|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.
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.
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.
CCC Staff Contributor