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After a year of Coronavirus restrictions, many folks think the changing year will bring back arcades and brick& mortar shopping. Just as all the other human-idealized markers didn't hinder COVID-19, neither will the turning of a new year. Stay vigilant. Stay home. Play video games.

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May 2021 Retro Gaming Articles:

May 1, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Limited Run Games is offering the Castlevania Collection for Nintendo Switch and PS4

Chicken Range is dreadful but contains a Flappy Bird clone
LRG is offering various collector editions of this Konami classic.
I remember when this was introduced in May 2019 as a download. Definitely stoked to see this release, but I held off because I really wanted a physical release. Two years later Limited Run Games is offering the Castlevania Collection in a variety of collector editions for Nintendo Switch and PS4.

The collection contains eight games (titles listed below) on a single cartridge/disc and is a great way to relive the classics or jump into this amazing platformer across multiple titles. In June of 2019 Komani released the Contra Collection. This one I bought even though it was only a download. Now one has to wonder of LRG will release a physical copy of Contra Collection. Fans are already asking for it!

Castlevania Collection for Nintendo Switch from Limited Run Games Castlevania Collection for Nintendo Switch from Limited Run Games.
Castlevania Collection for PS4 from Limited Run Games Castlevania Collection for PS4 from Limited Run Games

Castlevania Collection games:
  1. Castlevania
  2. Castlevania II Simon's Quest
  3. Castlevania III Dracula's Curse
  4. Super Castlevania IV
  5. Castlevania The Adventure
  6. Castlevania II Belmont's Revenge
  7. Castlevania Bloodlines
  8. Kid Dracula

April 2021 Retro Gaming Articles:

April 28, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Chicken Range is as dreadful as reviews have stated, but it contains a Flappy Bird clone as a bonus game

Chicken Range is dreadful but contains a Flappy Bird clone
I never had a Super Scope or Super Zapper, so this Joy Con wielding sawed-off shotgun will be the first addition to my Nintendo arsenal. Ok, I have a Zapper somewhere.
When I saw Chicken Range at Best Buy, I knew I had to have it, but I resisted. Deeply discounted as a 2020 release, for Nintendo Switch, I suspected it might be awful. I took the time to read some reviews and most of them said it was bad - like do-not-buy-it BAD. However, I stumbled across one review mentioning there was a Flappy Bird clone as a bonus game. Sold! I went back to Best Buy the next day.

The wonderful thing about Flappy Bird on my Android phone is the savage difficulty. Rarely do I break into double digit scores. Yeah, I flail that quickly, it's really difficult. But the aggravation and frustration kind of make it fun. This clone contained within Chicken Range lacks the savagery. It's much easier. Just wanted to throw that out there for amy hardcore Flappy Bird players. It's a clone and combined in a kids game, so no big surprise that it lacks the challenge of the original. But the game comes with a swanky 17" gun for your Joy Cons.

Most games with gun-controllers are marketed to young kids. They're easily fooled by propaganda suggesting they might like a gun. Thus the game is usually awful, but the kid wants the gun. Alternate controllers are fun and various companies have come up with some whacky stuff. As an adult, I was thinking beer might make this more fun and I love Flappy Bird. It's a win for me. Dumb game with Flappy Bird. I'm all about the Flappy Bird!

In all honesty, this isn't the sort of game that would typically get a physical release, let alone a bundle with a gun-controller. The whole thing seemed so crazy, I kind of wanted it for the novelty. I bought it for $19.99, so it's not such a bad deal with the bundle.
April 27, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I picked up Smugglecraft via Happy Badgers Kickstarter and now LRG is releasing a physical copy

This is a really imaginative quest-based hovercraft game in which your outcome is determined by your choices - good and bad.
I picked this up vai a Kickstarter campaign in 2017 for PS4. It later came out for Switch in 2019, but it's never been a physical release. Limited Run Games has taken care of that There's a lot to this game and from diverse quests to determining outcomes based on your decisions. You have a moral compass of sorts that determines how you fare based on your devious or kind actions.

It's much more clever than my explanation and the outcomes are not predictable as you make choices. Being the good-guy doesn't guarantee a good outcome. The terrain is generated, so no two games are identical and you can't memorize the routes.

Smugglecraft via Happy Badgers
April 26, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Domino's Pizza and Sony mascots are at it again as the Noid returns to taunt, annoy, and battle Crash Bandicoot

The Noid is back to battle Crash Bandicoot
Both mascots ruled for a time in the 80s & 90s and now they've joined forces (maybe) in a mobile game, Crash On The Run.
In crazy times, we need stability and understanding, but it looks like we're getting chaos instead. Domino's Pizza is bringing back their 90's mascot, The Noid. He wound up in his own NES game, Yo Noid, in 1990. I always liked Crash Bandicoot and I'm stoked he's back on my PS4 and Switch. One might think this is a PS5 download, but no.

The Noid is back to battle Crash Bandicoot I was hoping for a console meet-up of these two, but the Noid is joining Crash in a mobile game - Crash On The Run. This is part of Domino's marketing plan for their self-driving pizza delivery vehicles. The Noid will apparently be interrupting the self-driving cars and battling with Crash in this infinite-runner.

