GB Reviews

Donkey Kong Land (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Donkey Kong Land (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Mobile monkey magic

Donkey Kong Country was a fun and popular platformer for the SNES, but not everyone thought it was great. Some people (possibly Mega Drive / Genesis owners) said the game was in fact quite poor and any fans were deluded fools drawn to it for reasons other than gameplay – or, as Cranky Kong says, “put a few fancy graphics and...

Mega Man V (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Mega Man V (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

There's a Stardroid waiting in the sky

The handheld Mega Man games, up until now, have been remixed mashups of two NES titles each. Some of them hewed more or less closely to the source material, while others were emboldened to evolve the original ideas is exciting new directions. Mega Man V, however, throws the very concept of "source material"...

Mega Man IV (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Mega Man IV (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Great things in small packages

With one exception, which is also making its way to the 3DS Virtual Console, all of the Game Boy Mega Man games take two of the NES titles and rework them a bit. Some old faces in new places, so to speak. A sprinkling of unique bosses and weapons help to carve out identities for these portable experiences but, by and...

Mega Man III (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Mega Man III (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Third time's the charm

After the fun but flawed Dr. Wily's Revenge and the almost thoroughly disappointing Mega Man II on Game Boy, Capcom made a serious and substantial course correction. The result is Mega Man III, and we couldn't be happier about that. Retaining the template from Dr. Wily's Revenge (two sets of Robot Masters, a new Mega Man...

Mega Man II (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Mega Man II (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Get equipped with tarnished legacy

Ask any fan of the Blue Bomber to name their favourite game in the series and the odds are good that they will say either Mega Man 2 or Mega Man 3. That's to be expected, though; both of those games are among the best on the NES, a system that had no shortage of great platformers and action games. What's less...

Pinball: Revenge of the 'Gator (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Pinball: Revenge of the 'Gator (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

A snappy pinball title

HAL's Pinball: Revenge of the 'Gator is a game which really needs to be approached with context in mind; back when it launched in 1990, real pinball games were still popular in arcades and digital representations were only just starting to offer the same level of enjoyment. Naxat's seminal Crush series — which includes Alien...

Castlevania Legends (Game Boy)

Castlevania Legends (Game Boy)

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...

Quarth (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Quarth (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

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...

Kirby's Star Stacker (3DS Virtual Console / Game Boy)

Kirby's Star Stacker (3DS Virtual Console / Game Boy)

Stacked

Anybody who plays video games probably knows all about the likes of Tetris, Dr. Mario, Puzzle League and other puzzle games, but Kirby had his own original puzzler (as in, not a reskin of Puyo Puyo) as well. The last Kirby game for the original Game Boy, Kirby's Star Stacker is actually a fairly fun game, if a little shallow. Like most...

Mole Mania (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Mole Mania (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Dig in

Poor Muddy Mole has returned home to find his family kidnapped by the evil farmer Jinbe. That's the entire plot, and we're happy about that. After all, Mole Mania isn't about storytelling; it's about a massive gauntlet of clever puzzles, and that's exactly why we like it. Divided into eight very large levels, Muddy's adventure finds him...

Wario Land II (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Wario Land II (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Greed is good

After the success of the first Wario Land, Nintendo decided to take another shot at putting its beloved new anti-hero in the spotlight. To differentiate it from Mario even further, it removed the "Super Mario Land" prefix and also made a massive gameplay change for Wario Land II. But is it one for the better? Defeated at the end of...

The Sword of Hope II (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

The Sword of Hope II (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

The great black and white hope

Poor Prince Theo. Not only is his first game still unavailable in the eShop, but his second adventure begins with all of his previous hard work being undone, an evil spirit being set free by would-be grave robbers, the Sword of Hope being stolen, and a young orphan accusing him of murdering his father. He really can't...

Kirby's Pinball Land (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Kirby's Pinball Land (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Less than the sum of its parts

While primarily known as the star of a reliably charming series of platformers, Kirby has also starred in a fair share of spin-offs. One of those, Kirby's Block Ball, came to the eShop just a few months ago. It's a flawed but fun reimagining of Breakout. It plays to the strengths of both Breakout as a template and...

Castlevania: The Adventure (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Castlevania: The Adventure (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

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...

Tumble Pop (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Tumble Pop (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Tumble Pop and lock

In the future, nests of hornets will be the least of pest control's worries. Tumble Pop is filled with strange beasts, from living skeletons to little grey aliens, manic clowns and Sweetums from The Muppets. In this arcade platformer, it's your job to clean them up with nothing more than a trusty – and presumably engine-powered...

Kirby's Dream Land 2 (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Kirby's Dream Land 2 (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Dreamy

Dream Land's peaceful moniker is surely false advertising. There are constant problems with invasions and takeovers, the bad guys are apparently impossible to evict, based on how often they show up and the fact that some buffoon keeps dumping huge piles of those star blocks in everybody's way. It's an absolute nightmare. You wouldn't get that...

Dr. Mario (3DS Virtual Console / Game Boy)

Dr. Mario (3DS Virtual Console / Game Boy)

The doctor’s out

If there’s one thing the 3DS eShop has plenty of, it’s puzzle games. It’s a genre that's always been commonplace on Nintendo handhelds, with Tetris probably the best known example. It’s hardly surprising that Nintendo’s mascot extraordinaire, Mario, invaded Game Boy with his own puzzle title, Dr. Mario. Does it make us...

Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters (3DS eShop / Game Boy)

Heavenly

When the original Kid Icarus hit the NES, many gamers weren't sure exactly what to think of it. For starters the game's protagonist was a cute little winged angel (at least we thought so) who ran around shooting tiny arrows at mythological enemies. Of course it didn't help matters that the game was released around the same time Nintendo's...

Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 (Game Boy)

Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 (Game Boy)

Third time’s a charm?

While Nintendo kept things fairly standard with the first two Super Mario Land releases, it obviously decided to make some changes when it got ready to create this third title in the series on Game Boy. Instead of featuring Mario, it decided to give players a chance to shake things up and take on the role of its newest bad...