Reviews - News

January2015

  • 6

    3DS eShop

    Review Mes Comptines

    Straight Outta Comptines

    If you know My First Songs or its sequel on the 3DS, then Mes Comptines (French for “My Rhymes" or “My Nursery Rhymes") will be very familiar territory, even with a language shift. This is the same simplistic rhythm game for small children as its predecessors, and that's really not such a bad thing. Mes Comptines comes...

  • 12

    3DS eShop

    Review League of Heroes

    Leaving out the legends

    Ports of mobile games making their way onto Nintendo platforms was once considered disgraceful, but as time passed and the phenomenon became more commonplace the discussion seems to have died off a bit. We like to think that the quality of mobile games has increased over the years, essentially eliminating the idea that cell...

  • 32

    Wii U eShop

    Review Chariot

    Not too much dead-weight

    The Wii U is certainly not short of platformer games, from first party titles such as New Super Mario Bros. U to indie epics like Shovel Knight, so an addition to the system's growing list needs a special something to stand out from the crowd. Canadian developer Frima Studio may feel it has the answer with Chariot; it's a...

  • 55

    Wii U eShop

    Review Maze

    Get lost

    Sometimes the simplest concept can make for an utterly addictive and engaging virtual experience. From Wii Sports to Angry Birds, the original Mario Bros. to the Mario Party series, there have been plenty of games that have bridged the gap from casual to advanced players, and it all starts at how accessible and universal the concept at the...

  • 18

    Wii U eShop

    Review Toon Tanks

    That's all, folks

    Petite Games' Toon Tanks is a good example of a current issue present in the Wii U eShop in North America. There have been many games released that are finished and functional, but don't contain the degree of polish that we have come to expect. While Toon Tanks works just fine in what it sets out to do, the lack of scope or variety...

  • 58

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Fire Emblem

    So much to love Lyndis game

    Before Fire Emblem: Awakening started the Year of Luigi off with a bang, there was a great deal of concern at Nintendo regarding its future viability as a franchise. Sales were at an all-time low, and series producer Hitoshi Yamagami was given an ultimatum: at least 250,000 copies of the latest entry needed to be sold in...

  • 14

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Dig Dug

    A competent but unneeded version of a fun 80's classic

    Originally hitting arcades in 1982, this NES conversion of Dig Dug followed a few years later (albeit only in Japan until arriving on the Wii's Virtual Console service in 2008). It's a classic Namco title that sees you digging your way around a single screen defeating (and sometimes fleeing)...

  • 47

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Mario Party Advance

    Party of One

    Given the palm-rending popularity of the Mario Party series on Nintendo 64, it was only a matter of time before Nintendo brought the festivities to a handheld venue, and in 2005 Mario Party Advance arrived to fulfil the dreams of on-the-go party people everywhere. Developed by the busy bees at Hudson Soft - best known as the house of...

  • 49

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review F-Zero: GP Legend

    Dare you to blink

    The F-Zero series has often dished out a steep challenge to players, and in GP Legend the uninitiated will be given no quarter unless they dig in their heels and learn the ropes. Players will be expected to tame every brutal hairpin, memorize each risky shortcut and etch sweet boosting spots into their brain if they are to succeed...

  • 7

    3DS eShop

    Review Toys vs. Monsters

    Manufacturer refurbished

    If you've ever been disappointed that you can't play a recent and improved version of the hugely successful Plants vs. Zombies on your 3DS - aside from the DS release - you may be intrigued by the shamelessly similarly-named Toys vs. Monsters on the eShop. All of the information about it points to a fun little experience...

  • 16

    Wii U eShop

    Review Underground

    Overground, Wombling free

    It's not often that games have a professional, legitimate use outside of entertainment, but in the case of Underground that's exactly what you get. Not only is it a puzzle game, but it is also designed to teach the skills required for laparoscopic surgery, more commonly known as keyhole surgery. Educational tools are all...

  • 71

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Super Mario Advance 2: Super Mario World

    A world in no need of change

    Having Super Mario Advance 2: Super Mario World exist on the same Virtual Console as the original Super Mario World is like having two legit copies of the Mona Lisa hanging in the Louvre: each is fundamentally a masterpiece, and any attempt to compare the two is mostly going to come down to nitpicking about the way each...

