Reviews - News

October2013

  • 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...

  • 103

    3DS

    Review Sonic Lost World

    Smaller screens, bigger problems

    Due to the disparity between technical capabilities, it's tough for a dual Wii U / 3DS release to hold up on the portable device that's captivated tens of millions of gamers. So let's just toss that comparison aside and acknowledge that much of the 3DS iteration of Sonic Lost World is following the same principles...

  • 28

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review GOLF

    Sub-par

    Before the hyper-realistic, face-deforming technology of modern Tiger Woods games was conceived in the deepest dreams of Electronic Arts (a company busy with Marble Madness at the time), there was Golf for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The game wears its no-nonsense attitude on its sleeve, focusing on simulating the time-honoured sport...

  • 22

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Tennis

    Net-net, a loss

    Tennis — the NES game, not the actual sport — hails from an age when the most rudimentary of virtual simulations could be entertaining and notable simply by existing, perhaps causing a passing family member to comment on how it looks just like the real thing. Although a genuine novelty in the 80s, this dull-as-toast recreation of...

  • 23

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Final Fight 3

    Third time lucky?

    Following the enjoyable-but-flawed SNES conversion of the original Final Fight and its disappointing sequel, Final Fight 3 can be viewed as Capcom's attempt to atone for its previous sins and give fans a domestic exclusive worthy of the name. Released relatively late in the lifespan of Nintendo 16-bit's console, this third entry is...

  • 9

    3DS eShop

    Review Halloween: Trick or Treat 2

    Another hidden-object game? Now that's scary!

    Halloween: Trick or Treat 2 (the sequel to the abysmal Halloween: Trick or Treat on DSiware) is a collection of games that mostly revolve around hidden-object searches, with a continuous focus on spooky settings and creepy themes; it features pre-rendered, quasi-blurry images loaded with junk, where you...

  • 19

    DSiWare

    Review Zombie Blaster

    A grave disappointment

    Throughout DSiWare's long and not always distinguished history, we've seen a lot of games come and go. From puzzlers to RPGs to interactive storybooks, we've spent the past several years wading through every single release, doing our best to separate the rare diamonds from the dirt. Zombie Blaster interested us simply because,...

  • 11

    DSiWare

    Review Tales to Enjoy! The Ugly Duckling

    A load of quack

    Another Tales to Enjoy game? Yep, we regret to inform you that it’s true. But this time it’s the most repulsive of all…The Ugly Duckling. If you haven’t been following along as of late, Tales to Enjoy is a series of games that uses the same exact interface and activities, but swaps out one fairly tale or fable for another...

  • 27

    Nintendo 64

    Review Densha de Go! 64

    Lost in "trainslation"

    The massive surge in the number of simulation games over the past few years has been nothing short of baffling. Years ago, Microsoft Flight Simulator was essentially the sole attraction in this specialist genre, but now it seems virtually anything can and should be turned into a simulation. Road Works Simulator, Farming...

  • 31

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Final Fight 2

    The Sophomore Slump

    The SNES port of the original Final Fight may have successfully translated the gameplay from arcade to home console, but it was missing some key elements: the third character Guy, an entire level and — most important of all — the vital two-player co-op mode. Capcom sought to rectify these shortcomings in the SNES-exclusive...

  • 40

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Final Fight

    Because the world needs more wrestling mayors

    Back in the late '80s and early '90s — when arcades were still the biggest draw for dedicated gamers — Capcom was the company to beat when it came to coin-op success. It produced a string of classics around this time, most of which saw conversions on the popular home consoles of the period. While...

  • 7

    DSiWare

    Review Astro

    Lost in space

    Just when you thought that the DSiWare service had nothing left to offer except some word puzzles and interactive children’s books, along comes Astro. It's quite clear that this is intended to pay homage to the Atari classic Asteroids in its design and gameplay, but it falls short of recapturing what continues to make the original a...

  • 14

    3DS eShop

    Review Family Bowling 3D

    Pins with kin

    If you were fortunate enough to grow up near a bowling alley, you might have fond memories of family outings full of comically unappealing shoes, embarrassing bowling stances from certain members of your clan, and slipping spectacularly on finely polished floors at least once. You probably didn't get to throw a twelve-pound ball at a...

  • 2

    3DS eShop

    Review Happy Circus

    When an Otter's happiness means a golden jacket

    It's easy for older gamers to be miserable cynics when edutainment games come around, lazily categorising them as shovelware and stating with unsubstantiated confidence that no one buys these downloads. Except, someone is buying them, as the range of these titles is slowly growing on the 3DS; more...

