Games Within Games – Emulated Classics, Enhanced Ports, and Bonus Discs / MY LIFE IN GAMING

[ TRY ] Everyone loves a good deal.
That’s why game companies have been bundling
popular titles together since decades ago.
Today, compilations of classic games have
become some of the most reliable and accessible
methods of exploring the history of various
series and publishers.
But sometimes you’ll find a classic game
included with a brand-new game a bonus.
These extras may be listed as a bullet point
on the back of the box, but are generally
not presented as a selling point that overshadows
the main game.
Let’s take a closer look at some of these
“games within games” because it’s easy
to forget that some of these were even there
in the first place.
Heck, you never know, maybe we’ll discover
some of the best ways to play some of the
most significant games in history… or maybe…
the worst.
[ MUSIC: “Principle” by Matt McCheskey
[ Turbo Out Run Music ]
[ COURY ] Developers have been sneaking in
extra games for a long time.
In an age where most games can be downloaded
in seconds to play on real hardware or emulators,
it can be easy to forget that it used to be
pretty novel when an extra game was included
as a bonus.
Afterall, most were once full priced games
themselves, so it felt like a huge deal to
get them for “free.”
We’re gonna be looking a whole bunch of
these types of in this episode, but what exactly
is our criteria that justifies a “Game within
a game?”
I’m guessing that many people thought of
Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt when they
first saw the title of this episode… but
both games are given equal billing on the
We aren’t counting any games that are specifically
labeled as collections or compilations.
Others may have thought of the “Battle Game”
in Super Mario 3., which can be directly accessed
from the Mario 3 title screen in Super Mario
This may look like the Mario Bros. arcade
game, but in practice, it’s too different
to truly consider it the same game – it’s
just a mini-game… a pretty fun one, though.
The same can be said with the Gradius game
in Mystical Ninja… or Fantasy Zone in Arnold
Palmer Golf.
At a glance, these look like the originals,
but they’re radically reduced – only one
tiny level each – so they’re just fun easter
Super Mario Bros. Deluxe for the Game Boy
Color gets close with its “Super Mario Bros.
for Super Players,” which is essentially
Super Mario Bros. 2, A.K.A.
The Lost levels… but it’s incomplete – graphical
and mechanical alterations aside, worlds 9
and A through D are not present, so we wouldn’t
consider it a suitable replacement for the
real thing.
That said, the kind of examples we’ll be
looking at can be summed up nicely by Pitfall:
The Mayan Adventure.
This 1994 sequel slash revival features incredible
animation and was released on just about every
console at the time.
[ Pitfall!
Game Audio ]
By entering a button code on the title screen,
you can relive the influential Atari 2600
Pitfall! adventure, which is visually faithful
– that shouldn’t be hard – but the sound
isn’t exactly the greatest.
Unfortunately, the original Pitfall seems
to have been omitted from the 2001 Game Boy
Advance release.
[ Pitfall!
Game Audio ]
Hidden games are good and all, but probably
the most common occurance of games within
games is as a reward for beating a game’s
story mode, or overcoming certain challenges
along the way.
One of my favorite examples of this is in
the Ninja Gaiden reboot on the Xbox.
Hidden throughout the game are the original
trilogy of games.
Except, these aren’t the NES versions as
you’d expect – for some reason, Team Ninja
decided to include the Super NES remakes that
were part of Ninja Gaiden Trilogy.
[ Ninja Gaiden Trilogy Game Audio ]
This was maybe not the greatest choice, but
it’s certainly an interesting one and I can
appreciate that.
These games are definitely inferior to the
NES entries in just about every aspect, most
notably in the sound department.
The melodies just didn’t jive with the SNES’s
sample based sound.
[ Ninja Gaiden Trilogy Game Audio ]
Despite that, the game supports 480p and so
do these versions.
Everything appears to be scaled correctly,
with no scrolling shimmer that I noticed.
Although they each game does appear to be
slightly desaturated, it works with in their
favor, giving them a sort of look akin to
an original non 1CHIP SNES console.
The presence of passwords were a nice quality
of life addition to the SNES game and by extension
here as well.
These games are of decent length, so having
them incorporated here is quite welcome.
