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|Rating:||3.5 out of 5|
It's tough to update a classic video game and create something worthy or better than the original. Classic games have garnered that moniker for being timeless, not for simply being old. The fact that Galaga is still a great shooter is testament to it's greatness. Nordcurrent has modernized 5 classic arcade games and offered them on WiiWare for 500 points. While these games are fun to play, they make me want to play the original games on which they are based.
However, that's not necessarily a bad thing. I grew up playing Galaga, Q*Bert and Missile Command in arcades and have many fond arcade memories from that era. Virtually all of my arcade favorites are available for play today, in their original pristine condition, on several of the modern consoles. It's cool to see Nordcurrent taking an interest in these classics and creating an upgrade.
Most releases of classic games on modern consoles necessitate melding the original controls to what is available on the newer video game console. I've always thought Wii had an advantage as it's wireless controllers opened new doors for traditional game control - years before it's competitors scrambled to offer similar alternatives. Nordcurrent took this to heart by not simply using the D-pad for everything. The nunchuk is not used, but like the original classics, these are aesthetically simple games that take advantage of the Wii's unique controller. For example, Troops Attack and Hexagonum make pretty good use of the point and shoot ability of the Wii controller.
How many times have you seen games called Galagoo, Muscle Command or Space Invoiders? Too many times! I like that Nordcurrent didn't go that route with Arcade Essentials. Below is the breakdown of each game's inspiration.
Perspective can be a mighty beast. When a company, like Nordcurrent, modernizes classic games from the past, two camps appear. Critics say the modernized games are a rip-off of the originals and fans call them tributes. Opinions are indeed like assholes - everyone has one, but that doesn't make you correct. Perspective is a bitch.
I grew up playing Missile Command in the arcades of my childhood, so I adore the original. Furthermore, I've played versions of Missile Command on the 2600, 5200, Lynx, Jaguar, GameBoy and PlayStation.
Along with all of this come memories, friends and different points in my life. Even though Missile Command was probably only 20K in it's inception, no one can truly replicate all that comes with the fun of the original. Naturally, I'm biased toward the arcade originals, but I also dig what Nordcurrent brought to them via modernization.
Consider a kid today who downloads Arcade Essentials on a Wii and experiences these classic-based games for the first time never having played the originals. A few rounds of Troop Attack would likely make him/her feel that the original Missile Command was primitive, blocky looking and lame. It's all about perspective, folks.
For you purists who believe Galaga and similar classics can never be replaced, rejoice in the many platforms on which you can still play Galaga then give Interceptor a try on Arcade Classics. No one wants to take the classics away from you. Nordcurrent simply offers a new take on a group of 5 classic games.
At only 500 Wii Points - currently $5 - how can you go wrong?!? The classics by definition will always be classics, but now you have a modern alternative to fire up and add a new experience to the excitement of the beloved originals. It's inexpensive. It downloads in only a minute and may even re-ignite your desire to dust off your old Atari 2600. Add Arcade Essentials to your arsenal and rejoice that you are not alone in remembering and loving games from the 1980s!