Author: John Scalzo

John Scalzo is Warp Zoned's Editor-In-Chief and resident retro gaming expert. You can follow him on Twitter or email him at john AT warpzoned DOT com.

John Romero hacked together another Doom map in his spare time

doomJohn Romero is at it again. The Doom co-creator recently returned to one of his earliest successes with “Phobos Mission Control,” a brand new WAD for Doom that replaces the “Command Control” map (E1M4). Available to download now through Romero’s Dropbox account, here’s what the developer had to say about the new map:

With the Toxin Refinery in the rear-view, you make your way to Phobos Mission Control where the computers crunching the data from the Phobos Anomaly are located. You need to use them to gain access to the Phobos Lab, but remember hearing that the computers were tied into all areas of the installation and that you never knew when the environment around you would change. You need to keep your eyes alert to all movement – this place is not what it seems…

According to Romero, “Phobos Mission Control” isn’t as hard as his previous new map, “Tech Gone Bad,” and is another warm-up for the newly announced Blackroom. However, the developer “paused” Blackroom’s Kickstarter campaign earlier today to create a playable demo of the game for potential backers.

If you want to see “Phobos Mission Control” in action, check out a gameplay wakthrough embedded after the break from YouTube user “Doom Video Vault.” (more…)

Posted in News, PC | Tagged

Koei Tecmo is developing at least one game for Nintendo’s NX

tecmokoei-logoNews about Nintendo’s upcoming NX platform is still pretty hard to come by, but Koei Tecmo has revealed the consolemaker won’t be going it alone. The Japanese publisher confirmed the NX will be one of the platforms they plan to support in the future within the pages of their most recent Financial Report.

Obviously, it’s still too early to speculate about specific game announcements, but Koei Tecmo and Nintendo have worked closely in recent years on Hyrule Warriors for the Wii U, as well as Hyrule Warriors Legends and Yo-Kai Watch: Three Kingdoms for the 3DS.

Nintendo’s NX platform will launch in March 2017, and an NX edition of The Legend of Zelda Wii U is widely expected to be available as part of its launch lineup.

Posted in News, NX |

John Romero “pauses” Blackroom Kickstarter campaign to produce a gameplay demo for potential backers

Even though the Kickstarter campaign for John Romero’s Blackroom was going pretty well, the Doom developer has decided to suspend it for now to work on a gameplay demo for potential backers. Here’s what Romero had to say about pressing Blackroom’s “PAUSE” button:

The team is at work on a demo which demonstrates the kind of gameplay, look and innovative, cool features that make Blackroom truly unique — the things we’ve waited years to put into an FPS and which make us incredibly excited about this game.

There’s a hitch here, a hitch that’s making us do something that’s right for the game, the team, and the community: we’re pressing “PAUSE” on the fundraising campaign for Blackroom to complete this gameplay demo. Simply put, this will take more time than the Kickstarter has left, so we’ve decided to suspend the campaign and launch a new one when the gameplay demo is ready. We believe, however, it is the right choice. We know you do, too. Thanks to your feedback, we know we should have included it at launch.

Romero’s original goal for Blackroom was $700,000, and at the time of its cancellation, backers had pledged $131,052 towards the project. According to Kicktraq, Blackroom was on pace to reach its goal before the cancellation, so Romero, and the rest of Night Work Games, probably do want to do right by their fans.

Posted in News, PC | Tagged

Insert Quarter: What Makes the Final Fantasy Franchise Tick?


Insert Quarter is our showcase for some of the best and most interesting writing about video games on the Internet.

After more than a decade in development, Final Fantasy XV will finally make its PS4 and Xbox One debut this September. But how did we get to this point? More specifically, how did the Final Fantasy franchise grow from its humble beginnings on the NES to become the juggernaut that it is today?

Kotaku’s Jason Schreier wants to answer those questions too, so between now and September, he has vowed to replay and reexamine every mainline entry in the Final Fantasy franchise. Is there a certain “feel” to a Final Fantasy game? And do these RPGs still hold up today? Schreier is sure going to find out:

To prepare for FFXV, I’m starting a new project here at Kotaku. For the next five months, I’ll be digging into every mainline Final Fantasy game, in order, and taking a look at how the series has evolved over the past 30 years. Why has Final Fantasy resonated with so many people? What makes it so special? What exactly does it mean for a game to feel like a Final Fantasy?

The full article is available for your perusal at Kotaku.

Posted in Insert Quarter, Retro |

Nintendo Download: Xenoblade Chronicles, Mini Mario & Friends, Sega 3D Classics, more


It’s a big day for the Nintendo eShop and it’s an especially big day for Wii U owners who may have missed out on Xenoblade Chronicles. Originally released as a GameStop exclusive for the Wii in 2012, Xenoblade Chronicles is a JRPG from Monolith Soft that features mechs, mystical weapons, and malevolent gods… basically everything you could ever want from a JRPG. People went so crazy for Xenoblade Chronicles that a group of dedicated fans even embarked on a multi-year campaign to get Nintendo to release it in North America. Which of course lead directly to last year’s launch of Xenoblade Chronicles X.

