Retro Gaming Australia


Aussie Oddities: Primal Rage, Phantom 2040 and Batman Forever Special Editions (Mega Drive)

by on Sep.23, 2012, under Aussie Oddities, Specials

In 1994, Sega Ozisoft released its stranglehold on the Australian market just a little, allowing other Australian companies the opportunity to produce cartridges and distribute games. Village Roadshow quickly jumped on the opportunity and struck deals with companies like Acclaim, Time Warner Interactive and Viacom New Media.

As a bit of a sweetener for those intending to purchase what Roadshow considered to be the big games of 1995 – Batman Forever, Primal Rage and Phantom 2040 – the company produced special edition box sets for the three games which sold for a little bit more than the standard retail price. These sets are exclusive to Australia, and therefore command a premium.

We snagged images of the last good condition box sets to sell online for the Australian Gaming Database, but we thought we’d take the opportunity to discuss them on the main site.

The amusing thing is that these sets were totally unpopular when they were first released, and wound up on clearance for as little as $15 by the end of the Mega Drive era, but the last completed sale for these sets saw them go for some $AU500+.

The big question is are these sets actually worth $500? (continue reading…)

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Reflecting on PALGN

by on Feb.12, 2012, under Editorials, Specials

Most of you have probably heard that the editorial crew of PALGN have walked out, effectively leaving the site with no writers. The site’s shutdown is imminent.

What some of you may not know is that I was heavily involved with the site for its first five years. PALGN formed a major part of my life throughout my university years and my early to mid 20s. I fostered the editorial direction and helped to define its style, wrote more than 200 reviews, a series of regular features called Easy Mode and even met my fiancée through the site.

Even though my time with the site ended over four years ago, it’s still sad to see it all come to an end. (continue reading…)

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Interview: Michael McConnohie and Melodee Spevack

by on Aug.10, 2011, under Specials

If you’ve been playing a lot of modern games, you’ll probably recognise the names of these two voice actors due to their heavy involvement with the Warcraft series. If you’re a Crackdown fan, then you should definitely know Michael McConnohie’s voice (he’s the Agency leader/narrator). Michael and Melodee run a production company called Voxworks, and have provided voice work for a ridiculous number of video games and anime shows.

Their history goes back a lot further than that, as my friend Matt Williams found out when he interviewed them recently. In fact, Michael McConnohie voiced the legendary Boogerman. You can read about their work on Boogerman and their part in the history of Interplay after the break.
(continue reading…)

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Reflecting on the Super Mario Bros. film with the SMB Movie Archive crew and writer Parker Bennett

by on Aug.08, 2011, under Specials

Time is proving to be the vindicator of the existence of Super Mario Bros. The first ever big budget silver screen adaptation of a video game rubbed audiences the wrong way with its unique interpretation of the Super Mario Bros. universe, but other video game to movie adaptations make it seem marvelous (thanks Uwe Boll!).

Two people with great appreciation of the Super Mario Bros. film are Ryan Hoss and Steven Applebaum, who run the website Super Mario Bros. Movie Archive. Hoss started the site to “help its viewers understand what the filmmakers were trying to do with this movie, and at least appreciate the immense amount of thought and respect that went into creating it.” A nice change of pace from the standard Internet vitriol.

After running a story on the Super Mario Bros. Movie Archive’s recent script acquisitions, I was contacted by Steven Applebaum who had a little bit of a surprise in the works – an interview they had conducted with one of the writers on the Super Mario Bros. film – Parker Bennett. The full interview has just gone up over on their site, but we got to have a look at it first.
(continue reading…)

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The History of Duke Nukem – Part Seven: The Dukes That Didn’t Make It

by on Jun.09, 2011, under Specials

Like every other industry in the world, there are literally thousands of video game projects that never make it to stores. The Duke Nukem franchise is no exception – here are five games involving Duke that were publicly revealed (to some extent) but have never been released.

