Reviews - News

May2014

  • 42

    3DS eShop

    Review Turtle Tale

    Turtle Recall

    Do you love retro platformers but wish they featured more squirt guns? Not to be confused with the children's animated film A Turtle's Tale from a few years ago, Saturnine Games' Turtle Tale brings Super Soakin' platforming action to the eShop at a budget price, but don't let its colourful graphics fool you: Turtle Tale is a strict...

  • 36

    Wii U eShop

    Review Swords & Soldiers

    The battle returns

    Originally released exclusively on WiiWare in 2009, Swords & Soldiers has had its fair share of ports in the five years since its initial release; it's made an appearance on almost every platform under the sun. The last of these to grace a Nintendo platform, the 3DS version, was not exactly a shining example of what one would...

  • 11

    Wii U eShop

    Review SQUIDS Odyssey

    Calamari meets kamikaze

    Squids Odyssey plays like a mix between Angry Birds, billiards, and a strategy RPG. If that sounds like fun to you, that’s because it is. A cast of cephalopodic heroes embarks on a quest to save their underwater world from a corrupting black ooze the best way they know how: by launching their soft, squishy little bodies...

  • 12

    DSiWare

    Review Deep Sea Creatures

    Shallow waters

    Collavier's Deep Sea Creatures, a slow-paced sim about deep sea fish and tank management, is not for everyone. While there is nothing particularly wrong with the game, its leisurely pace, lack of immediate challenge and poor instruction will likely turn off players looking for a more satisfying experience. For players genuinely...

  • 32

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Adventures of Lolo

    YOLO, Lolo

    HAL Laboratory's 1989 puzzler Adventures of Lolo falls into the same category as titles like Mach Rider and Clu Clu Land: C-list NES classics that are often overlooked today but provide an arcade-like fun experience for those searching out Nintendo's "deep cuts" from the '80s. Adventures of Lolo is probably best remembered these days as...

  • 31

    3DS

    Review Cut the Rope: Triple Treat

    Triple the fun and no strings attached

    The Cut the Rope franchise may have risen to fame through its release on the Apple App Store, but it has also had a pretty prominent history on Nintendo’s most recent handheld systems, too. The first game in the series was originally ported to DSiWare back in 2011, before returning again on the 3DS eShop last...

  • 36

    3DS

    Review LEGO The Hobbit

    Barrel full of mediocrity

    It doesn’t take an analyst to know that the entertainment industry loves a good trend, and one current example is to find a hugely popular work of fiction, turn it into a big-budget film, then let Warner Bros. make a LEGO video game out of it. The works of beloved fantasy author J. R. R. Tolkien, of Lord of the Rings and...

  • 20

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Mega Man IV

    Great things in small packages

    With one exception, which is also making its way to the 3DS Virtual Console, all of the Game Boy Mega Man games take two of the NES titles and rework them a bit. Some old faces in new places, so to speak. A sprinkling of unique bosses and weapons help to carve out identities for these portable experiences but, by and...

  • 25

    Wii U eShop

    Review Color Zen

    Passes with flying colours

    If you enjoyed Abyss earlier this month and you're thirsting for another relaxing, atmospheric Wii U eShop title with a smooth electronic soundtrack, Color Zen is exactly what you're looking for. It's a puzzle game with no time limit or scoring system: you simply match colours and unwind. The iOS/Android success-story has...

  • 16

    DSiWare

    Review Sokomania 2: Cool Job

    Overheated

    Cinemax's 2010 DSiWare puzzler Sokomania received a disappointing 3/10 in our review, due to its cheap presentation, lack of content and absence of variety. Unfortunately, Sokomania 2: Cool Job, while sporting a little more personality and improved visuals than its predecessor, doesn't improve upon the one-note gameplay and feels just as...

  • 6

    DSiWare

    Review Jewel Match

    A traditional match-three lacking in splendour

    Anyone familiar with the world of match-three games will know almost exactly what to expect from a title such as Jewel Match. Released, oddly enough, after Jewel Match 3 on the 3DS, this DSiWare version strips out the story, hidden object finding, and other extra mini-games of the past sequel and...

  • 293

    Wii U

    Review Mario Kart 8

    8th Wonder of the World

    Since the Super NES every Nintendo system — apart from the Game Boy Color and the doomed Virtual Boy — has been boosted by an entry in the iconic Mario Kart series. Despite its drastic evolution throughout the generations of hardware it nevertheless feels familiar each time around, while other entries in the kart racing...