  • 6

    3DS eShop

    Review Mystery Murders: The Sleeping Palace

    Dead or just resting?

    You won't have to look long to find quite a few hidden-object games on the 3DS eShop, but the Mystery Murders series stands out by attempting to inject a little soul into the I-Spy formual. Equal parts PC-style adventure game and Where's Waldo whodunit, they frame the item-finding with simple puzzles and spooky stories. The...

  • 26

    3DS eShop

    Review Picross e3

    Fun and repetition Picross paths

    There’s a question you must ask yourself before proceeding: do you want to play Picross? There’s been ample time to give the pastime a try, what with all the previous games put out by Jupiter, and the next step in this journey is remarkably similar to the last one. Picross e3 is a finely crafted puzzle game worth...

  • 12

    3DS

    Review Around the World with Hello Kitty and Friends

    Bonjour, Kitty

    Hello Kitty first burst onto the scene in 1974 courtesy of Japanese company Sanrio, which designs and produces products solely aimed at the kawaii – meaning cute in Japanese – section of popular culture in the country. Since then, Hello Kitty has become one of the most recognised and successful brands in the world, appearing on...

  • 10

    Wii U

    Review Phineas and Ferb: Quest for Cool Stuff

    Not the best quest ever

    Have you ever read a book on parenting? Libraries full of instruction manuals exist on how to raise a child properly, ranging from topics such as bathing to teething to using the potty for the first time. Imagine, if you will, that there was a video game version of those books. A video game designed entirely to teach children...

  • 50

    3DS

    Review Myst

    Mystifyingly bad

    Porting games has always been common practice for most third-party companies. It goes without saying, but it makes good business sense for a game publisher to enable its software to reach as wide an audience as possible. And it's something that most of us don't have a problem with; if a company makes it easier for us to play its...

  • 167

    3DS

    Review Pokémon X & Y

    Evolution or revolution?

    Do you remember that first time you rushed home with the latest copy of Pokémon, gleefully slotting it into your handheld and dreaming of becoming the next Pokémon Master? Everything was new, fresh and exciting. Every time that pixelated grass flickered and you encountered another never-seen-before monster you held your...

  • 8

    3DS eShop

    Review Family Table Tennis 3D

    Family, friendly - fun?

    After developing something of an unenviable reputation on WiiWare, Arc System Works' Family series of sports games has been reborn as a dependably decent option on the 3DS' eShop. Following on from Family Tennis 3D and Family Kart 3D, Family Table Tennis 3D is the latest in the line, and while it isn't quite up to the...

  • 29

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Milon's Secret Castle

    A secret best kept hidden

    Hudson had many classics in its NES library - Adventure Island, Faxanadu and Bomberman are just a few of the great titles it gave us all back then. Milon's Secret Castle probably shouldn't be counted among those. As the title might reveal, you play as Milon, who has to make his way through a castle filled to the brim with...

  • 24

    3DS eShop

    Review AiRace Speed

    Have you the need?

    AiRace Tunnel was a neat little arcade flight obstacle course on DSiWare that felt as if it was a bonus mode ripped out of a larger racing game. A few months later, QubicGames dropped AiRace onto the service, which was that larger game, filled with actual race courses against opponents other than time. That same trajectory...

September2013

  • 6

    DSiWare

    Review Tales to Enjoy! Three Little Pigs

    A case of swine flu

    If you’ve been hanging around the site during the past two weeks, chances are you’ve at least stumbled onto one Tales to Enjoy review. These games are compilations of activities targeted at kids who are just learning how to read, write, and develop basic problem solving skills. Each one uses an identical interface, but...

  • 5

    DSiWare

    Review Letter Challenge

    Missing the mark

    There isn’t really an interesting or unique way to introduce Letter Challenge, but that might be the point. There are plenty of word-based puzzle games available in the world, and so many of them already exist in one form or another on the Nintendo eShop, but that wasn’t enough to stop Enjoy Gaming from throwing another one...

  • Hardware Review Nintendo 2DS

    We spend some time with the newest member of the 3DS family

    When the 3DS first launched and showed the world exactly how incredible glasses-free 3D gaming could be, it was quickly dismissed by many as a gimmick and a dying fad. Now, almost three years and 30 million shipped units later, the 3DS is one of the strongest consoles on the market, and...

