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1 Castle of the Winds: A Question of Vengeance
2 Descent
3 Flight of the Amazon Queen
4 Warzone 2100
5 Subspace - Continuum
6 One Must Fall 2097
7 It Came from the Desert II: Antheads
8 The Ur-Quan Masters (Star Control 2)
9 Wild Metal Country
10 Marathon 2

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Online Gaming News

HD Emulation Mod Makes 'Mode 7' SNES Games Look Like New April 17 @ 9 PM

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Gamers of a certain age probably remember being wowed by the quick, smooth scaling and rotation effects of the Super Nintendo's much-ballyhooed "Mode 7" graphics. Looking back, though, those gamers might also notice how chunky and pixelated those background transformations could end up looking, especially when viewed on today's high-end screens. Emulation to the rescue. A modder going by the handle DerKoun has released an "HD Mode 7" patch for the accuracy-focused SNES emulator bsnes. In their own words, the patch "performs Mode 7 transformations... at up to 4 times the horizontal and vertical resolution" of the original hardware. The results, as you can see in the above gallery and the below YouTube video, are practically miraculous. Pieces of Mode 7 maps that used to be boxy smears of color far in the distance are now sharp, straight lines with distinct borders and distinguishable features. It's like looking at a brand-new game. Perhaps the most impressive thing about these effects is that they take place on original SNES ROM and graphics files; DerKoun has said that "no artwork has been modified" in the games since the project was just a proof of concept a month ago. That makes this project different from upscaling emulation efforts for the N64 and other retro consoles, which often require hand-drawn HD texture packs to make old art look good at higher resolutions.

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Apple Arcade Is a New Game Subscription Service For iOS, Mac, and Apple TV March 25 @ 10 PM

Apple has unveiled a few different subscription services today at its "show time" event, including a new Apple Arcade game subscription service for titles that can be installed from the App Store. The company is aiming to curate some of the 300,000 games currently available from the App Store into this new ad-free subscription service. "There will be 100 new and exclusive games available on Apple Arcade, which will launch on the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV," reports The Verge. From the report: These games won't be available on any other mobile platform or any subscription service other than Apple Arcade. Games will be downloaded and played straight from the App Store, and subscribers will be able to try games whenever they want and resume them across devices. All of the game features, content, and future updates will be included, and there will be no ads shown within the games. SimCity creator Will Wright is also making a game for the service. Apple is promising games from Annapurna Interactive, Bossa Studios, Cartoon Network, Finji, Giant Squid, Klei Entertainment, Konami, Lego, Mistwalker Corporation, SEGA, Snowman, ustwo games, and more. Apple isn't just curating the games for Apple Arcade; it's actually planning to contribute to the development costs of creating them. Apple might not have announced its own game studio today, but it's certainly a big step toward that. Apple Arcade is launching this fall in more than 150 countries, but Apple is not yet revealing pricing for this subscription service. Apple does say that "access for up to six family members," will be available, suggesting you'll be able to share the subscription. While the full list of games isn't available yet, some of the titles revealed on Apple Arcade's website include: LEGO Brawls, HitchHiker, Kings of the Castle, Where Cards Fall, and Frogger in Toy Town. If you're a game developer, you can sign up for more information about the service here.

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Nintendo Throws Out Metroid Prime 4 Work, Restarts With Retro Studios February 4 @ 1 AM

Nintendo is essentially restarting development on the highly anticipated Metroid Prime 4, saying the game as it currently exists "has not reached the standards we seek in a sequel to the Metroid Prime series." Ars Technica reports: The surprise announcement comes from Nintendo General Manager for Development Shinya Takahashi. He said in a YouTube video posted this morning that current Metroid Prime 4 producer Kensuke Tanabe will begin "collaborating" on the game with Retro Studios, the studio responsible for the original Metroid Prime trilogy. Tanabe has previously worked as producer on multiple Retro-developed Metroid Prime titles. "The current development status of the game is very challenged and we have made a very difficult decision as a development team," Takahashi said in the subtitled video. "We have decided to reexamine the development structure and change it." "This change will essentially mean restarting development from the beginning, so the completion of the game will be delayed from our initial internal plan," Takahashi continued. "It will be a long road until the next time we will be able to update you on the development progress, and development time will be extensive."

