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's another slow week in Virtual Consoleland, what with Nintendo only uploading one retro game. To make matters worse, the one release will only appeal to a certain audience. It's a shame that Nintendo has decided that crappy WiiWare releases are more important than the company's 25 year history. I'm not bitter. Anyway, GameTap is here to rescue the week with three solid games. Find out which is which when you tune into another exciting episode of the Retro Round-Up!
(Virtual Console/Master System/$5)
What Is It?
Originally released on the Game Gear, Sonic Chaos is yet another fantastic 8-bit adventure for our favorite blue hedgehog. This is the third Sonic the Hedgehog game released on the Game Gear, and while it's nowhere near the best, it's still a moderately enjoyable romp through familiar terrain. This game has all of the familiar faces, a bunch of familiar levels and all the speed you would expect from a Sonic game. But at the same time it feels like they are just going through the motions with this sequel. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is still the best 8-bit entry available on the Virtual Console, but if you've already gone through that (and can stomach another 2D Sonic game) then this may be a fun diversion. Still, after several weeks of triple-A titles, Sonic Chaos feels like a major disappointment.
Does It Still Hold Up?
The graphics and sound hasn't changed much since Sonic the Hedgehog 2, but when the graphics are this detailed it's hard to complain. Obviously this isn't going to look as good as the Genesis games, but I suspect that it's a 2D Sonic game that most Wii owners haven't played yet. The gameplay is still a little floaty, though. I wonder why Sega was never able to get Sonic's weight right on the 8-bit games.
Is It Worth the Money?
If you've never played Sonic Chaos, then by all means spend the five dollars and check out this good, but not amazing 8-bit Sonic game. This game is certainly as good as Sonic the Hedgehog 2, but it's also not very different. The added changes don't add much (especially the new robot bosses, what is this Mega Man?) and the whole experience is over a little too soon. Still, this certainly isn't a bad 2D platformer for people who can't get enough of this type of game.
This Week in GameTap
This week have another packed week in GameTap, including a relatively fun free game and a couple of solid Gold Level offerings. Before we get to our weekly haikus I want to mention that this weekend masochists will have a chance to play through each and every episode of American McGee's Grimm: Volume 2 for FREE. So, if you missed it the first time around and want the game that nobody liked three months ago, now is your chance to relive the magic. I say avoid it and read this terrible poetry instead.
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2 (Free)
But not like Blade or Angel.
Well, kind of like Blade.
Full Spectrum Warrior
Train, train, train all day.
The tough life of a soldier.
Too much work for me.
Like The Godfather.
Loose dames and unruly cars.
I'll take Vice City.