Seems to me driverless vehicles are precarious enough without some crazy creature wreaking havoc. This may prompt you to wonder why a company would advertise a new technology of this sort with an age-old mascot known fo causing disruption and trouble. Even Elon Musk has had some self-driving problems. Will Domino's still have a 30-minute guarantee? Will countless lives be lost to runaway pizza vehicles? only time will tell.

Anyway, I dig the Noid and am looking forward to checking out this game even though it sounds like the Noid's appearance is a limited time aspect of the predominantly Crash-centric game.

April 24, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

PiePacker's browser-based system lets you play multiplayer retro games online, even physical cartridges

Play multi-player retro game online with your friends
Play built-in retro games in a browser with your friends or use their hardware to play your own game cartridges online!
PiePacker is bringing modern online features to retro gaming. Through their subscription service you can play retro games via browser with video chat among your friends. In addition to a library of built-in games, they offer hardware, the PieReader, to play any NES, SNES, and Genesis game cart in your browser. Presumably more consoles will be added - vai adapters.

I have to admit the hardware aspect of PiePacker is what stokes me most. The idea of playing three game libraries online with friends on video chat is very cool! Being able to grab on of my game carts and play online with a buddy sounds like a great addition to retro gaming. The hardware looks like a game console, but interfaces with you computer and features adapters for each of the currently supported three consoles. They are also working on mobile, TV, and Desktop apps.

Obviously all of these features hinge on the PiePacker system that currently runs in the browser. One hopes they will grow and expand the offering, but it could also fail and render the whole experience null and void. Think of it like the online multiplayer games today that require logging into a server to play. As long as the server is "up" you can play. When servers are shuttered in favor or newer games, gamers lose out. This is similar to how PiePacker works.

Play multi-player retro game online with your friends You can find info on the PiePacker website and back their project on PiePacker's Kickstarter campaign.

April 22, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Evercade's handheld will release a cartridge compatible console for your TV in November

Play your Evercade games on your big TV
Using the cartridges you've already collected, the Evercade VS console enables four players to enjoy these games on a TV!
With four players and two cartridge slots, the Evercade VS console lets you play your existing game cartridges on the television via HDMI. Coming in November, this game console based around 2020's coolest new handheld game console will bring multiplayer fun to it's unique multi-game cartridges.

You'll be able to use your Evercade handheld as a "controller" on the VS as well as many USB and wireless controllers. They purport to output your favorite retro games at 1080p with its Quad Core 1.5 Ghz processor. With an updated interface, you'll have both save and load states which are slated to be added to the handheld version via the same interface as the VS.

Play your Evercade games on your big TV To keep costs down, the VS console will not ship with an HDMI cable nor a wall adapter for the micro USB power cord. On the other hand all of the images have shown it with two controllers, so it seems likely you'll get two in the box.

The Verge reported on an interesting compatibility issue. While all the carts you bought for your handheld are compatible with the upcoming Evercade VS, some licensing agreements preclude the games from the VS console. The Namco collections were mentioned as only licensed for the handheld.

If you own the handheld Evercade, the VS console seems like a natural progression... at least for us. We love a good handheld, but a big TV is king. On the other hand, a surprising number of Switch gamers say they rarely connect to the TV and that's with the feature built-in! We love the dual cart slots and ability to play their retro gaming collections on the big screen. Keep an eye out for pre-orders!
April 9, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Taylor Swift's re-recorded Fearless album comes in a beefy double-cassette format

I haven't seen these fat double cassettes since Kiss Alive II & Ted Nugent's Intensities In 10 Cities.
I feel as though I've collected nearly every music and movie format since the days of albums and Betamax. We're starting to see a resurgence of vinyl as well as cassettes. The "download generation" seems fascinated by analog media these days. This fascination has led to many artists releasing new albums on cassette as well as streaming digital.

Having seen formats come and go since the early 70s, digital streams are the first format I consider inferior to it's predecessor. Each time I was forced to buy my favorite entertainment on a new media format, I saw advantages. Now having digital files on a phone with a blu tooth connection to a single speaker, seems like cheating the customer. I don't want a jpeg of album art or a text file with liner notes. Reducing so many elements of music to digital formats cheats the customer out of many analog and tactile facets of enjoying music.

Sure, a lot of folks just want the hear the song. They don't care about art or any background info and that's fine, but for those who are accustomed to such things in the price of music, spending a dollar on an MP3 file is a tragic turn for music.

This turned into something of a rant. As a fan of Swift's music, re-recorded "Taylor's Version" releases offer a new look and feel to her old music as well as songs from the vault. It sucks that her music was seemingly stolen from her, but I think this will end well for her. Good stuff, check it out!

Fearless Taylor's Version double cassette Fearless Taylor's Version double cassette
Kiss Alive II double cassette Kiss Alive II double cassette

April 3, 2021 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Still getting this error in Cyberpunk 2077

Each time this appears we have to restart the game. It doesn't seem to corrupt or lose anything.
For all the complaints 've heard about this game, this is the only error we get. Happens very infrequently, but it causes the game to need a restart. It would seem that each restart takes us back to the last save-point. I'm sure one of the innumerable updates will eventually fix everything.

Error in Cyberpunk 2077
Yes, those are Xmas lights reflected on the side. Our Xmas tree is long gone. I simply haven't taken a new pic of this error screen.
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