Reviews - News

August2014

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    Wii U eShop

    Review IQ Test

    Prepare to put on your dunce cap

    The Wii U eShop is filled to the brim with low-budget kids' games these days, and Ninja Pig Studios' IQ Test seems like just another to heap on the pile... but looks can be deceiving. Beneath the simplistic exterior, IQ Test is a real mind-bender: a series of trick questions designed to get you to think outside

  • 35

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Ufouria: The Saga

    A Ufouric experience

    Retro-style indie platformers are all the rage these days, so you'd be forgiven for thinking Sunsoft's Ufouria: The Saga is simply another in the long line of 2D NES-inspired modern titles on the eShop like Shovel Knight, 1001 Spikes, and Insanity's Blade. Released in 19

  • 36

    Wii U eShop

    Review Ice Cream Surfer

    Ice Cream Snorer

    Shoot 'em ups aren't really a popular genre these days, but there seems to be a bit of a resurgence on the downloadable front. Not long ago we received Gaiabreaker, and now here we have Ice Cream Surfer, a game which had an unsuccessful crowdfunding campaign, but nonetheless ended up being developed anyway. Upon launching the game...

  • 15

    3DS eShop

    Review 101 Pony Pets 3D

    Horse play

    Selectsoft apparently buys its quirky pets in bulk. From dinosaurs to penguins, it's got your number; as long as it’s 101. Now its attention has inevitably turned toward the ultimate care-for-me-and-squee animals: ponies. 101 Pony Pets 3D takes a cue from A Certain Friendshipically Magical Brand by offering three different breeds of...

  • 30

    Wii U eShop

    Review Wooden Sen'SeY

    More training required

    The Wii U eShop, unsurprisingly, isn't short of options when it comes to platformers, especially as it's a genre typically associated with Nintendo systems and their gamers. Wooden Sen'Sey, published by Neko Entertainment, aims to capitalise on that popularity and remind gamers of old-fashioned difficulty; these are noble yet...

July2014

  • 12

    3DS eShop

    Review Rabi Laby 3

    Return of the Rabi

    We would like to formally thank Silver Star Japan for developing Rabi Laby 3 as a 3DS eShop title. Not because this is the most interesting, original, or even fun game that we've ever played, but because the developer decided to circumvent the DSiWare service and release its new game on the current generation of Nintendo's digital...

  • 23

    Wii U eShop

    Review Super Toy Cars

    Straight out the toy box

    This summer, it could be argued that the demand for a non-realistic racing game on Wii U has well and truly been met, and another kart-style title is perhaps at the bottom of our wish list as a result. However, standing tall in the face of its moustachioed overlords, Eclipse Games has treated the eShop to an extra slice of...

  • 36

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Mega Man 6

    Let battle commence. Awooga!

    Arriving on the same day as Mega Man 5 on the Wii U Virtual Console, Capcom has decided to grace us with the final NES entry to wrap up that era of the franchise. Released in 1993, when the SNES was already out and Mega Man X was on the verge of release, Capcom just couldn't let itself say goodbye to the NES and made one...

  • 25

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land

    Full of promise, or just hot air?

    Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land is in fact a remake of Kirby's Adventure, Kirby's first outing on the NES from 1993. While it isn't his original adventure (that honour goes to Kirby's Dream Land), it is the first instance in which he was able to use his now classic copy ability. The remake — which originally...

  • 28

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Mega Man 5

    Proto Man problems

    Over a year ago, the first four Mega Man games were released on Wii U Virtual Console in quick succession. We don't know exactly what took so long for the remainder, but the fifth entry is finally here. As you might expect, Mega Man 5 is quite similar to the four games before it; eight new Robot Masters have appeared, and it's up...

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    3DS eShop

    Review Glory of Generals

    Inglorious

    The 3DS is no stranger to war games, and CIRCLE Entertainment has been a particularly prolific profiteer, with World Conquerer 3D, European Conquerer 3D and this latest effort, Glory of Generals, all hitting the eShop within the last year. A turn-based strategy game set in World War II, Glory of Generals attempts to stand out from the...

  • 25

    3DS eShop

    Review Strike Force Foxx

    Get to the chopper!

    Not to be confused with a certain furry-tailed Nintendo character, Big John Games' Strike Force Foxx is a helicopter rescue game starring humans. Heavily inspired by the 1982 computer game Choplifter, its retro roots show in its simple, action-oriented gameplay and tongue-in-cheek '80s action movie story. There is charm to be...

