oldmanlollipop's Game Center CX: Arino no Chousenjou (Nintendo DS) review

Fun, but you'd better like retro gaming.

If you like retro gaming, chances are that you got really excited when you heard about Retro Game Challenge and got even more excited when you started seeing the first media that slipped onto the 'net. The final product doesn't exactly disappoint, but it's not really that deep. There really aren't more than five games here, which means that things really can get repetitive quickly. Haggle Man and it's first "sequel" are almost entirely the same. Rally King's "special edition" followup Rally King SP contains the exact same tracks with a few more obstacles and a different color scheme. Cosmic Gate and Star Prince are both horizontally-oriented space shooters. Things start to get more varied with Gaudia Quest, a simple but fun RPG with clunky menus and very simple dialouge in the vein of all of those early NES-era RPGs. And Haggle Man 3 is an adventure game that may remind players of the 8-bit Ninja Gaiden games.

Even if the games are really a bit repetitive, they still have some replay value to them. You may have plenty of fun going through Rally King to set a new record whenever you have a spare moment. Setting a new high score in the Haggle Man games is always worth the time. What brings this game down is just how dissapontingly short and repetitive it can get. You may feel a little dissapointed that to get from one game to the next you need to beat something that feels an awful lot like what you've already done. It doesn't help that most of the "challenges" are pretty boring. Usually it's just "get to stage 'x'" or "defeat 'x' number of enemies" to complete a challenge. It would have been nice if they'd come up with something a bit more unusual to do in this game, like turning all of the doors in a single Haggle Man stage to one color, or running a lap in Rally King backwards. It would've also been nice if you were allowed to progress by completing a certian number of these challenges instead of finshing all four before unlocking the next game.

You'll like this game the most if you adore 8-bit gaming a great deal. I always did, which is where a lot of my enjoyment of this came from. Many of them seem to start difficult and get a lot easier with pracice, just like real games from that era did. And you'll find things like the fake Engrish and the references to old video game writers to really make you happy. Personally I liked Rally King's protagonist and his chicken sidekick a whole lot and would like to see them again. It would have been really nice if this game had more variety to it, but if you really are an 8-bit enthusiast then this is worth your time.


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