Reviews - News

February2014

  • 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...

  • 377

    Wii U

    Review Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

    Ain't no business like monkey business

    It says much for the level of expectation placed upon Nintendo and Retro Studios that some questioned the decision to revisit the world of Donkey Kong for Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, yet that initial reaction should be pushed aside. Anyone that discounts this title due to the fact it’s not the exact...

  • 18

    Wii U eShop

    Review My Farm

    Bad harvest

    The idea of packing up, escaping the crowded, polluted confines of the city and setting up a farm out in the sticks is something that has often been romanticised in various media. The thought of kicking back and raising some chickens in the peace and quiet of the countryside sounds nothing short of blissful to some people. The reality,...

  • 23

    3DS

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

    Size doesn't matter

    D3Publisher, Cartoon Network and WayForward were definitely onto something in 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 side-scrolling...

  • 57

    Wii U

    Review The LEGO Movie Videogame

    Almost everything is awesome

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock or have been otherwise indisposed from newspapers, radio, television, the Internet, or any of the other countless forms of communicative devices that the news media uses to infiltrate our lives in 2014, you’re probably well aware that a new movie based on your favourite...

  • 23

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Ninja Gaiden

    Original Gaiden

    With a hit-list of sequels and spin-offs spanning more than two decades and its latest iteration — Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge — even slicing out a spot in the Wii U's launch lineup, Ninja Gaiden's reputation precedes it. An East-meets-West action platformer with an Japanese aesthetic and an American action-hero heart, this is...

  • 8

    3DS eShop

    Review Touch Battle Tank 3D 2

    Two of the same

    Ideally, a video game sequel should feature everything that worked about the first game and expand and improve upon it so that the the new entry doesn't feel like an expansion pack. Unfortunately, there was very little that worked about Agetec's Touch Battle Tank 3D, and Touch Battle Tank 3D 2 is basically more of the same. With the...

  • 6

    3DS eShop

    Review Castle Clout 3D

    Regal rebellion

    Long before the modern age of mobile gaming and pocket-handy computers that we refer to as "smartphones," poor, lowly players would flock to the Internet in order to get their cheap gaming fix. In this era that time has forgotten, those seeking digital entertainment would subject themselves to monstrosities known as "Flash games,"...

  • 15

    3DS

    Review Inazuma Eleven 3: Team Ogre Attacks

    Extra time

    We're no strangers to dual releases in the Inazuma Eleven series, as it apes the money-spinning convention best seen in the Pokémon franchise; yet Inazuma Eleven 3: Team Ogre Attacks adds a third variation at a later release date. For fans of Inazuma Eleven 3 in either of its first two forms this is potentially more of a rather good...

  • 29

    Wii U eShop

    Review Percy's Predicament

    Keep rollin' rollin' rollin' rollin'

    Games like Marble Madness and the Super Monkey Ball series have had their share of devoted followers throughout the years, but they exist in a genre that isn’t exactly bursting at the seams with new entries. To those unfamiliar, these are games where the player controls a ball through a series of narrow...

  • 13

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Mighty Bomb Jack

    Pyramid schemes

    Bomb Jack, released in 1984, was one of Tecmo's early hits, a single-screen arcade game that had players rushing to diffuse bright red bombs planted at major tourist attractions around the globe. By the time its sequel rolled around in 1987, the Super Mario Bros.-induced side-scrolling craze had taken hold of the gaming world, and...

  • 53

    3DS eShop

    Review Retro City Rampage: DX

    A Blast From the Recent Past

    About one year ago, Vblank Entertainment released Retro City Rampage on WiiWare. While it had also been released in other forms, it served as a notable last breath for Nintendo's first serious digital marketplace. It was a solid game that we enjoyed with some reservations, but the developers made no secret about the...

  • 21

    3DS eShop

    Review ARC STYLE: Solitaire

    Forever alone

    If you've ever had a) a computer, b) a deck of cards, or c) a grandmother, then the odds are good that you've had some exposure to Solitaire. At a relatively low-price point, ARC STYLE: Solitaire aims to bring that hot solo card-arranging action to the 3DS eShop. We would have thought that such a simple game in combination with a touch...

  • 41

    Wii U

    Review Barbie Dreamhouse Party

    Problems with plasticity

    It's easy to dismiss licensed games like Barbie Dreamhouse Party as cheap cash-ins on popular franchises because, in all honesty, that's usually what they are. Creating a video game based on a classic line of dolls may seem like a step in the right direction towards our increasingly digital future, but it comes with the...

January2014

  • 49

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels

    Super Masochist Bros.

    Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels is the famously difficult, Japan-only sequel to the titular plumber's breakout NES hit, expanding on the original formula with deviously challenging level design and obstacles. Western audiences were instead given the comparatively easy 'Super Mario USA' (a re-skinned translation of Nintendo's...

  • 28

    3DS

    Review LEGO Friends

    No friend of mine

    Warner Bros. Interactive and Hellbent Games' LEGO Friends is a bad game. There's no nicer way of putting it. A squandered opportunity to make another gaming hit out of a popular LEGO property, LEGO Friends feels like a cynical cash-in designed to provide young gamers with a few minutes of mindless diversion before they request the...

  • 45

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Mario Bros.

    Subpar Mario

    Mario and Luigi’s adventures have been nothing short of fantastical over the years, to the point where you could be forgiven for questioning their occupations as plumbers. But despite the brothers’ incredibly varied employment history as doctors, sportsmen and racing drivers — in which they’ve rarely called upon their supposed...

  • 22

    3DS eShop

    Review Brilliant Hamsters!

    Not quite brilliant

    Nintendo revived the pet simulation genre with its hit Nintendogs series, and since then there have been plenty of other pet sims hoping to catch the animal-loving gamers' hearts. Bergsala Lightweight's eShop title Brilliant Hamsters! is a competently crafted pet simulator that simply doesn't present enough variety to sustain...

  • 35

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Castlevania II: Simon's Quest

    What a horrible night to play this game

    Sequels of the present day are almost an inevitability; a safe way for a developer to earn some extra revenue by expanding their previous game, slightly tweaking gameplay nuances and throwing in additional levels and enemies. However, in the late '80s, things were different – sequels could vary wildly from...

  • 46

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Castlevania II: Simon's Quest

    Should've put a stake in it

    With 1987's Castlevania on the NES, Konami created a classic. The vampire hunting action game was a whip-roaring success, kicking off one of gaming's most iconic series and introducing a generation of gamers to the adventures of Simon Belmont, the joy of whip-based combat, and the explosive properties of holy water. The...

  • 38

    Wii U eShop

    Review F1 Race Stars: Powered Up Edition

    This Formula isn't quite the One

    The kart racing genre has never been particularly short of options. While Nintendo may have created the most enduring franchise in the form of Mario Kart, others such as Sony and Sega have produced high-profile efforts, with Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed being a recent and excellent example. The fantasy of...

  • 70

    3DS eShop

    Review Chibi-Robo! Photo Finder

    Photogenic or photobombed?

    Explaining the attraction of the Chibi-Robo series to the uninitiated isn't the easiest task. While the idea of a helpful little robot may be charming enough, it's the activities he takes part in — which, on the surface, might sound like little more than virtual chores — that are sure to scare away many a gamer. What...

  • 10

    Wii U eShop / Wii U

    Review Cocoto Magic Circus 2

    Look ma', I shot that lizard!

    Nintendo, the pillar of family friendly gaming, once made a good amount of money by selling kids plastic guns. OK, it was a Zapper, but the point stands; we may bemoan some mature, modern shooters for the violence they promote, but more fantastical and cuddly violence has always been part of the gaming landscape. Cocoto...

  • 18

    Wii U

    Review Hot Wheels: World's Best Driver

    Lead it Away

    It’s wonderful to think about the toys of our childhood and how they’re being brought back to life as video games. Through gaming, new generations of youngsters can enjoy the same things that older gamers did in their youth, but in a completely different way. It’s safe to assume that many of you reading this grew up building with...

  • 70

    Wii U eShop

    Review Unepic

    Not ungood

    So you know how it goes: you’re playing a tabletop RPG with your friends. They poke fun at you because you, the Modern Gamer, want to try something that tends to work on a screen but doesn’t jive with the “realism” of high fantasy. Whatever. You excuse yourself to 'observe nature', but the lights go out and suddenly you’re not...

  • 34

    3DS

    Review Disney Frozen: Olaf's Quest

    A short and chilling quest

    Those of you that are keen movie buffs will know that Frozen is Disney's latest animated motion picture, and — judging from the enthusiastic critical and commercial reaction — it's fair to say that it has gone down a treat with adults and children alike. Full of lovable characters and boasting a good soundtrack (like...

  • 22

    Wii U

    Review Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure

    Well-written heroes

    There’s an oddly profound moment at the beginning of Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure in which Batman tells Maxwell, the series protagonist, that “no one respects a hero who takes the easy way out.” That one line, though innocuous as it may be, actually sets the tone for the rest of the game. It’s a reminder...

  • 58

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Super Mario Bros. 3

    Pixel-perfect platforming

    Many old-school Nintendo titles are remembered fondly and adored by nostalgic fans; The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Kirby’s Adventure and more still receive heaps of praise and see frequent re-releases to this day. Few games, however, received the unanimous commendations lavished upon Super Mario Bros. 3 on its release, an...

