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
. It looks like we're back to a retro drought this week. Despite the fact that we look at several different platforms, for some odd reason we only have two games to talk about ... neither of which is very good. Up first we have King of the Monsters, a terrible 2D wrestling game starring Godzilla-like monsters. And if that's not bad enough we have ClayFighters, a horrifyingly unfunny parody 2D fighting game. Find out which one I like more when you read this week's "exciting" episode of the Retro Round-Up!
King of the Monsters
What Is It?
Do you remember Rampage? You know, the 2D action game where you (as a huge Godzilla-like monster) knock buildings done, kill incoming army soldiers and beat the living snot out of anything else that gets in your way. Well, King of the Monsters is exactly like Rampage, only from a slight raised camera angle. You and a friend battle each other while destroying all sorts of famous cities from around the world. The actual combat between monsters is nothing but a simple wrestling game - and not a very good one either. Three buttons are used to punch, kick, jump and access a variety of throws and grapples, while a projectile attack is also possible by holding all three buttons down, although the usefulness of this move is negligible. Because King of the Monsters is based around wrestling, in order to win a bout you have to hold your opponent on the ground for more than three consecutive seconds (which can take a long time to achieve). The biggest problem is that none of this is very exciting. Even something that should be exhilarating like destroying an entire city just comes off as boring. There's a complete lack of variety and the action will get old long before the first battle ends. This isn't SNK's worst game on the Virtual Console, but it's damn close.
Does It Still Hold Up?
It may look different from Fatal Fury, Art of Fighting and Samurai Shodown, but King of the Monsters is just another fighting game from SNK. The big difference here is the angle that you see the action, but even that doesn't change the basic moves much. King of the Monsters ends up feeling like a cross between a traditional wrestling game and Rampage. The controls and graphics are fine, but you'll quickly discover that you're doing the same thing over and over again for almost no reward. This wasn't one of SNK's best games, so you can't expect much from King of the Monsters.
Is It Worth The Money?
Last week when I suggested that you should save your money for another game, I certainly didn't mean King of the Monsters. What's with all of these terrible Neo Geo games being ported to the Virtual Console? Sure it was nice to finally get Samurai Shodown, but last week it was Fatal Fury 2 and this week it's King of the Monsters. If you're a long-time fan of Rampage then you may get something out of this game, but I was bored within seconds of starting King of the Monsters. You have to figure that it's only a matter of time before Nintendo starts uploading the good Neo Geo games. Right?
This Week in GameTap
Still not satisfied with what you're getting on the Virtual Console and Xbox Live Arcade? Then maybe you should head on over to GameTap
! With more than 100 free games currently available, GameTap
is one of the best places to play classic games! And every week they are adding brand new titles to the service, including old school games for the Genesis, Neo Geo, Commodore 64 and much, much more. Won't you join us as we take a look at what's going on this week over at GameTap!
This week is a little light in the world of GameTap. They've uploaded a PC game called Aveyond, which I've never actually heard of. Unfortunately there are no new Gold Member games this week and the only other game is ClayFighters, which I reviewed below. But don't worry, things are about to change. In the next few weeks GameTap will debut American McGee's Grimm, a wacky new action game from the people that brought you Bad Day L.A.! On second thought, here's ClayFighters ...
Seeing that ClayFighter was a parody of all of those 2D fighters from the 1990s, you can't expect it to be as good as Street Fighter II or Samurai Shodown. But the fact that it's a parody should not mean that it's bad, just look at Airplane or The Naked Gun. Sadly ClayFighter is more Loaded Weapon 1 than Top Secret, if you know what I mean. This is a sluggish fighting game with a few laughs and an interesting graphic style, but it does not hold up particularly well. In fact, I would go as far as to say that this version (the first of several) is downright bad. Interplay has a bunch of great games worth playing ... but ClayFighters is not one of them.