Nintendo's Wrecking Crew '98 Translated Into English

Wrecking Crew '98It's been a long time since Nintendo has done anything new with its Wrecking Crew property.  There's a Nintendo Switch port of the arcade version, VS. Wrecking Crew, on the way later this year and the original NES version of the game has popped up on the Virtual Console for the Wii, 3DS, & Wii U, but there's a missing piece of the series that has yet to show up outside of Japan in any form.  1998's aptly titled Wrecking Crew '98 updated the formula for the Super NES era, crossing it with the aesthetics and puzzle-type nature of Tetris Attack.  Now the game has been translated into English for the first time by fans, so if you're up for emulating the game, here's your chance to enjoy the full experience.  There's even an updated version of the classic Wrecking Crew included.  Romhacking.net tells you how it's done.

A Mario game, never brought over-seas, exclusive to Japan and without an english translation?!

Yes, for as hard as it is to believe, this obscure Mario title never saw the light of day in any country outside of Japan, thanks to the weird distribution method of kiosks back in ‘98, and thanks due to Nintendo’s International Division shutting down sales of all SNES games in ‘97.

This neat little package includes not only one, but 2 games! That’s right, the original Wrecking Crew for the NES was ported and included alongside its sequel, Wrecking Crew ‘98!

Now you can enjoy the flexibility of having both games in one single ROM, now in full english text thanks to the incredible work of the RomHacking community!

The game is fully playable, from start to finish, without any major hiccup or bug! Finally, a long forgotten game will see the light of day overseas, thanks to hackers doing what Nintendon’t!

I dabbled with the Japanese version over a decade ago, but never really knew what was going on thanks to my Japanese illiteracy.  I'm glad to have a reason to revisit the game and understand it now.  Say, come to think of it, hacking additional games into the Super NES Classic is coming along fairly well.  Perhaps these are two hacks that taste great together.


Free Games Now Available From My Nintendo

Nindie GamesAfter a booming start giving out free Virtual Console games to users who ponied up the points, the My Nintendo loyalty program has received boos and mehs ever since it almost immediately scaled back to offering desktop wallpaper and minor discounts on full prices eShop titles.  Gold and platinum points have been going to waste ever since, but now the program is ready to offer up free games once again.  For a limited time, My Nintendo is offering four indie titles for Wii U or 3DS in exchange for gold points.

  • BIT.TRIP Presents... Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien (Wii U): 90 Gold Points
  • Zen Pinball 3D (Nintendo 3DS): 50 Gold Points
  • Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo (Nintendo 3DS): 60 Gold Points
  • Art of Balance (Wii U): 70 Gold Points

I've already cashed in some points for Zen Pinball 3D.  Now I know these aren't free downloads on the magnitude of Super Mario Bros. 3 or Mega Man 2, but don't look a free game in the mouth here.  If you're a Nintendo fan, chances are you have some points going to waste in your My Nintendo account, so why not partake and try something new?  Step outside your comfort zone and see where it takes you.  You may just have some fun along the way.


Let's Try To Buy A SNES Classic From Amazon

Amazon Treasure TruckI was fortunate enough to be awake during the four minute window that Amazon.com offered preorders of Nintendo's Super NES Classic mini console somewhere around 4:30am back in August, so I felt confident that I would be happily playing Star Fox 2 and all of my other favorite 16-bit games come release day last week, but then Amazon let me down when they seemingly diverted their preorder allotment stock to their roaming Treasure Trucks.  There's still no estimated shipping date for my preordered console, but those folks who tracked down a Treasure Truck were able to score, right?  Let's go to Platypus Comix's Peter Paltridge who braved the Treasure Truck scheme to try and give Amazon money in exchange for a console and see how well that worked out for him.

