brother on the wing and he was able to dance his way past every challenge, glide into my box and slip it past the keeper 1-2. Final whistle. Some things are best left in the past.

Having friends round for a 10-9 Friday night thriller was always excellent entertainment, but when I played on my own my list-keeping self would always come out. I would set up my own extended super-leagues, and keep a pen and pencil record of goals scored and best performances by my beloved Brazil. I probably still have pages and pages stored of results and goals by Allejo, Gomez, Santoz, and all of my other ISS heroes. This was before I had any management sim – I would run a tight ship based on who made mistakes in my games versus who scored a glorious last minute winner. While I always played as Brazil my brother was occasionally England, but mostly Holland -led by the dreaded Van Wijk. The computer had five levels of difficulty, and each one seemed nicely weighted with 1 being exceedingly easy, and 5 being pant-fillingly brutal, but all the more satisfying to slaughter.

Scoring goals in the game was perfection, from leaping headers, to hoofing one into the top corner from just inside the halfway line. Free-kicks were difficult to score, but not impossible, while hat tricks were common place. If you did score a hat trick you would get a bonus animation shown on the stadium screen. Likewise, if you came from behind to lead you would get a further stadium screen animation. It’s these little touches that felt beautiful and helped you rub the shattered remains of your best friend’s dignity into their stinking faces. The commentary was good fun too, and would pervade my every day speech, from ‘IT’S A BIIIG KICK’ to ‘NO FOUL?’ It was all charming and effective, and didn’t distract. Some of the controls would occasionally distract, like when you were trying to get the ball off an opponent and repeatedly hitting the tackle button, sometimes they would lose the ball by mistake and your tackle suddenly turned into a massive ‘boot the ball out of play’ as you couldn’t cancel the action. It all added to the fun though. Adding to the fun too was the good old ‘turn the referee’ into a dog cheat – pointless, but pretty funny.

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ISS Deluxe is an immortal watershed in football games. It must be one of the few sports titles that truly stands the test of time, over 20 years after its release, and a reminder of a time when Konami was king. Did you have the game? What are your cherished memories of it, or are there moments you have tried to forget? Let us know in the comments!

Satoru Iwata – December 6, 1959 – July 11, 2015

As the gaming world becomes increasingly focused on budget and meeting releases over delivering quality, of AAA titles which feel more like interactive movies than games, of graphics over playability, of churning out yearly rehashes of the same hit formula rather than innovation, of alpha white male chauvinism and ignorance over fun, it seems like the directors and figureheads of the world’s biggest companies are looking more like Gordon Gekko, or your boss, or walking Platinum cards, than actual people with a love for entertainment. Satoru Iwata always looked like he was having fun, whether it was talking about numbers and sales figures, or unveiling a new piece of software or hardware, he looked like he relished every moment and genuinely loved the Business. The outpouring of grief and gratitude over the past week has shown the wider world that gaming isn’t all about sales, money, trolls, and young white men blowing stuff up, but that it can be about people seeing their dreams realised, and creating a brighter and better world for the rest of us.

Iwata was first and foremost a gamer, with a love of playing and creating fun experiences which anyone should be able to enjoy. Instrumental in the creation of such hits as Balloon Fight, Earthbound, Kirby, and Pokemon before he even joined Nintendo. Within two years of joining Nintendo he became the company’s first President outside of the Yamauchi family and dedicated himself to delivering new and unique experiences which other companies could not provide, leading to the creation of both the DS and Wii family of consoles. Whatever your stance on where Iwata led Nintendo in the past decade, they have nevertheless been successful and continued to release some stellar games. Dying as he started preparations to lead Nintendo into more uncharted territory, we can only hope that those who take over his position strive to fulfill his legacy, and dream that others can strive to be as dedicated a leader as he was without forgetting why they work in gaming – to make great games.

RIP

Feel free to share your thoughts and memories of Satoru Iwata in the comments below.

Nintendo News 24th – 31st August 2014

It has been a quiet few weeks in Nintendo land recently, an expected part of the typical post – E3 excitement and unfortunate Summer drought. As we move towards the end of the year, a raft of new games on all of the major consoles means the run in to Christmas looks to be another fantastic one for gamers of all types. We were not expecting any major Nintendo news aside from the usual snippets about upcoming games until closer to year-end, but as always with Nintendo, they aim to surprise as well as delight. Lets review the biggest stories from the past week.

