Wii U eShop / NES
Originally an arcade game, the 1986 Namco NES title Sky Kid draws hard battle lines from the start, though exactly who the warring parties are is unclear. This quirky game is iconic of Namco's early days and even earned a song and a cameo in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U. The action here is a combination of unforgiving and short,...
3DS eShop / NES
Space: The Original Frontier
There are a few reasons so many early video games took place in space. While the most obvious one is budgetary — a flat black background being quite literally the easiest possible background to render, thereby making "space" a pretty natural choice of setting — there's a psychological reason as well: space is a...
3DS eShop / NES
An arcade force to be reckoned with, Namco graced the Famicom and NES with impressive cartridge conversions of quite a few of its enduring coin-op classics. From Dig Dug and Pac-Man to Galaga and Xevious, Nintendo's console quickly amassed a collection of A-list arcade hits, and — along with the heavy hitters and household names —...
Pac ain't afraid of no ghost
As gaming's original icon, Pac-Man has enjoyed a long and varied career. He's munched Power Pellets on dozens of different platforms since his 1980 debut, starred in platform games on the Super Nintendo, raced go karts on the GameCube, had a Top-10 single on the US charts, and even worked under the baton of Mario maestro...
No, no, Power Rangers
Let's just say it up front so that nobody skimming the review will miss it: Power Rangers Megaforce is a terrible game. Not only that, it's actually broken in several respects. And we don't mean "broken" to mean "unfair" or "poorly designed." We mean "broken" to mean "it does not work." The concept of the game is promising...
Wii U eShop / NES
That man is playing Galaga!
Galaga is old. It may well state 1988 on Galaga’s NES title screen, but that refers to its European and US release date, the Japanese Famicom conversion was released early in 1985 and they are all based on a port of Namco’s 1981 coin-op. This means that with any Wii U Virtual Console purchase you must consider if you...
Wii U eShop / NES
An early vertical scrolling classic
When Xevious hit arcades in 1982 it represented one of the first vertical shoot 'em ups of its kind. Not only that, but the game introduced a second bombing mechanic to give it a little more flare. After seeing a handful of home releases, it sprang upon the NES system with a vengeance and once again showed that...
Wii U eShop / NES
Pac is back!
When Pac-Man hit arcades in 1981, it was a phenomenal success. Spawning clothing, cereals and even a hit song, the game took the world by storm. It saw a rash of home console and personal computer releases during the 80s — some better than others — but it wasn't until the NES release in 1985 that the game finally saw a replica close...
Meh! Meh! Meh!
Every so often a video game comes along with a concept so amazing that copies should come with a roll of duct tape to keep consumers from having their faces rocked off. Tanks with crazy weapons fighting giant robot monsters in expansive, destructible cities seems like a concept that you’d have to work pretty hard to screw up...
3DS eShop / NES
Ghost gobblin' on the go
If you were to ask one hundred people to make a list of the most classic video games of all time, you shouldn't be surprised to find Pac-Man on every one of those lists. It's an unrivaled masterpiece of gaming simplicity, an experience that involves nothing more than moving endlessly around a single maze, yet which somehow...
Tag, you're it
For as well known a household name as Tekken is, it’s strange to realize that it’s never made its way to a Nintendo home console at any point. There have been handheld offerings on the Game Boy Advance and 3DS, but portable fighters are rarely more than appetizers compared to their beefy console counterparts. Namco Bandai finally...
Perhaps we were foolish to get our hopes up about Thundercats. It is a licensed game, after all, and while that's not a universally bad thing, it should by this point at least make us think twice. Then again, it's Thundercats! The original cartoon is an enduring classic, the recent reboot was surprisingly good, and the...
Half an adventure, unlimited boredom
Tremendously revered in Japan, yet – like the vast majority of animé — enjoying more of a cult following in the West, One Piece follows the story of Monkey D. Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirates in their tumultuous quest to locate the titular treasure. After a lengthy history of translation to video games, the...
In the nine months or so that it’s been on sale, the 3DS has had a number of obstacles thrust upon it, but one major problem for early adopters to lament has surely been the distinct lack of quality software available, with only a handful of truly great games seeing release. Of course, in the last few weeks that’s picked up somewhat,...
Go go Power Rangers
Centuries ago, dark forces threatened to destroy civilisation in Japan. The danger was thought to have been destroyed by a clan of fearless warriors wielding power symbols that had been passed down for generations. Now these dark forces have returned to finish the destruction they started so long ago, and the survival of Earth...
Be prepared for economy class... if you're lucky
Since the launch of the Wii and the success of its pack-in title Wii Sports, it seems that there isn't a major publisher or developer that hasn't had their finger in the mini-game collection pie. Most of these copycats have either been inoffensively average or outright terrible. In fact, when it comes...
Xevious goes 3D
When Xevious first hit arcades back in 1982, it became known for its odd visual style and unique sound effects. Now, after a number of releases on various platforms over the past 30 years, the game now makes an appearance on Nintendo's 3DS system via the eShop. While being able to take the game with you on the go for those quick...
This hunter should become the hunted
Solatorobo: Red the Hunter isn’t a game title that is likely to storm to the top of the sales charts. There are no well-known franchise names, no mainstream marketing campaign, and no hint of generic, dull gaming characters and designs. Being a Japanese action RPG, this game is different from the vast majority...
More is less
Whenever a title advertises a unique, never-before-seen element, the test of whether it's a true innovation or a simple gimmick largely comes down to whether it improves gameplay. DualPenSports is built around one such thing: two oversized plastic yellow styluses are included in the case. But, wait, the 3DS has a single-touch interface,...
A familiar lap around the track
Namco’s Ridge Racer series has often been criticised for being a relic of a bygone era, a driving game that clings to outmoded arcade sensibilities and refuses to step into the super-realistic world inhabited by the likes of Forza and Gran Turismo. The irony is that when Namco Bandai attempts to take the franchise...
A monster disappointment
Kaiju Busters (or "Monster Busters" as its effective English translation goes) is just one in a long line of monster-based video games that we don’t often get to see in the West. This handheld effort from Bandai Namco inevitably draws comparisons with Capcom’s massively popular Monster Hunter games, and in that...
All driller, no filler
Mr. Driller has become quite a beloved arcade puzzler over the years and after a solid WiiWare release, it seems Namco Bandai thought it might be time for the game to make an appearance on DSiWare as well. Now puzzle fans looking for a little arcade digging action can enjoy the game on the go and with a nice added set of...
Drill, baby, drill!
That Mr. Driller W would be among the better puzzle games on the WiiWare service was somewhat of a given. It's a close relation to Dig Dug - a classic arcade series if there ever was one - and its own line of releases spans more consoles than you might have known existed. Mr. Driller has a long, rich and well-established history,...
Something classic, something new, Namco we love you!
In recent years purveyors old arcade games have seen fit to repackage them into "Greatest Hits" collections. Namco first had their Museum series on the original PlayStation in a series of six volumes (cleverly one for each letter of the name "Namco" and then a Japanese-only...
Scale a skyscraper to rescue your lost love in The Tower of Druaga.
The Tower of Druaga is a moderately infamous arcade game. As the knight Gil (Who is really Gilgamesh) you must work your way up a gigantic 60-floor tower to rescue your beloved princess Ki from the clutches of the evil Druaga. Each floor is quite literally a maze - Your objective on...