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 go on another adventure with Lolo and fight it out with yet another Street Fighter II game on the Virtual Console. And if that's not enough, you should check out our review of Sensible Soccer on GameTap. You'll find all that below when you read this week's episode of the Retro Round-Up!
Adventures of Lolo 2
What Is It?
Even though it has a number in its name, Adventures of Lolo 2 is nothing more than an expansion pack for the first Lolo game. This is exactly the same game ... only this time with a bunch of new puzzles to solve and a new story. This is the story of Lolo, who apparently has to rescue the "beautiful" Lala once again from a brand new bad guy. Of course, like the original game the story doesn't matter. At best this is just a reason to keep the adventure going, which translates to us getting more cool puzzles to solve. This Adventures of Lolo sequel doesn't try to do anything new; it simply exists to offer you 50 puzzles that you can solve at your leisure. That's a mere ten cents per puzzle, which is a fantastic bargain. Adventures of Lolo 2 won't change the way you look at NES puzzle games or anything, but this is a fantastic expansion pack to what was a surprise release on the Virtual Console. It's easy to fall in love with Lolo and Lala, so make sure and give this series some love and show HAL Laboratory that we need a comprehensive sequel/compilation to the various Adventures of Lolo!
Does It Still Hold Up?
Like the original game, Adventures of Lolo 2 definitely holds up well. The concept has been copied by dozens (if not hundreds) of different puzzle games, including some of the best titles of 2007 (Crush, PQ2: Practical Quotient 2, etc.). Sure the controls are a little clunky, but the puzzles are incredibly creative. And best of all, these levels are actually difficult. The kind of difficult that will have you searching GameFAQs for the answer.
Is It Worth the Money?
You're definitely going to get your money's worth when you buy Adventures of Lolo 2. This is the perfect game for all of you puzzle fans who have already gone through all of the levels in the first game. With its creative level designs, challenging puzzles and endearing characters, Adventures of Lolo 2 is one of the best games on the Virtual Console. Regardless of whether it's this Adventure or the original, the Adventures of Lolo series is worth picking up ... especially since it's only $5.
Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers
What Is It?
Let's get one thing clear, there is no bigger Street Fighter II fan than me. I'm one of those suckers that bought every single version of the game released (all three Super NES games, the Genesis games, the version for the 3DO and even the import TurboDuo port) and I still love the game as much today as I did 15 years ago. But I cannot recommend Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers in good conscience. This is the third (and final) Street Fighter II game released on the Super NES. It includes four new characters (Dee Jay, Fei Long, Cammy and T. Hawk), brand new art, more backgrounds and a few new moves. But outside of that the game is identical to Street Fighter II Turbo, which was released only a few months ago. This Super NES port of the arcade game is watered down, so you shouldn't expect to buy an arcade perfect port for your $8. But the real problem with this game is that it's not worth paying another $8 for what amounts to nothing more than an expansion set. If this game featured online support or something new then it might be worth a second (or even third) look, but as a bare bones release it just seems pointless. What makes this even harder to swallow is that there's a full HD remake of this game's semi-sequel (Super Street Fighter II Turbo) for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. This new version will feature all new character models, online support and some new extra modes. But that's not what this Virtual Console release is. Instead you get a Super NES port of a game that wasn't worth the money in the first place. I still love Street Fighter II, but the only reason for Capcom to release this game is to make a few extra bucks off of those who have to buy everything Street Fighter related. This is only worth buying if you haven't already plunked down the money for the other two Street Fighter II games on the Virtual Console, and even then I would suggest you buy Street Fighter II Turbo instead.
Does It Still Hold Up?
So here's the kicker, the game is just as much fun now as it ever was. It's easy to pull off fireballs, windmill kicks, pile drivers and all the other special moves, and the game is balanced and fun to play. Of course, very little of this has anything to do with this version of the game. The truth is that Street Fighter II is just a great playing game; it's one of the few games that still feels just as good today as it did back in the early 1990s. Sure there are a lot of games that have improved on the formula, but Street Fighter II got it right from the get-go. This version remains solid, even though it isn't arcade perfect.
Is It Worth the Money?
I'm going to have to say no on this one, but not because the game is bad. When it comes right down to it this is the second best Street Fighter II game released on the Super NES, which certainly doesn't sound like a bad thing until it sinks in that there are three Street Fighter II games currently on the Virtual Console. Is there a reason we need all of those? Why not just release a three pack for $12? Or better yet, why not give us something we actually want, like Street Fighter Alpha. Super Street Fighter II Turbo is a great game, but it's better on other systems and not worth $8.
This Week in GameTap
Every week I plan on taking a look at the classic games being uploaded on the GameTap
service. Regardless of whether it's part of their free or premium service, GameTap
offers a wide variety of old school games that is worth checking out. Here are the most recent games uploaded to their server, keep in mind that all of these games are free to play unless otherwise stated:
Sensible Soccer is the Genesis port of the enormously popular European computer game of the same name. Unfortunately Sensible Soccer never caught on in the states, perhaps due to the game's tiny graphics and the fact that American's don't like soccer. While I'm not a huge fan of soccer, this Genesis port of Sensible Soccer does seem to retain everything that was good about the series. If you can get over the teeny tiny characters you will find an accessible sports game that is especially fun with extra people. If you've never understood the appeal of Sensible Soccer then now is your chance, I recommend you head over to GameTap and give this Genesis game a try.