Author
Luis Zena

Phantasy Star

This is your classic RPG hands down. You can level up and have lots of fun. The game is turn-based so it requires some savvy strategy at times especially with the tougher monsters and boss fights. You will also spend lots of time grinding which is perfect for classic RPG fanatics! [...]

Sonic The Hedgehog

The graphics are quite good for a Master System game. Sonic looks like Sonic and not like a blob. The backgrounds and graphics of the stages are a hit. You never feel like you’ll jump into a fake wall or something. There isn’t that much distortion if there are too many things going on in the game so that’s a well deserved thumbs up. [...]

Lufia 2: Rise of the Sinistrals

The gameplay is as enjoyable as the first one. You have the classic random encounters and you can even catch monsters to help you fight your battles. This was before Pokemon by the way! You’ll be doing some classic grinding and dungeon exploring. it never gets too old though. Increasing your stats and finding better equipment has never been so much fun in a 16-bit game. [...]

Lufia & the Fortress of Doom

The gameplay is what makes this game shine. It’s fun turn based classic style. You can’t go wrong with this choice of gameplay. Each character has their own style of fighting and can help other members out. If you keep a good balance of attacks and magic, your fights will be a lot easier than you might think. The game mostly takes places in caves where you must explore to your heart’s content. Definitely, addicting gameplay overall. [...]

Shaq Fu

For a side scroller the graphics are superb and the sound just outstanding, just try playing the game with the stereo plugged in and you will have one of the most amazing soundtracks in video game history! I’m not kidding! The gameplay is simple, you have Shaq doing the Shaqattack! doh! and much much more! [...]

ISS Deluxe

The teams are also very unbalanced in the aspect of weakest to strongest. I know that most games are very playable even with the weakest character (TMNT Raph, I’m talking to you!) but this one makes you want to just pick Brazil or Germany half the time. You can try it with other teams but you’ll end up having a very hard time beating the goal keeper or even catching up to the offense as your guys aren’t even as fast as your rival. This uneveness makes you work harder and truly think like a pro to find a way to win. I haven’t played the game so much to get to that point, but you will know what I mean when you play it. [...]

FIFA Soccer 96 (Game Boy)

Back in the era of the classic Gameboy we had our fair share of horrible sport titles. It was a very difficult task to make a sport game playable on such a small screen. With the usual yearly titles though, someone had to eventually get it right. FIFA 96 came out to be a game of greatness that no other title was able to live up to in the portable world. The game is quite fascinating as it contains one of the best responsive controls ever for a portable game of its time. [...]

Soul Blazer

As far as the gameplay, it is quite satisfying. You will have to come up with your own strategies to defeat certain bosses. You just can’t run to them and kill them, it’s a good way to use your head in a way. There is also a level up system that of course makes you stronger. Weapons, and other items are on the way to help you finish your quest. Everything an action-RPG title should bring is here! Don’t look anywhere else! The game is quite fun but would only be good for a replay if there are extra things you might have missed on your first run. Then again, if you find defeating bad guys and playing this game as satisfying then I suggest you go for it! It’s a great experience overall and experiencing it again would just be joyful and action packed once more. [...]

The Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle 2

The graphics of the game are quite good. Things look how they are supposed to look and you won’t run into objects you think are part of the background. Even people with vision problems like myself were able to detect the scenery quite successfully. Even the enemies look how they are supposed to look and that’s a very well done task by the developers. I do have to mention that the big headed bird Tweety was made bigger than its size but that’s understandable as you are playing a portable game and won’t recognize him if you see him [...]

Iridion 2

The gameplay is very enjoyable nonetheless. You are able to pick up power ups and shoot down your enemies. You can also pick up other items along the way and recover your energy. You’ll have a lot of fun dodging the rain of bullets coming your way and just like any games of this genre, you have to keep your button on the trigger in order to defeat the massive bosses you come across. [...]

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX

The gameplay is sensational. You have the A and B buttons to equip whichever combinations of items you feel more comfortable with. Of course, you have to know when to use certain items because you can only get so far with a shield and sword. With an array of weapons, challenging dungeons, and comical situations this Zelda game is as enjoyable as the day it was released. The freedom Link has in this game is nothing but great. You’ll feel as if you can do almost anything! Exploring and discover is also a huge plus in Zelda games! Be sure to find all the heart pieces and don’t forget to knock against certain trees. There is a lot to love indeed. [...]

