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20 retro games that you must (re)play during the lockdown period

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Since this Friday, October 30, France is again subject to a containment policy. If the rules are more flexible than those introduced last March, the population is still officially invited to stay at home as much as possible.

Some people will take advantage of this imposed free time to read, others to watch a lot of series, others to enjoy their children… At Clubic, in addition to recent games on PC or consoles, we will obviously take the opportunity to (re)launch some good old titles from our childhood.

So, in order to fight effectively against the second wave of COVID-19 which is currently raging in the country, (re)discover all the charm of the games of yesteryear and enjoy an immediate feeling of nostalgic well-being, here is a small, quick, efficient and non-exhaustive list of course, of the retro games to play again during this period of confinement.

Castlevania: The Adventure (Game Boy)
It’s not the sexiest Castlevania, it’s not the longest either (nor the fastest…), but Castlevania: The Adventure is one of those undeniable classics of Nintendo’s handheld, which recently celebrated its thirtieth anniversary (yes, already…).

Castlevania Adventure

The episode takes place one hundred years after Dracula’s defeat by Trevor Belmont, and places the player in the shoes of Christopher, a descendant of the Belmont lineage. A game that can be completed in about thirty minutes, provided that the third level is passed without too much trouble… And to get through the final boss without turning off the console in rage (yes, it’s true).

The Knights of the Zodiac: The Golden Legend (NES)
In the distant past, when Club Dorothée ruled the Christmas list of children all over France, being able to play an official Knights of the Zodiac game on your NES was a rare opportunity. A rare occurrence at the time, the game benefits from a full translation (albeit a bit rough) and promises to take control of Seiya and his friends, to defeat the Golden Knights.

Zodiac Knights NES

A mix of platformer and RPG-style fights, Zodiac Knights: The Golden Legend is not considered a hit, far from it, but a bit like Dragon Ball on NES, it is a game that keeps a real sympathy capital, very much linked to the personal memories associated to it. An adaptation which is not overflowing with qualities, but which remains quite touching for most of those who were around it at the time.

Earthworm Jim (Super Nintendo / Mega Drive)
In 1994, Super Nintendo and SEGA Mega Drive players discovered a brand new license, carried by a zany earthworm armed with a blaster and a humanoid suit: Earthworm Jim. A game developed by David Perry, already at work on Cool Spot and on the Mega Drive version of Aladdin.

Earthworm Jim

A title full of humor and action, with an amazing realization for its time, especially in its animations. Even today, Earthworm Jim remains a sure value, and even if the saga got a little confused with the second and (especially…) the third episode, the earthworm imagined by Shiny Entertainment still holds an important place in the hearts of many (old) players.

Sunset Riders (Super Nintendo)
A real star of the arcades in the early 90’s, Sunset Riders (by Konami) quickly arrived on our Super Nintendo and SEGA Mega Drive consoles. An ultra-fun action game, playable with two players at the same time (and with four in the arcade) which allows to spend a real good hour of pleasure in company of our four (or two on Mega Drive) heroes.

Sunset Riders

At the time, whether you were a SEGA or a Super Nintendo player, what a pleasure it was to be able to play this Sunset Riders on our consoles, despite the numerous concessions (graphics, censorship, content…) compared to the arcade version. Of course, the Super Nintendo version is more “complete” and more visually pleasing, but the SEGA Mega Drive version is also very enjoyable. If in doubt, play both versions.

Mega Man X (Super Nintendo)
In 1993, Capcom revisited its Mega Man mascot in the “next-gen” style, with a first episode on Super Nintendo. New console, new character, and new masterpiece for the Japanese studio.

Mega Man X

More beautiful, more mature, more complete, Mega Man X is not just a simple sequel, it’s a total redesign of the Mega Man license, with anthropomorphic androids as bosses, and the arrival in the saga of a certain Zero. A must play (and listen).

Dungeon Master (Atari ST)
Back in 1987, on Atari ST, with the first person view (and real time!) role playing game Dungeon Master. A real revolution at the time, and a game that marked a whole generation of players.

