I recently lamented the loss of the Playstation 2. Or as I call it, the Final Fantasy XII machine. All kidding aside, I really did love the system, which is still the top selling console in the world so far, but with the PS3 a staple and the PS4 on the horizon it was clearly time to let the old girl go. Her last title will be released in Japan a little later this year.
That's the nature of the business, but some consoles simply cannot be kept down. There are systems that haven't been manufactured in decades that you can still get new releases for thanks to talented fans. I'm not just talking emulators or old games you haven't played, I mean actual new titles as if it never left.
So head on down to Game Over and drop some dough on classic consoles because you can still look forward to new entries for the...
Sega's last gasp at the console market simply couldn't stand up against Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft. The company withdrew the Dreamcast from the market in 2001, though they still made units in Japan up through 2007 and new licensed games still came out at least through 2006. Here in America it's likely most people have forgotten all about it.
That didn't stop NG:DEV.TEAM from releasing Gunlord, a run and gunner, in 2012 complete with very basic online multiplayer. Later this year we can expect two space-going shoot 'em ups, Redux: Dark Matters and Ghost Blade. Redux managed to raise more than $50,000 on Kickstarter for the project, more than double their goal, proving that there is plenty of interest left in the Dreamcast.
I talked about this last year, but it bears repeating because it's awesome. Super Fight Team managed to find a complete coding of the finished but cancelled run and gunner Nightmare Busters. They obtained all the necessary permission and are taking preorders for the cartridges that are due to be released later in 2013.
No system stands taller than the original NES. Sure, Atari came first and the PS3 is so powerful the United States Army buys them for extra processing power, but the console that gave us Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, Castlevania, and a host of other franchises that still continue to day is a hard mini-boss to beat. Sadly, it went bye bye in 1994, with Wario's Woods being the last official game.
New, "homebrewed" games come out literally all the time though, and Retro Junk has them all. They offer everything from the classic Snake adapted to NES, to RPGs, puzzlers, sidescrollers, you name it. Each game comes with full printed manuals, in classic cardboard boxes, it's literally like the last two decades didn't happen. Better yet, they are ridiculously affordable, usually clocking in at $20.
For slightly more money you can also pick up a pretty good flying saucer game about anal probes.
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Seriously. The Virtual Boy, Nintendo's most maligned and hated idea has a really dedicated fanbase. In case you're too young to remember, the Virtual Boy was a headset you propped on a table and put your face into to see games using nothing but the colors red and black to create 3D environments. I had one, and I think I played Wario Land on it for five minutes before I realized that it actually would have been less humiliating if Nintendo had just showed up at my house and beaten the couple hundreds bucks out of me.
Yet there are collectors out there, and two of them managed to bring the first new Virtual Boy game to market since 1995. In 2010 fans were able to grab a working ROM file of Bound High, a cancelled puzzle adventure involving a robot who can turn himself into a ball and bounce through levels. It's widely regarded as one of the titles that could've saved the system if Nintendo had actually released it.
A ROM wasn't enough for Vincent Clemente and Richard Hutchinson. Nope, using painstaking recreations and hardware donated from the most popular VB title, Mario Tennis, the two perfectly recreated the actual cartridge and box that Bound High would have come in. They're not cheap, over $70, but considering the work that has gone into their creation it's a steal.