Old-School Console Games (Part 2)

Old-School Console Games (Part 2)

Mechs, hoverships, and flying fish

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for Rapid Fire Reviews on

Games that feel like they could have been around 25 years ago are always interesting to play so here are 6 old-school console games.

Hardcore Mecha Review PlayStation 4 ★★★★☆

Shooting and punching things as a giant robot is so much fun and thankfully, Hardcore Mecha brings the goods with its tight gameplay.

Hardcore Mecha screenshot
These on-foot sections will make you feel like 2D Solid Snake

It may have a generic name but Hardcore Mecha is far from it. At its core, the single player experience has you pilot a mech which involves long-range and melee attacks as well as a variety of dash moves which allows you to evade enemy attacks and rush towards them whenever they're vulnerable. As you progress through the mission-based campaign, you'll earn money and level up which lets you purchase new weapons, abilities, and boosts and watching your mech grow from the basics to a powerful robot of destruction is super-satisfying. The missions themselves are full of variety in the form of unique situations such as stealth segments as well as epic boss battles that'll have you on the edge of your seat. On top of all this, there's both local and online multiplayer which gives you the opportunity to really show off your mech piloting abilities. It can be a bit unforgiving at times but Hardcore Mecha is quite an impressive package.

If you enjoy 2D action games then you owe it to yourself to try out Hardcore Mecha with its varied and supremely fun gameplay.

Hardcore Mecha gameplay video →

Super Crush KO Review Switch ★★★★☆

2D action games come in many varieties and Super Crush KO implements beat 'em up elements so let's punch and kick our way to it!

Super Crush KO screenshot
I wish I could shoot giant energy beams from my hands...

Believe it or not, Super Crush KO plays a lot like Hardcore Mecha as you control a fighter who unleashes ranged and melee attacks while dodging incoming enemies. The main aspect that sets it apart is its scoring system which, in my opinion, is one of the coolest aspects about it. Basically, the more enemies in a row you manage to beat on without getting hurt, the higher your score multiplier becomes and if you manage to complete sections perfectly, you'll be heavily rewarded. This feels all the more gratifying when you submit your score to the online rankings and see where you place. As of writing this, I'm #1 on a level's leaderboard and quite proud of it. Anyway, the gameplay tasks you with evading well-telegraphed enemy attacks as you give them your all which involves performing special attacks that you learn throughout the campaign and keeping an eye on all of your gauges to see what you can currently do is part of the fun.

Super Crush KO may look like a Saturday morning cartoon but it's one challenging and enjoyable 2D action brawler.

Super Crush KO gameplay video →

Hovership Havoc Review Xbox One ★★★☆☆

Twin-stick shooters have been around a long time but does Hovership Havoc bring anything new to the genre? Strap in and let's see.

Hovership Havoc screenshot
Blasting pesky enemies with a freshly upgraded ship is quite satisfying

Upon starting Hovership Havoc, I was rather perplexed by its seemingly clunky gameplay but as I learned the ropes, it started to really click with me. For starters, you don't simply shoot mindlessly as your weapon must cool down so instead, it's better to carefully navigate arenas while firing off meaningful shots that'll hopefully cause some serious damage. Once you inevitably perish, you may level up which lets you spend currency on ship upgrades and when you level your ship up substantially, it becomes noticeably more effective. I love the simple graphics and it features a great soundtrack which makes each run a joy. My main complaint is that the visuals can get very busy which regularly results in accidental damage, especially when you smash your ship into an enemy that you assume is a wall. On the plus side, the power-ups offer a bit of variety and the third-person boss fights are impressive to take part in.

It may be a solid shooter but if Hovership Havoc featured more variety and visual clarity, it would have taken things to the next level.

Hovership Havoc gameplay video → More roguelike twin-stick shooters

Thoth Review Switch ★★★★☆

Here's a shooter for gamers who love a steep challenge. Do you have what it takes to master the stylish twin-stick Thoth?

Thoth screenshot
Minimal graphics but maximal challenge!

Yes; Thoth is another twin-stick shooter but it's unlike anything I've ever played before. At its core, all you so is move with the left stick and shoot with the right but it's not as simple as it seems. For starters, the enemies move in patterns according to where you're situated so the key to success is to manipulate them and weave through open spaces as they encroach. Next, gimmicks are gradually introduced throughout such as walls that toggle for each defeated enemy and these elements definitely keep you on your toes. Also, whenever you fail, you can try again as the walls become deadly to the touch and if you fail that, you have to start back at the previous stage that's a multiple of 4. This may sound unfair but I found that it pushed me to try harder and the awesome music and graphics didn't hurt.

Old-school shooter fans who are looking for a challenge will find a lot to love in the stylish and enjoyable Thoth.

Thoth gameplay video →

Lumini Review Xbox One ★★★☆☆

Winding down after a long day is easy when you have a relaxing and immersive game so here's the delightful Lumini.

Lumini screenshot
Splitting up to solve puzzles makes reuniting all the more rewarding

Lumini has you control a school of flying fish who are trying to survive in a hostile environment. This involves collecting sparkly flowers, solving basic puzzles, exploring, and performing offensive abilities to fend off dastardly creatures. As you play, you'll gradually gather Lumini of different colours and each one has distinct attributes and abilities. For example, red ones can set off small explosions while yellow ones can emit electricity. Although it's mostly a relaxing experience, you can actually see your school of Lumini thin out after enemies claim the lives of your pals. This actually made me kind of sad and reminded me a lot of Pikmin perishing. In the end, it all works together rather well but you will come across similar puzzles and situations over and over again which makes it quite a repetitive affair.

There are many relaxing games out there and Lumini doesn't really offer much new but it is a beautiful game with superb audio to boot.

Lumini gameplay video →

Regina & Mac Review Xbox One ★★★☆☆

3D platformers are definitely not as common as they were in the late '90s but thankfully, Regina & Mac are here to change that.

Regina & Mac screenshot
It definitely doesn't look like much but Regina & Mac is impressively fun

Regina & Mac just made its Wii U debut and you can also purchase it for Xbox One via the Creators Collection. Right off the bat, allow me to admit that it doesn't look or sound like much with its generic character models, environments, music, and effects. However, the gameplay really got me hooked. Sure, it's not as smooth as Super Mario 64 or as immersive as Spyro the Dragon but it is challenging and mastering the huge open stages within its campaign can be quite satisfying. Your main goal is to acquire 3.5" floppy disks which is similar to collecting stars in Super Mario 64 as they open up new levels and are earned by completing challenges. As you progress, you'll learn new abilities like the ground pound and being able to run and Mac can even perform Mario's famous triple-jump. These abilities combine with plenty of clever scenarios (like Picross puzzles) to create an undeniably engaging campaign that's fun to play through.

Overall, Regina & Mac is full of variety and although it feels like an alpha version of a PS1 game, it can be surprisingly addictive.

Regina & Mac gameplay video → More 3D platformers
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Gameplay video playlist for Old-School Console Games (Part 2) 57:23
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