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Retro Review: Bonk’s Adventure for the TurboGrafx-16

Bonk’s Adventure for the TurboGrafx-16 is a 2D side-scrolling platformer that has cemented its place in gaming history. Developed by Red Company and published by Hudson Soft, this game was a standout title for the TurboGrafx-16, a console that struggled against the dominance of the NES and later the SNES and Sega Genesis. It was released in Japan as PC Genjin in 1989 and came to North America in 1990.

For those unfamiliar with the TurboGrafx-16, it was a console that featured an 8-bit CPU but boasted impressive 16-bit graphics capabilities, making it a unique player in the late 80s and early 90s console wars. Its library included many hidden gems, with Bonk’s Adventure being one of its crown jewels.

Developer Background
Red Company, now known as Red Entertainment, was a relatively new player in the game development scene when Bonk’s Adventure was created. They were known for their innovative and quirky game designs, and Bonk’s Adventure was no exception. The game’s development team, led by Akihiro Akamatsu, crafted a title that was both visually appealing and fun to play. Hudson Soft, the publisher, was already a prominent name in the industry, known for titles like Bomberman and Adventure Island.

Story
The story of Bonk’s Adventure is simple yet charming. Players take on the role of Bonk, a prehistoric caveman with an unusually large head. Bonk’s mission is to rescue the beautiful Princess Za, who has been kidnapped by the evil King Drool. The narrative is straightforward, but it’s the whimsical presentation and character designs that make it memorable. The game doesn’t rely heavily on text or dialogue; instead, it uses expressive animations and vibrant visuals to tell its story.

Graphics and Music
One of the standout features of Bonk’s Adventure is its graphics. The TurboGrafx-16’s capabilities are on full display here, with colorful, detailed sprites and smooth animations. Bonk himself is a lovable chara..

Retro Review: Guerrilla War for the NES

Released in 1989, Guerrilla War (known as Guevara in Japan) is a top-down run-and-gun arcade game developed and published by SNK. The game quickly found its way to the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), where it became a beloved title among action game enthusiasts. Set against the backdrop of a revolutionary struggle, Guerrilla War offered intense gameplay, cooperative multiplayer action, and a captivating story that resonated with many players. In this review, we will delve into the game's development, story, gameplay mechanics, graphics and music, critical reception, and its enduring replay value.

Development and Background
SNK, the developer behind Guerrilla War, was already well-known for creating engaging arcade experiences. The company had a reputation for producing high-quality games that combined excellent gameplay with impressive audiovisual elements. Guerrilla War was no exception. The game was part of SNK's effort to bring their successful arcade titles to home consoles, making high-octane action more accessible to a broader audience.

The game’s original Japanese title, Guevara, is a direct reference to the famous revolutionary Che Guevara. This historical context adds a layer of depth to the game, as players take on the roles of Guevara and Fidel Castro, fighting against oppressive forces in a fictionalized version of the Cuban Revolution. This narrative choice was bold and unusual for its time, providing a unique backdrop for the relentless action.

Story
Guerrilla War’s story is straightforward yet engaging. Players assume the roles of two revolutionary leaders, tasked with liberating an island nation from a tyrannical regime. The game doesn’t delve deeply into the historical specifics, instead opting for a more generalized representation of revolutionary warfare. However, the premise is enough to provide context for the non-stop action and the players’ ultimate goal: overthrowing the dictator and freeing ..

Retro Review: Spider-Man: Web of Fire for the Sega 32X

Spider-Man: Web of Fire, released for the Sega 32X in 1996, stands as one of the last titles for this ill-fated add-on to the Sega Genesis. Developed by BlueSky Software, the game attempted to leverage the enhanced graphical capabilities of the 32X to deliver a more immersive Spider-Man experience. Despite the developers' efforts and the anticipation surrounding the game, my personal experience and the overall reception were underwhelming, to say the least. I found myself disliking virtually everything about the game, from its gameplay mechanics to its audio-visual execution.

Developer and Production Context

BlueSky Software, known for their work on Vectorman and other Genesis titles, faced the daunting task of squeezing out the potential of the 32X with Spider-Man: Web of Fire. The development period was rushed, a common issue with many 32X games as the platform was quickly losing support by the time of the game's release. The game was one of the only 1,500 copies produced, making it a rare collector's item today.

Graphics and Sound

One of the game's few redeeming qualities was its graphics. The 32X allowed for an expanded color palette and improved sprite details, which BlueSky Software capitalized on to create visually striking cityscapes and character animations. Spider-Man and the various enemies he faces are well-rendered, with fluid animations that stood out against many other titles at the time.

The soundtrack, composed by Brian Coburn, attempted to capture the essence of a superheroic adventure with energetic, albeit repetitive, themes. While the music was one of the stronger points of the game, it couldn't completely salvage the overall experience due to its repetitive nature and the lackluster sound effects that often felt out of sync with the on-screen action.

Gameplay

Gameplay in Spider-Man: Web of Fire is where things start to truly unravel. The player controls Spider-Man as he attempts t..

Introduction to a Cult Classic
"Keio Flying Squadron" emerged on the Sega CD in 1993 to the delight of gamers looking for a fresh, vibrant take on the shoot 'em up genre. At a time when the gaming market was saturated with titles, this game managed to stand out with its stunning anime-style graphics, captivating music, and a storyline that was as charming as it was quirky.