  • 9

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Bases Loaded

    America’s 8-bit pastime

    Is there anything more American than hotdogs and apple pie? Yes. Yes there is. It’s baseball. The answer is baseball. It’s a game that has permeated the American culture and inserted itself firmly into so many of our lives. As such, it comes as no surprise that there are a plethora of video games available based on the...

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    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse

    Blood relative

    After the success of the original Castlevania title on the NES system, Konami decided to change things up quite a bit for Castlevania II: Simon's Quest. Gone was the straight-ahead platforming action of the original, replaced with a much more rpg-flavored approach that placed more emphasis on item collection and exploration. While...

  • 22

    3DS eShop

    Review Comic Workshop

    A work of art

    Nintendo platforms have never been strangers to art and drawing applications. From Mario Paint on the SNES to 2013's Art Academy: SketchPad for Wii U, there has always been room for artistic pursuits with Nintendo. It should also come as no surprise that the 3DS is already hosting yet another creation tool after the success of Art...

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    Wii U eShop

    Review GAIABREAKER

    Shoot meh up

    Although there are plenty of shoot 'em ups to pick from on the Wii Virtual Console, new games in the genre tend to be quite rare; as a result it's always exciting to see a new addition to a challenging field. Developed by a relatively unknown developer that's only dabbled in mobile phone games before, this particular shoot 'em up is of...

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    3DS eShop

    Review Pick-A-Gem

    Pick up or put down?

    Jewel games are kind of a big deal right now. When we aren’t crushing candy we’re swiping crystals and arranging colours into pleasing lines to calm that casual OCD which mobile gaming has begun to inspire. It’s easy to get lost in the swarm of them on 3DS alone, so Gamelion studio’s latest release

  • 13

    3DS eShop

    Review Me & My Pets 3D

    Pet-thetic

    First thing’s first: the pets in Me & My Pets 3D are not yours. You are running a pet hotel, so they belong to others. Second, things are not in 3D as much as a flat, albeit layered, pseudo-3D. Third, the pets do not resemble real pets as much as colourful rocks that have been given GIF animations. For a game that seems to scream...

  • 13

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Bases Loaded

    Can this old timer still make contact?

    Back in the mid-to-late 80s, when the NES was the dominant force in video games, cyber sporting wasn’t exactly the complex affair that it is now. With modern controllers having about a dozen buttons and joysticks to manage, it’s common for every one of those to be utilized for numerous functions —...

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    3DS eShop

    Review Siesta Fiesta

    A breakout hit

    When you learn that a title on the 3DS eShop originally began as a concept for a smartphone game, there's an instinct to take a hesitant step back. On the other hand, Siesta Fiesta is proof that this route to the system can be a blessing — if iOS and Android games can be addictive and fun enough to keep millions of consumers amused,...

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    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Pop'n TwinBee

    WinBee

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

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    3DS eShop / GBC

    Review Pokémon Trading Card Game

    A rare source of fun or just an uncommon?

    It’s almost surreal nowadays to think that there was ever a time where portable gaming didn’t have Pokémon. When Red and Blue first hit Western shores in 1998, those 151 legends would bring with them a wave of merchandise, cementing the series in history as the cultural epidemic it really was...

  • 28

    DSiWare

    Review Anonymous Notes Chapter 4 - From the Abyss

    Four-ev-urrr

    The Anonymous Notes series is pretty meta, in a way. For games about eternally slaying monsters in dungeons, they never seem to stop emerging from the eShop themselves. If you’ve been following along with our reviews, it probably won’t surprise you to know that Anonymous Notes Chapter 4 - From the Abyss is very much like Chapter 3,

  • 12

    Wii U eShop

    Review My Arctic Farm

    Feeling frigid

    If you read our recent review of BiP Media's pet management sim My Jurassic Farm, you'll know what to expect with its sister release, My Arctic Farm: the exact same experience, but instead of T-rexes and triceratops (triceratopses?) you'll be raising penguins and polar bears. The long-running "My ____ Farm" series began humbly enough...

  • 98

    Wii U eShop

    Review The Letter

    Return to sender

    In The Letter, players take on the role of Michael Kennedy as he investigates the mysterious disappearance of his father. Through a series of hidden letters left by his dad – these are actually labelled “Hidden Letter” despite their pronounced placements in the landscape – Michael receives clues which he follows in his...

