Reviews - News

December2014

  • 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...

  • 73

    Wii U eShop

    Review Flapp & Zegeta

    What the Flapp?

    On Denysoft's official website, Flapp & Zegeta comes with a disclaimer reproduced here verbatim: "Warning: this may be one of the most challenging games of all times it may require a high level of intelligence and reflexes to get through." Rest assured, Flapp & Zegeta is challenging. In fact, it probably does meet its lofty...

  • 33

    Wii U eShop

    Review Rock Zombie

    B movie beat 'em up

    It's always a pleasant surprise when a game surpasses your expectations. Suffice it to say, this reviewer's expectations were modest going into Rock Zombie — the goofy synthesized guitars, expressionless character models and mangled English dialogue all seemed to lead in one direction: pain. But you can't go into every game...

  • 24

    Wii U eShop

    Review Falling Skies: The Game

    Falling to pieces

    Video games have relied on the standard 'alien invasion' plot since the very beginning. It takes a unique twist to make it work in this day and age, whether it's a new gameplay style or a refreshingly original storyline, and that isn't an easy task. Falling Skies: The Game takes fun, tactical gameplay and blends it with the...

  • 23

    Wii U eShop

    Review Pixel Paint

    Almost pixel-perfect

    Let’s face it: at some point, every gamer has been caught off guard by the alluring retro beauty of pixel art. Say what you will about its overuse in today’s onslaught of independent games — chances are you still love it. There’s something majestic about the way tens, hundreds, or thousands of tiny dots come together to...

  • 18

    Wii U eShop

    Review Tetrobot & Co

    Acute brain-bending pleasure

    Many puzzle games – particularly on mobile devices – can be argued as being insultingly easy or too mind-numbingly obtuse to even be comprehended by human minds. Luckily *Tetrobot & Co. doesn’t fit into either of these categories. The story of this game revolves around an intelligent young lady who spends her...

  • 18

    Wii U

    Review Skylanders Trap Team

    Knaves in Toyland

    As the original ’toys-to-life’ video game concept — inspiring both Disney’s Infinity and Nintendo’s upcoming amiibo line — Skylanders has an impressive legacy to live up to. The series’ first release, Spyro’s Adventure, took the world and characters from the classic Spyro the Dragon games and crafted an enjoyable...

  • 57

    Wii U eShop

    Review Pier Solar and the Great Architects

    Build me up and tear me down

    While playing Pier Solar and the Great Architects, it’s important to consider what a labour of love the title really is. With origins as a Sega CD homebrew project from the now-defunct Sega fansite Eidolon’s Inn, it was originally meant to star members of that website’s "Tavern" message board before evolving into a...

  • 10

    3DS eShop / GBC

    Review Harvest Moon 2

    Crop ‘til you drop

    Clearly a testament to the popularity of the genre, the 3DS as a platform has been flooded with life simulation games. Ranging from the cutesy and calm world of Animal Crossing: New Leaf to the adventurous Fantasy Life, the surplus of games has spanned a plethora of sub genres, but they all come down to one thing: allowing their...

  • 20

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Devil World

    Heaven a good time

    As far as obscure releases within the NES library go, Devil World is certainly one of the most interesting. Originally released in Japan in 1984 and in Europe in 1987, this is a title that to this day has never been available to purchase in North America — not even through the wonders of Nintendo’s Virtual Console service...

  • 33

    3DS

    Review Power Rangers Super Megaforce

    Dull as dishwater

    Games that are tied in to TV shows are often little more than a quick cash-grab used to dupe unsuspecting parents into buying a sub-par game because their child will recognise the characters. No truer is this statement than when referring to Power Rangers Super Megaforce. Once you load up the game, you'd be forgiven for letting...

  • 5

    Wii U eShop

    Review My Style Studio: Hair Salon

    Bad hair day

    In the grand scheme of things, hairdressers can seem pretty insignificant, but deep down they hold the secret, terrible capacity to utterly ruin your entire week. You put your faith into them and trust that they know what they're doing, or else just one bad haircut will stick with you for a month. If a new generation of these stylistic...

  • 74

    3DS

    Review Ultimate NES Remix

    Not as ultimate as you'd think

    Almost a year ago, the Wii U received some excellent download titles in the form of NES Remix and NES Remix 2, each taking a set of classic (and not so classic) NES games and making short challenges based on sections from each game, or in some cases creating entirely original scenarios. Curiously, the producer of the...

  • 38

    3DS eShop

    Review Zombie Panic in Wonderland DX

    More adult than necessary

    Zombie Panic in Wonderland DX is a rare breed on the 3DS, as shooters are rapidly becoming less and less common on the handheld machine. It's not the first time that this has arrived on Nintendo hardware, either, as it initially appeared as a WiiWare title; as the DX in the name suggests, this aims to tempt us in for more...

October2014

  • 22

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Donkey Kong Land III

    Marvellous Monkeys

    In 1997 the fifth generation of video games was well underway (even Europe and Oceania had the N64 by then), but the trusty Game Boy was still the place to go for portable gaming joy. Having successfully brought monkey platforming action to the handheld twice already, Rare produced a third game — the imaginatively titled Donkey...