  • 20

    3DS eShop

    Review Parking Star 3D

    Back it up and dump it!

    There are so many driving games on the market today, we've been oversaturated with choice; whether you want a hardcore racing sim, a lighthearted arcade game, a futuristic hovercraft racer, or all your favourite corporate characters go-karting together, there's something out there for you. But you know what the driving game...

  • 88

    Wii U eShop

    Review Scram Kitty and his Buddy on Rails

    Off the rails

    Announced over a year ago, Scram Kitty and his Buddy on Rails was one of the earliest Wii U download games to be confirmed. Now that it's finally here, has the wait been worth it, or should this game scram? Although you're pretty much immediately thrown into the action, there is a little bit of a story to Scram Kitty. The titular cat,...

  • 21

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Mega Man III

    Third time's the charm

    After the fun but flawed Dr. Wily's Revenge and the almost thoroughly disappointing Mega Man II on Game Boy, Capcom made a serious and substantial course correction. The result is Mega Man III, and we couldn't be happier about that. Retaining the template from Dr. Wily's Revenge (two sets of Robot Masters, a new Mega Man...

  • 30

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Wario Land 4

    Someone should write a 600-page book about this game!

    Wario Land 4 has seen a revival of sorts lately. Although Wario's core platforming series has been overshadowed for years by the surrealist microgames of WarioWare, last December journalist Daniel Johnson published Game Design Companion: A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4, a staggering 600-page...

  • 70

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Mega Man II

    Get equipped with tarnished legacy

    Ask any fan of the Blue Bomber to name their favourite game in the series and the odds are good that they will say either Mega Man 2 or Mega Man 3. That's to be expected, though; both of those games are among the best on the NES, a system that had no shortage of great platformers and action games. What's less...

  • 62

    Wii U

    Review The Amazing Spider-Man 2

    This reboot of a reboot could use another reboot

    The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is exactly the video game that the film deserves. Sony and Activision couldn’t have planned it better if they tried. Nowadays, Spider-Man’s existence outside of comic books isn’t for creative purposes, and the accepted level of quality is appalling on all fronts...

  • 74

    3DS eShop

    Review Moon Chronicles: Episode 1

    Down the hatch...

    Renegade Kid originally released first-person shooter Moon on the DS with publisher Mastiff in 2009, though sales were relatively modest — this episodic digital re-release, retitled Moon Chronicles, will be the first time many players experience the game. The 3DS isn't always considered ideal for first-person shooters, but Moon...

  • 15

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Mach Rider

    Groovy little motorbike

    If you were lucky enough to pick up a shiny new NES way back in 1985, you would have had your pick of several future classics from a legendary launch-day lineup. If your idea of a digital good time happened to involve motorcycles, you were particularly spoilt for choice, with Excitebike and Mach Rider representing two-wheeled...

  • 27

    3DS

    Review Putty Squad

    Putty in your hands

    Putty Squad is a platform game that was originally developed by British developer System 3 for the Amiga in the '90s, but the official release had to wait until 2013, when the Amiga version of the game was rolled out on System 3's website as a Christmas gift. However, the original was actually published in 1994 for the Super...

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    Wii U eShop

    Review Stick It To The Man

    Get out of my thoughts and into my Wii U

    You're on the run from the law, hunted for a crime you didn't commit and unable to return to your own home for fear of being caught. A road block looms ahead, halting everyone except for an acclaimed opera singer who is performing later that evening. As the sirens echo through darkened streets, you slowly...

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    Wii U eShop

    Review Abyss

    We all live in a cyclops submarine

    Abyss is perhaps exactly the sort of game the Wii U eShop needs in greater numbers: adventurous little indie titles with strong artistic vision and a focus on core game mechanics. With a budget price tag, you can't afford not to try out Barcelona studio EnjoyUp Games' HD re-release of its attractive 2012 DSiWare...

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    3DS eShop / GBC

    Review Mega Man Xtreme

    Xtreme Mediocrity

    Mega Man X is often touted as one of the best games the SNES had to offer, which is certainly saying something. Its first sequel is further from consensus, but it's still safe to say that it's a great followup to its predecessor. If you've played either of these games — and, if you haven't, stop reading right now and do that —...