  • 30

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Gradius

    Just keeps shooting

    To say that the original Gradius was influential on the evolution of the side-scrolling shoot 'em up would be a gross understatement. When it hit arcades in 1985 it was lauded for its amazing level designs and simple, yet wildly playable, power-up system. This NES release was one of the first home ports of the game and has become...

  • 11

    3DS eShop

    Review Secrets of the Titanic 1912-2012

    A boatload of dull

    2012 marked the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, a maritime disaster that saw around 1500 people lose their lives. People sadly die as a result of tragic accidents every day, but the reason why the Titanic has such a poignant legacy is perhaps because it was the result of human arrogance — not to mention...

  • 48

    3DS eShop

    Review Rage Of The Gladiator

    Are you not entertained?

    The original WiiWare version of Rage of the Gladiator was a triumph in more ways than one; not only was it a hugely playable take on the classic Punch Out!! formula but it also managed to bring a considerable sense of gravitas to Wii's downloadable game service — a gravitas which was sorely lacking due to Nintendo's...

  • 61

    3DS

    Review Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl

    Don't call it a comeback

    When Etrian Odyssey arrived on the DS in 2007, it was something of a revelation. A dungeon-crawler that traded in dusty catacombs for organic, open-air environments and prized cartography and character customization over narrative, it combined the best of pen-and-paper RPGs with Nintendo's new touch-screen hardware to create...

  • 9

    DSiWare

    Review Tales to Enjoy! Puss In Boots

    Give it the boot

    Tales to Enjoy! Puss in Boots is a compilation of activities and games geared towards the youngest audience, ages 3-6 years old. If you’ve taken notice of our review for Tales to Enjoy! Little Red Riding Hood, then you should know exactly what to expect here – exactly. The activities and interface are identical, but the...

  • 49

    3DS eShop

    Review Star Wars Pinball

    Hard to see, the dual screen is

    The Wii U version of Star Wars Pinball activated the hyperdrive of success and shot off into the stars, promising many more adventures to come — the table designs were impressive and fantastic production values sealed the deal. Unfortunately, downloading the same title onto your 3DS results in a poor compromise,...

  • 42

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Breath of Fire II

    Understandably lacking in freshness

    The Super NES was home to what are still considered by many to be a some of the finest RPG experiences ever produced. It's a predictable lineup of big names, and Breath of Fire II doesn't often get a mention. If it was overshadowed in the past it perhaps has an early opportunity to earn new fans on the young Wii U...

  • 17

    DSiWare

    Review Tales to Enjoy! Little Red Riding Hood

    You should probably stay out of the woods.

    Tales to Enjoy! Little Red Riding Hood is a collection of activities and games designed to be accessible to young children, ages 3-6 year old. With eight modes in all – which consist of puzzles, games of memory, a digital colouring book, and of course a re-telling of the classic fairy tale – there’s...

  • 22

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Tecmo Bowl

    Watch that 3DS hinge on the snap

    Before video game football became just as complex as real-life football, there was Tecmo Bowl. There weren't hundreds of plays with varying formations or special spin moves to worry about, in fact you didn't actually have to know much about the game of football to enjoy and play it. It was this simplicity that made...

  • 187

    Wii U

    Review The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD

    Putting the wind back into the sails of The Legend of Zelda

    From the moment Nintendo first announced The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD for Wii U, it has consistently reminded us that the project is about more than just bringing HD graphics to a classic game. In fact, this remake arguably serves a much greater purpose than any Legend of Zelda...

  • 29

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Pinball: Revenge of the 'Gator

    A snappy pinball title

    HAL's Pinball: Revenge of the 'Gator is a game which really needs to be approached with context in mind; back when it launched in 1990, real pinball games were still popular in arcades and digital representations were only just starting to offer the same level of enjoyment. Naxat's seminal Crush series — which includes Alien...

  • 91

    Wii U

    Review Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist

    Silent but deadly

    American espionage author Tom Clancy may have his name plastered all over the box, but he hasn’t written a single Splinter Cell book. The series is wholly a Ubisoft creation, allowing the publisher free reign over the franchise’s creative direction to best suit whatever purpose it would like. Creative license is exactly what...

