Retro Game Challenge DS

User Score
7.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 15
  2. Negative: 3 out of 15
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  1. Nov 30, 2011
    8
    An interesting take on retro gaming for new players, Retro Game Challenge can even be an emotional ride for old timers.

    The Good: A fair share of new (?!) retro games tweaked to appeal to both old and modern audiences; plenty of value in the main campaign, plus a bunch of unlockables. The Bad: Can feel repetitive at times. The premise is interesting: a kid who simply can't win at
    An interesting take on retro gaming for new players, Retro Game Challenge can even be an emotional ride for old timers.

    The Good: A fair share of new (?!) retro games tweaked to appeal to both old and modern audiences; plenty of value in the main campaign, plus a bunch of unlockables.

    The Bad: Can feel repetitive at times.

    The premise is interesting: a kid who simply can't win at current gen games is sent back to the past to learn how to play like a pro through retro challenges. The execution is lovely: a typical 80s gaming experience is provided in every aspect--8-bit games (and that means cartridges with manuals and all) being released, magazines with hints and reviews, playing in another kid's house while convincing his mother to let you play... Retro Game Challenge achieves a nice balance in these elements making it a blast for both young players and old-school veterans as well.

    Your friends' living room acts as a hub for you to explore this brave old (:P) world. While sitting on the floor in front of the TV you'll face challenge after challenge as your buddy comes in every now and then with new carts (and monthly issues of fictitious mags) covering pretty much every genre available in the 80s: shooters, action-platformers, racing games... even an RPG shows off towards the end. The presentation here--more than that, the overall care with details--is stunning and makes it for a warming experience: reading a game manual, being surprised by an amazing secret revealed in a mag, listening to your friend cheering (and sometimes bothering) you, winning a special limited edition of a game at a contest, buying a "turbo" controller... Everything sums up to make you feel right at home (be it a revisited one or a brand new place depending on who the "real" player is) in such a living environment.

    Talking about the games, as said above they're not just plain retro assemblage. Each one was carefully tweaked to be enjoyable to everyone--and here we've got to the biggest achievement on this Xseed project: to make a pile of simple games not to necessarily feel dated. The nice variety of titles include sequels to original IPs that allow the series to develop internally while making you care for them, leaving you eager for the next "releases".

    One could argue that RGC can get a little repetitive when it comes to the aforementioned challenges (they make you replay the same game a couple times for different goals) but even that can't be considered a chore due to a constant stream of new info on the games. Hints, tips and cheat codes lend you a helping hand when the time to replay 'em all comes by without spoiling the pleasure of exploring a new title for the first time (just like it used to be in the 80s when videogame journalists didn't know much more than regular gamers from start).

    In the end Retro Game Challenge is a neat piece of hypothetical gaming history... and along the way it manages not only to capture a real retro feeling of an entire era but also to be amusing to new players--even if it's the case of someone who lacks a soft spot for nostalgia.
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  2. Sep 25, 2011
    10
    Based on the fantastic Japanese gaming show Game Center CX, this embodies all that is great about retro gaming in to a collection of original, though heavily inspired, NES era games. Each game has its own set of unique challenges, cheats, and tactics to keep the game fun and fresh from beginning to end.
  3. KeithB
    Mar 11, 2009
    10
    Wow. This game needs to get way more attention. On the face of it, it's essentially a series of eight games, all with 8-bit level graphics, sound and controls - but it's really so much more than that. Read any other review for specifics - the mechanics and design of the games are all brilliant and solid as hell - but this game has taught me some even more important things.
  4. TravisR
    Feb 26, 2009
    8
    This game is great. They cheesed out a bit on the final challenge, but overall, an excellent game. Highly recommended.
  5. JesseW.
    Feb 15, 2009
    10
    Retro Game Challenge is retro gaming bliss. The best retro game collection released in decades is made up entirely of fake games, many outright clones of titles you may have grown up with. Scandal? Hardly. The brilliance, and at times abject parody, not to mention the quality of the designs, art, music, even the dialog (dialog in a retro collection? yes, and it's great!), add up to Retro Game Challenge is retro gaming bliss. The best retro game collection released in decades is made up entirely of fake games, many outright clones of titles you may have grown up with. Scandal? Hardly. The brilliance, and at times abject parody, not to mention the quality of the designs, art, music, even the dialog (dialog in a retro collection? yes, and it's great!), add up to what would have been my game of 2008 had it released mere months ago. I find it hard to imagine anyone spurning such a joyful bundle of gaming goodness. Even those with no memories of the NES era will find plenty to enjoy. Each of the games feels complete and fulfilling on its own, and the addition of a framework of challenges and unlockables functions as a carrot to draw the gamer deeper. Where I found myself, in other collections, hopping from game to game aimlessly, here, I'm gently prodded into learning the intricacies of each selection, and it's immensely satisfying. The freeplay mode, with its more subtle incentives, became a surprising favorite, but beyond that, the shell of sitting down, virtually, with a childhood pal, searching through fake game magazines (with great shout-outs to real life editors you might remember), even getting yacked at by your friend's mom ("Are you two still playing? Control yourselves!") adds up to one of the most charming experiences I've had in gaming. As for the games themselves, they're the best Famicom titles that never existed. The crown of the collection, at least for me, is the epic (10-15 hour!) RPG, Guadia Quest, but there is more than something for everyone, the focus being on action. In truth, I've never had so much fun with shooters before; I actually like Cosmic Gate more than, say, Galaga. To paraphrase Bono, "Even better than the real thing." And that's truly just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The designs borrow happily from the past (each game's influences can be dissected like the best of loving tributes) but never get bogged down in the tedium or problems of our actual retro libraries. In other words, they're coated with enough modern game philosophy (but not too much!) that they don't end up making you remember what you hated about the halcyon 8-bit days (hey, nostalgia covers over a multitude of sins). Expand
  6. SKN
    Feb 13, 2009
    10
    Only the most ambitious game to come out in more than a decade. It is a serious representation of old-school gaming, plus glitches and gaming codes and add-ons and more. It is an adventurous effort, a true love affair is noticable and admirable. it is an homage to an era when gaming was simple yet insanely difficult. A wonderful game, though not as difficult as the original onld schoolOnly the most ambitious game to come out in more than a decade. It is a serious representation of old-school gaming, plus glitches and gaming codes and add-ons and more. It is an adventurous effort, a true love affair is noticable and admirable. it is an homage to an era when gaming was simple yet insanely difficult. A wonderful game, though not as difficult as the original onld school gaming. A true gamers dream! Own it! Support it! Love it! Expand

Awards & Rankings

#30 Most Discussed DS Game of 2009
#53 Most Shared DS Game of 2009
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 30
  2. Negative: 1 out of 30
  1. Nintendo Power
    80
    Great gameplay and a goofy sense of humor make this a terrific tribute to the 8-bit experience. [Jan 2009, p.91]
  2. Even if you're not old enough to remember blowing on carts, Retro Game Challenge is interesting and varied enough to entertain for hours. [Feb 2009, p.87]
  3. The charms, variety, and authenticity of this unusual compilation of 8-bit-style games help it shine in spite of some flaws.