Developed by Victor Entertainment, a company more renowned for its musical endeavors, "Keio Flying Squadron" was a unique fusion of Japanese pop culture and traditional gaming elements that showcased the Sega CD's multimedia capabilities.

Developer's Audacious Undertaking
Victor Entertainment's foray into the gaming industry with "Keio Flying Squadron" was both ambitious and risky. It was a time when the Sega CD was struggling to justify its existence as an add-on to the Sega Genesis, and the company aimed to exploit its advanced audio-visual potential. By creating a game that was both a visual and auditory spectacle, Victor Entertainment set a high bar for what the Sega CD could achieve.

A Visual and Auditory Feast
"Keio Flying Squadron" was a masterpiece of pixel art. Each level was meticulously crafted, from the vibrant backdrops of feudal Japan to the whimsical enemy designs. The game was a colorful explosion of art, one that could only be described as playing through an anime. The attention to detail was evident, with each sprite bursting with personality, bringing the world to life in a way that few games of the era could.

The music was equally splendid. The soundtrack blended traditional Japanese music with upbeat, arcade rhythms, creating an unforgettable ambiance that perfectly complemented the on-screen action. The game's audio prowess was a testament to the Sega CD's capabilities, offering crystal clear music and sound effects that were a cut above what the Genesis could produce.

Engaging Storyline
The narrative of "Keio Flying Squadron" was unconventional and endearing. Players ..

Part 7: Chapters 13 & 14 played through by DashingDerek. I had to reupload this. They copyrighted both the audio and video for the the credits. That part has now been removed.

Part 1: https://youtu.be/9Lyy9HGzrMw
Part 2: https://youtu.be/5so8AEPlriE
Part 3: https://youtu.be/vpc3rrggF-I
Part 4: https://youtu.be/zNzuGwYDOso
Part 5: https://youtu.be/wyt04hQWTPE
Part 6: https://youtu.be/IGklBzo0hqI
Part 7: https://youtu.be/tEGDwPa0rm0

Written tutorial/walkthrough: https://retro-replay.com/guides/final-fantasy-7-rebirth-walkthrough/
Review here:

Chapter Synopsis

Chapter 13

In Chapter 13 of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, titled "Where Angels Fear to Tread," Cloud and his team pursue the Shinra helicopter carrying the Keystone to the Temple of the Ancients. Upon arriving, they navigate through the temple's puzzling corridors and gravity-defying challenges, battling Shinra soldiers and formidable enemies along the way. The party becomes separated, with Aerith, Yuffie, and Red XIII taking a different path from Cloud, Tifa, and Barret.

As the group reunites and delves deeper into the temple, they face individual trials that transport them to significant moments from their pasts. Cloud confronts his own trial in the Corridor of Effigies, reliving painful memories. The party ultimately reaches the Black Materia, but as the temple crumbles around them, Sephiroth appears and steals the powerful orb. In a tense confrontation, Aerith seizes the Black Materia, leading Cloud to pursue her as the chapter draws to a close.

Chapter 14

In the final chapter of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, "End of the World," the story shifts between Zack's perspective and Cloud's journey with Aerith. Zack, along with his versions of Aerith and Cloud, navigate through the Sector 5 Undercity, while Cloud and Aerith share intimate moments at their favorite spot and the Church. The rest of the party searches for Aerith in the Forgotten Capital, battling Whispers along the way.

The climax unfolds as Cloud a..

Popful Mail: A Delightful and Overlooked Gem on the Sega CD

Introduction

As a fan of Working Designs, known for their excellent localization of Lunar: The Silver Star Story, I was thrilled to discover Popful Mail, a charming action-platformer developed by Falcom and published by Working Designs for the Sega CD in 1994. Despite being overshadowed by other high-profile releases of its time, Popful Mail is an amazing game that deserves recognition for its delightful characters, engaging gameplay, and impressive presentation.

Developer and Publisher
Falcom, a renowned Japanese developer famous for their long-running Ys series, crafted Popful Mail with the same level of care and attention to detail that fans have come to expect from their titles. Working Designs, the publisher responsible for bringing the game to North America, had a reputation for localizing niche Japanese games with great passion and humor, as evidenced by their work on Lunar: The Silver Star Story.

Stunning Visuals and Enchanting Soundtrack
One of the most striking aspects of Popful Mail is its vibrant and colorful graphics. The game's anime-inspired visuals are a feast for the eyes, with well-drawn characters, detailed backgrounds, and smooth animations. The Sega CD's enhanced color palette allows the game's artwork to shine, making it one of the most visually appealing titles on the system.

The soundtrack, composed by Falcom's talented in-house musicians, is equally impressive. The catchy tunes perfectly complement the game's lighthearted tone, keeping players humming along as they progress through the game. As noted by a member of the retro gaming community, "Popful Mail's soundtrack is an absolute joy to listen to, with memorable tracks that stick with you long after you've finished playing." (Sarah Thompson, Retro Replay Community)

Engaging Gameplay and Character Switching
At its core, Popful Mail is a side-scrolling action-platformer with RPG elements. Players control the titular charact..

A Retro Review of Chuck Rock for the Sega CD: A Prehistoric Platformer Past Its Prime
Introduction

Released in 1991 for the Sega Genesis and later ported to the Sega CD in 1993, Chuck Rock is a side-scrolling platformer developed by Core Design and published by Virgin Games. The game follows the adventures of a prehistoric caveman named Chuck, who must rescue his wife, Ophelia, from the clutches of a rival caveman named Gary Gritter.