  • 13

    Wii U eShop

    Review Spy Chameleon

    Incog-neato

    Spanish developer EnjoyUp games has had a steady stream of titles arrive on Nintendo's digital platforms in recent times, including Darts Up, 99Moves and Rock Zombie, although arguably these games have yet to set the eShop alight. However, this port of Unfinished Pixel's PC game, Spy Chameleon

  • 3

    3DS eShop

    Review My First Songs 2

    More of the same

    For those who haven't read our review of the original My First Songs on 3DS, you may want to read that before going any further in this one. My First Songs 2 is the sequel to My First Songs and generally follows the same formula as the original. You have a variety of nursery rhymes which you can tap along to using the touch screen...

  • 16

    Wii U eShop

    Review BLOK DROP X TWISTED FUSION

    A twist to a solid formula

    Crossovers can sometimes make for odd bedfellows. In the case of BLOK DROP X TWISTED FUSION (BDXTF), the minimalist-styled puzzle formula of BLOK DROP U has received a few tinkerings and a fresh coat of paint from Twisted Fusion, a title that has not yet been released at the time of this review. It's hard to say many were...

  • 2

    Wii U eShop

    Review 99Moves

    Show me your 99Moves

    Hot on the heels of October's 99Seconds comes a Wii U eShop version of 99Moves, which like its predecessor had origins as an EnjoyUp Games DSiWare title. For the most part, this is a simple port, but what changes there are offer mixed results — some of them are definitively positive, such as the improved resolution and frame...

  • 16

    3DS eShop

    Review Sumico

    To sum up

    Puzzle games are ten-a-penny these days and usually take the form of a clone of an existing puzzle game – most notably Bejeweled – so it's nice to see new ideas sprouting forth from developers such as those found in Sumico for the 3DS. Does its shiny new gameplay offer something fresh and enjoyable, or is it puzzle pitfall? The basic...

  • 9

    3DS eShop

    Review Brutus & Futée

    Et tu, Futée

    You'd be forgiven for not being especially inspired by the title of Brutus and Futée, as two unknown character's names doesn't really strike that much confidence in consumers. The title also doesn't give anything away in regards to the gameplay itself, so is this strangely named game worth your time? The two titular characters in...

  • 35

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Kuru Kuru Kururin

    Brill Brill Brilliant

    Kururin's siblings have wandered off and got themselves lost, and now he must hop into his Helirin (a spinning blade with a cockpit stuck in the middle) to fly around a number of worlds to rescue them. There are tutorial levels available in Kuru Kuru Kururin, but the game is straightforward enough even if the gameplay is quite...

December2014

  • 75

    Wii U eShop

    Review Shantae And The Pirate's Curse

    More like a blessing

    While WayForward has been working away on the crowd-funded Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, which will be released on every platform under the sun, it hasn't forgotten its Nintendo roots. Shantae and the Pirate's Curse, the final game of the "original" series, wraps up the storyline started in the original Game Boy Color title and...

  • 20

    Wii U eShop

    Review TOSS N GO

    Use as directed

    Simplicity is never a bad thing in itself. An experience can be extremely easy in execution, yet still provide plenty of rewarding elements. Sometimes, however, something can be boiled down into such simple elements that it loses some of those satisfying quirks, and that's where RCMADIAX's TOSS N GO suffers. TOSS N GO is another in...

  • 25

    Wii U eShop

    Review A World of Keflings

    What a wonderful world

    Originally finding a home on Xbox Live Arcade, NinjaBee's A Kingdom for Keflings charmed players with its colourful worlds, fun simulation gameplay and creative use of Microsoft's then-new Live Avatars. Six years after that début, the gnome-like beings make their first appearance on a Nintendo platform with this re-release of...

  • 44

    Wii U

    Review NES Remix Pack

    Two for the price of two?

    Nintendo's NES Remix Pack, a retail compilation of eShop titles NES Remix and NES Remix 2, contains two great games but feels like a bit of a missed opportunity. While both games are quite good, Nintendo has opted to simply package the two together and not made an attempt to make them feel like a cohesive whole. We didn't...

  • 36

    Wii U eShop

    Review Plenty of Fishies

    Plenty of fishies, not enough frames

    There's a curious debate about resolution and framerate currently detonating across communities of "serious" gamers right now, one that this reviewer finds frankly ridiculous. There's no denying the higher aesthetic quality of games running at 1080p resolution and 60 frames per second — they look amazing —...

