Every week Cyril Lachel comes down from his giant castle in the hills to provide the final word on all of the classic downloadable games and retro compilations. This is the Retro Round-Up, your official guide to the best (and worst) in classic gaming for the Nintendo Virtual Console, Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network. Join us as we shed some light on what games are worth your five or ten dollars, and what games you should avoid at all costs. For more information about these games (and retro gaming in general) we invite you to check out Defunct Games
This week we're back with another packed episode, completely with Dr. Mario, Final Fantasy, Lode Runner and ... a game that's already on the Virtual Console? That's right, this week we get a duplicate. Find out what it is when you read through yet another exciting episode of the Retro Round-Up.
Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair
What Is It?
If you're a fan of Wonder Boy games and buy a lot of content on the Virtual Console, then chances are you already own this game. You see, Wonder Boy III has already been uploaded to the Virtual Console. Back in 2007 Nintendo gave us Monster Lair for the TurboGrafx-CD, and with very few exceptions, this is exactly the same game. Monster Lair is a strange game; it combines traditional Wonder Boy platforming with these weird 2D shooter elements. This marriage isn't as seamless as one would like, but it doesn't detract from an otherwise enjoyable action game. Unfortunately Monster Lair feels like a downgrade after seeing some of the other Wonder Boy games on the Virtual Console, but fans of the series will no doubt find something to love ... assuming they don't already own it.
Does It Still Hold Up?
The shooting elements are just weird and the platforming feels dated. That just about sums up my experience with Monster Lair. The graphics are fine and the music is pretty good, but the game doesn't feel as fresh as Wonder Boy in Monster World.
Is It Worth the Money?
Yet again we're given a solid game that is not worth the full $8. If this game was a few dollars cheaper it might be one thing, but it's hard to justify the full price for Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair. There's really no reason for this game to be uploaded to the Virtual Console, especially with the TurboGrafx-CD version already on the system. It's not a bad game; I just say it's not worth the full $8. In a lot of ways this feels like a throw away week, which is definitely disappointing now that Nintendo is back to their one-a-week schedule.
WiiWare Limerick Theater
Every week Nintendo announces their new Virtual Console offerings. But what you may not know is that they also announce the newest games for the Wii's specialized WiiWare channel. This is the place where you can download cheap smaller games, the type of titles you would only pay a few dollars for. Thus far we haven't spent much time covering these hidden gems, but today that's going to end. Starting today we're going to cover the WiiWare line-up just as we would any other section. To keep things consistent, we have decided to post all WiiiWare reviews in the form of a limerick. This week we're looking at Square Enix's Final Fantasy Tactics Advance spin-off, Crystal Defenders R1.
Crystal Defenders R1
There once was a game called Crystal Defenders R1 and it really isn't that much fun. There's a lot of pointless crap that is as much fun as taking a nap, so I decided to go out and play in the sun.
The Great DSiWare Haiku
Not content with the Virtual Console and WiiWare, Nintendo has decided to offer up a THIRD avenue for downloading games. That's right, it's the DSiWare, and it's the best (and only) way to download games to your brand new Nintendo DSi. Each week we take a look at Nintendo's uploads through the form of poetry. Haiku, to be exact. Will these reviews help your purchase of DSiWare games? Nah, but they're a lot of fun to read. See for yourself when you read my haikus for Dr. Mario Express and Master of Illusion Express: Deep Psyche.
Dr. Mario Express
The Argument Over Xbox Live Arcade
Doc, I don't feel good!
But I don't have insurance.
I'll do it myself.
Master of Illusion Express: Deep Psyche
I need therapy.
At least that's what the judge says.
But I hate his guts!
Now that you've had your fill of the Virtual Console, maybe it's time to check out This Week in Xbox Live Arcade. This is the part of our show where we take a look at the brand new Xbox Live Arcade titles, and then review them using our unique POINT/COUNTERPOINT style. In these reviews I will make a solid point about a game, and then I will argue the other side just to confuse everything. What do I really think about this week's Xbox Live Arcade game? I guess you'll never know. Instead you get what has to be the single least useful review ever posted on this website. This week we take a look at Sega's reboot of their classic arcade racer. Join us as we take an inconclusive look at Microsoft's Lode Runner reboot. Is it worth your money? You won't know after reading my newest review!
Let's face it, Lode Runner is easily one of the worst "classic" 2D action games. The whole point is to dig holes and avoid falling in your own traps. It's like Burger Time, only without the yummy ingredients and the salt shaker. This version certainly looks better, but it's still a slow-paced game that involves entirely too much latter climbing. And to add insult to injury, Microsoft is charging a whopping $15 for this thing. Actually, they lowered the price to $10 ... for about ten minutes. Now it's back up to $15. What gives, Microsoft?
You're whining about $15? Too Human was four times the price and half the fun. At least this game offers fun multiplayer modes. And did I mention the graphics, they aren't just a little better, they really make the game. There are a lot of people out there that have fond memories of the original game, but even the most cynical amongst us will find something to like about this newest Xbox Live Arcade release.