Video Game Reviews

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Alex Kidd in Miracle World

Sega Master System

[Available via Nintendo Wii's Virtual Console]

Summary:

Alex Kidd finds himself having to rescue his kidnapped brother from the evil Janken, taking on assortment of strange and bizarre enemies along the way in this platformer adventure game for the Sega Master System. The levels vary from regular platforming to flying levels, swimming levels, racing levels as well as bizarre rock/paper/scissors boss sections, while along the way you can also pick up useful items to grant you invincibility, fly and even shoot fireballs to help get you through the more tougher sections of the game!

Pros:

- The soundtrack and effects are nothing fancy but they're upbeat and suit the game well

- The graphics are vibrant and smooth for a Master System game

- The overall gameplay is fairly varied and challenging, with a few secrets thrown in to make things interesting and reward more adventurous gamers for their efforts

Cons:

- The rock/paper/scissors boss sections are tedious, time consuming and seemingly random at first... also once you find the right item they become pointless, as you will then be able to see what they are planning to do each and every time!

- Movement is very slippy at times and the hit detection can also seem a little off as well, leading to a fair few frustrating deaths along the way

- No continues (unless you cheat) and only a handful of lives makes finishing the game much more difficult especially given my last point

Similar Retro Games:

- Sonic The Hedgehog [Sega Master System]

- Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle [Megadrive/Genesis]

- Super Mario Bros [NES]

Retro Score: 3/5

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Contra III / Super Probotector

SNES

[Available via Nintendo Wii's Virtual Console]

Summary:

In short sometime in the far future aliens have invaded Earth and its up to you to blast your way through their forces to defeat their leader and save the human race from extinction! Using an assortment of powerful weapon upgrades (lasers, spread gun, homing missiles, etc) you must battle through six challenging stages shooting everything and anything in your path, avoiding deadly pitfalls and taking on some huge screen-filling tough bosses along the way! You can also team up with a friend in co-operative 2 player mode, although given the difficulty of the game that's doesn't mean it will be any easier to beat!

Pros:

- The soundtrack and graphics are diverse and very atmospheric

- Smooth gaming controls and gameplay, the last thing you'll be able to blame when you die is the controller!

- The levels are varied and well designed, meaning you won't get bored of this quickly (even when considering its overall difficulty)

Cons:

- The difficulty of the game is fairly high and will frustrate some gamers, considering one-hit kills for anything added with the sheer amount of enemies and pitfalls you have to navigate through in each level, don't be surprised if you struggle to get past even the first couple of stages

- The overhead stages can be a pain; at times you'll feel lost as to where to go next, while some sections you need to navigate require perfect manouvering in order to navigate them successfully, which ultimately will just frustrate some gamers further

Similar Retro Games:

- Contra [NES]

- Gunstar Heroes [Megadrive/Genesis]

- Megaman X Series [SNES]

Retro Score: 4/5

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Starfox 64 / Lylat Wars

Nintendo 64

[Available via Nintendo Wii's Virtual Console]

Summary:

Fox McCloud must once again save the Lylat System with the help of the Starfox Team! Flying from the planet Corneria you must first save the planet from invasion before advancing through Andross' fleet towards his home planet Venom, using your Arwing (as well as a tank and submarine at times) to navigate each area and ultimately infiltrate Andross' base to defeat him once and for all! You'll also have to keep an eye out for the StarWolf team who are out to put a stop to your efforts, as well as protecting your team throughout from being gunned down by the enemy, making things all the more difficult!

Pros:

- Excellent graphics and soundtrack for a N64 game

- Smooth and easy to use controls

- Great gameplay and diverse levels, with plenty of challenges and a higher difficulty mode to keep you coming back for more

Cons

- Sometimes the all-range mode levels can be frustrating, especially if your ship isn't fully upgraded at the time...

- The multiplayer mode is a nice touch, but at times it can be tedious and time consuming to find and land some decent shots on your opponents given the size of the battle arenas...

- Slippy Toad. Oh dear.

Similar Retro Games:

- Jet Force Gemini [N64]

- Starfox / Starwing [SNES]

Retro Score: 5/5

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