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The triumphant return of everybody's favorite speedy blue mascot in Sonic Mania got us thinking... what other retro classics would we love to see brought back into the limelight with a proper sequel? Here's a half-dozen of our favorites that have languished without attention for far too long.

Shining Force II - Sega GenesisShining Force II - Sega, 1994
Yeah, yeah... we know Shining Force III on the Sega Saturn exists and that it's great and all... but it's just not the same. To really do a Shining Force game properly, it absolutely has to have the charm of those superdeformed animated 2D sprite characters. We could totally see a company like Firaxis Games (you know, Sid Meier's uber-talented group - they who make XCOM) work with Sega and take us all on a glorious adventure back to Granseal.


Archon - Commodore 64Archon - Electronic Arts, 1983
Online player-versus-player. If that had existed in 1983, Archon would probably still be played by legions of devoted fans, even with its Lego-resolution visuals. And that's it in a nutshell - all that's needed to bring Archon back in a spectacular way is to add online multiplayer (while keeping local multiplayer, of course), updating the visuals just a touch (we think 16-bit style would be spot-on), and naturally, keeping the original's razor-sharp gameplay intact. Don't change anything else - it's perfect as-is. Oh, and yeah, we know there was an Archon II - while it was a respectable attempt at a sequel, it can't hold a candle to the original.


Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance IIBaldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II - Interplay, 2004
We were incredibly saddened when Interplay's demise resulted in the cancellation of Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance III, as it surely would've been every bit as awe-inspiring as the first two games were. It would be absolutely jaw-dropping if the former members of Black Isle Studios were able to get the band back together and coordinate with Wizards of the Coast to make a new game happen. We'd even be totally OK with it if the new game was set in Waterdeep or, well... pretty much anywhere in the Forgotten Realms game world would be just fine. Of course, this has about as much chance of happening as if David Byrne stopped being a knob, reformed the Talking Heads and somehow put out an album on par with Speaking in Tongues... but we can dream, can't we?


ToeJam and Earl - Sega GenesisToeJam and Earl - Sega, 1991
Neither of this classic's previous sequels really did the original any justice. Sure, Panic on Funkotron is a fun game, and TJ&E III tried to recapture the magic but in a modern 3D way... but you just can't mess with the original formula. The 1991 game is a classic because of its quirks, because of its off-the-wall visuals and sound, and because it just never, ever stops making you grin from ear to ear. Heck, all that would need to happen for a proper sequel is the original Genesis game with maybe a new environment and some wacky new inhabitants. We could even see adding 2 new player characters and making it 4-player local and online multiplayer.


Secret of ManaSecret of Mana - Squaresoft, 1993
You know, sometimes the West just straight-up gets hosed. For those that don't know, Secret of Mana is known as Seiken Densetsu 2 in Japan... which means we didn't get the terrific game before this one. We also didn't get the outstanding sequel that was released only in Japan in 1995. What we have gotten is several half-baked attempts by Square to cash in on the Mana name on various platforms in the 20-odd years since. Weirdly, though, this one probably has more chance of actually happening than any of the games above, because all Square would have to do would be to translate Seiken Densetsu 3 into English and tweak it to be 16:9 HD-compatible. It'd sell like mad, which makes it seem like a no-brainer to us.


Mutant League FootballMutant League Football - Electronic Arts, 1993
We just had to include this one, because after all this time, Mutant League Football is actually getting a proper sequel! Its original creator, Michael Mendheim, is even spearheading its development! How freakin' cool is that? You can read all about the new game - titled Mutant Football League in a clever side-step of IP licensing legalities - at its official site here. It's looking absolutely amazing, and we can't wait to toss somebody into a firepit and run the fumble back for a touchdown. Can you tell we're excited?

Will the Ataribox play as great as it looks? We can't wait to find out!