[ Ninja Gaiden Trilogy Game Audio ]
These games were removed from the release
of Ninja Gaiden Black, and replaced with the
vastly inferior arcade game…
I’d love to show that to you as well, but
I don’t have a save with it unlocked.
Regardless, the arcade game is a step down
from the NES trilogy in every respect, making
this a compelling reason to own both Ninja
Gaiden Black AND the original release.
Not to mention, none of these bonus games
make an appearance in the PlayStation 3 Sigma
[ Ninja Gaiden Trilogy Game Audio ]
Not all of these are within the game itself.
There’s several instances where the developer
has bundled a bonus disc with an additional
game on it in the package.
The US release of Strider 2 on the PlayStation
1 included the arcade game on it’s own disc.
[ Strider – Level 2 Arranged Music ]
When most people address this release, it’s
always all about how the disc art was reversed
– Strider 2 was on the disc labelled Strider
and vice-versa.
While this is a fun anecdote, what they should
really be talking about is how this is essentially
the best version of the first Strider to ever
be released on the home market.
[ Strider Game Audio ]
Built from the ground up, it’s supposedly
an arcade perfect port with all of the animation
and music intact.
The only real downfall being a loading screen
between each level… which isn’t even that
disruptive in the first place.
After you beat the game, you gain access to
a number of bonus options such as remixed
music and the ability to customize Strider
Hiryu with different colored outfits.
It seems like there was a lot of love put
into this port and the additions make it more
than just a simple arcade conversion.
[ Strider Game Audio ]
Now that you have a better understanding of
what we’re looking for, let’s look at
how Nintendo’s taken advantage of their
classic titles over
the years.
[ DK64 Rap ]
[ TRY ] By the late 90s, game consoles had
become capable enough to emulate classic games,
so it wasn’t uncommon to see developers
dig into their back catalogs to include nice
little bonuses without having to fully port
their older games to new hardware.
With a rich history of releases to draw from,
Nintendo began to dabble in including some
of their older games with new releases.
Donkey Kong 64 is one of the N64’s most
massive games.
Rare’s attempt to convert Donkey Kong Country
into a 3D platformer pushed the limits of
attention spans by packing the world full
of so many collectibles that finishing the
game can take more time than an RPG.
Among the game’s many bonuses are two important
titles from both the histories of Rare and
Ever the vocal advocate for the earliest generations
of gaming, Cranky Kong will begin to challenge
the player to beat his high score in Jetpac
after a certain point in the game – in fact,
doing so is required to even finish the main
Jetpac was developed for the ZX Spectrum by
brothers and Rare co-founders Tim and Chris
Stamper, their first game released under their
previous company name “Ultimate Play the
The game is represented quite cleanly in DK64,
especially with the Ultra HDMI mod, as shown
Jetpac has been remade and emulated on Xbox
platforms as well, but this remains the game’s
only official appearance on Nintendo hardware.
[ Jetpac Game Audio ]
The original Donkey Kong can also be found
in DK64’s Frantic Factory level.
As with Cranky Kong’s Jetpac challenge,
the rewards for finishing Donkey Kong must
be collected to beat DK64.
[ Donkey Kong Arcade Jingle ]
This version is notable for actually being
based on the original arcade release, which
Nintendo has only sparsely republished over
the years, instead favoring the NES port,
which is lacking the arcade game’s second
level – the cement factory.
The vertical scaling is a bit off here compared
to Jetpac, which is most apparent when Mario
is riding an elevator in stage 3.
The sound is also a bit muffled and distorted,
but I like to think that’s a conscious artistic
[ Donkey Kong Game Audio ]
So with the N64, it was starting to become
viable for Nintendo to use emulation commercially.
A number of these early emulation experiments
would continue to appear over the course of
the early 2000s.
Now, a few of these, like Ocarina of Time
and Master Quest, and the Zelda Collector’s
Edition, were given away in separate packages
as pre-order and registration incentives,
so those don’t really count, but other examples
of emulation did appear as bonuses in the
games themselves.
[ Animal Crossing Music ]
Dobutsu no Mori or “Animal Forest” was
one of the last games released for the N64
in Japan – a strange new concept of a “communication
game” that at the time seemed like a gamble.
