March2015

  • 15

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Sky Kid

    Bombs away

    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,...

March2014

  • 17

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Galaga

    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...

February2014

  • 15

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Sky Kid

    Heavy Weather

    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 —...

November2013

  • 61

    Wii U

    Review Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures

    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...

  • 32

    3DS

    Review Power Rangers Megaforce

    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...

August2013

  • 35

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Galaga

    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...

May2013

  • 16

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Xevious

    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...

  • 24

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Pac-Man

    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...

December2012

  • 73

    Wii U

    Review Tank! Tank! Tank!

    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...

November2012

  • 42

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Pac-Man

    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...

  • 47

    Wii U

    Review Tekken Tag Tournament 2

    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...

  • 30

    DS

    Review Thundercats

    Thundercats, noooo!

    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...

February2012

  • 37

    3DS

    Review One Piece Unlimited Cruise SP

    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...

December2011

  • 56

    3DS

    Review Tales of the Abyss

    Abyssmal?

    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,...

  • 27

    DS

    Review Power Rangers Samurai

    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...

November2011

  • 51

    Wii

    Review Go Vacation

    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...

July2011

  • 44

    3DSWare

    Review 3D Classics: Xevious

    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...

  • 60

    DS

    Review Solatorobo: Red the Hunter

    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...

  • 30

    3DS

    Review DualPenSports

    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,...

March2011

  • 69

    3DS

    Review Ridge Racer 3D

    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...

April2010

  • 16

    DS

    Review Kaiju Busters

    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...

  • 28

    DSiWare

    Review Mr. Driller: Drill Till You Drop

    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...

August2009

  • 66

    WiiWare

    Review Mr. Driller W

    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,...

July2009

  • 23

    Wii

    Review Namco Museum Remix

    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...

March2009

  • 38

    Arcade

    Review The Tower of Druaga

    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...