  • 26

    Wii U eShop

    Review Ava and Avior Save the Earth

    Toxic waste

    A good educational video game needs to be both enriching and fun for the player. While 2020 Venture's Ava and Avior Save the Earth may sound like a good idea — it attempts to teach children about recycling, composting and getting rid of waste in a "green" way — it fails in almost every regard. With amateurish presentation and...

  • 56

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi's Island

    Egg-ceptional platforming

    When you take into account just how much of a landmark title Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island was when it released back in 1995, it’s absurd to think that it’s only just being re-released on one of Nintendo’s Virtual Console services – well, that is if you exclude the exclusive 3DS release under the guise of the...

  • 9

    3DS eShop

    Review Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst

    Never go back

    Publisher Big Fish Games has certainly got the hang of porting its old PC games to the Nintendo 3DS. After releasing many of them as retail games in PAL regions, it has started to hawk them on the 3DS eShop as well. The original Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst was released in 2008 for the PC and is an evolution of the Mystery...

  • 30

    3DS

    Review Hometown Story

    Harvest Merchant

    Released in North America and Japan last year, Hometown Story has now hit European shores at long last, thanks to the efforts of Rising Star Games. You play as a young boy — or girl, if you wish — who takes over a shop in a small town after his grandmother, who previously owned it, passes away. If this sounds in any way similar...

April2014

  • 16

    3DS eShop

    Review Me & My Furry Patients 3D

    Diagnosis: a little hairy

    There's a certain nostalgic charm to Me & My Furry Patients 3D's early-1990s PC game aesthetic – the rudimentary isometric 2D graphics, crude character models, heavy reliance on walls of text and menus resembling Windows 95 pop-up boxes are a nice change of pace from the ubiquitous FarmVille-esque cartoony graphics we...

  • 165

    Wii U eShop

    Review Child of Light

    The brush is as mighty as the sword

    Listen, dear readers, and we shall recall our journeys with Child of Light. The darling of Ubisoft Montreal, it has become known as a beautiful sight. Screenshots and videos released to the world have proven its visuals most stunning. Yet when the tale is told and story unfurled, will all its design be as...

  • 166

    3DS

    Review Kirby: Triple Deluxe

    The pink puff goes for the hat trick

    Kirby, Nintendo’s pink puffball of concentrated cuteness, arrives on 3DS with a big bumper of a package, promising a trifecta of portable happiness. And it’s sure tough to not smile at the game’s chirpy demeanor and cheery world as the little guy floats and bops his way along his first 3DS adventure. But...

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    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse

    Join the fang club

    Looking back, it's incredible to think that Konami took such a risk with the Castlevania series during its formative years. Having tasted critical and commercial success with the original NES outing, the Japanese company decided to give its direct sequel a different spin. The result was Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, a game which...

  • 25

    DSiWare

    Review Sea Battle

    Please sink this battleship

    It's surprising there aren't more DS titles based on the classic board game Battleship. The DS, with its plastic exterior and flip-up dual screens, looks remarkably like a Milton Bradley Battleship board you probably have stuffed in the back of a closet. You don't need to dig through all your old board games to play...

  • 14

    3DS eShop

    Review Smash Cat Heroes

    Tokugawa Mew Mew

    Imagine, for a moment, that you are a cat. What would you do for a can of delicious cat food? What about a can of delicious, destiny-altering Super Cat Food? If you're anything like the feline cast of Smash Cat Heroes — the latest eShop title from Escape from Zombie City studio Tom Create — you'd grab a kitten-sized katana and...

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    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Golden Sun

    Magic Hands Make Light Work

    The more formulaic counterpart to RPG oddball Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, Golden Sun expands on proven genre archetypes to deliver an experience that both pays tribute to and refines the classic role-playing adventure. It also gives some Wii U owners, potentially, their first experience of a franchise that has a...

  • 162

    3DS

    Review Mario Golf: World Tour

    Hard to putt down

    For a slightly out of shape plumber that very rarely seems to do any actual plumbing, Mario sure enjoys plenty of different sports. It remains an integral part of Nintendo's delightfully quirky games catalogue for its mascot and the residents of the Mushroom Kingdom to meet up for various extra-curricular activities, and golf is a...

  • 9

    3DS eShop

    Review Tiny Games - Knights & Dragons

    The dark knight

    Taking the title of this game at face value, one could understandably conjure some exciting images of brave warriors setting off to battle in a land teeming with adventurous opportunities. The medieval setting is well-established by this point, and is versatile enough to appeal to even the very young demographic that Tiny Games...

