Author Archives: Michael Mertes

Old School Gamer Magazine Review

Last week, I pulled into the drive way from work and upon reaching into the mail box I found myself holding a very pleasant surprise: A printed copy of the very first issue of Old School Gamer Magazine! I stood under the dim street light that stands over my mail box and smiled as Mega Man, Mario, Ryu, Alucard and other characters from my gaming past on the cover welcomed me home. This was a nostalgic feeling I hadn’t felt since 1992, a year where monthly Nintendo Power issues would arrive at the house and make any bad day instantly better.

Of course, any magazine can have an amazing cover and layout; but if the content is not worth reading, it won’t last very long. In today’s age of a printed magazine being a rare thing, those  rags with less then stellar content have come and gone all while trying to cover classic video gaming. Thankfully, Old School Gamer’s debut issue does not have this problem. It has the great, diverse content that matches its spectacular cover and layout. From the beginning of the magazine, you’ll take a trip to a game expo, video game museum, hear tales of gaming preservation from Walter Day and even take a trip to one of America’s greatest arcades: Galloping Ghost. Sound interesting? That’s only half of the magazine!

The ever present feeling of Old School Gamer Magazine is that its intent is to spread the word of video game history, not just by simply reviewing old games; but by exploring the industry’s creators and the mark that video gaming has created since its inception. In order to keep the magazine’s primary objective in place, Ryan Burger; the publisher behind the magazine has assembled an advisory board that will help keep the ship on course for its journey. Ryan didn’t assemble this board by pulling random names out of a hat, instead he’s put together an all star team. If names like Doc Mack, Dan Loosen, Billy Mitchell and Walter Day don’t mean anything to you, I suggest googling their names after reading this article to see just what they have done to preserve and maintain classic gaming overall.

So does Old School Gamer have a future? In terms on content and design, absolutely! That’s only half the battle though. In order for the magazine to develop and grow; it has to have a fan base. I’m certainly interested enough to place an order for the physical magazine each time its released on a 6 issue a year basis. I hope others who received a physical issue feel the same way. If you’d like to check out a digital issue to see if its something you’d like to subscribe to, you can do so by going to: https://www.oldschoolgamermagazine.com/. Most importantly though, take the quick 60 seconds and spread the word about the magazine. I’m certainly going to.

Other info:

Old School Gamer Magazine Patreon Page.

Sunset Riders Vinyl Soundtrack

I decided to pick up the Sunset Riders soundtrack, despite not having much of a background with the game because the samples I heard instantly reminded me of those days playing 80s/90s Konami arcade classics. Konami really had a distinct sound with their arcade game releases and that is evident in this soundtrack. Check out the video above to hear it!

Image result for sunset riders vinyl soundtrack tracklist

A1 Men Of The Wilderness
A2 Now The Time To Depart Has Come
A3 Wanted!
A4 Shoot-Out At The Sunset Ranch
A5 I Will Run And Face Tomorrow
A6 Fight Bravely
A7 The Beautiful Setting Sun
A8 Amae Mo Kore Made Dai
A9 Take The Sun From The Traveller!
B1 Sui Ttobashite Yarui
B2 Kata O Tsukeyou Zei
B3 Farewell From A Friend
B4 Kill!
B5 Kono Zako Yaroui
B6 Splendid Flower Petal
B7 Quick Draw
B8 Save My Partner
B9 I Dance To The Morning
B10 Escape
B11 Yuppie!
B12 Sorrowful Continue
B13 You Will Die Here
B14 Gazin At A Star
B15 Great Victory

DATA013: Metal Slug! Metal Slug Music comes to vinyl!

DATA013: METAL SLUG

We are thrilled to announce a new partnership with SNK Corporation. Over the past year, we have been working closely with the SNK team in Japan to develop an exclusive release for what is perhaps their most iconic franchise: METAL SLUG.