  • 62

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Duck Hunt

    Old dog, same tricks

    Despite Nintendo's refusal to acknowledge the Duck Hunt character in Super Smash Bros. until long after the 3DS version was released, we all knew that the duo – or trio – were in the game. What we didn't know at that time was that Duck Hunt was due to release on the Wii U's Virtual Console, and now it has. The question is...

  • 4

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Shadow of the Ninja

    Gaming pleasure and pain, oh look it's ninjas again

    There's a great moment early on in Shadow of the Ninja where an armoured trooper stands atop a ledge occasionally shooting at you. You can't simply wait for the firing to stop before attacking as the gun doubles as a shield against your slashing blade. As you contemplate jumping between bullets to...

  • 14

    Wii U

    Review The Voice: I Want You

    Desafinado

    Since American Idol first graced the airwaves back in 2002, a number of similar shows have stepped up to deliver the singing superstar search process season after season, including - since 2011 - NBC's The Voice. In this Wii U title based on the show, The Voice translates into a karaoke game with a tournament structure, a soundtrack split...

  • 17

    Wii U

    Review Penguins of Madagascar

    Un-tactical Espionage Action

    The Penguins from the smash CG hit Madagascar were so popular they received their own film in the form of Penguins of Madagascar, so it was inevitable that the four feathered friends would also receive their own video game adaption. Publisher Little Orbit - which is certainly no stranger to adaptations of movies -was...

  • 31

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Mega Man Zero

    A side character gets a great spotlight

    The Classic Mega Man Series was popular enough to warrant its own spin-off series, Mega Man X. That, in turn, proved strong enough for a spin-off series of its own, and in 2002 it arrived in the form of Mega Man Zero The Zero series spans four titles — all released exclusively for the Game Boy Advance —...

  • 35

    3DS eShop

    Review Fairune

    An Ys-y purchase

    The RPG genre is still rather popular, with several big-name releases arriving every year. While these are usually grand spectacles, Fairune keeps things quite simple. As with many "retro-esque" games these days, it attempts to emulate the look and feel of a classic '80s game, and that comes with matching game mechanics. Combat is...

  • 52

    3DS eShop

    Review Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy

    No appeal needed

    The Ace Attorney franchise is well known but, when considered in isolation, it's a bit of an oddity. With its exaggerated characters, stilted animations and a tendency to be as wordy as a Tolstoy novel — not really, but there's a lot of reading — we'd have perhaps expected it to be a one off release in the West before being...

  • 24

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review DK: King of Swing

    Shouldering the effort

    Between 1999's Donkey Kong 64 and 2010's Donkey Kong Country Returns, Nintendo's great ape served a cool-off period of sorts when it came to straight-up platforming adventures. He had no huge releases to his name, but that didn't mean he was on the backburner entirely. The 2000s were a time to utilise Donkey Kong as a...

  • 187

    Wii U eShop

    Review Meme Run

    Epic fail

    Every so often, a small indie gem comes along that blows gamers out of the water with its surprising polish, addictive gameplay, wonderful sense of presentation and intelligent design. Ninja Pig Studios' Meme Run is not one of those games. In fact, Meme Run may be one of the worst releases on any gaming platform this year. A cynical and...

  • 15

    3DS eShop / GBC

    Review Pokémon Puzzle Challenge

    Pokémon! Blocks! What more do you need?

    The eShop is rife with puzzle games, and it’s understandable as to why; they’re fairly simple in design and can provide a huge amount of entertainment to an incredibly broad audience. Some of them can be a little bit monotonous or shameless clones of another game, but you’ll sometimes find something...

  • 26

    3DS eShop

    Review Hazumi

    It's a breakout hit

    The 3DS eShop has amassed quite the catalogue of affordable downloadable releases, but while a healthy number of the games available are of high quality, there are also many duds that deserve to be ignored completely. Fortunately, Hazumi is not one of those lesser-desired games. If you’re on the market for a challenging...

  • 13

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Lode Runner

    Not quite endless runner

    Broderbund's Lode Runner is a challenging puzzler that, unfortunately, hasn't aged particularly gracefully. Originally released in 1983 on computers like the Apple II and the Commodore 64, Lode Runner feels dated, even for an NES game. It's easy to see the reason Lode Runner was released on so many different platforms over...

  • 10

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review S.C.A.T.: Special Cybernetic Attack Team

    Invading aliens, a fight for survival and all that jazz

    It is the year 2029 and aliens are attacking the earth. Have they observed mankind’s violent nature and opted for a pre-emptive strike to protect themselves? Or do they just dislike the way the people of S.C.A.T.: Special Cybernetic Attack Team have taken to painting their buildings a shade...

