The Retrobeat

21 Jun 19
VentureBeat
I love Metroidvanias, and indie developers have taken to the genre to create worthy games like Hollow Knight, Guacamelee, and Axiom Verge. Metroidvanias have two primary influences: Metroid and Castlevania (speficically the nonlinear, role-playing game-infused installments in the series that started with Symphony of the Night). Many of the indie Metroidvanias lean on the Metroid side, but Timespinner is as close to an indie version of Symphony of the Night that I’ve played. Timespinner is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Vita (no kidding), and PC. It is the first game from indie studio Lunar Ray Games, which crowdfunded the project on Kickstarter back in 2014. Like with Symphony of the Night, you explore a nonlinear world as you search for new areas to discover while fighting monsters, gaining experience points so you can level your character up to become stronger, and finding new equipment. Even many of Symphony of the Night’s smaller mechanics make an appearance in Timespinner, including the back-dash ability bound to the left shoulder button. Taking some time to chat. Symphony of the like Graphically, Timespinner also evokes Symphony of the Night. Like its inspiration, Timespinner has gorgeous, detailed pixel art. Much of my enjoyment came from admiring the various monsters and backgrounds. Timespinner isn’t a pure clone, though. Its aesthetic is brighter and less gothic than what you’d likely see in a Castlevania game. Timespinner stands apart from Symphony of the Night with its greatest emphasis on story and lore. In Castlevania, you don’t have all that much plot. You’re going to stop Dracula. Timespinner not only has more story, but you can also find a lot of supplemental material hidden throughout the map that flesh’s out the world. You can read these documents at your own leisure to learn more about Timespinner’s characters, factions, and history. To be honest, all that lore  wasn’t anything I was all that interested in. I like Timespinner because it does such a great job of emulation that Symphony of the Night feel. There’s something extra satisfying about the way attacking enemies with swords and more feels in those Castlevania games, and Timespinner is able to capture it. Even the smaller details of the game’s physics, like the floaty weight of your jumps, call Symphony of the Night to mind. Timespinner does introduce some new ideas, mostly through time-based mechanics. You have access to two maps. One is a present day version of the world, while the other is set in the past. These two areas are more different than alike, kind of like looking at the Dark World and normal versions of the map in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Boss are fun. Time for a change You can also press a button to pause the world around you. This is helpful for dodging some of game’s fastest enemy attacks, especially from bosses, but you can also jump on frozen enemies. This can give you access to a lot of hidden areas. The time stuff is cool, but it’s also underutilized. You don’t need to pause the world all that much outside of when you want to turn an enemy into a platform. And outside of boss fights, you don’t need the help of time magic to dodge enemies. And while Timespinner carries over a lot of Symphony of the Night’s boons, it also shares its biggest weakness. The game is too easy, especially toward the end. The enemies and bosses can’t keep up with the rate you’re finding powerful equipment and leveling up. The RPG mechanics are cool, but they make you so strong that the tension during the final parts of the experience is lost. Still, Timespinner is a great experience for anyone who loved Symphony of the Night or similar Castlevania games. I know that Bloodstained: Ritual of the night, a new Metroidvania from the guy who made Symphony of the Night, is out and seems to be enjoying a warm reception so far. But don’t overlook Timespinner, especially if you want a SotN-like experience that also retains the gorgeous, high-detailed pixel art. The RetroBeat is a weekly column that looks at gaming’s past, diving into classics, new retro titles, or looking at how old favorites — and their design techniques — inspire today’s market and experiences. If you have any retro-themed projects or scoops you’d like to send my way, please contact me.
21 Jun 19
KrySoft Daily

Don't overlook Timespinner, especially if you want a SotN-like experience that also retains the gorgeous, high-detailed pixel art.Read More

