Gravity is rad, and reversed, in the latest Retronauts Micro

Heigh ho everybody, and welcome once again to the Retronauts show! We’ve got a real corker this wee— aw, OK, it’s just another off-week Micro episode. On the plus side, I’ve decided to ditch my boring one-man-show approach to Micros and bring other people into the conversation, which should be a relief to everyone. To kick things off this week, we have Sam Claiborn from IGN in the studio to enthuse over classic NES mech platformer Metal Storm for a few minutes with me.

Metal Storm is one of those games that plays better in person than it does via audio — it’s a brief and fairly simple game, and its appeal comes from the way it pushes the NES hardware, and from the way its mechanics turn a straightforward five-stage platform shooter into a dense, nail-biting challenge. The game’s central premise (you can invert gravity while in mid-air) demands a higher standard of level design than the usual NES fare, and every screen of Metal Storm stands out as a sort of inventive action puzzle… without being an actual puzzle game. Trust me, I’ve seen a lot of those in my Game Boy adventures, and this ain’t one.

The biggest downside to Metal Storm is that you’re not going to be able to find a cartridge-only copy of the game for less than $100 unless you get really lucky. It’ll never show up on a download service, either, because publisher Irem ditched gaming altogether and, last I’d read, had delisted all its games from PSN and Virtual Console. This is why classic video game is so darned stupid most of the time.

Download Links

Libsyn (13:02, 9.4 MB) | MP3 Download | SoundCloud

Thanks to Sam for dropping by, and I’ll be playing the game on a live stream later this week via USgamer. So you can check it out that way if you’re curious about Metal Storm but too lazy (or scrupulous!) to emulate it.

Retronauts Episode 61: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

What is there left to say about The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time? A heck of a lot, actually. Back in the days of awkward polygonal gaming, Nintendo borrowed a bit of A Link to the Past’s magic and successfully brought their fantasy series to the next era of gaming. But has this bold experiment aged well over the last 18 years? On this episode of Retronauts, join Bob Mackey, Jeremy Parish, and Henry Gilbert as the crew dives into one the earliest classics of 3D gaming.

Libsyn (1:36:45 | MP3 Download | SoundCloud)

Midwestronauts is finally happening!

Hello there to all our friends, listeners, supporters, and even people who don’t particularly care for us! Bob and I are happy to reveal the specifics of Retronauts’ first live event for 2016 — especially as it’s one people have been requesting for quite a while. We will be conducting a live podcast panel at this year’s Midwest Gaming Classic. If you happen to be in Milwaukee on Saturday April 9 at 2 p.m., you should totally come and attend our panel.

Our topic for this event will actually see us covering some previously trodden ground: We’ll be discussing the 30th anniversary of the Sega Master System (which launched in 1986 in the U.S.). The Master System episode from the original run of Retronauts is one that people still complain about, nearly a decade on, so hopefully this will put those complaints to rest. To help guarantee that we’ll do the topic justice, Bob and I are flying in two Master System experts to host the panel with us. How’s that for dedication?

Our special guests for MGC will be (1) Greg Sewart, former Electronic Gaming Monthly contributor, SEGA fanatic, and host of the comprehensive SEGA Genesis chronogaming video series Generation 16, and (2) Dylan Cornelius, who has played through and critiqued very nearly the entire Master System library on his site Sega Does. You’d be hard-pressed to find two bigger experts than them! As for Bob and myself… well, we’re gonna be cramming Master System games pretty hard over the coming weeks.

So that’s that. We’ll see you in a few weeks in Milwaukee!

This week: Ninja Five-O. Next week: Samurai CHiPs

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This video took much longer to put together than I had intended or hoped, so I’m far too tired to write about it. I will let this episode speak for itself:

And you old-fashioned types can do the usual audio-only thing, I guess:

Download Links

Libsyn (11:09 | MP3 Download | SoundCloud | Subscribe on iTunes! Support us on Patreon!)

Episode Description

Jeremy dives into Game Boy Advance classic (and overpriced rarity) Ninja Five-O, a game that probably should never have existed. But isn’t it nice that it does?

Listen to Nobuo Uematsu music! And to us talk about Nobuo Uematsu music! It’s episode 60! Wow!

Is that headline obnoxious? Good, good, just making sure.

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Look, I have to make this blog post terrible, because the episode it encloses is so good. Is it the best Retronauts ever? I’m afraid I can’t make that call! But it could well be my favorite Retronauts ever. Certainly it took longer to assemble than any other episode ever — probably about 10 hours for editing alone. That’s really quite a lot of time. Maybe I’m just tricking myself into liking it to justify the time investment. I don’t even know anymore.

It was worth it, though! There’s a whole lot of music in this episode, and I know you like music. Good music, anyway. Also, we have a new cover artist: Nick Daniel, who is talented. His illustrations will make this show look a lot nicer than my pitiful chicken scratches did. Everything’s looking up.

Anyway, Nobuo Uematsu wrote a lot of great music (still does, in fact!) and you should totally listen to this episode, wherein Bob and I gush about video game tunes for more than two hours, with Chris Kohler and Kat Bailey singing the countermelody. It’s neat. I think you’ll enjoy it.

Download Links

Libsyn (2:11:01) | MP3 Download | SoundCloud

Episode Description

Jeremy and Bob spend a couple of hours musing about music with Chris Kohler and Kat Bailey. Specifically, the music of Nobuo Uematsu. Stay a while and listen! No, wait, wrong RPG series.

Retronauts Micro 032: Our Gaming Bucket Lists

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Bad news, everyone: We’re all gonna die! (Eventually.) And to ensure our death beds are free of regret, we recorded a new Retronauts Micro about the game-related goals we still need to achieve before kicking the bucket. On this episode, join host Bob Mackey and guests Dave Rudden, Ray Barnholt, and Henry Gilbert as the crew tries to keep things light with a very dark topic. Note: We can’t be held responsible if you trip over all of the names dropped throughout.

Libsyn (15:26 | MP3 Download | SoundCloud)

Retronauts Episode 59: PSP

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Long ago, the best game a phone could pull off was the immortal “Snake,” so we had no choice but to turn to dedicated portables for anything more complicated than that. In an era before most people Crushed Candy on their mass-transit commutes, Sony’s PSP absolutely thrived, and gave its users an impressive piece of tech that did more than just play games. On this episode of Retronauts, join Bob Mackey, Jeremy Parish, Mikel Reparaz, and Ray Barnholt to find out why all we really want for Christmas is a PSP.

Libsyn (1:32:56 | MP3 Download | SoundCloud)

(I sincerely apologize for this week’s cover art.)

Otocky soars, musically

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I bought a bunch of Famicom Disk System games while I was in Tokyo last fall, and thanks to Retronauts I’ve managed to find an excuse to play one of them. Yes, I’m a sick and broken person who doesn’t play video games unless I can extract some sort of work-related content from them. Adulthood!

Thankfully, this one was worth the hoop-jumping. Otocky is one of those games I’ve heard about, and in action it turned out to be every bit as enjoyable as whispered Internet rumors have suggested. A simple shooter based around musical concepts like timing, melody, and loops, Otocky laid the groundwork for modern rhythm games like Rez and, I dunno, Crypt of the NecroDancer. So! You should watch this video:

Download Links

Libsyn (11:19 | MP3 Download | SoundCloud | Subscribe on iTunes! Support us on Patreon!)

Episode Description

We’ve mentioned Otocky in passing, but now we delve into greater depth about this little-known but marvelously inventive music-based shoot-em-up by Electroplankton creator Toshio Iwai.