The Amazon Treasure Truck was exactly the kind of truck you would expect an SNES Classic to come from. It was a giant, glowing, blaring, gaudy carnival attraction, flashing with lights on every corner. A circular LED display in the center cycled through bright images of the SNES while dual speakers blared out classic Nintendo tunes. As if to say "too much is never enough," a bubble machine sat below the van, blowing out a stream of perpetual bubbles that constantly filled the area.

I approached what looked like a sales counter and casually said to the lady behind it, "They're probably sold out, right?" She said back "No, they aren't!" and pointed to the large table covered by a canopy on the far end. It was covered with glossy bags sporting the Treasure Truck logo, each neatly filled with one SNES Classic machine. There had to be over two dozen!

"I'LL TAKE ONE!"
"Do you have the Amazon app?"
"No, but I brought money--"
"You need the Amazon App to buy a Super Nintendo Classic."

"I can only buy it here with the app?"
"That is correct. But I'll show you where to download it. Do you have your phone?"

"....No."

Amazon made him jump through additional hoops and then, in a frustratingly nightmarish Catch-22 situation, left him starring at consoles on the truck that they would not sell him.  Amazon disappointed a lot of people with their handling of Super NES Classic sales.  I don't know what went wrong or why the company made it so difficult to buy this item from them, but I hope that they get their act together soon and start shipping out consoles to people who ordered them.  To paraphrase Jerry Seinfeld, Amazon knows how to take the preorders, they just don’t know how to fulfill the preorders and that’s really the most important part of the preorder, the fulfilling. Anybody can just take them.


Pinball FX3 Goes Back To The Future

Back To The FuturePinball FX3 from Zen Studios launched last week and while I've imported all of my old Zen Pinball 2 tables into the new platform, I've been spending most of my FX3 time with the Back To The Future table out of the Universal Classics Pinball pack of tables.  The team at Zen has given me just about everything I wanted from a BTTF table including multiple time periods.  There are six different versions of this one table available, one for each time period from the film trilogy: 1985, 1955, 2015, Biff Tannen's corrupt 1985A, a revisit of 1955 from the sequel, and 1885.  Soundalikes for Doc Brown and Marty McFly call out memorable lines from the film during play and there are multiple multiballs available if you hit the right targets.  Check out a recent run on the table to see it in action.  I still have a ways to go at improving, but I like to think I'm off to a good start.


Power Button - Episode 248: Manic For Sonic Mania

Power ButtonHave you had a chance to play Sonic Mania yet?  Christian Whitehead and the teams from Sega, Headcannon, and PagodaWest Games have created the best Sonic the Hedgehog game in twenty years and on this week's podcast episode, Blake Grundman and I spend the hour talking about how much we enjoyed it.  From mythology gags to the stellar soundtrack to the purity of speed, we have lots of good things to say.  And speaking of Blake, why not check out his Extra Life charity goal and see if you can help him out?   Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes and Google Play, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way.


First Wave Of Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite DLC Announced

SigmaWith Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite releasing tomorrow, fans are already hungry to learn when they can spend extra money on additional characters, so Capcom has announced the six new fighters headed into the action later in the year as part of the first $30 expansion bundle.  Here they are long with the company and property they represent:

Sigma (Capcom: Mega Man X)

Black Panther (Marvel: Black Panther)

Monster Hunter (Capcom: Monster Hunter)

Winter Solider (Marvel: Captain America),

Black Widow (Marvel: Avengers)

Venom (Marvel: Spider-Man)

I'm interested in these characters, but am not so sure I want to keep spending more money on a fighting game at this point in my life.  I loved what Injustice 2 had to offer earlier in the summer, but just can't talk myself into a $40 pack of additional characters for it when the base game is already loaded with plenty to do.  Street Fighter V, on the other hand, is much too shallow an experience to justify more spending (lacking an Arcade mode still stings; what would I use extra characters for if I bought them?).  MvCI may land right in the middle of that balance, although I have a major soft spot for Sigma and would probably buy just him alone.