Gameplay
Chuck Rock's gameplay is a standard affair for the platforming genre. Players control Chuck as he navigates through various prehistoric levels, jumping on platforms, avoiding obstacles, and defeating enemies by jumping on their heads or throwing rocks at them. The game's controls are responsive, but the level design is often uninspired and repetitive, leading to a less-than-engaging experience.

One notable aspect of the game is its use of Chuck's belly as a weapon. When Chuck jumps, his considerable girth can be used to crush enemies beneath him. While this mechanic is amusing at first, it quickly loses its novelty and becomes just another way to dispose of enemies.

The game's difficulty is inconsistent, with some levels being relatively easy to complete, while others present frustrating challenges that can lead to numerous deaths and restarts. This inconsistency in difficulty, combined with the repetitive level design, makes for a game that can feel like a chore to play through.

Graphics and Sound
Visually, Chuck Rock is a mixed bag. The character sprites are well-animated and colorful, with Chuck himself being a particularly memorable design. The background environments, while not particularly detailed, do a decent job of conveying the prehistoric setting. However, there is a lack of visual variety throughout the game, with many levels feeling like reskins of one another.

The Sega CD version of Chuck Rock boasts enhanced audio compared to its Genesis counterpart, with CD-quality music and sound effects. The soundtrack..

Hook for the Sega CD: A Retro Review
The Sega CD, known for its ambition to bring the power of CD-ROM to the gaming industry, hosted a variety of titles that sought to exploit its enhanced audio and visual capabilities. Among these games was "Hook," a title based on the 1991 film directed by Steven Spielberg. The game promised an adventure with the beloved Peter Pan character, but time has revealed limitations that cast a shadow on its memory. In this review, we will explore "Hook" for the Sega CD in detail, examining the developer's efforts, the game's presentation, and its gameplay, along with its narrative and the reception it received upon release.

Developer and Production
"Hook" for the Sega CD was developed by Ukiyotei and published by Sony Imagesoft, a subsidiary of Sony that focused on video game publishing. The game followed the tale of the movie, tapping into the fantasy of Neverland and the battle against the notorious Captain Hook. Ukiyotei, not as well-known as giants like Konami or Capcom, had a challenge ahead of them: to create a game that lived up to the cinematic experience.

Graphics and Music
At the time, "Hook" was praised for its beautiful graphics. The Sega CD allowed for a richer palette and more detailed sprites than its cartridge-based counterparts. The characters were recognizable, and the backgrounds captured the whimsical yet perilous world of Neverland, from lush forests to the foreboding pirate ship.

The music of "Hook" was a highlight, utilizing the Sega CD's ability to stream CD-quality audio. It featured compositions that were inspired by John Williams' iconic score, and its orchestral sound was a treat for the ears. The soundtrack successfully conveyed the magic and tension of Peter Pan's journey.

Listen to Hook's Soundtrack

Gameplay and Mechanics
"Hook" is a side-scrolling platformer where players take on the role of Peter Pan as he attempts to rescue his children from the clutches of Captain Hook. The gameplay involves runn..

Enjoy our comprehensive retrospective as we showcase each and every one of the classic games developed for the Panasonic 3DOin this captivating video journey, or read up on the system and review below!

Exploring the Legacy of the Panasonic 3DO: Innovation Ahead of Its Time
In the early 1990s, the gaming industry witnessed the arrival of a console that promised to revolutionize the home entertainment experience: the Panasonic 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, commonly known as the 3DO. Developed by The 3DO Company, a conglomerate that included tech giants like Panasonic, the 3DO was a cutting-edge platform that aimed to set a new standard for interactive gaming.

Specifications and Technology
At the heart of the 3DO's innovation was its hardware. The console was powered by a 32-bit RISC CPU running at 12.5 MHz, a significant leap from the 16-bit systems that were prevalent at the time.

Key Specifications
CPU: ARM60 32-bit RISC processor running at 12.5 MHz
RAM: 2 MB of DRAM and 1 MB of VRAM
Graphics: Custom-designed graphics engine capable of rendering 3D environments with texture mapping
Resolution: Support for 640x480 display resolution, exceptional for the time
Storage: Double-speed CD-ROM drive, allowing for larger and more complex games
Audio: 16-bit stereo sound, with the ability to play audio CDs and support for Dolby Surround sound
Controller: Unique for offering a daisy-chain connection port that allowed multiple controllers to be linked together
Expansion: Expansion port for future upgrades and peripherals
OS: Opera, a custom-designed operating system tailored for gaming and multimedia applications

The 3DO's graphics were unrivaled, thanks to its custom-designed graphics engine capable of producing rich, textured 3D environments and detailed sprites. This power enabled game developers to create expansive worlds and complex gameplay mechanics that were not possible on earlier consoles.

The History of the 3DO
The 3DO was conceived by Electronic Arts founder..

Part 7: Chapters 13 & 14 played through by DashingDerek.

Part 1: https://youtu.be/9Lyy9HGzrMw
Part 2: https://youtu.be/5so8AEPlriE
Part 3: https://youtu.be/vpc3rrggF-I
Part 4: https://youtu.be/zNzuGwYDOso
Part 5: https://youtu.be/wyt04hQWTPE
Part 6: https://youtu.be/IGklBzo0hqI
Part 7: https://youtu.be/rk9kRMb2kaQ

Written tutorial/walkthrough: https://retro-replay.com/guides/final-fantasy-7-rebirth-walkthrough/
Review here:

Chapter Synopsis

Chapter 13

In Chapter 13 of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, titled "Where Angels Fear to Tread," Cloud and his team pursue the Shinra helicopter carrying the Keystone to the Temple of the Ancients. Upon arriving, they navigate through the temple's puzzling corridors and gravity-defying challenges, battling Shinra soldiers and formidable enemies along the way. The party becomes separated, with Aerith, Yuffie, and Red XIII taking a different path from Cloud, Tifa, and Barret.

