Reviews - News

January2014

  • 12

    3DS

    Review Girls' Fashion Shoot

    Fashionably fun

    It's apparently every young girl's dream to become a model - wearing the latest clothing trend, looking fabulous walking down the catwalk with photographers on the sidewalk capturing the moment. Girls' Fashion Shoot provides just that, but substituting the catwalk for magazine photo shoots while sitting comfortably at home. As the...

  • 28

    3DS eShop / GBC

    Review Mario Tennis

    Courts of Appeal

    For whatever its name is worth, Mario Tennis doesn’t feature a lot of the red guy — at least at first. That may come as an initial disappointment to some who were drawn to the M-word. Now if you came for the “tennis” part, well, that’s a whole different story. Mario Tennis will let you get into a game right off the...

  • 35

    Wii U

    Review SpongeBob Squarepants: Plankton's Robotic Revenge

    Best left in a pineapple under the sea

    Not content with his role as star of an immensely successful Nickelodeon cartoon and enviable position as the world's most popular anthropomorphized sponge, SpongeBob Squarepants also enjoys a prolific and presumably lucrative side-career in the world of video games. This latest release, Plankton's Robotic...

December2013

  • 36

    Wii U

    Review Angry Birds Star Wars

    The one that flew over the cuckoo's nest

    Star Wars games have had something of a tumultuous journey in recent years. Whereas the nineties and early noughties saw a slew of fantastic Star Wars games, there’s no denying that quality control has taken something of a back seat in more recent times. The franchise has been increasingly used to primarily...

  • 20

    3DS eShop

    Review Bird Mania Christmas

    Making holiday travel fun

    We loved Bird Mania 3D. Its superficial simplicity hid a surprising gem of a game that sunk its talons into us and never let go; news of Bird Mania Christmas, as you might expect, got us very excited indeed. The fact that it missed release in time for the holiday is unfortunate, but the game itself is no worse for the...

  • 23

    3DS

    Review LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: Universe in Peril

    Another bag of bricks

    With a great franchise comes a great number of releases. In the case of the LEGO video games series, their multi-platform games have hit just about every major gaming console of the past 10 years. Having no desire to be left out of the series’ success, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: Universe in Peril brings an original adventure...

  • 44

    Wii U eShop

    Review Wii Sports Club: Golf

    Definitely under par (that's a good thing)

    It seems slightly odd that, nearly two-and-a-half years after it made an appearance in the big reveal of Wii U at E3 2011, we now finally get to play Wii Sports Club: Golf. Perhaps unlike its contemporaries to date — Bowling and Tennis — this is the first of the new download-only series that feels like...

  • 37

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Castlevania

    Just like Dracula, it keeps coming back to life...

    Konami, admittedly following the lead of others such as Nintendo and Capcom, sure likes to remind us it was making awesome games way back in the 1980s. "Hey", it says, "remember how great Castlevania was on the NES?" We sure do, Konami and, oh look, now we can buy it again on the Wii U! It's one of...

  • 13

    DSiWare

    Review Orion's Odyssey

    A little Odyssey

    Island Officials' Kickstarter-funded puzzler Orion's Odyssey is the spiritual successor to Hands On! Tangrams, a fun but one-note title that had solid gameplay but little variety and was severely lacking in presentation. Island Officials has crafted a more polished experience with a charming presentation and story, but with...

  • 10

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Crash 'n the Boys: Street Challenge

    Challenge accepted

    What do you get when you combine the River City Ransom theme with Track and Field-style gameplay? You get Crash 'n the Boys: Street Challenge. The game takes the street gang theme and creates some fitting Olympic-style events to go along with it. It sounds like a mouth-watering proposition, but sadly while the unique urban...

  • 11

    3DS eShop

    Review My Style Studio: Hair Salon

    Crimped style

    Remember that toy where you used a magnetic wand to move iron filings over a drawing of a guy’s head, creating hair, moustaches, and eyebrows? My Style Studio: Hair Salon feels a bit like that, except with less personality and sense of joy. The Hair Salon does offer you more options, in certain ways. There are five “customers”...

  • 10

    3DS eShop

    Review Jump Trials Supreme

    Might as well jump!

    On DSiWare, G-Style's Jump Trials games followed in the fleet footsteps of 10 Second Run, providing short bursts of one-track, one-button gameplay with no fuss and few frills; if Super Mario Bros. is an epic platforming poem, Jump Trials is a list of words that rhyme with "cat". There's certainly a place for the simpler things in...