  • 13

    3DS eShop

    Review Boxzle

    Lock the box and throw away the key

    With a huge assortment of puzzle titles on the eShop, PouncingKitten's Boxzle doesn't do nearly enough to set itself apart from the rest of the litter. With three variations on the "sliding box" mechanic the potential for clever and satisfying puzzles is there, but poor visuals and sound, generic presentation and...

  • 7

    3DS eShop

    Review Atlantic Quest

    Aquatic amusements

    All prefaces about there being too many match-three puzzle games available on the 3DS eShop have been exhausted. While it still rings true that there is an overabundance of them on the digital marketplace, there's no use beating the dead horse that this genre and joke have become. The fact is that people love tile matching games,...

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    Wii U eShop

    Review My First Songs

    Hickory Dickory Don't!

    We all had high hopes for My First Songs, with fifteen of the most legendary nursery rhymes of all time finally together in one package. Bangkok-based developer RingZero Game Studio brings us this hotly-anticipated karaoke title just in time for your tax refund shopping spree — alas, My First Songs is not quite a Yankee...

  • 53

    3DS eShop

    Review Bit Boy!! ARCADE

    Kubi, you blockhead...

    It's been almost five years since Bit Boy!! graced the WiiWare service, providing a generation-spanning adventure through the history of video games. Unfortunately the execution of that game was middling at best, leaving a great concept — the guiding of a single hero on a nostalgia-tinged journey through the past — sorely...

  • 42

    Wii U eShop

    Review Flowerworks HD: Follie's Adventure

    A few carnations short of a full bouquet

    You're a pint-sized explorer that's crash landed your spaceship on an alien planet dominated by vegetation, where flowers are your greatest ally. No, it's not Pikmin, it's Flowerworks HD: Follie's Adventure. A high-def remake of the well-received 2009 WiiWare title, Flowerworks HD is a floral-themed action...

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    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review F-Zero Maximum Velocity

    Back to the future

    Ah, F-Zero. The futuristic racing series that’s so fast that even Nintendo appears to have lost track of it. While it’s true that Nintendo hasn't really done anything new with the series since it last released the Japanese exclusive F-Zero Climax way back in 2004 (the last game we got was F-Zero GP Legend during the same...

  • 70

    3DS

    Review Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars

    Birth of the cool

    Brought into the world by Spike Chunsoft — of both Danganronpa and StreetPass Battle/Warrior's Way fame — Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars is a delightfully different affair. The generational suffix refers to its pedigree — a single, Japan-only PSP predecessor — but all you need to know about this standalone...

  • 14

    3DS eShop

    Review Governor of Poker

    Deep in the debt of Texas

    Imagine that Donald Trump stole the DeLorean from Back to the Future. He warps to the Wild West, but instead of saving the Doc like in Part III, he creates a form of government in which you rule by simply owning every building in sight. It’s a monopolocracy, if you will, and everyone crams the saloons to play poker for...

  • 10

    3DS eShop

    Review Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove

    Dire, dire docs

    You know the drill. Mysterious, seemingly-abandoned location. Haunting atmosphere. Looming tragedy that unfolds through documents you find scattered around. It's a formula that works well for video games in general. As an interactive medium, the scares can be taken to a whole other level in the right hands. The mere fact that you...

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    Wii U eShop

    Review Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate - Deluxe Edition

    The broken Bat

    For as long as portable games have existed, the trend of developing handheld versions of popular console titles has been present and correct. These games tend to be inferior versions of the originals, taking a substantial hit graphically and often limiting gameplay, depending on what the portable console is capable of. In some cases,...

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    3DS eShop

    Review Pure Chess

    En Passable

    VooFoo Studios took on a tough challenge in not only producing cross-platform online chess multiplayer, but achieving it on both the Wii U and the 3DS. Pure Chess immediately earns credit right away, in that case, as a technical example of what can be achieved on what is relatively old tech with the 3DS. Bonus points are due, then, but...

  • 9

    Wii U eShop

    Review My Exotic Farm

    Not a roaring success

    Farm management sims are hard to get right; farming is work, after all. Successful farming games either add substantial non-farming elements like Harvest Moon's social elements, or they take the work so seriously that it becomes comically overbearing, à la Farming Simulator. French studio BiP Media's My Exotic Farm ultimately...