  • 34

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Mario Power Tennis

    Raising a racquet

    Originally released on Game Boy Advance in 2005, Mario Power Tennis is unusual in that it takes the tennis simulation genre and embeds it into a role-playing game experience. It’s a combination that works surprisingly well, with the biggest success being a player progression system which allows you to level up your character and...

  • 9

    Wii U eShop

    Review My Jurassic Farm

    Different skin, exact same game

    My Jurassic Farm is an exciting concept. Everyone loved Jurassic Park back in the day, right?! It would make a great video game! Sadly, the dino-management genre has been left relatively barren since the wondrous days of DinoPark Tycoon back in 1993. Is BiP Media's My Jurassic Farm the answer? No. No it's not. My...

  • 21

    Wii U eShop

    Review Internal Invasion

    Terminal

    Imagine a future in which all disease is cured through the aid of tiny nano-bots flowing through your bloodstream. There would be no need for medicine or doctor visits, as all illness would be taken care of internally. It's an incredible proposition that makes for an interesting sci-fi storyline that can be taken in so many directions,...

  • 21

    3DS eShop

    Review Bike Rider DX2: Galaxy

    Giro della Galaxy

    Last year’s Bike Rider DX was a pleasant surprise, bringing auto-scrolling precision platforming to the eShop in a charming, polished, pedal-powered package. Now, fresh from the first game’s world tour, our tireless cyclist returns to take to the stars in this space-themed sequel, Bike Rider DX2: Galaxy. Keeping the same great...

  • 30

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Adventure Island

    Skate and die

    Adventure Island started life as the SEGA-produced arcade title Wonder Boy, which itself was ported to several different home consoles and spawned a popular series of sequels with show-stealing box art. NES-owners missed out on the title, and would have to wait until Hudson Soft teamed up with original developer Escape to release a...

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    Wii U

    Review One Piece Unlimited World Red

    Not unlimited, but not bad

    Eiichiro Oda’s anime juggernaut isn't short of games on multiple systems, and quality can be distinctly variable; the unimpressive One Piece: Romance Dawn on 3DS, with its repetitive gameplay and questionable production values, is one at the wrong end of the chain. In that sense it's tough to know what to expect from the...

  • 9

    3DS eShop / 3DS

    Review Hidden Expedition: Titanic

    An exposition on the commodification of human tragedy

    On April 15, 1912, a passenger liner carrying no less than 2,000 travelers struck an iceberg and sank to the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean. Not properly equipped with the necessary amount of lifeboats and other safety equipment, when the ship sank the vast majority of passengers did not...

  • 54

    Wii U

    Review Wii Sports Club

    Wii Sports Club Assemble!

    Wii Sports Club began life as a rather interesting eShop initiative by Nintendo, as sports from the original Wii pack-in were gradually released with multiple purchase options — timed passes for a small amount or a permanent pass for fairly standard download price. With the set of five now complete it's hard to say how...

  • 8

    3DS eShop

    Review City Mysteries

    Globecluttering

    Famous world locations are not a bad backdrop for a hidden object game, although the irony of priorities here must be noted. Eiffel Tower? Whatever. We’ve got a bowling pin and a screw to find! City Mysteries takes item-finding to the proud metropolises of New York, Paris, Moscow, and London, stuffing each scene with enough...

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    Wii U eShop

    Review Bombing Bastards

    Da bomb or just a bomb?

    Sanuk Games' Bombing Bastards isn't so much a Bomberman clone as it is an evil twin; it's an evil twin that is fun to be around and easy on the eyes, but it's evil nonetheless. Everything from its subversive premise to its ironically cheery visuals add to Bombing Bastards' slightly off-kilter feel, but it's the gameplay that...

  • 41

    3DS

    Review Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal World Duel Carnival

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

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

  • 18

    3DS eShop

    Review AiRace Xeno

    Kicking it into Xenogear

    The fourth entry in Warsaw studio QubicGames' downloadable AiRace series, AiRace Xeno is a natural progression of last year's AiRace Speed on the 3DS eShop – race three different futuristic aircraft at face-melting speeds through nine tough obstacle-filled tracks and try to beat your high score. It's a stripped-down racing...

  • 12

    3DS eShop

    Review European Conqueror 3D

    Go ahead, mention the war

    European Conqueror 3D is a title that might inspire a bit of déjà vu in observant eShop gamers, coming less than a year after the release of CIRCLE’s slightly more ambitious-sounding World Conqueror 3D. Like its predecessor, this is a turn-based strategy game that takes cues from tabletop classics like Risk and Axis...