  • 35

    Wii U eShop

    Review TNT Racers - Nitro Machines Edition

    An explosive racer with a twist

    TNT Racers: Nitro Machines Edition may feature vehicles, courses and chequered flags, but it’s not your typical racing game. Instead of getting to the finish line first, this one is all about getting to the finish line full stop, as you focus on pummelling your opponents out of the race while staying alive yourself...

  • 70

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

    Zelda II, have you any tough dungeons? Yes sir, yes sir...

    Back in the early days of several franchises the second game in a series tended to be radically different from the first, as developers had not quite pinned down what they wanted the series to become — take a look at Castlevania II or the western Super Mario Bros. 2, for example. Zelda II:...

  • 56

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Super Mario Bros.

    Forever running to the right

    Mario. Say it loud and there's music playing. Say it soft, and it's almost like praying. Super Mario Bros. was, is, and will always be one of gaming's great masterpieces, and its availability on any additional format is a good thing. It's come to the Wii and 3DS Virtual Consoles before, and now jumps onto the Wii U...

  • 9

    3DS eShop

    Review Mahjong 3D - Essentials

    Mahjong 3D Lite

    A while ago, TREVA released Mahjong 3D: Warriors of the Emperor on the eShop, which surprisingly wasn't "just another" Mahjong game but, instead, a rather unique and fun take on the genre, featuring characters and a campaign mode. As is frequently the case with Mahjong games, the title might be a bit misleading — this is not the...

  • 15

    3DS eShop

    Review Darts Up 3D

    Throwaway or bullseye?

    EnjoyUp Games' latest eShop release moves the party into the pub with Darts Up 3D, a motion-controlled iteration of the classic tavern target-toss game. While not a deep or polished experience, it's a fun little game that will appeal to fans of darts and simple multiplayer games in equal measure. There are three modes to...

  • Talking Point Considering the Methods and Means of Game Reviews

    Andy Robertson suggests evolution, Tom Whitehead simply seeks standards

    In this special Talking Point feature, we consider a question fundamental to one of the core aspects of Nintendo Life — game reviews. They're often a source of huge interest around the web on hundreds of websites, and also the potential cause of controversies that are, at...

  • 23

    DSiWare

    Review Jewel Adventures

    Woo-hoo, glitchy woman

    Jewel Adventures is a puzzle game that’s partially familiar due to its match three gameplay, but freshened up by a few extra layers of depth. A sense of story, enemy battles, world (re)building and various gameplay goals are the glue that gives this puzzler a bit more substance than most like it. Much of it is only fluff –...

  • 43

    Wii U eShop

    Review Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara

    Worth the wait?

    After several delays and well publicised development issues, Capcom's Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara has finally launched on Wii U; while it’s not without issues, the wait was worth it. Developed by Iron Galaxy Games, Chronicles of Mystara is a HD remastering of Capcom’s arcade brawlers Dungeons & Dragons:...

  • 45

    Wii U

    Review Angry Birds Trilogy

    An angry trio

    What can possibly be said about Angry Birds that hasn’t been said a million times already? A game that started out as a humble iPhone app just four years ago has now permeated our culture in a huge way. There are multiple sequels to the original game, toys, books, an animated television series, and it’s nearly impossible to walk...

  • 21

    Wii U eShop

    Review Spot the Differences: Party!

    Spot a different party

    Spot the Differences: Party! will hand you photo after photo, politely asking you to identify the inconsistencies between their lookalikes until you either pass out from unrelenting boredom or stare at each and every one of the 300+ pictures on display. Go it alone or rope a friend or three into the monotony, but unless...

  • 37

    Super Nintendo

    Review J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings - Volume I

    Middle Earth is doomed

    Before Peter Jackson came along and turned The Lord of the Rings into one of the most popular cinematic experiences of all time, the video game licence to J.R.R. Tolkien's literary epic was held by the now-defunct Interplay. The company pumped out related games for the Commodore Amiga computer and PC CD-ROM — the latter of...

  • 38

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers

    Work in progress or fighting masterpiece?

    Street Fighter II hit arcades in 1991 but amazingly, by the time 1993 rolled around, players had already experienced three upgrades to the core game: Street Fighter II': Champion Edition, Street Fighter II' Turbo: Hyper Fighting and Super Stree

  • 62

    Wii U

    Review Disney Infinity

    Infinite possibilities, infinite potential

    The first impression that some on the periphery have of Disney Infinity is that it can easily be written off as a direct copy of the Skylanders blueprint. In truth, what we have here is an action-adventure game that uses real-world figures and implements them in the video game as playable characters, which...