  • 69

    3DS

    Review Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate

    Throw away the key

    Being ambitious is no easy task. Playing a full, big-budget console game on a portable system is likely in every gamer’s wildest fantasies, but due to hardware limitations, we’re often left disappointed by half-hearted ports. Armature Studio, in its infinite wisdom, recognized this concern and chose to take this one in a...

  • 50

    3DS eShop

    Review 3D Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master

    Much more than an Average Joe

    In many ways, Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master represents Sega at its very best. It boasts lush visuals, excellent music and a surprisingly versatile lead character, all wrapped up in a game which practically screams action and excitement. Launched at a time when the Mega Drive was really beginning to hit its...

  • 31

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Double Dragon

    Solo komodo

    Double Dragon is notable for a whole host of reasons, among them that the NES version bears one of history's most misleading game titles by being a solo adventure with nary a dragon in sight. It also opens with an iconic, if anachronistic, bang — or, more specifically, a pow. A gangster brute socks a woman in the gut and carries her...

  • 36

    3DS eShop

    Review 3D Ecco The Dolphin

    A bit grim beneath the surface

    Ecco the Dolphin has always been something of an oddity. At the time of release, the Mega Drive / Genesis platform was defined by its solid arcade ports and action-packed titles such as Golden Axe and Ghouls 'n' Ghosts, so when a dolphin-based adventure came along it was a totally original concept for players to take...

  • 48

    3DS eShop

    Review 3D Streets of Rage

    Street smart

    When Nintendo secured the domestic conversion of Capcom's Final Fight for its newly-launched SNES console way back at the dawn of the '90s, it left many Sega fans utterly distraught. Cody, Haggar and Guy's coin-op escapade was the hottest ticket in arcades at a time when the side-scrolling fighter was very much the genre of choice...

  • 24

    Wii U eShop

    Review RUSH

    No need to block this one

    The Wii U eShop is gradually building its library, but for the large part has been populated by relatively substantial games that cost a decent amount of change; while that's absolutely fine, this is a platform also suitable for inexpensive experiences either quick-fire or simple in nature. RUSH, like its Two Tribes...

  • 85

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

    A link to perfection

    It's no accident that when Nintendo decided to do a direct sequel to a Zelda title — well, as close to a direct sequel as the series is ever going to get — it chose The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past as its reference point. A Link Between Worlds is set some years after the events of the 1991 SNES classic, but it uses a...

  • 12

    DSiWare

    Review Hooked on Bass Fishing

    Clear and shallow waters

    Fishing has never promised to be a thrill-a-minute sport; there is no LeBron James of fishing, as well there shouldn’t be. There are those who take fishing as a very serious and technical endeavour, certainly, but others take a more laid-back approach: just get out there, fiddle with things and see what you can nab! Hooked...

  • 25

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review The Legend of the Mystical Ninja

    The true karate kid

    Konami's classic action title The Legend of the Mystical Ninja is a welcome addition to the Wii U's slowly expanding library of Virtual Console offerings. In an era where lighthearted, fun characters have all but been forgotten in favour of grim shooters, playing as "Kid Ninja" — or Goemon, for fans of his Nintendo 64...

  • 59

    3DS eShop

    Review 3D Galaxy Force II

    A sense of Super Scale

    Galaxy Force II has something of a bad reputation with many players, purely because the domestic ports of the game which followed the arcade release way back in 1988 were, by and large, abysmal. Many fans base their opinion of this on-rails space shooter on the Mega Drive / Genesis version, which was downright unplayable...

  • 14

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Donkey Kong 3

    Third time's the swarm

    Nintendo has a bit of a tradition of mixing things up for game number three. Super Mario Bros. 3 added a world map and the famous Tanooki Suit, Super Mario Land 3 nonchalantly swapped Mario for his arch-rival Wario, and Starfy's third adventure saw him graciously sharing the spotlight with his little sister. It should come as...

  • 16

    Wii U

    Review Ben 10 Omniverse 2

    Big bad Ben

    With a plucky, wise-cracking kid hero, a host of supporting characters with funny and unique personalities and abilities, a surprisingly deep mythos and aliens to beat up, the Ben 10 franchise is rife with potential for great video games. Unfortunately, D3Publisher and developer High Voltage Software completely miss the mark with Ben 10...

  • 78

    3DS eShop

    Review 3D Sonic The Hedgehog

    Sonic with a dash extra

    The modern gaming scene may still be regularly broken down to battles of hardware technology and game exclusives, but back in the early '90s it was also a battle of mascots. The original Sonic the Hedgehog was the catalyst for the famous Tokyo-based company in the early days of the 16-bit battle for supremacy, as it delivered...

