Gang Wars and Time Soldiers Retro Gaming Review

Retro Replay
SNK PlayMore has released two more retro games into their lineup: Gang Wars and Time Soldiers. These have been released as PlayStation Minis titles on PSP (also compatible with PS3). These games can be found in the “New Releases” category and the “SNK NeoGeo” featured publishers page on the PSN. These are two titles that were available on the immensely popular NeoGeo arcade machines found across America in the 80s and 90s. Both of these games hail from the former decade.

Gang Wars:
In this title, you play as Mike as he battles his way through several of the “seedier” parts of New York City against a gang known as The Jaguar. These gang members have been terrorizing the city and have kidnapped a pretty young woman named Cynthia.
The beauty part of games that hailed from this generation is exactly what I just did: being able to describe the game in two sentences and have a clear understanding what it is about. There was no convoluted plot, or twists and turns. Your objective was clear and precise, and there was no messing around.

Having played through this game now, when the last time I attempted to play was over 15 years ago, I do have a bit of appreciation for the nostalgia games. And as much fun as I had reminiscing, it is a very repetitive game. You just punch and kick your way through baddies and each level they get a little bit harder. There are weapons you can pick up here and there, but forget about trying to jump with them in hand. And once you get hit once, you lose it (it was nearly impossible to keep a weapon during any of the boss fights). Overall, though, it was nice to relive a bit of my childhood in this game. Definitely worth the purchase if you like simple time-killing games.

Time Soldiers:

In this title, is a vertical scrolling shooter in which you travel through time to rescue captured and fallen comrades all the while trying to restore peace the galaxy.
This one I could do in one sentence.

I never played this one as a child, but I found it to be very frustrating. It was difficult to figure out to turn your character to aim in a different direction. My first round playing I became irritated when an enemy would end up on my side and I couldn’t figure out how to turn and shoot him. I will save many of you the time and let you know that R1 and L1 turn your character. Given that this is an update of an old classic, I never would have thought to use these buttons to do anything.

Both the games were fun to play (once you got past the irritation in Time Soldiers), but something was missing and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Then I realized… half the fun of playing these games was trying to service as long as you could on that one or two quarters you had to feed in the machine. With both of these titles, simply tapping Triangle would add credits to your tab and so it takes all the suspense and excitement out of the game.

Bottom line: While the look and feel of these games is not up there with other retro games such as Metal Slug or King of Fighters, they will probably be worth a little play for nostalgia buffs. Or if we ever want to show our children what we were playing when we were there age.