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 episode may look small, but it's a big week for all of you old school Star Wars fans. That's right; we have the 16-bit gem Super Star Wars
lined up for you, as well as three poems about three games. And let me tell you, the Rock N' Roll Climber limerick is a real doozy, I'm just putting that out there right up front. All this and more can be yours when you check out this week's Retro Round-Up!
What Is It?
Everybody loves Star Wars. Well ... almost everybody. While it often makes me the black sheep to admit it, I'm not somebody with a deep seated love for George Lucas's trilogy (or whatever you call it now that there are six movies). Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the films. I'm just not the kind of person that has a lot of nostalgia for this franchise. Usually this means that I am indifferent when it comes to your average Star Wars game. Super Star Wars is not your usual Star Wars game. In essence it's nothing more than a Contra-style run and gun action game. On top of the standard 2D levels are 3D driving and flying levels. Here you'll deal with shooting down bad guys and taking out bosses, all using the power of Mode 7.
It's easy to see why everybody fell in love with Super Star Wars. This is a sharp looking action game that is never dull and manages to recreate many of the most famous set pieces from the original movie. On second thought, that's all it is. The game is basically nothing more than an excuse to have an exciting action game using lightsabers and laser guns. The game does an excellent job of boiling down the movie into small action sequences, making sure the excitement never lets up. And that's where this game loses me. I wish there was more heart in the game. Where is the emotional core of the movie? Everything but the action is taken for granted. It's a good thing the action is so much fun.
Does It Still Hold Up?
The controls are good and the gameplay is fast. I prefer the feel of Konami's Contra series, but this is the best you can expect from a 16-bit Star Wars game. The 3D Mode 7 stuff is hit or miss. While I had fun taking down bosses in 3D, there are a few times where I just wanted to get it over with. The 3D doesn't hold up as well as the 2D, mostly because all of the vehicle levels are on boring flat surfaces. The game is challenging, but not so much that you won't be able to get through it.
Is It Worth The Money?
You don't have to be a Star Wars junkie to love this Super NES game. The level designs are surprisingly good, the variety of enemies is fun and there's no denying the appeal of slashing up the competition with your lightsaber. I have some issues with the 3D stages and some of the appeal has worn off, but there's no doubt that Super Star Wars is worth your money.
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 have two very different limericks for you. One is a light-hearted game called Rock N' Roll Climber, the other a dark adventure game called NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits.
NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits
(Over The Top Games/$10)
My girl says she's going on a NyxQuest, says that she has to get something off of her chest. I know things are no good when she's in this kind of mood; especially when she goes out with a bullet proof vest.
Rock N' Roll Climber
I once met this old drugged-up rocker; he said his name was Joe Cocker. He looked kind of sick and he wouldn't play a lick, but in the kitchen he cooked like Betty Crocker.
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. This week Nintendo assaults our mind with another Brain Age Express upload!
Brain Age Express: Arts & Letters
Can letters be art?
What would Roger Ebert think?