Handheld Addict

PS VitaPSPPSPgoWii3DSDS LiteXboxGame Boy Micromp3 playersMobileGadgetsgeneral

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Retro Game Challenge

I've really been loving my DS lately. It's just been such a fun little gaming machine (part of that may be due to *cough*)

I just started playing Retro Game Challenge. It's a collection of old pseudo-classic games from the mid-80's. What sets it apart is how they present the collection: you (the player) are "trapped" by some insane gamer guy, who makes you play all these old "retro-style"games. But what's weird is that you are transported to this guy's past, and you're in his living room sitting beside a version of him as a child. He talks to you, and shares his game collection, magazines, etc. But then there are screens with the grown-up version of him where he's like this Matrix-style guy crossed with the professor-head-guy from Brain Age, and he sort of mildly taunts you... it's all very weird, but actually quite a cool way to package this collection.

There are about 8 retro games that are knockoffs of actual '80's videogame genres; like there's a total Galaga clone, an platforming game series, another shmup (space shoot-em-up) like Galaga, a racing game much like Rally-X, there's even an old-style RPG game.... and you'd think these knockoffs would be throwaway versions without much thought to them. But they are actually quite good games in their own right. To progress in the overall game you need to complete challenges in the retro games, like do some obscure action in a game or score a certain number of points. The challenges can be challenging, but they haven't felt cheap so far. That's what makes Retro Game Challenge a step above other compilations-- the games are pretty solid. And there's the overall story arc of being transformed back into a kid playing these games in front of an old TV with a "frienemy" (on the lower screen) who not only talks to you about things like "shovelware", but also shares new issues of a video game magazine you can read in game... and you want to read them because they contain cheat codes and hints about the games you play. Not to mention the funny little digs at '80's gaming. It's terrific stuff.

My complaints are minor ones, the biggest being the lack of variety for this collection.... only 8 games I think, and some are sequels of earlier games in the collection-- so technically there's only 6 or so different games. Doesn't sound like much but at least they're good. And the overall story arc of the 2 kids (one of them being you, the player) talking about video games in the '80's can sometimes be corny and tedious, though it's worth it because it really reminds us of the fun & wonder of the early video game era.

It's clear that the developers of Retro Game Challenge love video games, and their nostalgia of the 8-bit era really shows through in this collection. If you like those old classic compilations, this is one to check out. It's got a lot of primitive charm that keeps me hooked.


No comments: