Every Thursday Defunct Games wants to take a moment and reflect on all of the classic games that were given new life. Thanks to video game compilations, Nintendo's Virtual Console, the Xbox Live Arcade, GameTap and even the PlayStation 3, fans of retro games are able to find all sorts of crazy old games. But what games are good? How well have these games held up? Which ones should you spend your money on? That's where This Week In Defunct Games comes in! Every week we plan on looking at the best and worst of this week's retro games, including classic titles for the NES, Neo Geo, Genesis and more.
This we have the good, the bad and yes, the ugly. Up first we have Interplay's long-forgotten superhero, Boogerman for the Sega Genesis. Fans of Ryu and Ken will be happy to know that Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix finally hit the PSN and Xbox Live Arcade. And GameTap brings us a special Thanksgiving episode of American McGee's Grimm. All this can be yours when you scroll down a little bit and reads this week's episode of This Week in Defunct Games!
NOTE: Due to Thanksgiving, this week's This Week in Defunct Games episode has been pushed up by one day. Tune in tomorrow as we unveil a giant 29 day holiday-themed feature. What will it be? Find out on Thanksgiving Day!
Boogerman: A Pick and Flick Adventure (Interplay)
[ Virtual Console - 800 Points/$8 - Sega Genesis - 1995 ]
What Is It?
This is the week of Thanksgiving, so what better time to unleash a game called Boogerman: A Pick and Flick Adventure? Okay, the day you sit down and overeat with your family is probably not the best time to play a game where the hero picks his nose and uses it as a weapon. Then again, is there ever a time where talking about Boogerman is appropriate? I think not. In a lot of ways Boogerman represents the American gaming scene in the 1990s. This was a decade where people were demanding bigger and grosser games. We weren't satisfied with the Japanese fighting games like Street Fighter or Final Fight; instead we needed our virtual pugilists to shower their opponents with blood and guts. The same was true with the 2D platforming scene; we didn't want another boring old Sonic or Mario game, we wanted people to fart, burp and pick their nose. We wanted to make sure that every mother or father that went to their local game store knew that video games were meant for 10 year old boys, not sophisticated young adults. The good news is that Boogerman is a surprisingly good looking game, with fluid animation and some interesting levels. However, it's impossible for me to look at this game without thinking that maybe it's not the best ambassador for video game culture. Obviously they are going for gross here, but to me it just feels more inauthentic and, worse yet, extremely immature. If you're a ten year old boy then you'll probably like it, everybody else should just ignore this week's Virtual Console release.
Does It Still Hold Up?
Although limited, the gameplay is as solid as you would want from a game called Boogerman. Our hero has a few moves that are easy to pull off, but most of the game he'll just be jumping on bad guys, dodging projectile attacks and making his way from left to right. Perhaps the best part of this package is the graphics, which even now look really strong. If you can make it past how ludicrous the idea is then you'll find a game with good production values, but you really have to be in the right kind of mindset to enjoy a game called Boogerman.
Is It Worth The Money?
I can understand people having nostalgia for this game, it's not like there were a lot of games out there that revolved around the hero farting on enemies. In some ways this is like a Howard Stern skit brought to life ... or, at least brought to video game life. Either way, Boogerman is a solid 2D platformer wrapped in one of the most unappealing packages you will ever see. I can't imagine anybody who loved the game 13 years ago would find this anything but reprehensible now. But maybe I'm wrong; perhaps there is still a market out there for Boogerman. I don't personally enjoy it, but if you're a 10 year old boy who loves fart jokes, then this game is mades specifically for you.
Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (Capcom)
[ XBLA/PSN - 1200 Points/$15 - Arcade - 2008 ]
What Is It?
The cynic in me wants to say that this is just another Street Fighter II game on the Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network. But Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix is more than just another port ... it's a completely redrawn remake that takes everything you love about the original game and makes it, well, more attractive. The truth is, this $15 release doesn't attempt to rewrite the rules of Street Fighter, it's job is to give you the exact same game, only this time with hand drawn HD graphics. Fans of the series already know that this release has been a long time in the coming; Capcom announced this game two years ago and have only hinted at its release up until now. But now it's here, and it was definitely worth the wait. The gameplay is exactly what you would expect and the graphics are outstanding. It features all of the Street Fighter II characters you love (including the new fighters you hate) and is all presented in gorgeous HD. Without leaping headfirst into a pool of hyperbole, this is by far the best Super Street Fighter II Turbo has looked ... and likely ever will look. Buy this game to see the new graphics and remixed tunes. Buy this game to finally be able to play relatively lag-free online matches. Buy this game to remind yourself why you loved Street Fighter II in the first place. Buy this game to bone up on your moves before Street Fighter IV comes out in a few months. It doesn't matter why you buy this game, just as long as you buy it.
Does It Still Hold Up?
The graphics may be new, but the gameplay is straight out of the 1990s. When it comes to the play mechanics nothing has changed; this is still the same old amazing Street Fighter experience you remember in the arcade. The graphics may not be enough to attract non-fighting game fans to the series, but there's no denying how pretty this game looks. It's worth buying this game just to see how Capcom (and artists, Udon) have updated the game's background graphics.
Is It Worth The Money?
Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix is more than just a really long name, it's also the best Xbox Live Arcade game since Braid. Fans of Street Fighter already know what they're getting themselves into, however this is the first time in more than a dozen years where those fans will be able to experience the game in a different way. The gameplay and characters are all the same, but you'll be on the edge of your seat wanting to know what each of the game's sixteen levels look like and how Udon has updated the character's graphics and animation. Best of all, you can go in and play the game without all of the cool extra graphics and backgrounds. Couple this with a great online mode and you have one of the best downloadable games of the year. Of course you should buy this game!
This Week in GameTap
Still not satisfied with what you're getting on the Virtual Console and Xbox Live Arcade? Then maybe you should head on over to GameTap! With more than 100 free games currently available, GameTap is one of the best places to play classic games! And every week they are adding brand new titles to the service, including old school games for the Genesis, Neo Geo, Commodore 64 and much, much more. Won't you join us as we take a look at what's going on this week over at GameTap!
Did you really think we could go a week without talking about GameTap and their weekly American McGee's Grimm release? This week I'm in a giving mood (perhaps because of the holidays), so instead of ragging on Grimm, I'll just let you know that GameTap has a special early episode of the episodic series that is kinda/sorta Thanksgiving related. It's The Golden Goose, and it will be free to play from Tuesday to Friday. So go and check it out, it may actually be more fun than hanging around with your loud family.
If you're not into American McGee's Grimm, then maybe GameTap can interest you in Hitman: Blood Money. Currently this 2006 Hitman game is free for all GameTap users. What's more, paying subscribers (aka Gold Member subscribers) can play through Painkiller. This 2004 first-person shooter isn't bad, but it's hardly the most current action game. Either way, you definitely have a couple of choices when you go to GameTap. Now, when are they going to start offering us games that are older than 2004? It wasn't that long ago that the service celebrated the Commodore 64's birthday with a bunch of C64 games. Oh, those were the days. I can only hope that after we've had our fill of Grimm we'll go back to the old school.