Of note, a handful of Famicom games could
be acquired for play in the player’s house.
The GameCube port, titled Dobutsu no Mori
Plus, was localized as “Animal Crossing”
for western markets and includes several more
Famicom games.
These appear as NES consoles in the overseas
versions and can be obtained through various
Unfortunately, most of these don’t represent
the NES’s finest work, consisting primarily
of the very early “black box” titles.
But you know, even if these aren’t my favorite
NES games, they were absolutely the most exciting
items to find in the game, at least to me.
[ Wario’s Wood Game Audio ]
One outlier to the early NES theme is Wario’s
Woods (possibly my favorite puzzle game of
all time) which can only be found on the Game
Boy Advance link cable island.
The GBA connection could also be used with
the eReader to acquire a couple of other games,
but sadly it looks like I never ended up with
those in my card packs.
You could even load the games up for play
on your GBA independent of your GameCube,
years before the Classic NES Series cartridges
hit the system!
A handful of more exciting games are hidden
in Animal Crossing’s code, including Punch-Out,
Super Mario Bros., and The Legend of Zelda,
which were reserved for Nintendo giveaways,
although we’ve struggled to find concrete
info on this, and internet hearsay suggests
the Zelda giveaway never happened.
I haven’t tried it myself, but it seems
like all games can be obtained through the
use of a cheat device like an Action Replay.
Now, speaking of playing NES games on the
GameCube and Game Boy Advance, Nintendo made
sure that no one with these systems was lacking
for options to play the original Metroid.
[ Metroid Prime Music ]
After being missing in action for a generation,
Samus made her triumphant return in November
2002 with two new games: the daring first-person
Metroid Prime on GameCube and the sprite-based
Metroid Fusion on Game Boy Advance.
Ironically, it was Metroid Prime that more
closely adhered to the series formula, but
after beating Metroid Fusion it’s possible
to unlock the original Metroid on GameCube
by connecting Fusion to Prime via the link
Unfortunately, this version puts jump on B
and shoot on A, and that just ain’t right.
I get why they did it, since those are the
controls in Metroid Prime, but it feels real
bad for an NES game.
Metroid is playable on the GBA system itself
with Fusion’s followup, Metroid Zero Mission,
which is itself a reimagining of the NES original.
Metroid is unlocked by simply beating Zero
Of course, compromises are inevitable whenever
shrinking down 240p games to the 160p GBA
resolution, but no matter how you play it,
the original Metroid is still fun if you get
your head in a place where you can enjoy the
challenge of an open world with no in-game
[ Metroid Game Audio ]
[ Super Punch-Out Music ]
Another classic Nintendo game is included
with a rather unlikely title…
Fight Night Round 2 by EA Sports.
To be honest, I could not figure out how to
play this game at all… it just feels unresponsive
to me… but you know what boxing game does
feel great to play?
How about we switch over to Super Punch-Out
Now this is more like it!
But unfortunately, the sound emulation is
some of the worst I’ve ever heard.
[ Super Punch-Out Audio Comparison ]
Still, the game is playable enough.
Super Punch-Out may not be as popular as Mike
Tyson’s Punch-Out among the general populace,
but it’s an excellent sequel that should
be played any way you can get your hands on
[ Super Punch-Out Game Audio ]
[ Sonic Adventure Music ]
[ COURY ] When Sega went third party in the
early 2000s, they had a whole new audience
for that had never played some of their games.
However, they knew they had to have some sort
of hook to ease older fans into this brave
new reality.
In a show of good faith, Sega added new content
to many of their ports.
On the GameCube, Skies of Arcadia Legends
added new story content while Sonic Adventure
2 supplemented the lengthy campaign with a
new 2-player battle mode.
When they finally got around to the first
Sonic Adventure, Sonic Team dropped in a slew
of Game Gear Sonic games for players to toy
Getting most of these unlockables is pretty
easy if you just play through the main adventure
normally, triggering as you hit certain Emblem
There’s 12 games total here, giving you
a complete list of portable Sonic games in
one fell swoop.