  • 79

    Wii U eShop

    Review Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition

    A luchador's life

    There have been a few examples, so far, of titles making their way to the Wii U as a 'definitive' version. Few have done so with a name quite as tongue-on-cheek as Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition, with the game quite literally yelling the extravagant name at you when loading it up. This version — also on PS4 and Xbox...

  • 9

    DSiWare

    Review Mysterious Stars: The Singer

    Only connect...

    Connect the dots, dot to dot, join the dots...whatever you called it growing up, the odds are pretty good you didn't think the game would be improved by a storyline. That's unfortunate, because that's the one thing Mysterious Stars: The Singer has to differentiate itself from an inexpensive book of similar puzzles. Well, no, that's...

  • 8

    DSiWare

    Review My Aquarium: Seven Oceans

    Fishing for something more

    Back in the heyday of the WiiWare service, an application titled My Aquarium was made available to all Wii owners through the digital distribution platform. It was so well received — as is evidenced by our review — that a second version was soon developed, appropriately and unsurprisingly titled My Aquarium 2. Now,...

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    Wii U eShop

    Review Armillo

    Super Sonic Puzzle Galaxy

    There's been a lot of great eShop content as of late, but not many examples have been in the works for as long as Armillo, which was first announced way back in 2011. Now that it's finally here, were those years in development well spent? In Armillo, you take the role of the titular character, a space armadillo, who is...

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    Wii U eShop

    Review BrickBlast U!

    Bricked

    The Wii U's compatibility with tool-sets such as Unity and the Nintendo Web Framework has made the platform accessible to small, independent developers whose games would otherwise not be available on consoles due to high costs and other barriers. While this has made for some wonderful eShop experiences — Ittle Dew and Stick it to the Man...

  • 59

    Wii U eShop

    Review Wii Sports Club: Baseball + Boxing

    Swing and a miss

    Wii Sports Club has had a rather odd history to date. Released in increments that have been surprisingly spread out, it's attempted to recapture the magic of the Wii bundle title while throwing in Miiverse, MotionPlus controls and GamePad features. Online play has also been a vital inclusion, yet the piecemeal distribution and...

  • 11

    Wii U eShop

    Review POKER DICE SOLITAIRE FUTURE

    No poker face required

    POKER DICE SOLITAIRE FUTURE (or PDSF for the remainder of this review) is essentially the digital equivalent to one of those electronic pocket poker games that your parents or grandparents were hooked on during the ‘90s. Designed to be played on the Wii U GamePad, this budget download offers a solitary take on poker to...

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    Wii U eShop

    Review ZaciSa's Last Stand

    Can hardly stand it

    Last year's reveal of the Nintendo Web Framework was a welcome announcement to independent game developers interested in releasing their work on Wii U. The new platform was quiet at first, but in recent months we've seen an increasing number of games releasing on the eShop that were born of this development environment. Opening a...

  • 15

    3DS eShop

    Review Squids Odyssey

    Cephaloportable

    It might be said that Squids has come full circle. Starting on mobile platforms, The Game Bakers’ brand extended its tentacles to a console experience with Squids Odyssey on the Wii U, which we’ve reviewed. The same game has now found a home on the 3DS, returning to its portable roots with a few small differences. Squids Odyssey...

  • 15

    3DS eShop

    Review Plain Video Poker

    Plain dealer

    Here’s a reviewing conundrum: how does one approach a game that is determinedly designed to be average? This is the case with Plain Video Poker, which does away with pretence by using an adjective in its title that’s been reserved more often for yogurt and M&M’s than anything within the hyperbolic games industry. What this...

  • 15

    Wii U eShop

    Review Monkey Pirates

    Banana boat

    Despite all the doom and gloom that currently — and unfairly — surrounds the Wii U at the moment, it hasn't stopped indie developers from flocking to the system to release their games. Moreover, a good proportion of developers have even designed their games to specifically take advantage of the system; one only has to look at...

June2014

  • 29

    3DS

    Review Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark

    A decent game in disguise

    After reviewing the absolutely horrid Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark on Wii U, it would be hard to get our hopes up for the 3DS iteration if it weren't for the name on the back of the box. Unlike every other version of the game, Rise of the Dark Spark on 3DS was produced by the handheld experts at WayForward...

