If you’re a retro game lover, then you’ll be pleased to hear that three of the finest examples of retro gaming have been released recently on the PlayStation Network.

Wolfenstein 3D

Wolfenstein 3D is more what you’d call a historic game than a retro game. It is credited with kick-starting the entire First Person Shooter genre. A lot of people credit Doom with that achievement, but Doom only started the craze – Wolfenstein 3D started it all.

In Wolfenstein 3D, players assume the role of B.J. Blazkowicz, an Allied soldier imprisoned by the Nazis in Castle Wolfenstein. After knifing a guard in the back and stealing his pistol, players are left to shoot their way to freedom. There are six episodes in total, with nine levels and one secret level per episode – all of which are included in the PlayStation Network version. The lineup of enemies is interesting, and players will face Nazi foot soldiers, dogs, SS troopers, and various colourful bosses, including a mad surgeon, and even Hitler himself.

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I’m sure there was probably a first person shooter or two around before Wolfenstein 3D that somebody will bring up, so rather than saying it was the first of its kind, we’ll say that it was the first of its kind that was done right. The speed and smoothness of the game as you wandered around the large, maze-like levels, shooting enemies and looking for the exit, was unlike anything gamers had ever seen before.

If you want to add a truly historic game to your collection, then look no further than Wolfenstein 3D. But if you need another incentive, then earning trophies in Wolfenstein 3D unlocks special secrets in the upcoming Wolfenstein game for the PS3 (and PC and 360). How about that, eh?

Gunstar Heroes

If you were ever a fan of platform shooters and you haven’t at least heard of Gunstar Heroes, then you should be ashamed of yourself. Still, that feeling of shame will fade if you hit the PSN and download the version of it available there.

Gunstar Heroes was developed by Treasure, the geniuses responsible for Ikaruga, Guardian Heroes, Radiant Silvergun, Light Crusader, and Alien Soldier, among other hit titles. Like everything they made, Gunstar Heroes fitted neatly into a specific genre, but rose above it in so many ways.

gunstar_heroesGunstar Heroes is possibly one of the craziest shooting games available. At the start, you choose whether you’d like to play with Fixed Shot (where your character stands still while shooting) or Free Shot (where your character can move while shooting.) You then select one of the four different weapon types, Force (rapid fire), Lighting (straight line through multiple enemies), Chaser (homing shot), and Fire (big damage, limited range). During the game, you can combine two of these different weapon types to make all kinds of new, hybrid weapons to suit your tastes.

From the word “go” you are assaulted by an unending stream of enemies who just won’t quit. Your only hope to see the end of each stage is to keep moving and shooting. Don’t stop, don’t think, just shoot and run. It’s this intense, unrelenting action element that made the game so popular when it was released, and it’s still damn good fun to play now – even more so if you play it in two player mode.

Download it right now. You won’t regret it.

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