Nintendo Files Trademark for 1080 Snowboarding

Back in the olden days, Nintendo made a couple of sports games with more realistic settings and gameplay. Named 1080 Snowboarding and Wave Race respectively, these games become pretty big on the N64, before being followed up by better sequels on the GameCube and vanishing in history therefore after.

Fortunately for fans though, it seems hope may be at hand here. Why? Because as Pixelpar shows us on Twitter, Nintendo have just filed a new trademark for 1080° Snowboarding. This implies the company hasn’t given up on the whole deal, and actually does see potential for the franchise in future.

And it makes us wonder what exactly could be in store here. Okay, it’s quite possible it could be something uninteresting. Like say, a Virtual Console released on the inevitable Switch Virtual Console post Nintendo Direct.

But at the same time, it brings a bit of hope that an all new game could be coming for the system instead. That’s good news for sports game fans, as well as for Nintendo fans in general. After all, Nintendo’s always struggled to get those types of games on their system, and games in the snowboarding genre have gotten even rarer in the last few years as well.

So, to see this trademark brings a bit of hope back to the whole deal. Perhaps even illustrates that even seemingly forgotten N64 era franchises like this one won’t be completely forgotten by the company or the industry as a whole.

However, what do you think? Are you happy Nintendo seemingly remembers 1080 Snowboarding? What could this trademark registration actually mean?

Post your thoughts on the matter here or at the Gaming Latest forums today!

Pegaswitch and RetroArch Bring Retro Console Emulation to the Nintendo Switch

A short while ago, it was mentioned that hackers had figured out how to get homebrew running on the Nintendo Switch. Because of this, it was only a matter of time before third party apps would start appearing on the system. Like say, emulators for other systems. Or amateur games of the kinds available on the 3DS and Wii.

And thanks to the Pegaswitch toolkit and RetroArch, that’s now indeed the case. The Switch has been hacked to play all kinds of interesting games. Like say, the NES library:

Or the equally expansive one for the SNES:

Heck, even Atari Jaguar games are running on the thing now!

It’s a pretty good start for a system that’s only been modded so recently.

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Out of Bounds in Shiveria; Some Interesting Findings From Beyond Mario Odyssey’s Glass Wall

A couple of days ago, a very interesting bug was found in Super Mario Odyssey. Located in the Snow Kingdom, this glitch lets players break out of the main room next to the race track, and end up exploring the track itself on foot. Here’s a video showing it in action:

So what’s out there anyway? What’s beyond the wall in Shiveria?

Well. Quicksand for some reason. Yep, all that snow on the side of the racetrack actually acts like quicksand when Mario stands on it. Why? Not sure really. I guess Nintendo thought it’d be a quick way to slow players down if they went off track?

Maybe, though it still doesn’t make much sense when you think about it. The Shiverian you Capture in this kingdom doesn’t sink into the quicksand, and they’re not controlled in many areas outside of the race track to begin with. Wouldn’t it make more sense to set up a new object that only slows them down in the race and doesn’t require special coding to avoid having the player die mid race?

Eh, who knows. Either way, the use of quicksand is hardly the only interesting quirk you can find out here. Oh no, another one which defies explanation is the whole death barrier set up for the area in general.

Why?

Because if you try and have Mario walk around the track, he dies in seemingly random spots for no apparent reason. Like with the quicksand, there’s no logic behind these; they don’t do anything in the actual race.

So why are they there? Why have a kill zone about 10 metres after the start line and another one about ten metres to the North West of it?

It just doesn’t make any sense. The player will never normally reach this area, and if they do there’s no harm in them exploring it. Again, a weird coding decision on Nintendo’s part, and one that doesn’t seem to help anything in-game.

Still, it does give a possible hint towards the game’s development. Why?
Because from what we can tell, it’s far more difficult to reach the Iceburn Cup circuit in the level the same way. In most cases, Mario just dies before hitting solid ground, despite clearly being above it.

This implies that the death barriers around the courses may not have been in the initial plans for the level, and that at one-point Mario may have well have been meant to explore part of them by foot. Remember, games tend not to have solid ground outside of their boundaries, especially for areas the player immediately gets booted out of in normal gameplay (like here in the races). Similarly, they also tend to block off areas the player isn’t supposed to reach with failsafes like instant kill zones.