At E3, Atari began teasing a "brand new Atari product" it's calling the Ataribox. It looks to be similar to the NES and SNES Mini/Classic systems, but seemingly on a level above those retro-modern systems, given that it has 2 HDMI ports, 4 USB ports and a micro-SD card slot. Atari has offered up a teaser video on the mini-console's official site (www.ataribox.com), and we're excited. The system has a very sleek design, and will reportedly be available in two versions - one with classic wood trim, and one in black and red.

Word is, Atari plans for the Ataribox to feature classic games alongside "current content", but it's unclear at present exactly what that means. Atari has a very, very deep classic games catalog, so the device could conceivably feature the all-time classic Adventure alongside newer titles like Test Drive Unlimited (though we seriously doubt it'll have the CPU or RAM to handle games that new).

There's no word yet on pricing, release dates or even specifications beyond what is shown in the teaser video and still images. We do know that it will be powered by PC technology, and Atari did say in an email to fans, "We know you are hungry for more details; on specs, games, pricing, timing...We're not teasing you intentionally; we want to get this right, so we've opted to share things step by step as we bring this to life, and to listen closely to the Atari community feedback as we do so."

Here's hoping it ends up playing as great as it looks - there are countless Atari classics we'd love to play again, like Haunted House, Tempest 2000, Gauntlet, Toobin'... we could go on for days.

Super NES Classic officially announced! It hits store shelves on September 29th, 2017!

The Super NES Classic has been officially announced... and it comes with 21 of the very best SNES games, including the never-released Star Fox 2! It's arriving on September 29th, 2017 and will have a suggested retail price of $79.99... though you just know this hot item will be going for well into the hundreds on the various auction sites.

Along with two authentic SNES controllers, here are all the awesome games it comes with:

  • Contra III: The Alien Wars
  • Donkey Kong Country
  • EarthBound
  • Final Fantasy III
  • F-Zero
  • Kirby Super Star
  • Kirby's Dream Course
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  • Mega Man X
  • Secret of Mana
  • Star Fox
  • Star Fox 2
  • Street Fighter II Turbo
  • Super Castlevania IV
  • Super Ghouls 'N Ghosts
  • Super Mario Kart
  • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
  • Super Mario World
  • Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
  • Super Metroid
  • Super Punch-Out!!

It's an outstanding list of the very best SNES games, for sure, but we think it leaves the door wide open for a sequel: Super Mario All-Stars, Donkey Kong Country 2 and 3, Axelay, Chrono Trigger, Super Bomberman, Uniracers, Lufia, Rock N Roll Racing... there are MANY more amazing SNES classics for a Super NES Classic Vol. 2!

You can read more about it on Nintendo's official Super NES Classic page.

 

We're super-excited about the news that Nintendo is likely to bring out the SNES Classic Mini console soon, and it got us thinking... what underappreciated SNES gems would we love to see on it? Here are 10 outstanding Super NES games you probably haven't even heard of, much less played... but you should! Sadly, we bet few (if any) of them will actually be on the Mini. Oh well... fingers crossed!

Ballblazer - Atari 7800Pocky & Rocky - Natsume, 1993
While it's basically a shooter at heart, this is like no shooter you've ever played. Waves of enemies come onto the screen in classic Galaga formation style, and it's up to our heroine Pocky and her raccoon pal Rocky to fight their way through. Countless fun powerups and a really nifty control scheme make this endlessly replayable. It even got a sequel somehow back in the day... but we doubt you've heard of that one, either!


Dark Chambers - Atari 7800Street Racer - UbiSoft, 1994
Yeah, yeah... it's a Super Mario Kart clone. Except that it takes the formula to a whole other level. Each racer has his or her own special ability, and you can punch other racers Road Rash-style. And you can play up to 4-players on one screen! It's fast, fun, and funny. Street Racer also uses the SNES's unique Mode 7 scaling feature in some really cool ways. Once you get used to the controls, you'll have a hard time putting it down.


