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 take a look at two claymation games, a game about becoming famous and something called Photo Clock. That sounds pretty self explanatory, but I have a hunch I'm going to be wrong yet again. Find out what I think of all these games when you tune in to another exciting week of the Retro Round-Up!
What Is It?
Like Airplane, The Naked Gun and Twilight, Clay Fighter is a hilarious parody that will have you in stitches from beginning to end. What's that? Twilight wasn't actually a parody of all of the crappy girl-loves-vampire love stories? You mean to tell me that all of that stuff about sparkling vampire skin was meant to be taken seriously? Well, damn. Anyway, Clay Fighters is actually intended to be a parody, and it's a damn fine one at that. Here's a game that plays on just about every fighting game cliche you can think of, including the gruesome battles of Mortal Kombat and the over-the-top gimmick characters in Street Fighter. You play one of eight characters, including a big bad snowman, a guy with a pumpkin for a head, somebody that looks like Elvis, an obese opera singer and a guy that looks a lot like Gumby. With cool claymation animation and a fun sense of humor, Clay Fighters is a fun game worth checking out.
Does It Still Hold Up?
I won't lie to you, Clay Fighter is not the world's greatest fighting game. As a parody it's marginally entertaining, but the controls feel loose, the special moves are too hard to pull off and there really isn't much to the actual game. The claymation graphics are cool, but even that is improved on by the game's 1994 sequel, C2: Judgment Clay (which will no doubt hit the Virtual Console one of these weeks).
Is It Worth the Money?
Yes, Clay Fighters is a lot of fun and probably worth $8. However, there are a few things keeping me from giving this my full endorsement. For one thing, this is the Sega Genesis version of Clay Fighters. While I normally love my Genesis, there's no denying that the graphics and sound are significantly sharper on the Super NES. There's also the little matter of the two sequels (C2: Judgment Clay and Clay Fighter 63 1/3), both of which will no doubt hit the Virtual Console before the year is up. While I have some issues with the Nintendo 64 sequel, you would be better off just waiting around for C2. This isn't a bad fighting game, but don't expect much from this Sega Genesis version of Clay Fighter.
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 two retro throw backs, including Adventure Island: The Beginning and Bubble Bobble Plus!
Adventure Island: The Beginning
Master Higgins is stuck on the island of lost and he's getting home no matter the cost, he'll run up and down until there's something to be found, and then he'll get out of there before it begins to frost.
Bubble Bobble Plus
There once were these dinosaurs named Bub and Bob, and they're off to do an important job. While defeating their foes with their mighty strong blows, they forgot to notice that giant mob.
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 we write haikus for both American Popstar: Road to Celebrity and Phot Clock!
American Popstar: Road to Celebrity
The Argument Over Xbox Live Arcade
It's hard to be rich.
All the fame and posh parties.
You're better off poor.
You can view photos.
And it will tell you the time.
What more can you say?
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. Join us as we take a look at Telltale Games' newest adventure game, Wallace & Gromit in Fright of the Bumblebees!
Wallace & Gromit in Fright of the Bumblebees
Talk about a winning combination, you take two of the UK's greatest animated characters and mix in the magic that only Telltale Games seems to be able to provide. This is the very first episode of Wallace & Gromit on the Xbox Live Arcade, and it's a real doozy. It's full of genuinely funny jokes, surprises around every turn and a great adventure. It also looks fantastic, especially the way everything animates and looks like the original cartoon. It's not as strong as the Sam & Max games, but Wallace & Gromit are not to be missed.
Yes Wallace & Gromit are great characters and this is a solid adventure game, but what the heck is wrong with Aardman Animations output lately? Their last hyped project, Flushed Away, didn't win over audiences or critics, and they have yet to top their heights of Chicken Run and the original Wallace & Gromit shorts. Even the Wallace & Gromit movie was weak in comparison to their earlier games. All in all, I worry that this once-strong studio is losing their importance. Here's hoping that the seven movies slated for this year and beyond are worth caring about.