Category Archives: Retro Gaming

The good old retro games!

The Two Button Street Fighter Arcade Game.

Picture credit: Arstechnica

Street Fighter is well known to have popularized the fighting game genre. It was the first fighting game to have a light, medium and heavy kick or punch instead of just a single punch and kick. It was a revolutionary idea at that time.

Most pro gamers of Street Fighter will have one of these; a six or eight button arcade stick.

Not many people know about the two button Street Fighter I arcade machine. When Street Fighter was first launched, there were two variants, the first one has a six buttons control while the other only have two buttons.

Both buttons of the two buttons variant were pressure sensitive. Depending on how hard you smashed the buttons, you would get different level of punch and kick (one button for kick and one button for punch). So to do a hard punch, you would have to literally throw a hard punch onto the punch button.

Capcom subsequently remove the two buttons variant and the rest is history. The six buttons variant is now what you see in arcades around the world. The removal was allegedly due to injury by fervent players who started smashing the buttons too vigorously.

Have you ever played the two button arcade machine before? If so let us know about it in the comments.

Who is Street Fighter M.Bison?

Who comes into your mind when you see this name?

Does the evil psycho kinetic general comes into your mind first or the heavy punching slugger type boxer?

For most people, they may associate the name with the former. However for some, M. Bison is a boxer.

Take a look at the screenshot from Street Fighter 2. It was a match between E.Honda and Vega. Yes Vega, not M. Bison. So who is M. Bison then?

This is M. Bison, the all-too-familiar boxer from Street Fighter. But wait…

M. Bison is now the General and Balrog is the boxer?

Both versions of the Street Fighter II are authentic. The first version we have shown you is the Japan version while the other is the US version.

The boxer in Street Fighter was originally named M. Bison. The ‘M’ refers to ‘Mike’ and hence Mike Bison. Sounds familiar? Because it is. Mike Tyson, Mike Bison, both names even rhymes.

When Capcom localized Street Fighter II for the US, they decided to rotate the name of the bosses in Street Fighter II for fear of legal liability of M. Bison the boxer. So the name of the boxer was changed from M. Bison to Balrog. In fact three characters name were swapped.

Photo credit: ringsandcoins.com

In the latest Street Fighter V, the Japanese version still keeps the same naming convention.

So don’t get confuse by the names. Just understand the history.

The curious case of the front loading Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)

If you ever own a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), you would have encountered the problem where the system cannot read the game cartridge. Sometime all it takes is a few quick blow into the console. Otherwise, you would likely need to send the unit for repair. only to encounter the same problem a few years later.

The reason for this is due to a design decision made by Nintendo when they launch the NES in America. Unlike many gaming console, both before and after NES, the NES was likely the only console with front loading cartridges.

Most other consoles loads their cartridge from the top. The mechanism needed for front loading known as the Zero insertion force (ZIF) connector, was prone to wear and tear unlike the simpler connector used in the top loading consoles such as Sega Genesis and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES).

A NES ZIF Connector Credit: thevintagegamers.com

So why did Nintendo op for that design which was in fact a pricier option then?

When Nintendo was launching the NES in America, it was during the 80s video game crash . Basically, it was a time when there was an oversaturation of video game consoles in US. Even Mattel (the maker of Barbie) has a gaming console of their own. Games were not selling well and Atari even resorted to burying their unsold game. It was not a good time to launch a video game console.

In order to entice retailers to carry the NES and for buyers to be more acceptance of the console, Nintendo tried to masquerade it as a toy. Being front loading would mean people can stack it up just like a regular VCR. It looked less like a game console at the same time. Eventually Nintendo did try to fix this issue by releasing the NES 101 which is top-loading.

So the next time your NES breaks, blaming it on the design decision that was made 20 years ago.