  • 13

    3DS eShop

    Review SKYPEACE

    Doesn't soar, but not quite a bore

    SKYPEACE is a stage-based runner that finds you surfing it up in the in the sky, high above the clouds. As runners generally go, players will be aiming for a high score by collecting as many coins and significant pickups as they can, while avoiding incoming obstacles. Existing in a genre that overpopulates the...

  • 84

    Wii U

    Review Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark

    Less than meets the eye

    Whether it's Batman, Gears of War or Zelda, it's always a gamble when a beloved series leaves the developer that created it in favour of a new one. In many of these cases it's because the publisher wants to churn out annual or semi-annual instalments in a profitable franchise, and one studio is not enough to carry this...

  • 17

    3DS eShop

    Review Toy Stunt Bike

    Batteries included

    The store aisle packaging that greets you when selecting Toy Stunt Bike from the 3DS menu is a telling sign of the game’s intended mood. This is a physics-based platformer alright, but the challenge is infused with those elements of joy, imagination, and mild cruelty everyone remembers from playing with their toys as a kid...

  • 9

    3DS eShop

    Review Cocoro Line Defender

    Doing lines

    If there's one thing French studio Moving Player knows how to do beautifully, it's presentation. Its new title Cocoro: Line Defender is inspired by Japanese watercolour-style art, with bright environments and striking dark outlines reminiscent of the 2006 classic Ōkami. Sporting a traditional flute-based soundtrack and characters with...

  • 23

    3DS

    Review Farming Simulator 14

    More farm than good

    Last summer Farming Simulator 3D trucked its way onto the 3DS, allowing gamers to establish and manage a flourishing agricultural empire on-the-go, without having to get their hands dirty or don a straw hat and suspenders. It was a game that we found to be enjoyable at times, but the omission of any tutorials or guides lent to a...

  • 85

    3DS eShop

    Review Shovel Knight

    This is the kind of shovelware we can dig

    Shovel Knight is the adventure of Shovel Knight, a knight with a shovel. That simple — and gloriously absurd — premise has somehow resulted in some of the strongest hype the 3DS eShop has seen yet. The good news is that the final product absolutely lives up to the lofty expectations; the even better news...

  • 110

    Wii U eShop

    Review Shovel Knight

    Digging for gold

    Yacht Club Games' faux-retro platformer Shovel Knight has become one of the most anticipated titles to come out of the crowdfunding craze. It's frightening to think that Shovel Knight might not have come to fruition without Yacht Club Games' highly successful Kickstarter campaign — games like this don't come around often. Yacht...

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    3DS eShop

    Review 2048

    4x4 for fun

    It should not be surprising any more when a mobile game gets ported over to a Nintendo platform. It happened with high-profile smart device mainstays Angry Birds and Cut the Rope, and we've also seen it with several lesser-known

  • 25

    3DS eShop

    Review Another World - 20th Anniversary Edition

    Another World, Another System

    Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition belongs in the download era, as the retail success story of the original truly laid the groundwork for narrative-driven, minimalistic and artistic games that are now becoming increasingly common away from high street shelves. When first released its cinematic flair was a...

  • 4

    3DS eShop

    Review Color Zen Kids

    Childlike innocence

    If you read our review of Color Zen on 3DS earlier this month or Color Zen Kids on Wii U most recently, you're in for a familiar ride with the latter title on 3DS. The laid-back colour-matching puzzler with the sweeping electronic soundtrack is back, and this time your children can play it on the go. The objective of the...

  • 11

    DSiWare

    Review ATV Quad Kings

    ATZzz...

    Some forms of racing get a bad rap for looking too “simple” but, in reality, require a great deal of strategy and focus. It should never be as simple as holding down the accelerator until the finish line, which seems a lesson unfortunately lost on ATV Quad Kings. Quad Kings is a purely single-player run with three modes. The largest of...

  • 6

    Wii U eShop

    Review Color Zen Kids

    Hopping into the kiddie pool

    If you read our review of Color Zen last month, you'll know exactly what to expect from Color Zen Kids. The soothing, touch-based colour matching puzzler has gained a more kid-friendly coat of paint – the colours are all slightly brighter, the puzzles are a bit easier and shaped like cute animals, and the memorable...

  • 10

    DSiWare

    Review ATV Fever

    Muddy goings

    ATV Fever is at its best when machines hit the dirt and one gets into the zone of navigating a track’s turns and bumps. It’s a good way to distract oneself from the strange choices made in the organization of the game off the track. But first, the racing. ATV Fever has a pretty simple control setup. There are no tricks; no...

