Retro Round-up for December 7

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posted 12/7/2007 by Cyril Lachel
other articles by Cyril Lachel
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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 look at another three mediocre Virtual Console games and a whole handful of crazy Commodore 64 games. You won't want to miss that!

Dynasty Hero (Virtual Boy)
What Is It?
It's Wonder Boy in Monster World. No really, that's exactly what this game is. Believe it or not, Dynasty Hero is the TurboDuo version of Wonder Boy in Monster World for the Sega Genesis, a solid action game in its own right. The good news is that Dynasty Hero is the same solid action game that you got back in April. This is still a unique action game where you run around in an open world solving mysteries and role-playing. Unfortunately this version of the game is exactly the same price as the Genesis port, so at the end of the day it's a toss-up which version you buy. You're getting a good game no matter what, but I would personally go with Wonder Boy in Monster World (I just like that name better). This is a great game, but is there really a need for two different versions of the same game on the Virtual Console? I think not.

Does It Still Hold Up?

I was surprised at how relevant this game feels. Sure the controls are a little stiff and the game play is very basic, but I couldn't help but be reminded of recent Castlevania and Metroid games. While it's nowhere near that level of sophistication as those franchises, Wonder Boy in Monster World offered a compelling story and a fun action experience. I like some of the ideas Sega had for this game, but it makes me sad that Sega never found a good use for poor old Wonder Boy after the 16-bit era.

Is It Worth the Money?

Hopefully you bought the game eight months ago when I suggested it, but if not then you might want to give this one a look. The fact that Nintendo just uploaded a duplicate game kind of annoys me, I hope they don't continue to do that when there are so many better games they could emulate on the Wii.

Dynasty Hero


Eternal Champions (Virtual Console)
What Is It?
While never as good as Street Fighter II or Mortal Kombat, Eternal Champions had a cult following back in the mid-1990s. But looking back at it now one has to wonder why this sloppily put together fighting game had any fans at all. Eternal Champions is not without a good concept, the game centers around the idea that you are playing as a historical figure that was plucked from just moments before he was supposed to die. This plotline gives each of the game's characters (which include a caveman, witch, robotic man, acrobat, private investigator, etc.) the motive to beat the end boss and win live to see another day. Unfortunately the game's controls aren't very good. While each of the characters have a lot of unique moves, pulling off specific moves is often difficult. Thankfully the game does have a good sense of humor, but the controls are extremely difficult and it hasn't aged well.

Does It Still Hold Up?
It struck my while replaying Eternal Champions that some of this game holds up extremely well. I especially like the story; all of the characters had interesting stories that still intrigue me. I wouldn't mind seeing some sort of modern Eternal Champions sequel, preferably something with polygons. On the other hand the controls in this game are dreadful. At best you only feel mildly out of control. If you can put up with the awkward controls you'll find a fundamentally broken 2D fighter with an interesting story and great characters.

Is It Worth the Money?

Eight dollars is too much money for a Genesis fighter that most people barely remember. That's not to say that you should ignore all Eternal Champions games in the future, if Nintendo ever decides to add Sega CD games to the Virtual Console we may be able to buy the far superior CD-based sequel. Hey, don't look at me like that. Sega CD games on the Virtual Console could happen, Nintendo decided to support the TurboDuo, right?

Eternal Champions
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