Classic Retro video game book reviews

Retro Video Game Ratings Guide

Any ratings system is biased and largely worthless when plotted on a numeric scale. We primarily rate games on how much fun they are rather than the traditional Graphics, Sound and Game Play methodology. If a game takes us to favorite childhood memory or on an awesome adventure, we'll give it a good rating even if it sucks ass in the traditional sense. However, on those occasions when we favor a game that sucks ass, we'll always mention it's ass-sucking qualities even though we still dig it.

Playing video games isn't just about beating games, defeating bosses or getting high scores - it's about having FUN! We regularly have a blast paying some of the worst-reviewed games to ever hit retail shelves.

Since many of these games are decades old, we try to set a context to each title, evaluate on the game's own merit, respect it's release date/era and call out features we liked/disliked. Since everyone likes a point-scale, we complied. :)

And why the Hell is everything reviewed with "stars"? Forget that - we went with Spaceships!

8-Bit Central's Spaceship Rating System

Classic Video Game Review Rating - one Spaceship One Spaceship: Bad concept, bad game play and not much fun.
  
Classic Video Game Review Rating - two Spaceships Two Spaceships: Bad game play, but still fun to play now & then.
  
Classic Video Game Review Rating - three Spaceships Three Spaceships: Middle of the road, not great - not bad. A game we still Love to play a lot.
  
Classic Video Game Review Rating - four Spaceships Four Spaceships: Great game, tons of fun to play, but we know there are a few games a "little bit better" so this one gets 4 spaceships.
  
Classic Video Game Review Rating - five Spaceships Five Spaceships: the end-all be-all of video gaming fun and entertainment.

Sometimes you'll see ½ Ships when we couldn't decide between two rating tiers. This is mostly used as a cop-out for games we adore, but we don't want to hear a lotta shit for giving them 5-Ship ratings :)

"Holy Shit!" Fun Facts

Video games are fun & exciting. Game reviews are boring.
We do our best to keep your attention and not drone on about video processor chips and their ability to render. Bank-swapping on the 2600 is a fascinating concept, but playing Asteroids is where our hearts lie. Still, we try to spice things up with some trinkets of knowledge that might make you say, "Holy shit!"

Holy shit! Check this out...
Within our reviews we try to dredge up some interesting tidbits to offset our irrational zeal for really old video games and penchant for rambling on about them. We encapsulate these tasty bits of knowledge with our buxom "Holy Shit"
girl. Everyone loves an Easter Egg, bizarre factoid or random wacky detail, but if it doesn't make you stop and say, "Holy Shit!" - it's probably not worth mentioning. We're about dazzle - not frazzle! :)

Final Judgements for each rating

We close out each review with a quick synopsis and a "Thumbs-up" or "Thumbs-down" to compliment our kick-ass 5-point spaceship rating system.

Final Judgement: Since a 5-point scale isn't terribly revealing we'll further besiege you with a quick synopsis and a visual thumbs up for the games we recommend...
Final Judgement: ...and some times we'll give a thumbs-down when a game sucks ass, even though we probably still love playing it!

ESRB's Rating System

The ESRB ratings system is similar to the MPAA system used for movies, except no one really knows what to expect of a game based solely on it's ERSB rating. For example we all know you can only say "Fuck" once in a PG-13 film.

Deciphering ratings systems can be difficult, but we can help - sort of...

  Rating Categories
ESRB Classic Retro Video Game Rating EARLY CHILDHOOD - Titles rated EC (Early Childhood) have content that may be suitable for ages 3 and older. Contains no material that parents would find inappropriate.
ESRB Classic Retro Video Game Rating EVERYONE - Titles rated E (Everyone) have content that may be suitable for ages 6 and older. Titles in this category may contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
ESRB Classic Retro Video Game Rating EVERYONE 10+ - Titles rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) have content that may be suitable for ages 10 and older. Titles in this category may contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.
ESRB Classic Retro Video Game Rating TEEN - Titles rated T (Teen) have content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older. Titles in this category may contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling, and/or infrequent use of strong language.
ESRB Classic Retro Video Game Rating MATURE - Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
ESRB Classic Retro Video Game Rating ADULTS ONLY - Titles rated AO (Adults Only) have content that should only be played by persons 18 years and older. Titles in this category may include prolonged scenes of intense violence and/or graphic sexual content and nudity.
ESRB Classic Retro Video Game Rating RATING PENDING - Titles listed as RP (Rating Pending) have been submitted to the ESRB and are awaiting final rating. (This symbol appears only in advertising prior to a game's release.)
ESRB Classic Retro Video Game Rating WHATEVER - OK. we made up the "Whatever" rating.
  Interactive Elements
ESRB Classic Retro Video Game Rating SHARES INFO - Indicates that personal information provided by the user (e.g., e-mail address, phone number, credit card info, etc.) is shared with third parties.
ESRB Classic Retro Video Game Rating SHARES LOCATION - Includes the ability to display the user's location to other users of the app.
ESRB Classic Retro Video Game Rating USERS INTERACT - Indicates possible exposure to unfiltered/uncensored user-generated content, including user-to-user communications and media sharing via social media and networks.

For more info on how to "suck less as a parent" and choose suitable games for your rug-rat, visit the ESRB web site. Don't forget your inalienable right to sue the shop-clerk when your 12-year-old comes home with a game full of bloody carnage and foul language. :)


Check out our list of reviewed games.

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