  • 9

    Wii U eShop

    Review GEOM

    GEOMdude used Rock Throw!

    GEOM is another low-budget title on the Wii U eShop from a fresh studio — Andraconus — and brings to mind another relatively recent offering: RCMADIAX's Blok Drop U from earlier this year. Both are simple puzzle titles that don't really live up to expectations, but their price point being lower than the cost of a cup of...

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    Wii U eShop

    Review How to Survive

    Island-hopping and head-popping

    Zombies used to be so underground, man. Years ago the very mention of these rotted ghouls would have people scratching their heads in blissful ignorance, but now they’re shuffling, walking and running around like they own the place. The genre has been utterly exhausted to the point where now their inclusion in media...

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    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Pac-Land

    Pac your bags, man

    Never before released for the NES in the west, Namco has dropped its Pac-Man platformer Pac-Land onto the eShop to celebrate the announcement of Pac-Man in the new Super Smash Bros. games. A departure from the simple, addictive gameplay the Pac-Man series is known for, Pac-Land attempts to expand the scope and appeal of its iconic...

  • 95

    Wii U eShop

    Review Another World - 20th Anniversary Edition

    An indie trailblazer

    If you want a cinematic, oblique, thought-provoking and relatively short-lived experience in the modern gaming age, digital stores such as the eShop and more notably Steam have plenty of content on offer. Independent developers — and bigger publishers that release smaller projects as downloads — now find it easier than ever...

  • 36

    Wii U eShop / DS

    Review Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training: How Old is Your Brain?

    Brain food

    It seems like only yesterday that we got Game Boy Advance games on the Wii U Virtual Console, but now DS games have also joined the party. Curiously enough, Nintendo has chosen not to start off with one of their classic franchises, like Mario or Zelda, but has instead opted to go with one of their best-selling titles, the original Brain...

  • 13

    3DS

    Review How to Train Your Dragon 2

    How to train your dragon 2 do what?!

    Handheld versions of 3D console games are always a tricky task; most of the successful ones avoid straight-up ports that are inevitably inferior to their home console brethren, and instead build the portable iterations from the ground up with 2D handheld gaming in mind. Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate did this...

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    Wii U

    Review How to Train Your Dragon 2

    Needs a bit more training

    How to Train Your Dragon 2, developed by Australian studio Torus Games and published by Little Orbit, is a throwback to movie tie-ins of yore. Most big action films these days opt for cheaper, often microtransaction-based game tie-ins on mobile devices, like Captain America: The Winter Soldier and

  • 34

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Pac-Man Collection

    A Pac-aged deal

    Pac-Man is a creature of classic longevity. We kindly submit as evidence to this claim the fact we’re reviewing a 13-year-old game compilation for a character who was a spry 21 at the time. The question now is how well the four games of Pac-Man Collection have held up since its 2001 GBA release. Do Pac-dots even have expiration...

  • 16

    3DS eShop

    Review Van Helsing sniper Zx100

    No, Hugh Jackman's not in this one

    Barcelona-based developer EnjoyUp Games got our hopes up for this – after the surprising success of its atmospheric Abyss on the Wii U eShop last month, the trailer for EnjoyUp's new 3DS-exclusive Van Helsing Sniper Zx100 demonstrated a first-person gallery shooter set in a neon sci-fi dystopian future London;...

  • 33

    3DS

    Review Pokémon Art Academy

    Make Smeargle proud by sketching Fletchling

    Since we first put stylus to touchscreen on the original DS, Nintendo's handhelds have made full use of the unique interface by allowing us to interact with games in a whole new way. Some ideas have worked better than others, but the natural act of scribbling or doodling shapes, in particular, has never...

  • 11

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Soccer

    A well timed blast from the past

    Just in time for the World Cup this week, Intelligent Systems' Soccer arrives on Wii U Virtual Console – but all is not well. One of the early titles in Nintendo's "Sports Series" on NES, Soccer seems to garner boatloads of hate from players compared to companions like Golf and Ice Hockey. These detractors are not...

  • 5

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Super Dodge Ball

    Super Lag Ball

    Many people are familiar with River City Ransom, the cult classic NES game, but what you might not know is that it's actually part of a series with many, many more titles. Of course, that can be hard to figure out when those that were localized all got completely unrelated names. Interestingly, while the series is mostly known in the...

