World Games

  • Platform: C64
  • Wii Points: 500
  • In Real Money: GBP 3.50 / EUR 5 (approx)

Two weeks ago, California Games graced the C64 channel, and it must have done rather well since here comes its even more bizarre sequel. Based around a series of events culled from the traditional pastimes of various nations, you get to take part in such offbeat exercises as weightlifting, barrel jumping, cliff diving, slalom skiing, log rolling, bull riding, caber toss and sumo wrestling.

As with California Games, the execution varies from one event to another. Weightlifting, cliff-diving and barrel-jumping are all immediately appealing and good fun, relying on good timing rather than mindless mashing. The others, however, suffer from sluggish responses or poor animations that leave unable to react in time. Log-rolling and bull-riding both require you to instantly respond to minor changes in a rudimentary animation cycle, but modern gamers will find it far too clumsy. Slalom-skiing is virtually unplayable - a jerky sloth-like experience that doesn't even hold a candle to the blue blobby wonder of Horace Goes Skiing.

While the presentation is top notch, with chirpy renditions of national anthems and optional info screens offering background history on each event, the hit-to-miss ratio is still skewed too far in the wrong direction.


The Last Ninja

  • Platform: C64
  • Wii Points: 500
  • In Real Money: GBP 3.50 / EUR 5 (approx)

This was one of those 8-bit games that I've always meant to revisit. Back in 1987 it was covered in sexy kisses by every reviewer, and went on to become the best-selling Commodore 64 game ever made. But...I never really liked it all that much.

Yes, the isometric 3D was impressive and it had a ninja and you could use throwing stars and stuff. But it always had a rather fussy control system, and that's what really trips it up fatally on the Virtual Console. I can accept that my tepid reaction at the age of 14 was down to personal taste, but playing it today on both the Wiimote and Classic Controller, I found it pretty much unplayable.


Your ninja moves in whatever direction you press, but he'll stay facing in the same direction unless you rotate him through all the directions manually. A sort of rudimentary strafe mode, if you like, but one that translates horribly from the joysticks of old to today's tiny d-pad. Selecting weapons and inventory items means calling up the keyboard, flipping the remote around to point and click on the relevant key, then flipping it horizontally again to continue playing. The game doesn't pause while you're doing this, so not only is it an enormous fiddle to pull off, it can be fatal if you need to change weapons mid-fight.

Even basic functions such as picking things up and hand-to-hand combat are bollocksed up by the change in control method, with diagonals and directions very hard to find with any consistent accuracy. Regardless of my first teenage reaction, I'm happy to accept that The Last Ninja was one of the greats - at least when played in 1987 with a joystick. Played on a console, with all the control concessions required, it's something of a horror show.


About the author

Dan Whitehead

Dan Whitehead

Senior Contributor,

Dan has been writing for Eurogamer since 2006 and specialises in RPGs, shooters and games for children. His bestest game ever is Julian Gollop's Chaos.

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