The fact Nintendo did not do this here speaks volumes about the game’s plans.

As do some of the weird collision objects you can encounter in the crowds. For instance, you see that flagpole over there to the right?

Well for some odd reason, it actually adds like a wall and a short ledge you can stand on. Like, a ledge that goes up to about one fifth of the pole’s height.

And that makes us wonder… is this area’s design another late change? Because it almost seems like a winner’s podium or raised crowd box was meant to be over there, not a giant flagpole you seemingly can’t fly or do anything else.

So check out the videos of the glitch online, try it for yourself and show us what you find in this area. Because despite appearances, it’s clear there’s more to the Shiveria race tracks than meets the eye!

Ten Underrated Gaming Channels You Should Check Out in 2018!

As everyone knows, 2017 has been a terrible year for YouTube. Channels are being wrecked by demonetisation schemes and ruined by content violation claims. Copyright and content ID bots have gone berserk, with even more channels being struck for content that clears fall under fair use laws. And well, as far as clicks and subscriptions go, it’s not good news there either. Basically, it’s a turbulent time for everyone on the platform, especially as the year draws to a close and bills need to be paid.

And this is even more true of the underdogs. The unknowns, the channels that need traffic to survive, yet find their work overshadowed by a dodgy algorithm and the push to celebrity culture and gossip.

So, to celebrate the new year (and bring more attention to them), we’ve created another list. Hence here it is. Here is our latest list of underrated gaming channels to check out in 2018!

New Game Plus

Topic: Unusual Video Game Music Covers

Subscribers: 6,391

Starting with the interesting music channel New Game Plus. Why interesting? Because they don’t just make any old video game cover. They’re not yet another channel doing rock or metal versions of familiar songs, or remixing said songs with standard instruments/

They’re the type of channel that tries to truly change how the songs feel, or see what interesting setups they can create based on them. For example, they turned Delfino Plaza’s upbeat main tune into something out of a horror movie:

As well as the Luigi’s Mansion theme into a peppy pop song you might hear on the radio:

It’s a really neat effect, and reminds me a lot of those parody ads that reframe the Shining as a happy go lucky family film (or Mary Poppins as a horror flick).

And while their back catalogue is hardly extensive, the other covers they’ve made are pretty neat none the less. So, if you’re after something a bit more quirky and experimental than the well-known remixers, check ‘em out.

Slippy Slides

Topic: Off Camera Exploration

Subscribers: 27,710

Either way, onto the next one now. Namely, Slippy Slides, a channel which goes outside of the boundaries of various game worlds and shows you what’s going on there…

Wait, that sounds familiar doesn’t it?

Yep, Slippy Slides is basically in the same genre as Boundary Break. They do the exact same ‘explore outside of the world and see what’s happening beyond the camera view’ gimmick, to the point they’ve actually covered many of the same games.

But Slippy Slides isn’t a mere knock off here. Nope, while it’s covered some similar games to Boundary Break, it’s covered very different aspects of them. For example, note how their Resident Evil 4 episode focuses on objects like chests found outside of the world.

Whereas Shesez’s version focuses more on things like where the road goes or what details can be seen on the castle when it’s far into the distance. They’re different takes really, and give you a lot more insight into the game than any one channel could on its own.

Add to this how different their choices of games usually are (Shesez is more Nintendo focused, these guys are more PC game focused), or how clones generally become a genre after some point (see Doom Clones -> First Person Shooters for instance), and it feels like these two channels work really well together, and offer tons of value for anyone who wants to see what goes on behind the scenes in their favourite games.

Check them out!

REGNR8

Topic: Game Mods (and interviews)

Subscribers: 1,964

Next up on our list, we have an interesting gaming channel that focuses on game mods and emulation. Named REGNR8 (and run by a guy called Jeremy King), it talks quite a bit about Zelda Breath of the Wild and the various mods made for it.

Like say, this one that makes all weapons unbreakable:

And this code to spawn anything in game anywhere you like:

But those are only the tip of the iceberg here. Why? Because REGNR8 also does something else that’s quite interesting too.

