The Definition of Retro Games

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

One of my favorite parts of EGLX, the game expo Rachel and I visited in Canada in 2018, was the aisles of arcade cabinets that were set up in the middle of the main room for guests to enjoy. Those retro games were some of the most popular attractions throughout the weekend.

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What do you consider to be a retro game? Is there a universal threshold that games have to pass until they are considered retro? Do you consider games from certain consoles as retro, or is any game older than ten, fifteen, or twenty years retro?

Retro games are held up as a pinnacle of gaming, games that were classics or are ripe with nostalgia for gamers of today’s day and age. While mechanics and graphics are outdated, retro games still find enthusiastic players. Emulators, virtual consoles, mini classic consoles, and even the original consoles and games are played to keep those retro games alive.

There are even games that emulate the retro style. Despite how far graphics have come in the past several years, the success of games mimicking the 16-bit art style have been a hit. Take a look at Cuphead and its old-school art style resembling cartoons from decades ago.

To me — if we’re talking in Nintendo terms — retro games are probably games from the Nintendo 64 era and before, maybe even the GameCube games. There are definitely some favorites from the SNES console that I bought several times over on various virtual consoles so I can continue to experience them again. Over on our Twitch channel, Rachel and I had played the SNES version of Disney’s The Lion King from Steam as one of the first games we were attempting, and I’m currently in the middle of playing Donkey Kong Country on the SNES Classic. Those to me are retro games just as arcade cabinets are nowadays.

I wonder how long it will take before Nintendo Switch games are considered retro?

What do you consider retro games? Do you have a favorite? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Flashback Friday: Tiny Toon Adventures Buster Busts Loose

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

Since Easter was last Sunday, I figured I would try to find a game that starred a rabbit. This old game is way back in the time of the SNES and was one of our favorites.

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Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose was a game released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System way back in 1992 in Japan and 1993 in Europe and North America. It was developed and published by Konami, which also did plenty of other video games based on cartoon series, such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Batman: the Animated Series.

Does anyone else remember Tiny Toons Adventures? We grew up with Looney Toons, mainly due to our older sister and our Uncle Kevin. Tiny Toons Adventures was such a clever cartoon to us, as we found it amusing how the likes of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Elmer Fudd were teachers at a school for younger toons. Two of the main characters of the show were Buster and Babs. Many of the characters from the show are featured in this game, and it is Buster who is the main playable character.

This is a short and sweet side-scrolling platform — not that I remember ever finishing it, admittedly — with only about five or six levels depending on which difficulty you are playing. As Buster, you explore each level to get to the main objective, which changed from level to level. Looking this game up again was rather nostalgic, and I’m wondering if I’d be able to find it on an emulator somewhere just to give it another try.

Have you played this game? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Flashback Friday: Dogz II

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

If there’s anything else I’m passionate about beside video games, it’s animals. One of my earliest video game memories involves a certain computer game about virtual dogs.

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Dogz II was one of the very few — if there were any others — game programs on the solitary computer in my grandparents’ house when I was a kid. When I wasn’t trying my hand at the SNES (or bothering my uncle to play said console), I was probably playing with the virtual dogs on the desktop.

Dogz II was one of the many installments of the Petz franchise developed and published by P.F. Magic back in the mid-nineties. Since then, sequels have been published, up until Dogz 5 and Catz 5. The games were virtual pets that you take care of from puppies and kittens to adults and, in the later installments of the series, you could breed and raise their offspring from newborns.

This particular installment was one of the simplest. You were able to adopt one of a handful of breeds, name them, and then care for them. Toys and food were available to let you interact with the pet, and your mouse icon turns into a hand to pet, snap to call over, and pick up your pet. Aside from the playpen mode, where your dogs are in the windowed mode of the game, you can also let them run around on your desktop.

Supposedly, you were supposed to let them loose on the desktop while you’re working, but I’d be hard-pressed to get any work done while watching my virtual dog chase my cursor, dig holes into my background, or carry around the icons. Of course, I’d never get mad at the dog — it was too cute!

Despite the Petz games being for Windows 95 or so, rather than Windows 7 or 10, I still have my CDs of Dogz II and Petz 5. For kicks, I tried to install Dogz II on my Windows 7 laptop, and guess what?

It works:

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Now I’m trying to decide if I want to dive down this rabbit hole and adopt a virtual pup or two to have running amok while I work…

Have you played any of the Petz games? What did you think of them?