New 3DS: Earlier in the week, Nintendo announced that they would be having a Japanese 3DS focused Direct. Fans waited to see some more Smash Brothers info, and maybe an unannounced game or two, but what we got was the entirely unexpected announcement of 2 new handheld consoles – the New 3DS and New 3DS XL. Boasting a number of upgrades from the predecessors, the two consoles will be available in Japan before the end of the year, with the West following some time in 2015. This seems like a shrewd, if a little cynical move by Nintendo, knowing that the Japanese market is almost completely driven by portable devices. As more information emerged on the consoles, it has become apparent that these are more than just basic cosmetic upgrades. The sizes of each has been increased, the weight decreased; there is a new circle pad, new shoulder buttons, and new button placement and design; there is an NFC reader to enable Amiibo use; the 3D hardware has been revamped to ensure easier use, and a wider range of positions to get the best full effect; the CPU and RAM seems to have undergone some large improvement, though accounts are varying on this so far; new models now use Micro SD storage, with each console coming with a 4Gb card; some new wireless and internet security malarkey. Perhaps the biggest news, and news which has annoyed some existing users, is that a bunch of exclusive games will be coming which will only work on the new console – with a port of the Wii’s excellent Xenoblade Chronicles being the first of these. Will you be getting one? I’ve been waiting for a 3DS XL to come down in price so I can pick one up, but I may wait until next year now to pick up one of these bad boys. With a huge library already, there has never been a better time to join the Nintendo handheld family.

Job Cuts: In more depressing news, Nintendo Europe have announced that over 300 jobs will be cut. Obviously this is terrible for all employees, and we wish them all the best for the future.

Mario Kart DLC: As us Western gamers ‘eagerly’ waited for the MK8 Mercedes DLC, Nintendo dropped another bombshell with the announcement of 2 upcoming DLC packages. Coming late this year, and early next year, each package will offer 4 new characters, 4 new vehicles, and most importantly, 8 new tracks making a whopping 16 – that’s basically an entirely brand new game! Nintendo has rightly been late to the DLC game, and has proven that DLC does not need to be a cynical cash in (looking at you EA). Courses based on F-Zero, Animal Crossing, and characters such as Link have been announced, and best of all, each package is less than a tenner. Fans have been naming this Super Smash Kart, and the floodgates could yet open for countless cross-overs.

Amiibo: Amiibo pre-orders have begun, and apparently are performing very well on sites such as Amazon. Although I don’t have any interest in the figures myself, I imagine there will be a big market for this, with kids wanting to pick up each, with fans like me wanting to try out one for the novelty, and the hardcore fans wanting to have them all on their shelves.

Miyamoto Speaks: Legendary designer Shigeru Miyamoto has been in fine form recently, speaking on a variety of topics. Only little pieces of his discussions have since been released, so be sure to pick up next month’s Edge Magazine. So far, Miyamoto has been vocal about Nintendo, and his own personal desire to target the core gamer audience once more, moving away from the casual market which has slowly been moving away from Nintendo, and console gaming as a whole. Nintendo have always delivered quality – large scale imaginative adventures which transport gamers out of the mundane real world, and into a joyous world of invention and excitement. As a general rule, casual gamers do not want these types of things, instead wanting a quick addictive fix on the bus or toilet – in other words, they are the type of gamer who don’t really want the sort of fully fledged experience Nintendo is known to offer. Fans have reacted positively to the great man’s words, and if it means that we get less junk and more quality, then I am all for it. Miyamoto covers a variety of other concerns, and he is known to be an always honest, humble, and entertaining interviewer, so I’m sure there will be more highlights.

Bravely Second: The first footage of Square Enix’s highly anticipated sequel was unleashed this week, presenting a gorgeous visual style and a bunch of different jobs and outfits to choose from.

Pokken Fighter: A few weeks back, there was a rumour that Nintendo would be announcing a shocking new Pokemon game. Naturally, everyone was hoping for a fully 3D, HD Wii U game, but this week the game that was unveiled was Pokken Tournament, an Arcade only beat-em up. Using the latest Tekken engine, the game looks smooth, but likely won’t excite too many Western games unless a Wii U port is announced.

An action packed week then – I didn’t even get to mention the Bayonetta 2 release date or the NES Remix on 3DS announcement – let us know your thoughts about any of this week’s news in the comments section!