Dungeon Master SNES

For Nerces: “Dungeon Master was an incredible experience. You really lived the adventure and no game had ever been able to reproduce this feeling”. So you know what you have to do.

The Legend of Thor (SEGA Mega Drive)
In 1994, SEGA Mega Drive gamers can finally show off their “Zelda”, with The Legend of Thor. Called The Story of Thor in Japan, and Beyond Oasis in the United States, the game allows you to take control of Prince Ali (yes, that’s him), who gets his hands on a mysterious golden bracelet, the starting point of his new adventures.

Legend of Thor

An action-RPG quite emblematic at the time, which allowed to fight enemies through hand-to-hand attacks, but also by evoking four spirits, namely Efreet, Dytto, Shade and Bow. Note that the soundtrack is signed by Yuzo Koshiro, who worked on Streets of Rage.

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Game Boy)
In 1993, Nintendo launched the fourth episode of The Legend of Zelda saga, on its small handheld Game Boy. An episode called Link’s Awakening, which has been remade on Nintendo Switch a few months ago.

The Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening
The Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening on Nintendo Switch

First developed in an “unofficial” way to test the Game Boy’s capacities, and thought as a port of A Link to the Past, Link’s Awakening was finally validated by Nintendo, for the greatest happiness of the fans, since it is still today one of the most successful episodes of the saga.

Double Dragon 2 (NES)
A real star in Japanese arcades in the late 80s, Double Dragon arrived in France at the end of the 90s on NES, with the second opus subtitled The Revenge. A beat’em all then launched on many supports, and which obviously made the joy of the big and the small.

Double Dragon 2

What a pleasure to play as the Lee brothers (Billy and Jimmy), ready to go and kick the ass of the Shadow Warriors gang. A hypnotic title, ultra fun in cooperation, with the possibility (if you want) to hit your teammate. Note that the difficulty directly influences the length of the adventure, and only the “Warriors” have a chance to see the real end of the game. Sure, the title has aged, but what a monument nonetheless.

Duck Tales (NES)
Worth billions, in gold, in dollars, Duck Tales is undoubtedly one of those 8-bit games that you can play again with the same pleasure as 30 years ago. A game developed by Capcom, at the time of the Nintendo/Disney/Capcom holy trinity, and still as enjoyable today.

Duck Tales

A videogame adaptation of the famous Scrooge, Duck Tales takes the player to the four corners of the world to find various legendary treasures. The worlds are varied, the bonuses are well hidden, several endings are proposed and one obviously never tires of the “pogo jump”… Duck Tales is a sure value of the NES.

Super Mario Land 2 (Game Boy)
Launched in 1992 on Nintendo’s timeless GameBoy, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins is a rather atypical title in the universe of the famous Italian plumber, in which you have to cross several terrains, such as the Tree Zone, the Pumpkin Zone, the Macro Zone or the Turtle Zone.

Mario Land

In this (excellent) adventure, Mario must indeed find the six gold coins scattered in the six zones of the kingdom, before finally being able to face his evil double: Wario! This is the first appearance of this emblematic character, who will later have his own games.

Mega Man 4 (NES)
Although Mega Man 2 is often considered as THE best opus of the NES (the 3rd one is also often quoted), I would tend to recommend the fourth opus of the saga to neophytes.

Mega man

A little less difficult, more beautiful, richer (especially thanks to the arrival of Mega Buster), Mega Man 4 is also an emblematic title of this good old Nintendo 8 bits. It asks players to face a new enemy, Dr Cossack… Unless it’s actually another bad move from Dr. Wily…

Aladdin (MegaDrive/Super Nintendo)
In this month of March 2020, it might be high time for you to revisit one of the most trending playground issues of the 90’s: Is Aladdin better on Mega Drive or Super Nintendo?