Sonic Adventure supports 480p, and these games
tend to look pretty good.
Since Game Gear games are natively 160 x 144,
it would look a bit too narrow on a TV, so
Sonic Team decided to stretch these a bit
wider horizontally.
Because of this, you get a bit of shimmer
on the horizontal axis, but it’s not too bad.
Most Sonic games are so fast that this will
go unnoticed – it’s only when you slow down
that it becomes apparent.
Outside of that, these games are generally
emulated well.
The enormous borders have been cropped out,
and the PSG sound is fairly accurately reproduced.
[ Game Gear vs GameCube Comparison ]
The only egregious issue that really stuck
out to me was that Tails Adventure was insanely
dark for some reason.
If you go to the main Option Menu, and switch
the language to Japanese, the Game Gear ROMs
will also switch over to their Japanese counterpart.
That’s a neat little bonus, and a cool subversion
of my expectations.
[ Sonic Game Gear Game Audio ]
Sonic games felt right at home on a console
like the GameCube, but over on the Xbox, Sega
was delivering some graphically intense sequels
in the form of Jet Set Radio Future and more
importantly Panzer Dragoon Orta, which…
I’m just sayin’… is my favorite game
on the system.
[ Panzer Dragoon Orta Game Audio ]
This is a game that is absolutely packed with
bonus features, like artwork, mini games,
and an entirely separate extra campaign.
But if that wasn’t enough, when you finish
the main game you can open up the entire original
Panzer Dragoon, which is kind of insane considering
that only just came out during the previous
[ Panzer Dragoon Title Screen Music ]
The version included here is a port of the
PC version instead of the Saturn original,
which makes sense considering the Xbox hardware’s
closer relation to that environment.
Whether or not this is a good thing depends
on what you’re looking for.
A number of graphical flourishes, such as
the water in the first stage has been altered.
Like the main game, it’ll run at 480p if
you’re playing on an Xbox that supports
it for this game, although keep in mind that
it’s a strictly 4:3 game, while the main
Orta game supports 16:9, so don’t forget
to set your TV to the correct aspect ratio.
But perhaps most obvious hit against this
version is the heavy filtering of the entire
game, making it look soft and blurry compared
to the original.
[ Panzer Dragoon Game Audio ]
Of course in 2002, this sort of approach was
commonplace when it came to emulating or porting
older games to newer hardware.
The anti-dithering crowd won’t mind at all
because this helps to smooth out the heavy
dithering present – most apparent in the view
cone in HUD.
Being an exclusive S-Tier game on the system,
it’s no shock that Panzer Dragoon Orta was
selected to be among the games that were made
backwards compatible on not only the Xbox360,
but in spectacular 4K60 on the Xbox One X.
[ Panzer Dragoon Orta Game Audio ]
Playing Orta in 4K really drives home just
how timeless of a game it is.
The art direction holds up extremely well,
and it just about every frame looks like a
But how does well does the unlockable original
game make the jump to this new version?
Well, for a PC port running on an Xbox, which
is in turn running on an Xbox One… it’s
not bad at all.
[ Panzer Dragoon Level 1 Music ]
It’s basically what you’d expect: a 4K scaled
version of the Xbox game – heavy filtering
and all.
No increased frame rate here, but it’s not
glitchy or anything either – at least that
I’ve seen.
The only real catch here is that it’s forced
to 16:9 due to the 4K upscale.
Now, to be fair, this doesn’t exactly destroy
the integrity of the look, but considering
the stellar work of Microsoft’s backwards
compatibility team, part of me was hoping
for the proper aspect ratio to be retained.
[ Panzer Dragoon Game Audio ]
Alright, so how about Sega’s arcade games?
Prolific game designer Yu Suzuki included
a number of his super scaler arcade games
in Shenmue that not only aided with the mid-80’s
immersion, but also gathered some of the most
influential games of all time under one roof.
Sit down and give ‘em a shot… for one
hundred yen per play.
[ Shenmue Game Audio: “Guess I’ll try
Hang-On was the first Super Scaler game released,
and while it’s often overlooked in favor
of it’s sequel, Super Hang-On, it’s influence
cannot be denied.