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    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Mach Rider

    A forgotten gem from the NES launch library

    Mach Rider is an impressive feat for an NES title — a faux-3D motorcycle combat game with dozens of courses, an endurance mode, and a track editor. Not only was Mach Rider an NES title, but it was an October 1985 NES launch title. Namco's Pole Position had only hit arcades three years earlier, and...

  • 30

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$!

    Fun incorporated

    Ever since its first foray into the video game market, Nintendo has been known for the incredible amount of creativity it brings to the medium. Innovative ideas – whether they add a pleasing minor touch or groundbreaking gameplay feature – have to some degree been the company’s bread and butter for decades. It’s these...

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    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Kirby & The Amazing Mirror

    Kirbytroid

    For the most part, not much has changed about the Kirby series — many of its titles are fairly straightforward platformers in which your main ability is to suck up enemies and acquire their powers. It's not until somewhat recently that the development teams started trying different things, and one can certainly make a case saying that...

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    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga

    Double trouble

    Back in 2003, Nintendo had already released two excellent Mario RPGs; Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars and Paper Mario. Rather than immediately making a Paper Mario sequel, the company decided to add a third completely different game to the line-up. While the previous games were developed by Squaresoft and Intelligent...

  • 56

    3DS eShop

    Review Nintendo Pocket Football Club

    Back of the net

    Although they are perhaps a little alien to those outside of Europe, soccer management titles have a long and respected pedigree among those who commit weeks, months and even years of their lives to playing them. In the United Kingdom especially, such games have existed since the days of the 8-bit microcomputers, with franchises like...

  • 53

    3DS

    Review Disney Magical World

    A magical world indeed

    To anyone familiar with the handheld’s lineup, it may seem like a bad business decision to make a life simulation game for the 3DS at this point. Three years into the console's life we've seen two Harvest Moon titles, a Rune Factory game, and The Sims 3. All that, and we haven't even mentioned

  • 20

    3DS eShop

    Review I am an Air Traffic Controller Airport Hero Hawaii

    Come fly the frazzled skies

    All right, let’s address the 500-ton jumbo jet in the room: I am an Air Traffic Controller Airport Hero Hawaii is a long and silly name. Although IAAATC is actually an established series in Japan, it’s not the kind of title that tends to inspire great confidence in the West. That’s too bad, in a way, as Airport Hero...

  • 97

    3DS eShop

    Review Rusty's Real Deal Baseball

    A dog's life

    To start with a key point, the actual games in Rusty's Real Deal Baseball are window dressing for Nintendo's rather quirky interpretation of the free-to-play microtransaction craze. A collection of ten baseball-themed minigames start out at $4.00 each, but players are encouraged to haggle with the eponymous middle-aged dog Rusty to get...

  • 24

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Super Dodge Ball

    Utterly ridiculous and sublime

    When firing up an NES game in the modern day, no less a silly spin-off sports title from the era, a certain mindset is required. If you're intolerant of sticky animation, that flickering effect that NES games have when there's too much on screen and wonky frame performance, there are plenty of games that are immediate...

  • 95

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Metroid Fusion

    SA-Xcellent

    Released a full eight years after its phenomenal Super Nintendo predecessor, Super Metroid, Metroid Fusion is a well-paced, tense, atmospheric game and an oft-overlooked GBA classic. Players assume the role of Samus Aran, the legendary bounty hunter responsible for overturning the sinister designs of the Space Pirates and obliterating...

  • 94

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Advance Wars

    War has never been so much fun

    Mention Advance Wars to a seasoned gamer and they're almost guaranteed to have heard of it. One of the earliest major Game Boy Advance titles, it's now also one of the earliest titles from the handheld on the Wii U Virtual Console, giving veterans another chance to pick it up and newcomers an ideal opportunity to see...

  • 50

    3DS eShop

    Review Young Justice: Legacy

    Downright offensive

    Welcome to Young Justice: Legacy, where the mechanics don't work and "play" doesn't matter. The game purports to be a strategic turn-based experience but accomplishes nothing more than being a horrendous nightmare. It is astonishingly incompetent in every field. Its gameplay, engine, animations, and entertainment value are among...

  • 31

    DSiWare

    Review I Am In The Movie

    I am in disbelief

    Have you ever wanted to be a film director? Have you ever wanted to capture life through the lens of a camera and use it to craft your own cinematic masterpiece? Do you have even a fleeting interest in special effects? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, now’s the time to leave all of your hopes and dreams on the...

