Reviews - News

September2013

  • 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...

  • 70

    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...

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    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...

  • 8

    3DS eShop

    Review My Farm 3D

    A fowl business

    Both DSiWare and the 3DS eShop have seen their share of sim games, managing a variety of businesses, creatures and a combination of both. My Farm 3D is the latest in a series that delivered a few budget priced options on DSiWare, some playing it straight and others being more off-the-wall. Aside from the odd quirky moment this latest...

  • 54

    3DS eShop

    Review Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale

    Pacific Rim meets The Goonies

    Level-5 saved the best for last in its final Guild02 release with Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale. Designed by Kaz Ayabe, this is a short, very sweet interactive story about a little boy who lives in a small town where mysterious monsters appear on Friday afternoons. The game takes place in rural Tokyo in...

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    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Spelunker

    Go back to your cave and stay there

    Ask a few western gamers about Spelunker and it's likely that barely any of them will have heard of the game, despite it being originally developed by an American company. Ask Japanese gamers, though, and it's a completely different story — the game is very well known to them and is joked about online all the...

  • 127

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review EarthBound

    An RPG experience unlike any other

    EarthBound landed on the SNES in 1995 with a dull thud. While the game didn't exactly light up the sales charts in North America and failed to make it to Europe, it has certainly gone on to become one of the most sought-after games in the second-hand market, selling for upwards of $80 as nothing more than a loose...

  • 35

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Donkey Kong

    Klassic Kong

    This month marks 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, just in time for the anniversary...

  • 21

    DSiWare

    Review Rhythm Core Alpha 2

    Bring life back to music

    Musicians both aspiring and experienced have had copious opportunities to break out into song with their DSi thanks to a cornucopia of software suites, including 2010's Rhythm Core Alpha that brought an emphasis on live performances to the table. Developer SoftEgg's sequel Rhythm Core Alpha 2 is the most advanced one yet to...

  • 3

    DSiWare

    Review Lost Treasures of Alexandria

    The perfect match?

    Lost Treasures Of Alexandria's release on the DSi Shop comes as something of a surprise. That's because it's the first game in a short while to break the trend of poor Match-3 games to which the service has been cruelly subjected. In fact, this latest game rectifies many of the issues that plagued publisher MSL's other recent...

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    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Super Mario Bros. 2

    Sweet dreams are made of these

    By now we all know the story of Super Mario Bros. 2: concerns about the Japanese sequel to the original Super Mario Bros. kept it from release in North America and Europe. Different reasons have been given over time, from the game being too difficult to it simply not demonstrating enough creativity to keep gamers...

  • 44

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Metroid

    By Zebes, it’s Metroid on the Wii U

    The NES section of the Wii U's Virtual Console expands by another notch with the addition of Metroid, regarded by many as one of the best entries that amazing series has to offer. The great news is that it's every bit as wonderful as you remember; the bad news is that it's no more interested in holding your hand...

  • 125

    3DS

    Review Mario & Luigi: Dream Team

    A never-ending dream

    If there was more justice in the world, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team — or Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Bros. as it's known in Europe — would enjoy the same level of hype and anticipation as some of its prestigious predecessors on the 3DS in 2013. And yet, rather like its snoozy subject matter, it drifts into view on a...

  • 11

    3DS eShop

    Review Deer Hunting King

    Oh, dear

    Is there something about the 3DS that screams out to developers that it just might be the ideal platform for arcade shooters? Maybe it’s the 3D effect that adds simulated depth to in-game environments, or maybe it’s the touchscreen which is seemingly built for aiming a crosshair? Whatever the case may be, the 3DS has seen at least a...

  • 45

    Wii U eShop

    Review Star Wars Pinball

    Laugh it up, pinball

    If the Disneyland Star Tours attraction was systematically dismantled and reassembled by brilliant maniacs who love tabletop arcade games a whole lot, it would surely be a perfect doppelganger to Star Wars Pinball. The creators of Zen Pinball and Pinball FX have somehow managed to stuff all the joy and adventure of Star Wars...