Being present in Shenmue makes sense because
Suzuki directed the first game while he only
served as producer for the follow up.
Also, this is one of, if not the only, officially
released arcade accurate port of the original
The other three games that appear across both
games, Space Harrier, Out Run and After Burner
2 are cornerstones of Sega’s arcade history
that have been re-released and ported all
over the place.
On the Dreamcast, I was pleasantly surprised
to see that Space Harrier, Out Run and After
Burner 2 all output at 240p, although they
do seem to be a touch darker and desaturated
than I’d like.
Still, this is great if you’re after something
a bit more authentic.
Unfortunately Hang-On seems to be 480i and
I’m not quite sure why.
[ Hang-On Game Audio ]
However, all four games do support progressive
scan through a VGA box or 480p capable cable.
This will help a lot with HDTVs, but if you
have a DCHDMI mod installed in your Dreamcast?
Dang, these games look razor sharp.
[ After Burner II Game Audio ]
Shenmue 2 was later ported to the original
Xbox in 2002, with the same game in tow.
Since the Xbox doesn’t officially support
240p, all these are forced to either 480i
or 480p depending on your video output settings.
The overall image has been brightened up a
bit, and the audio has been tweaked a bit
to sound fuller.
Everything remains pretty sharp, with Hang-On
being a touch softer than the others.
[ Out Run Game Audio ]
But, how about the recent Shenmue 1 & 2 HD
D3t handled these remasters to to decent results
overall… after a healthy dose of patches.
I was curious to see how the arcade games
would be emulated here…
I’m assuming that both games use the same
emulation, because they generally look the
same, however there are certain aspects that
makes me unsure if that’s the case.
The first game puts some reverb on certain
sound effects to make them sound like they’re
inside of a real arcade
[ Space Harrier Game Audio ]
While these are appreciated, they don’t
seem to be present in the second game.
[ Space Harrier Game Audio ]
Hang on looks to be a 4X scale of the original
and is ultra sharp.
Space Harrier and Out Run look as though they’re
4.5X scales, which isn’t as pixel perfect,
but it doesn’t cause any major shimmering
issues due to the Z-Axis perspective.
Unfortunately none of these are going to be
playable in Shenmue 3, which is understandable,
but a bummer nonetheless.Still, chances are
if you’re a big fan of Shenmue, then you’re
most likely familiar with the series that
picked up and carried it’s torch in more
ways than one.
[ Space Harrier Game Audio ]
[ Yakuza Music ]
[ TRY ] The Yakuza series has resonated with
gamers of all types ever since the original
entry on PS2 – and Sega has been more than
happy to provide hungry fans with more.
I have to admit, the grand scale of the ongoing
story has intimidated me for years – that
is a lot of game to get through – so I took
the 1980s prequel – Yakuza 0 – as my way to
give the series a taste test.
While Yakuza is considered by many to be a
spiritual successor to Shemue, I prefer to
liken it to River City Ransom – an open world
that is equal parts serious and goofy where
you beat up punks, money flows, and fast food
is your source of never-ending strength.
But one cue it most certainly takes from Shenmue
are its Sega arcades.
Famed emulation developer M2 has long handled
the series’ arcade titles – I had a great
time playing Space Harrier and Out Run in
Yakuza 0… but other entries in the series
even include Puyo Puyo and some of the Virtua
Fighter games.
The Yakuza team has a habit of sneaking classics
into other games they’ve developed, such
as Judgment and First of the North Star: Lost
Paradise, in which you can find many arcade
games scattered across the wasteland.
[ Fist of the North Star Lost Paradise Game
Audio ]
You can even use a Sega Master System in Kenshiro’s
apartment that plays one of the very earliest
Fist of the North Star video games – this
is the first time that this version has been
released outside Japan with the Fist of the
North Star license.
It was previously localized as “Black Belt”
and was quite a different game.
I just love how the enemies explode.
[ Hokuto no Ken Game Audio ]
The technical wizards from German-American
development studio Factor 5 built their brand
on the Turrican franchise, but rose to higher
prominence with their technically impressive
and critically acclaimed Star Wars titles
for Nintendo 64, PC, and GameCube.
Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader was a miracle
of a third-party launch title for the GameCube
– including both the battles of Yavin and
Endor, leaving few ideas for a potential sequel.
[ Rebel Strike Title Screen Music ]
As such, Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike
released in 2003 to a tepid reception that
was further marred by unimpressive on-foot
Nonetheless, Rebel Strike offers a trio of
enticing bonuses – emulations of the classic
Star Wars arcade games.
Star Wars Arcade and The Empire Strikes Back
Arcade are unlocked through normal progression
through the main missions.
[ Star Wars Arcade Audio ]
Both were originally designed for vector monitors,
so 480p on the GameCube really can’t replicate
the true look – it’s a bit dark, but still,
this is a convenient way to play these impressive
early 3D titles.
[ The Empire Strikes Back Arcade Audio ]
Return of the Jedi Arcade is unlocked by entering
a password.
[ Return of the Jedi Arcade Audio ]
[ Rampage Total Destruction Music ]
Rampage: Total Destruction was developed by
Foundation 9 and released for the PlayStation
2, GameCube, and Wii in 2006.
This is a polygon-based interpretation of
Midway’s classic Rampage series, and like
its predecessors, there’s not much to it,
but if you’re looking to shut off your brain
and indulge in some mindless mayhem, you could
certainly do worse.
[ Rampage Total Destruction Game Audio ]
But if you prefer the older titles, Total
Destruction also offers emulations the original
Rampage and Rampage: World Tour – fittingly,
the emulation is handled by Digital Eclipse,
which at the time was part of Foundation 9.
The first game is a slow-paced 1986 arcade
title… while the World Tour is a much faster
game, which I definitely prefer.
The scaling is far from perfect, although
the softness of World Tour’s graphics seem
to prevent visible shimmering.
Certain elements of the graphics of both games
appear to be drawn at a higher resolution,
so I wanted to see what would happen if I
forced 480p using the GameCube homebrew utility
Interestingly, booting each game from the
title menu after forcing 480p resets the output
to 480i, but Swiss can also directly access
two other boot launchers on the disc – both
of which display an extremely interesting
list of games.
Unfortunately, none of them load aside from
the Rampage titles, but booting from this
menu was the only way I was able to use 480p
with the arcade titles, at least on the GameCube.
[ Ramage World Tour Game Audio ]
Contra 4 by WayForward is perhaps the best
action game for the Nintendo DS – a supremely
satisfying run & gun from a team that simply
knows how to make a game that looks, sounds,
and plays as Contra should.
[Contra 4 Level 1 Music ]
Fittingly, two of the NES classics that inspired
Contra 4 are included as unlockables for clearing
missions in the game’s Challenge Mode.
The NES version of Contra is one of the best
8-bit games ever made.
While there are noticeable audio hiccups and
neither of the scaling options available can
really make up for the DS’s screen being
a bit too low res for NES games, the fact
that this game was included at all ended up
being quite significant.
That’s because, following Contra 4, Konami
failed to re-release NES Contra on any of
Nintendo’s Virtual Console platforms, or
even the NES Classic Edition.
And its scarcity on modern platforms has been
a real shame.
It wasn’t until the Contra Anniversary Collection
that the game finally reemerged.
[ Contra Game Audio ]
Contra 4 also includes the NES version of
Super C – a solid sequel that’s just a bit
less classic.
This is the game that Konami has consistently
used to represent the series’ NES era on
Virtual Console and on the NES Classic Edition
in lieu of Contra 1, which has probably made
some fans a bit bitter.
But in spite of imperfect emulation, NES games
being playable on the DS was a nice novelty
in 2007.
[ Super C Game Audio ]
When it comes to packing games full of extras,
the one developer that immediately comes to
mind is Namco.
Especially during the PlayStation 1 and 2
eras, they really set a standard for unlockables
that has perhaps never quite been matched
[Ridge Racer Type 4 Intro Audio ]
[ COURY ]I already mentioned Panzer Dragoon
Orta’s crazy list of unlockable content
earlier in the episode.
But when it comes to sheer amount of bonus
material, no developer delivered more consistently
than Namco on the PlayStation 1 and 2.