12 Jun 19
VentureBeat
The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) trade show is a chance for most people to catch with the biggest upcoming games. But I was most looking forward to playing something that came out back in 1994. Mega Man: The Wily Wars is a Sega Genesis game that contains 16-bit remakes of the first three games in Capcom’s classic side-scroller series: Mega Man, Mega Man 2, and Mega Man 3. It also contains an original set of levels that you unlock once you beat the trilogy. I love Mega Man, but I never got to play this game before. Wily Wars only had a cartridge release in Japan and Europe. In the U.S., you could only play it through the Sega Channel, an ahead-of-its time service that downloaded games through a coaxial cable. Sega Channel was expensive and not available everywhere. I didn’t have it, and so I never played Wily Wars … until Tuesday at E3. Wily Wars is a part of the Sega Genesis Mini‘s digital library. The micro-console is coming out on September 19, and I played it at Sega’s E3 booth. Mega Man on Genesis rules I could play the entire library, but I went straight for Wily Wars. It was a surreal experience. I had wanted to try this game forever. Sure, I could have caved in and downloaded a ROM off the internet, but I was stubborn. I held on to hope that it would someday be easily and officially accessible. That day is here. Playing the Genesis Mini at E3. I went right into my favorite Mega Man game (and favorite game of all time, really), Mega Man 3, and headed straight to its best stage: Snake Man. I have gone through level about 100 times before. Suddenly, it felt almost new again. The layout was the same, but the visuals were different. It wasn’t just that it went from 8-bit to 16-bit. It all had a distinct Genesis feel to it. It’s hard to explain, but it’s that kind of retro look you’d rarely confuse for a Super Nintendo game. This certainly didn’t look like Mega Man 7 or Mega Man X, for example. It was thrilling. I got to experience one of my favorite levels in gaming from a new perspective. It was great even if it also felt a little, well, weird. Mega Man himself controls a bit differently than he does in the original. It was harder, for example, to tap on the D-pad inch my forward or backward. On the NES, a single tap would move you a decent bit. Here, a tap would barely nudge Mega Man. It’s something I think I’ll get used to with time. Genesis Mini. It was great to see Snake Man’s level with more details. In the original, it just looked like some kind of indoors … something. It was green, I know that. Wily Wars gives the stage more character with background details like broken wire fences and other flourishes that make the level feel more industrial Even just playing a Mega Man game with a Genesis controller felt novel. The Blue Bomber has been a part of so many consoles, it always seemed bizarre that he had such a small presence on one the greatest machines for 2D games ever. It sounds like such a goofy thing, but just using that chunky, black, three button Genesis controller to move Mega Man made me smile. I’m excited to get my own Genesis Mini so I can play through all three remakes and the extra campaign. I’ve waited patiently for about 25 years, and soon I’ll actually own Mega Man: The Wily Wars. That’s as exciting to me as any of the big announcements from this year’s E3. Well, maybe except for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2. That’s pretty freaking exciting. The RetroBeat is a weekly column that looks at gaming’s past, diving into classics, new retro titles, or looking at how old favorites — and their design techniques — inspire today’s market and experiences. If you have any retro-themed projects or scoops you’d like to send my way, please contact me.
01 Jun 19
Rahul Jha's Lekh ( राहुल झा का लेख)

The RetroBeat: Aladdin is a Genesis masterpiece  VentureBeat I saw Disney’s live action remake of Aladdin last week. Along with video games, I’m a big Disney fan. I’m usually at the theater for every movie event from the Mouse House. Aladdin was OK. Maybe a little worse than OK. It was something interesting to watch once, […]

01 Jun 19
Rahul Jha's Lekh ( राहुल झा का लेख)

The RetroBeat: Aladdin is a Genesis masterpiece  VentureBeat Aladdin is one of the best games made for the Genesis. Via Google If you like this Post so please click Like 👍 button below Follow @123RahulJha Connect With Me on Social Media Network @facebook – fb.com/123RahulJha @Twitter – twitter.com/123RahulJha @LinkedIn – LinkedIn.com/in/rahuljha94 You can Read My various […]

31 May 19
Newslanes | The News Hub

I saw Disney’s live action remake of Aladdinrecently. In addition to computer game, I’m a huge Disney fan. I’m normally at the theater for every single film occasion from the Mouse House. Aladdinwas OKAY. Possibly a little even worse than OK. It was something fascinating to enjoy when, however I ‘d never ever choose it […]

