I hadn’t heard about MonkeyPaw Games before today, to the point that I actually misread their name as “Monkey Paul.” Of course, I instantly thought of the charming three-eyed monkey who often shows himself after episodes of Jimmy Neutron. Ah, how I loved Paul. But I digress.
Apparently MonkeyPaw’s current undertaking concerns the revival of classic “Retro Rush” games of the PSone era. These games are all imports, meaning their PSN release at the hands of MonkeyPaw will mark a rare dose of stateside exposure for titles that are otherwise exceedingly niche to Western audiences. The games on the list include Double Dragon, Lucifer Ring, The Firemen 2: Pete and Danny, Hyper Crazy Climber, Wolf Fang, and Tomba! 2: The Evil Swine Return. They will be released in that order, one game per week, beginning on January 14th.
So, are these games worth playing? They’re all new to me, but some look promising. Double Dragon is a well-liked brawler that apparently offers a surprisingly deep set of moves, though it’s been included on both “best of” and “worst of” lists of various publications, so predicting its worthwhile-ness is difficult. The Firemen 2: Pete and Danny at first struck me as charming, until I saw the creepily detailed box art. Hyper Crazy Climber is a Doodle Jump-esque climbing precursor to the original Donkey Kong, and I’ve heard that Tomba! 2 is a solid platformer. The main character reminds me of a genetic hybrid-turned-abomination between Crash Bandicoot and Tak, which is a bit unsettling.
No matter the case, we’ll be reviewing at least one or two of these in the coming weeks, so stay tuned if you’ve got a retro itch that needs scratching – MonkeyPaw Games may just have the solution.