I haven’t played a single game released in 2015. I haven’t even played one released in 2014. I’ve played two from 2013 though, but that’s beside the point. The point is I’ve played and beaten 19 retro games for the first time in 2015 and decided to rank them, so here they are.
#19 – Paperboy (NES)
This game is terrible. It is so bad, I played and beat 17 other retro games this year that didn’t make the Game Overkill cut and they were all much better than this game. Off the top of my head, I’d say the only game worse than Paperboy I’ve ever beaten is Battletoads. You can read my full review for it here.
#18 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES)
I loved the TMNT cartoon, so 8 year old me was super excited to play a TMNT video game in 1989. Sadly, I don’t think I’ve been more disappointed in my life. Yes, the damned dam level is terrible, but it is still possible to beat it, but all the other levels aren’t much better. Jumping, hit detection, most of the fucking enemies, soooo terrible. The music is awesome though. I hate this game.
#17 – New Ghostbusters II (NES)
The nicest thing I can say about this Ghostbusters game is that it’s playable. It wasn’t terrible. It wasn’t great. Kind of unremarkable, really. It was fun basically because it was Ghostbusters and not a completely frustrating exercise in futility, like other Ghostbusters games, but it was terribly repetitive. You get to choose two out of three Ghostbusters (sorry Winston fans, this game is racist) and have one manning the proton pack, while the other handles the trap. It’s a weird system you get used to quickly and works.
#16 – Journey to Silius (NES)
This is a run and gun game that manages to do everything Contra does, but poorly. Granted, Contra is perfect, so it’s tough to fault Journey to Silius for that, but if you’ve played Contra, it sure is tough to look past this game’s faults. So, I guess, if you’ve never played Contra, play this for a bit, then play Contra. If you have played Contra, go play Contra some more. That game is perfect.
#15 – Panic Restaurant (NES)
I remembered next to nothing about this game, which isn’t a good sign. It’s a platformer and it’s alright, I guess. You play as a chef and you fight food using a frying pan, plates you can throw, a fork you can use a little like Scrooge’s cane in DuckTales in order to pogo around, etc. However, the more I looked up stuff on this game, the more I remembered how decent it was. It is silly (one boss is a microwave that shoots live chickens at you) and the platforming is solid. If you’re the kind of person who’s already played the classic NES platformers, maybe give this one a shot some day.
#14 – Toki (NES)
I have no idea what Toki was about, so I had to look it up. A wizard has turned you into a really ugly ape-like thing and you have to save a princess. In other words, it’s a Nintendo game. You move super slowly for some reason, which is a little annoying, but it least you can kill enemies by spitting at them. It is basically a walk and gun game, but it isn’t half bad. I enjoyed it. It was good for killing an afternoon.
#13 – Xexyz (NES)
This game was different. Part of it is a platformer where you control the guy from Blaster Master (no, not really), while the other part is a shmup. I’m really not a fan of shmups, but I think I preferred those parts of the game to the platforming parts. They were kinda fun. The platforming sections were decent as well, but very tough. Overall, it was interesting and worth playing. Terrible name though.
#12 – Snake Rattle ‘n’ Roll
I don’t like this game. I generally don’t like these “3D” isometric games. They piss me off. The game has toilet seats for enemies, so at least it has that going for it. As much as I personally don’t like it, the game is well made and doesn’t really have any serious flaws. It just happens to be in a style I don’t enjoy. If you’ve never played it, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy it, so don’t let my dislike for it stop you.
#11 – Tiny Toon Adventures (NES)
This was a decent platformer. Nothing amazing. You play as Buster, but an item will allow you to play as Dizzy, Furball, and Plucky. I stuck with Plucky, since he can kinda fly/float after jumping. You can fight Duck Vader, so there’s that going for it. It’s a little short and a little easy, but it was fun for an afternoon. You can’t play as Babs, possibly the greatest female cartoon character from my youth, because, and I shit you not, she’s been kidnapped. Yeah…
#10 – Gun Nac (NES)
Gun Nac is a shmup, which I don’t like, but the power ups were neat and the enemies were ridiculous. I’m pretty much only putting the game this high on my list because it let me shoot rabbits and cats and other nonsense.
#9 – Snow Bros. (NES)
Bubble Bobble with snowmen and snowballs. It was alright.
#8 – Disney’s DuckTales 2 (NES)
Capcom decided to apply the same formula they use for Mega Man here. This is essentially the same thing as the first game, with a few meaningless additions. This is essentially the Mega Man 5 and 6 to its predecessor’s Mega Man 2 and 3. They didn’t even bother to fix the issues present in the first game, like how short it was. It’s an alright game, but nothing special.