As the group reunites and delves deeper into the temple, they face individual trials that transport them to significant moments from their pasts. Cloud confronts his own trial in the Corridor of Effigies, reliving painful memories. The party ultimately reaches the Black Materia, but as the temple crumbles around them, Sephiroth appears and steals the powerful orb. In a tense confrontation, Aerith seizes the Black Materia, leading Cloud to pursue her as the chapter draws to a close.

Chapter 14

In the final chapter of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, "End of the World," the story shifts between Zack's perspective and Cloud's journey with Aerith. Zack, along with his versions of Aerith and Cloud, navigate through the Sector 5 Undercity, while Cloud and Aerith share intimate moments at their favorite spot and the Church. The rest of the party searches for Aerith in the Forgotten Capital, battling Whispers along the way.

The climax unfolds as Cloud and Zack confront Sephiroth together, engaging in a series of intense battles against Jenova Lifeclinger, Sephiroth Reb..

The Sega Master System: A Historical Overview and System Review

Enjoy our comprehensive retrospective as we showcase each and every one of the classic games developed for the Sega Master System in this captivating video journey, or read up on the system and review below!

The Sega Master System: A 8-Bit Contender
In an era largely dominated by Nintendo's NES, the Sega Master System (SMS) stood as Sega's valiant effort in the 8-bit console market. Released in 1985 in Japan and two years later in North America, the Master System aimed to capture the hearts of gamers with more powerful hardware and an ambitious game library. While I never had the opportunity to own a Master System myself, being a Genesis and Sega CD aficionado, I've always had a fascination with Sega's earlier attempt to dethrone the NES.

Specifications
The Sega Master System boasted impressive specs for its time, offering:

CPU: Zilog Z80A processor clocked at 3.58 MHz
RAM: 8 KB of main RAM, 16 KB of video RAM
Graphics: VDP (Video Display Processor) capable of displaying up to 32 colors simultaneously from a palette of 64, with a resolution of 256x192 pixels
Audio: Texas Instruments SN76489 PSG (Programmable Sound Generator), providing 4-channel sound
Storage: Cartridge slot and, in later models, a built-in card slot for Sega My Card games, with game sizes ranging from 128 KB to 4 MB
History
Developed as the Sega Mark III in Japan, the console was rebranded as the Master System for its international release. Despite its superior hardware, the SMS faced an uphill battle against the NES, which had a strong foothold in the market. Nevertheless, the Master System found success in Europe and Brazil, where it enjoyed a longer lifespan and a more substantial market presence.

System Review
Design and Hardware
The Master System's design was futuristic, with a sleek black chassis and an angular, red power light. The game cartridges and optional Sega Cards were innovative, though the card format didn't gain..

Part 6: Chapters 11 & 12 played through by DashingDerek.

Part 1: https://youtu.be/9Lyy9HGzrMw
Part 2: https://youtu.be/5so8AEPlriE
Part 3: https://youtu.be/vpc3rrggF-I
Part 4: https://youtu.be/zNzuGwYDOso
Part 5: https://youtu.be/wyt04hQWTPE
Part 6: https://youtu.be/IGklBzo0hqI
Part 7:

Written tutorial/walkthrough: https://retro-replay.com/guides/final-fantasy-7-rebirth-walkthrough/
Review here:

Chapter Synopsis

Chapter 11

In the eleventh chapter of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, titled "The Long Shadow of Shinra," Cloud and his companions arrive in Nibelheim, a town eerily reconstructed after a mysterious incident. As they explore the altered village, Cloud is haunted by visions of Sephiroth and memories of his friend Zack. The group soon discovers that to enter the enigmatic Shinra Manor, they must first secure permission from the deputy commissioner atop Mt. Nibel.

The journey to the reactor's peak is arduous, filled with fierce battles and grim discoveries. After defeating the Diabolic Variant boss and retrieving the ID card needed to access Shinra Manor, the perspective shifts to Cait Sith, who must navigate a series of puzzles and traps to free the imprisoned party members. As the group delves deeper into the manor's secrets, they uncover a sinister plot involving the scientist Hojo and encounter the mysterious Vincent, who transforms into the Galian Beast during a intense battle. With newfound focus on the Gold Saucer and the Keystone relic, the party sets their sights on the next leg of their adventure.

Chapter 12

In Chapter 12 of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, titled "A Golden Key," the party journeys back to the Gold Saucer by sea using Cid's transformed aeroplane. Upon arrival, they seek out Dio to obtain the Keystone, a crucial item for their quest. To win the Keystone, Cloud must participate in the Musclehead Colosseum, and the night before the competition, he goes on a date with the character he has developed the closest bond with throughout the game..

Keio Flying Squadron 2: A Retro Review for the Sega Saturn

Many Sega Saturn titles have garnered cult followings and are lauded for their unique contributions to gaming, but not all games hit the mark for every player. "Keio Flying Squadron 2" (Kyuukyoku Tiger II Plus in Japan) is one such title that, despite its charm and technical achievements, left players with mixed feelings, particularly concerning its controls and gameplay mechanics.