  • 26

    Wii U

    Review LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham

    Bricks, Bats and Beyond

    With a steady schedule of semi-annual releases, dependably decent (and sometimes downright excellent) gameplay, and an ever-expanding stable of licenses, LEGO games are fast becoming the comfort food of family-friendly gaming. The Wii U alone has seen a half a dozen of the titles in the two years since its launch, and the...

  • 33

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire

    Not just a load of balls

    Following on from the highly enjoyable Pokémon Pinball on the original Game Boy and Game Boy Color, Nintendo released a successor to coincide with the release of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. Now, with Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire firmly secured by many a 3DS owner, Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire

  • 13

    3DS

    Review Big Hero 6 Battle in the Bay

    From hero to zero

    Let’s not talk about video games that are tied-in to major motion picture releases. Let’s not talk about the stigma that comes attached to video game tie-ins that implies they’re all terrible. Let’s not talk about the assumptions we make about video game tie-ins before we play them or before they’re even released...

  • 14

    3DS eShop

    Review My Life on a Farm 3D

    E - I - E - I - NO

    My Life on a Farm 3D is standing proof that you can take a poor game concept and, with the proper lack of care and ingenuity, rework it into something that is just as poor as — if not potentially worse than — its source. Life on the farm feels a lot like life in a previous TREVA title, Me & My Pets 3D. This is because the...

  • 16

    3DS

    Review Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom

    "I love you everything burrito"

    Despite the universal praise for the main cartoon, Adventure Time hasn’t been able to truly gain the love of the public in the gaming vein. Its first stab on a Nintendo system was the snappily-titled Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?! and played very similarly to Zelda 2: The Adventure of...

  • 12

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Mighty Final Fight

    Looks can be deceiving

    At first glance, it would be easy to mistake Capcom's Mighty Final Fight as a cheap cash-in of a superior arcade beat 'em up, with its chibi-styled characters and its seemingly limited 8-bit presentation. But while Mighty Final Fight may appear simpler than other entries in the series — game history buffs would be interested...

  • 5

    3DS

    Review Disney Planes: Fire & Rescue

    Flying on Empty

    When a video game title receives both a console and handheld iteration, it's fairly common for them to feature unique gameplay, different art styles, and generally offer a fresh experience across the platforms. Instead, Disney Planes: Fire & Rescue for the 3DS is almost identical in every aspect to its Wii U counterpart...

  • 16

    Wii U eShop

    Review GetClose: A Game for RIVALS

    Cheek to cheek

    If you're wondering how Wombat Source came up with the title for GetClose: A Game for RIVALS, just imagine the proximity of two people who must hold opposite sides of a Wii U GamePad in order to control their respective characters on the TV screen. Not clear enough? What about two people on either side of a Wii U Pro Controller? Now...

  • 14

    Wii U eShop

    Review Shiny The Firefly

    Glow or no?

    In this reviewer’s opinion, any game that claims ‘funny faces’ as being a unique selling point in its advertising should be handled with caution, so without further ado let’s plunge into the realms of Shiny the Firefly. You control Shiny, the titular firefly in an effort to save its tiny firefly children that were scared by a...

  • 8

    3DS eShop

    Review Christmas Wonderland 4

    Straight on the naughty list

    Shovelware is as much a part of Christmas as roasted livestock and silly jumpers, particularly for children whose parents don’t know any better, and it seems that Microvalue isn't happy with ending its Christmas Wonderland series as a trilogy. Christmas Wonderland 4 is a point and click game that has you looking at a...

  • 58

    3DS eShop

    Review Xeodrifter

    Drift compatible

    Renegade Kid has pretty much lost its element of surprise. When a developer consistently releases interesting games that are made well with attractive art, it's not really shocking when their next release follows suit. Surprising no one, Renegade Kid's latest release Xeodrifter is another excellent game brimming with style and...

  • 63

    Wii U eShop

    Review Tested With Robots!

    Let it rust

    It's no secret that Nintendo has relaxed its criteria for independent publishers to release their games on their eShop, and for better or for worse it looks like that policy is here for the foreseeable future. It's this relaxed attitude that is responsible for one of the latest releases on the eShop. Tested With Robots! is themed in a...