  • 117

    3DS

    Review Shin Megami Tensei IV

    Good Goddess

    Atlus has given 3DS-owning RPG fans plenty to be excited about recently, with Etrian Odyssey IV and Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers both released this year alone. Now the latest entry in the mainline Shin Megami Tensei series has arrived to complete the dungeon-crawling hat-trick, bringing its unique brand of demon...

  • 42

    3DS eShop / GG

    Review Sonic Drift 2

    Super Sonic Racing

    Quite a few video game mascots got swept up in the kart racing craze of the 90's, and the world's fastest hedgehog was no exception. Sonic and racing have always seemed like a good fit, and after the success of Super Mario Kart in 1992, SEGA gave the Blue Blur some well-deserved time on the track with Sonic Drift for the Game...

  • 9

    3DS eShop / GG

    Review G-LOC: Air Battle

    Crash and burn

    Around its initial release in the early '90s, Sega launched G-LOC: Air Battle in several different forms, including an arcade cabinet, a Mega Drive port, and eventually crash-landing it on the portable Game Gear console. The series has been mostly absent since then, finally popping back up on the 3DS’s Virtual Console service. Some...

  • 9

    3DS eShop

    Review Fishdom H2O: Hidden Odyssey

    Submerged in familiarity

    If you’ve never been exposed to a hidden object game before, the concept is as simple to understand as a youthful game of I spy or finding Waldo hidden within the pages of a Where’s Waldo? book. Imagine your bedroom is contained in a snow globe. Someone takes it, shakes it for a minute or two, sets it down, and at that...

  • 41

    Nintendo 64

    Review Pilotwings 64

    Flying high

    Releasing alongside Super Mario 64 when the Nintendo 64 launched back in 1996 (1997 if you're European), it was somewhat inevitable that Pilotwings 64 was never going to see the same commercial or critical success. Simply put, Mario's first 64-bit adventure was a masterpiece and proved that Nintendo could recreate its flagship franchise...

  • 23

    3DS eShop / GG

    Review Vampire: Master of Darkness

    Out for the count

    Given its gothic setting, focus on melee combat and inclusion of Dracula as the final boss, it’s little wonder that Vampire: Master of Darkness was compared to the famous Castlevania series when it launched on the Master System and Game Gear back in the early ‘90s. Developed by SIMS — which at the time was a second-party Sega...

  • 30

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Pilotwings

    Empty skies

    Most readers here will remember the launch titles of the 3DS quite well, and as such they're probably familiar with the existence of Pilotwings Resort. While we certainly enjoyed the title there was a great deal of talk about it essentially feeling like a retail tech demo, more of a proof of concept for the new hardware than a game in...

  • 43

    GameCube

    Review Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike

    Three's a crowd

    Factor 5 struck gold when it released the sublime Star Wars: Rogue Squadron for the Nintendo 64 way back in 1998/1999. Then, in 2001/2002, the development studio topped this already impressive feat with the astounding Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader. So when it announced that it had a third Rogue Squadron game in the works...

  • 10

    3DS eShop / GG

    Review Crystal Warriors

    Curiously characterless

    One of the Game Gear's earliest RPG titles, Crystal Warriors tries to cherry-pick the best elements of genre classics like Fire Emblem and Shining Force while throwing its own element-driven combat system into the mix, along with the ability to tame monsters and use them in battle. Despite these attempts to do something fresh...

  • 31

    3DS eShop

    Review Urban Trial Freestyle

    Dropping in for a good time

    What is Urban Trial Freestyle? The best way we can think to describe it would be a physics-based platformer – any of you familiar with the Trials series on XBLA should know what to expect here. Think of a 2D sidescroller like Mario, but instead of running around, you’re on a bike, zipping in-and-out of ramps and onto...

  • 47

    3DS eShop

    Review Kokuga

    Challenge accepted

    There is so much that can be said about the legacy that Kokuga brings with it to the 3DS. We can talk about the illustrious Hiroshi Iuchi, and how his work is seminal is shaping the modern shoot ‘em up genre, or we can talk about Ikaruga, the under-sold yet much adored bullet hell shooter that fans will remember fondly. Instead...

