Category Archives: Retro

Dragon’s Crown (Review)

Dragon’s Crown is a fond throwback to classic side-scrolling beat ‘em ups like Streets of Rage, or more specifically, Golden Axe (you can totally ride dragons!). Stages involve going from left to right with a four-strong group consisting of knights, amazons, dwarves, elves, wizards or sorceresses. There’s a boss with a health bar as wide as your TV at the end of each one too, with one of them being a clever nod to a certain Monty Python film. Sold yet?

You’re spoilt for choice, with six different character types to choose from. They’re ranked from beginner to expert, but to be honest you’ll be fine going with whichever takes your fancy from the start and you’re allowed to have a few on the go at once.

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Ace Armstrong Vs The Alien Scumbags (PSP Minis Review)

For anyone that may have downloaded this side-scrolling shooter when it was first released, you have my sympathies. It wasn’t just you, it was ridiculously and miserably tough.

Thankfully Laughing Jackal listened to the fan feedback and have since re-released a new version on PSN. If you’ve already downloaded the game just delete it and download it from your PSN account again to get the new version at no extra cost. I’ll explain the improvements throughout the rest of this review. Continue reading Ace Armstrong Vs The Alien Scumbags (PSP Minis Review)

Dead Nation (Review)

By the time the inevitable zombie apocalypse does come around, gamers will most certainly be the best equipped to survive. Well, as long as the apocalypse comes with extra lives, save-points and pause buttons.

Gamers have really taken zombies to their hearts in recent times with Left 4 DeadDead RisingCOD’s zombie modes and the undead have even burst into Japan’s next Yakuza game. So will our love for the groaning shufflers go on, or will our enthusiasm fade like a Romero movie fan watching his latest 21st Century zombie-flick-flop?

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Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 (Hands-on Preview)

The first title in this 2D HD remake of the 80s game was a game I desperately wanted to enjoy. Alas, it’s old-school reluctance to move with the times ultimately made it a relationship that was doomed from the start.

I am of course referring to the lack of a jump button. Nathan Spencer solely relied on the use of the grappling hook on his bionic arm to swing around the levels and climb up platforms. True to the original it may have been but it was also frustrating, unforgiving and clunky. Continue reading Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 (Hands-on Preview)

Soldner-X 2: The Final Prototype – The Last Chapter (DLC Review)

The Last Chapter is the expansion pack to Soldner-X 2: The Final Prototype which I found to be an enjoyable, if over-priced blast. It packs in three new levels, 11 Trophies and 13 new Challenges. The challenges though, in true Soldner-style,require you to actually earn the right to play them. There’s even a new difficulty mode, Massive Attack, to unlock. When you get around to unlocking Extra Hard that is.

The extra levels can be played through straight away, you don’t have to replay anything for hours on end in a similar way to the way levels were unlocked in the main game. The levels themselves are excellent to play and outpace the original game’s content immediately. Enemy numbers and their attacking fire patterns are perfectly balanced between manic and fair. Continue reading Soldner-X 2: The Final Prototype – The Last Chapter (DLC Review)

Apache Overkill (PSP Minis Review)

To all PSP Minis developers: more simple games like this please. At £1.99 this is ideal for a quick blast. This shoot ‘em up title has you controlling an Apache helicopter for 99 levels of traditional side-scrolling shooting. It’s simple, fun, and it shares a similar art style to the Metal Slug games. What more could you ask for at £1.99?

The controls are responsive and the helicopter feels nippy but weighty as it tilts forwards and backwards with momentum allowing you to fire upwards or downwards sometimes without having to move up and down yourself, handy for staying in one piece under a torrent of missile fire. Enemies go down very easily and you can take quite a lot of damage as you have a health bar rather than having to cower under a one-hit-kill policy. It’s a balance we can all enjoy. Continue reading Apache Overkill (PSP Minis Review)

Alien Breed: Impact (Review)

The top down shooter genre is getting quite crowded on the PlayStation Store, so each new release is going to have to really work for our money. At over £10, Alien Breed: Impact is reallygoing to have to work for it.