  • 9

    DSiWare

    Review Around the World in 80 Days

    Have money, will travel

    When pondering the subject of exploration, match-three puzzle titles might not be the first thing that springs to mind. Jules Verne's classic story of an 80 day adventure around the world is a difficult concept to adapt through gem-switching and colour combinations, but Joindots GmbH has gone and done exactly that. Around the...

  • 24

    Wii U eShop

    Review Heptrix

    Silly rabbit! Heptrix is for... wait, who IS it for?

    Given the recent influx of shovelware on the Nintendo eShop — both on the 3DS and Wii U — it seems like the right time for new developers to ask themselves an important question before taking the plunge into the indie scene: why? There are already hundreds of thousands of games out there in...

  • 21

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Shadow of the Ninja

    Go ninja, go ninja GO!

    Ninjas really were a hot ticket back in the '90s. The Turtles were making TV and toy executives money hand over fist, and children became so caught up in the craze they had the sheer gall to drag their parents into the cinema to watch dreck like Surf Ninjas. Yep, it was a great time to be a kid. The trend bled into gaming and...

  • 11

    3DS eShop

    Review Castle Conqueror Defender

    Just another castle to conquer

    CIRCLE Entertainment's Castle Conqueror series has seen a healthy number of instalments in its release history, so it's no surprise when a new game hits the Nintendo eShop. The series has stuck to a simplistic RTS (real-time strategy) style of gameplay for the majority of its entries, but the developers decided to...

  • 25

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review S.C.A.T.: Special Cybernetic Attack Team

    I'm a scatman

    Right, let's get this dealt with from the start; S.C.A.T is an awful name for a game — we won't go into why here, but it actually stands for Special Cybernetic Attack Team. Interestingly, the cart shipped in Europe as Action in New York. That's a much better title, although the game has as much to do with the Big Apple as mushy peas...

  • 5

    3DS eShop

    Review My First Songs

    Just watch the world learn

    Not content with its current offerings on Wii U, Ringzero Game Studio decided that, despite system limitations, a 3DS outing of the My First Songs franchise should be made. To the developer's credit it holds up well despite the 3DS’ lower power, but it’s not quite the same game as it is on Wii U. For starters, the...

  • 10

    DSiWare

    Review Fishdom

    All very fin-miliar

    Let's face it; you can't simply release a match-three puzzle game on Nintendo's range of handhelds today and expect to come across as unique. Developers are entering into an eShop saturated by shiny things just waiting to be lined up, so there needs to be some kind of hook to get players interested. Fishdom wears an intriguing...

  • 14

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Crash 'n the Boys: Street Challenge

    Crashing with the boys

    After another success at the track-meet Crash and the Boys from Southside High are issued a street challenge by a jealous rival; now they and teams from four other schools compete in a series of no-holds barred sporting events to find who really is the greatest. Crash ‘n the Boys: Street Challenge differs from other sporting...

  • 32

    3DS eShop

    Review Mighty Gunvolt

    Mighty good mini

    First appearing as a free download to those who purchased the exceptional Azure Striker Gunvolt on the 3DS eShop, Mighty Gunvolt is a run-and-gun platformer from the mind of Keiji Inafune and produced by Inti Creates. Aiming for an old-school vibe, it’s no surprise that this new title from one of gaming’s pioneers feels a lot...

  • 50

    3DS

    Review Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal

    Not as Sonic doomed

    Unlike its Wii U counterpart, Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal on 3DS is an experience that is much more reminiscent of a traditional Sonic game. It takes place with a 2D perspective and your goal is to get to the finish in typical Sonic style — unlike traditional Sonic games however, it's not quite as simple as that. Sonic Boom:...

  • 28

    Wii U eShop

    Review Alphadia Genesis

    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...

  • 124

    Wii U

    Review Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

    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...

November2014

  • 26

    Wii U

    Review Disney Planes: Fire & Rescue

    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...

  • 17

    Wii U eShop

    Review Snake Den

    Snake? Snake?! SNAAAAAAAAAKE!

    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...

  • 9

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Gargoyle's Quest II: The Demon Darkness

    Little monsters

    It might not be too off kilter to think that, in some alternate universe, things could have shaken out differently in Capcom’s stable and Firebrand the Red Arremer/Gargoyle would have become a bigger star. The company could have been associated more with crimson than true blue, and fans today could be crying out over the absence of...

  • 202

    Wii U

    Review Watch Dogs

    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...

  • 14

    3DS eShop

    Review Talking Phrasebook

    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...