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Nintendo Warns It Won't Make More Retro NES and SNES Consoles December 15 @ 12 AM

Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime warned that the NES Classic and SNES Classic will sell in the Americas through the holidays, but will be "gone" once they sell out. Engadget reports: If you want to walk down memory lane after that, you'll have to take advantage of the games that come with Switch Online. You might also want to tamp down your hopes for a Nintendo 64 Classic. Fils-Aime added that the existing systems are the "extent of our classic program." That wouldn't be completely surprising given that the N64 was considerably more complex than its predecessor. The executive likewise ruled out additional games for the mini NES and SNES models.

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Blockchain Gaming Is Coming to the PS4 November 19 @ 7 PM

An anonymous reader shares a report: The relatively new blockchain gaming industry is about to take a massive step forward as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are making their way onto the PlayStation 4. Arcade Distillery, a game developer that creates titles for PS Vita, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, is gearing up to launch a new game for the PS4 built around the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain. Plague Hunters is a single-player-focused, turn-based strategy RPG with some PvP elements and the sequel to the successful Plague Road. The game, which will be free-to-play and feature a marketplace for P2P transactions, has passed the Sony review process, passing all of PlayStation's terms and conditions, despite containing numerous elements of blockchain tech. This marks the first time any blockchain game has been able to accomplish this feat. Similar to other blockchain games, it looks like Plague Hunter's in-game assets, including units, weapons and other items, will be pegged to NFTs.

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Couple Who Ran ROM Site To Pay Nintendo $12 Million November 14 @ 1 AM

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Nintendo has won a lawsuit seeking to take two large retro-game ROM sites offline, on charges of copyright infringement. The judgement, made public today, ruled in Nintendo's favor and states that the owners of the sites LoveROMS.com and LoveRETRO.co, will have to pay a total settlement of $12 million to Nintendo. The complaint was originally filed by the company in an Arizona federal court in July, and has since lead to a swift purge of self-censorship by popular retro and emulator ROM sites, who have feared they may be sued by Nintendo as well. LoveROMS.com and LoveRETRO.co were the joint property of couple Jacob and Cristian Mathias, before Nintendo sued them for what they have called "brazen and mass-scale infringement of Nintendo's intellectual property rights." The suit never went to court; instead, the couple sought to settle after accepting the charge of direct and indirect copyright infringement. TorrentFreak reports that a permanent injunction, prohibiting them from using, sharing, or distributing Nintendo ROMs or other materials again in the future, has been included in the settlement. Additionally all games, game files, and emulators previously on the site and in their custody must be handed over to the Japanese game developer, along with a $12.23 million settlement figure. It is unlikely, as TorrentFreak have reported, that the couple will be obligated to pay the full figure; a smaller settlement has likely been negotiated in private.

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Mario Segale, Namesake For Nintendo's Mascot, Dies At 84 November 3 @ 12 AM

Iwastheone shares a report from Ars Technica: Mario Segale, the Seattle real estate and construction business owner who inspired the name for Nintendo's famous mascot, passed away on October 27 according to reports from The Seattle Times and The Auburn Reporter. He was 84 years old. Segale owned the business park housing Nintendo's American arcade operation in the early '80s, when the company was busy converting thousands of disused Radarscope cabinets to play Donkey Kong. At the time, Nintendo of America President Minoru Arakawa and other executives were trying to come up with an Americanized name for the game's player avatar, who was still referred to as "Jumpman" at that point (a name that appears on early Donkey Kong cabinet art). As the story goes, when Segale came to Arakawa to demand payment for a late rent bill, inspiration struck. While the broad strokes of Segale's role in Mario's naming remain consistent, the particulars can change with the retelling. David Sheff's seminal Nintendo history Game Over suggests the executives exclaimed "Super Mario!" after Segale's visit in 1981 (though the book misspells his name "Segali"). As Benj Edwards notes in an in-depth 2010 exploration of the tale, though, the "Super" descriptor for the character wouldn't become common until the release of Super Mario Bros. in 1985. Other retellings over the years go so far as to suggest that the "Super" came from Segale's role as "superintendent" of the building, but these stories offer little in the way of direct evidence. Ars mentions a 1993 Seattle Times article that quotes Segale as joking, "You might say I'm still waiting for my royalty checks."