Developer and Vision

Developed by Victor Entertainment, "Keio Flying Squadron 2" was released in 1996 as a sequel to the original "Keio Flying Squadron." The development team aimed to craft a game that built upon the whimsical and fantastical elements of its predecessor, while also delivering a visually stunning and musically enchanting experience for the Sega Saturn.

Graphics and Music: An Audio-Visual Feast

There's no denying that "Keio Flying Squadron 2" is visually captivating. The game boasts vibrant, colorful graphics that are a testament to the Saturn's capabilities. Its art style is a mix of traditional Japanese aesthetics with a quirky, cartoonish twist that sets it apart from other titles of the era.

The music of "Keio Flying Squadron 2" is equally impressive. The soundtrack is a beautiful composition that blends traditional Japanese instruments with energetic, upbeat tunes, creating an immersive and enjoyable backdrop to the on-screen action.

Gameplay: Where Charm Meets Frustration

The whimsy of "Keio Flying Squadron 2" extends into its gameplay, which features platforming elements combined with shoot-'em-up segments. Players take on the role of Rami, a young girl tasked with recovering pieces of a magical key. Each level brings new environments and challenges, from flying through the air on Rami's pet dragon to navigating treacherous terrain on foot.

However, the game's controls are where players' frustrations often lie. Many have found the controls to be less responsive than desired, making the precise move..

I failed to pick the harder difficulty level, and the game cut off without letting me play the final few levels. So that's that. I do not want to play through a 2nd time, perhaps I will revisit this one later in life.

Demolition Man on Sega CD: A Retro Review
The Sega CD, an ambitious add-on to the Sega Genesis, sought to revolutionize the gaming industry with its CD-ROM capabilities in the early 90s. Among its library was a game that now stands as a time capsule of that era's cinematic aspirations and technological advancements: "Demolition Man." This game, based on the eponymous sci-fi action film starring Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes, was an attempt to meld the bombast of Hollywood with the interactive world of gaming.

Developer and Production

Virgin Interactive Entertainment, a developer renowned for its adaptations of Disney films into critically acclaimed video games, was behind "Demolition Man." Known for their attention to detail and dedication to quality, Virgin Interactive aimed to capture the essence of the film and translate it into an experience that was both authentic and enjoyable.

Graphics and Music: Immersive and Atmospheric

The Sega CD version of "Demolition Man" was a spectacle of its time, with graphics that pushed the envelope of what was expected from home console games. The digitized actors from the film, including Stallone and Snipes themselves, were superimposed onto detailed 2D environments, creating a look that was strikingly similar to the movie. The graphics showcased the power of the Sega CD and provided an experience that felt closer to the movies than ever before.

The music was another high point. The Sega CD's ability to play high-fidelity audio tracks meant that the game could feature a soundtrack that rivaled the quality of what one would hear in cinemas. The score was intense and atmospheric, perfectly complementing the game's fast-paced action and cinematic cutscenes.

Gameplay: A Diverse Challenge

As for the gam..

Part 5: Chapters 9 & 10 played through by DashingDerek.

Part 1: https://youtu.be/9Lyy9HGzrMw
Part 2: https://youtu.be/5so8AEPlriE
Part 3: https://youtu.be/vpc3rrggF-I
Part 4: https://youtu.be/zNzuGwYDOso
Part 5: https://youtu.be/wyt04hQWTPE

Chapter 9

"The Planet Stirs," follows Cloud and his companions as they escape the Corel Region aboard a large buggy. Their journey is interrupted by Yuffie's sudden collapse, steering the group south towards a Mako reactor. Players are given the choice to return to The Gold Saucer for side quests and minigames or to continue the main narrative, which beckons them a thousand meters on. Venturing through mountain trails and a tropical jungle, they reach Gongaga Region, where they abandon the buggy and trek to the village. Welcomed by Cissnei, they settle in, exploring the local customs, meeting new characters, and grappling with the mysteries of the reactor's ominous presence.

Their moment of respite is shattered by a roar from the reactor, and Cloud leads a team towards the source. They navigate the terrain, collect items like the Bird of Prey and Crystal Sword, and unravel environmental puzzles to progress. Inside the reactor, Cloud is haunted by visions of Sephiroth, leading to confrontations with Shinra forces and mechanical monstrosities. Meanwhile, the women of the group, sensing danger, rush to the reactor on Chocobos, using their skills to catch up. They face their own battles, utilizing grappling guns and ziplines, culminating in a showdown against Scarlet and her formidable mech. The chapter concludes with a dramatic underwater rescue, setting the stage for the next leg of their odyssey to Cosmo Canyon.

Chapter 10

In the dusty reaches of Cosmo Canyon, Red XIII discovered his true heritage and chose to remain in his ancestral home. While he bid farewell to the party, the wise Bugenhagen guided them to the Observatory. There, among the stars, they learned of the planet's peril.

Cloud and his companions faced a tr..

Retro Review: "Wolfchild" on the Sega CD – A Howling Adventure in Gaming History
As a dedicated retro gamer, I have a deep appreciation for the classics and the not-so-classic titles that defined the early days of gaming. One such title that often goes overlooked is "Wolfchild," developed by Core Design and released for the Sega CD in the early 1990s. My journey with "Wolfchild" began much later than most; it wasn't a part of my childhood gaming trove. My mother, bless her soul, had gifted me a Sega CD back in the day, and though she's no longer with us, the nostalgia and love for that era of gaming are as alive as ever.

