Retro Game Challenge Review
Retro Game Challenge box art
System: DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Namco Bandai Games 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Xseed Games 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Feb. 10, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Don't expect to be blown away by the graphics; the visuals look like they come straight out of the 8-bit past. However, this isn't a bad thing. The highly pixelated sprites and familiar old-school graphics mix with the chiptune audio tracks and blippy sound effects perfectly.

Retro Game Challenge screenshot

The retro graphics are so convincingly replicated you wouldn't be able to immediately tell the games were made from scratch just for this DS release, without knowing so ahead of time. If you're up for a trip down memory lane along with a completely new experience, Retro Game Challenge should do the trick. Another great aspect of the presentation is the way the dual screens are utilized. The bottom screen shows your character and the young Arino plopped in a living room in front of a gaming console connected to a TV. While the games themselves appear on the upper screen, the living room scene remains static, and you can watch and listen to Arino's reactions to how well (or poorly) you play each retro game.

Many aspects of the game pay homage to the early years of gaming culture, but the inclusion of fully readable gaming magazines is icing on the cake. Every so often, little Arino will inform you a new issue of GameFan magazine has arrived, and you can mosey on over to the bookshelf to select an issue and digitally thumb through the pages. Each issue is packed with tips for the games, actual cheat codes that can be used, and editorial content penned by actual game journalists and editors in the industry.

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Retro Game Challenge hearkens back to a time when 3D graphics didn't exist and video games were nowhere near as elaborate as the high-end affairs current-gen systems offer. Even so, the highly creative presentation is top-notch, and the varied gameplay will keep you busy for hours on end. This one's a must for retro gaming enthusiasts.

By Nathan Meunier
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.9
Graphics
Pixelated and dated in a good way.
4.0
Control
Simple D-Pad moves and twitchy button mashing makes for sore thumbs and a great time.
4.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The chiptunes and old-school sounds are top-notch.
4.6

Play Value
Challenges will keep you busy for quite some time, and the fun found in the full games themselves lasts even longer.

4.4
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Experience Games in a Whole New Way: Rather than simply playing a game straight from start to finish, each game is played in short spurts to accomplish specific goals.
  • Wide Variety of Games to Keep Players Engaged: From classic shooters to racing, ninja action to epic role-playing, gameplay variety ensures there's something for everyone.
  • Entire Games Available for Free Play: Every retro game introduced in the story is available in its entirety once the initial challenges have been completed.
  • Experience the '80s Gaming Culture: Not only do the in-game magazines provide cheat codes, they are also a source of entertainment and a virtual history lesson about the video game industry. Fake '80s news stories cover actual emerging '80s gaming trends, the evolution of software, and even the video game crash of 1983.


  • Screenshots / Images
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