  • 18

    DSiWare

    Review Heathcliff: Spot On

    Off the mark

    The Heathcliff comic strip is a longtime favourite in many funny pages, having remained curled up on its spot for 40 years. If you want to create a spot-the-difference game, then the widespread character recognition and enormous backlog of source material Heathcliff offers would seem to make a good foundation. It certainly may, but...

  • 25

    3DS eShop

    Review Chevrolet Camaro Wild Ride 3D

    Car wreck

    Hey Enjoy Gaming! 1997 called and guess what? It wants its game back! That’s right — Chevrolet Camaro Wild Ride 3D has finally landed on the 3DS eShop, and not only does it look like a game that was ported directly from the PlayStation, but also it’s pretty terrible to play, too. In fact, it’s downright offensive to even think...

  • 55

    Wii U

    Review LEGO Marvel Super Heroes

    Super studs

    There was really no way to predict it so long ago, but the modern series of LEGO franchised games are undeniably great. When the first LEGO Star Wars game hit store shelves in 2005, it’s probably safe to assume that Traveller’s Tales didn’t foresee the growth that the franchise would go on to enjoy. Eight years and more than 10...

  • 44

    3DS

    Review One Piece Romance Dawn

    Just give it up, Luffy

    Anyone would be forgiven for thinking crafting a decent RPG from the lore of established anime juggernaut One Piece would be a simple task; the bombastic characters, epic quests and thrilling battles the series is known for should, in theory, make for an excellent adventure. With One Piece Romance Dawn, what developer Three...

  • 29

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Contra III: The Alien Wars

    Lasers and missiles and heliobombs, oh my

    Just when you thought the Wii U eShop had reached a maximum capacity of irresistibly cute little creatures with the likes of Pikmin 3, Toki Tori and Kung Fu Rabbit, here comes Contra III: The Alien Wars to mow down the competition with its terrifying alien invasions, flamethrower-wielding protagonists and...

  • 47

    Wii U

    Review Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW!

    Mathematical?

    D3Publisher, Cartoon Network and WayForward were definitely onto something in last year's Adventure Time: Hey, Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?! Though the title was over too soon, it took players all over the Land of Ooo on a true-to-series nonsensical quest using Zelda II-like gameplay, with a top-down overworld and...

  • 53

    3DS eShop

    Review 3D Super Hang-On

    Definitely a Winning Run

    As Sega delivers its range of retro 3D reproductions to the 3DS eShop, it'll certainly be interesting to see how sizeable an audience warms to each release. For some, fond memories of iconic Sega arcades or home console ports will make purchases irresistible, but perhaps the greatest challenge facing these releases is...

  • 15

    WiiWare

    Review Deer Drive Legends

    Legends of the Fail

    There’s a new WiiWare game available in North America. Let that sink in for a moment. After nearly nine months of silence, a new title emerges from the depths of Maximum Games's back pocket and lands squarely on the WiiWare service as Deer Drive Legends, the light gun shooter that you probably haven’t been waiting for...

  • 19

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom

    A fitting farewell to the NES trilogy

    The three Ninja Gaiden games on the NES are remembered with great fondness, and for very good reason. They may never have reached the same heights of popularity as the original Super Mario Bros. games, or even the first three Mega Man games, but they stand to this day as a testament to the classic years of 8-bit...

November2013

  • 6

    3DS eShop

    Review Jewel Match 3

    Not particularly valuable

    When it comes to puzzlers, a certain generation of gamers will remember when Tetris was the title that was endlessly cloned, reinterpreted and reinvented, with countless studios and developers trying desperately to recapture the cultural magic of what had to be the simplest idea in gaming yet: slotting shapes together...

  • 16

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Brawl Brothers

    Sibling rivalry

    Jaleco released a trilogy of side-scrolling fighters in Japan under the Rushing Beat banner, and while all three made their way to the west, they did so under different titles: Rival Turf, Brawl Brothers and The Peace Keepers. Inspired in no small part by the success of Capcom's Final Fight, the series never really managed to reach...

  • 143

    3DS

    Review Bravely Default

    A Critical Hit

    If there’s one thing famed RPG developer Square Enix cannot be accused of, it’s failing to change over time. The early Final Fantasy titles were an exercise in optimistic grandeur, their idyllic landscapes serving as the stage for huge, epic quests filled with wonder and discovery. As of late, however, the company seems to have...