Developer and Publishing Background
Core Design, a British video game developer, was known for its work on the Sega CD platform. They eventually gained fame for their creation of the "Tomb Raider" series, but before Lara Croft became a household name, there was "Wolfchild." Released in 1992, the game didn't quite make the seismic impact Core Design might have hoped for, but it did showcase their talent for crafting engaging gameplay with the technology available at the time.

The Story
The narrative of "Wolfchild" is one of revenge and transformation. Players step into the shoes of Saul Morrow, whose father is kidnapped by the evil Chimera Organization. Saul, not one to shy away from a challenge, uses his father's lycanthropic research to turn into a wolf-human hybrid, a wolfchild, if you will. This transformation is the game's unique selling point, offering a twist on the standard platformer fare of the era.

Gameplay and Mechanics
The gameplay is a blend of action and platforming with a side of shoot-'em-up. Saul begins each level in his human form, which feels underpowered compared to his wolf form, which he transforms into upon gathering enough power-ups. This mechanic adds a layer of strategy to the game; players must decide when to unleash their inner beast for maximum effect.

The Sega CD version offers slight enhancements over its Genesis..

Gaming's Grunge Gallery: The Top 10 Filthiest Characters Ever to Grace the Screen

From the pixelated classics to today's high-definition worlds, video games have showcased a wild array of characters, including those who thrive in the muck and grime. These characters have left their dirty fingerprints on the hearts of gamers everywhere. Below, we'll count down through the top 10 dirtiest video game characters who have ever roamed digital landscapes, leaving a trail of grime, gunk, and sometimes laughter in their wake.

10. Wario - Super Mario Series

Wario, known for his yellow and purple garb, is the greedy and repulsive adversary of Nintendo's beloved plumber, Mario. This bulbous-nosed character from the 'Super Mario' series takes pride in his filthy lifestyle, from his love of rotten garlic to his grimy, treasure-filled castle. His personal hygiene is as questionable as his business ethics, often using dirty tricks to get ahead. Whether he's competing in sports, racing karts, or hunting for treasure, Wario's unclean methods are as much a hallmark of his character as his cackling laugh.

9. Boogerman - Boogerman: A Pick and Flick Adventure

A hero of the unconventional sort, Boogerman dives into action in his self-titled platformer game, where bodily functions are the weapons of choice. In a time when crude humor was the pinnacle of comedy, this caped crusader flicked boogers and belched his way through the dimension of X-Crement to fight off evil. His unwashed, mucus-covered costume and unabashedly gross superpowers are enough to secure his position on this list. The character's design and abilities fully embrace the '90s trend of gross-out humor in children's entertainment, making him a standout figure in the pantheon of dirty video game characters.

8. Gruntilda - Banjo-Kazooie Series

Gruntilda Winkybunion, better known as Grunty, is a witch whose lack of cleanliness is overshadowed only by her foul schemes. The main antagonist of the 'Banjo-Kazooie' ser..

Part 4: Chapters 8 played through by DashingDerek.

Part 1: https://youtu.be/9Lyy9HGzrMw
Part 2: https://youtu.be/5so8AEPlriE
Part 3: https://youtu.be/vpc3rrggF-I

Written tutorial/walkthrough: https://retro-replay.com/guides/final-fantasy-7-rebirth-walkthrough/
Review here:

Chapter Synopsis.

Chapter 8

In the glittering realm of the Gold Saucer, the eighth chapter of "Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth," titled "All That Glitters," unfolds with our heroes stepping off their whimsical flying carriage. Barret, who has recently faced his haunted past, now guides the party through this neon-lit wonderland. As Aerith, Tifa, and Yuffie surrender to the infectious joy of dance, Cloud encounters the enigmatic owner, Dio, trading the battlefield for an arena of another sort—a 3D Brawler match. While the revelry spins on, Cloud and Barret confront the mundane task of securing rooms, only to cross paths with the curious Cait Sith, whose arrival hints at riddles yet to be solved.

This chapter is a tapestry of both celebration and challenge, with our heroes indulging in the myriad attractions of the Gold Saucer, from Wonderment Square to the Skywheel. Their revels are cut short, however, when they learn of a crime in the Battle Square, falsely attributed to Barret. The group's quest for truth leads them to Corel Prison, where they must win Chocobo races to secure their freedom, and where Barret faces an old friend turned foe, Dyne, in a battle laced with emotional turmoil. As they emerge victorious, the chapter draws to a close with a daring escape from Shinra's clutches, setting the stage for the next phase of their journey.

Super Junkoid: A Hauntingly Beautiful Metroid Masterpiece
Released in August 2023, Super Junkoid is a mesmerizing and unsettling Metroidvania that has taken the gaming community by storm. Developed by the talented P. Yoshi, this meticulously crafted hack transforms the beloved Super Metroid into a surreal and haunting experience that will linger in your mind long after the credits roll.

A Visual Feast for the Senses
Super Junkoid's most striking feature is its breathtaking visual overhaul. Every pixel has been painstakingly redesigned, creating a world that feels both familiar and utterly alien. The vibrant colors, intricate details, and eerie atmospheres immerse you in a twisted dreamscape that blurs the line between reality and nightmare.

From the ethereal landscapes of the Outskirts to the labyrinthine depths of the Idol Area, each environment is a testament to P. Yoshi's artistic vision. The custom tilesets, enemy sprites, and boss designs showcase the boundless creativity of the modding community, pushing the boundaries of what is possible within the Super Metroid engine.