https://is.gd/Z0lzVD

31 May 19
VentureBeat
I saw Disney’s live action remake of Aladdin last week. Along with video games, I’m a big Disney fan. I’m usually at the theater for every movie event from the Mouse House. Aladdin was OK. Maybe a little worse than OK. It was something interesting to watch once, but I’d never prefer it over the animated classic. Or, for that matter, the fantastic Sega Genesis game. Licensed games used to have a reputation among the hardcore for sucking. Now … well, licensed games aren’t much of a thing at all. You find them mostly on mobile as free-to-play experiences. But back in ’90s, every major Hollywood movie would have a console game lined up to release around the same time as the film. It served the same purpose as action figures or other toys. “You saw the movie, now play the game!” Aladdin for the Genesis was different in a couple ways. First off, it came out a whole year after the movie. Aladdin released in theaters on November 25, 1992. The Genesis game didn’t come out until November 11, 1993. Its launch coincided closer to the VHS release of the movie in October 1993. Compared to a lot of the awful movie tie-in games from the era, Aladdin was fantastic. Heck, it stands up well with the very best of the Genesis library. The action is relatively simple. Aladdin is an action sidescroller where you have to run, jump, and slash your way through levels. The execution is just fantastic. Every action in Aladdin feels precise, and the game offers a good challenge without ever feeling cruel. But Aladdin stood out because of its visuals. Real Disney animators created actual art for the game’s sprites, which developer Virgin Interactive then digitized. The result is some of the best 2D graphics of the 16-bit era. The characters themselves are more animated and expressive than what was usual for the time. The excellence of the art becomes clear when you compare the Genesis Aladdin game with the one for Super Nintendo. This version of Aladdin is a completely different game. This practice wasn’t too unusual for the time, especially for movie tie-ins like Jurassic Park and Batman Returns. Now, Aladdin on Super Nintendo is still a fine game. Capcom, which had created Disney gaming classic like DuckTales for the NES, made this version. But the sprites in this Aladdin look more like a video game interpretation, while the characters on Genesis look like they jumped out of a movie screen. Back in April, I wrote about some of the games I want to see on the upcoming Sega Genesis Mini. I included Aladdin on that list, but I thought I was being optimistic. Licensed games don’t usually make it onto these microconsoles. But Sega has surprised by since announcing that other Disney Genesis games, specifically Castle of Illusion and World of Illusion, will be added to the machine. I also thought that Mega Man: The Wily Wars was a long shot, and it actually made it into the library! So maybe there is still hope for Aladdin on the Sega Genesis Mini after all. And since it is one of the best games made for the console, it deserves to be there. The RetroBeat is a weekly column that looks at gaming’s past, diving into classics, new retro titles, or looking at how old favorites — and their design techniques — inspire today’s market and experiences. If you have any retro-themed projects or scoops you’d like to send my way, please contact me.
24 May 19
VentureBeat
Paramount has delayed the Sonic the Hedgehog movie from November 8 this year to February 14, 2020. This is so the animation team has time to redesign Sonic’s look following backlash from the film’s first trailer, which featured an oddly realistic take on iconic Sega character. As a Sonic fan since my early childhood, I’m glad this fix is happening. But a lot of people don’t share my sentiment. I see colleagues and friends on places like Twitter saying that this is another example of “whiny fans” throwing a tantrum and getting their way, making unfair work for artists that are forced to abandon their original vision. This perspective in part comes from our experience with video games, where we’ve seen things like Mass Effect 3’s entire ending change after backlash from fans. We’re also becoming concerned (rightly) about the amount of crunch happening in game development. We’re hearing stories about stressful and unhealthy working conditions at studios like Rockstar Games and BioWare. But the idea that this change will resulting visual effects crunch was always an assumption. Sonic’s design change for the movie was announced weeks before the film delay. At that point, the idea that this would result in crunch at visual effects studios seemed plausible. But it always felt more likely that the movie would be delayed, and now that’s exactly what has happened. That could give the FX artists time to implement the new Sonic in the film without working extra hours. I don’t know how this change will impact the working conditions of film people. I’m not a movie person, that’s not my field. It is my understanding that visual effects are one of the few sectors of Hollywood that is not unionized, so those artists do not enjoy the same protections as actors or other on-set workers. That’s a good reason for people to feel anxious about all this in the first place. Director Jeff Fowler is aware of all this. He addressed these concerns directly in his tweet announcing the delay, including a hashtag that reads “no FX artists were harmed in the making in this movie.” Taking a little more time to make Sonic just right.