Food Fight - Atari 7800Blackthorne - Interplay, 1994
One of legendary developer Blizzard's early games, Blackthorne is a 2.5D strategy/platform/shooter masterpiece that will consume serious chunks of your life if you let it. Badass visuals, atmospheric audio and some pretty innovative gameplay mechanics combine to really suck you in. Interplay was really on a roll in the 1990s, and we really miss them.


Crossbow - Atari 7800WildSnake - Spectrum Holobyte, 1994
From the creator of Tetris, Alexey Pajitnov, this unique puzzle game really tries hard to live up to its legendary ancestor's legacy. While it doesn't quite get there, it still is ridiculously fun. WildSnake starts off rather calm and laid back... and quickly becomes far more than even very skilled players can handle. You'll find yourself hoping and praying for a King Cobra to come along and devour a path and keep your game going.


Asteroids - Atari 7800Cool Spot - Virgin Interactive, 1993
You know, the SNES really has an impressive array of platformers - Mario, Donkey Kong, Castlevania, Bubsy, Earthworm Jim... the list goes on and on. That's probably why you haven't heard of Cool Spot (or if you have, you dismissed it as a 7-Up marketing gimmick). And that's too bad, because it really is a great game. Cleverly designed levels, tight controls, fun visuals and a strong challenge really set it above most of the platform horde. It's terrific.


Summer Games - Atari 7800Uniracers - Nintendo, 1994
If you were around back in the SNES's heyday, you probably did know about Uniracers... but had no idea what to make of it, and passed on it. That was definitely a mistake, because it's just absurdly fun and unbelievably addictive. It's a racing game, but not like any you've ever played - just try it out, you'll see what we mean. We love how easy and intuitive it is to pull off insanely cool tricks, and the split-screen mode makes it an outstanding party game.


Mario Bros. - Atari 7800Zombies Ate My Neighbors - Konami, 1993
Back in the day, Kay-Bee Toys overbought this game to such an extent that they dropped it to a mere $9.99 very shortly after its release. We were fortunate enough to spot it at the mall right after reading the EGM issue where it was the Game of the Month... woooo! What an epic score. Few SNES games have the style, substance and just sheer fun ZAMN does. It'll drive you nuts, scare the crap out of you and make you laugh, one right after the other. And it just never gets old.


Fight Night - Atari 7800The Peace Keepers - Jaleco Entertainment, 1994
We're not sure if the SNES Classic Mini will support the Multi-Tap... but if it does, it really, really, really needs to include this gem of a multiplayer brawler. In a nutshell, The Peace Keepers combines the best of Final Fight, Streets of Rage, WWF... you get the idea. You and 3 friends can just go nuts beating on the bad guys... or on each other. It's one of the best party games on the system.


Joust - Atari 7800Space Megaforce - Toho, 1992
Axelay got pretty much all of the classic shooter love from fans on the SNES - and to be fair, it's one of the best shooters ever! - but Space Megaforce is absolutely no slouch in its own right. Purely vertical, it has a challenging-but-fair degree of difficulty, incredible speed, a unique control system and makes great use of the console's Mode 7 abilities. Like all the great shooters in the history of gaming, blasting enemy ships to bits is always fun. We love it.


Hat Trick - Atari 7800Rampart - Electronic Arts, 1992
A little-known console game derived from a little-known arcade game, Rampart makes the list because it's actually a greatly enhanced version of its coin-op predecessor... like many on this list, making eye-popping use of Mode 7. It just adds so much to the original's flat 2D "Tetris Castle" gameplay. You and a friend fend off invading ships while doing your best to rebuild your castle in-between waves of attack. The better you do, the more firepower you're rewarded with, and the more enemies you can sink. It's video crack.

 

In honor of the obscure-but-great Atari 7800 being the first system to be featured here on Wanna Know!!, here is a list of our 10 favorite 7800 games of all time, in no particular order. You can click on each game's gameplay image or title to get more information about it. Thanks for reading!