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16-Year-Old Dethrones Tetris World Champion With Difficult Hyper-Tap Technique October 22 @ 11 PM

Over the weekend, seven-time winner Jonas Neubauer showed up at the Classic Tetris World Championship in Portland, Oregon like he has every year since it moved there in 2011. Instead of adding another championship to his name, he finished in second place this time, bested by 16-year-old Joseph Saelee who went on an amazing three-game tear. From a report: "The kid played with pure heart, the most clutch Tetris that we've seen from anyone," Neubauer said after the dust had settled. "He just really had the ability, had the natural ability, and let it shine as bright as he could in his first tournament. [It's] truly an honor to pass the torch to the new generation of Tetris players." The veteran stood on stage holding a silver trophy, his first since losing to Harry Hong in 2014, and the unlikely Saelee, tears still in his eyes, hoisted the gold to applause from the crowd at Sunday's Retro Game Expo crowd. Though Tetris came out on the NES in 1989, the Classic World Championship tournament as it exists today didn't get started until 2010 after the game's competitive scene spent most of the aughts trading strategies, high scores, and footage evidence throughout a scattered network of forums and websites. Now, top players from around the world compete annually at the Expo using the original game and controllers played on old CRTs to see who can get the highest score in individual head-to-head matchups.

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Over 1,100 New Arcade Games Added To the Internet Archive September 24 @ 7 PM

Jason Scott, writing for Internet Archive blog: The Internet Arcade, our collection of working arcade machines that run in the browser, has gotten a new upgrade in its 4th year. Advancements by both the MAME emulator team and the Emscripten conversion process allowed our team to go through many more potential arcade machines and add them to the site. The majority of these newly-available games date to the 1990s and early 2000s, as arcade machines both became significantly more complicated and graphically rich, while also suffering from the ever-present and home-based video game consoles that would come to dominate gaming to the present day. Even fervent gamers might have missed some of these arcade machines when they were in the physical world, due to lower distribution numbers and shorter times on the floor.

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Sony Announces PlayStation Classic, a $100 Mini PS1 September 19 @ 3 PM

Sony announced Wednesday that it will release the PlayStation Classic micro console on December 3. It will cost $100 and come with 20 built-in games. From a report: Like Nintendo's NES Classic and SNES Classic, the PlayStation Classic will come packed with a list of beloved hits from the system's original library. There will be 20 games in all, but Sony only announced five of them today: Final Fantasy 7, Jumping Flash, R4: Ridge Racer Type 4, Tekken 3 and Wild Arms. "All of the pre-loaded games will be playable in their original format," the company said in an announcement post on the PlayStation Blog. Sony plans to launch the PlayStation Classic worldwide on Dec. 3 -- the 24th anniversary of the PlayStation's release. (The PS1 debuted in Japan on Dec. 3, 1994, and Sony didn't bring it to the West until September 1995.) The retro console will retail for $99.99 in the U.S., 89.99 pound in the U.K., 99.99 euro in Europe and 9,980 yen in Japan. For that price, customers will get the system and two controllers. The gamepads are full-size replicas of the PS1's original controller, not the DualShock, so they and don't include analog sticks or vibration. As you can see in the gallery above, the gamepads are wired USB devices that plug into the console in the same spot as the original system's controller ports.

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