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Flashback Friday: 101 Dalmatians Escape from DeVil Manor

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone! I hope your July has been wonderful!

July is nearly over and, with it, probably the dog days of summer. Considering what the topic of this post is, that pun was definitely intended. Today, we’re diving way back, over twenty years ago, for a PC game that I used to love as a kid.

Video Games | Double Jump | PC Games | Retro Games | Disney | 101 Dalmatians

A couple of weekends ago, I was dog- and house-sitting for our neighbors. While relaxing with the dogs one evening, I stuck on Disney’s animated 101 Dalmatians and was amused to realize that the goldendoodle was enraptured with the movie, especially during the Twilight Bark scene. Her poodle-beagle mix sister sang along with the Twilight Bark.

It reminded me of an old PC game, Escape from DeVil Manor, that came out in 1997, over twenty years ago. While the characters’ animations — Cruella, Horace and Jasper, and the puppies — were based off of the Disney cartoon, the plot was based on the live-action version of the movie that came out a year before.

I remember playing the game often enough. You controlled two of the dalmatian puppies, Patches and Whizzer, as you tried to do what it says on the title. It was a point-and-click puzzle adventure, with the cursor lighting up on items that are clickable. You’d have to avoid Jasper and Horace, or set up traps for them, as you navigated around the manor. If you got caught, you were thrown into the billiard room.

There were a couple of ways out of the mansion, one of which was from the billiard room, which tended to be my go-to escape route. After actually escaping the manor, the puppies were in a mine shaft and pursued by Cruella DeVil, just like the video game that Roger created in the live-action film. Using explosive barrels from the back of your cart, you had to blast the old mad lady from the mine shaft to be arrested by Scotland Yard.

It was a cute, quirky game, one that was perfect for a little Disney- and dog-loving kid like myself. It’s something that I definitely want to try finding again, probably through an emulator, just for the nostalgia!

Have you played Escape from DeVil Manor? What did you think?

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Flashback Friday: Yoshi’s Story

Double Jump Kris MiiYoshi is one of the most adorable characters in the Super Mario franchise, and with good reason. Ever since Yoshi’s first appearance in Super Mario World in 1990, the character has appeared in nearly 60 games!

This month’s Flashback Friday post is dedicated to one of those games, Yoshi’s Story.

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Yoshi’s Story was released for the Nintendo 64 in December 1997 in Japan and March 1998 in North America. A side-scroller platform, the game was released on the Wii’s Virtual Console ten years later and the Wii U’s virtual console almost ten years after that. Yoshi’s Story is actually the last main platform game starring the titular character until Yoshi’s Woolly World for the Wii U in 2015.

While it’s considered almost a sequel to the SNES’s Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island, Yoshi’s Story is more puzzle-orientated with a cuter style in both graphics and music. It’s levels appear as a pop-up storybook, images resembling materials that one would use to make a scrapbook, such as fabric, cardboard, and paper.

The game had two modes, Story and Trial. Trial Mode enabled players to pick a course to go through as often as they wanted, but they were not unlocked until the player beat the course in Story Mode. Getting a high score was the main objective of each level, with the level ending when the Yoshi ate 30 pieces of fruit to complete the border around the screen. Considering the story of the game involved the Yoshis journeying across their island in search of Baby Bowser, who stole the Super Happy Tree. By eating the fruit, the Yoshis can stave off gloominess while trying to save their island.

Before each level loaded, a Lucky Fruit was chosen at random, which earns more points than any of the other fruit. Players could also get bonus points for eating the favorite fruit of whichever color Yoshi they happened to pick or for eating the same piece of fruit multiple times in a row. Players can go through each level as quickly as possible by eating every fruit they come across, but they can unlock secrets of the courses by biding their time and exploring every nook and cranny of the level.

Yoshi’s story got mixed to positive reviews, averaging only about 60% to 70% by most critics. It was, however, the second most downloaded title on the Wii U’s virtual console during the week of its release. With that said, the virtual console version received similar, if not worse, reviews than its Nintendo 64 counterpart.

I remember this game from ages ago. Rachel and I never owned it ourselves, but instead borrowed it from time to time from our aunt. We didn’t do too much in the Story Mode, being young enough to find it rather confusing, and amused ourselves with picking and choosing courses in the Trial Mode. We were always fans of Yoshi and had lots of fun with the game, its art style, and especially the music.

And, don’t lie, you all got the theme song stuck in your heads as much as we did:

Have you ever played Yoshi’s Story? What did you think of it?

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