  • 59

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Street Fighter II' Turbo: Hyper Fighting

    The need for speed

    Although many will accuse Capcom of flogging the Street Fighter license within an inch of its life, the company wasn't solely to blame for the production line of incremental updates which appeared after the release of the original Street Fighter II. Unscrupulous arcade owners would "hack" arcade boards to increase the speed of the...

August2013

  • Review Disney Infinity Figurines

    Beyond Infinity, into your home

    To fully grasp the concept behind Disney Infinity, it’s important to understand that the whole game uses a meta concept in which things in-game also must exist in real life. Without delving too deep into theories or abstractions, the simplest way to put it is by saying that everything is a toy. Whether it’s the...

  • 26

    3DS eShop

    Review Fish On 3D

    Bass On, Bass Off

    The 3DS is no stranger to fishing games, and neither is Agetec — having made a few bass-heavy titles for the Playstation and Playstation 2 — but Fish On 3D marks the first time the Rabi Laby publisher has cast its line into the pool of eShop anglers. It's an all-bass, arcade-style tournament fishing game, with some solid if...

  • 53

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review The Legend of Zelda

    A Link from the past

    When The Legend of Zelda was released in 1986, it was at least as much an eye-opening experience for gamers as Super Mario Bros. had been. Whereas that game expanded and solidified the left-to-right nature of platformers for generations to come, The Legend of Zelda opened sprawling worlds before us, and allowed us to go wherever...

  • 45

    Wii U eShop

    Review Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams

    A real dream game

    When The Great Giana Sisters was released way back in 1987, it quickly became notorious for its remarkable similarities to Super Mario Bros. So much so, in fact, that it attracted the legal attention of Nintendo and was swiftly withdrawn from sale. The franchise later re-emerged in the form of a DS sequel in 2009 and while it...

  • 48

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Street Fighter II: The World Warrior

    The original, but sadly not the best

    Street Fighter II: The World Warrior was nothing short of a phenomenon. If you're old enough to remember when the game hit the Super Nintendo two decades ago then you may recall it as all you ever thought of or spoke about for weeks on end. The gaming world seemed to gravitate around Capcom's seminal one-on-one...

  • 17

    3DS eShop / 3DS

    Review Deer Drive Legends

    Bang bang, he shot the Doe, bang bang...

    When the 3DS was launched, it's perhaps unsurprising that a few developers decided it'd be the perfect platform for what would previously be considered "light gun" games. There's no gun with the portable, of course, but the stylus has been proven again and again as a more than useful alternative, affording...

  • 22

    3DS eShop

    Review Cut The Rope

    Will it rope you in?

    Cut the Rope has been a staggering success for Russian development studio ZeptoLab. Originally released on iOS back in 2010, the title has been downloaded over 100 million times and has spawned two popular sequels. With such impressive accolades tucked underneath its belt, it's not hard to understand why the franchise continues...

  • 17

    3DS eShop

    Review Funfair Party Games

    No Fair

    Taking classic arcade and carnival redemption games as its inspiration, Funfair Party Games combines two things 3DS owners are quite familiar with by now: a collection of mini-games and well-meaning but flawed motion controls. With eleven games of varying quality and some surprisingly solid multiplayer features, the result is a mixed bag -...

  • 26

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos

    Go Ninja, Go Ninja GO!

    Chances are that even if you don’t know much about Ninja Gaiden, you’re at the very least aware that it’s a series synonymous with high difficulty. When the original hit the NES back in 1989, we have to imagine it lead to the demise of many controllers – we vividly recall rage-quitting on at least an occasion or two...

  • 180

    Wii U

    Review Rayman Legends

    Worth waiting for

    The original release of Rayman Legends was supposed to be in rather different circumstances. What was once a launch window exclusive at the top of various wishlists is now a multi-platform arrival in a busy game season. While that's a pity, this is still the same project that was so eagerly anticipated in 2012, and it delivers on...

  • 72

    Nintendo 64

    Review Jet Force Gemini

    A Rare gem?

    The Nintendo 64 and Rare go together like Banjo and Kazooie. The developer was behind several of the stellar titles found on the system, many of which were some of the most original games in history. One of the most unique titles released by the UK-based developer was the 3D action-shooter Jet Force Gemini, which launched in 1999. While...

