By: Jeb Haught
SYSTEM: Xbox Live Arcade (PSN)
PRICE: $9.99 Download
ESRB RATING: Teen
REVIEW RATING: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
Video games have changed quite a bit since the 1980s; this is reinforced by playing the download-only “Capcom Arcade Cabinet” series. One of the recent additions to this series is the “1985 Game Pack” that contains three classic games sure to bring back fond memories.
Newcomers to classic games will be surprised by the extreme difficulty of “Ghosts N’ Goblins,” “Section Z” and “Gun.Smoke.” With no handholding or save spots located every ten feet, these games can be downright maddening! Although they appear to be vastly different, each game tasks players with moving around the screen, attacking enemies and dodging a plethora of projectiles.
My favorite is “Ghosts N’ Goblins” because it reminds me of playing the original game for hours on end at the local arcade. Players guide Arthur the knight through deadly surrealistic environments in a desperate attempt to save his girlfriend. Although Arthur begins with a meager spear, players can collect additional weapons, like axes and throwing knives. These weapons provide different attributes that can have a dramatic affect against certain enemies.
Next, we have the futuristic shooter, “Section Z,” where players control a spaceman as he navigates a dangerous underground fortress. Multiple enemies shooting projectiles from every direction compound the excitement. Players can use a handy jetpack and a quick 180-degree turn button to gain an advantage, and improved weapons and quick speed boosts can be obtained along the way.
Last on the list is the wild west-themed shooter, “Gun.Smoke.” Unlike most vertical shooters, this one lets players blast enemies in front of them and on each side! This feature comes in mighty handy since the sheriff is attacked by desperadoes packing sidearms and dynamite as well as nimble ninjas slinging shurikins! For an extra advantage, make sure to hop on the speedy horse whenever it becomes available.
Since there are no console game emulators, “Capcom Arcade Cabinet: 1985 Game Pack” is your best bet for gaming nostalgia.
DEVELOPER: Iron Galaxy Studios
SYSTEM: PlayStation Network (XBLA)
ESRB RATING: Teen
REVIEW RATING: 4.0 stars (out of 5)
Way back before the abysmal “Twilight” series ruined the idea of vampires fighting against werewolves, Capcom actually made this concept fun. The unusual title, “Darkstalkers,” threw a dark mix of supernatural creatures together in their own pugilistic fighting game that was fast and furious! Now fans can rejoice as the series has been brought back to life in the form of “Darkstalkers Resurrection.”
This title offers both the second and third “Darkstalkers” games in one handy package that retains their original glory. Fortunately, none of the fighting mechanics have been altered, which should please fans of the series. However, there are many new additions that add more enjoyment to the package, with the most prolific being online multiplayer combat.
Due to the fast nature of this series, it’s crucial to have seamless online game play. Thankfully, the online experience is not only free of lag, but it also lets players filter the region, latency and even the skill level of opponents. Players can also create groups of up to eight players to fight each other, and those who aren’t fighting can spectate. Lastly, players can now create and run their own tournaments to see who is the true master of the night.
Also new to the series is a useful tutorial mode in the form of character trials. In addition to teaching maneuvers, these trials also provide reasons why certain moves are vital for survival. Veteran and new players alike will surely benefit from completing the trials for every character.
I find it very nostalgic to play classic games like this in their original form, but a cool array of visual filters is also available to customize the experience. For instance, players can “smooth” the look to make it less pixelated and/or stretch the visuals to fit wide-screen TVs.
“Darkstalkers Resurrection” may frustrate newcomers, but this is the game that fans of the series have been waiting for.
REVIEW SCORING SYSTEM
5 stars = Must Have
4 stars = Very Good
3 stars = Above Average
2 stars = Bargain Bin
1 star = Don’t Bother
Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB)
E10-plus: (Everyone 10 and older)
T: Teen (13 and older)
M: Mature (17 and older)
To find out more about Jeb Haught and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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