Retro Game Challenge

A blast from the past!
Reviewed By: John Fox - Staff Reviewer
Content at a glance:

Language: "Sucks" used in dialog, Bastard & Hell used as item/enemy name.

Spiritual Content: Magic, possession by a evil spirit, talk of gods and guardian spirits.

Other: Crude names used in fictional Gamefan magazine. Talk of being doused with beer & champagne. Couple crude parts in dialog.

Retro Game Challenge

Retro Game Challenge is based on the Japanese television show “Retro Game Master” and stars the show’s host Shinya Arino. The player is transformed into a kid and transported back to the 80s. In the past you meet Arino as a boy and are tasked with completing various challenges for games released in the decade, while getting hints, tips and cheats from the fictional Gamefan magazine.

There are eight games in total. Rather than ports of old games these are brand new games in the NES style. They include:

  • Robot Ninja Haggleman: Based off the Japan only Ninja Jajamaru Kun, Haggleman is a platformer in which you are tasked with saving a princess using only your ninja stars and jumping abilities.
  • Cosmic Gate: Based off Galaga, you must maneuver your ship though 64 levels fighting wave upon wave of enemies as well collecting powerups and completing asteroid bonus levels.
  • Rally King: Based partly off MotoRace USA, Rally King is a game in which you race against other cars trying to get in first place, be careful not to crash into them!
  • Star Prince: Based off Star Soldier, Star Prince is a in which you take your ship through various levels dodging bullets, fighting bosses and gaining new weaponry.
  • Guadia Quest: An based off Dragon Warrior (Quest) 2, Guadia Quest stars three descendants of the ancient hero who must set off to save the Princess from the dark lord. Like their ancestor the heroes can make pacts with “honorable intelligent” monsters called Guadia who act as a 4th computer controlled party member. The game also sports a slot machine style weapon damage system.

Retro Game Challenge

The game themselves are well done (besides Rally King which I did not care for), though some do not match the game they are based on in quality, such Guadia Quest. Each has sound, graphics and difficulty similar to what you might find in an NES games of the 80s. The challenges Arino (floating head) vary from gaining X amount of points to clearing a certain level, or using a special game trick. The Gamefan magazine also has many cheat codes which can help you through most of the tough challenges. The player must complete all challenges for one game to unlock the next game, so you can’t skip any of the games. The challenges in total take about 10-15 hours to complete.

The bottom screen displays average 3D graphics with young Arino watching you and commenting on your gameplay. This can get rather annoying and the actor who plays Arino sounds twice his age. Retro Game Challenge is well localized as well. went to great lengths to refer to many game events that happened in America in the 80s; such as references to the power glove, the movie the Wizard and Electronic Gaming Monthly. The NES games also have obligatory bad translations. Sadly the localization is not perfect as two of the Gamefan Magazine codes were mis-translated.

Retro Game Challenge


Like most NES games the violence is very tame. The characters attack with lasers, swords Ninja stars ect. and the enemies explode or disappear when defeated. In Rally King you can ram into cars causing them to explode bringing them out of the race. Finally in Guadia Quest you see bones (NES style) sometimes in dungeons and when you go into the underworld there is a lake of what is probably blood, but it looks like light red water (think NES graphics).

Language/Sexual Content/Crude Humor:

“Sucks” is used in the dialog. Bastard is the name of a weapon in Guadia Quest, a (on purpose) bad translation of the real life sword “Bastard Sword”. One of the enemies you fight has hell in it’s name, probably referring to the fantasy creature Hell Hound.

Strangely enough with my male character Arino asks if you are single every so often when playing Guadia Quest. This could possible be a glitch however.

There is also some crude dialog, like a guard telling you to not pick your nose in front of the King, as well as the mention by Arino that playing Rally King makes him feel car sick.

The worst content however is the crude childish names “people” use when writing to the editor to the (again fictional) Gamefan Magazine, these include “Seymour Butz”, “Mike Rotch”, “Hugh Jass”, “Homer Sexual”, and “Don Keebales”. I’m actually surprised the game received an E rating because of this.

Retro Game Challenge

Spiritual Content:

In a Haggleman game the villains are trying to destroy artifacts that are sealing off evil. In the in Guadia Quest your characters can cast various attack, healing and status altering spells against various monsters. However a message just appears in the text box “<name> casts <spell>” with a sound effect. There is not a visual effect of the spell being cast. Also during the game the characters can make pacts with “intelligent honorable monsters” which when defeated join your party as a 4th computer controlled party member. Characters also go into the underworld and battle the dark lord. The game also talks a little about guardian spirits and a little about gods, but you never see them.

***Vague Spoilers***

Eventually the characters also go to the celestial tower to battle the holy king because the celestial beings are becoming to powerful, but there is more too it than that (see below). The story also deals with a possession of an evil spirit.

***End Spoilers***

***Large Spoilers***

At the end it turns out that the king was possessed by an evil spirit when he tried to use dark magic to resurrect his dead wife. It has you kill the lords of the celestial realm and underworld so it can take over all three worlds. Eventually you fight it and save the king who morns what he has done and tries to make amends.

***End Spoilers***

Retro Game Challenge


During one talk with young Arino he says how it is neat that you are showered with champagne when you win in Rally King (this actually does not happen) and you can reply how it would be fun to be doused with beer as well.

Retro Game Challenge is a great game for those who love the games of the 80s. It successfully emulates the classics of old while updating them with new features and keeping things interesting. Highly recommended everyone who loves retro style games.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Answers Network.

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