The Switch's library is full of all sorts of old-school experiences so let's take a look at 5 noteworthy titles.
Old School Musical Review Switch ★★★★☆
Here we have a rhythm parody game with plenty of familiar classics on display and loads of catchy toe-tapping tunes.
Old School Musical is a fantastically fun-filled game. It may not be the most in-depth rhythm game to ever be created but the amount of humour and charm is exceptional. You play as two brothers who grew up on a secluded island with their abusive mother. Although that sounds serious, watching her whip her boys into shape is nothing short of hilarious. However, they soon discover a strange sphere and get warped to a space station. From there, they enter different worlds that are based on classic video games. You'll come across parodies of Mega Man, Metal Gear, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and many more. The game is basically played by tapping or holding down buttons to match the onscreen prompts. It's very simple to learn but there are various difficulty settings so rhythm game professionals can have some fun with it even though genre newbies will likely find it to be more enjoyable.
If you grew up in the '80s and '90s playing video games then Old School Musical is a must-play game for the nostalgia factor alone. Overall, if its simple and solid gameplay doesn't win you over then its humour and charm definitely will.Old School Musical gameplay video →
The VideoKid Review Switch ★★☆☆☆
Remember the classic arcade game Paperboy? Well, The VideoKid is basically a modern interpretation of it so let's deliver some videos.
The fact that an indie developer felt compelled to essentially recreate Paperboy with modern voxel visuals is fairly perplexing. After playing The VideoKid, I still don't understand why they bothered. Just like with Paperboy, you'll likely play it for 15 minutes or so then gladly move on to something more entertaining. One aspect of The VideoKid that I don't get is its structure. You simply play over again from the beginning while trying to achieve the highest score that you can. Sure, it's procedurally generated but you'll recognize the repeated patterns almost immediately so what's the point? Even unlocking stuff at the store doesn't do enough to change things up.
The best part about The VideoKid is that there are tons of references to retro pop culture but unlike Old School Musical, the references here are purely cosmetic and don't add much to the fun. Looking at blocky versions of Inspector Gadget, Alvin and the Chipmunks, and The Simpsons is cool but that doesn't make the game good. In fact, its frustrating collision detection will force you to memorize how to pass each obstacle instead of testing your reflexes and gaming skills. As a result, it ends up being one irritating game.
Observing all the retro references in The VideoKid is only exciting for a few minutes. Once the novelty wears off, you're left with a shallow and repetitive take on a classic arcade game that doesn't hold up well for today's standards.The VideoKid gameplay video →
Monkey King: Master of the Clouds Review Switch ★☆☆☆☆
Chuka Taisen (AKA Cloud Master) is an arcade shmup from the late '80s. As a direct port, is Monkey King: Master of the Clouds any good?
Fresh out of arcades from 30 years ago, Chuka Taisen is now available for a modern console. As someone who has played countless shoot 'em ups over the decades, I must say that Monkey King: Master of the Clouds surprised me by how awful and frustrating it is. In order to succeed, you have to memorize where enemies spawn so you can avoid them because they'll gang up on you faster than you can say "Vic Viper". Not only that, most of them fire shots that head straight for you and this monkey moves slow so you're almost guaranteed to get shot if you dilly-dally for more than a second. Also, some enemies require many shots to take down and you perish instantly from any projectile or even by getting stuck on the scenery. Once you do, you have to start the stage all over again. When you factor in the annoying music, bland graphics, and complete lack of features that you'd expect in an arcade port, it's a very disappointing game.
If you ever see a monkey floating around on a cloud then you should slap him to prevent any more of these games from being made.Monkey King: Master of the Clouds gameplay video →
Sigi: A Fart for Melusina Review Switch ★★☆☆☆
Knights love three things: hot dogs, mermaids, and farting. Thankfully, Sigi: A Fart for Melusina contains all of these delights.
Sigi: A Fart for Melusina is a serious and thought-provoking game. You play as a knight named Sigi who's on a quest to chase some tail (literally) after he falls in love with a mermaid. Throughout his adventure, he'll eat more hot dogs than the FDA recommends and gently excrete the resulting fumes from betwixt his pixelated bum cheeks. Epic story aside, you basically control the delightful chum as you do in most 2D platformers although the gameplay is extremely rudimentary. Apart from running and jumping, you'll also acquire different kinds of weapons which reminded me of the ones in Adventure Island. The levels are mostly very easy but the boss fights can be a huge pain in the ass and you can easily beat the whole campaign in under an hour. For some reason, I was expecting more.
If you want to play an inexpensive and brief 2D platformer while having a few laughs then Sigi: A Fart for Melusina is worth a download. However, anyone looking for something even slightly substantial will feel like it's as useless as a fart.Sigi: A Fart for Melusina gameplay video → Games with farts
FullBlast Review Switch ★★★☆☆
Modern shoot 'em ups can be just as fun as ones from back in the day so let's blast off and see how this one holds up.
FullBlast has been around for quite a while as it initially released for Ouya back in 2014. As one of the 12 people who own an Ouya, I'm surprised that I haven't heard of it until this Switch release. Anyway, FullBlast is one of the most basic shoot 'em ups that I've ever played. All you essentially do is fly around and shoot. Once in a while, you'll acquire a power-up that can alter your projectile stream, reward an extra life, or provide some sort of temporary boost. The 3D visuals are its best feature and the rockin' soundtrack is the icing on the cake. However, the gameplay can get extremely tedious complete with stages that go on for far too long, bosses that take forever to destroy, and environments that repeat much too frequently. This is alleviated somewhat with the help of multiplayer support but it's still a mostly humdrum experience. If they tightened up the stages then this would be a rather exceptional shmup.
Shoot 'em up fans will be put off by the overall monotony of FullBlast's gameplay but it definitely looks and sounds great.FullBlast gameplay video →