Ballblazer - Atari 7800Ballblazer - Lucasfilm Games LLC, 1987
A way-ahead-of-its-time futuristic sports game, Ballblazer was very popular when released, and naturally was ported to numerous consoles and computers. It features some very impressive simulated-3D visual effects, but where it really shines is its lightning-fast gameplay. Ballblazer is essentially 1-on-1 soccer with each player piloting a hovercraft and fighting to shoot the floating ball through a moving goal. Sounds simple enough, but the game's fast pace and features like over-the-horizon shots always keep you on your toes. It's insanely addictive.


Dark Chambers - Atari 7800Dark Chambers - Atari Corporation, 1988
Obviously drawing a whole lot of inspiration from the arcade classic Gauntlet, Dark Chambers is a 1 or 2 player cooperative dungeon shooter. Epic adventure awaits, as you and a friend blast your way through over 2 dozen levels while grabbing as many hidden treasures as you can find. Dark Chambers offers a great challenge - and increasing intensity as you delve deeper! - that will have you scrambling for those precious health potions and power-ups.


Food Fight - Atari 7800Food Fight - Atari Corporation, 1987
Arguably the best port of the vastly underrated arcade game, the Atari 7800 version of Food Fight does a masterful job of translating the coin-op's analog stick to the console's 8-way digital control. You're Charley Chuck, an ice cream aficionado who just wants to get a cone before it melts away. A group of chefs try to stop you by running after you and tossing food at you... you retaliate, because ice cream, duh! Use your arm as a targeting aid, and don't forget that watermelon provides unlimited ammo!


Crossbow - Atari 7800Crossbow - Exidy, Inc., 1987
Featuring virtually everything the arcade game has (except for the incredibly awesome mounted crossbow light gun, of course), the Atari 7800 port of Crossbow is ridiculously fun. It's a lot like those amusement park target games, but with many more moving targets to hit, and friends to protect while you're racking up points. You'll shoot your way through many different locations on your way to the castle, and you get to choose your path to it. Our favorite part of Crossbow is its outstanding joystick control - the 7800's light gun is very accurate, but good luck finding one!


Asteroids - Atari 7800Asteroids - Atari, Inc., 1987
At first glance, Asteroids on the Atari 7800 just looks like a colorized version of the arcade game, which featured single-color vector graphics. That in itself is kinda neat, but they went above and beyond by including two additional game modes that are unbelievably fun - 2-player simultaneous competitive mode, and 2-player simultaneous cooperative mode. In the former, you can blow up the other guy's ship, while in the latter, you work together to destroy everything in your path. How cool is that?


Summer Games - Atari 7800Summer Games - Epyx, Inc., 1987
One of a very select number of console games to allow up to EIGHT players locally, Summer Games is a multi-event Olympic simulation that will have you competing to get the best scores and fastest times in multiple events to win the gold medal. Our favorite is platform diving, which is endlessly challenging and calculates the degree of difficulty dynamically. Graphically, it's not quite as polished as some of the computer versions, but the 7800 game plays very, very well.


Mario Bros. - Atari 7800Mario Bros. - Nintendo Co., Ltd., 1988
If Mario Bros. isn't in the top 5 of all-time great 2-player arcade games, it really ought to be. Sure, you can play it single-player, but why? It is immeasurably better played with a friend. Mario and Luigi fight to clear the sewer of all manner of vermin... turtles, flies, crabs, you name it. They collect bonus coins as they go, and the occasional challenge level offers a nice break from the frantic action. Even better, you can play the game how you like... you can help each other, or you can try to kill each other via well-timed smacks from below or with the POW block.