[Ridge Racer Type 4 Intro Audio ]
Ridge Racer was the first game that gave Sega
a real challenger when it came to racing game
In a sign of things to come, the PS1 port
featured a mini version of Namco’s arcade
classic Galaxian as a way to help players
pass the time during load screens.
Before development of Ridge Racer Type 4,
the team behind it did extensive research
on just how viable 480i, 60 frames per second
would be for the new game.
Although the PS1 version of Tekken 3 was able
to achieve this, R4 was just going to be too
much for the hardware.
Instead of letting this research to waste,
they put the tech to good use in an enhanced
version of the first game called Ridge Racer
Turbo Mode.
With R4 being the final entry one the PlayStation
one, Namco included Turbo mode on a bonus
disc in the same package, putting a bow on
the first generation of Ridge Racer.
[ Ridge Racer Music ]
The higher res makes it look especially crisp
on a CRT and the higher framerate is immediately
What’s cool is that they also included a
pared down version of the original, NON Turbo
Ridge Racer on the same disc so you can observe
just how far development improved over the
systems lifespan.
[ Ridge Racer Music ]
Tekken 5 arrived on the PlayStation 2 in 2005,
just in time to celebrate the series tenth
In order to put a cap on a series that was
always pushing the PlayStation hardware, Namco
went all out with the bonus content here.
Taking a cue from the PS1 release of Ridge
Racer, you can play an arcade during the loading
screen.This time it’s the 1991 first person
rail shooter Star Blade.
While the loading screen just gives you a
taste of battle, the entire game can be unlocked
and is playable in the Arcade History section.
[ Star Blade Game Audio ]
Believe it or not, this was the first time
that an arcade accurate version of Star Blade
made it’s way to home consoles.
There were versions on the Sega CD and other
disc based consoles, but nothing remotely
as close as this.
[ Star Blade Game Audio ]
Filling out the rest of Tekken 5’s Arcade
History is not only the arcade version of
Tekken 1, but Tekken 2 AND Tekken 3.
[ Tekken 3 Intro Music ]
Although I’m sure some fans were sad that
they’re the arcade versions and no the PS1
ports, but c’mon – this is an insane lineup
[ Tekken 2 Game Audio ]
The first two games even display at an accurate
240p, while Tekken 3 is obviously at 480i
like it should be.
[ Tekken 3 Game Audio ]
Although I am not super experienced with all
of these games, I feel like they run exceptionally
well here.
[ Tekken Game Audio ]
level of care that went into representing
and preserving these versions is admirable,
and fills out a great package, both when it
was released… and now.
But on the other side of the coin, you’ve
got something like this…
Back in 1989, Konami struck gold with their
4 player Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade
So when Konami got the license back in 2003
to make games based around the recent cartoon
reboot, I was excited to see what they’d
do with it even though I had no interest in
the new show.
[ TMNT Show Theme ]
Three new games followed… and to say these
didn’t live up to expectations would be
an understatement.
[ TMNT 3 Game Audio ]
But there was a silver lining.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus
had the original 1989 arcade game as an unlockable
– hopefully giving me an arcade perfect version
at home that I’d always dreamed of.
While this version look and plays about how
I’d expect for 2004, the real problem lays
in the audio.
Due to licensing issues, all of the voices
have been removed – which I suppose does make
sense… but the music is all gone too – replaced
by a single music track that is used on every
single level.
[ TMNT “Arcade “ Game Audio ]
And it’s horrible.
It just doesn’t work at all for this version
of the game.
The combination of the removed voices and
replaced music absolutely decimates the experience
of the game – making it feel oddly empty and
[ TMNT “Arcade “ Game Audio ]
The following year, Konami bundled Turtles
2: Turtles in Time as a bonus with TMNT 3:
Mutant Nightmare, which fares significantly
But, because the Super NES version of Turtles
in Time is so good, if not better than the
arcade, the allure of owning this version
isn’t quite a strong.
It doesn’t have the original soundtrack,
but at least each stage has different, more
appropriate, music.
[ TMNT 2 “Arcade “ Game Audio ]
Voices are also changed, but it seems to be
a re-recording of the same lines… although
the acting quality is exceptionally bad.
