One of the more hyped games of the last year is being released today. A classic-styled RPG, Octopath Traveler was launched by Square Enix and hyped as a "spiritual successor" to Final Fantasy 6. The 240p Club may eventually have a review prepared for this title, but for now, it's available for your Nintendo Switch.

Or check out a streamer on Twitch and see if you dig the title without giving away too much of the story.

-Metallic Joe-

In the year 20XX (2017) Metallic Joe, Nikki Tuonela, and Lord Kuddy gathered to race Mega Man 1-6, all in support for the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS).  In 2018, we will be doing it again! This will be an all day stream, starting at 1 PM EST. We'll be doing all 6 Mega Man NES titles (including a small break for a pizza). Donations for the charity will be accepted through the entire stream, and we'll be bringing back the swear jar again!

Plus new this year, you can send in a donation and handicap one of our players in some way (including making us beat one of the bosses with the Mega Buster only and picking the next boss for us). More details to come.

So join us for a Mega good time. All for some homeless animals.

(DON'T FORGET: We'll be having an all day stream on July 22nd as well!)

-The 240p Club

On July 21, 2016 the 240p Club was born! On Sunday July 22, 2018, to celebrate our 2 year anniversary, we'll be gathering to do an all day stream on Twitch!

As mentioned on our latest podcast, we'll be starting at Noon EST and playing more or less whatever we feel like. Tune in any time during the day and interact with us, or even suggest a game for us to tackle. We'll also be launching our donations button, so if you like what we're doing here at the 240p Club and want to keep us afloat, please send us enough for a few beers :)

See you at Noon!

-Metallic Joe-

Game: Final Fantasy 6 (Released as Final Fantasy III in the US)
Platform: SNES
Release Date: October 1994
Published by: Squaresoft

Reviewed by: Metallic Joe

Reviewing what I'm flat out going to say is my favorite game ever created is going to be tough to objectively do. This game does have flaws. Perhaps starting from where I was when I discovered this game would be a good start.

Friday night. 1994. I'm done school for the weekend and en route to Blockbuster Video to rent a game for the weekend to get into. Not knowing what exactly to pick up, I spot Final Fantasy 3 (6 in Japan, as 3 was a Famicom title never released here). After seeing the ads of resident Moogle Mog frying a half dozen bosses, I decided to give the RPG genre another chance after bad results (I rented Phantasy Star 2 when I was younger and had no clue how to play it). After experiencing that intro, that Magitek march into the mining town of Narshe to open the game, and that soundtrack to introduce the first part of your journey, I became obsessed.

The first thing that pops out of this game is how detailed the graphics were for the time. While eclipsed a year later by Chrono Trigger, it was probably the best looking RPG I've seen at the time. The menus were laid out extremely well (equipment actually showed improvements to stats before buying). Controls were responsive, especially when they required some precision (such as Sabin's Blitz attacks, which are modeled after Street Fighter 2). The game was clearly defined as to what direction to go. In a way, you can make the case that FF6 was perhaps the transition point between the RPGs of old and the modern "Active Battle" systems that would last until FFX on the PS2. It felt modern for it's time. The battles struck that delicate balance between challenge, but were always fair, and grinding levels wasn't really necessary for most of the game. The dungeon design was so varied not one felt like a chore to get through.

You can indeed suplex a giant train!

And of course the story. FF6 was more steampunk set than medieval. It involved an Empire trying to conquer the world with a long-lost force named magic. It involved a madman, 14 playable characters with their own backstories (except 2) , and millions of fan theories on side storylines. Do yourself a favor and not spoil anything until you've gotten a chance to play through it. The soundtrack is a perfect 10. I've never had a game actually leave me in tears with it's music, but this game did just that with it's opera house scene (and follow-up love story).

The game, however, had some flaws. On the SNES version, there are a few, shall we say, liberties with the story translation. Also Nintendo censorship switched off all references to death, Pub references are removed, and some of the monsters are graphically altered. The battle system also had an inherent flaw in it's Evade stat doing absolutely nothing. There was also an easily exploitable combination of spells that would insta-kill almost anything, sucking some of the challenge out of the later half of the game. As for glitches, it was very possible to glitch FF6 with a few spells (including the Rippler Lore and Sketch). And then we have Ultima.


