July2014

  • 29

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Pop'n TwinBee

    WinBee

    It's not particularly well known outside Japan, but for a while TwinBee was one of Konami's main shoot 'em up series. A lot more cutesy than Gradius and the like, its colourful graphics and characters were its biggest appeal. A while back the original TwinBee was remade as a 3D Classic, but now here we have Pop'n Twinbee, one of the few...

  • 43

    3DS

    Review Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal World Duel Carnival

    Is the first 3DS entry a Dark Hole or a Monster Reborn?

    Konami’s Yu-Gi-Oh series has a long and successful history in digital form, perhaps never more so than on Nintendo hardware – a relationship that stretches all the way back from the original monochrome Game Boy right up to Zexal World Duel Carnival, which is both the first 3DS Yu-Gi-Oh...

April2014

  • 27

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse

    Join the fang club

    Looking back, it's incredible to think that Konami took such a risk with the Castlevania series during its formative years. Having tasted critical and commercial success with the original NES outing, the Japanese company decided to give its direct sequel a different spin. The result was Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, a game which...

February2014

  • 27

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Super C

    Junco Partners

    Konami's massively popular Contra became synonymous with side-scrolling shoot-'em-up action when it was released for the NES in 1988 — so much so that when the sequel hit Nintendo's home console in 1990, Konami felt confident that a single, stylized 'C' would be enough to evoke the series' name in the hearts and minds of loyal fans...

January2014

  • 35

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Castlevania II: Simon's Quest

    What a horrible night to play this game

    Sequels of the present day are almost an inevitability; a safe way for a developer to earn some extra revenue by expanding their previous game, slightly tweaking gameplay nuances and throwing in additional levels and enemies. However, in the late '80s, things were different – sequels could vary wildly from...

  • 45

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Castlevania II: Simon's Quest

    Should've put a stake in it

    With 1987's Castlevania on the NES, Konami created a classic. The vampire hunting action game was a whip-roaring success, kicking off one of gaming's most iconic series and introducing a generation of gamers to the adventures of Simon Belmont, the joy of whip-based combat, and the explosive properties of holy water. The...

  • 45

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Life Force

    A force to be reckoned with

    The space shooter is a genre that has somewhat faded into obscurity in recent years, both due to advances in technology rendering their limited scope obsolete and their typically gruelling difficulty proving unpalatable to some gamers. The NES port of Life Force, (or Salamander, as it was originally known on Eastern...

December2013

  • 33

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Castlevania

    Just like Dracula, it keeps coming back to life...

    Konami, admittedly following the lead of others such as Nintendo and Capcom, sure likes to remind us it was making awesome games way back in the 1980s. "Hey", it says, "remember how great Castlevania was on the NES?" We sure do, Konami and, oh look, now we can buy it again on the Wii U! It's one of...

  • 25

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review The Legend of the Mystical Ninja

    The true karate kid

    Konami's classic action title The Legend of the Mystical Ninja is a welcome addition to the Wii U's slowly expanding library of Virtual Console offerings. In an era where lighthearted, fun characters have all but been forgotten in favour of grim shooters, playing as "Kid Ninja" — or Goemon, for fans of his Nintendo 64...

  • 28

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Contra III: The Alien Wars

    Lasers and missiles and heliobombs, oh my

    Just when you thought the Wii U eShop had reached a maximum capacity of irresistibly cute little creatures with the likes of Pikmin 3, Toki Tori and Kung Fu Rabbit, here comes Contra III: The Alien Wars to mow down the competition with its terrifying alien invasions, flamethrower-wielding protagonists and...

October2013

  • 63

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Super Castlevania IV

    Fangs for the memories

    The Castlevania series is enjoying something of a renaissance at the moment, thanks largely to MercurySteam's commercially successful Lords of Shadow sub-series. However, as many hardcore Castlevania fans will repeatedly tell you until they are blue in the face and you are deeply, deeply bored, the God of War-style gameplay...

September2013

  • 30

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Gradius

    Just keeps shooting

    To say that the original Gradius was influential on the evolution of the side-scrolling shoot 'em up would be a gross understatement. When it hit arcades in 1985 it was lauded for its amazing level designs and simple, yet wildly playable, power-up system. This NES release was one of the first home ports of the game and has become...

