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 take a look at the forgotten Shinobi sequel and write poetry about the rest of Nintendo's offerings. Best of all, we follow up last week's rock and roll limerick with an exclusive rock and roll haiku. All this can be yours when you read another exciting episode of This Week in Defunct Games!
The Revenge of Shinobi
(Virtual Console/ Sega/$8)
What Is It?
The Revenge of Shinobi, Sega's first 16-bit Shinobi outing, feels like the forgotten game in the franchise. While the original Shinobi and the amazing Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master find their way on to every Sega compilation, the same cannot be said for this 1989 sequel. Outside of a Sega Smash Pack for the Dreamcast and the Sega CD's rare pack-in disc, The Revenge of Shinobi has been absent from the scene. You can't find it on Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection and don't even look for it in the outstanding Sega Genesis Collection. It's as if Sega wants you to forget about this classic action game.
The Revenge of Shinobi plays a lot like a slower-paced version of Shinobi III. You walk from left to right throwing shurikens and casting magic. You'll fight the same types of enemies over and over, battling through all sorts of generic backgrounds. The game feels dated, especially for those who are more used to playing Sega's other two 16-bit sequels. You don't have a lot of techniques at your disposal and each level plays out exactly like the last. Still, I had a lot of fun reliving this slightly dated installment. This game is nowhere near as good as Shadow Dancer and Return of the Ninja Master, but that shouldn't stop you from having a good time with this until those games arrive on the Virtual Console.
Does It Still Hold Up?
The Revenge of Shinobi isn't a deep experience; there's a button for your attack, jump and one to use a special move. Outside of that there's not much to do, which is true to the roots of the original. Compared to the two immediate sequels, The Revenge of Shinobi feels plain and boring. For what it does it works, but don't expect any frills or extras from this release.
Is It Worth the Money?
This is a tough one. If it wasn't for the fact that this is the first Shinobi game to be uploaded to the Virtual Console in two years I would be a little more cautious, but given the circumstances I think it's worth the money. It will be a special treat for the younger gamers who never had access to this early Genesis gem. Even though The Revenge of Shinobi is probably the worst 16-bit installment, I still say it's worth checking out.
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 try and figure out which is more dangerous: Family Slot Car Racing or Picture Book Games: Pop-Up Pursuit. If you guess the racing game you would be wrong!
Family Slot Car Racing
(Arc System Works/$5)
I once lost a friend to the slots and it had me tied up in knots. He needed to go fast so that he wouldn't come in last, but in the end it was the final corner he forgot!
Picture Book Games: Pop-Up Pursuit
My parents once gave me a pop-up book, so I figured I might as well take a good look. When the picture popped out I started to shout, because my eye had been stabbed with a hook!
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 we rock out with Guitar Rock Tour and stimulate our mind with Brain Age Express: Sudoku!
Brain Age Express: Sudoku
You can play amazing games.
Why play Sudoku?
Guitar Rock Tour
Hook up with groupies.
Do drugs then trash your hotel.
Well, that's what I'd do.