#novfxartistswereharmedinthemakingofthismovie pic.twitter.com/gxhu9lhU76 — Jeff Fowler (@fowltown) May 24, 2019 That’s not exactly a legally binding promise, but it’s something. But when it comes to the labor behind this change, we just don’t know. A history of dumb redesigns But as for the artistic integrity of it? I have a harder time sympathizing there. Someone made a bad decision when they created or OK’d Sonic’s redesign. Bad decisions have consequences. Sonic’s original design is still the best. Sonic’s first design is my favorite. He’s likable, readable from any angle, and oozes personality. This version of the character took inspiration from classic cartoons like Mickey Mouse and (especially) Felix the Cat. These round, simple characters are appealing. But Sega just couldn’t leave well enough alone. Sonic’s first major redesign happened for Sonic Adventure’s release in 1999, giving the character longer limbs, extending his spikes, and smoothing out his appealing roundness. Sonic Generations, which has this newer take on Sonic onscreen at the same time as the original, makes it painfully obvious which one looks better. Sega hasn’t stopped fussing with Sonic, sometimes going back to that original, classic look, and sometimes taking things even farther like with the bizarre, lanky version of the character made for the Sonic Boom line of games and cartoons. When fans first saw this version of the character, the reaction was mostly negative. Now that the cartoon is over, we’ll probably never see this ugly take on Sonic again. Ugh. When making a Sonic movie, you have all of these designs to pull from. An artist, even one tasked with making an original take on the character, should be able to have an idea of what has worked and what hasn’t. But the first version of Sonic made for the movie is such a monster that it makes the Sonic Boom design look great by comparison. Sonic has an unsettling musculature and human teeth, but he still manages to have proportions that don’t look “realistic” or anything like his video game appearances. It’s a mess. And when people saw this version of the Sonic, they reacted. They said it was bad because it is bad. I’m not sure how that is whining. Art and money It’s also a stretch to play the “will someone please think of the artistic vision” card for what looks like such a soulless Hollywood cash grab. We likely got this Sonic abomination design because he’s the product of a committee. He was made by number-crunchers who badly miscalculated how attached people are to Sonic’s video game appearances. That’s the only reason why this redesign is happening. It’s all numbers and money. The people in charge of making this decision saw that the first trailer had more likes and dislikes on YouTube and panicked. They ran the numbers and figured that the movie would likely bomb if released as it is, so it would be worth the extra money it would cost to redesign the character and delay the film. This kind of move isn’t unprecedented in films. The original Shrek had to change a bunch of animation for its lead character when, at the last moment, Mike Myers decided he wanted to give the titular ogre a Scottish accent. Look, I love Sonic. I don’t want his first movie to be a laughing stock. If this change can make the film better, than I’m all for it. Artists should be free to alter things based on public feedback. If I was working on this movie, and then saw everyone say it looked awful, I would like the opportunity to fix it. That’s why I don’t understand the idea that they’re being bullied into this change. First off, forgive me for not feeling too bad about the corporation Paramount Pictures (and its giant parent company, Viacom) having to spend more money. But it also doesn’t seem fair that people can mock and deride the original look of Sonic in this movie and also criticize the decision to change it. Again, if this leads to unhealthy crunch, then that is of course bad. But we can’t assume that’s what’s going to happen. If it does, then I’ll agree that making this change was a bad idea. But this decision was motivated by money, not whiny fans. If you want to blame someone, point the finger at the people who thought this design of Sonic was ever OK in the first place. The RetroBeat is a weekly column that looks at gaming’s past, diving into classics, new retro titles, or looking at how old favorites — and their design techniques — inspire today’s market and experiences. If you have any retro-themed projects or scoops you’d like to send my way, please contact me.
16 May 19
Live Feeds

‘World Of Warcraft Classic’ Feels Like A Totally Different Game Forbes World of Warcraft Safe Haven cinematic brings back Thrall Polygon The RetroBeat: Blizzard gets serious about preserving its history VentureBeat WoW Classic Has a Release Date and God Help Me I’m Excited ExtremeTech World of Warcraft is bringing back Thrall PC Gamer View full […]

16 May 19
Rahul Jha's Lekh ( राहुल झा का लेख)

World of Warcraft Classic Preview  IGN The RetroBeat: Blizzard gets serious about preserving its history  VentureBeat World of Warcraft Safe Haven cinematic brings back Thrall  Polygon World of Warcraft: Rise Of Azshara Update Opens Two New Areas, Tons Of Customization  GameSpot WoW Classic Has a Release Date and God Help Me I’m Excited  ExtremeTech View full coverage on Google News […]

16 May 19
Rahul Jha's Lekh ( राहुल झा का लेख)

The RetroBeat: Blizzard gets serious about preserving its history  VentureBeat Many of Blizzard’s most historic franchises are getting old, which is making the company put a new focus on preserving its history. View full coverage on Google News Via Google If you like this Post so please click Like 👍 button below Follow @123RahulJha Connect With […]