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    jp's Retro Game Challenge (DS)

    [October 21, 2010 05:48:30 PM]
    I guess if the game was serious about being an authentic retro experience it would have to spike the difficulty level dramatically at some point. So it did. Once you've clear all of Arino's challenges he unleashes the ultimate challenge: beat all the games. I gave up on Haggleman 3. It was fun, but the last boss is (I swear) impossible. I had 99 lives and I lost them all. I got CLOSE, but no cigar. You see, retro game bosses, especially the really hard ones play a mean trick. Once you've beaten them...something else happens you then have to beat! Yes, multi-stage boss battles. However, I wouldn't call the experience of playing this game an exercise in frustration and anger management. For the most part, it's quite reasonable, entertaining, and dare I say, nostalgic.

    The localization was kind of strange, the game is set in Japan. The characters are clearly Japanese and so on. However, they took the trouble to (I assume) replace many of the "writers" and "editors" of the (fake) game magazines you get with western ones. I thought this was a strange decision unless perhaps I'm missing something? In the 80s, was it a big thing to have western editors/writers in Japanese game magazines?
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    [October 9, 2010 11:33:48 PM]
    Wow, this is really neat! I had heard about the show the game is a "spin-off" of, but I'm not sure how much of the show is relevant to the game. I would guess that not much, but I'll make sure to check Wikipedia just in case.

    So, the game is essentially a collection of retro games that are actually new. I'm not sure if the intention is for them to be homages of older games I should recognize (I don't) or if they're simply inspired by them. Some of the touches are kind of neat, for example a few of them have (what I assume) are fake Engrish spelling mistakes and things like that.

    The point of the game is to complete a series of challenges for each game in order to unlock the next one. I've already reached the "final" challenge which is to beat all of the games...I can't say I didn't see that one coming! What's neat about the challenges is that they "force" you to engage with the other (supporting?) materials in the game such as the game's manual, which you can read, and issues of GameFan magazine (a fake game magazine with commentary, editors, tips and tricks and more).

    I was a bit disappointed that the challenges are unlocked sequentially rather than in parallel. On a few occasions I faced a new challenge only to find that I had already beat it previously! (I still had to beat it again). I guess it makes sense in the context of the narrative, but I can't deny that I've grown "soft" to games with achievements (that are earned whenever you meet their requirements).

    What I've found MOST interesting though is how the game integrates the tips/tricks and cheats aspect of gaming culture. Especially considering how important it was back in those days. There were games for which insider knowledge of the cheats was essential, and Retro Game Challenge captures that perfectly. Whenever you're issues a new challenge it pays to check the game magazines (sometimes there are 2 different issues that might be relevant) for hints and cheats that may help you. Historically, I know that many game magazines were only relevant because of their tips and tricks (Nintendo Power, I'm looking at you!). Oh, it's also neat that while playing you can have a magazine open on the lower screen as reference! (like I was going to remember all the different codes)
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    jp's Retro Game Challenge (DS)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Got frustrated

    GameLog started on: Friday 1 October, 2010

    GameLog closed on: Thursday 21 October, 2010

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    Couldn't beat the ultimate challenge, but the trip there is definitely worth it. Gamer knowledge is a pre-req for enjoyment though... I think.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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