Retro Round Up - August 22, 2008
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 FINALLY get one of the games we were promised a few weeks ago. Nintendo has decided that after two weeks of delays, Capcom's 8-bit Mega Man is ready to ship. And it's about time, because I was getting sick and tired of not reviewing it each week. Hopefully this means that other promised games, such as Y's Book I & II and Samurai Shodown II, are coming soon. On top of Mega Man we get a Neo Geo golf game, a sequel to Galaga and another boring episode of American McGee's Grimm. Find out what I think of all of these games when you read this week's exciting episode of Retro Round Up!
What Is It?
Who knew that this little Mega Man game (with its terrible cover art and simplistic story) would spawn dozens of sequels and spin-offs? In fact, I can't think of another 8-bit game that spawned so many different games. Not even Nintendo is pimping out Mario as much as Capcom is milking the Mega Man franchise. With a brand new 8-bit (!) sequel in the works, Capcom is looking to reintroduce its Virtual Console users with our little robot hero. In this game you do battle with the first set of robot toughies, including Cutman, Gutsman, Elecman, Fireman, Iceman, and Bombman. Like all Mega Man games, the joy of the game is to try and figure out the correct order, since each of the six bad guys is weak to a weapon from another stage. With its cute graphics and lovable hero, Mega Man is easily one of the most memorable 2D platformers on the NES. However, it's cheap and easy to pick up the Mega Man Anniversary Collection, or better yet the Mega Man Powered Up PSP game. If you can't do that then you should give this game a shot, even if it's a little rough around the edges.
Does It Still Hold Up?
If you're a long-time Mega Man fan then you're probably going to be a little surprised at how stripped down this title is. You can't slide, there's no charge blast and you don't have a robot dog companion. In other words, this is about as primitive as Mega Man gets. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but those advancements definitely added something to the formula. If you can get over that, then you'll find that this is a great 2D shooter that holds up remarkably well.
Is It Worth The Money?
Yes the original Mega Man is fun, but fans of the series would be much better suited to just wait until Mega Man 2 is released (this September, from what I hear). Or better yet, Virtual Console gamers who also own a PSP should seek out Capcom's amazing Mega Man Powered Up, because not only do you get this full game (completely remade with 3D polygons), but you can also play through the game with the various boss characters. If you don't own a PSP and still want a good Mega Man game then this should do, but just be warned that there are much better Mega Man games on the horizon.
Neo Turf Masters
What Is It?
Are you shocked that the Neo Geo, the home of arcade fighting games, has a golf game? Well you shouldn't be, because we've already talked about SNK's baseball and soccer titles. Neo Turf Masters is a bare bones arcade golf game, the kind of sports game that is meant to be played for a few minutes at a time at an arcade or local bar. Unfortunately that means that the selection of course and variety of characters are extremely limited. As a result this is one game that feels incredibly dated, to the point where it isn't as much fun to play as it could be. Oddly enough we haven't seen a lot of golf games hit the Virtual Console, so retro gamers wanting their links fix don't have a lot to choose from. Neo Turf Masters does offer solid graphics and the gameplay is sound (even if it is derivative of most golf games of that era), but at nine dollars it's hard to warrant the purchase. It's a shame that this isn't the far superior Neo Geo Pocket Color port, a game that was developed with the intention of being played at home (or on the go). As it is, Neo Turf Masters shouldn't be your first choice when it comes to golfing on your Wii.
Does It Still Hold Up?
Chances are Neo Turf Masters will be the best looking golf game for the Virtual Console, but that doesn't mean that it's the one you should pick up. The gameplay is as you would expect, featuring the tried and true three-tap style of golfing. While that isn't a problem, the complete lack of variety of courses and characters surely will. It's no Tiger Woods PGA Tour, but Neo Turf Masters holds up as well as any 15 year old golf game can.
Is It Worth The Money?
Nine dollars seems a bit steep for what you get here, especially when there are better golf games on the Virtual Console for a fraction of the cost. If you're looking for the most "realistic" looking golf game then this is probably going to do the trick, but it's hard to ignore the game's lack of variety. The Neo Geo has never been known for their top-notch sports simulators, so what I'm saying shouldn't come as a surprise. Still, this is the closest to "good" the Neo Geo ever got to a sports game (unless you consider the amazing Wind Jammers, a Frisbee game, to be a sports title). Neo Turf Masters is a solid game, but you would be better off buying one of the other Virtual Console golf games.
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