Category Archives: Retro Select

Retro Select: Terra Cresta

I’m pretty excited for the upcoming Sol Cresta, a shoot ’em up developed by PlatinumGames with music by Yuzo Koshiro. So I thought I’d go back and play its spiritual predecessor.

Turns out it’s pretty great. Terra Cresta is an excellent Xevious-style shoot ’em up in which your power-ups are additional ship parts you can bolt on to yourself — and even fire them out in different formations for powerful effects.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Retro Select: Front Line

Every genre needs to start somewhere, and in the top-down run-and-gun shooter’s case, it pretty much started with Taito’s Front Line.

By modern standards, Front Line might look a bit laughable — particularly when it comes to its animations. But give it a bit of time and you’ll find a thoroughly playable — and very hard! — game to enjoy in the mix here. Without this game, we likely wouldn’t have had SNK classics like TNK III and Ikari Warriors!

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Retro Select: Pooyan

Supposedly, “pooyan” is a Japanese word that means “little pigs”, but I am yet to find a more authoritative source for this piece of information online than some random blog that said this was the case with no supporting evidence whatsoever.

Regardless, Pooyan is indeed a game about little pigs, and an unusual twist on the fixed shooter formula. It’s a game that I used to find oddly unsettling as a child, also — and as an adult, I find the more you play it and the more you think about it, the more unsettling it becomes once again. Fun, though!

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Retro Select: Endless Ocean

Sometimes it’s nice to have a chill-out game that doesn’t make any particularly difficult demands on you. And the Wii is a great console on which to explore that sort of experience.

One of the best games in the Wii’s library in this regard is the delightfully unusual fish-poking simulator Endless Ocean, which tasks you with exploring the deep blue sea in search of the aforementioned fish, sunken treasure and all manner of other goodies. It’s a thoroughly pleasant time!

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Retro Select: Boom Blox

When we first heard that Steven Spielberg was making a game, I think the last thing anyone expected was a physics puzzler for Wii. And once that had been revealed, I think the last thing anyone expected was for it to be really good.

But Boom Blox is both of those things — and I’d go so far to say it’s an essential part of any Wii library today. Offering a wealth of fun and exciting things to do for both solo players and groups of friends, this is physics puzzling done right — and not a sodding Angry Bird in sight.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Retro Select: Blast Works

Kenta Cho’s shoot ’em ups can be a bit of an acquired taste, but let yourself get wrapped up in them and you’ll have a whole lot of fun.

A great way to do that is to have a play around with Wii title Blast Works, which is an adaptation of Cho’s game Tumiki Fighters — and also includes several of Cho’s games as unlockable extras. It’s a satisfying game with some thoroughly unusual mechanics in its own right — then once you’ve mastered it you can build your own with some of the most comprehensive editing tools you’ll ever see on console!

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Retro Select: Kororinpa

There’s a lot of really good games on the Wii, many of which are completely forgotten in the mistaken assumption that the platform’s library is “all shovelware”.

Launch title Kororinpa is a good example of this. It’s an excellent example of how the platform’s iconic motion controls can be used to make a really rather compelling physics puzzler — and a game that deserved to do a whole lot better than it actually did! Oh well. At least we can appreciate it now.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Retro Select: Geometry Wars Galaxies

Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved is the reason I bought an Xbox 360. The beautifully clear visuals really sold “HD” to me, and thus it was that game, more than any other, that brought me into the high-definition age.

I held off playing the Wii game Geometry Wars Galaxies for quite some time, at least partly because I thought the game might lose some impact in standard definition. I was very much wrong, and now I am regretting not having played this much sooner!

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Retro Select: Rally-X

Early ’80s arcade games were seriously tough to get to grips with — not necessarily from a mechanical perspective, but in terms of applying your knowledge of those mechanics effectively.

Namco’s Rally-X is a great example of this. The concept, on paper, is simple: drive a car around a maze and collect flags while not crashing into rocks or other cars. The execution, meanwhile, is the sort of thing that will have you flinging your controller out of a window before long — but you’ll still keep coming back for more.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Retro Select: Mario Tennis

Mario Tennis for the Nintendo 64 is my favourite Mario Tennis game. Subsequent installments have, to me, overcomplicated things somewhat — so it’s been a pleasure to return to this one thanks to the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack.

Providing straightforward but mechanically interesting arcadey thrills, Mario Tennis for Nintendo 64 is Virtua Tennis with an added layer of cartoony accessibility atop it. Even those who aren’t into sports — like me — can have a good time with this one, particularly if you bring some friends along to join the fun!

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

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