  • 50

    3DS eShop

    Review 3D Space Harrier

    Welcome to the Fantasy Zone

    Sitting here in 2013, it's almost impossible to fully appreciate the kind of impact Space Harrier had when it hit arcades way back in 1985 — a year when many of today's active gamers weren't even alive. A showcase for Sega's "Super Scaler" technology and the company's skill at creating impressive hydraulically-driven...

  • 6

    3DS eShop

    Review Ohno Odyssey

    Ohno or Ohyes?

    Everyone loves to play an epic adventure, but there's also a place for lighthearted, bite-sized gaming — especially when it comes to portable titles. Despite its "epic" title, Ohno Odyssey, a physics puzzler from Big John Games, offers a bite-sized experience with addictive trial-and-error gameplay and a fair amount of charm. While...

  • 29

    Wii U eShop

    Review Coaster Crazy Deluxe

    Not so crazy after all

    Hold on to your coaster cars, Nintendo fans, because with the release of Coaster Crazy Deluxe for the Wii U eShop, gaming just got a whole lot crazier….or did it? Frontier’s latest iOS port proves that despite Nintendo’s concerted efforts to simplify the process for converting indie titles to Wii U, some games are better...

  • 6

    3DS

    Review Azada

    A puzzling page-turner

    American developer and publisher Big Fish Games is literally a big fish in the market of casual gaming. The creator of the Mystery Case Files series, the studio has carved out a profitable niche on PC and mobile platforms with its unique brand of hidden object puzzlers — and has also transferred some of these outings to the...

  • 12

    Wii U eShop

    Review The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths

    A breezy, scenic walk

    The history of The Mysterious Cities of Gold is pretty wild. When the French-Japanese animated series ended its first run in 1983, the Famicom hadn’t even premiered in Japan. Fast forward about 30 years, and now not only has the show picked up where it left off, it’s even following in the tried and true tradition of video...

  • 79

    3DS eShop

    Review Senran Kagura Burst

    Fit to Burst

    Fresh from the friendly fields of Rune Factory 4, XSEED returns with another, decidedly more deadly offering from the Land of the Rising Sun in Senran Kagura Burst. Taking its gameplay inspiration from classic side-scrolling beat-'em-ups, and its over-the-top, undergarment-filled style from anime and manga, this is a fun, frenzied...

  • 9

    3DS

    Review Ben 10 Omniverse 2

    Ben bleh

    The latest tie-in to the Ben 10 television series, Ben 10 Omniverse 2 is a serviceable title that falls prey to many of the issues that plague licensed games. It's a shame, too, because the creative, action-packed world and characters of the series certainly would lend themselves well to a video game. Developer 1st Playable Productions has...

  • 38

    3DS eShop

    Review Christmas Wonderland 3

    Another name on the naughty list

    It was a cold night, and the gentle snow was just beginning to fall. All throughout Nintendo Life HQ there was evidence of good cheer. After all, Christmas was coming! Martin and Morgan were decorating the tree, newcomer Liam was introducing the team to his home-made eggnog, and Ron was entertaining the children by...

  • 64

    Wii U

    Review Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures

    Pac ain't afraid of no ghost

    As gaming's original icon, Pac-Man has enjoyed a long and varied career. He's munched Power Pellets on dozens of different platforms since his 1980 debut, starred in platform games on the Super Nintendo, raced go karts on the GameCube, had a Top-10 single on the US charts, and even worked under the baton of Mario maestro...

  • 45

    3DS eShop

    Review Jett Rocket II - The Wrath of Taikai

    A rocketing success?

    It’s crazy to think that it’s been three years since we last saw Jett Rocket. Three years may not seem like it was that long ago, but a lot has changed during this time. As a result, not only is the planetary inspector only just making his handheld début on 3DS, but his creators at Shin’en Multimedia no longer have to...

  • 105

    3DS

    Review Mario Party: Island Tour

    Rolling the dice

    Back in 1999, Mario and his crew could have taught Prince a thing or two about how to celebrate the coming of a new millennium. Establishing itself as a mainstay on the Nintendo 64, the Mario Party series showed up three times to blister hands and bring friends and family together to yell at each other at the top of their lungs...

  • 32

    3DS

    Review Power Rangers Megaforce

    No, no, Power Rangers

    Let's just say it up front so that nobody skimming the review will miss it: Power Rangers Megaforce is a terrible game. Not only that, it's actually broken in several respects. And we don't mean "broken" to mean "unfair" or "poorly designed." We mean "broken" to mean "it does not work." The concept of the game is promising...

