Retro Round-up for May 1

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posted 5/1/2009 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 have one of the most diverse line-ups we've seen so far this year, with everything from a hardcore strategy game to a fast-action mech fighter to a game about paper airplanes. There's a lot of good here, but not all of it is worth your money. Find out what games you want to avoid when you read through this week's Retro Round-Up!

Nobunaga’s Ambition (Koei)
What Is It?
Nobunaga's Ambition is one of those games that has vexed me for the last two decades. I remember renting it as a youngster, but at that time I was too interested in fast action games and the traditional Mario-style platformer. All this time I figured that my issue was with the mountains of text and strategic gameplay. I figured that it was my lack of attention span that kept me from enjoying this series. But I was wrong. After spending some time with this Super NES version I realize that maybe I'm not the target audience for Nobunaga's Ambition. It's not that I don't understand what's going on; this time around I started to "get" what I was supposed to do. The problem is the game's slow pace, which pushed me away faster than orgy night at the senior citizen center. This is a strategy game where you allocate resources to raise a capable military force, provide a productive economy to support both military and civilian expansion and support the peasants in order to sustain their respect and loyalty. Or something like that. This Super NES version slightly upgrades the graphics and sound, but for the most part this game is exactly the same as what I played on the NES.

Does It Still Hold Up?
Nobunaga's Ambition looked outdated even when the game first came out, so this Super NES "update" wasn't exactly giving Donkey Kong Country a run for its money. Still, the gameplay is solid ... for what it is. You'll have to deal with a lot of menus and dialog, but if you're prepared for that then it almost doesn't matter what this game looks like. I say it holds up.

Is It Worth the Money?
You do not go into Nobunaga's Ambition without first knowing whether you like this type of game or not. I don't, it completely confuses me. But that's me, this is not one of those games where a simple recommendation is going to convince you to buy the game. If you're really into this type of game then eight dollars is a bargain, you'll be at this game for dozens (if not hundreds) of hours. However, if you don't "get" the game, then even a dollar is too much to pay. It's a shame Nintendo doesn't offer a way to demo the game before you buy it; if ever there was a game that needed it, Nobunaga's Ambition is it.

Nobun

WiiWare Limerick Theater
Every week Nintendo announces their new Virtual Console offerings. But what you may not know is that they also announce the newest games for the Wii's specialized WiiWare channel. This is the place where you can download cheap smaller games, the type of titles you would only pay a few dollars for. Thus far we haven't spent much time covering these hidden gems, but today that's going to end. Starting today we're going to cover the WiiWare line-up just as we would any other section. To keep things consistent, we have decided to post all WiiiWare reviews in the form of a limerick. This week we're looking at something called Cocoto Platform Jumper, which kind of sounds like a platfomer!

Cocoto Platform Jumper
I once played Cacoto Platform Jumper by Ben Ben, and I really want to give it a ten. It's about a demon bird, at least that's what I heard, but I'm probably wrong again.

Nobun

The Great DSiWare Haiku
Not content with the Virtual Console and WiiWare, Nintendo has decided to offer up a THIRD avenue for downloading games. That's right, it's the DSiWare, and it's the best (and only) way to download games to your brand new Nintendo DSi. Each week we take a look at Nintendo's uploads through the form of poetry. Haiku, to be exact. Will these reviews help your purchase of DSiWare games? Nah, but they're a lot of fun to read. See for yourself when you read my haikus for Clubhouse Games Express: Card Classics and Paper Airplane Chase.

Clubhouse Games Express: Card Classics
No girls allowed here.
This is my manly clubhouse.
Men don't play card games.

Paper Airplane Chase

Like paper airplanes.
Only without the paper.
You lazy bastards.

DSi

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