Ninja Gaiden 2

The gameplay is tough! If you really want an old school 8-bit challenge, then this is it! Look no further unless you want something even more difficult like Battletoads. You’ll be trying to beat this game for hours, days, even weeks! Once you do, you’ll feel so accomplish and will never want to play through it again! [...]

Dragon Ball GT Final Bout

The game has very good graphics. The 3D is very detailed but of course it would’ve been a lot better with some more work. There are times where objects disappear but it rarely happens. The different battle fields are OK at the most. They do resemble parts of the anime series but somehow always fall flat. A little more animation would’ve helped a lot. Overall, just OK graphics and character animation is good at most. The voice acting does help but not as much. [...]

Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete

With every RPG comes every type of gameplay. You will find yourself battling through tough bosses and dungeons in this one. This game is not as easy as you might think so you better be ready to use all your skills for it. The challenge factor is what makes you keep coming for more so in a way it’s not too tough that you would want to rip your head off but it’s also not too easy to make it a cakewalk. Just try it for yourself. [...]

Super Mario Land 2

The gameplay is wonderful! It’s a joy to play such an awesome game! You couldn’t expect anything less from Nintendo. As sidescrollers were the shit back then, every other would end up mimicking the Mario titles. Of course, very few were successful in doing so which is why Nintendo and Mario were always on top. Mario has a whole new arsenal of power ups including the bunny ears which works like the leaf from Super Mario Bros 3. Be sure to play through this game till the final showdown against a now famous Nintendo character Wario. [...]

Hello Kitty World

The gameplay is quite entertaining. You keep yourself levitated with two balloons and your goal is to get across the level without getting your balloons popped! It may sound simple but believe me, levels get tougher and tougher as you move along. Even if you get your balloons popped you’ll be able to inflate new ones to fly into the sun! Of course, you gotta make sure you don’t land on the different obstacles that will definitely kill you such as fire. [...]

Dig Dug 2

This time around is Dig Dug 2 for the NES. We have been hitting a lot of NES games lately so it’s only fair to continue with them but the next couple of months will showcase other consoles, that’s for sure. This game is different from its predecessor as it takes place in the open. The first one took place underground. I’m guessing the monsters found a way outside and our little hero must blow them up once again. It’s not an amazing title, but it’s definitely worth a mention. [...]

Battle Mania

The gameplay is genius! You can guide your two gals through the stages and detach them as you go in order to plan an strategy for victory! You’re going to need all your cunning to get through the stages but it’ll be an enjoyable experience overall. If you are a fan of shoot ’em ups and cute girls, then check this baby out! [...]

Baseball Stars 2

The gameplay of the game is nothing but wonderful. If there is a strong point of this game is the gameplay which is what makes you want to come back for more. Not only is it challenging at times, but it’s just a wonder to go through your noobie team and turn them into professionals. From beginning to end, you’ll end up powering through some tough challenges and it’ll definitely want to do it all over again. [...]

Spartan X2

The game is so short that playing it over and over can be quite fun although tiring at the same time. There is only so much you can do and the levels are very linear. There is no other way around any of the levels. Just walk from left to right until you reach the boss. In replay value this game suffers but there is always an urge to come back to it for a quick play especially if you know the length of it. Sometimes, games don’t need to be long to be fun. [...]

The Jetsons

The music is decent for this game. It definitely doesn’t make you feel like you are in the future but there is nothing more amazing like an 8-bit soundtrack especially if it’s upbeat and fun. The sound effects are also pretty decent as well. There is no voice acting although it’s possible in the NES but you do have some classic sounds. The music would be above average and some of the tunes actually mimic the cartoon’s music. [...]

Gradius 2

The game is just as enjoyable from beginning to end. If you have the guts to play through it and come back again for another run, you have been warned. As I mentioned before, the game is difficult and will only get more difficult as you go further in the game but it’s so satisfying to come back to. [...]

Little Samson

The NES was already past its prime but developers knew every trick there had to be for the console. Programming a beautiful game was no problem due to the experience developers had. In other words, since this game came out in 1992 and was developed by a brilliant team, it means the graphics are awesome! Each character looks as exquisite as the other. The backgrounds are live and vivid and the enemies are just as lively as everything else on the game! Well done! [...]