  • 17

    Wii U eShop

    Review 1001 Spikes

    All your spike are belong to us

    Between the broken English text, 8-bit sprites and brutal, unforgiving difficulty, it's easy to think of the Nicalis-published 1001 Spikes as a long-forgotten NES gem. While certainly not for everyone, it's a rich, rewarding (and punishing) addition to the Wii U eShop library. This modern-retro platformer is certainly...

  • 30

    3DS eShop

    Review 1001 Spikes

    Exquisite torture

    We'll get this out of the way right now: 1001 Spikes is hard. So hard, in fact, that it's deliberately unfair. Those of you turned off by that knowledge can save yourself a great deal of frustration by walking on by. Anyone up to the challenge, however, is in for one of the most satisfying platforming experiences in recent years...

  • 21

    3DS eShop / GBC

    Review Mega Man Xtreme 2

    An Xtreme Improvement

    Mega Man Xtreme left us feeling a bit underwhelmed. While its intentions were certainly good, the execution was lacking and the experience felt like a far clunkier retread of levels we've already played before, rather than much of a game in its own right. However it's worth noting that the game was originally released for the...

  • 54

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap

    Capcom pulls a hit out of the hat

    If it weren't for the fact that the Capcom logo appears each time you boot up The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell that it was in fact developed by a third-party company. That’s because this particular Legend of Zelda title – which originally released on the Game Boy...

  • 15

    3DS eShop

    Review Color Zen

    Nirvana on the go

    Last month we reviewed the Wii U version of Color Zen, a relaxing abstract puzzler in which you match geometric shapes with colours as a soothing electronica soundtrack plays in the background. This week the chilled-out title arrives on 3DS largely intact; it's essentially the same game, shrunk down to the small screen(s). It's the...

  • 7

    3DS

    Review Inazuma Eleven GO: Light & Shadow

    Shiny new kit

    In Japan, Level-5 is one of the masters at maximising franchises through games — typically on portable systems — and TV shows or films, continually keeping the storyline going and producing regular content. Yo-kai Watch is the current craze, while Professor Layton had some film content to accompany six main-series games and more...

  • 104

    3DS

    Review Tomodachi Life

    The meaning of life

    During the many hours you can potentially spend lost within Tomodachi Life, you'll find yourself wondering if this new 3DS outing can actually be called a game in the traditional sense. It's certainly addictive and almost universally appealing thanks to its savvy combination of humour, social sharing and Mii-related activities,...

  • 35

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review The Mysterious Murasame Castle

    The mystery is why this took so long to be released outside Japan

    If you've played a bunch of Wii and Wii U games over the past few years, chances are that you might have noticed some references to a title you were completely unfamiliar with. Takamaru's Ninja Castle in Nintendo Land? Murasame Castle mode in Samurai Warriors 3? Or perhaps some music...

  • 48

    Wii U eShop

    Review Pushmo World

    Mo Push Mo Problems

    Intelligent Systems' Pushmo World (known as Pullblox World in Europe) is exactly what you'd expect it to be: a Wii U sequel to the popular 3DS eShop puzzle titles Pushmo (Pullblox) and Crashmo (Fallblox) that predictably adds shinier graphics, more modes, and way more puzzles. It's a very safe sequel that doesn't take

  • 24

    Wii U eShop

    Review Chubbins

    Feelin' chubby

    Developed by two-man studio Dahku Creations, Chubbins is a minimalist platformer all about jumping. So much jumping, in fact, that you're never not jumping. As an adorable, rotund rabbit named Chubbins, you must reach the end of each level simply by steering your automatic jumps through obstacles and out of the way of enemies, with...

  • 16

    Wii U eShop

    Review I've Got to Run!

    Take a walk

    Made using the Nintendo Web Framework, 4 Corner Games' I've Got to Run! works more as a proof of concept than a full-fledged experience. This little game is functional and cute, but the bare bones presentation and gameplay won't sustain anyone's attention for more than a few minutes, and most will wonder why this game isn't on 3DS or...

  • 11

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Mr. Driller 2

    You know the drill by now

    The re-release of classic Game Boy Advance titles on the Wii U eShop marks the first opportunity many new players will have to take on a variety of really substantial experiences, short of retroactively buying the system itself. Many have made the transition to the TV screen look easy, but some are detrimentally anchored by...

