Reviews - News

December2014

  • 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...

  • 30

    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...

  • 330

    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...

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    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...

  • 63

    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...

  • 40

    Wii U

    Review Disney Infinity 2.0

    Marvel and the House of Mouse combine

    Disney Infinity is back on Wii U with Marvel toys and adventures, expanded upgrades and harder difficulty levels. Less positively, Disney Infinity 2.0 drops Wii support and forces existing players to purchase another Starter Pack to access new Play Sets. The big ticket this year are the three headline Marvel...

  • 24

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Donkey Kong Land 2

    Diddy's 8-Bit Quest

    The success of Donkey Kong Country inevitably saw a sequel released. Likewise when Donkey Kong Land proved a similar platforming experience was possible on the Game Boy, it was a no-brainer that Rare would release a second handheld adventure. This time Donkey Kong has gone and gotten himself captured, and so it's up to Diddy and...

  • 9

    Wii U eShop

    Review Turtle Tale

    Half-shelled

    Retro-styled platformers have become very common in the current generation of games, thanks to download platforms and readily available, inexpensive development tools. Some titles, such as the insanely difficult, finely crafted 1001 Spikes, show an immediate artistry and sense of game design. Others, unfortunately, are bare experiences...

  • 31

    3DS eShop

    Review Ninja Battle Heroes

    Kawaii katana

    Tom Create, known for its contributions to the DSiWare GO Series, as well as games dating back to the Super Famicom era, has created a little gem in Ninja Battle Heroes, an action brawler bursting with adorable personality and surprisingly deep gameplay. Despite a generic title that describes little about the experience other than that...

  • 8

    Wii U eShop

    Review 99Seconds

    A twitch in time saves 99

    Time is a very valuable commodity. At least that’s what people say, but there always seems to be time for sneaking a quick little game of something between tasks. 99Seconds seeks to fill those blips in your life, and perhaps a few more, with a classic dodge ‘em style of gameplay. The Wii U version of 99seconds is...

  • 157

    3DS eShop

    Review Shantae And The Pirate's Curse

    A pirate’s life for me

    It’s interesting to track the progression that WayForward's Shantae series has undergone over the past decade. Beginning in 2002, the original title was released on the Game Boy Color, an unfortunately timed release that was mostly overshadowed by the recent introduction of the Game Boy Advance. Despite an attempted sequel...

  • 30

    Wii U eShop

    Review Paper Monsters Recut

    The power of papercraft

    In an increasingly busy eShop with titles that are wildly inconsistent in quality, download games have to make an immediate impression to get noticed. With a lovely visual style, Mobot Studios' Paper Monsters Recut instantly stands out among the crowd — an enhanced port of a mobile game, Paper Monsters Recut is a fun,...

  • 16

    3DS eShop

    Review Riding Star 3D

    Fault!

    Horses are supposed to be noble, herd-based creatures with personality and spirit. A simulation of caring for and riding one should be an intricate, rewarding experience as a bond is formed between rider and animal. Riding Star 3D does not worry itself with any of this. It botches the majesty of the horse so badly that one starts to wonder...

  • 18

    3DS eShop

    Review Pyramids 2

    Make your own pyramid scheme

    Almost three years ago to the day, Enjoy Gaming’s Pyramids had the honor of becoming the second independently-published eShop title to utilize the stereoscopic 3D feature of the Nintendo 3DS. While it didn't quite blow anyone away in that regard, with its simplistic graphics making negligible use of the effect, it...

  • 76

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Donkey Kong Land

    Mobile monkey magic

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

  • 12

    3DS eShop

    Review Horse Vet 3D

    Horse pucky

    Two things became apparent during Nintendo Life's time with TREVA's Horse Vet 3D. The first is that, apparently, everyone owns a horse; the second is that these horses needed a lecture in safe mating, as nearly all the horses treated had scabies at one point or another. Horse Vet 3D, like TREVA's recent offerings Top Model 3D and Outback...

  • 6

    3DS eShop

    Review Secret Empires of the Ancient World

    Trash as old as time

    Do you have too much money and space on your SD card? Are you the type of person who enjoys finding objects hidden in low-resolution images? Do you adore games with lengthy and misleading titles? Then we've got just the thing for you! Welcome to the depressing experience that is Secret Empires of the Ancient World! This is the...

  • 3

    3DS eShop

    Review Painting Workshop

    Digital canvas

    The 3DS has continued to thrive as a result of its varied and expansive software catalogue, providing a one-stop-shop for RPG, platforming, and even action fans to find some really solid titles. It's not only that though, as the eShop has opened the door for smaller developers to release more subdued or technical affairs, be it music...

  • 13

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Nobunaga's Ambition

    Feud of dreams

    Nobunaga’s Ambition, long one of publisher Koei’s flagship series, deserves its rightful place in the history of strategy titles. This SNES iteration, like many of its brethren, has an engaging setup that rewards careful planning and execution once the learning curve is cleared. Actually, “curve” might be too gentle a term...

  • 11

    3DS eShop / GBC

    Review Legend of the River King 2

    Return of the King

    As an extra, easter egg or background element, fishing seems to pop up everywhere in video games; from side-angle angling in Link’s Awakening and Rumble Pak-reeling in Ocarina of Time to museum-filling in Animal Crossing and fly-rod flinging in Yum

  • 225

    Wii U

    Review Bayonetta 2

    Spellbinding and brutal

    The Wii U library is small, but also diverse and exciting; Bayonetta 2 from Platinum Games arrives as a system exclusive to forge its own brilliantly destructive path. Its arrival with a port of the original Bayonetta gives Nintendo gamers an opportunity to dive into this developing franchise in full, and also illustrates the...