  • 20

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Uncharted Waters: New Horizons

    As deep as the ocean

    Koei released quite an arsenal of strategy titles during the 16-bit era, many of them on the Super Nintendo console. While the original Uncharted Waters laid the foundation, its sequel New Horizons picked up right where it left off and managed to add quite a few new game play ideas to the mix to form one of the most in-depth and...

  • 40

    Wii U eShop

    Review EDGE

    Simple but multi-sided

    Two Tribes, in bringing its Classics series to the Wii U eShop, is among the first to deliver inexpensive experiences — especially with launch promotional prices — that have primarily made their home on other platforms for a good period of time. The updated edition of Toki Tori is based on its PC brethren, while now we...

  • 17

    3DS

    Review Doodle Jump Adventures

    Scrappy

    In recent years, many popular mobile games have found themselves being ported to consoles and handhelds, often with mixed degrees of success. Doodle Jump Adventures, based on Lima Sky’s smartphone hit Doodle Jump, is the latest phenomenon to make the transition and much like Angry Birds before it, does a good job of fleshing out the...

  • 33

    3DS eShop

    Review World Conqueror 3D

    Tanks, but no tanks

    Field Marshal Archibald Percival Wavell of the British Army once said that “war is a muddle” and, quite frankly, we couldn’t agree with him more. The conflict he described was that of World War II; that's the very same that World Conqueror 3D strives to simulate, with messy results. No more than an overcomplicated clone of...

  • 289

    Wii U

    Review Super Mario 3D World

    A purrfect blend

    Super Mario 3D World is a brave release as it strives, without any hint of apology, to hit on a formula to satisfy the majority of 2D platforming fans and the smaller — but still sizeable — legion of 3D Mario devotees. Many enjoy both, of course, yet they’ve always been distinct experiences that often lead to a clear...

  • 17

    3DS eShop

    Review Secret Mysteries in New York

    Find every object, for great justice

    There's a real puzzle afoot in Secret Mysteries in New York, and it has to do with the game's title itself. No, it's not our attempt to figure out whether or not the phrase "secret mysteries" qualifies as redundant; it's why the developers bothered to rename Secret Mysteries in London for its eShop release. The...

  • 39

    3DS

    Review Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby in 8-Bit Land

    Regular Show game for 3DS, send it to the moon

    When we heard that WayForward was developing a Regular Show video game, we were optimistic. Not only does the studio generally pump out better-than-expected licensed games, but last year it produced Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?!, which ended up being a loving tribute to the...

  • 43

    3DS eShop

    Review KORG M01D

    Blast from the past

    3DS has amassed a curiously robust library of music creation software for a chunk of hardware built to play video games. The KORG brand in particular has made itself comfy on Nintendo's handhelds in the past few years, starting with an emulation of the classic MS-10 synth in KORG DS-10, and now the M1 gets the software treatment...

  • 7

    3DS eShop

    Review Word Wizard 3D

    Dark wizard

    Word games can be fun, addictive brain teasers, but they can also be tedious, unintuitive and shallow. Word Wizard 3D unfortunately falls squarely into the latter category. Though there are plenty of game modes, and none are fundamentally broken, there's nothing in Word Wizard 3D that justifies its purchase over various alternatives that...

  • 20

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review City Connection

    Crash and burn

    Originally released as an arcade game, City Connection puts you in the shoes of a man who wants to travel all over the world in order to paint its roads white, thus proving that he's travelled across the globe. Sounds like vandalism to us, but that's the '80s for you! Of course, this would be rather difficult to accomplish on foot, so...

  • 12

    3DS eShop

    Review 4 Elements

    Not a perfect storm

    Engine Software's 4 Elements is a fun match-3 puzzler weighed down by unnecessary seek-and-find sequences and occasionally frustrating level design. Originally a PC game, 4 Elements' generic fantasy presentation hides an addictive game that will appeal to fans of Bejeweled and other "casual" puzzle titles. There's nothing wrong...

  • 84

    Wii U

    Review Call of Duty: Ghosts

    Grabbed by the ghoulies

    With all of the noise made in the wake of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare's success — everything from sky-high sales figures to unfortunate ad campaigns, or the rise, fall and subsequent embalming of developer Infinity Ward — it's easy to lose sight of just how phenomenal and innovative that game really was. Genres evolve...

  • 39

    3DS

    Review Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

    Shell shocked

    It’s arguably difficult to consider Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV reboot as anything other than a rousing success. Blending together elements from the classic 1987 series with a more modern approach, the show has been a hit with fans both new and old, treading that awkward line between paying homage to the past and...