  • 39

    Wii U

    Review LEGO The Hobbit

    We hates it forever

    The LEGO series of games is a sales phenomenon, now established to a degree that it seems no matter how many releases are churned out on a yearly basis the sales flow, and steady praise flows its way. That's to the credit of TT Games and Warner Bros., but it's always a franchise at risk of spreading itself too thinly — as Bilbo...

  • 27

    Wii U eShop

    Review Luv Me Buddies Wonderland

    Luv Me Don't

    The Luv Me Buddies seem to do a number of things right when creating a new children’s brand. A menagerie of cute and cuddly characters? Check. A silly but charming origin story? Check. Hints of personality? Check. A lovable, entertaining game that introduces characters to new fans? No check. Uncheck. An idea vacuum in which the...

  • 63

    Wii U eShop

    Review Ittle Dew

    A Link to the (Swedish) Past

    Let's get this out of the way first: if you like The Legend of Zelda, you'll absolutely love Swedish studio Ludosity's new Wii U eShop adventure title Ittle Dew – it's a love letter to A Link to the Past with the cartoony art style of The Wind Waker. With a sweeping soundtrack and a charming, self-aware

May2014

  • 41

    3DS eShop

    Review Arc Style: Baseball 3D

    Take me out to a real ball game...

    Arc System Works' latest casual sports title, Arc Style: Baseball 3D, contains the same extensive customisation options of Arc Style: Soccer!! 3D, but it also retains the sluggish, repetitive gameplay and adds some new issues to boot. There is fun to be had in the local multiplayer and even the single player...

  • 37

    3DS eShop

    Review Grinsia

    The trouble with nostalgia

    In 2008, Matrix Software and Red Entertainment teamed up to develop a turn-based Role-playing game for the Nintendo DS appropriately titled Nostalgia. Incorporating classic JRPG gameplay and mechanics with modern visuals, this game was designed to tug at the heart strings of ageing gamers while still managing to provide an...

  • 18

    Wii U eShop

    Review Gravity Badgers

    Out of this world

    Badgers and space are certainly two things we would have never expected to see together, but then here's Gravity Badgers, a game all about badgers in space. Originally released for PC, this relatively unknown game has now received a Wii U port, but is it worth your time? The plot in Gravity Badgers is almost non-existent, but...

  • 41

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Double Dragon II: The Revenge

    Now actually living up to its name

    As one of the first scrolling beat 'em ups ever made, the original Double Dragon became a smash hit when it was released way back in 1987, and like most arcade games at the time quickly received a port to the NES. A single year later, Double Dragon II was released in arcades and, as was to be expected, it was also...

  • 31

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Mega Man V

    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"...

  • 26

    3DS eShop

    Review The Denpa Men 3: The Rise of Digitoll

    Good vibrations

    Before Denpa Ningen no RPG washed up on Western shores as The Denpa Men: They Came By Wave in 2012, it felt like a localisation long-shot: a candy-coloured JRPG with off-the-wall style, an AR-based hook, very little story, and deceptively traditional, grind-heavy gameplay. Even the Denpa Men themselves — colourful and oddly...

  • 26

    3DS eShop

    Review Alien On The Run

    Out of this world

    After a few weeks full of ports and disappointing original titles on the eShop, Japanese studio G-Style's 3DS-exclusive Alien on the Run is a breath of fresh air, a surprisingly addictive "comical escape game" that has arrived on the store at relatively short notice. You play as an alien named Delude who has been abudcted by a UFO,...

  • 44

    Wii U eShop

    Review Fit Music for Wii U

    Fit dance the blues

    Losing weight and getting active isn't always an easy task. The motivation, patience and willpower it takes to make a healthy lifestyle change is one that many find daunting, and so there is an entire industry built around making the idea more palatable. Using games consoles to try and get you up off the couch may seem like an...

  • 55

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Street Fighter Alpha 2

    Akuma Matata

    Street Fighter II casts an indelibly long shadow over the rest of Capcom's fighting games from the 1990s. First launched in 1991, SFII in all its Super and Turbo varieties has become synonymous with the Street Fighter franchise, a cultural touchstone the series wasn't truly able to move past until the launch of the successful Street...

  • 21

    3DS

    Review Candy Match 3

    How many licks does it take to get to the centre of this game? One.

    Start Candy Match 3 up and its cheery-looking title screen greets you with… complete silence. Your ears may pick up nothing, but your soul should be hearing the dire warning screeched out by the very void: abandon all hopes of creative or original effort, ye who enter here!...

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