Aladdin

Developed by Virgin for SEGA and Capcom for Nintendo, Aladdin is a totally different game on both machines (unlike The Lion King, for example). If you have always been convinced that one version was better than the other, without ever having played the latter, this is the opportunity to fill this gap, and perhaps (not to say surely) to discover a game much more successful than you thought…

Kirby’s Adventure (NES)
“First you draw a circle, then you make the eyes, add a big smile… And there’s Kirby!” Released on NES in 1993, Kirby’s Adventure (which was first released on GameBoy) features an adorable pink ball, able to absorb his enemies and take over their powers.

Kirby’s Adventure

Particularly successful technically (it is one of the last games of the NES), Kirby’s Adventure also offers an unforgettable soundtrack, a very elaborate gameplay (for the time), but above all a “feel good” side which is very good in this particular period…

Donkey Kong Country (Super Nintendo)
For Super Nintendo lovers, how can we not evoke the timeless Donkey Kong Country, launched in November 1994, and developed by Rare at the top of its art.

DK Country

This title, visually revolutionary at the time, is still a reference in the platform genre today. Moreover, it has two sequels (also very successful), still on Super Nintendo. For the record, at the end of 1994, it was this same Donkey Kong Country that dealt a fatal blow to SEGA and its 32X module, which was launched at the same time as Nintendo’s game…

World of Illusion/Castle of Illusion/Quackshot (Mega Drive)
At the very beginning of the 90’s, SEGA launched the Disney offensive to install its Mega Drive in a maximum of homes. From this collaboration came some particularly catchy titles, like Castle of Illusion, Quackshot and World of Illusion (and Fantasia too, but well…).

QuackShot_cropped_0x0

Three titles featuring Mickey and Donald, whose life span does not exceed one hour (for each game), but which, 30 years later, still provide such an intense pleasure of play!

Paper Mario: The Millennium Gate (Nintendo GameCube)
Launched in 2004 for the Nintendo GameCube, Paper Mario: The Millennium Gate is an RPG, the spiritual sequel to Paper Mario for the Nintendo 64, itself a descendant of a certain Super Mario RPG, launched a few years earlier for the Super Nintendo, in Japan and the United States.

Paper Mario

Of course, if the GameCube opus is a real success, we can’t advise you enough to try the different iterations of Paper Mario, without forgetting the Mario & Luigi saga, on Nintendo handhelds. It’s enough to discover some video game marvels, and to keep you busy for several dozen hours.

Zelda Link to the Past (Super Nintendo)
After a very successful remake of Link’s Awakening on Nintendo Switch at the end of last year, and while waiting for Breath of the Wild 2, it’s high time to dive back into the most epic quest of the early 90’s, I named Zelda Link to the Past.

Zelda LTTP

In September 1992 (in Europe), after two opuses on NES, the Zelda saga arrives on Super Nintendo, and offers a bigger and richer universe, as well as new abilities… All the ingredients to make this Link to the Past a real masterpiece at the time, and a pure classic of video games in 2020.

Sonic 2 (Mega Drive)
Launched in 1992 on SEGA MegaDrive, Sonic 2 is often considered by fans as the best episode of the series. The game brings indeed a lot of novelties, starting with the presence of Tails, the Spin Dash… And the transformation into Super Sonic!

Sonic 2

Sonic is faster, with 3D elements in the special stages, and the possibility to collect the seven emeralds of chaos to defeat Dr. Robotnik. Sonic 2 is a pure masterpiece, playable if possible on MegaDrive, but also available since recently on Nintendo Switch, via SEGA AGES.

TMNT: Turtles in Time (Super Nintendo)
In the 90’s, Konami was undeniably a guarantee of quality, with titles like Probotector, Castlevania, Parodius, Sunset Riders, not to mention Ninja Turtles. In 1992, players on Super Nintendo, have the pleasure to discover the porting of an extraordinary arcade title : Turtles in Time.

TMNT

Playable up to four players in arcade mode, TMNT: Turtles in Time allows two players to cooperate on Super Nintendo. This console version also offers various bonuses, not to mention a (masterful) use of Mode 7. A game that can also be played alone, but which is best enjoyed as a duo.

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