Haunting Melodies That Linger
The music of Super Junkoid is as haunting as its visuals. The original Super Metroid soundtrack has been masterfully remixed and repurposed, creating a soundscape that perfectly complements the game's eerie and unsettling atmosphere. Each track heightens the tension and emotion of the moment, drawing you deeper into Junko's nightmare.

The use of sound effects is equally impressive. The guttural screams of enemies, the eerie silence of abandoned rooms, and the unsettling whispers that follow you throughout the game create a truly immersive and chilling experience that will send shivers down your spine.

A Story of Dreams and Darkness
Super Junkoid's narrative is a departure from the traditional Metroid formula, delving into themes of identity, trauma, and the darkness within. You play as Junko, a young woman trapped in a twisted dream where she is revered as ..

The SNES: A Historical Overview and System Review

Enjoy our comprehensive retrospective as we showcase each and every one of the classic games developed for the Super Nintendo in this captivating video journey, or read up on the system and review below!

The Super Nintendo: A 16-Bit Era Icon
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), Nintendo's second home console, stands as a towering figure in the pantheon of gaming. Released as the successor to the revolutionary Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), the SNES boasted advanced graphics and sound capabilities that wowed gamers of the early '90s. Though I never owned a SNES myself, having been a Sega Genesis and Sega CD user, my cousins' SNES was a gateway to a treasure trove of gaming that I enjoyed immensely during visits.

Check out this full review and many more over at: https://retro-replay.com/the-super-nintendo-collection-780-games-video-evolution-and-review/

Specifications
The technical prowess of the SNES was a significant part of its appeal:

CPU: 16-bit 65c816 Ricoh processor clocked at 3.58 MHz
RAM: 128 KB of general-purpose RAM and 64 KB of video RAM
Graphics: Custom-designed Picture Processing Unit (PPU) that could display 256 colors simultaneously from a palette of 32,768, with a maximum resolution of 512×448 pixels
Audio: 8-channel ADPCM audio, with the Sony SPC700 sound chip providing a distinctive and rich audio experience
Storage: Cartridge-based, typically ranging from 0.25 to 6 MB in size
History
Nintendo launched the SNES in Japan in 1990 and in North America in 1991. It entered a fierce competition with Sega's Genesis, a rivalry that would define the 16-bit era. Despite the challenge, the SNES became a best-seller worldwide, carving out a place in gaming history.

System Review
Design and Hardware
The SNES featured a rounded, sleek design with its signature purple sliding power and reset switches. The controllers introduced the now-standard shoulder buttons, giving players more control ..

Part 3: Chapters 6-7 played through by DashingDerek.

Part 1: https://youtu.be/9Lyy9HGzrMw
Part 2: https://youtu.be/5so8AEPlriE

Written tutorial/walkthrough: https://retro-replay.com/guides/final-fantasy-7-rebirth-walkthrough/
Review here:

Chapter Synopsis.

Chapter 6

A Tropical Distraction: Fun in the Sun Goes Awry

Basking in the warm shores of Costa del Sol, Cloud yearns for relaxation after harrowing sea voyages. But securing lodgings proves challenging among bustling crowds. Just as hope fades, a familiar face generously shelters the group.

Eager to hit the beach, Cloud trades for festive swimwear at a lively carnival. After besting pirates and cards, he finally gains access to the sun-kissed sands. Yet trouble brews when a sinister scientist unleashes monsters on the beachgoers!

Faced with impossible odds alone, Cloud fights for his life against the mammoth grasptropod. At the last second, spunky ninja Yuffie zooms to the rescue! Together they force the vile beast into retreat.

As the dust settles, Cloud soaks up soothing moments with friends new and old. But duty calls once more, cutting their beach vacation short. Adventure summons on the horizon - the snowy peaks of Mt. Corel await! Cloud packs up his surfboard, bidding the tropical shores farewell...for now.

Chapter 7: A Troubled Homecoming

Follow the expanded party, now including Yuffie, as they pursue mysterious hooded figures towards Mt. Corel. The journey involves traversing picturesque landscapes, engaging in battles, and gathering resources. Along the way, the group faces a challenging boss fight against the Custom Valkyrie and briefly shifts focus to Zack, a character absent since the beginning of the game.

As the party reunites and progresses through the Corel Mako Reactor and Coal Mines, Yuffie's unique abilities prove crucial in navigating the complex environment and solving puzzles. The group encounters various obstacles, enemies, and treasures before finally lowering a bridge and ..

Part 2: Chapters 4-5 played through by DashingDerek.

Part 1: https://youtu.be/9Lyy9HGzrMw
Part 3: https://youtu.be/vpc3rrggF-I

Written tutorial/walkthrough: https://retro-replay.com/guides/final-fantasy-7-rebirth-walkthrough/
Review here:

Chapter Synopsis.

Chapter 4

Parade of Deception: Cloud Infiltrates the Shinra Stronghold

With the Mythril Mines behind them, Cloud's team sees the Shinra metropolis of Junon ahead. But dangers lurk below the city too. In the humble village Under Junon, a monstrous serpent attacks! Our heroes defeat the threat and rescue a new ally - the upbeat ninja Yuffie.

Yuffie hatches a sneaky plan to assassinate Shinra's president during Junon's grand parade. Donning disguises, Cloud, Tifa and Aerith infiltrate the festivities. But pulling off this risky mission means impressing parade commanders first.

