Cleaning up the streets
Back when belt-scrolling brawlers were the arcade genre of choice for millions of players worldwide, Capcom's output was considered by many to be the gold standard. Titles like Final Fight and Alien Vs. Predator pulled in an astonishing amount of revenue during this period, but the company didn't have the genre all to itself;...
Sucks to be you
Back in the early '90s, Castlevania was mostly known for being a console series, with three entries on the NES, three on the Game Boy, and four total across the 16-bit platforms (assuming, of course, you consider the PC Engine to be a true 16-bit system). But early in the series’ life, Konami released an arcade game, known as...
We could be zeroes, just for one day
While the arrival of Streets of Rage 4 and The TakeOver might lead you to assume that the belt-scrolling brawler is back in vogue, it's still a pretty niche genre in 2020 – and, to be brutally honest, that has been the case since the mid-'90s, by which point Street Fighter II had made the one-on-one fighter the...
Return of the Mac
If you ask us, Hamster should be getting more praise for successfully releasing a steady stream of Nintendo games in its Arcade Archives series. No fewer than 18 of Nintendo’s vintage coin-op titles have now been released on the Switch to date, with practically all of them available to buy for the first time in their history...
Well, it's about time. Not officially available anywhere since making its arcade bow (outside of the well-intentioned but obviously weaker home ports on the SNES and Mega Drive, at least), Konami's phenomenally good Western-themed run n' gun Sunset Riders has finally been re-released as part of Hamster's superb Arcade Archives line. The...
Don't call it sub-par
You could almost be forgiven for mistaking almost any given screenshot of In the Hunt for one of the submarine sections in the much more popular Metal Slug series. They're extremely similar visually, for a very good reason – Irem's cult favourite sub-'em-up was developed by the same team who went on to form Nazca and make the...
Fangs, but no fangs
The original NES Castlevania has seen its fair share of re-releases over the years, but the same can’t be said for its alternative arcade version. VS. Castlevania was originally released for the Nintendo VS. System of arcade hardware, which for the most part offered tweaked versions of NES games designed to focus more on...
Old 'un athletic
Sometimes you just get it right the first time you try. This was the case when Konami released Track & Field in arcades and completely nailed its mechanics right away, then spent decades trying (and arguably failing) to better them. Now that original arcade title has made it over to the Switch as part of Hamster’s ever-growing...
A forgotten gem?
Since getting into the video game business Nintendo has produced many fondly regarded games, which have often lead to sequels. Even when a series is dormant, older entries have re-appeared either in updated form or via the various Virtual Console services. Then there’s Sky Skipper. Briefly hitting arcades in 1981, this hi-score...
The Kunio-kun origin story
Hamster is really spoiling us with this port, because unlike the PS4 version, this Switch offering manages to include both the original Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun Japanese release and the reskinned, The Warriors-inspired western localisation known as Renegade. While both games play essentially the same, it's nice...
The true Original Edition
Released in 1981, Donkey Kong was Nintendo’s first big arcade hit, featuring the debuts of the titular ape, Mario and future mayor of New Donk City, Pauline. Despite its popularity, Nintendo has favoured re-releasing the cutdown (with one stage missing) NES port of this classic platformer over the...
8-16-Nintendo 64. Set… Hut-Hut-FUMBLE!?
American Football! We don’t ‘get it’ on this side of the pond, but that’s okay because we do know that the sport translates to excellent video games. However, translating the action of gridiron to the hardware available in 1983 was no easy feat. Irem took on this task and the end result was the very...
The kid is alright
The online leaderboards that HAMSTER includes with their retro releases provide some replay value as you compare (then try to improve) your point-scoring against players from around the globe. They work better in some games than others and they work particular well with old arcade titles, where in lieu of an ending sequence to...
Rumble, old man, rumble!
Fisticuffs were always a perfect subject for video games. However how to properly deliver the experience was a technical challenge due to limited technology the 80’s, with previous efforts opting for a side or top view of the in-ring action. Nintendo tackled this issue in Punch-Out!! by allowing players to control their...
The bright side of the moon
Irem’s Moon Patrol is a simple game across two auto-scrolling levels. Control is limited to adjusting the speed of your vehicle (forwards to accelerate, back to decelerate) as it trundles along the surprisingly colourful surface of the moon. There are two cannons that fire upon pressing this button (one vertical, one...
A shooter from older and tougher times
Released in 1984, Star Force sticks you in control of a space ship as you go through levels blasting a variety of enemy types. Yes, it’s yet another retro shmup on Switch, this time set across 25 levels and offering quite a stripped down shooting experience. In Arcade Archives Star Force your ship (the Final...
HAMSTER may not release titles in its Arcade Archives series as frequently as with its ACA Neo Geo one, but it does similarly seem determined to release whatever it can. R-Type is on the way, but before then there’s this lesser-known Irem title. Originally released in Japan as Yōjūden, Arcade Archives Heroic Episode puts you...
Hi-rise hi-score chaser
HAMSTER has brought numerous retro titles to Switch, but Arcade Archives Crazy Climber is the furthest it's gone back in time yet, with a game that actually predates Nintendo’s first console. Arriving in 1980, the year before Jumpman climbed ladders to rescue Pauline from Donkey Kong, an unnamed climber scaled the sides of...
A ninja throwback
Kid Niki: Radical Ninja is a bright cartoony platformer that has you run and jump through levels, dispatching a range of foes with your spinning sword attack before a showdown against a boss character. This Arcade Archives release also offers those thrills and adds in HAMSTER’s usual options and extra modes, but the interesting...
Brief, flawed but enjoyable arcade action
Scrolling beat ‘em ups may be simple affairs that just have you moving along smacking groups of thugs in the face, but when they are done right they can be hugely entertaining. Before Streets Of Rage, before Final Fight the game that got people excited was Technos’ Double Dragon, which put you in control...
Super Mario Bros. rejigged
Nintendo released Super Mario Bros. in 1985, making a lot of people very happy due to the superb platforming action it provided and selling a lot of NES systems in the process. Numerous sequels have followed, but that first game has remained available on various machines over the years, sometimes adding things like updated...
A basic but fun highscore chaser
The Switch may still lack a Virtual Console, but HAMSTER is keen to fill that void. Having released many Neo Geo titles (with more appearing regularly), the company has now started to bring other retro delights to the system. It's already released one of Nintendo's own games and now here’s the first offering from...
While we Switch owners continue to cross our arms and stamp our feet as we wait impatiently for the merest sniff of news regarding a Virtual Console service, it’s worth noting that Nintendo has given the nod for something that could be of greater importance to those with a keen interest in the company’s past. Hamster...
Wii U eShop / NES
If you don't remember City Connection, we wouldn't blame you. In 1985, arcades in the U.S. and elsewhere were booming in popularity, and as a result that particular industry was rather strong. This title came to NES owners a little later, however, releasing in the middle of 1988. It looks and feels like a relic of a bygone era, and...
Wii U eShop / SNES
A reality show about the lives of hot and steamy firefighters
This is the scripted story of six strangers that are picked to become firefighters, work together and have their lives played by a total stranger with a controller. Find out what happens when they stop being polite... and realize their lives aren't real. There was a time in gaming...