Nintendo News Roundup – 4th -10th August 2014

As expected, it has been another quiet couple of weeks in Nintendo land, with a mixture of good news and bad. A number of high-profile games continue to prove that the 3DS is king, while Mario Kart 8 is still riding high in the charts, though essentially on its own. Yet another AAA game will be skipping the Wii U as it continue to struggle in grabbing those Third Party titles, but it’s not too big a deal this time round – Nintendo fans got the original exclusive on the Gamecube. Capcom are re-re-re-releasing the original Resident Evil, this time it is an HD remake of the Gamecube’s updated hit. Considering the Gamecube version still looks gorgeous today, this shouldn’t be much of a miss. Still, it would have been nicer to have than not. Here’s the most recent news:

Hyrule Warriors: We recently had another batch of Hyrule Warrior News, with Nintendo seemigly hyping this one quite a bit. A Hyrule Warriors Nintendo Direct saw Ganondorf unveiled as a playable character and a new Adventure mode featuring top down classic stylings, as well as a tonne of other info on the other characters, their weapons, the maps, levelling up etc etc. The game is out in Japan next week!

Zelda Monopoly: Everyone’s favourite table-top family wrecker Monopoly finally gets a decent Nintendo themed edition, with a superb looking Zelda version. Will you be picking this up and earning a massive stash of rupees while you become Hyrule’s latest property tycoon?

Dan Adelman Leaves: The name may not mean much to the casual fan, or even those more familiar with Shigsy and Reggie, but Dan Adelman was key over the last few years in pushing the Wii U’s Indie credentials and marketing the console’s unique qualities to up and coming developers and smaller companies. However, recent months had seen some ‘outspoken’ comments from Adelman which culminated in him being banned from Twitter by Nintendo. Since leaving he has offered his opinions on Nintendo’s latest console, saying (as many others have) that the name is ‘abyssmal’ and that the console would have already sold much better with a different name. He has stated though that the console still has much to offer and has not yet sold in the numbers its quality warrants.

Mario Kart DlC: August sees some great updates coming for all MK8 owners, with a comprehensive Mercedes DLC pack and, more exciting perhaps, some updates fans have been crying out for. How many times have you accidentally selected View Highlights instead of Next Race because it was the top option between races? Begone, foul concatenation! WIth the new update, Next Race will now be th default option. Alongside this momentous update, there are updates to online communication, Mario Kart TV, Scoreboard options, the game will remember your vehicle parts, and most importantly, the option to have an on-screen TV map. The free Mercedes DLC offering 3 new vehicles will be coming to the West too.

Nintendo News Roundup – 7/20/14 – 7/26/14

It has been another quiet week in Nintendo land, with the Summer Drought keeping wallets filled, and the hot weather keeping us indoors for another bout of cider fuelled Mario Kart 8. With Nintendo live-streaming at Comic-Con, we were expecting a few surprises, but so far the focus has been on more footage and gameplay for upcoming releases like Smash Bros and Hyrule Warriors. Not many rumours then, but a few interesting news items.

News

Devil’s Third: The upcoming Wii U exclusive will be set in the USA and will see players choosing to survive alone or work as part of a team. Starting off with simple melee weapons, you will gradually build up a personal arsenal and wage war. The game promises unique online elements, and up to 16 players online together. In addition, the developers have stated that they will utilise the gamepad in a variety of original ways to ensure a gaming experience not possible on any other system.

Sega: Earlier this week, Sega announced that they would be showing previously unseen games at Comic-Con, as well as giving demos of the new Sonic games. Comic-Con is still going on at the moment, so keep an eye out for any special news.

Wii u system update: The Wii U has seen quite a few updates recently, and this latest sees a few additions which really should have been available from release. Better late than never! The latest update allows the transfer of data from one Wii U to another, new controller options for browsing the eShop, and some further stability upgrades.

One Piece: Yet another game has been announced in the One Piece franchise, and it will be hitting Japanese 3DS owners in December this year. One Piece: Super Grand Battle! X will see 85 characters collide in a giant mash-up. A host of other eshop indie games have been announced too, check out Nintendo’s main site for details.

NES Remix bundle: Gamers who haven’t yet experienced the retro mini game carnage of Nintendo’s Remix franchise can buy a new bundle later in the year – this set will contain Remix 1 and 2, as well as Super Luigi Bros.

Sales

Nintendo stock prices have been on the up in 2014, and since the release of MK8, stock prices have been the highest they have been all year. A strong E3, and a number of notable releases set for the second half of the year should mean investors, stockholders, and fans should all have grins by the time the clock strikes midnight on December 31st.

Nintendo News Round-Up 7/13/14 – 7/19/14

It’s that time again, when us Nintendo fans look back at the week’s happenings and non-happenings. It has been a quiet week, with only a few expected announcements to get the fans chatting in the forums. I was hoping someone would capitalise on the traditional summer drought this year, but unfortunately no dice. No fighters, RPGs, action romps either.