  • 9

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Romance of the Three Kingdoms IV

    Depth incarnate

    If there's one thing that you could pretty much be assured of when it came to a Koei game back in the day, it was getting a lot of depth to your gameplay experience. Not only were you generally treated to a very high production value visual experience, but the attention to detail and historical accuracy was always of high quality...

  • 7

    3DS eShop

    Review Jewel Quest 4 Heritage

    Attack of the clones

    The Jewel Quest series is fast becoming something of a recurring negative on Nintendo's handheld systems. Ignoring the fact that each entry has been generically dull, the alarming rate at which each new instalment is being released is certainly a cause for concern. Forget Call of Duty and Assassin's Creed with their yearly...

  • 11

    3DS eShop

    Review Heavy Fire: Black Arms 3D

    War is garbage

    If there’s one distinguishing feature that makes Teyon’s Heavy Fire series stand out from video gaming’s crowd of military shooters, it’s that it has no distinguishing features. Like, zero. It has features, sure, but nary an original idea nor even a whiff of one. Heavy Fire: Black Arms 3D continues the series’ tradition of...

  • 12

    3DS eShop

    Review Wakedas

    Easy to learn, difficult to pronounce

    What if the Rubik’s Cube only had one side? It seems this question has kept the ironically named developers at CIRCLE Entertainment up all night, and those sleepless hours have resulted in a quality puzzle game that relaxes and taxes simultaneously. Wakedas is a straightforward affair that slowly ramps up the...

  • 27

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Star Soldier

    I got soul, but I'm not the best Star Soldier

    We may as well stop playing games en masse right now, because we all suck. That may sound harsh, but this 3DS eShop release of Hudson Soft’s vertically scrolling NES shoot-em-‘up will either make or break you. Unfortunately, if you play Star Soldier on the smaller screen of an original 3DS, the tiny...

  • 181

    Wii U

    Review The Wonderful 101

    Chaos and colour multiplied by 101

    Playing The Wonderful 101 for the first time on "normal" difficulty is a stressful, headache-inducing experience that, nevertheless, delivers a genuine thrill. This isn't a game that feels as if it's gone through hundreds of concept and development meetings, nor through a corporate machine of focus testing, but...

  • 35

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Donkey Kong

    It's on like Donkey Kong

    This year marked the 30th anniversary of the initial Japanese launch of the Nintendo Family Computer, more popularly known around the world as the Famicom. Among the landmark console’s launch titles was Donkey Kong, a port of the arcade hit that began Nintendo’s launch into video game history. Now, in the year of the...

  • 54

    Nintendo 64

    Review Turok 2: Seeds of Evil

    Oblivion is at hand

    Acclaim Entertainment must have always had a good feeling about Turok: Dinosaur Hunter. Before the game was even released in 1997, the company announced that it was already working on a sequel. In hindsight of course, it’s easy to see why Turok: Dinosaur Hunter was such a massive success; it released at an ideal time in the...

  • 28

    3DS eShop

    Review Family Kart 3D

    A familiar feeling

    Fresh off the court from the surprisingly fun Family Tennis 3D, the world's most competitive family returns to the 3DS eShop to hit the racetrack in Family Kart 3D. Developed by Arc System Works - yes, they of Guilty Gear and BlazBlue fame - this is a simple, straightforward kart racer that fails to stand out from the crowd, but...

  • 13

    Wii U

    Review Turbo: Super Stunt Squad

    Slow and steadier

    D3Publisher's Turbo: Super Stunt Squad for Wii U is the HD cousin of the poorly received 3DS racer of the same name. Expectations were kept low for the title, due to the handheld edition's lacklustre visuals, infuriatingly imprecise controls and lack of any actual "stunts." But Turbo: Super Stunt Squad for Wii U is a pleasant...

  • 36

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Galaga

    That man is playing Galaga!

    Galaga is old. It may well state 1988 on Galaga’s NES title screen, but that refers to its European and US release date, the Japanese Famicom conversion was released early in 1985 and they are all based on a port of Namco’s 1981 coin-op. This means that with any Wii U Virtual Console purchase you must consider if you...

  • 51

    Wii U eShop

    Review Pokémon Rumble U

    Wind me up

    Nintendo has never been afraid to spin one of its biggest money makers, Pokémon, off into various weird and wonderful directions in between the mainline RPGs that are the franchise's bread and Butterfree. There have been puzzle games, the delightful safari of Pokémon Snap and, perhaps strangest of all, a crossover with Nobunaga's...