Ultima is a very not glitched spell. It works. It's job is to do 9999 damage to creatures for 80 MP, or massive amounts of damage to a party of enemies. Makes the game just a tad easy. Magic points are very easy to replenish later on once the appropriate spells are acquired. Also, while one of the best aspects of the game is the fact that every character has a unique ability and skill set, thanks to Magic, you can train every last character in every last spell and turn everybody into a tank mage. Finally, if you've never played older RPGs, you have random encounters that sometimes come at you a bit too frequent. It's not as bad as many of the other RPGs of the time, but it's noticeable, and annoying if you're backtracking through areas and the enemies go down in 1-2 hit (the game designers foresaw this and fortunately included a handful of items that would reduce this or flat out eliminate them altogether).

Despite listing a host of flaws, the game's strengths carry it into must-play territory. Nothing in this game seemed like a chore. Dungeons came and went, but they were varied enough to make the game unrepetetive, and the towns had their own charm (and usually tons to do). The biggest triumph of Final fantasy 6 lies in it's massive story. You care about the characters, you want to play more and more until you uncover the story, and then you want to track down the secrets and find all sorts of hidden gems, find hidden ways to beat the bosses, and mold your team into a super squad (or challenge yourself with a lower level game). Either way you'll find yourself playing the game for hours on end.

It ignited a passion for RPGs that I still have to this day, one that Chrono Trigger would later cement and the assortment of older RPG titles would bolt down into my psyche. I play this classic every 2 years or so, usually in Game Boy Advance form (which fixes all the flaws and adds a bonus dungeon).

By all means, play through this perfect 10.

Rating: 10/10

We're back yet again!

Picture this: you have access to a time machine that lets you live through a particular summer night from your youth. Since we're a gaming podcast and not anything existential, we're only going to moments in time where we were playing games with some of the people we love, setting the mood by describing the time and place. Today we've fired up the wayback machine and head to a few particular Saturday nights during summer in the 1990s. Pizza or Chinese food, a TV tray in front of the TV, your SNES controller in hand, annoyed house guests, and a beachfront arcade. So grab your favorite youthful delights and listen to us recreate some awesome gaming memories.

As usual, available on iTunes as well. Click on the player on the side to listen.

GAME: Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon
PUBLISHER: Inti Creates
YEAR: 2018
PRICE: $9.99

REVIEWED BY: Metallic Joe

(NOTE: Product reviewed for Nintendo Switch. Also available for the Nintendo DS, Xbox One, PS Vita, and PS4.)

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon is definitely one of the surprise retro titles of 2018 for the simple fact that the game came seemingly out of nowhere. What started as a crowdfunding project to get a new, Metroidvania styled Castlevania game, it evolved after a rejection from Konami to a very Castlevania-styled project called Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night . This particular game, Curse of the Moon, is the 8-bit styled prequel to that project that plays like an extremely controller-responsive Castlevania 3: Dracula's Curse (NES).

Developed by Castlevania veteran Iga (Koji Igarashi), Curse of the Moon is a legit Castlevania 8-bit title in all but name and intellectual property. Main character Zangetsu is a sword-wielding exorcist that controls like Trevor Belmont, Miriam jumps high like Grant but has the whip all Castlevania fans know, Alfred is essentially Sypha, and Gebel is Castlevania 3's Alucard (same powers and weapons).

Everything else is a palette-swapped Castlevania enemy and/or weapon. The game has doors that lead you to the next part of the stage, there's stairs, and of course there's plenty of Medusa heads (swapped to something different). The one main difference here from Castlevaia 3 is that all 4 characters are with you at the same time (after the first few stages) and don't share a lifebar. If one loses all their health, you start the stage again with the remaining 3, and don't lose a life until all 4 go down. This presents a new way of playing where you can switch out a character, use their ability, then switch back to fight a boss, or use a string of characters to keep at it. Extra lives are found fairly easy and there's no timer involved so you can take your time making precise movements if needed (which you definitely will to beat some of the harder bosses). Speaking of bosses, there's no health bar here, you just keep swinging until you connect enough for the boss to attempt a death throe. It's very old school in approach and one of those touches that make the game more interesting.