March2013

  • 171

    3DS

    Review Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate

    A change is as good as a rest

    As much as it will pain Castlevania fans to admit, the series was in a pretty bad state prior to the release of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow in 2010. Although a string of “Metroidvania” entries — produced under the guidance of the enigmatic Koji “IGA” Igarashi — had hit the mark from a critical standpoint,...

February2013

  • 62

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Castlevania

    Drac attack

    A while back we were "graced" with the arrival of Castlevania: The Adventure on 3DS Virtual Console, an overly simplistic attempt to bring the series to handhelds. Now the NES original has arrived on the service as well, but is it still worth going batty over? If you've played almost any other "classic-style" Castlevania game, you'll be...

  • 33

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Super C

    I think you’re a Contra

    Originally released as an arcade game titled Super Contra, Super C — or Probotector II — is the NES-ported sequel to the now infamously difficult action game Contra. With the continuing story of alien invaders, and most of the same gameplay elements, Super C shares many similarities with its predecessor, but that...

October2012

  • 19

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Gradius

    Dated, but legendary

    To say that the original Gradius was influential on the evolution of the side-scrolling shoot 'em up would be a gross understatement. When the game hit arcades in 1985 it was lauded for its amazing level designs and simple, yet wildly playable, power-up system. This NES release was one of the first home ports of the game and has...

  • 19

    Game Boy

    Review Castlevania Legends

    Tainted bloodline

    The odds were stacked against Castlevania Legends almost from the start. When it was released towards the end of the '90s, it had the near-impossible task of following Castlevania: Symphony of the Night - a game which had revitalised Konami's gothic series and won widespread critical acclaim. To add to the heady level of...

  • 22

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Quarth

    Break it down

    Originally released for the Game Boy in 1990, Konami's Quarth takes the presentation of a Space Invaders-type shooter, and instead gives us a puzzle game. As tempting as it might be to enter these stages with guns blazing, what Quarth actually requires is a healthy amount of foresight and on-the-fly problem solving. It's not without...

August2012

  • 20

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon

    Not so mystical

    Shortly after the original release of the excellent Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon for Nintendo 64, Konami released another game with the same title for the original Game Boy. Tragically, the N64 game has still not been released on Wii Virtual Console, but is this handheld offering a good alternative? This instalment of the Goemon...

July2012

  • 14

    WiiWare

    Review Frogger: Hyper Arcade Edition

    Hopping mad

    Frogger reached its 30th anniversary last year so, as is tradition for gaming birthdays, Konami has marched out a new edition of the arcade classic. Frogger: Hyper Arcade Edition sets out to bring multiplayer and new play styles to the franchise, but it's not quite all it's croaked up to be. It's split up into eight modes – six game...

  • 50

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Castlevania: The Adventure

    Belmont's first portable adventure

    When the Game Boy hit store shelves in 1989 it didn’t take long for a vast swathe of third-party publishers – many of which had grown fat on the profits generated by Nintendo’s astonishingly popular NES – to sign up to produce software for the device. Konami was one of the first to pledge its allegiance to...

February2012

  • 82

    3DS

    Review Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D

    Not for honor, but for 3DS

    Every so often a game comes along that makes you appreciate just how clever it is, a feat that creator Hideo Kojima pulls off every time he steps up to direct an entry in his Metal Gear Solid series. From fourth-wall-shattering boss battles to hiding key information in plain sight, they tend to raise the question of why...

  • 48

    Game Boy Color

    Review Metal Gear Solid

    Snake sneaks onto Game Boy Color in his first portable op

    Metal Gear is a series born from limitations. Originally intended as a military shooter game for the MSX2 computer system, creator Hideo Kojima found the hardware unable to handle the large amount of on-screen action required for such an adventure. Instead of loud and overt blasting, the...

November2011

  • 19

    3DS

    Review Nikoli's Pencil Puzzle

    Sharp?

    It's hard to believe, but there was a time before fancy Tanooki Suits, space-foxes and Lon Lon Milk defined a good game. It was an era without joysticks, Wii Remotes or Power Gloves. How could anyone possibly have had fun in such a world, you ask? Well, back then, people were satisfied with a simple pencil and pad of paper, and that was...

October2011

  • 20

    3DS

    Review Deca Sports Extreme

    Sixth time the charm?

    When we first played Wii Sports back in 2006, it woke us up to the potential of sports compilations to provide simple yet rich entertainment. When it was at its best, it boiled down a game to its essence, then refined that to make something truly special. Since then, countless titles have attempted to reproduce the formula, and...