News

Mario Kart Arcade: Happy news for any Western gamers who still frequent those relics of the 80s – The Arcade (note – I love Arcades and wish every town had several). Mario Kart DX is coming to Western Shores, and a handy, bizarre trailer has been released to highlight how different everything is. The game looks fun, and I’ll be sure to give it a bash once it actually comes to an Arcade near me.

Smash Bros: Another blast of information for the Smash Bros enthusiast, and more updates of the various up and coming expos where you can go for an early go on the game. Three more characters have been added to the roster, with Lucina and Robin from Fire Emblem and Captain Falcon from F-Zero ready for a bout of carnage.

Mario Miaow: Early morning cartoon fans ahoy! Cat Mario has his own new TV show, exclusive to Nintendo consoles, and even better – you don’t have to sneak downstairs on a Saturday morning to watch it – the first episode is available now.

Fatal Frame Returns: Fatal Frame, or Project Zero, is coming back to haunt your dreams and make you terrified of turning on your camera when the lights are out. The fifth game in the always excellent series will be coming to Japanese Wii U Gamers in September, but no news of a European or US release yet. Hopefully we’ll get a confirmation on the Western release soon, as Wii U owners are starved of horror games.

Rumours

Sega: After last week’s news that Sega would not be bringing any titles to the VC, another spokesperson has appeared to say that while there are no immediate plans to release anything, the platform is not off the table.

Sales

YoKai Watch: The sequel has smashed records in Japan, selling 1.3 millions copies in a matter of days. The Japanese sure do love their little monsters – this is just the sort of game that could continue the revival of the 3DS in the West – it’s another in a long list which is ensuring the handheld’s domination in Japan.

Nintendo News Roundup – 5th – 12th July

Part of a new series of posts to summarise recent Nintendo News. I’ve been a Nintendo fan all my life, though I wouldn’t call myself a fanboy – I’m a gamer – but due to circumstance I only have time for one console – and my love for Nintendo overrides other consoles – I wish I had time to samples all the joys of the gaming world fully.

After all the commotion and excitement of a successful E3, it’s back to the business of delivering on all those promises and giving great games to the public. Let’s review the past week’s big stories:

News

Eye tracking patent: Nintendo is known for patenting some weird and wonderful things, and eagle-eyed fans know that patent sites are a haven for unearthing rumours, urban legends, and potentially new products. Detractors will say that this is just another attempt by Nintendo to find the latest gimmick, but the rest of us are keen to see if anything will actually come of this new patent. While most gamers will know all about Oculus Rift and the like, this could be Nintendo’s answer, or a possible sequel to the technology used on 3DS. It may yet drum up publicity and come to nothing (where’s that Vitality Sensor??), but it seems like an interesting idea to, pardon the pun, keep an eye on.

Project Cars Delayed: More disappointing news this week for Nintendo fans as Slightly Mad Studios announced that their gorgeous looking Racing Sim Project Cars has been delayed – but for Wii U only. This has prompted an expected angry outcry from Nintendo fans for a number of reasons – the game, according to a variety of reports looked like it was most highly anticipated on Nintendo’s console – much more that Microsoft or Sony’s – yet those consoles will be getting the game first. Secondly – this is far from the first time that a high-profile game has been delayed for the Wii U – one needs only to look back at the whole Rayman debacle. Nintendo fans are justified in feeling that the are being screwed over by other Companies – why not have a simultaneous release? There are a few ways of taking this news – it could be to SMS’s detriment, considering the release date for the game is the same as a couple of much higher profile games on PS4 and XBox One – it would make more sense to delay the release for all consoles, or bring it forward if resources are being pulled from the Wii U version to speed things up on others (unlikely). It looks like another case of the 2 leading consoles being favoured over Nintendo. However, the more positive way of looking at things is the Wii U version is being given extra time and consideration so that it becomes the best it can possibly be, and possibly the definitive version. Bandai Namco (who will be distributing) have stated as much – ‘”We’re committed to delivering an exceptional and unique experience for racing fans on Wii U and for this we kindly ask our devoted and passionate Nintendo fans for a little more time in order to ensure the game delivers on our vision of being the most authentic, beautiful, and technically-advanced racing game on any platform”. It doesn’t sound great in all honesty, just as things were looking good for the Wii U, with even Kotaku saying it was a great time to buy the console. Nintendo is lacking 3rd Party support, and realistic racing games, so this could be bad news indeed – then again, if and when it arrives, it could be an excellent game, but some Nintendo fans may be better and chose to stay away, while multi-platform owners may buy it first on another console.