  • 30

    3DS eShop

    Review Woah Dave!

    Working for pennies

    Woah Dave is all about classic arcade action. Taking control of a blocky little guy named Dave Lonuts (who happens to bear a striking resemblance to Bert from Sesame Street), players will do their best to exterminate aliens and collect the change left behind in their wake. There are two modes to choose from, and once you’ve...

  • 50

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Demon's Crest

    Fire-grand

    Fans of the Ghosts 'n Goblins series should be familiar with the rather annoying little demon Firebrand; he would be the main reason Arthur would spend his time walking around the many levels of the games in his underwear. Capcom obviously thought enough of the guy to give him a series of his own, which began life on the Game Boy systems...

  • 30

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance

    A perfect harmony?

    The Wii U eShop is becoming an embarrassment of riches, with a robust library of indie titles complemented by a growing lineup of strong Virtual Console games. Konami's Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance is the second of three Castlevania titles released on the Game Boy Advance, and while it controls and plays similarly to its...

  • 78

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest

    The ape escape

    Rare managed to do something incredible with Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong-Quest; it took the well refined gameplay and style of the first Donkey Kong Country game and made it even better. This second entry in the series features gameplay almost identical to its predecessor’s, but this time everything’s been streamlined...

  • 39

    Wii U eShop

    Review Lone Survivor: The Director's Cut

    Where is your mind?

    Lone Survivor:The Director's Cut seems to have arrived on the Wii U eShop as a sudden apparition; creeping unnaturally under the radar during a slew of indie title announcements that emerged from E3 this year. Now, Jasper Byrne's twisted horror is ready to infect your mind just in time for the Halloween season, and it will not go...

  • 58

    Wii U eShop

    Review Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones

    A sneaky classic

    Stealth Inc: A Clone in the Dark was — after a name change from its risqué PC début — a well-received puzzle platformer on various platforms. Its simple but cute aesthetic was matched by some lovely level design, making it a surprise when Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones was announced as a Wii U exclusive by Curve Studios,...

  • 26

    3DS eShop

    Review The Legend of Dark Witch

    Just short of legendary

    As both a developer and a publisher, CIRCLE Entertainment has been paramount to the rising indie games scene on Nintendo handhelds. Starting on the DSiWare digital service and eventually moving forward to 3DS eShop titles, CIRCLE has managed to have its hand in around 40 releases since 2010. With that many games in its...

  • 22

    Wii U

    Review Just Dance 2015

    Just the ticket

    Despite its name suggesting otherwise, Just Dance 2015 is in fact only the sixth entry in the main series of Just Dance games, and the aim is as simple as it gets; you have to replicate the dance moves that the on-screen dancers perform in time with the music and as accurately as you can. The ethos is simple, but can it provide...

  • 17

    Wii U eShop

    Review Cosmophony

    Off the beaten track

    We can’t help but think that a parallel universe exists in which Cosmophony plays a central, cruel role in deciding a person’s fate. In this somewhat dystopian, yet oddly hip and cool universe where drum and bass is the norm, a technocratic regime (made up of original developer, Bento–Studio, and Wii U porting pros,...

  • 19

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Mighty Final Fight

    Haggard by time or as mighty as ever?

    Originally released for the NES in 1993, Mighty Final Fight is a home console spin-off of the original arcade classic, Final Fight. Interestingly, it came out a year after the technically superior home console port that appeared on the SNES and, furthermore, is quite a departure from the other games in the...

  • 36

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Castlevania: Circle of the Moon

    Over the moon

    Konami's Castlevania has changed directions in recent years, with the Lords of Shadow titles polarizing fans of the long-running series. That's why fans of the "Metroidvania" outings should flock to the Wii U eShop and download the Game Boy Advance Castlevania titles, which feature the series' signature exploration-based, semi-linear...

  • 26

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Namco Museum

    Does it deserve to be exhibited on your Wii U?

    Originally released for the Game Boy Advance in 2001, Namco Museum is part of a long-running series (which goes by the same name) that saw regular releases over a 15-year period all the way up until 2010. This game is a compilation, featuring five classic arcade games: Ms. PAC-MAN, Galaga, Galaxian,...

  • 31

    Wii U

    Review Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2

    Pac is back! .....again

    There's a moment during the opening cutscene of Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 where the series' villain Lord Betrayus delights over his giant robot being ready to ''unleash on Pacopolis. Again!'' It's just a throwaway joke that's fitting of the Saturday morning cartoon vibe, but while it may have raised a slight smile...

  • 64

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Donkey Kong Country

    Hasn't aged a day

    Back in 1994, before 3D games had taken off, a little UK-based games developer called Rare decided that if it couldn’t have good looking 3D models in a game, it'd have to get creative. Donkey Kong Country used a pioneering new technique for the time that took images of pre-rendered three dimensional models and turned these...

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