Fight Night - Atari 7800Fight Night - Sydney Development Corp., 1988
A faithful port of the Commodore 64 classic, Fight Night is a hilarious cartoony boxing game where each boxer has their own unique strengths and weaknesses, along with a special "super" punch. The single-player mode offers a stiff challenge as you fight 11 different opponents, but where the game really shines is in the 2-player head-to-head mode. We highly recommend not looking at the screen while each of you setup your boxer's attributes - it adds so much strategy to the fisticuffs.


Joust - Atari 7800Joust - Williams Electronics Inc., 1987
You'd think that somebody would have improved upon Joust's uniquely challenging gameplay by now, but 30+ years later, it hasn't happened. In Joust, you hammer the fire button mercilessly to keep your mounted knight aloft while avoiding all sorts of enemies, including a supposedly unbeatable pterodactyl. Each level demands its own strategy, and playing with a friend at the same time makes the game even more fun than it is when playing alone. There's really nothing out there like Joust.


Hat Trick - Atari 7800Hat Trick - Bally Sente, 1987
More well-known as a console game than the coin-op it originated from, Hat Trick takes the simple fun of Activision's Ice Hockey on the Atari 2600 and distills it down into a 2-on-2 tug-of-war. You mainly control one skater battling to control the puck and score goals, while also controlling a goalie who is confined to the space immediately in front of the net. Mind you, you're controlling both players at the same time, and this can present a real challenge. The 7800 version is lacking a bit graphically (we miss the arcade game's skate marks on the ice), but it plays so smoothly.

 

Digital-Code-Wheel-Copy-Protection

While DRM today may been seen as overly aggressive and frustrating, copy protection methods of yesteryear actually brought along some charm whilst keeping the pirates at bay. One of the more notable examples of this was the code wheel - a collection of layered card held together by a split pin with windows revealing secret codes underneath. Although seeming to be something of a bygone era, several of these code wheels have now been recreated and digitized for future generations to come.

For many gamers their first introduction to this form of copy protection was through Lucasarts' classic The Secret of Monkey Island. The vibrantly colored Dial-A-Pirate insert very much seemed like an added extra to the floppy disk adventure, however, beneath each of the faces you could make lay a secret access code to boot up the game. Monkey Island 2 continued this trend with the Mix 'N' Mojo code wheel (one which had you lining up voodoo spell ingredients), whilst the likes of Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis opted for a much duller approach littered with numbers and letters.

Abandonware website OldGames.sk recently made available their collection of seven different code wheels online, all of which spinning independently with a click. This collection includes the aforementioned Lucasarts quests, along with the likes of Another World, Pool of Radiance, and Waxworks too. While the selection might not be expansive as of yet, we're pretty sure many more will soon follow given how great these work digitally.

From RetroCollect.com

 

You're standing on the precipice of a great internet adventure, and you don't even know it yet. You're here because you love videogames... it's OK to admit it! The condescending "games are for kids" argument went out with the 80s, seriously. (So feel free to Nerf-bludgeon any nearby killjoys still clinging to that false notion - and direct them here, for their own good!)

It may not look like it currently, but Wanna Know!! is going to be one of your very favorite fun places on the web! Our goal is to showcase everything that makes videogames fun in the good ol' USA. (We might expand to cover the rest of the world too, but let's not get ahead of ourselves, mkay?) We want you to remember all the fun you've had, and maybe discover some fun you didn't even know existed!

We'll tell you all about the classic and retro games you love, show you their packaging, media, screens and gameplay in as high a quality as we can, and even help you add them to your collection on the cheap! We're not like some of the other game sites you might've seen - we want to make all of this ridiculously easy for you. No more jumping from page to page to page for the same game, nope! We put all the game's info and imagery on one page for you.

Want to see every CD (or box, or title screen, or...) for your favorite console? Your wish is our command! Just head over to our Gallery and enjoy a virtual museum of fun. There's plenty more on its way, including game info for every USA-released game for every system no longer in production, the latest videogame news, fun facts and trivia about the games and systems you love, and much more.

So, check back often - you're sure to see more cool stuff here virtually every day! Game on!

 

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