I'll have more to say about MvCI in the coming days and weeks as I forgot that I preordered it a few months ago when Amazon was offering it exceptionally cheap for a few hours, and since it shipped this morning, I may as well go for it.  I loved the other MvC titles and am hoping for the best from this one.  It at least has an Arcade mode!


OverClocked ReMix Album Smashes Records

Smash The Record: The RecordSometimes the talented musicians working through OverClocked ReMix release an album that might as well be called The Songs Of My People, and the latest album, Smash The Record: The Record, is another one of those releases.  Featuring music from Super Smash Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Mega Man X5, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, F-Zero, and Kirby Super Star, this album commemorates the Smash The Record 2017 speedrunning tournament.  It's a free download in MP3 and FLAC formats.

Smash The Record: The Record features 7 tracks from 7 artists, arranging music from 6 different franchises tied to Smash The Record 2017's speedruns and tournaments. The event benefits St. Jude Children's Research Hospital through the St. Jude PLAY LIVE charity platform. The album was made by fans, for fans, and is not affiliated with or endorsed by any game publisher or developer; all games, characters, images, and original compositions are copyright their respective owners.

This album was produced to help promote video game music, the amazing Smash The Record speedruns and tournaments, the important work of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, all the original composers' compositions, and the talented musical and visual artists that contributed to this project.

It's hard for me to pick a favorite track off this album as they all strike the nostalgia bone just right.  They're all going into my playlist.  Try them out and see if they go into yours, too.


Help Blake Grundman Meet His Extra Life Gaming Charity Goal

Extra LifeYour friend and mine, Power Button's own Blake Grundman, is participating in the Extra Life gaming charity event again this year along with our old podcast pals Keri Honea, Ross Polly, and Chris Nitz.  The four of them will be playing video games live on a Twitch stream for twenty-four hours starting October 21, 2017 to help raise money for children in need at hospitals through Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.  He's offering giveaways and other fun stuff for donating money.  Why not check out the event and help him meet his goal?

Your participation is key to making this event fun for everyone involved! This is why I have setup two tiers of support that actually have benefits FOR YOU.

For only a $5 contribution you can tell me what to play for a half hour of the marathon. You name it, I'll play it! Want to torture me? Have at it! You will be able to stream my joy or misery firsthand, via Twitch.

For a $10 contribution you can actually get a PC game of your choosing from the list below.

This event is always a fun time.  The last time Blake participated, I made him play my beloved Bionic Commando.  I've already pitched in to help make a difference this year and now I only have to decide which game I want Blake to play during the event.  What do you think, folks?  Aero the Acro-batBubsyPlok?  So many good choices...


Power Button - Episode 247: A Brief History Of Reviews

Power ButtonThis week's podcast focuses on some inside baseball as Blake Grundman and I focus on the process of reviewing video games.  We talk about memorable reviews, how we go about reviewing games, how reviewing has changed over the years, and so much more.  It's a look behind the curtain at how the sausage is made.   Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes and Google Play, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way.


Let's Take A Moment To Appreciate Sonic's Sidekick, Tails

TailsWhen playing Sonic Mania, Sonic and Knuckles tend to steal the spotlight.  Sonic has his trademark speed to blast process through levels, while Knuckles and punch through barricades and climb walls.  Why would anyone want to play as Tails when you could instead go really fast or climb really high?  I've come to have a new appreciation for perennial sidekick Tails as I continue through the game. I've been trying out Time Attack mode with the flying two-tailed fox and am trying to better use his flight and swimming skills.  Yes, he can fly, but his flight skills always felt so limited to me.  I feel like I take flight and quickly bang into a ceiling, rendering the whole experience pointless.  I took him for a spin in Chemical Plant Zone Act 1 on a lark and came away with new respect for his skills.  Being able to fly above hazards like rising water or trap platforms feels like a cheat in a way, but the ability is built into the game, so why not take advantage?  Sure, Tails isn't as fast as Sonic, but playing as him opens up new ways of thinking about level structures.  Give Tails a try.  Maybe you'll make a new friend.