Namely, the nearest thing to actual journalism the modding scene seems to have nowadays. For instance, do you remember that Breath of the Wild online multiplayer mod? The one that turned out to be a hoax cause the ‘creator’ had merely mocked up the screens in Photoshop?

Yeah, we do too. We covered it on Gaming Reinvented. Either way though, REGNR8 was the channel that basically brought that hoax to light, since they went and did a full interview with the game’s ‘creator’ and asked point blank whether the mod was actually in development yet. It’s not much, but hey… it’s a going further than most did when the story broke out, and shows a ‘blogger’ doing some actual research rather than just copying information over from their competitors without questioning it.

So check ’em out. They’re great modders and journalists, and they definitely deserve more than the 1,973 subscribers they have at the moment.

Penney Pixels

Topic: Terrible Old Game Mockups

Subscribers: 522

And that’s also very much true of the next channel on our list too. One which is actually one of the most intriguing channels we’ve ever covered here on Gaming Reinvented.

Why?

Because it’s completely different from anything we’ve ever seen on YouTube before. Namely, it’s a channel devoted to…

Mocking up non-existent 80s NES games based on the popular films of today.

Like say, this fictional platformer loosely based on the recent IT movie:

Or this resort simulator inspired by Rogue One:

In other words, it’s like imagining what LJN may have made in an alternative universe. A world where the films of the 2010s were adapted for the NES and SNES, with all the questionable design decisions that implies. It’s a fantastic concept, and definitely one to check out if you’re into retro gaming.

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Let’s Interview; Dragon’s Lair, Doom and Bleem Developer Randy Linden

Well, it’s interview time again here at Gaming Reinvented! Yep, after a few weeks of not posting anything, we’re back talking to all kinds of industry figures about their experience developing video games. We’ve got developers, composers, YouTubers… heck, we’d go as far as to say 2018 could be the best one yet for Gaming Reinvented’s interviews.

And no better example illustrates this than today’s interview. Namely, one with a very interesting video game developer called Randy Linden.

So, who is he? Well, have you ever played that port of Doom for the SNES?

Messed around the Bleem emulator on PC (before Sony sued the company behind it)?

Or perhaps even tried out Dragon’s Lair back on the Amiga?

If so, that’s Linden’s work. He’s been involved in tons of games over the years, on every console from the NES to the Amazon App store, and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.

So, relax, pull up a chair and settle down for part 1 of our in-depth interview with Randy Linden about his experience working in the gaming industry! It’s going to be great!

Starting with a bit of personal background stuff. Who are you? Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?

I’ve been a programmer for 35 years now: my first published title was an almost-unknown game called “Bubbles” for the Commodore 64 similar to the arcade classic “Centipede,” but other titles I’ve worked on are probably more familiar: Dragon’s Lair for Amiga (the first time full-screen full-colour animation was streamed from floppy discs on a home computer) and DOOM for the Super Nintendo.

Above: Dragon’s Lair on the Amiga was one of Linden’s first games

I’ve also done non-gaming software as well: A database program called “Paperback Filer” (later renamed to “Pocket Filer”) for Commodore 64 and 128s, a Commodore 64 emulator for the Amiga called “The 64 Emulator”, a PlayStation emulator called “bleem!” for the PC and “bleemcast!” for the Sega Dreamcast.

My latest project is “Cyboid”, a full 3D FPS that’s like “Quake” and runs on Amazon Fire devices (TV Stick, TVs and Tablets) and Android devices (Tablets, Phones, TVs and SetTop Boxes.) Cyboid has single player, split-screen two-player and multiplayer online for up to eight. The game runs well, even on low-end hardware like the Fire TV Stick.

Cyboid Screenshot

What about your gaming history? How did you first get interested in video games?

Our school received a Commodore PET, one of the first available computers worldwide and we were allowed to book time on the machine to learn how to program, although most of us used it to play games!

The system used cassette tapes for storage and there were two or three games that changed my life: Space Invaders, Adventure (the classic text game) and Lords of Karma, but it was an adventure-style game where you could save your progress by entering the machine-language monitor and typing in a command which saved out the block of memory with the game variables to tape — when you wanted to continue playing, you loaded the game, switched tapes and then loaded your saved state and then ran the game.