  • 16

    3DS eShop

    Review Skater Cat

    This cat ain't rad

    There's been a surge of popularity when it comes to "runner" games over the last few years — games where you do little more than move right (or occasionally, left) while dodging everything that comes at you in an attempt to improve your high scores. While "endless" runners seem to be the most popular variant, Skater Cat falls...

March2014

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    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Clu Clu Land

    Spinning from poles as a fish with human limbs...

    Clu Clu Land is one of those unassuming early Nintendo Entertainment System releases that seems to show up all the time these days, from cameos in Super Smash Bros. to minigames in NES Remix, right alongside classics like Mario and Zelda. Even if you didn't grow up playing Clu Clu Land, most Nintendo...

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    3DS eShop

    Review Yumi's Odd Odyssey

    Ocean Belly River's back!

    In some games, just moving around is a joy. Soaring through the skies in Pilotwings, loop-de-looping in NiGHTS into Dreams, wet-jetting around Isle Delfino in Super Mario Sunshine, and tumbling through town in Gravity Rush are all exhilarating experiences in their own right, as memorable as the games built around them.

  • 15

    3DS eShop

    Review Lola's ABC Party

    P-A-R-T-WHY? Because I gotta learn my ABC's!

    The adorable panda bear, Lola, is back at it again. This time she's putting her life as a train conductor in the past, and is instead throwing a party...of knowledge. Being the second game in the series to focus on basic ABC's and spelling, following Lola's Alphabet Train on DSiWare back in 2012, does...

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    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Super Mario Kart

    A timely boost for a classic

    With a PAL release a mere nine months after the April 1992 launch of the UK SNES, during a 16-bit era where show-boating superior technology and exceptional console power was at the forefront of Nintendo’s objectives, Super Mario Kart remained humble in exhibiting its technical prowess. European gamers had been...

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    Wii U eShop

    Review Pure Chess

    This is a review you should check, mate

    When Pure Chess was first announced for the Wii U and 3DS, it created a considerable buzz for a game that's based on a relatively niche, high-brow hobby. However, there was good reason for this; developer VooFoo Studios and its publisher Ripstone were not only determined to deliver a graphically rich...

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    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Volleyball

    Flat ball

    What’s your favourite major sport? If you answered “volleyball,” there’s a good chance that you’re among a minority of sports fans. That’s not to say that volleyball is a lesser game than the titanic football – European or American, your choice – or any other major sport, but it does make one wonder why Nintendo would...

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    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Devil World

    Absolutely Diabolical

    Very few developers can boast the introduction of as many unique and refreshing gameplay concepts as game-crafting master Shigeru Miyamoto. Nintendo’s iconic developer has reinvented and reinvigorated countless genres, breathing new life into stale and tired gameplay tropes and carving a name for himself as one of the...

  • 33

    Nintendo 64

    Review Quake II

    Worth the "Stroggle"?

    When it comes to first-person shooter games on the Nintendo 64, there’s one title which stands out above all the rest: GoldenEye 007. During the late 1990s, Rare’s Bond-themed masterpiece provided gamers with countless hours of single- and multiplayer fun, and because of this it is still fondly remembered by many to this...

  • 29

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Adventure Island II

    "Just you wait, Master Higgins!"

    The original Adventure Island — though a fun little platformer in its own right — is most fondly remembered today for being a strikingly comprehensive clone of SEGA's Wonder Boy, as a result of developer Escape licensing the property (minus SEGA's character designs) to Hudson Soft for an NES port. Adventure...

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    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Ice Hockey

    Not that cool any more

    Nintendo released a number of sports titles in the NES era, a reflection of a simpler time when having a fancy home console was enough of a novelty that a game simply called Ice Hockey would seem like an awesome prospect. You like Ice Hockey? You've got Nintendo? Get Ice Hockey, which is Ice Hockey on your Nintendo! That...

  • 14

    3DS eShop

    Review Bubble Pop World

    Burst in line

    The hardest part of starting Bubble Pop World might be remembering where you left the “?” box AR card you’ll need to play it. Precious few 3DS games have taken advantage of the system’s augmented reality feature, with the majority employing it just for an amusing little extra. Developer Cypronia, however, has fully dived into...

  • 27

    3DS eShop

    Review Cube Tactics

    Strategy cubed

    Given their relatively low asking price, it can be quite easy to fall into the trap of thinking that games on Nintendo’s eShop service amount to little more than short, throwaway experiences. You pay less and, therefore, you must get less value from that game, right? In terms of pure content, that may be true (unless you’re...