But if you’re not in the market for a sprawling JRPG today, Nintendo has a few other games ready for release. First up is Mini Mario & Friends: Amiibo Challenge, a free-to-play title now available for the Wii U and the 3DS. As the latest entry in the popular Mario vs Donkey Kong series players will have to tap any Amiibo figure they own to get the Minis marching… and some even have special powers. And speaking of free-to-play games, Bandai Namco is ready to release the full version of Lost Reavers (Wii U), their four-player cooperative treasure hunter.

Finally this week, Sega will bundle together nine games from their “3D Classics” line in the Sega 3D Classics Collection. Just some of the Genesis and Master System favorites included in the package are Sonic The Hedgehog, Altered Beast, Galaxy Force II, Thunder Blade, Fantasy Zone II, Fantasy Zone II W, Power Drift, Puyo Puyo 2, and Maze Walker.

More information on all of these games (and a few other new releases) can be found after the break. (more…)

Posted in 3DS, News, Wii U | Tagged

Developers from id Software showcased Doom’s single-player campaign in this 60-minute video

“This isn’t Doom 4. This is actually Doom, straight up, from the beginning.”

The developers at id Software have always said the upcoming Doom reboot was about getting back to their roots. Even when id co-founder John Carmarck was involved with the project, he often discussed his desire to locate “the DNA of Doom.” Yesterday, Creative Director Hugo Martin and Executive Producer Marty Stratton walked us through 60 minutes of Doom’s single-player campaign in a brand new video, and I have to admit, I think they found it.

Players who watch the whole video will be introduced to Doom’s “Glory Kill” system, as well as a massive amount of weaponry and some of the lore that’s sprinkled throughout the game. Naturally, it all ends with a trip to Hell.

Doom will be released for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One on May 13.

Posted in News, PC, PS4, Xbox One | Tagged

EA announces NHL 17 and they want your help picking a cover athlete

The NHL playoffs are in full swing, but EA Sports is already thinking about next season. The megapublisher recently announced that NHL 17 will be released for the PS4 and Xbox One this Fall and they’re asking fans to once again select the cover athlete. Here’s what the first round of voting looks like:

Jamie Benn (#NHL17Benn) VS Aleksander Barkov (#NHL17Barkov)
Joe Pavelski (#NHL17Pavelski) VS Anze Kopitar (#NHL17Kopitar)
Connor McDavid (#NHL17McDavid) VS Jakub Voracek (#NHL17Voracek)
Victor Hedman (#NHL17Hedman) VS Vladimir Tarasenko (#NHL17Tarasenko)

The contest is now open at, or you can cast your vote through Twitter using the hashtags above. Fans can vote as many times as they like, and tweets count double on “Twitter Vote Thursdays.”

In addition to the cover athlete vote, EA also released their “Vision Trailer” for NHL 17, which shows “how the team [at EA Canada] is working directly with fans to build the biggest and most exciting hockey game to date.”

Posted in News, PS4, Xbox One | Tagged

You’re Out! Nintendo plans to sell their majority stake in the Seattle Mariners


Back in 1992, the Seattle Mariners were in trouble. While they weren’t quite as bad as the fictional Cleveland Indians team from Major League, Seattle’s dismal performance on the field caused a similar meltdown from their ownership. Mariners owner Jeff Smulyan constantly threatened to relocate the franchise, but he relented in the middle of the season, ultimately selling the team to Nintendo. Hiroshi Yamauchi, Nintendo’s Chairman and President, wasn’t a fan of the sport, but he made sure the team stayed in Seattle to thank the city for their years-long support of Nintendo’s North American headquarters.

Today, Nintendo decided to walk off the field by selling the majority of their stake in the Mariners to the other members of First Avenue Entertainment, the team’s minority ownership group. Famed bowtie enthusiast Howard Lincoln will be replaced as the team’s CEO by John Stanton, though Lincoln will continue to have a seat on the team’s Board of Directors.

“From the first day of our involvement nearly 24 years ago, Nintendo has had two goals for its investment in the Mariners,” said Howard Lincoln. “First, we wanted to assure the permanence of the team in this great city. And on that count, I am proud and gratified that this agreement further solidifies that goal. On the other hand, I’m equally disappointed that we have not been able to host a World Series game for our fans.”

A rather unique entity among Major League Baseball’s 32 owners, Nintendo leveraged their position as a video game producer to develop a series of games starring Ken Griffey Jr., Seattle’s Hall of Fame outfielder, in the 90s. The last game in the series, Ken Griffey Jr.’s Slugfest, was released in 1999 and helped put developer Angel Studios on the map. You might know them better as Rockstar San Diego, the creators of Red Dead Redemption.

The sale of the Mariners likely has something to do with Nintendo’s gloomy financial outlook. But their investment in Seattle baseball will pay off handsomely. The consolemaker reportedly purchased the Mariners for $100 million back in 1992 and the team is worth $1.4 billion today.

Posted in Etcetera, News, Retro |