  • 8

    3DS

    Review Tenkai Knights: Brave Battle

    Tenkai toy, fivekai game

    Games aimed at children are an interesting beast – often you’ll find them less challenging than other games, and if it contains a plot it’s a simple, easy-to-follow romp through a colourful and engaging journey. Unfortunately, Tenkai Knights: Brave Battle doesn’t quite measure up to these expectations. The game...

  • 12

    Wii U eShop

    Review Mon Premier Karaoké

    Should you take a chanson this?

    Rarely is it possible to describe a game in a single word, yet after mere minutes of playing Mon Premier Karaoké you can aptly sum it up as “niche”. After all, this is a game that’s aimed squarely at young, French-speaking children, and so to be able to use a word of French origin to describe it is...

  • 58

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Castlevania: Dracula X

    Tainted blood

    When you think of the definitive side-scrolling Castlevania experience, we imagine for most people it’s imagery of Symphony of the Night or Super Castlevania IV that first creeps into the ol’ noggin. But while those might be the most popular of responses, there’s a slightly more obscure game in the franchise that many die-hards...

  • 28

    Wii U eShop

    Review Red Riding Hood

    All the better to bore you with, my dear

    Clearly aimed at children, Brave Rock Games' Red Riding Hood is a vaguely interactive storybook that, while certainly not a scam at the inexpensive asking price of $1 USD, will take users no more than 15 minutes to play through. With bare-bones presentation, narration that moves at a snail's pace and nearly...

  • 24

    3DS eShop

    Review KORG DSN-12

    Electric Feel

    Teaming up with Japanese developer Detune once again, KORG has proven itself to be quite enamoured with the 3DS eShop by releasing another piece of music creation software, in the form of KORG DSN-12. Emulating the popular MS-10 analogue synthesizer, this title brings us back to a time of smoke-filled clubs and angst-ridden youths all...

  • 32

    3DS eShop / GBC

    Review Game & Watch Gallery 3

    A gallery worth visiting

    As over 50 different Game & Watch titles were released during the eighties, Nintendo had the clever idea to give a select few a fresh coat of paint, giving them a visual makeover, adding music, turning them into Mario-themed titles and then putting them together in a collection which allowed you to play both the new and...

  • 11

    3DS

    Review Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appétit

    M-I-X the flour into the bowl

    Majesco’s Mama is nothing if not prolific; with nearly a dozen main titles and spin-offs on DS, 3DS, Wii, and iOS, spanning genres as diverse as gardening, babysitting, and crafting, it’s easy to forget that it all started with a whisk in 2006’s Cooking Mama for the DS. Mama may have branched out since then, but...

  • 39

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Donkey Kong: Original Edition

    Whole once again

    The legendary arcade title Donkey Kong is slightly infamous for receiving a rather botched NES conversion. Lacking several screens, animations and even an entire stage, it wasn't exactly one of Nintendo's finer porting jobs, especially when other home versions by different companies did manage to include all of the original content...

  • 31

    Wii U eShop

    Review Art of Balance

    The perfect balance

    Art of Balance is a game that was first released on WiiWare, and was easily one of the best titles to grace the platform. Soon after a portable version was released on the 3DS, and now we get the biggest iteration yet on the Wii U eShop; as it's the third title you’d expect it to pull out all the stops, and Shin’en Multimedia...

September2014

  • 14

    3DS eShop

    Review BlazBlue: Clone Phantasma

    Small brawl

    There's always excitement in the air when a new fighting game hits the streets. These days, especially with the upcoming release of Nintendo's premier brawler, it's easy for lesser-known releases to get swept under the rug. Some fighting franchises are big among niche groups of gamers, but this means that great titles often get...

  • 19

    Wii U eShop

    Review Cubemen 2

    Multi-sided gameplay

    While Pure Chess became the first cross-platform multiplayer title on Nintendo eShop stores, Cubemen 2 arrives with a far more complex and potentially rewarding setup. Developer 3 Sprockets and publisher Nnooo have done an admirable job on a technical level, but importantly have also served up an entertaining real-time strategy...

  • 31

    3DS eShop

    Review The Keep

    Old dungeon, new tricks

    Many dungeon crawlers tend to come pre-packaged with a dose of nostalgia through the nature of the genre alone, their exploration and equipment elements resonating as familiar conventions. Stick with a medieval fantasy theme like The Keep and it feels even more from Yon Olde School. The story of The Keep is kept rather...

  • 176

    3DS

    Review Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS

    The smash-hit 3DS owners have been waiting for?

    Ever since being announced alongside its Wii U counterpart, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS has been scrutinised by fans around the world to an almost excessive degree. Being the first game in the popular crossover fighting series to be released on a handheld system, there were understandably some...

  • 4

    3DS eShop

    Review Hideaways: Foggy Valley

    Low visibility

    It’s hard to believe that the 3DS eShop houses so many hidden object games within its figurative walls. We haven’t tallied an exact count of these games on offer, but we do know that there are very few that we’ve scored higher than average; in most cases we’ve found them to be unsatisfactory. It’s a pity that we've seen a...

  • 9

    3DS eShop

    Review Top Model 3D

    Not so style savvy

    There are going to be many unhappy customers in the eShop thanks to Treva's Top Model 3D. The misleading title would suggest an affiliation with any number of popular reality television series, such as America's Next Top Model, but there is no branding to be found. The atrocious presentation is going to turn off anyone expecting a...

  • 25

    Wii U eShop

    Review KickBeat: Special Edition

    The first Wii U title to feature Papa Roach!

    After reviewing the newest tables for its meticulously-detailed Zen Pinball 2, we were in for a totally different experience from Budapest-based Zen Studios when KickBeat: Special Edition hit the eShop. Rather than a realistic recreation of a real-life activity, KickBeat is a zany martial arts rhythm

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