The controls are where this game shines. The buttons are extremely responsive, the game's physics are perfect for a platformer, and all those bad 8-bit memories of enemies knocking you off the platforms are nowhere to be found in this title (as a matter of fact, you're more likely to die from losing health than a mistimed jump, though both are possibilities). And every time you die in this title, you just want to pick up the controller and play a bit further until you finally conquer it.

Which bring up our next topic. Flaws. Though there's not many, one glaring flaw is just how short the game actually is. If you're a platform veteran, you can probably hack through this game in about a day (a few more if you follow it up with Nightmare mode after you beat the game the first time around). A mild flaw like that doesn't take away from the fact that this is an extremely fun title, however. The old school frustration of getting knocked off a platform can be turned off at the title screen if you want, but real gamers play Veteran mode.

Somehow, I doubt you'll find much to criticize about this game. It's probably one of the best platformers released in a very long time, the music and sound effects are all addicting (in their charming, 8-bit stylings) and the controls are responsive and play like a breeze. Konami grossly misjudged their market if they think fans were not interested in a title like this, but fortunately thousands of financial backers made this vision a reality. I can't wait for the follow-up game!

Rating: 9/10

We'd like to wish one of the best retro-styled games a very happy birthday! (Image courtesy of the Yacht Club Twitter)

Happy 4th, Shovel Knight!

If you ever wondered what to play while bored one night, or were just curious what games we tackled in our youth, look no further then our Review Section, which is now open! Aside from Retro Gaming reviews, we are also tackling newer games that are remakes, or new games done in a retro style. Basically anything that would appeal to the retro gaming crowd.

Check them out today.

Product: SF30 Pro Controller
Developer: 8Bitdo
Price: $49.99 (USD)

Reviewed by: Metallic Joe

(NOTE: Before I get into the meat and potatoes of this review, I do need to clarify that I only got a chance to test this controller on PC and the Nintendo Switch. It boasts compatibility with both a Mac and a Raspberry Pi system. It also works with Xbox, Android, and Steam (also heard rumors it can be used with an iPhone, but I haven't seen it in action). )

Chinese-based and Amazon mainstays 8Bitdo are best known for producing assorted wireless retro-styled controllers. Despite being more pricey then most USB alternatives, the company's offerings have been very high quality (as high quality as a 3rd party product can be). The NES30 Pro was a replica NES controller souped up to have all the buttons of a PS3 controller, plus awesome LED lights. Based on how that controller performed, I invested immediately in the SF30 Pro, a SNES-type controller with dual shoulder buttons and R3/L3 joysticks. Plus rumble and motion controls.

Now then, the first thing that one has to absolutely do when taking this controller out of the box is to go on the 8bitdo website and download the latest firmware and follow the instructions on how to update. If you're not tech savvy, you may need to get someone to set up the controller so all you need to do is turn on the power button. This was a slight knock on the overall score but it's understandable as not every system is the same obviously.

After all is said and done, I fired up some emulators and tested it out. First thing I noticed about this controller was that it weighed almost the same as an original SNES controller, It even looks very similar (I got the SF30, which is the Super Famicon version with the brightly colored buttons). It also didn't require a long charge (VIA USB 3.0). Very responsive, and it just felt natural playing Super Mario World. To push it to the limits, I tried a round of Super Metroid, which requires a certain way to hold the X, A, B, Y buttons for optimum dashing and speed. Needless to say it held up and I was definitely impressed.