  • 33

    3DS eShop

    Review My Baby Pet Hotel 3D

    A pile of shih tzu

    We'll say this at the outset: pet sims are not for everybody. We know that much, and while the popularity of certain genres might baffle us at times, we'd never dream of holding a game's genre against it. While we may or may not get swept up in any particular enthusiasm ourselves, we'd like to think that we can distance ourselves...

  • 112

    Wii U

    Review Batman: Arkham Origins

    Same hero, less refined

    Whenever a video game franchise moves from one developer to another during its lifetime, there tends to be a few raised eyebrows. There are definite examples of licenses that have significantly improved following the move from one studio to another, such as the console games in the Skylanders series jumping from Toys for Bob...

  • 9

    3DS eShop

    Review Secret Agent Files: Miami

    Cold case

    Hidden object games are a relatively new genre descended from “point and click” classics like King’s Quest, Broken Sword and others. Secret Agent Files: Miami strives to combine hidden object gameplay with more traditional point/click puzzle solving and attempts to make good use of the 3DS’ features along the way; yet the end...

  • 29

    Wii U eShop

    Review Toki Tori

    Super cheap puzzle fun

    Many moons ago, when WiiWare first launched on the Wii, Two Tribes had Toki Tori ready to go as one of the very first games on the service. It was a remake of the Game Boy Color game, which in itself was also a pseudo-remake; we liked it a lot. Unfortunately for some, however, a PC version of the game was released not too...

  • 12

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Wario's Woods

    Kinopio's Canopy

    Wario's Woods has had quite a storied legacy over the last few decades, standing not only as the last officially licensed game released on Nintendo's legendary NES in North America in 1994, but also one of the very first titles available on the Wii's Virtual Console service. In-between those impressive milestones, it made an...

  • 266

    3DS

    Review The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

    A classic series gets a fresh new coat of paint

    Much like everyone's favourite green-garbed hero Link, Eiji Aonuma, current producer of The Legend of Zelda series, is also on a quest of his own. However, Aonuma-san isn't tasked with saving Hyrule, nor is he desperately searching for the sacred Triforce; in fact, his personal mission isn't nearly as...

  • 60

    Wii U eShop

    Review Wii Sports Club: Bowling

    No splits here

    When it comes to the games in the original Wii Sports that felt the most realistic and compelling, Bowling would have to be a candidate as the best of the lot. Golf and Baseball may have a say, too, while Tennis and Boxing — most definitely the latter — perhaps had the greatest degree of waggle. The fact Bowling reappeared in...

  • 126

    Wii U eShop

    Review Wii Sports Club: Tennis

    What the deuce?

    Way back at E3 2011, in that Wii U reveal that rather bizarrely confused half of those watching, Nintendo showed remixes of Wii Sports events that showed the GamePad being utilised in creative ways. It's perhaps surprising that over two years after that visual demo, we're just now seeing the iconic Wii pack-in make its way to...

  • 27

    3DS

    Review Hakuoki: Memories of the Shinsengumi

    Ronin with the homies

    Hakuoki: Memories of the Shinsengumi combines standard dating-sim tropes with a captivating setting and fantastic writing to provide an experience that is surprisingly greater than the sum of its parts — even if it may fall far out of the comfort zone of most players. When meek protagonist Chizuru ventures to Kyoto in search...

  • 14

    3DS eShop

    Review Crazy Chicken: Director's Cut 3D

    Straight to DVD

    Crazy Chicken: Director's Cut 3D is an odd title, in that it's unashamedly simplistic yet reliant on gamers that perhaps have a hint of obsessive compulsive behaviour or, alternatively, those that cherish retro games that do little more than give you the same task repeatedly and stick your name on a leaderboard. What this does do is...

  • 89

    Wii U

    Review Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag

    A pirate's life for Wii (U)

    Unless this is the first time you’re being exposed to Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, you won’t need a telescope to notice that the landscape has changed drastically from past entries in the series. Residing in the Caribbean, you take on the role of Edward Kenway, an 18th-century pirate who dreams of obtaining...

  • 65

    Wii U

    Review Wii Fit U

    Fit for purpose

    It’s astonishing just how successful the Wii Fit franchise has been for Nintendo since it first graced our living rooms in 2008. In fact, both Wii Fit and its expanded sequel Wii Fit Plus have each sold more than 20 million copies, which is staggering when you take into account that a good number of those purchases would have...