  • 22

    3DS

    Review PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures 2

    Pac-ing on the problems

    In June of 2013, a television series premiered in the United States titled Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures. The show took the classic Pac-Man and ghost arcade characters and restyled them as CGI mascots with an appeal towards young viewers. Less than six months later, a video game based on the show was released on most...

  • 16

    3DS eShop

    Review Chat-A-Lot

    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...

  • 9

    3DS eShop

    Review Picross e5

    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,...

  • 51

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!

    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...

  • 41

    Wii U eShop

    Review Thomas Was Alone

    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...

  • 133

    Wii U

    Review Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric

    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...

  • 49

    3DS

    Review Tetris Ultimate

    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...

  • 18

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Natsume Championship Wrestling

    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...

  • 11

    3DS eShop

    Review Safari Quest

    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...

  • 31

    3DS eShop / GBC

    Review Lufia: The Legend Returns

    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...

  • 21

    Wii U eShop

    Review Sportsball

    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...

  • 9

    3DS eShop

    Review Vacation Adventures: Park Ranger 2

    The mediocre outdoors

    The thing about vacations is that once you go back somewhere, no matter how much you loved it the first time, it's never really going to be quite the same. The people are new, the places might have changed, and your overall experience is likely to be largely different. This isn't the case with Vacation Adventures: Park Ranger...

  • 31

    Wii U eShop

    Review Xavier

    X-cruciating

    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...

  • 10

    3DS eShop

    Review Castle Conqueror EX

    Back to basics

    Four years ago, at the time of the original Castle Conqueror title's DSiWare release, we made a somewhat snarky remark in our review about the absence of Real-Time Strategy games on the Nintendo DS. With its touch controls and capability to display information on one screen and action on the other, the dual-screened console seemed...

  • 48

    3DS

    Review Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth

    Mapping your psyche

    Atlus’ Megami Tensei series has been an RPG institution for over two decades, but to Western audiences it’s perhaps best known in connection with a numbered pair of revolutionary PlayStation 2 titles: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 and Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. Starring modern Japanese high school students and integrating...

  • 32

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Mario Kart Super Circuit

    Good for another lap

    When the Nintendo 64 hit the market and suggested that 2D games had gone the way of the dodo, many of us that were fond of fancy sprite-work were forced to dust off elderly hardware to scratch our itch for the classic genres we held dear — until the Game Boy Advance came along, that is. Often reflected upon as the second...

  • 30

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Golden Sun: The Lost Age

    The Return of the Prodigal Sun

    Back in 2001 (2002 in Europe) some players were left feeling short-changed when Golden Sun reached its abrupt ending. Developer Camelot – perhaps better known for the Shining Force series – had to split the game into two parts due to the Game Boy Advance’s hardware limitations. Those who’d already invested in...

  • 34

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Super Mario Advance

    Old Super Mario Bros.

    While some video games don't age well, playing through Nintendo's back catalogue is like drinking a fine, aged wine. Super Mario Advance is rather unique in that it's a re-release of a collection of remade NES games. Super Mario Advance's brightly coloured remakes of Super Mario Bros. 2 and Mario Bros. shine on the Wii U...

  • 6

    Wii U eShop

    Review Shuttle Rush

    Breath and taxes

    Sometimes a game comes at you and everything seems fully as you expect… almost. It looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck. It’s definitely a duck. But then it moos a little and you’re forced to take a step back. That’s Shuttle Rush. General gameplay here is very straightforward: this is a...

  • 329

    Wii U

    Review Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

    The gloves are off

    There is a laundry list of things to love about Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, one of two prongs that make up the fourth generation of Smash Bros. games, and top of the list is the game’s confidence that allows it to cater to anyone who might be interested in its brand of mascot mayhem. This new Smash Bros. is perfect for those...

  • 5

    3DS eShop

    Review Football Up Online

    The life of lag

    Amidst the clamouring hands of football fans over the next entry in the FIFA series, EnjoyUp Games saw a gap in the market, namely the 3DS eShop, and so decided to release its original Football Up 3D. Not content with simply remaining a sub-par local multiplayer experience, Football Up Online has since been released to little...

  • 106

    3DS

    Review Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire

    A Mega Evolution

    When Nintendo announced that the third generation of Pokémon games would finally be getting re-made for the Nintendo 3DS, many fans could barely contain their excitement; yet after the truly excellent Pokémon X & Y, what could Game Freak do — besides feed nostalgia — to possibly improve upon it? It seems the Poké-dev...