  • 101

    Wii U eShop

    Review DuckTales: Remastered

    Tales of derring-do

    It’s difficult to determine exactly who video game remakes are geared towards. On one hand you have generations worth of gamers who played the original and would love to experience it again on a modern console with updated graphics. It’s possible, however, that these people are no longer playing video games or don’t own...

  • 23

    Wii U eShop

    Review Spin the Bottle: Bumpie's Party

    You spin me right 'round baby, right 'round

    If there’s one unique selling point that the Wii U truly has over other systems, it’s the potential that it has for local multiplayer. Up until now, asymmetric multiplayer has been a pretty big deal to Nintendo, with the GamePad being the key to unlocking these new kinds of gameplay experiences...

  • 13

    3DS eShop

    Review Tangram Style

    Lots of tangram, not much style

    The game of tangram has made the long journey from ancient China to your 21st century 3DS, and despite roughly one thousand years of technological improvement it’s still pretty much the same thing. Seven pieces of varying sizes and shapes must be crammed into a crude silhouette that may resemble a bird, a sailboat,...

  • 46

    Wii U eShop

    Review Art Academy: SketchPad

    A masterpiece or sketchy at best?

    One of the most fascinating things about Miiverse is how Nintendo is paying such close attention to it. Not just in the sense that it is regularly updating it, but rather the company is actually listening to what its consumers are saying on the platform. It's remarkably unusual for a company that until now had been...

  • 68

    3DS eShop

    Review SteamWorld Dig

    A gem to discover

    At its best, the 3DS eShop is host to titles with a simple, well-formed idea that's executed with care and skill. SteamWorld Dig, the second in the SteamWorld franchise from developer Image & Form, fits into that mould, incorporating puzzle platforming mechanics within a continuous process of digging and resource management...

  • 24

    3DS eShop

    Review Smash Bowling 3D

    Bumpier bowling

    Smash Bowling 3D, the latest from Big Bass Arcade developer Big John Games, feels like a proof-of-concept for a potentially great bowling game. While the bowling simulation is fun while it lasts, the bare bones presentation and lack of variety in game modes ultimately bring down the experience. Big John Games has touted Smash Bowling...

  • 18

    DS

    Review Smurfs 2

    To Smurf, or not to Smurf?

    Recently we got a little down and smurfy with our review of The Smurfs 2 for the Wii U, and now, we’ve set our focus on the DS version which offers a completely different gameplay experience, despite sharing the same title. Where the former offered up uneventful platforming that should only appeal to novice players or...

  • 34

    3DS eShop

    Review 10-in-1: Arcade Collection

    Is it worth your hard-earned quarters?

    Retro enthusiasts may be disappointed to learn that 10-in-1 Arcade Collection doesn't actually include any arcade greats of yesteryear. Luck would have it that Atari — despite decades of financial turmoil and even bankruptcy — still holds the rights to most of its impressive back catalogue. It's a similar...

  • 37

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Street Gangs

    BARF!

    River City Ransom — or Street Gangs as it was known upon release in Europe — is arguably one of the most famous fighting titles for Nintendo's 8-bit NES console. Ported from the Japanese Famicom title Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari, the game combined the pugilistic focus of Double Dragon (which was created by the same company, Technōs...

  • 17

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Harvest Moon

    Barnstorming

    Early wake ups, extensive hours, back-breaking labour and ever-vulnerable to unpredictable weather patterns – farming doesn't sound like the most tantalising profession on paper. Way back when, however, developer Natsume clearly caught a glimpse of the positive aspects of the job and was inspired to create one of gaming's most beloved...

  • 35

    3DS eShop

    Review Bike Rider DX

    Smooth Ride

    Bike Rider DX doesn't have much in the way of exposition. It looks like a simple game, and it is: players guide a constantly-advancing cyclist through different stages, using a single button to jump over obstacles, pitfalls, and enemies on the way to the goal. This certainly isn't a new idea, but it wraps it up in a polished package...

  • 50

    Wii U

    Review Disney's Planes

    Plane sailing or just plane bad?

    Disney's Planes — the movie, not the game — was originally intended to be a straight-to-DVD spin-off of the popular Cars franchise helmed by DisneyToon Studios instead of Pixar. Presumably Disney's executives looked at the release schedule for 2013 and decided it was looking a bit barren, because the movie was...