It's not without faults, though. I've tested it out on Final Fantasy for the NES and had occasions that the down button seemed to work on it's own and occasionally the controller locked up. It hasn't happened on the Nintendo Switch (during a marathon Mario Kart 8 Deluxe session) and it so far hasn't happened on any Steam games (Cuphead seemed to work just fine). It did make for an interesting Twitch session one time. Also pairing it via Bluetooth took a little trial and error, though it wasn't ridiculously hard. The controller supposedly has a way to set up turbo, but aside from the turbo switches on most emulators, I haven't figured out how to set it up on other platforms. I have decent finger speed and the only game I ever played where I felt turbo wasn't cheating was Track & Field II, so this wasn't all that important.
Speaking of the buttons, I've had a few USB controllers over the years and had the buttons wear down after some abuse, without fail. This one hasn't after a few months of use. It's somewhat durable as well, though I wouldn't recommend too much abuse.

One other fault with the design I felt was the most annoying was the battery light. It's literally a small LED light at the top of the controller, some place that is seldom looked at as the shoulder buttons are rarely looked at before pressing. The NES30 Pro had a bright LED on each side that glowed red for almost dead battery, this controller had no such thing and was annoying when the battery died mid game.

It's flaws, however, haven't taken away from the fact that it just feels more natural to play retrogames and even some of the newer platform games with a controller that feels exactly like a souped up SNES paddle. I'm sold, and you should be too if you have the funds to purchase. Just watch that battery light occasionally.

Rating: 8.5/10

It may have been a little while but we're finally back with the newest edition of the podcast!!

Welcome back! On this newest edition, the 240p Club Podcast tackles swatting on the first part of our latest podcast, covers a wide variety of controllers released for the various systems of yesteryear, and finishes off with a roundup of retro-gaming related releases for the next gen systems. And remember N64 affectionados, direct all N64 controller love to Metallic Joe and his hatred for that system's first-party controller.

As usual, available as well on iTunes and Google Play! Please leave us a review if you use these medias to connect to us.

Of course, you can also listen right here:

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the founding of Japanese game designer SNK, the company will explore their back catalogue by releasing a mini version of their seminal 1990 arcade cabinet loaded with Neo Geo software. The system is indeed mini (registering a 3.5 inch display) and will have an HDMI port to play these games on a modern TV as well as external controller ports (no word if these are USB based or otherwise).

No release date has been announced but this looks to be a wonderful thing for those of us that missed the first go of the Neo Geo (mainly due to the $650 price tag in 1992 and $200 games). No word of a retail price yet but it's safe to say the system's going to be significantly cheaper than the original full-sized model.

-Metallic Joe-

iam8bit, the company that brought to us the special edition of Street Fighter 2 for it's 25th anniversary, is at it again. For Mega Man's 30th Anniversary (apparently being celebrated all year by Capcom), the companies are teaming up to release $100 collector reproductions of the classic Mega Man 2 and Mega Man X.  Both carts will work with the original NES and SNES hardware respectively and will feature 1000 limited edition blue "glow-in-the-dark" carts chosen at random.

Also included is an "expanded instruction booklet" and a few other "surprises" packed in. If you're a serious collector and have the cash to lay down for an awesome collectors item, these may be worth purchasing.

Keep in mind both will also be available to play on the next gen systems when Mega Man Legacy Collection 1 & 2 (available now) and Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 & 2 (July 24th) get released.

-Metallic Joe-

Happy May the Fourth!

In celebration, the 240p Club will all be playing the SNES games that make up this fine trilogy! Join us this month for an epic playthrough.

-Metallic Joe-

The Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 & 2 has a release date finally! July 24th, 2018 the collections will be launched for all systems for $20 each, $40 for a physical 2-disc copy (the Nintendo Switch version comes with a cart and a code for a free download of part 2).

Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 will feature Mega Man X and X2 (originally released for SNES), X3 (Playstation version) and X4 (released for the original Playstation and Sega Saturn). Legacy Collection 2 will feature X5, X6 (both for Playstation and Saturn) X7 and X8 (Playstation 2 original release).

 In related news, the Mega Man Legacy Collection 1 & 2 will see a Nintendo Switch release May 22nd (physical release comes with a download code for the second part). This features the original Mega Man 1-10 games split between 2 collections.

