Retro Round-up for November 11

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posted 11/6/2009 by Cyril Lachel
other articles by Cyril Lachel
Platforms: Multiple
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 I am happy to report that Nintendo has once again uploaded two games! But let's not get too excited, because one of them is of questionable quality and the other is a duplicate. First up we have Fighting Street for the TurboGrafx-16, the first installment of the Street Fighter saga. Also this week is R-Type, which you may actually own already. No matter what this intro says, it's time to get down with this week's Retro Round-Up!

Fighting Street
(TurboDuo/$8)
What Is It?
Don't recognize the name? Don't worry, it's just Street Fighter on the TurboGrafx-16. When it was released it was literally the only way you could play a Street Fighter installment on a home console (not including Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight, of course). Unfortunately it's not the Street Fighter that everybody knows and loves; instead it's the original game, the one that started it all. There's a reason most people only remember Street Fighter II, and that's because the original game is absolutely no fun to play. There are two playable characters, Ryu and Ken. Actually, there's really only one playable character, the second is a palette swap with a new name. The moves are hard to pull off and the animation is so stiff you'll think it overdosed on Viagra. Yet it's endearing in its own special way. There are a lot of cool characters here, including the original scar-less Saga. While nowhere near as good as Street Fighter II, it's easy to see the potential for greatness in this product.

Does It Hold Up?
Oddly enough, Fighting Street plays almost exactly like its arcade cousin. Sadly that's not a compliment. In the arcade you controlled the punches and kicks using two large pads. The idea was to punch these pads as hard as you could, which would translate to a more powerful attack. This TurboGrafx port doesn't have the large pads, but you do have to hold the two buttons longer for harder attacks. Couple this with the difficulty in pulling off special moves and you have a game that does not hold up.

Is It Worth the Money?
After all of that complaining, I still say that for some people Fighting Street is worth the money. It's not a good game, yet it's an essential part of the landscape for Street Fighter aficionados. It's nowhere near perfect, often coming off as frustrating and annoying. But that shouldn't stop you from at least giving this classic a try. To add insult to injury, the price tag is way too high for this woefully outdated product.


R-Type
(Master System/$5)
What Is It?
Yes, it's R-Type ... again! This Master System port is the fourth R-Type game on the Virtual Console. This 8-bit version is not unlike the more expensive (and better looking) TurboDuo version that hit Nintendo's download service three years ago. At its core this is nothing more than your standard 2D shoot-em-up, a left-to-right affair that is really, really hard. What has always set the game apart from the rest of the pack is the small floating orb that can fly in front and behind you. It shields on-coming bullets and allows for cool power-up moves. Of course, you already know this because R-Type has been on every game system ever made and is already available on the Virtual Console.

Does It Hold Up?
For an 8-bit version of R-Type, this Master System port does hold up. It runs fairly smoothly and the graphics aren't as bad as you would think. Most of the levels are accounted for and there are a few big bosses straight out of the arcade game. There's just one problem - All of this and more is better on the TurboDuo version. If this was the only R-Type on the Virtual Console that would be one thing, but we've seen this many, many times already.

Is It Worth the Money?
If you've never owned an R-Type game before then you should definitely go with one of the other versions already available on the Virtual Console. It's not that Master System port is bad, but rather the fact that there's no actual reason to invest in this version. I hate to complain now that Nintendo has decided to once again upload two games a week, however I have a hard time understanding why they would duplicate games instead of giving us fresh titles.






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