The vinyl release features the complete music from the first entry in the series (Metal Slug: Super Vehicle-001), composed by Takushi Hiyamuta in 1996. Working in collaboration with the SNK Sound Team, the audio was sourced from a NEOGEO development kit in Japan and then mastered at our in-house studio in London. The release is packaged in a gatefold sleeve with accompanying double-sided lithographic insert, featuring rare artwork from the Japanese archives and a special translucent OBI strip with fluorescent Pantone print. A download code for the digital album in both lossy and lossless formats will also be included.

This release is available in the following editions:

  • 180g Tri-Colour Stripe with White Splatter (Limited Edition) – £20.99
  • 180g Opaque Yellow – £19.99
  • 180g Classic Black – £19.99
Available from SATURDAY 7th OCTOBER at data-discs.com

Note: this is a pre-order item. All copies will ship by the end of November.

Audio samples can be found HERE

Haunted Castle (Castlevania)

                             “What is a man?! A miserable pile of quarters! But enough talk; start spending them!”

From the moment I put my hand on the controller and made Simon Belmont walk from place to place in Castlevania 2: Simon’s Quest, I was hooked; and I would be with almost every other game in the series that came before and after it. I’ve played and completed just about every Castlevania in the series, but one of the games that I’ve always failed to conquer was the 1988 arcade adaption of the series, Haunted Castle.

                       The first stage in this game will tear you to bits, but its honestly the hardest stage in the game.

I’ve never seen an actual arcade cabinet of this game in my travels, so I’ve never had a chance to play with the real thing. The only way to play this game was via MAME or by tracking down an import only PS2 copy of the game that’s not easy to find either. Just recently though, the game was made available for PS4 owners as it was released digitally as a “Arcade Archives” digital release. Despite knowing that this game really doesn’t live up to the standards of the Castlevania series; I decided to grab it. That was a mistake.

      Simon was going to show his new wife that his whip is for more then just vampires, but Dracula ruins his fun.

As soon as you start the game, your greeted to a quick scene of Simon and his brand new wife walking out of a church they just got married at. Apparently, Dracula missed his opportunity to object to Simon’s wife marrying into the lousy Belmont family, so he’s just going to kidnap Simon’s wife instead. Simon realizes that he didn’t sign a a prenuptial agreement and if his wife hangs with Drac too much, she’ll probably divorce him. Thus losing the Vampire Killer whip to her; so off he goes to the local haunted castle to get her back.

When the actual game begins, you’re seemingly introduced to everything that makes Castlevania so great: Kick ass music, Gothic looking backgrounds and a bad ass vampire hunter armed with a whip. Unfortunately, Simon moves like a lumbering oaf and he takes more damage then Sypha does in Castlevania 3 when hit…and you will get hit a lot because almost every section of the level is out to kill Simon. If the monsters don’t get you, the falling statues, crosses and cemetery fire will. This makes staying alive for a decent amount of time almost impossible without going through the level with utmost caution. Thankfully, the Arcade Archives version of this game allow a single save state that allowed me to adapt to all the dangers very quickly and really helps you learn the quarks about what can kill you in this game.

                     Haunted Castle does feature a map shown between levels if you can make it past the first level.

The game immediately falls apart after the first stage and becomes astonishingly easier to deal with. Enemies still have some cheap tricks they can use to damage you, but its overused so much that you quickly learn to overcome the attack patterns. The developers seemingly ran out of ideas for surprises and designs for the rest of the game and instead present you with the most generic levels you’ll see in the entire game series.  The bosses featured in the game are huge, but complete push overs and can be defeated easier then some of the regular minions in the levels. This game really must have been rushed out for release! Even Dracula is a cinch to to defeat. Maybe Simon’s wife wore on him?

                                             The Dracula battle is as easy and generic as they come.

Konami tried to mix things up with this version of the game, by giving Simon access to a Mace and a Sword, but it really doesn’t add much to the game play. Simon’s sub weapons are available as well, such as the ax and the cross; but they still lack the uniqueness and impact that their console brothers have. I don’t know why Konami decided to ditch the Castlevania name for this title; maybe because they knew it didn’t have any right to be called that. Haunted Castle’s faults outweighs any reason to try it even with the Castlevania legacy behind it. Skip this one.

                                                          *Insert generic Bloody Tears reference here.*