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Review: Alphadia Genesis (Wii U eShop)

Alphadia Genesis (Wii U eShop)

Alphadia Generic

Like every other game genre, there's no one set of generally agreed-upon rules for what makes a Japanese RPG good. Some people simply can't stand turn-based gameplay, feeling it's an obsolete relic of an era gone past; others get misty-eyed with nostalgia and/or prefer its more deliberate pacing. Then there are gamers who debate...

Review: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Wii U)

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Wii U)

Another treasure to track down

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker has been Nintendo's greatest 2014 surprise, announced at E3 and rapidly turned around for a Holiday release — in North America, at least. In theory it's a new IP, too, taking the cute but minor Captain Toad character and providing him with his own game; the whole concept is a spin-off...

Review: Disney Planes: Fire & Rescue (Wii U)

Disney Planes: Fire & Rescue (Wii U)

Take Off Aborted

Movie inspired video games have often taken the liberty of deviating from the plot, throwing in events and scenarios that may be considered out of "canon" with the film's storyline and universe; a lack of faithfulness to the source material has been a frequent criticism throughout gaming history. Little Orbit's Disney Planes: Fire...

Review: Snake Den (Wii U eShop)

Snake Den (Wii U eShop)


When revisiting a well-worn concept, it's important to bring something new to the table. After all, we've reached a point in the gaming industry where certain genres — first-person shooter, platformer and adventure, just to name a few — have been pioneered and perfected over the years by generations of developers...

Review: Watch Dogs (Wii U)

Watch Dogs (Wii U)

Hack job

The Wii U has had a chequered history with third-party support, particularly from Ubisoft, and the belated arrival of Watch Dogs feels a little like a final hurrah — whether we'll see many more big-budget multiplatform mature titles on Nintendo's system is certainly a cause of doubt. This title is here, however, and a viable option for...

Review: Talking Phrasebook (3DS eShop)

Talking Phrasebook (3DS eShop)

It's translation time

Call us pessimistic, but we think it's fair to say that travelling abroad can be a pretty stressful experience. Sure, the exotic locales and sunny weather is always worth it in the end, but making the trip often takes no shortage of patience and more than a few embarrassing attempts to drag up half-remembered phrases in the...

Review: Chat-A-Lot (3DS eShop)

Chat-A-Lot (3DS eShop)

Textual healing or vocal underperformity?

Want to turn your 3DS into a social device that allows you and your friends to exchange text messages and partake in voice chat while collaborating on doodles? That’s the experience that Chat-A-Lot advertises, and while it delivers in some regards, overall this simple application falls very flat. Part of...

Review: Picross e5 (3DS eShop)

Picross e5 (3DS eShop)

Another pack of Picross

While the first few Picross e games mixed things up a little with slightly different modes each time, the previous game in the series — Picross e4 — didn't do anything unique; it simply brought back all of those previous special modes. Picross e5 also plays it safe and is essentially an expansion of the previous game,...

Review: Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! (Wii U eShop / Super Nintendo)

Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! (Wii U eShop / Super Nintendo)

Donkey wish your girlfriend was Kong like me?

Having stunned audiences with Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest, Rare had an awful lot to live up to on the final entry of the original Donkey Kong Country trilogy. Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble! sees the titular hero take centre stage after being second to the delightful...

Review: Thomas Was Alone (Wii U eShop)

Thomas Was Alone (Wii U eShop)

Simple brilliance

We're in the middle of one of the most diverse, intriguing periods in video game history. The rise of download games, small 'indie' developers and stores like the Wii U eShop have shifted how we think about content; we're a long way from the retail-only culture of the '90s or even early 2000s. One modern trend is for low-fi...

Review: Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric (Wii U)

Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric (Wii U)

Sonic Doomed

Sega's once-venerable Sonic the Hedgehog series has become a bit of a punchline in the gaming industry in recent years. With entries ranging from decent to mediocre to horrible, each new release is met with trepidation and well-earned cynicism. Sonic just hasn't been fully on top since his 16-bit heyday, and while his original 3D...

Review: Tetris Ultimate (3DS)

Tetris Ultimate (3DS)

The ultimate Tetris?

Tetris has been around since 1984, where it was developed in Russia for the DVK, a Soviet computer, but most people remember either the Game Boy or the NES version as being the breakthrough for the title. To say that Tetris is successful is an understatement; the gameplay is just as enjoyable as it was thirty years ago and...

Review: Natsume Championship Wrestling (Wii U eShop / Super Nintendo)

Natsume Championship Wrestling (Wii U eShop / Super Nintendo)

Tapped out

Let's be honest here: wrestling is essentially one big television drama, and that's no way an attempt to belittle the incredible athleticism of the men and women involved. It's Eastenders with a mullet and tight pants, complete with plot twists and a cast of larger than life characters to root for. These heels and faces are the reason we...

Review: Safari Quest (3DS eShop)

Safari Quest (3DS eShop)

Safari Meh-st

As consumers of entertainment, we all generally gravitate towards the extreme sides of the spectrum. When a product is amazing, it's really amazing — and we can't say enough about it. When a product is awful, it's really awful — and we're going to let everyone know. That's why it's such a disappointment when a product falls...

Review: Lufia: The Legend Returns (3DS eShop / Game Boy Color)

Lufia: The Legend Returns (3DS eShop / Game Boy Color)

The legend isn't feeling so good

Young Wain is the protector of his small village; it’s not a tough gig, with just the occasional blob-creature to slash on the outskirts, but things are about to change. As a spiritual force awakens inside him, the powerful Sinistrels re-emerge to release a threat of “unseen terror on the land”. His bloodline...

Review: Sportsball (Wii U eShop)

Sportsball (Wii U eShop)

No harm, no fowl

Nintendo has been highlighting TOO DX's Sportsball at various shows and conferences as one of several particularly strong "indie games" available on the Wii U eShop, promoting it as a quality party game. Though at first it looks like a primitive, simplistic Joust clone, its charms quickly become apparent with fast-paced gameplay and...

Review: Xavier (Wii U eShop)

Xavier (Wii U eShop)


In the world of platformers, the name of the game is control. That is to say, nothing speaks to a platform game's quality quite like the level of control the player feels they have over their character. Of course, control alone does not guarantee a successful product — creative level design that makes intuitive use of the mechanics is...