Were there any you remember fondly from that time?

Sure! Here are a few of my all-time favourites:

  • Space Invaders (Commodore PET) was a virtual clone of the classic game, but all done in 6502 assembly instead of BASIC
  • Parsec (TI99/4A) because it improved on the classic “Space Invaders” with unique alien graphics every few levels
  • Xevious (Arcade) was a vertical scroller that had pseudo-3D graphics and had hidden objects you discovered by bombing the ground below
  • Venture (Arcade) had a bunch of “rooms” with unique monsters which required different strategies to defeat
  • Dragon’s Lair (Arcade) used a laser disc to show a video instead of using graphics — the controls and timing was all pre-programmed, but the animation was awesome
  • Lode Runner (Commodore 64) had unique gameplay and tons of levels
  • Forbidden Forest (Commodore 64) had great graphics and one of the best sound tracks on the C64
  • Frantic Freddie (Commodore 64) also had an awesome sound track
  • Sword of Sodan (Amiga) because of the massive animated characters (as tall as the full screen), a programming achievement at the time
  • Metal Gear Solid (PlayStation) had awesome gameplay, great graphics and sound, tons of challenges and unique gameplay throughout
  • Super Mario 64 (Nintendo 64) for the real 3D graphics and immense levels
  • DOOM (PC) a “hall of fame classic” that introduced network gameplay to the world
  • Quake (PC) another true classic that brought 3D to PC all done in software

And how did you get started in video game development anyway? Did you want to make games from a young age?/

I was always fascinated by arcade games — the graphics, sounds and gameplay — much more than winning, and that drove me to play more and more so I could see what the next was like!

The first game I wrote was called “Barriers” on the Commodore PET — it was really simple: a vertical wall starts at the left side of the screen and moves to the right where there’s a space ship you control. You can move all around the screen and shoot a laser to blast a hole in the wall as it’s moving closer. If you make a big enough hole for the wall to pass by without touching your ship, the next wall was a little bit faster.

Over time, my programming focus changed to projects which presented unique technical challenges, often in the category of “that can’t be done” for various reasons (hardware, software, CPU speed, memory, etc.)

Onto your game development history now. What was the first game you ever created? Did you work on anything interesting before Datastorm for the Amiga?

When the Commodore 64 was released there was a bundle that included the monitor, computer and a desk to put everyone on. My mom bought me that one year for my birthday and I wrote my first “professional” game called “Bubbles”, a clone of the arcade classic “Centipede.” — I say “professional” because it was actually published by a company and I was paid for it!

There was a start-up company in Toronto called “Syntax Software” that had just released a game called “Cyclons” which was available at the local computer store. I looked up the company and the owner’s name was “Randy”, so I knew fate was calling! So I called the owner and arranged a meeting. I worked at Syntax part-time for a few months doing various programming jobs and eventually demo’d “Bubbles” … and the rest is history!

How did you get involved with Visionary Design Technologies anyway?

VDT was a start-up that I founded and ran from my mom’s basement — VDT’s first title was “Dragons’s Lair” for the Amiga.

I had always been fascinated by “Dragon’s Lair” and one day I started calling companies which sold arcade games to track down the laser disc from the game.

I rented a laser disc player and used the “Sunrize Industries” digitizer to scan some of the images — the digitizer used coloured filters and required three passes for each frame of animation.

Eventually I contacted the company which made the digitizer and told them about the project …
They sent a prototype of their next-gen digitizer which could scan images much faster and didn’t require any filters. Many years later, another company was started by the same owner of “New Horizons” — that company is “Roku” — cool, eh?

What about Sullivan Bluth Interactive Media? Seems like quite a jump going from Datastorm to Dragon’s Lair here…

Actually, Dragon’s Lair was done about a year before DataStorm — and Sullivan Bluth Interactive Media was founded after they saw a demo of Dragon’s Lair.

Dragon’s Lair was one of those “impossible” games that I knew was possible on the Amiga because of its unique hardware capabilities — the game required took a huge amount of work, but it achieved a milestone for gaming and home computers in general.

Here’s something interesting: The game requires six disks to fit all of the graphics and sound data, but the entire program is only 8K bytes — yes, eight kilobytes total!

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