Battletoads could have survived by doing a lot less, yet Dlala has gone above and beyond what would have been required to grab the attention of hardcore fans. The result is a challenging, yet accessible, ‘90s inspired beat-em-up that doesn’t rely on nostalgia to be charming, fun and engaging. Sure, there’s some aspects of the game that feel a bit lacklustre or frustrating, but at its core, Battletoads is full of heart. This revival has put the toads back in the spotlight, giving them more of a chance to shine than ever before. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if Rash, Zitz, and Pimple end up with their own TV show.
Destroy All Humans serves as yet another example of how to recreate a beloved classic, without destroying what made it special. If you loved the original game, then everything that captured your originally his here and accounted for. Hopefully, this remake will mark a triumphant return for the series, which in turn would ensure that this weird little freak of a game can maintain its presence within game libraries for years to come. In any case, we welcome more Destroy All Humans.
SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom was a masterclass in how to handle a licenced game, so it comes as no surprise that Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated is a complete joy. In recreating this cartoon cult classic, THQ and Purple Lamp Studios have facilitated access to an important part of SpongeBob’s history to old fans and a new generation alike. It’s great to see interest in light-hearted platforming experiences make a comeback, especially when considering the market is overwhelmingly filled with adult experiences, much to the frustration of parents.
Huntdown stands as a neon-drenched monument on how to make a contemporary retro game. You might come for its highly stylised 16-bit aesthetic, but you’ll certainly stay for its authentic arcadey mechanics, amusing comedic overtones and unique boss battles. Despite being released long after its ancestors, Huntdown can stand tall within its genre, knowing that in reality, it probably holds more true to your nostalgic memories than what you actually played back in the day.
Jay and Silent Bob: Mall Brawl makes for a tremendous NES game, which might make it a great addition to your retro collection, but might come across as more of a novelty when played on modern hardware. Enjoying this game is a matter of context – if you’re playing on original NES hardware, then you’re likely going to be more forgiving of any inherited clunky mechanics. Regardless of how you play, there’s a lot of heart in this mall brawler, with lots on offer to enjoy for retro enthusiasts and Kevin Smith fans alike.
The Occupation might not be the first of its kind, yet it manages to provide a distinct experience that delivers on everything it promises. With completion only lasting a few hours, you’ll find yourself craving more, whilst not actually feeling like your time with the game was cut short.