Welcome to another edition of Retro Newsflash, the bi-weekly column where we cover news and current events on the retro gaming scene. It is an honor to ring in the new year of 2013 on its first day, and I truly believe there is a lot to be excited for in this season for the retro gaming community. Bring on the briefs.
Second Quest comic creators release short project, Side Quest
As covered previous in this space, Second Quest was a successful Kickstarter project, aiming to release a full-length Legend of Zelda-inspired comic book in 2013. Although the primary publication will still take quite a bit of work in order to complete, its creators recently distributed a short-story comic to their Kickstarter supporters as a show of faith. Not only does this brand-new release show off the art style that the work will utilize, but seems to solidify the hopes of fundraisers everywhere that Zelda fans are truly in for a treat. Despite the still-vague release date of “coming 2013,” I would still advise the LoZ faithful to keep their eyes open for the presumably inevitable public release of Second Quest.
Hardcore Gaming 101 releases full-color print work based on SEGA arcade classics
Often shortened in branding to HG101, the retro gaming community web portal has been responsible for a number of notable longform works before. Although this “Sega arcade classic book” was announced in November, it only recently went on sale to the public in late December. Covering 18 different classic arcade games from Sega, the book is available in different formats, including full-color paperback, black-and-white paperback, and full-color .PDF document. Arcade cabinet junkies and Sega fans might want to consider this unique piece, consisting of a whopping 168 pages.
Italian video production company raising funds for retro-inspired webseries
This one is intriguing, folks. Apparently, an Italian outfit called Fedora Productions is currently raising funds toward working on a brand-new video series of ten episodes centered on a quirky idea: There is this real-life guy, Sannio, who encounters difficult situations. However, in order to overcome them, he is able to transform into characters inspired by 8-bit retro video games. There is a preview video available for viewing on YouTube but, notably, does not yet offer a peek at these 8-bit-transformational effects. Presumably, they will have to raise more funds in order to offer a clearer picture of what this will look like. Hopefully this can garner some attention, if for nothing else than to offer the world a better glimpse at what sounds like a potentially nifty concept.
RetroUSB possibly still selling short run of holiday-themed homebrew cartridges
This story is ongoing, developing, and could be obsolete at literally any second, but here goes: RetroUSB.com is among the world’s premiere, and only, resources for purchasing modern-day homebrew video game cartridges. They, traditionally, offer an annual holiday game, usually somehow Christmas-themed, for a limited time. Right now, on their homebrew games’ shop page, they are still taking orders for their NES and SNES Christmas games — despite a stated availability that ends “December 31, 2012.” In other words, if you want these games, it may not be too late, and you may want to try sneaking an order in, ASAP.
German team raising funds for new 16-bit JRPG project for PC
Although some discussion has already arisen concerning controversy over just how 16-bit the end product is going to feel, given some rather modern-flavored features such as an MMORPG aspect and reputation system, nonetheless, Crystal Kingdom looks gorgeous. Interested parties can check the fundraising page for more information, as this is a project that seems curiously ambitious despite a lack of high visibility thus far. Concerning the saturation of Kickstarter, which has led to some projects using other sites more prominently for their crowdsourced fundraising, it will definitely be pertinent for the gaming community to note how retro-centric developers continue to adopt and adapt to newfound options for their ventures.
Follow-Ups & Quick Hits
I have no true follow-ups this edition, only the note that the post-Christmas holiday vacation period is typically a slow spot for news. That being said, keep your eyes and ears open for developing stories on the vintage gaming scene, as there is always a lot of irons in the fire to look out for. These are exciting times, my friends. … To those of you going: Have fun at MAGFest!
That is going to do it for this, the first Retro Newsflash edition of 2013. If you have any news tips, please send them to me. Seriously, newshounds: If you have a lead on something, let me know, because I want to report it! Thanks for reading — and have an awesome 2013 out there, retro gamers.