  • 18

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Galaga

    Space: The Original Frontier

    There are a few reasons so many early video games took place in space. While the most obvious one is budgetary — a flat black background being quite literally the easiest possible background to render, thereby making "space" a pretty natural choice of setting — there's a psychological reason as well: space is a...

  • 53

    3DS

    Review Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

    A puzzling crossover to be solved

    It's no surprise that the announcement of Professor Layton Vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney back in 2012 in Japan caused quite a buzz among keen Nintendo portable gamers. The two franchises typify much of what made the DS a phenomenal success — even if Ace Attorney had its beginnings on Game Boy Advance — by...

  • 33

    3DS eShop

    Review Inazuma Eleven

    A Beautiful Game

    In Japan Inazuma Eleven is an institution — a multi-modal soccer sensation spanning several sequels and spin-offs, a wildly successful anime adaptation, and even a collectable card game; it's also enjoyed a number of releases in Europe. It's captured hearts from Kyoto to Cádiz, and now Level-5 is aiming to complete that...

  • 12

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Renegade

    GET LOST, PUNK!

    What's the expiration date for nostalgia? Is there a certain amount of time that has to pass before we start looking fondly back at the old, often inferior, games of our youth? It's undeniable that some games have aged gracefully and are still just as good today as they were at their initial launch, but that's far from a steadfast...

  • 324

    3DS

    Review Yoshi's New Island

    Dino-lite

    Back in 1995, Yoshi's Island turned heads when it was announced as the successor to the masterful Super Mario World. Appearing to be more of a spin-off than a direct sequel, there was skepticism as to whether such a departure could live up to the Mario name and please fans of the series. Fortunately the unique gameplay mechanics,...

  • 16

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Dr. Mario

    One play a day...

    It feels as if Dr. Mario has been a near constant presence — in some form — over recent years, but the oddity is that the Wii U Virtual Console release of the NES version is the début for that iteration over the most recent system generations. We've had fresh DSiWare and WiiWare releases, with the latter perhaps halting a...

  • 73

    3DS eShop

    Review Pokémon Link: Battle!

    Match maker

    DS title Pokémon Link — known as Pokémon Trozei in North America — was a fine example of how Nintendo has been able to diversify and expand the franchise in different directions. This download-only sequel — once again developed by Genius Sonority — continues that trend, but has more monsters to catch, locations to explore and...

  • 18

    Wii U eShop

    Review Evofish

    A fish out of water

    The core premise of Evofish is based ever so loosely on the fundamentals of nature and evolutionary science. As a fish in the ocean, you must snack on fish smaller than you are while also avoiding larger predators looking to eat you. Doing so successfully will enable you to grow in size and “evolve” into a species that’s...

  • 15

    3DS eShop

    Review Vacation Adventures: Park Ranger

    Park 'n Hide

    Nature. The Great Outdoors. Land of beauty and majesty, where the earth itself holds reign over a freedom and intrinsic order spanning the eons. And, if you’re a hidden object game, a primo place to dump all manner of human-made junk imaginable for people to find. The nature of hidden object games can’t be denied, however, and...

  • 19

    3DS eShop

    Review Kung Fu Rabbit

    Kung Fu-cious says hop

    Today’s games industry has become infamous for its endless copycat efforts and yearly sequels, which tend to stick to a very specific template and only offer a modicum of improvement. Nevertheless, while it’s easy for us to call out these games for their lack of innovation (only for us to all then go and buy them anyway),...

  • 48

    3DS eShop

    Review Weapon Shop De Omasse

    Well-crafted

    Remember the Guild01 series from all the way back in late 2012? Of course you do. It’s the little eShop series that could. Defying all expectations, the Guild games jumped the pond from Japan and landed securely on the Western 3DS eShop stores, providing three indie games that span a variety of genres. The success of the original...

  • 76

    3DS eShop / GBC

    Review Super Mario Bros. Deluxe

    Super Small Screen Bros.

    Especially in recent years, we've seen Super Mario Bros. re-released a ton, but back in 1999 it had been a number of years since the last release, Super Mario All-Stars. As such, Nintendo decided to port the original game to Game Boy Color and add some interesting new features at the same time. Naturally, at its core, this...

  • 41

    Wii U eShop

    Review BLOK DROP U

    In Soviet Russia...

