Shinobi (1987)

June 13, 2018

American Ninja, Ninja Terminator, The Ultimate Ninja, Full Metal Ninja, Ninja Strike Force, Teenage Mutant Ninja… Turtles? That's right it's the 1980s and the world has ninja fever and I'm afraid the symptoms are bad, there is no known cure. Everything from lunch boxes to motorbikes has the word ninja slapped on it as droves of people become obsessed with those cunning assassins who are masters of disguise. The word ‘ninja’ is big business so it only made sense that when Sega decided to make a video game to cash in on ninja fever they would use a word that every teenager would recognise: Shinobi.

 

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Rolling Thunder

May 20, 2018

Let's dig around our dump and look for something a little different. Past the discarded NES consoles, past the buried 2600s, to the section marked Coin-Op. It is here that we find the discarded cabinets of yesteryear. Once these machines would have brought joy to those who played them with a simple coin put into the coin slot. Now they sit dormant. Waiting for the day someone plugs their power leads back in and watches as they glow back into life.

There are quite a few here, their cabinets collecting dust. We wipe off the banner of one - Pac-Man, we move on, Out Run sits there trying to entice us to sit in the driver’s seat one more time, but we decline. Even Rampage can't tempt us, maybe another day, but not today. We're looking for something else, something specific, and then we see it. It sits alone in the corner, isolated from the other cabinets and left to its own devices. We look up, words emblazoned in blue punch out from a background of red and yellows. We pick up the discarded plug that lay next to the cabinet and jam it into a socket. At first, nothing happens but then the arcade cabinet comes to life. Sounds unheard in years ring out through the abandoned hall of the Dump’s arcade. We have resurrected Rolling Thunder

 

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Ecco the Dolphin

May 7, 2018

It’s 1992 and a bottlenose dolphin has just become one of the world’s best-known protagonists of a video game. Not one that has been anthropomorphised like a particular blue hedgehog, but one that lives happily in the ocean with the rest of his pod quietly going about their dolphin business. One that will go on a long quest that will take him back in time, and to the outer reaches of space. A dolphin called Ecco.

You could be forgiven for thinking I’d got my wires crossed here, but this game really did happen. Ecco the Dolphin splashed into the waters of the Sega Megadrive to gallons of thunderous applause from the critics of its day, but where did the idea for such a game come from? And more importantly, is there any room in the world for Ecco today?

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Beneath a Steel Sky

April 21, 2018

In this episode we stop back in 1994. Blur and Oasis were slugging it out for number one spot in the charts. Noel's House Party was in full swing, and a stealth classic was making its debut on the PC and Amiga - the name of this phantom power-puzzler? Beneath a Steel Sky, the classic from Revolution Studios, the makers of the Broken Sword series. 

Join me as we take a look at what went on to bring this game to life. 

Find me on twitter @gamedumppodcast, or our new website over at www.thegamedump.com where you will find a full essay version of this episode. 

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Pilotwings

April 7, 2018

In this episode we travel in our virtual TARDIS to go back to the early 1990s to investigate Nintendo's Pilotwings - the popular launch title that flew into our lives along with the Super Nintendo. For comments tweet me @gamedumppodcast, or check out my website where you can find an essay version of this podcast over on glenfandango.com

Try it out, it's like a read-along!

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Will Harvey’s The Immortal

March 24, 2018

In this episode we take a look back at Will Harvey's classic The Immortal - the Dark Souls of its day. Join us as we take a micro look inside of the game that still has a vibrant cult following after all these years. Comments or suggestions of future classics to cover? You can reach me @gamedumppodcast or on @glenfandango on Twitter.

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