Top 10 games of 2009 -- #10. Retro Game Challenge (DS)

   
 
 

 
I'm not sure if you have to be a child of the 80s to appreciate Retro Game Challenge, but it probably helps. If you grew up during the NES era, this game is practically a must-have.

Retro Game Challenge is a collection of eight tribute games. On their own, they're really not all that special, but they come together so well. Cosmic Gate is a Galaga clone that's better than Galaga; Robot Ninja Haggle Man is a three-part series that evolves from being a simple platformer into a kickass Ninja Gaiden/Metroid hybrid. Star Prince is a sweet as hell vertical shooter a la Astro Warrior or Star Force.

The highlight of the game, though, is Guadia Quest, a full 5-10 hour RPG that's ripping off Dragon Quest so hard that you can't help but laugh. This sounds kind of lame, but it's actually pretty awesome - you get party members, explore huge dungeons and can acquire a whole bunch of pets named Guadias. It's got all of the charm that your standard DQ game has, only without the endless grind of early DQ games. It's really fun.

The games are cool, but it's the presentation that sells Retro Game Challenge. The game is basically set in the 80s - from 1983 to 1988 or so - and every month you get a new gaming magazine. It's basically Nintendo Power. Every issue, you get new cheat codes, a top 5 of what games are hot, people writing to the editors, and tons of inside jokes. These are particularly awesome if you were around back when. Every game has four challenges that you have to complete to move on to the next game, and if you don't like the game or if it's too hard you can just use cheat codes to blast your way through the game. Just like old times.

The biggest problem with RGC is the order in which you unlock games. Because the game is chronological, you have to beat all four challenges before advancing the plot enough to move on to the next game. This can get a little repetitive, especially if you don't like a game. Rally King, an RC Pro Am ripoff, is definitely the worst of the bunch and having to play it over and over is not so fun. Fortunately there's cheat codes so you can zip through it no problem, but still, sometimes you just want to play the RPG or the shooter.

This is a great game though. It has pretty low replay value because the main appeal of the game is the nostalgia and the charm, but it's fun as hell. Too bad it sold so poorly - RGC2 is probably never going to come out here. I bet that game is even better than this one because they're mimicking the SNES instead of the NES. Those games are probably even more fun than the ones in here. It's not exactly surprising that it sold so bad since this game is pretty much the definition of niche, but it's still disappointing. This game has more heart than a lot of big-name games.
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Posted by transience
   
 
 

 
I'm not sure if you have to be a child of the 80s to appreciate Retro Game Challenge, but it probably helps. If you grew up during the NES era, this game is practically a must-have.

Retro Game Challenge is a collection of eight tribute games. On their own, they're really not all that special, but they come together so well. Cosmic Gate is a Galaga clone that's better than Galaga; Robot Ninja Haggle Man is a three-part series that evolves from being a simple platformer into a kickass Ninja Gaiden/Metroid hybrid. Star Prince is a sweet as hell vertical shooter a la Astro Warrior or Star Force.

The highlight of the game, though, is Guadia Quest, a full 5-10 hour RPG that's ripping off Dragon Quest so hard that you can't help but laugh. This sounds kind of lame, but it's actually pretty awesome - you get party members, explore huge dungeons and can acquire a whole bunch of pets named Guadias. It's got all of the charm that your standard DQ game has, only without the endless grind of early DQ games. It's really fun.

The games are cool, but it's the presentation that sells Retro Game Challenge. The game is basically set in the 80s - from 1983 to 1988 or so - and every month you get a new gaming magazine. It's basically Nintendo Power. Every issue, you get new cheat codes, a top 5 of what games are hot, people writing to the editors, and tons of inside jokes. These are particularly awesome if you were around back when. Every game has four challenges that you have to complete to move on to the next game, and if you don't like the game or if it's too hard you can just use cheat codes to blast your way through the game. Just like old times.

The biggest problem with RGC is the order in which you unlock games. Because the game is chronological, you have to beat all four challenges before advancing the plot enough to move on to the next game. This can get a little repetitive, especially if you don't like a game. Rally King, an RC Pro Am ripoff, is definitely the worst of the bunch and having to play it over and over is not so fun. Fortunately there's cheat codes so you can zip through it no problem, but still, sometimes you just want to play the RPG or the shooter.

This is a great game though. It has pretty low replay value because the main appeal of the game is the nostalgia and the charm, but it's fun as hell. Too bad it sold so poorly - RGC2 is probably never going to come out here. I bet that game is even better than this one because they're mimicking the SNES instead of the NES. Those games are probably even more fun than the ones in here. It's not exactly surprising that it sold so bad since this game is pretty much the definition of niche, but it's still disappointing. This game has more heart than a lot of big-name games.