#7 – Bust-A-Move 4 (Dreamcast)
The first Dreamcast game I ever beat. Also known as Puzzle Bobble, even if you’ve never played this game, its sequels, or its predecessors, you’ve likely played some form of clone. I liked the story mode, which, even though it was essentially pointless, did give a sort of purpose to playing all of the levels. Plus, with characters to unlock and the other game modes, there’s lots to do in this game.
#6 – Shatterhand (NES)
I remember when this game was suggested to me. I thought, what is this, a game where a guy shatters things with his hand? I was not disappointed. You run around punching stuff til it shatters and it is pretty fun. Some decent platforming and fun power ups round it out. I’d never heard of the game before and was left wondering why. It is definitely worth checking out.
#5 – Felix the Cat (NES)
I’d always liked the Felix the Cat cartoon in theory, with it’s surreal humour, but I never really got to watch it much. I did always think it could’ve made a cool video game though. Sadly, this game, though decent, doesn’t really do anything special with the Felix universe. The platforming is solid. The magic power ups, which change Felix’s attack, also work well. The boss battles are varied and fun. It’s just a really simple game.
#4 – Pinball Quest (NES)
I don’t like pinball games. I don’t get the point, mostly because they have no point other than getting points. I don’t know. That just does nothing for me. I loved Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball though. It had a goal other than racking up points, so I wasn’t too surprised to find myself enjoying a pinball RPG, which is the bizarre mashup you find in this game. Overall, it works well. The RPG elements, the pinball elements, the power ups, all of it works fairly well. Even the game’s length, which is a little on the short side, worked for me. It felt like just the right length. So, if you’re looking for a weird pinball game, a unique RPG, or just a strange kind of game, I really recommend this one.
#3 – Beyond Good & Evil (PS2)
This game is good. It is a good game that was fun to play. Fun is good, like this game, which is both. It isn’t amazing, or groundbreaking, or unique, or particularly special in any way. It is a solid 3D action-adventure game. Other than the main character, and maybe her sidekicks, nothing about this game is interesting. The story is just good enough to not stop you from playing. The gameplay is well done and enjoyable. The game just doesn’t excel at anything in particular. It does everything well. I’m glad I played it and if you love action-adventure games and have played virtually all of them, then try this one. If not, there’s a reason why Ratchet & Clank or Jak & Daxter or more well known and had all those sequels. Play those.
#2 – Magical Doropie/The Krion Conquest (Famicom)
I almost put this in the top spot. It’s the only game I want to replay and am sure I will replay some day. I’ll make it very easy for everyone: do you love Mega Man? Do you love Ninja Gaiden’s cutscenes? If so, you absolutely need to play this game. I can guarantee you will not regret it. In a lot of ways, it is better than Mega Man. You can charge your shot, duck to avoid getting hit, and shoot straight up with all your weapons. Best of all, all your attacks are useful throughout the entire game. Finally, you play as a woman the entire time, and beating the game quickly doesn’t allow you to replay it while wearing less clothing.
Along with the next game, I will absolutely be playing this game again and plan to give it a full review. You really should play this game. Download the Japanese version and get the English patch, as The Krion Conquest (the North American version) doesn’t have the cutscenes.
#1 – Wild Arms (PS1)
I played Wild Arms to review it for Game Overkill (I’ll be reworking and reposting the review for it that was first posted to 1MoreCastle.com in the coming months). It wasn’t a glowing review, but I’ve played many games since, and quite a few JRPGs, and while playing them, one thought was constantly on my mind: I wish this game was Wild Arms. I miss the game. I want to play it again. Right now. I want to hear the music again especially. I want to see the characters and go on another adventure. The next time it goes on sale in the PlayStation Store, you should pick it up. Its setting is different for a JRPG and the music is among the best among video games of any genre.
So, those were the retro games I beat in 2015. I beat some modern games too. Here they are in order from favourite to least liked:
- Catherine (PS3)
- Heavy Rain (PS3)
- Fallout: New Vegas (PS3)
- Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero? (PSP)
- Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (PS3)
- The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion (PS3)
- GTA V (PS3)
- Mario Kart Wii (Wii)
- Just Cause 2 (PS3)
Anyway, I know the retro list had a lot of NES games, but that’s mostly because I asked people on Twitter to suggest less well known but still good games for the system while I was on vacation, so I beat 9 in a week. Since then, I’ve made a couple more lists for other systems, so 2016’s list should have more variety. But hey, while you’re here, why don’t you suggest some games too. Or just share what games you’ve beaten this year.