[ TMNT 2 VO Comparison ]
Both Turtles games are, disappointingly, 480i
only – even on the Xbox.
Forcing to 480p using GSM on the PlayStation
2 does work and naturally looks much better.
I didn’t have the Cube version on hand to
test with Swiss.
[ TMNT 2 “Arcade “ Game Audio ]
When I graduated high school, I spent a few
years working for Electronics Boutique.
While I was busy enjoying Castlevania Symphony
of the Night and Final Fantasy 7, a co-worker
was obsessed with getting the most of his
PC and 3D Accelerator cards to get the best
possible experience playing Quake 2.
His enthusiasm eventually rubbed off on me
and suddenly I was spending too much money
upgrading my computer with a Voodoo 3 so that
I could play… you guessed it.
Quake 2.
[ Quake 2 Music ]
Years later, I had an itch to revisit Quake
2 and after searching for ways to play it
on newer hardware I discovered that there
was a little known Xbox 360 port bundled with
the special edition of Quake 4 from around
when the console launched in 2005.
As it turns out that this is a pretty amazing
version of the game, and is self contained
on it’s own DVD to boot – in a paper sleeve,
sure, but I’ll take it.
And get this, not only is this version in
1080p, but it also runs at 60 frames per second…
which isn’t even something that Xbox360
really had the ability to do until years after
[ Quake 2 Game Audio ]
It’s gorgeous, silky smooth and never seems
to drop frames or slow down at all.
These days, it’s refreshing to play a first
person shooter driven by simplicity.
No melee attacks, kill streaks or even having
to reload.
Revisiting Quake 2 has been a complete joy.
[ Quake 2 Game Audio ]
Of course, some people will find the idea
of playing Quake 2 with a controller absolutely
There was a time when I’d be right there
along with them – but the fact is, I don’t
have the patience or the desire to sit at
my PC and play games with a mouse and keyboard
these days.
And get this: There’s also an option for networking
and split screen deathmatch for up to 8 players!
I don’t have anyone to play with, but it’s
cool that it’s there.
So sure, Quake 2 was around 8 years old by
the time this version was released, but to
think that this optimized console version
has been available for almost 15 years now
makes me feel silly for not finding it sooner.
[ Quake 2 Game Audio ]
So while a classic game being included with
another doesn’t always guarantee a home
run, it’s always interesting to see the adjustments
or concessions the developers had to make.
While this is just a small sampling of games
within games that have been released over
the years, there’s a ton of notable ones
we’d feel silly for not mentioning.
So, maybe we need to return to this subject
in the future.
[ Ending Theme ]
This episode of My Life in Gaming is sponsored
by Audible.
Signing up is completely effortless and uses
your Amazon account – we’ve got a custom
URL to help you get started – go to audible
dot com slash M-L-I-G or text M-L-I-G to five
hundred five hundred to start your 30-day
free trial, which gets you one audiobook and
two Audible Originals of your choosing.
Coury helped me swap the batteries in all
of my Phantasy Star cartridges back when he
was working on the save file preservation
episode, but I was still kind of nervous about
diving into Phantasy Star II because people
say that is one of the grindiest RPGs, and
you know me, I’m being stubborn about playing
my real cartridge.
Well, years ago I got through the original
Dragon Warrior on NES with the help of audiobooks
to keep me engaged during its aimless grinding
but I hadn’t really done anything like that
So I decided to see if Audible could help
me get going in Phantasy Star II.
I thought it might be fun to check out the
old Star Wars expanded universe to fit the
sci-fi theme – Heir to the Empire has honestly
been really entertaining and has helped so
much in getting me through Phantasy Star II’s
early game grind.
One of Audible’s best features is that you
retain access to all audiobooks in your collection
even if you end your subscription.
You get new credits for audiobooks and Audible
Originals every month, and unused credits
roll over to the next month… and as long
as you’re a subscriber, you can even exchange
audiobooks you didn’t like for another.
You can also find our URL in the video description
– audible dot com slash MLiG or text MLiG
to five hundred five hundred.
And while you go do that, I’ll be getting
on with the good parts of Phantasy Star II.


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