After rigorous drills, our heroes perform a flawless march, blending into the ranks. High atop a tower, Yuffie lines up the fateful shot. But Barret's warning thwarts her at the last second. Foiled, but not defeated, the team splits up to find a new route to their target.

Cloud slips through Shinra's defenses in a trooper's uniform. Battling robotic guards, he reunites with Roche for a highway duel. Their engines roar, exchanging fiery blows at high speed. In the end, Cloud rides on toward destiny.

Boarding a luxury liner, he waves goodbye to his troopers, who proved true allies. Though this fight is finished, the war has just begun. Cloud's convictions will soon be tested as friend becomes foe on the open seas.

Chapter 5:

Monsters Below Deck: A Deadly Voyage at Sea

Barely escaping Junon, Cloud and friends book passage on a lavish ocean liner. Little do they know danger lurks aboard too. After besting card sharks in a shipboard tournament, disaster strikes at midnight.

Hordes of mutated creatures swarm the decks! Cloud and Tifa battle valiantly side by side to drive them back. Descending into the bowels of the ship, they unco..

The first 3 chapters of FFVII, as played through by DashingDerek.
Part two (chapters 4 and 5): https://youtu.be/5so8AEPlriE

See our written tutorial/walkthrough here: https://retro-replay.com/guides/final-fantasy-7-rebirth-walkthrough/
Review here:

Chapter Synopsis
Chapter 1: The Adventure Begins: A Tale of Cloud's Fateful Mission

Our story opens with Zack bravely rescuing Cloud amidst crashing helicopters and debris. After an emotional reunion with Aerith, we flashback five years to a fateful mission.

A younger Cloud accompanies the legendary Sephiroth to investigate a damaged mako reactor. After discovering dark secrets, Sephiroth begins descending into madness. Back in the present, Cloud recounts these dark events to his companions Tifa and Barret.

Journeying to his hometown, Cloud is flooded with memories. He visits his home, reflects by the water tower, and plays Tifa's childhood piano. But soon the mission continues up treacherous Mt. Nibel. Cloud learns to harness mysterious Materia magic along the way.

Disaster strikes when a bridge collapses! After being swept away in raging rapids, Cloud reunites with Sephiroth. They push onward through caves and tunnels, facing ferocious creatures. An epic battle against a many-legged Materia Guardian tests Cloud's skill.

At last reaching the old mako reactor, Cloud senses Sephiroth's shifting motivations. After puzzling experiments, Sephiroth disappears into the night. Cloud pursues him to a foreboding manor filled with dark secrets.

Descending into its basement, Cloud finds Sephiroth consumed with sinister research. Emerging outside, Cloud arrives to find his village ablaze. Rushing to save his mother, he watches Sephiroth descend into violent madness against the townspeople.

Now in the present, Cloud remains haunted by this horrific memory. With destiny unclear and Sephiroth's evil still looming, Cloud's journey has only just begun. His companions will stand by his side, come what may.

Chapter 2: The Jou..

The PlayStation 1: A Historical Overview and System Review

Enjoy our comprehensive retrospective as we showcase each and every one of the classic games developed for the PlayStation 1 in this captivating video journey, or read up on the system and review below!

PlayStation 1: A 32-Bit Revolution in Gaming
The PlayStation 1 (PS1), Sony's first foray into the console market, marked the beginning of a new era in video gaming. With its advanced 32-bit architecture, the PS1 redefined what gamers expected from their home console experience. I remember the year "Final Fantasy VII" was released; it was also the year I got my PlayStation. As a young child, the immersive worlds and intricate storylines that game offered had me hooked to the console, and the world of gaming, ever since.

Specifications
The PlayStation 1 was a powerhouse for its time, boasting:

CPU: 32-bit RISC processor clocked at 33.8688 MHz
RAM: 2 MB of main RAM, 1 MB of video RAM
Graphics: Capable of rendering 360,000 polygons per second, with a maximum of 4,000 on-screen polygons, 16.7 million colors, and resolutions ranging from 256×224 to 640×480 pixels
Audio: 24-channel PCM audio with a sampling rate of up to 44.1 kHz
Storage: Proprietary CD-ROM format, with a typical game disc holding up to 650 MB of data
History
Sony released the PlayStation in Japan in December 1994 and in North America in September 1995. The console quickly gained popularity due to its powerful hardware, extensive third-party support, and an aggressive marketing campaign. Sony's entry into the console market was a game-changer, literally, as it shifted the focus of power in the video game industry.

System Review
Design and Hardware
The PlayStation's design was sleek and modern, with a gray finish and a distinctive set of circular buttons on the console itself. The controller introduced the now-iconic shape and layout that would become standard for future PlayStation consoles.

Gaming Library
Sony's emphasis on third-party sup..

This demo was a lot of fun. My son had the pleasure of playing while I watched. We can not wait for the game to drop.

The Final Fantasy VII Rebirth demo is an incredibly promising glimpse into the future of the Remake trilogy. The stunning graphics, revamped combat system, and intriguing story all point to a game that is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated releases of 2023. Fans of the original Final Fantasy VII and newcomers alike will find much to love in this tantalizing taste of what's to come.

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Retro gaming goodness and more. Longplay and casual playthrough for nes, snes, genesis, sega dreamcast, Arcade, 3do and more. All things retro related are welcome here, and we like the "evolution of" creations as well.