-Metallic Joe-

A few months after Todd Rogers was stripped of his records on Atari's Dragster, another record holder has been stripped of his title.

Twin Galaxies has stripped Billy Mitchell's high score of 1,062,800 on Donkey Kong set between 2005 and 2007 and banned him from future attempts due to achieving his score allegedly on MAME (an arcade emulator for the PC/Mac). Also stricken was a Donkey Kong Jr. score of 1,270,900.

To add some more controversy to this story, Mitchell supposedly achieved these scores at an arcade on Florida. However, the only referee in attendance was none other then Todd Rogers.

Kids, if you're attempting a world record, make sure you have a buddy with a camera recording said scores. And don't attempt these at home (unless you indeed have one of these arcade machines at home).

-Metallic Joe-

Some of the last titles anyone would expect to get a reissue have, indeed, gotten a reissue. Kemco classic point and click titles The Uninvited, Shadowgate, and Deja Vu are all making their way to PS4 and Xbox One on Halloween in one collection.

Shadowgate is a castle-invading adventure infamous for it's torches, and trying to figure out how to get through the blasted door in the first scene of the game. The Uninvited is a present-day search for your older sister through a haunted mansion. Deja Vu is a detective story set in 1940s Chicago. All three were considered scary in the 1980s when they were released but may seem a bit dated these days, especially if you're not familiar with the point and click genre. However, don't let that stop you from digging into these classic titles from yesteryear like an old horror film and enjoy your Halloween.

-Metallic Joe-

The next in a series of reissues, the classic Mega Man X series is getting a release for all the current systems July 24th. If you can't wait until then, fear not! Pre-orders are now available for all systems. While this wasn't the first reissue of these classic titles (Mega Man X Collection for the PS2, Gamecube, and Xbox in 2005), chances are you may not have one of those older systems to play said collection (or the originals).

Twitch playthroughs of said titles will be coming shortly.

-Metallic Joe-

If you're near the Philadelphia area in the US, a brand new exhibit debuted at the end of March called Game Masters at the Franklin Institute. The interactive Game Masters exhibit showcases arcade and console games from yesteryear and is fully interactive.

According to the press release:

Game Masters, a landmark exhibition celebrating five decades of the world’s most ingenious video game designers, and featuring a remarkable 100+ playable games debuts Saturday, March 31 at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. The 14,000 square-foot exhibition explores the evolution of gaming from arcade classics such as Space Invaders and Pac-Man, to iconic console-based games featuring Sonic the Hedgehog and Rock Band, through to today's indie hits like Real Racing 2, Fruit Ninja, and Angry Birds.
The Franklin Institute’s highly-anticipated spring/summer exhibition will be housed in the Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion and the Mandell Center, and feature an additional 1200 square feet of interactive programming space within the exhibit developed by The Franklin Institute to explore topics such as coding, robotics and technology, gamification and learning, and problem-solving.

Due to licensing, Nintendo products will not be featured during the exhibit. However, Sega is in full force and many of their games have made their way to the display!

To get tickets to the museum exhibit, head to The Official Franklin Institute Page or stop by in person at 271 N. 21st Street Philadelphia, PA 19103. Parking is limited, so do as us Philadelphians do and take a train or bus down to enjoy the sights!

-Metallic Joe-

Metallic Joe, Nikki, and Ray are back for Podcast Episode 31! Today we discuss portable technology and how it's taken over our lives and caused people to lose focus on even things right in front of them. We're also covering the Game Masters exhibit at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. We look back to 2016 and remastering our first podcast for YouTube (as well as recording Podcast 6), say "Happy 25th" to the original Breath of Fire game for SNES, and end up on Nikki's adventures in the Fire Emblem series. Just remember, don't play Game Boy and drive at the same time!

As usual, available on iTunes! Please rate us if you like what we're doing.

Happy 25th Birthday to Capcom RPG classic Breath of Fire! Released in the US by Squaresoft in 1993 for the SNES, the game lives on as an all-time classic.

-Nikki Tuonela-

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