Duke Nukem Forever (1996, Apogee, DOS)

One of the first projects to be announced after the smashing success of Duke Nukem 3D was a return to Duke’s 2D side-scrolling, platforming roots in a game called Duke Nukem Forever. The project was led by Keith Schuler, the lead designer and programmer on Paganitzu and Realms of Chaos, and a level designer on the Plutonium Pack. (continue reading…)

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Where Are They Now? The Duke Nukem 3D Team

by on Jun.09, 2011, under Specials

As a part of the Duke Nukem week celebrations, we decided to look into what the people who made Duke Nukem 3D are up to know.

George Broussard: Executive Producer, Project Director, Map Design (Atomic Edition)
Still at 3D Realms. Led production on Duke Nukem Forever from 1997 until 2009, until 3D Realms ran out of money and released the development team. Presumed to be working on 3D Realms’ numerous iPhone projects.

Allen H. Blum III: Original Concept, Map Design, Assistant Director (Atomic Edition)
Now a level designer at Triptych Games, a studio started after the Duke Nukem Forever team was let go by 3D Realms. Worked on Duke Nukem Forever throughout its entire production cycle of 1997-2011. (continue reading…)

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Duke Nukem: Merch & Media

by on Jun.08, 2011, under Specials

Playing with Yourself

In 1997, ReSaurus Inc., an Ohio based toy production company licensed the rights to produce Duke Nukem action figures. The figures were planned to be released alongside Duke Nukem Forever in 1998, but ended up launching alone when the game was delayed.

Two lines of figures were planned, but only one was mass produced. Six figures were produced; Duke Nukem, SWAT Duke Nukem, Battlestrike Duke Nukem, Battlelord, Pig Cop and Octobrain. The figures sold for $US12.99. A Military Pig Cop was also produced in very limited quantities.

(continue reading…)

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The History of Duke Nukem – Part Six: Licensing the Duke

by on Jun.08, 2011, under Specials

With the popularity of Duke Nukem 3D, 3D Realms established a number of licensing deals to get other developers and publishers involved with Duke Nukem projects in order to satisfy fans while Duke Nukem Forever’s development continued. In the 15 years since the release of Duke Nukem 3D, over ten spin-off projects have been released across a variety of format, and more are on their way. (continue reading…)

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Duke Nukem: The Cameos

by on Jun.07, 2011, under Specials

As Duke Nukem became more popular, he started to make cameo appearances in other Apogee and 3D Realms products.

Cosmo’s Cosmic Adventure
Duke Nukem can be found frozen in Episode 2, Level 7. Upon unfreezing him, he says “I’m Duke Nukum, green alien dude. Until you rescued me, I was stopped cold by an alien invasion force. Cosmo’s Cosmic Adventure was developed by Todd Replogle and Allen Blum, the creators of Duke Nukem.

Bio Menace
Duke’s portrait appears on a wall in a hidden room in the “Specimen’s Lab” level. (continue reading…)

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The History of Duke Nukem – Part Five: The Journey to Forever

by on Jun.07, 2011, under Specials

3D Realms announced that they were working on a successor to Duke Nukem 3D in April 1997. The name of the game was Duke Nukem Forever. A month later at E3 1997, 3D Realms announced that they would be licensing the Quake II engine for the game, rather than producing their own technology. At this point in time, 3D Realms expected to ship the game in 1998. 3D Realms were financing the game themselves, with GT Interactive set to act as a distributor.

The US edition of PC Gamer got the scoop on the game for its August 1997 issue. George Broussard later revealed on the 3D Realms forums that these images were mock-ups done in the Quake I engine to keep the masses interested – they didn’t get the final Quake II engine code until November 1997, right before Quake II was released. For the majority of 1997, most of the 3D Realms team was focused on completing Shadow Warrior – work on Duke Nukem Forever was being done ad-hoc while they waited on the engine code. (continue reading…)

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