  • 14

    3DS eShop / GBC

    Review Bionic Commando: Elite Forces

    Well, it ain't too young or pretty but it sure as hell can swing

    The evil Avar Empire and their evil leader are planning evil things such as an evil invasion of the peaceful and generally lovely Karinia. Commander Joe was sent in to sabotage their evil plans but unfortunately he was a bit rubbish and got himself captured (again!? – no wonder they...

  • 3

    3DS eShop

    Review Secret Journeys: Cities of the World

    The road less littered

    If you enjoy global sightseeing, but feel it needs the excitement of a flea market exploding all over it, then Selectsoft’s series of hidden objects games are made for you. Secret Journeys: Cities of the World plays almost exactly like its predecessor, City Mysteries, only shifting the backdrops to different parts of the...

  • 8

    Wii U eShop

    Review PING 1.5+

    All over the place

    Ping 1.5+ is a puzzle game that’s all about aiming and shooting a tiny white cube at a circular orange target. Of course that’s easier said than done, as you’ll need to judge the right angle, bank the cube off walls, and avoid colliding with obstacles to reach the target within the indicated number of bounces and/or moves...

  • 11

    3DS eShop

    Review I've Got to Run: Complete Edition!

    Keep on running

    When I've Got to Run! made its début this summer on Wii U eShop, we were not particularly impressed with the endless runner. An overly simplistic graphical presentation, a lack of replay value and the limited appeal of the genre on a home console were three of our biggest issues with the title — thankfully, all three have been...

  • 45

    Wii U eShop

    Review Tengami

    Above the fold

    Development studio Nyamyam prides itself on being founded with the primary purpose of making games that are fun and meaningful. This is a company that openly states that through great love and attention, it strives to create beautifully crafted games that bring a little magic into people’s lives. This is a small band of Rare alumni...

  • 18

    Wii U eShop

    Review Angry Bunnies: Colossal Carrot Crusade

    Colossal Clone Catastrophe

    More and more cheap titles on the Wii U eShop are being released with amateurish production and design, and Cypronia's Angry Bunnies: Colossal Carrot Crusade is only a half-step up. A port of a 3DS Angry Birds clone, Colossal Carrot Crusade contains the exact content of its 3DS counterpart, but with added online...

  • 6

    3DS eShop

    Review Magical Diary: Secrets Sharing

    The secret's out: this diary is meh-gical

    A few decades back, when kids wanted to document their daily accounts or their innermost thoughts, they had to put a pen to paper or tap away on their Talkback Dear Diary. Yet in these modern times, where it’s common for most people to carry numerous electronic devices, there’s less and less of a reason...

  • 46

    Wii U eShop

    Review The Swapper

    A clone in the dark?

    With the Wii U eShop’s recent flurry of sci-fi titles such as Master Reboot and The Fall finding a home on the digital service, what does it take for yet another game set in space to stand out from the crowd? Puzzles. Yep, but not just any old puzzles — spatial physics-based conundrums that’ll give your brain a thorough...

  • 13

    Wii U eShop

    Review SDK Paint

    Just OK Paint

    SDK Paint has an interesting history. Its developer, Hullbreach Studios, began making JavaScript applications for Wii, Nintendo DSi, and Nintendo 3DS using their respective Internet browsers. These include both the initial versions of SDK Paint — DSi Paint and 3DS Paint — as well as a full-fledged browser-based MMORPG called...

  • 4

    Wii U eShop

    Review Chests O' Booty

    Pieces of 2048

    You can hardly swing a stylus without hitting a match-three game on the 3DS eShop these days, but so far the relentless tide of phoned-in puzzlers has mostly sidestepped the Wii U’s digital storefront. And while Chests O’ Booty might at first look like a pirate-themed take on more of the same, it’s actually a surprisingly unique...

  • 13

    Wii U eShop

    Review Costume Quest 2

    Fine, but not double fine

    As RPGs go, the original Costume Quest was never a particularly complex affair. The same thing can be said about its sequel, Costume Quest 2, which takes the two trouble-seeking children into another Halloween adventure, but this time in different periods of recent history. You control Wren and Reynold, two marginally...

  • 43

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow

    The best for last?

    Konami's Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow is the third and final Castlevania title for the GBA, and arguably the strongest. A departure from the typical period drama involving the extended and ever-complicated Belmont clan, Aria of Sorrow introduces new characters and mythology into the series while also building on what has made...

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