Articles tagged with: nes

Solar Jetman: Hunt for the Golden Warship

Pixelcade on Monday, 20 September 2010. Posted in Retro Game of the Week

Editor's Note: I've never heard of this game, but it looks interesting -- like a more complicated Lunar Lander with added story elements and better physics. Pixelcade gives you a run-down. - mossy_11

SolarjetmancoverWelcome readers back to the "games that you probably didn't know existed and have lots of gravity and physics involved in them" series. This week I bring to you Solar Jetman: Hunt for the Golden Warship. The game was developed by Zippo Games for Rare and released in the US by Tradewest, then in Europe by Nintendo. I'm not sure how that lineage goes but well there it is (as laid out by Wikipedia). I first encountered Solar Jetman at a yard sale in the early 90's and to my luck found a great game for a super low price. Upon bringing it home and powering up my NES I was hooked.

You control a small jet pod that is ejected from your main mothership. Should your jet pod be destroyed (1 hit unless your shields are running) you revert to a single lone space explorer. This does not end your game but makes you a very easy target. If you return to the mothership you'll be given another pod to continue the mission. The real challenge is getting the items you collect back to the mothership. With gravity being different you have to be creative on how to move them. Some will suck you right back to the surface while others will not even move an inch.

Lufia & the Fortress of Doom

mossy_11 on Monday, 23 August 2010. Posted in Retro Game of the Week

There’s something magical about the 16-bit era of Japanese role-playing games (JRPGs). The sprite graphics had grown just enough in detail to express a wide range of emotions, while the larger capacity of cartridges for the Super Nintendo and Sega Mega Drive/Genesis allowed the creation of huge and highly detailed worlds. Moreover, the mechanics that were in their infancy during the days of the NES had matured and shed much of the baggage that previously weighed them down.

A lot remained to be done to perfect the JRPG formula, but its scope and complexity were no longer constrained by technology -- developers could at last create an epic adventure with a fully-realised story and several core characters, all tied in to a deep gameplay system. It would be some time before the arrival of the true masterpieces of the era -- Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VI, Super Mario RPG, and a few others -- but a flurry of fine efforts kept gamers more than satisfied through the early 90s, including Final Fantasy IV, Illusion of Gaia, Phantasy Star III, and the topic of this article, Lufia & the Fortress of Doom (Estpolis in Japan), which preceded another of the 16-bit JRPG greats: Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals.


News Round-up: July 4 - August 1

mossy_11 on Sunday, 01 August 2010. Posted in News

magic-trackpadApple has released the Magic Trackpad, a multi-touch trackpad designed for use on desktop computers. It has a size and profile that matches Apple’s most recent keyboards. Priced at US$69, many have labelled the device too expensive, while others wonder if it is the beginning of a paradigm shift away from mouse input. Check out the MacScene forum thread for the community’s take, and see the official product page for more information.

steam_logo1Valve plans to give away some of their code for OpenGL on the Mac in order to accelerate and motivate further development of Mac versions of Steam games. They claim that this will eliminate the “real hard work” in putting games on the Mac.

apple-logoApple announced an update to the iMac line, with speed bumps and a move to discrete graphics cards across all models. They also introduced a new Mac Pro line that promises “up to 50 percent greater performance,” and a 27-inch LED Cinema Display, which will replace the existing 24-inch and 30-inch models. The new Mac Pros will be available “in August” while the Cinema Display is set for a September release.

Apple’s Q3 earnings revealed that the Mac is growing in popularity, despite the recent focus on iOS devices. The iPad has already sold more than 3 million units. The iPhone 4 sold over 8 million units despite its much-publicised antenna problems and limited international release.

Emulator updates after the break.

Metal Gear

dickmedd on Monday, 19 July 2010. Posted in Retro Game of the Week



Editor's note: This is a fantastic overview of the Metal Gear series that goes a long way to explaining its lasting appeal, and also provides an easy introduction to the uninitiated. I just wish the first two games weren't so hard. -mossy_11

Had a good game of Splinter Cell, Thief, Assassin's Creed, Hitman or Tenchu lately? If so, you owe a fair amount to producer Hideo Kojima for spearheading the development of the 'stealth/espionage' video game genre in his acclaimed Metal Gear series.