The game takes place on a huge space vessel overrun by aliens. Most of the crew are dead, you’re the only hope yadda yadda. The atmosphere owes a lot to Dead Space, but hey you might as well borrow from the best. Continue reading Alien Breed: Impact (Review)

Car Jack Streets (PSP Minis Review)

It’s been a while since I’ve dusted of my old PS1 GTA games, so will this be a nostalgic experience or a grim reminder of why some titles are best left in the past?

The top-down view in the crime-sim raises obvious comparisons with the old GTA games, but for a £3.49 PSP Minis title it definitely has my attention. Continue reading Car Jack Streets (PSP Minis Review)

Soldner-X 2: The Final Prototype (Review)

Prime your eyes for a full on assault with the return of the high-def retro shooter, Soldner-X 2. It’s side scrolling, in space, you shoot to the left, dodge a lot of lasers and try not to die.

You can initially choose beginner or normal difficulty levels, but the game will also adapt on the fly. If you are doing really well, it will throw more enemy fire at you, while easing up (a little) if you’re getting perforated constantly. Your ships handle with a nice balance of smooth flying, but quick and nimble enough to perform some beautiful dodging.  You have a health bar rather than the typical one-hit-per-life syndrome many of us grew up with. I’m not complaining by the way, PS3 pads are expensive items. Continue reading Soldner-X 2: The Final Prototype (Review)

3D Dot Game Heroes (Review)

If you’re the type of gamer that squealed with delight seeing the huge list of retro RPG game included on last years Mega-Drive compilation, this game is most definitely for you. In-jokes to the genre are the norm here along with a long list of frustrations and an almost inevitable argument between fans (and probably lawyers) about it being a homage or rip-off of some Nintendo game with a green midget.

The games unique twist is the updated retro graphical style. The story explains it in an amusing way, as the old 2D Kingdom of Dotnia is rarely visited anymore so they revamp their world into ‘3D’ to get with the times, hoping everyone will love them again. It’s not ‘put on glasses’ 3D, everything is made from cubes instead of squares. The whole story would probably fit on a beermat (evil guy stealing orbs, kingdom threatened, you hero). Continue reading 3D Dot Game Heroes (Review)

Sonic Classic Collection (Review)

This should get your retro skills up to scratch before the release of Sonic 4 which is making a return to Sonic’s 2D roots. Put simply this compilation collects the best four Sonic games out there. Pure, 2D, Sonic gold.

These are the best Sonic games to be released on the Mega-drive System in the ‘90s, before it all went wrong with his steps into third dimension adventure platforming. This package contains Sonic 1-3 and Sonic & Knuckles. Unlike past Sonic compilations we’ve seen over the years, this one allows you to play through Sonic 2 and 3 as Knuckles. Which, as anyone that owned the original Mega Drive cartridge of Sonic & Knuckles knows, makes this an unmissable purchase. Continue reading Sonic Classic Collection (Review)

Gravity Crash (Review)

This is another retro-style 2D shooter for the PSN and probably the harshest one yet. Your space-ship handles similarly to games of yesteryear like Thrust and Gravitar. If this means nothing to you, it’s like a hockey puck slowly sliding across the ice, with little thrusts to control changes in direction. The game’s enjoyable to look at in a minimalist way, with its simple yet striking visualstyle of solid lines making up the maps and lighting them up with a neon glow. Continue reading Gravity Crash (Review)

PixelJunk Shooter (Review)

There are already a large number of 2D shooters on the PSN Store, but the genre hopping PixelJunk series from Q-Games has beaten them all with their first shot at the title. PixelJunk Shooter is a compelling game designed with a distinctive, simple, full-coloured style and perfectly balanced gameplay.

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Gunstar Heroes (Review)

gunstarpsnrevnsgMore retro goodness from Backbone Entertainment, the team that resurrected a disc full of retro classics with Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection. Next up is what got left out, namely this little classic from the Treasure dev team.

Chances are if you had a Mega Drive in the 90s you’ll remember this, if not here’s your chance for only £3.99. Out of the scores of side scrolling shooters this is among the best along with the likes of the Metal Slug series. Continue reading Gunstar Heroes (Review)