 New Fighter for Smash Brothers to be unveiled: Series creator Masahiro Sakurai has announced that a new fighter will be unveiled on July 14th, so the rumour mill has already started spinning – Kranky Kong? Ridley? A Tetris Block? Shulk? It’s only recently that Pacman was added to the roster, and fans are keen for any new information on the hyped games. I’m not a huge fan of the series, although I have enjoyed the previous installments that I’ve played, but in my heyday it was not the most popular choice for multiplayer fun in the bedroom. Regardless, this is set to be a big seller for both systems and will hopefully convince a few more gamers to invest in the Wii U.

Hyrule Warriors overload: Hyrule Warriors got a decent showing at E3 and surprised many by how good it looks. Since E3, every day or two has seen new information coming out on the Dynasty Warriors/Zelda crossover in the form of a new stage or character. This week saw an abundance of information to keep those looking forward to the game in a state of frenzied anticipation. I’m yet to be convinced if this will be a purchase for me – I’ll likely wait for the reviews to come in, and if they are positive, wait for the game to drop in price after a few months (if the reviews are full of praise then maybe it’ll be an early purchase for me). I’m a huge Zelda fan, but I’ve never played a Dynasty Warriors game, and I haven’t played a really good kill-em-all-em-ep since the days of Golden Axe and Streets Of Rage days. This week has seen a bunch of new screens and information, including alternate constumes for characters, confirmation that fan (ahem) favourites Fi, Ghirahim, and others will be playable, Faron Woods and Skyloft will be new romping grounds, and that bollock-on-a-chain weapon from TP will be useable. If this is actually as playable as it looks fun, then it could be a surprise hit (and open the way for other game-mash-ups???)

Rumours

Diddy Kong Racing 2: One of the more interesting rumours coming out this week is surrounding a sequel to Rare’s exceptional N64 Karter Diddy Kong Racing. As alluded to above, for year my bedroom was a battleground for multiplayer mayhem, and DKR was a game which had countless hours thrown at it – often the battle mode taking precedence over the races. The game is still a favourite of mine, revolutionary for actually including a plot in a racer, as well as RPG elements, plus you had the added bonus of driving, flying, or hovercrafting your way through the many tracks which opened up different short-cuts and ways of getting one over on your opponent. Anyway, according to rumour, a sequel is in the works for Wii U and 3DS, being worked on by none other than Retro Studios. RS were notably absent from E3, leading many to speculate on what they were working on – StarFox, Metroid Prime etc. Rumours state that the game was almost going to be shown at E3, but pulled at the last moment, that Amiibo will be a key integration point and was key in reviving interest in the game, and that it is Nintendo Of America’s biggest project so far. We’ll keep our eyes peeled, I’m hoping this will become a reality.

Yokai Watch Coming To West: More good news for Western gamers, is that uber-popular RPG could be coming to our shores. As mentioned above, the second game has only just released in Japan to huge sales, and Level 5 and Nintendo will (or should) be savvy enough to know that anime is pretty huge over here too, though maybe not as culturally accepted yet. Nevertheless, games featuring cutesy Japanese characters will always be more accepted that movies, so it makes sense that the game could be profitable here. With the anime previously rumoured to be coming over here soon, it would make doubly sense for the game to come too.

Sega says NO to Virtual Console: Bad, but unsurprising news for retro fans when Yoseke Okunari responded to a fan’s question over the possibility of Sega games coming to the VC with a fairly resounding ‘No’. Again, we can take that with a pinch of salt, but in all honesty the VC has not been anywhere near as strong as it should have been by now on Nintendo’s latest console. For two companies with such huge and beloved back catalogues, it is infuriating that more is not being done. In the end this likely comes down to money spent versus profit – how many fans have already bought or played the original Sonics etc in some form? The silly thing is that we could easily be getting Saturn and Dreamcast games on the VC, just as we coukd and should be getting N64 and Gamecube games on it. It seems unlikely anything will happen now on this front as Nintendo focuses its strategy on new Wii U games and on the using the Gamepad for uniqute experiences. The VC should have been populated and ready to go on Wii U release day, but who knows , maybe this is freeing Nintendo and Sega up for some more HD remakes – Eternal Darkness… Shenmue….?