8 Eyes

The gameplay is as tough as you’ll find. I guess you can’t say it’s Battletoads tough but more like a very tough side scroller that you don’t want to play again. The game has decent controls but the monsters come from all places! You can’t find yourself in a good position at most of the times. Your bird doesn’t help much, you are at a loss!! HELPPP!!! [...]

Mike Tyson’s Punch Out

The musical score of this game is quite astounding. Did I mentioned there are only a couple of songs in the entire game? Well, they do the right job that’s for sure. The music will get you pumped up while the sound effects will reflect on how well you are doing in the fight. Be sure to tap the buttons real fast if you want to get up and fight again! You have been warned… [...]

Keith Courage in Alpha Zone

With games like Final Fantasy 2(4 in Japan) hitting the USA and other RPGs as well, there was no doubt that this title wouldn’t stand against others. In my opinion, I think this game was released just to show off what the Turbo Grafx console was capable of. The game is very simple, although based by an anime, it’s not bad at all. It contains some RPG elements that help it stand out a little bit. There is also a transformation sequence where you turn into a robot and fly around… [...]

Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose

The game showcases the usual Konami bad ass options as you’ll only get the true ending by beating the game in hard. Konami used to do this to all of their hit games back in the day to make sure you lived up to their expectations. This game can be quite tough especially in stage five but you’ll be able to go through with enough practice and patience. After all, it’s just another one of those fun games that can stay quite fun even at its hardest moments. [...]

Twin Bee

The gameplay is truly enjoyable! I can’t say enough! The game is short but fun and quite challenging. If you think the first stage was easy, they are just easing you in. Be sure to get all the power ups early on because you are going to need them. The game does a great job at raising the bar in difficulty although the enemies are quite simple if you learn the patterns and even then some don’t have patterns and you just have to shoot and move. Fun fun fun ! [...]

Ehrgeiz

The graphics are very good and sharp. The game does deliver some of the best graphics for its day. Squaresoft did a good job making the characters look how they are supposed to. Just think about this, remember how the Final Fantasy VII characters looked in the game? Well, look at them in this game and tell me they don’t look better. Tifa’s boobs are yummier than ever! [...]

Banana Prince

The game is a simple platformer that is just too fun to put down. The game has a lot of different features from such games as Super Mario and even Zelda 2. Combine those two schemes and you have an awesome title if done right that is. Be sure to check it out! FUN FUN FUN! The game itself is great. You’ll definitely have to come back for another run. The game is a great experience from beginning to end. Any platformer fan has to try this one out. The animation and beauty of this game makes you want to come back for more! [...]

Breath of Fire III

Gameplay is quite fun and moderate. You’ll have to do lots of leveling up and exploring in this game in order to be able to advance. This is what an RPG is mainly about, you go to a dungeon, level up, and move on. Some enemies can be very troublesome so it’s up to you to figure out their strengths and weaknesses. This is what keeps the game interesting and very rewarding. Like any RPG you’ll want to discover everything there is or if you missed something. Due to the length of RPGs you’ll want to make time for another run as it’ll take you 40+ hours to beat the game. If you are willing to do that, be my guest! You are going to love it either way. [...]

Final Fantasy Chronicles

The graphics are 16-bit era memorable. Final Fantasy IV has beautiful dungeons and a world map with towns that are very recognizable. As usual, Final Fantasy IV has some of the towns with their shops and villager’s homes. As for Chrono Trigger, it was and probably still stands as one of the most beautiful games ever created in the SNES era. The game is just so atmospheric that you’ll feel as you are part of the story. Moving from time period to time period really drives you different atmospheres and with the help of the beautiful soundtrack, you’ll know exactly where you are. [...]

Mega Man

The graphics are very stable. They are nothing amazing but it does make you feel like if you are in the future. The game looks and feels great overall. There aren’t that many weird things off from the game but it wouldn’t make any sense since it’s from the future. The bad guys are definitely known by many with such simple names as Cut Man and Guts Man…. Yeah, I remember those. The gameplay is quite tough. This is one of the more difficult Mega Man games out there mainly because there is no Mega buster, no sliding, no E-tanks…I can go on and on. You’ll have to use your best Mega skills to get through this. It’ll be worth it though! [...]

Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse

The gameplay is one of the best. The game will challenge you along the way but you’ll have new allies to help you as well. Be sure to know the basics and be able to balance your team in order to get through the game. The controls are very responsive and don’t disappoint. Difficulty has always been a factor on Castlevania games. Konami did a great job at balancing the difficulty level. You won’t find it impossible but it won’t be an easy ride! The game is always great to come back to and play on such holidays as Halloween. It’s a classic and classic ultimately mean that you can come back and enjoy it time and again! Ready to hunt for vampires again? [...]

Doom

Doom as very popular for many things and the music was one of them. With such a great soundtrack, the PC version turned out to be the most played shareware ever. This was even before internet became a household name! Turning to the Playstation version, I was shocked that they took out the soundtrack but instead added a very interesting soundtrack. You mostly hear monsters and what not in the background with a mix of environmental music. It’s quite freaky at times especially when you are in very dark rooms. I must say it doesn’t make me miss the PC version’s soundtrack and gives a twist to an already twisted game. [...]

Mega Man VII

The graphics are quite enriching and beautiful for such a SNES title. Mega Man has never looked more lively and he is quite enjoyable to look at especially when you aren’t doing anything with him and he just stares side to side. You know he wants to shoot at stuff! Either way, all the classic Mega Man characters are here including Proto Man and the introduction of Bass starts in this game as well. They all look sharp and lively, it’s a great sight especially to gamers that were playing 8-bit Mega Man all these years. [...]

MegaMan X3

Capcom has always been known for having such great soundtracks in their games and this one is like the others. The music is memorable and has its classic Capcom bits all over it. You’ll enjoy this soundtrack as much as the previous X games. The graphics are a little disappointing as they look exactly like the first X game graphics! Even with the help of the FX chip, this game wasn’t able to showcase much better graphical interface. I’m not saying I’m disappointed as Capcom and Mega Man games have always had that similarities on their sequels which is that they don’t change much over their releases. The gameplay is king of these series anyways. [...]

TMNT 3: The Manhattan Project

The gameplay is even better than the one before. When you pick a turtle, they will have their own unique skill. You have to use their skills accordingly in order to get through the levels with ease. Of course, I do stick with Raphael’s special move for boss fights. You might wanna do the same :p Furthermore, the difficulty makes it a challenge but not so much of it to make you throw the controller across the room. Beating the hordes of Foot Soldiers has never felt so enjoyable though. Play with a friend for a true radical experience, that’s for sure! [...]

Killer Instinct

In this game you have to find your favorite fighter and master him or her. You better learn all the finishing moves, combos, and of course the Ultras! The gameplay is very easy to learn so anyone can pick up and play. The next level comes to when you increase the difficulty and decide to take people on the arcade. Of course, that was a 90s thing. Like any fighter, this game is awesome to play against another friend. Have a fighters party and take on all your buddies in a tournament. I can go on and on….it also helps if you have a grudge against a friend and want to kill him via-video games. That works! [...]

Yu-Gi-Oh Forbidden Memories

But enough about old embarrassing memories, the game itself does play in very confusing fashion and it’s nowhere similar to the card game so for those of you who know how to play the card game, forget those rules and listen to this. Each monster contains elements which you can combine to give you advantage over other monsters. It’s like when a type of monster is stronger than the other one like in Pokemon. You have to fuse your cards together to obtain stronger monsters. You can also use magic cards and trap cards. The rules on this game though only lets you use one card from your hand per turn. That means you can either fuse a bunch of monsters together or use a magic card, or set a trap card. This gives you a lot of headaches especially when you don’t know what the effects of some cards are. Believe me, you’ll be as clueless as I am. [...]

Sonic CD

The graphics are top notch for a 16 bit Sonic game. The game not only looks beautiful but it also has a 3D view at times especially when Sonic runs through some ramps. The angle switches and almost gives it a 3D look. There is plenty of color to see and lots of graphical beauties to admire. Well done Sega. What can you expect from a real good Sonic game? Great gameplay of course. The levels get challenging along the way but not too challenging to make you throw your controller against the wall. The levels stay fresh and offer new ideas which is why this has been one of the more enjoyable Sonic games ever released. You have to search for all the secrets and even try to acquire all the stones. Can you accomplish such tasks? [...]

Primal Rage: Gameboy

Here comes one of the more decent fighters for the forgotten portable handheld. Primal Rage brings you dino-busting action to the palm of your hand and even though our handhelds nowadays do this with ease, this was a tough task back in the golden age of gameboy. Lots of other fighters were introduced and failed misserably and although not that playable, they still manage to give you an experience to their console predecessors. Primal Rage is one of them. While not offering much, this little cartridge offers more than enough to keep you entertain for a good amount of time, the time of course is your choice. Like many of the old titles of the original gameboy, this game is as simple to pick up and play. [...]