  • 42

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Double Dragon

    Dragon us down

    From the moment protagonist Billy Lee’s sweetheart is sucker-punched in the opening sequence, Double Dragon establishes itself as an action-packed, thrilling battle through hordes of enemy combatants in an attempt to reclaim the captured damsel. As soon as gameplay begins, however, this façade is quickly stripped away to reveal an...

  • 45

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Life Force

    A force to be reckoned with

    The space shooter is a genre that has somewhat faded into obscurity in recent years, both due to advances in technology rendering their limited scope obsolete and their typically gruelling difficulty proving unpalatable to some gamers. The NES port of Life Force, (or Salamander, as it was originally known on Eastern...

  • 13

    Wii U

    Review Zumba Fitness: World Party

    Around the world in 80 calories

    A modern take on Sweatin' to the Oldies with party-people style, the dance-fitness sensation known as Zumba has become incredibly popular over the last decade, and been perfectly positioned to take advantage of the video-game fitness craze started with Wii Fit. Now, after three successful outings on the Wii, Majesco's...

  • 38

    Wii U eShop

    Review CastleStorm

    Always in another castle

    Zen Studios, known mostly for its pinball titles, has created a promising new IP in CastleStorm, a tower defence / real-time strategy game with easy-to-learn, difficult-to-master gameplay and a tongue-in-cheek story filled with humour and personality. Playing a bit like a hybrid of Swords & Soldiers and Angry Birds, it's...

  • 58

    Wii U

    Review Monster High: 13 Wishes

    Make it stop

    Monster High: 13 Wishes is garbage. There's no getting around it. Don't play it, don't buy it. Just don't. Spend your cash on something more worthwhile. Buy a Monster High DVD if you must. Invest heavily in dogecoin if you're determined to do something crazy with your money. Just, not this. Anything but this. In a nutshell, Monster...

  • 53

    Wii U eShop

    Review Dr. Luigi

    Just what the doctor ordered?

    Nintendo ends the Year of Luigi with Dr. Luigi, a puzzler that feels more like a green, L-shaped re-skin of the Dr. Mario series than a true sequel, due to its identical gameplay, much of the same music, and simplistic visuals. Fortunately, Luigi proves to be just as good a doctor as his more experienced brother, and...

  • 73

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Super Mario Bros. 3

    A truly super Mario game

    Super Mario Bros. 3’s recent arrival on the Wii U eShop seemed like a conspicuously low-key affair compared to the considerable hype that surrounded its hugely anticipated original release back the early nineties. However, that doesn't mean that the lack of booming fanfare should be interpreted as a cause for concern; over...

  • 41

    Wii U eShop

    Review Knytt Underground

    An abstract adventure

    Knytt Underground is unlike anything else on the Wii U eShop; it's the work of Nicklas Nygren (better known as Nifflas), a developer that's produced some intriguing download titles on PC — including this game's predecessors — as well as the critically acclaimed NightSky. The fact this game stands apart from its eShop...

  • 19

    Wii U

    Review Wipeout: Create & Crash

    Primetime pratfalls

    ABC's Wipeout - transatlantic cousin to the BBC's Total Wipeout - is a long running television show that sees a motley crew of caricatured contestants enthusiastically flinging themselves through, over, and off of the real-life equivalents of foam-padded platforming levels. It's also had quite a few video game adaptations over...

  • 30

    3DS eShop

    Review Cubit The Hardcore Platformer Robot

    What’s in a name?

    We're often told that it’s not safe to judge a book by its cover. The adventures and perils that lie within those pages can often be very different than what is offered up by the image imprinted on a book's front, but we all do it anyway. Marketers and publishers know that we're drawn to book covers; it's the first thing that...

  • 26

    3DS eShop

    Review EDGE

    A different side of the same cube

    We are already big fans of EDGE on the Wii U eShop, a release in which it was one-third of the Two Tribes Classics trilogy. Its arrival on the 3DS is as a solo flyer, and perhaps on a screen size that'll be more familiar to veterans of the mobigame title that Two Tribes has so effectively promoted to gamers of all...

  • 38

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Super Punch-Out!!

    Brain over brawn

    Whereas Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream is consistently considered to be one of the best games on the NES, console sequel Super Punch-Out!! seldom appears in the top 10 when recalling the best games on the SNES. Did the puzzle-fight formula not hold up as well for the second time around at home, or was 16-bit competition just that...

  • 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...

  • 70

    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...

  • 19

    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...

  • 287

    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...

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