  • 46

    Wii U eShop

    Review Cloudberry Kingdom

    Maddeningly brilliant

    Cloudberry Kingdom has never left anyone in doubt — it wants to test and infuriate gamers. Yes, there are easier options and levels, but its trump card is filling a screen with what looks like an impassable range of obstacles and then teasing the gamer with the hint of a possibility that it can be beaten. It's a cruel,...

  • 35

    3DS

    Review Turbo: Super Stunt Squad

    A snail's pace

    Based on the movie from DreamWorks Animation about a garden snail who longs to become the fastest racer in the world, Turbo: Super Stunt Squad for 3DS is yet another licensed title that suffers from a lack of working controls, solid visuals and compelling gameplay. While D3Publisher and developer Torus Games have the right idea —...

  • 84

    Nintendo 64

    Review Turok: Dinosaur Hunter

    A game worthy of acclaim?

    Turok: Dinosaur Hunter was a wise and lucky move for publisher Acclaim Entertainment. In the late '90s, the company was struggling financially and drastically needed to change its fortunes. Making good on its purchases of Valiant Comics in 1994 and development studio Iguana Entertainment in 1995, Acclaim used the rights it...

  • 23

    3DS eShop

    Review Chain Blaster

    Blastin’ makes me feel good

    It’s been just over a month since G.Rev’s Kokuga hit the 3DS eShop, and now we’re already being treated to another shoot ‘em up with the release of G-Style’s Chain Blaster. Though shoot ‘em ups have been few and far between since the home console took over the industry and put countless arcades out of...

  • 71

    Wii U

    Review The Smurfs 2

    La la la-la-la lame

    With Papa Smurf and the rest of the Smurf clan making their way back to theaters this summer in The Smurfs 2, it’s no surprise that a video game of the same name is arriving alongside its movie counterpart. Generally, expectations are low for such licensed fare, but when we heard that the good people at WayForward were behind...

July2013

  • 13

    DSiWare

    Review Cute Witch! Runner

    Magical Nights

    With last year's Dress to Play: Cute Witches!, developer Coder Child channeled both Cotton and cosplay into a unique mix of dress-up and side-scrolling flight, a solid concept that we felt was let down by poor execution on the fashion side of the equation. We found plenty to like about the airborne action, however, and that's the main...

  • 25

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Kid Icarus

    A demonic angel

    The popularity of Pit, even before his triumphant return in Kid Icarus: Uprising, was focused around nostalgia for his first two appearances on NES and Game Boy, with the home console original setting the tone with catchy music, quirky mythological enemies and lashings of creativity. This was impressive in the days of the early 8-bit...

  • 31

    3DS eShop

    Review Undead Bowling

    Bowl or be killed

    Undead Bowling isn’t the typical ten frames of bowling that you’re used to. There are no spares or strikes, no gutters or pins, and no fungus-laden shoes or hairstyles leftover from the '70s – but you do knock things down with a bowling ball…a bowling ball of doom, that is. And actually, “knock” isn’t an appropriate...

  • 42

    3DS eShop / GBC

    Review Shantae

    Whip ya hair

    Just over 11 years since its original release in 2002, Shantae has finally made it onto the 3DS Virtual Console – and it's the first time that it's been available in Europe too. Despite the long wait, WayForward's tricky 2D platformer is sprinkled with enough genie-magic to keep it fresh and interesting for a modern audience. Shantae...

  • 19

    DSiWare

    Review Fashion Tycoon

    Fashion disaster

    If there's one thing that Fashion Tycoon truly achieves, it's the way in which it makes you appreciate just how hard retail workers have it at times. Much like in real life, demanding customers, stock shortages and a lack of staff are just some of the problems you find yourself up against in this game — it's a nightmarish...

  • 6

    3DS eShop

    Review Robot Rescue 3D

    Are these the droids you're looking for?

    After two games on the DSiWare service, Teyon's Robot Rescue series, famous for fiendishly difficult maze puzzles and a unique synchronized movement mechanic, has made the jump to the 3DS eShop with this latest instalment, Robot Rescue 3D. Rather than an entirely new entry in the series, Robot Rescue 3D is a...

  • 135

    Wii U

    Review Pikmin 3

    Should you Pik(min) this up?

    Nine years. That's how long it has been since a new Pikmin game has graced a Nintendo system. With the exception of two motion control-enhanced re-releases which proved how suited the franchise was to the Wii, a new entry in the series was conspicuously absent from the system's line-up. Nevertheless, Pikmin 3 is finally...

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