  • 23

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Vegas Stakes

    Jackpot winner or total craps?

    Nothing says “SNES classic” like a high-stakes trip to a menagerie of Las Vegas casinos. You’re invited to bust open the bank account for a night of potentially irresponsible entertainment as you hop from game to gambling game with your crew of potentially irresponsible friends. Even if a 1993 rendition of...

  • 32

    3DS eShop

    Review Aqua Moto Racing 3D

    Choppy waters

    When Zordix announced that it was bringing a smartphone jet-ski title to the 3DS eShop with Aqua Moto Racing 3D, we suspect that quite a few people immediately let their minds drift to certain iconic Nintendo 64 and GameCube games, and applied those expectations to this download title. That would be unfair, but this release still tries...

  • 32

    3DS eShop / GG

    Review Sonic the Hedgehog 2

    Saving your Tails

    A year after the runaway success of Sonic the Hedgehog in 1991, SEGA followed up with a sequel that introduced Miles 'Tails' Prower and the iconic Casino Night Zone to the gaming world. This, however, is not that sequel. Rather than leaving its Master System and Game Gear-owning fans with a simple, downsized port of Sonic the...

  • 51

    3DS eShop

    Review BUGS vs. TANKS!

    Repellant

    The Guild01 series brought 3DS owners three completely different, off-the-wall, and well-received games. The second iteration of this series, appropriately named Guild02, is already off to another fantastic start with the recent release of The Starship Damrey, a story-heavy science fiction adventure. Now, we’re lucky enough to experience...

June2013

  • 47

    3DS eShop

    Review Farming Simulator 3D

    A field of dreams or a load of crop?

    Say it with us…Farm-ing Sim-u-la-tor. How does that make you feel? Are you intrigued, or does it sound about as fun as, well, an exhausting day of work on the farm? If you’re questioning whether you’d personally find enjoyment in a game like this, then you should probably keep on truckin’. However, if the...

  • 19

    3DS eShop

    Review Gabrielle's Ghostly Groove Mini

    A lot less gabby

    We at Nintendo Life have enjoyed the various Gabrielle's Ghostly Groove games, but so far we've tended to like them more for their charm and visual appeal than for their gameplay or for anything they do particularly well. This is a trend that goes back to the WiiWare incarnation of the series, Gabrielle's Ghostly Groove: Monster...

  • 22

    3DS eShop / GG

    Review Defenders of Oasis

    Water way to go

    Given the staggering popularity of the RPG genre, it’s amazing that so few titles have broken free of the seemingly obligatory European fantasy setting. Most notable entries tend to feature swords, knights, dragons and all the usual medieval trappings, and as a result some old-school role-playing titles are genuinely difficult to...

  • 37

    3DS eShop / GG

    Review Tails Adventure

    Foxtales

    Miles 'Tails' Prower has come a long way since his debut as a silent, second-player-controlled sidekick in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, becoming one of SEGA's most beloved mascots and appearing in dozens of games over the past twenty years. It's a bit surprising then that he's only had headlining roles in two titles, both on the Game Gear: the...

  • 3

    DSiWare

    Review Jewel Quest 5 - The Sleepless Star

    Jewel Identity

    We often complain about the lack of innovation in today's games industry. Publishers and developers tend to take the safe and easy route, making games that stick closely to a tried-and-tested template with the odd tweak here and there. While there's nothing wrong with making a sequel to a popular game, it's not unreasonable for us...

  • 99

    3DS

    Review Project X Zone

    The best of 200+ worlds

    It's unlikely that this review is the first you're hearing of Project X Zone; with a sprawling, time-traveling, world-hopping, dimension-skipping plot that draws together more than 200 characters from about 30 different franchises, there's been a lot of excited talk about this one. Now that we've been able to spend our time...

  • 57

    GameCube

    Review Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader

    A force to be reckoned with

    In many ways, Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader is the definitive Star Wars game. That's not to say that it's the best game that's ever been based on the franchise, but rather, it's the best at capturing the pure essence and magic of it. Developed by Factor 5 in collaboration with LucasArts, it's a technical...

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