  • 19

    3DS

    Review Beyblade: Evolution

    Worth taking for a spin?

    Despite the original anime TV series coming to an end almost a decade ago, it seems that Beyblade is still very much a thing. It’s curious to think that the concept of pitting spinning top toys against one another would prove so exciting for so many in this technologically enhanced day and age, but then the world...

  • 22

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Baseball

    Not quite a grand slam

    Originally released alongside the launch of the Nintendo Entertainment System in the 1980s, Nintendo's Baseball is one of several simple, lean titles that, while primitive and slow by today's standards, still show a special Nintendo pedigree. Ideally these games would be released as a compilation; the content in Baseball,...

  • 89

    Wii U

    Review Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut

    Myths of the near future

    Square-Enix's idea to bring Eidos Montreal’s swell Deus Ex: Human Revolution to the Wii U over two full years after the game first saw light of day on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC is a curious resurrection, perhaps, but given the quality of protagonist Adam Jensen’s cyberpunk caper the title deserves as big of an audience as it...

  • 28

    3DS eShop

    Review Arcade Classics 3D

    Six terrible games for the price of one terrible game

    Mini-game collections have always run the quality gamut, but it's fair to say that the numbers are weighted much more heavily towards the negative end of the spectrum. For every Game & Watch Gallery there's a seemingly infinite number of Chuck E. Cheese's Arcade Rooms. So if we really wanted...

  • 37

    3DS eShop

    Review Angry Bunnies

    Rotten egg

    Whenever a new game, franchise or genre becomes mega-successful, countless similar titles and rip-offs are bound to emerge. Rovio's now-iconic Angry Birds series is one of the most successful mobile franchises of all time, and for good reason — the simple, physics-based gameplay is quick and addictive, the birds and pigs have...

  • 95

    Wii U

    Review Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games

    Back on the slopes and going nowhere fast

    Unless you’re an enthusiast or currently living in Sochi (that’s in Russia, by the way), there’s a good chance you aren't aware that the Winter Olympics are almost upon us. Yes, it’s time for all your favourite winter sports to hit the screens again; sports such as skiing, skiing off a cliff,...

  • 13

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Donkey Kong 3

    Bugging you?

    When the original Donkey Kong proved immensely popular, Nintendo decided to ride off its success and create a sequel changing the roles, making Mario the villain and Donkey Kong Jr. the hero. What is surprisingly not well known, however, is that there was a third game after that. While the next logical next might have been to allow you...

  • 8

    Wii U

    Review Just Dance Kids 2014

    Get ready to wiggle

    If you want to juice up a party then you can’t do much better than getting everyone on the dance floor, and the Just Dance series has been responsible for untold cut rugs for years now. But sometimes, when the age-appropriate drink for party-goers is juice, the grown-up songs and elaborate choreography of the mainline games...

  • 57

    Super Nintendo

    Review Goof Troop

    Gawrsh!

    In the late '80s and early '90s Capcom created a range of games, based on Disney franchises, for the NES and SNES. The likes of Darkwing Duck, Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers and DuckTales all made appearances, the latter of which has even been given the HD treatment for modern systems, including Wii U. One of the more interesting titles was...

October2013

  • 66

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Super Castlevania IV

    Fangs for the memories

    The Castlevania series is enjoying something of a renaissance at the moment, thanks largely to MercurySteam's commercially successful Lords of Shadow sub-series. However, as many hardcore Castlevania fans will repeatedly tell you until they are blue in the face and you are deeply, deeply bored, the God of War-style gameplay...

  • 19

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Wario's Woods

    It's back like you wooden believe

    Originally released in 1994, Wario's Woods holds the prestigious honour of being the last officially licensed game to release for the NES in North America; that's a remarkably long time after the console itself launched in the mid-eighties. Yet while it's impressive that the legendary system received a first-party...

  • 33

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Pinball

    Ball out?

    Back in 1985, when Nintendo launched the NES in North America, there were a slew of games released with to-the-point titles like Baseball, Golf, and the game of the hour, Pinball. At the time, inviting these simple, accessible games into your home was almost life changing, and we have great memories bouncing around our heads of how they...

  • 15

    3DS

    Review Skylanders SWAP Force

    Swap-n-go

    There is a common and unfortunate trend in video game development in which a great game is released on a home console, and then a vastly inferior version — or spin-off — is released as a portable title. Recent victims of this phenomenon include LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins and Sonic Lost World. While these shouldn’t be...

