Retro Round-up for October 3rd


posted 10/3/2008 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 only have one Virtual Console game, but we make up for that with an incredibly strong Xbox Live Arcade line-up. Better still we tell you what games you can play for free over at GameTap. This is a week full of funny first-person shooters, serious shooters and mega action games. And best of all, this is the week I finally get a chance to talk about Mega Man 9. Find out what's worth it and what's worth passing up when you read This Week in Defunct Games!

Super Turrican 2
What Is It?
Remember earlier this year when it seemed like every week there was a new Turrican game being uploaded to the Virtual Console? First it was <a href="" target="blank_"><b>Super Turrican for the Super NES</b></a> and then it was <a href="" target="blank_"><b>Mega Turrican for the Sega Genesis</b></a>. Well, apparently now it's time for Super Turrican 2 for the Super NES. Despite the title, Super Turrican 2 is actually the fifth Turrican game ... don't ask. This is still a 2D side-scrolling shooter along the lines of Contra and Gunstar Heroes. Turrican's gimmick is that it has always featured enormous levels that required you to explore. Unfortunately this second Super NES game limits the levels, offering considerably smaller areas with less extras to discover. As a trade we are given strange Mode 7 effects, which may have looked cool 13 years ago, but ultimately add nothing to the gameplay. Super Turrican 2 does offer some cool bosses and a lot of action, but it's not different enough from the other shooters to warrant much excitement.

Does It Hold Up?
The gameplay is smooth and there's always action, so I would say that this game holds up rather nicely. Then again, by 1995 everybody knew exactly how to make a rock solid shoot-em-up, it's the one thing every developer had done a thousand times before. Super Turrican 2 doesn't break much new ground, but at least the controls are good.

Is It Worth The Money?
Does this mean that we're going to be seeing the release of Mega Turrican 2 next week? Now this is the kind of game I want to be able to recommend, but I have always been perplexed as to why Factor 5 made the changed they did. The smaller levels aren't nearly as interesting and the power-ups are kind of bland. Aren't most sequels supposed to be better than the first game? Sadly this is just a retread where Factor 5 took out everything that was good about the first game. This isn't a terrible shoot-em-up, but it also isn't as good as the two other Turrican games already on the Virtual Console.

Duke Nukem 3D
What Is It?
I'm going to confess something that will probably annoy and frustrate all of my PC-loving friends: I never got the appeal of the Duke Nukem character. Oh sure, I can appreciate the ridiculousness of the stories and how over-the-top everything was, it was a breath of fresh air in a world of dark hell-based first-person shooters. But at the same time I always found the humor juvenile at best and the character rather unappealing. To this day I don't understand why anybody would get worked up over Duke Nukem Forever, so maybe I'm not the right guy to talk about this recent Xbox Live Arcade release. However, while going through it again I realized that there is a good game hiding behind all of that moronic humor. There are certainly elements that haven't held up well, but it's nice to see that what made the original game so memorable is still largely intact. On top of a solid port, this Duke Nukem also features online co-op play and a replay editor. If you can get over some strange level designs and some hit and miss humor, Duke Nukem 3D will be well worth the $10 asking price.

Does It Hold Up?
Duke Nukem 3D surprised me in a lot of ways, especially when it came to how well it held up over time. This game pioneered a number of first-person shooter cliches that we are still using to this day, and yet somehow these devices don't feel overplayed when you're playing this dated action game. The graphics could use some work, but Duke Nukem 3D manages to hold up rather nicely.

Is It Worth The Money?
If you're one of those people who has fond memories of Duke Nukem 3D, then this is a must-own for you. The online support and cool Xbox Live features really add a lot to this action game. Those of us who don't have nostalgia for this character may also way to check it out, if only because you may find that you have a new appreciation for this character and the adventure he goes on. Even if you hate it you're only out ten bucks. This is yet another solid release for the Xbox Live Arcade, proving yet again that Microsoft's download service is outpacing their standard disc-based market this year. Now where is that Duke Nukem Forever game I keep hearing about?
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