Kid Icarus

With the release of Kid Icarus it was only fair to pick the classic counterpart as the pick for this week. The game itself is not for beginners or crybabies. It’s one of the toughest NES games around and does rivals the difficulty of Ghost n Ghouls for the same console. The game does require lots of patience but does get a lot more bearable later on especially when you get the better weapons and level up. Yes, you do get more health bars and believe me, you’ll need them. So why not step back into the past and take a look at Kid Icarus for the NES. [...]

Super Mario Land

The gameplay is quite good. Just think of Super Mario in a portable handheld and that should say enough. You jump, you get power ups and of course you stomp on bad guys. It’s sort of odd that when you jump on a koopa he turns into a bomb….totally odd indeed! Also, what’s with the flower power giving you one ball of fire that bounces all over the screen. I’m guessing they did it on purpose to help keep the gameplay from slowing down. Oh well, good nonetheless. With only four worlds the game is quite fun to come back to. There are secrets hidden everywhere so you can always accomplish your goals in different ways. The game itself is fun overall! A 2 player race mode would’ve made it supreme and increased its replay value in masses! [...]

Pirate Games: Pokemon Stadium

The game consists of two modes, arcade mode and vs mode. I’m sure you can tell what these do but just in case you don’t know, arcade mode is like the story mode where you will do battle against the computer until you defeat all the pokemon. Vs mode is the mode to play against your friend and works the same way except the game won’t get you anywhere. The way to win in this game is quite simple. You power up your pokemon for an attack, when the power meter builds up you’ll be ready to attack. There are attacks that uses your whole power meter so you won’t be able to use them unless you are at your max. If your opponent gets to attack first, you’ll have two options to choose from. [...]

Crystalis

This week I have one of my favorite picks period. Crystalis is the equivalent of an upgraded Zelda title. The game itself is jam packed with action around every corner. The story line is also very interesting since it takes place in the not so far future. The year is 1997, now back in the NES era this would have made more sense since we were in the early 90s but nowadays it doesn’t make much sense since the year has passed and well, just saying they should have made it the year at least 3000. Lets move on, the game is only one of few Zelda-clones which there weren’t many to begin with(The only other one being Faria as far as I know). SNK learned well on how to apply the Zelda-like mechanics. [...]

Dragon Warrior

You take role of a warrior (Elwood?) in order to save the princess and slay the dragon. Dragon Warrior(Quest in Japan and lately here) is the one that started it all in terms of quest style games. If you get a chance to check out the library of games for the Famicom you’ll realize that there are a vast amount of Dragon Warrior(Quest) clones out there. Most of the good ones were translated by true RPG fans while some others might or not still be in the works. Either way, you’ll have your best bet playing this classic of classics as you take a quest in the most initiative way through a realm full of freaks! [...]

Captain Tsubasa 2

The difficulty of the game increases greatly and keeps you coming for more. If you loose a match you will be sent back a game so you will need to replay that match and then the match that you lost. In the end, this helps you out because your team levels up according to their performance in the match so next time you meet that team that kicked your ass, it might have a different result. Moving on, the storyline gets very interesting as the game goes along, too bad I don’t know how to read Japanese or I would probably have had a bigger attachment to the game. The cut scenes are very well made for a Famicom game, at some times you must have felt like if you were watching a movie… [...]

Gimmick!

The game is very simple. You are this toy, you can move, therefore you must beat the levels! At least, that’s what I could make up of it har har har….the game is not your average platformer. The game showcases the NES/Famicom graphics at its best. Sometimes you think you are playing a SNES game believe it or not. They bring the NES/Famicom to its limits and in some ways opened up new ones(sound chip). [...]

Baseball Stars

This time around, Baseball Stars for the NES takes top honors as it’s a game well over due for a mention right here at Retro Gaming Life. The game itself combines the RPG elements with sports elements in a very satisfying way. You can start up with a horrible team and win games to earn money to buy steroids for your players so they will get stronger and run faster. Is this what the American past time is all about? You bet! You are also able to name your team whatever you want, as I would name mine the Chomps. We finished last in our first season of play but ended up buying enough steroids to strengthen for next season. [...]