Sales

I’m not one to talk much about Sales, and you won’t hear me mention them much on these news updates, but it’s worthwhile to note that Mario Kart 8 is still selling well on a console with a low install base, and has helped the Wii U shift a bunch in the European, NA, and Asian markets. It’s still holding its own against the might of Watch Dogs and will continue to sell for a long time – see Nintendo what a little bit of publicity can do? Other recent releases Tomodachi Life and Yokai Watch 2 have been doing extremely well, especially Tomodachi Life which has seen stable growth in the UK. Yokai Watch was always going to be a hit in native Japan, and with almost 1 million pre-orders, it’s hardly surprising it sailed to the top of the charts.

There we go, another interesting week in the world of Nintendo – feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below, or get a discussion going on any of the points raised above.

Nightman Games Presents – F00d B0t and SpaC(e) Head!

Greeting consumers! Nightman Games have a SPEYSHAL SAIL on for 2day onlee! THis slae will last only 4 2days, inlcuding 2day and the other day 42 dAys! Ask mummy and also yes ask Da-dee to take you to the shoppe so that you can be first boy on street 2day2 experience the 4rolic and funs of Nightman Game’s’ ‘ latex gemes!

Game #1 is Fo8d BoT! In this quest, you are FOOD Bort, and you must use the Kempston interface to acquire food bits in your nev-erending quest to acquire fod bits over THREE LEVELS (including Bonus Third Level 3!). Move away from the baddies including Ro8oflybots, green robobofly8ots, and even FAMISHED CHILD to escape into Space Hairdresser. It ais a quest you must complete if you wish to finish the game. Flybot,,, and stunning graphics unheard of in Xbox and PS360! Features 2 player fun where 1 player plays and player 2 can WATCH!

F00d B0t

Game hash 2: is SpaC9hed! Yes, in SpaC(e) Head, you star as Spacship 1 and must traverse hundreds of empty space screens in AMAZING three D movements in order find McCoy the fiend of Spac. Yes, you can travelle north, south, east, or other,and even up or DOwn,, but bemember to mind which screens yo go thro because there is only 1 combination to reach the SpaC(e) Head! Capture stardust particles on your way to Zool and carry out spacship improverments such as faster engine, super wings, big gun, BIG gun, and bigger GUN. Hear the amzing soundtrack now remixed with 8 notes, now incuding A and E. Q is shoot to kill the SpaC(e)Head, whilst W is WAIT, and S equals SUICIDE BOMB. Lightspeed button can only be used 1ce and may will cause game freeeze.

SpaC(e) Head

Silent Hill: Silent But Diddly!

Silent Hill is based on the computer game of the same name- Quiet Hill. I’ve never played it but I hear that actually this film is based on bits from all of the games, most notable the scene where you enter the sewers and are attacked by hordes of giant spiders. That was very scary in the game, but not scary et al here because it doesn’t actually happen.

A woman loses her daughter in a scary town and decides to go looking for her. The town in covered by a spooky fog, and everything is very quiet. She enters the town while her husband tries to catch up with her a few miles behind. In the town she is attacked by zombies, people with shovels for heads, nurses with bandages for eyes, and wasps with guns for their mouths. She realises that it is all a cult where the children are burned in giant statues made of hay- hence all the smoke and fog in the town. Her daughter is going to be burned and it is a race against time to save her. The interesting part is that only certain times of the day can the monsters come out- a copy of Dracula. When the clocks strikes she knows she’d better hide as that is when the monsters (known in the game as cenobots) come out to play and eat! It gets even more interesting as the husband comes to the town but finds it completely deserted, so we don’t know if it is all a dream, or if she is dead, or if he is dead, or if anything is what it seems. The acting is mostly good, and Mr Bean does a good job of playing a serious role for once rather than the slap stick comedy he is used to. The mum (played by Peggy Mitchell)is the latest in a long line of strong female heroines, starting with Buffy. If it had been Buffy, she would have no doubt contacted Giles, worked out what was going down, and fought her way through the bad guys, quipping as she went.

There are a few scary moments (like when the woman wonders if she should look into the dirty bath water or not) but I think it would have been better if it had been a Zelda game instead. Imagine watching Link riding Epona out of the forest of his home and out onto a massive Hyrule field, with a score of enemies coming towards him. It would be great to see all the sword fights, but also the boomerang and hookshot too. Silent Hill is one of my favourite games, and this film does the game justice as it doesn’t make any sense but has good graphics.

Best Scene- When the wife is walking between all the scary nurses, trying not to breathe or touch them or they’ll stab her. One of them farts and she tries not to laugh and be sick. This was completely inappropriate and horrifying.