    Developed by the one-man team at RCMADIAX, BLOK DROP U represents the first eShop release to emerge from the Nintendo Web Framework platform, an HTML5-based approach that aims to deliver browser-bite-sized indie experiences direct to your GamePad. True to that concept, BLOK DROP U is a simple physics-based puzzler with a fun and...

  • 11

    3DS eShop

    Review The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths

    Just golden

    When a cartoon series receives a download-only spin-off, with localisation that's crowdfunded, it's only natural to sound a klaxon of caution. Both scenarios apply to The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths, yet it's a pleasing tale of fulfilled expectations; it may not blow many minds, but we'll say early on that it fulfils its...

  • 26

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Renegade

    Crime doesn't pay

    The company known as Technos might be best known for creating Double Dragon and River City Ransom, but before coming up with either of its two big hits, it made a number of lesser known titles — of which perhaps Renegade is the most well-known. Renegade is actually the first game in the Kunio-kun series, which River City Ransom...

  • 9

    DSiWare

    Review Hidden Expedition Titanic

    The fun is also hidden

    Thanks to the blockbuster movie of the '90s, the sinking of the Titanic seems to be less a tragic historical event and more a part of story-telling culture. Whether that bothers you is up to you, but Hidden Expedition Titanic merely pretends to include a story around the ill-fated ship, throwing some nonsense around a fairly...

February2014

  • 33

    3DS eShop

    Review Tappingo

    Pixel-by-numbers

    Tappingo is a game for those who enjoy methodically teasing order out of an apparent mess. Really. When you begin one of the 100+ puzzles, the upper screen that displays your goal in progress looks like an NES sneezed on it. Yet by working out the numbered blocks on the grid below, colours and form fill in until you’re rewarded...

  • 26

    3DS

    Review The LEGO Movie Videogame

    Movie Mildness

    Video game tie-ins have been haunting films since the inception of the interactive medium, especially when those films are deemed "kid friendly." Essentially used as a marketing ploy, video games based on motion pictures are usually ill-fated projects that never stood a chance from the very beginning. From Disney cartoons to sci-fi...

  • 21

    3DS eShop

    Review Quell Reflect

    A rainy day delight

    Puzzle games are masters of covert time consumption. Some, like Tetris, keep players on their toes with an unrelenting pace and an addictive “one more try” appeal. Others, instead, offer a calmer, more contemplative experience, letting the player move at his or her own pace as they descend into the logic and rules of the...

  • 15

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Sky Kid

    Heavy Weather

    An arcade force to be reckoned with, Namco graced the Famicom and NES with impressive cartridge conversions of quite a few of its enduring coin-op classics. From Dig Dug and Pac-Man to Galaga and Xevious, Nintendo's console quickly amassed a collection of A-list arcade hits, and — along with the heavy hitters and household names —...

  • 101

    3DS eShop

    Review Steel Diver: Sub Wars

    Dive right in

    Nintendo has been working on a game to enter the free-to-play market for a fair amount of time, announcing last year than an early experiment with the idea would involve the Steel Diver series. The basic concept has been a game that is free to download and partially play, but requires you to pay a little extra if you want to unlock all...

  • 19

    3DS eShop

    Review Spot the Differences!

    Spot the exit sign and run

    There is nothing wrong with simple games on the eShop; players have demonstrated through iOS and Android that quick, fun bursts of creative gameplay can work wonderfully. Unfortunately, Bigben Interactive's Spot the Differences! crosses the line from simple to empty. While it works in the most rudimentary of ways — you...

  • 57

    3DS eShop

    Review AeternoBlade

    Meh-ternoBlade

    It may have taken a bit longer than anyone expected, but AeternoBlade has finally ventured beyond Japan and to reach both North American and European markets. The game was nearing completion back in June of last year, but developer Corecell Technology didn’t have the necessary funding to move along with the localization process,...

  • 17

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review NES Open Tournament Golf

    Par for the course

    If there's one specific niche of which there is no longer any shortage, it's sports titles featuring Mario. The iconic plumber's unlikely prowess at just about any athletic challenge is now extensively and frequently documented, with the likes of Mario Tennis and Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games gracing home consoles on a...

  • 27

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Super C

    Junco Partners

    Konami's massively popular Contra became synonymous with side-scrolling shoot-'em-up action when it was released for the NES in 1988 — so much so that when the sequel hit Nintendo's home console in 1990, Konami felt confident that a single, stylized 'C' would be enough to evoke the series' name in the hearts and minds of loyal fans...

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