It is back to school time for the kiddos, but really, it is also a prime opportunity for y’all to read some vidya game news too.
- Going to be in Toyko anytime soon? From Nintendo Enthusiast’s John Dunphy, a new Kirby-themed cafe will be opening there. Read more here. And, we reviewed his initial Game Boy game for Episode 24. And hey, if you’re in Yakima, Washington, there is a new game-themed bar.
- From Polygon and other sites, classic fighting game series Samurai Showdown will be revived for the Playstation 4, and likely other systems. Read more here.
- A re-release of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles is coming for the Switch and PS4, per Kotaku and other sites. No word yet on how they will do the gameplay. When it originally came out, it required four GBAs to do multiplayer, which went over about as well as you would think.
- Also from Kotaku and a bunch of other sites, the Switch port of Gone Home will have classic SNES cartridges in it.
- Sega Mega Drive shoot-em-up Steel Empire is now available for the PC / Steam, 25 years after its initial release. Read more over at PC Gamer.
- Mega Man 11 now has a playable demo out, per Polygon. We covered Mega Man 2 for Episode 30, and it was the first guest appearance for Friend of the Show Hawk!
- Game Informer has a good, long read on the upcoming Fallout 76, a game the SBBs are hyped for.
ON THIS DAY (OR CLOSE TO IT!) IN VIDEO GAME HISTORY…
- In 1992, the home console versions of Mortal Kombat came out. We reviewed the show for Episode 118.
- Rock Band 2 is now 10 years old! You can find plenty of copies of it, and the plastic instruments, for a variety of systems at pretty much any Goodwill or consignment store. Also from 10 years ago is the Dragon Quest / Warrior IV remake for the DS.
- Sweet Baby Boy favorite FTL: Faster Than Light turns 6 today. It is still a spunky, fun game, and it frequently retails for less than $10 now.
- Grand Theft Auto V came out 5 years ago, and amazingly, it is still incredibly popular thanks to its initial quality and because of the continued support Rockstar has provided it.
Video game history information comes from GameFAQs and Moby Games. When possible, we attempt to link to original sources for all reporting, and we don’t typically link to stupid multi-page galleries. And as always, if you’d like to support the show, do so via our Amazon link.
– Legitimately cool, but some NSFW text and language: Canadian punk band PUP has a ton of re-purposed vintage video game stuff for its music video of “DVP.” Check it out on YouTube! It’s definitely a must-watch for any old games fan.
– James Trew of Engadget has a cool retrospective on the Atari Lynx, which is one of those obscure systems from the early to mid-1990s.
– Are you in the Austin, Texas area on Feb. 21? You’re in luck! You can attend the NBA Jam Invitational Tournament at Empire Control Room & Garage. Find more details here. Also, from FOX Sports and several other sources, the University of Florida used NBA Jam graphics for a promotion.
– In “WTF Sega???” news, The Worldfolio has an interview with the president and CEO of Sega Sammy Holdings Inc., and he said development continues on a live action-animation hybrid Sonic The Hedgehog movie. It’s tentatively scheduled for a 2018 release.
– A hat tip to Friend of the Show Hypermotard, as he passed along this Reddit AMA with Don Rawitsch, one of the co-inventors of The Oregon Trail.
– From the appropriately named This Is Why I’m Broke, it’s a Nintendo console lamp. The price of $95 seems a bit steep to me, but still, it looks pretty cool.
ON THIS DAY IN VIDEO GAME HISTORY…
– In 2014, Square somewhat buried the third installment of Final Fantasy XIII, Lightning Returns, by releasing it in this traditional “dead” period. The game itself is a bit of a mess, but it has some cool concepts, like the ability to hunt enemies to extinction and the setting of the end of the world. Like a lot of recent Square efforts, it’s undone by some meh storytelling in the third act.
– We typically don’t use Japanese dates for “anniversaries” on the old YPB blog, but for whatever reason, Feb. 11 is a banner day for the genre in Japan. In 1990, Dragon Quest IV came out, and as usual it did major business in Japan. It didn’t hit American shores until October 1992, and it was very much a “niche” title with seemingly only 15 copies released. A Nintendo DS remake came out in 2007 and 2008; it tends to be controversial, because while it cleans up some gameplay and “where do I go next?” aspects, it gives all of the characters ridiculous accents.
– In 1998, Xenogears was released by Square in Japan. It has a strong cult following to this day because of its unique RPG system with martial arts and robots fighting, along with a plot that focuses on religion, psychology and identity crisis. The reaction is still mostly positive, even though the second half of the game falls apart a bit for behind-the-scenes budget reasons.
– Square released Final Fantasy VIII in Japan in 1999. It was the second Final Fantasy game for the Playstation, and drastically different from the preceding game, and as a result it’s somewhat a black sheep in the series. Although it has sold more than 8.5 million copies, it’s been passed over for remakes in favor of VII and X, even though its story and “look” hold up somewhat better. It’s not really a game for Final Fantasy newcomers though, as the battle system takes some getting used to, and exploit knowledge on a second playthrough can let you become an all-powerful character within the game’s first few hours.