  • 41

    3DS

    Review Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy

    A final puzzle to savour

    The arrival of Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy is an occasion both exciting and tinged with sadness. For dedicated fans of the franchise across DS and 3DS there's the promise of hundreds of puzzles and a generous dosage of gentlemanly charm, offset by the knowledge that — for now at least — this is the last...

  • 33

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Urban Champion

    Won't somebody think of the children?

    Urban Champion is back, and is a menace to society. It's a danger to young gamers for two reasons. If you're the type of gamer that thinks brutality and violence has no place in a title played by children, this tale of brawling 8-bit thugs bringing mayhem to the streets is a primitive but potent example of those...

  • 21

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Clu Clu Land

    Clu Clu Bland

    Back in the NES days, Nintendo had a lot of experimental, arcade-like games, many of which never quite made it into the big leagues in order to get sequels and the like. Perhaps one of the most often forgotten of these games is Clu Clu Land. Similarly to Kuru Kuru Kururin, you need to know a bit of Japanese in order to understand the...

  • 14

    3DS eShop

    Review Brunch Panic

    Piece of cake

    Brunch: a late-start, laid-back, Sunday morning meal where carbo-loading is king, and it's perfectly acceptable to pile as many waffles onto your plate as physically possible. Panic: a state of uncontrollable fear and anxiety; also an excellent Sega CD game. These are two worlds which don't often collide, perhaps — but they come...

  • 96

    3DS eShop

    Review Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies

    Say hello to Justice

    It's time to warm up those CHORDS OF STEEL, locate your magic panties and don the blue suit — Ace Attorney is back and it's as wacky as ever. Introducing a new cast of zany characters, as well as your old favourites, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies is a welcome return to the franchise, complete with a fresh,...

  • 26

    Wii U eShop

    Review Mighty Switch Force! 2

    Watered down or a sequel on fire?

    WayForward’s puzzle-platforming series first debuted on the Wii U eShop back in November of 2012, when the developer gave the original Mighty Switch Force! an HD facelift and deemed it the Hyper Drive Edition. This time, the sequel — which released for download back in June on the 3DS — has been ported to...

  • 80

    Wii U

    Review Wii Party U

    Don't be tardy for this party

    It's no secret that Nintendo has struggled with getting the word out about the Wii U. Unclear branding and messaging — not to mention a lack of consumer awareness and hard-hitting software in the first half of 2013 — have resulted in a lot of confusion and missed opportunities. More importantly, the company itself...

  • 16

    3DS eShop

    Review Escape From Zombie City

    Braaains over beauty

    There's certainly no shortage of zombie-themed titles on the 3DS eShop, and it would be easy to lump Escape from Zombie City in with the seasonal shovelware shuffling onto the scene just in time for Halloween — but there's a little more to the story than that. The brainchild of developer Tom Create — responsible for the GO...

  • 4

    3DS eShop

    Review 101 Penguin Pets 3D

    These penguins might leave you cold

    When was the last time you met someone who distinctly disliked nature’s own best-dressed Antarctic fowl, the penguin? The answer is probably “never”, and Teyon is here to capitalize on that fact with its newest virtual pet product — 101 Penguin Pets 3D. Aimed directly at unsuspecting children and designed...

  • 19

    Wii U

    Review Just Dance 2014

    Boogie wonderland

    Ubisoft's party bus has pulled in right on time yet again, with another autumn bringing another main entry for the effortlessly silly Just Dance series of all-around good times. The franchise has had an annual numbered release since it first boogied in 2009, and this year eschews the numeric uptick in favor of a far more honest...

  • 77

    3DS

    Review Rune Factory 4

    A Rune of one's own

    The Harvest Moon series has become something of a standby over the last decade or so, so it's easy to forget just how revolutionary it was when it first hit the Super Nintendo back in 1996. An RPG where players progressed not by fighting battles or banishing evil, but by tending gently to the land, caring for animals, and finding...

  • 57

    Wii U

    Review Skylanders SWAP Force

    Swap ‘til you drop

    It’s no secret that collecting and gaming go hand in hand — how else can you explain the popularity of special editions of games that come with physical content as well as toys and figurines? Taking this into account, it’s no wonder that the Skylanders series has become so popular and successful since its inception just...

  • 279

    Wii U

    Review Sonic Lost World

    Sonic gets lost in his own world

    It's tough being Sonic. Every new release starring the mascot comes with a significant weight of expectancy, and the evolution from his 16-bit 2D heights to a current-day franchise hasn't always been straight-forward or successful. His home console exploits have been showing positive trends, however, with Sonic...

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