Chances are you have played, seen, or at least heard of the 3D Metal Gear Solid instalments on the PlayStation systems (the first two rank highly in best-selling lists), but you are unlikely to have played Kojima's original MSX2 creations, unless you live in Japan.

In the original Metal Gear you play as Solid Snake, a special forces operative assigned to infiltrate the military base/state 'Outer Heaven' in order to liberate your comrades and eliminate the enemy weapon, Metal Gear -- a giant, walking, nuke-firing Mecha -- which always seems to be in the wrong hands. The first game in the series establishes a recurring theme of the series: a mission undertaken by one barehanded agent -- you heard right, if you want a gun, you better try and find one. Via radio and radar assistance, you must avoid detection by carefully sneaking through various corridors and floors in order to guide Snake towards completing his mission.

Final Fantasy Coming to the iPhone

Niemann on Friday, 22 January 2010. Posted in News

Seems like there's just a ton of iPhone news for us over the past couple days; and now we have news that Square Enix is bringing one of the most successful RPG series of all time to the iPhone and iPod Touch.  In December of 1987 the original Final Fantasy was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System.  Since then Final Fantasy has released twelve sequels (most recently Final Fantasy XIII for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360) and countless spin-offs.


On Wednesday, Square Enix posted a series of screenshots to their facebook page under the title "FINAL FANTASY and FINAL FANTASY II for iPhone / iPod touch".  The only other information included is:

"Over 20 years since the original releases, FINAL FANTASY and FINAL FANTASY II are coming to iPhone / iPod touch!  Release date: TBA.  Stay tuned!"

The interface appears to be slightly modified from the original GUI elements we have seen in previous remakes of the game.  This implies that Square Enix is taking advantage of the touch screen to navigate menus as opposed to other ports and remakes which have centered around an overlay gamepad.

View more of the screenshots after the break.

State of NES Emulation

Niemann on Wednesday, 23 December 2009. Posted in Opinion

In 1983 the world of console gaming changed with the introduction of the Family Computer from Nintendo.  The Famicom (Family Computer) didn't find its way to North America, Europe, and Australia until 1985 as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES); and singlehandedly ended the video game dark ages.  Today the Nintendo Entertainment System still ranks in the top ten of best-selling video game systems, and is by far the most emulated video game system.


Nintendo standardized the practice of producing the hardware and a small collection of software for their system, while licensing third-party developers to also produce games.  This gave the NES a huge software collection, launching the franchises of Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Mega Man, Castlevania, Final Fantasy, and Dragon Quest.  Individual classics include Duck Hunt, Golf, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Baseball, Tetris, and Excitebike.

Nescaline (NES Emulator in the App Store)

Niemann on Monday, 21 December 2009. Posted in News

Update: Nescaline has been pulled from the App Store.  No official word from the developer about the situation, although this was expected.

Emulation is not allowed through Apple's App Store; but today a Nintendo Entertainment System emulator called Nescaline [App Store] has appeared on the App Store.  Released by Jonathan Zdziarski, Nescaline comes with a handful of free games but actually allows you to load up your own NES ROMs (directly violating Apple's strict 'no foreign code' policy).  The download costs $6.99, but more importantly it might be available only temporarily (Apple has been known to remove downloads after further review).

The controls use the multi-touch surface of the iPhone, which makes quick-move games difficult (Battletoads, Mario, and Tetris are a bit more difficult).  Surprisingly, the Legend of Zelda has proven to be quite enjoyable after about five minutes adjusting to the new controls.

Rotating the device will also rotate the allowing for a slightly larger view in portrait mode.  Sound appears to have some problems, and various graphical glitches appear occasionally.  Overall, if you're looking for the first available true emulator on the iPhone (including the ability to load ROMs) this is it.  Discuss this in the forum.