Reviews - News

May2013

  • 66

    Nintendo 64

    Review Star Wars Episode I: Racer

    Watto way to go

    Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace may have been panned by film critics and audiences alike when it released back in 1999, but not everything borne out of it was as big a disaster as Jar Jar Binks. One of these truly rare exceptions was Star Wars Episode I: Racer, a sci-fi racing game developed by by LucasArts. The game was a...

  • 20

    DSiWare

    Review California Super Sports

    A bad sport

    To understand what California Super Sports is, start with Wii Sports. Do you have the handful of mini-games fixed in your mind, complete with simple rules and bobble-headed athletes? Good; now trade in your Wii Remote for a DS stylus. Next, systemically break every intuitive gameplay system and control scheme in sight. Then sabotage the...

  • 16

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Xevious

    An early vertical scrolling classic

    When Xevious hit arcades in 1982 it represented one of the first vertical shoot 'em ups of its kind. Not only that, but the game introduced a second bombing mechanic to give it a little more flare. After seeing a handful of home releases, it sprang upon the NES system with a vengeance and once again showed that...

  • 54

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Super Mario Bros. 2

    The stuff dreams are made of

    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...

  • 102

    3DS

    Review Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D

    No more monkeying around

    It's easy to forget, as Nintendo has seemingly decided that it's no longer a definitive unique selling point, but the 3DS has a fantastic stereoscopic 3D screen. It's tempting to be blase about it, but it's still the only mainstream piece of hardware — certainly in gaming terms — that uses it so effectively. The...

  • 22

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Solomon's Key

    One door closes, another one opens

    In Solomon’s Key – an action / puzzler from Tecmo – you take command of a wizard named Dana as he searches for a magical formula that’s said to banish all evil from the world. The game began life in arcades back in 1986, finding its way to NES a year later, and now it’s resurfaced on Wii U Virtual...

  • 25

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Pac-Man

    Pac is back!

    When Pac-Man hit arcades in 1981, it was a phenomenal success. Spawning clothing, cereals and even a hit song, the game took the world by storm. It saw a rash of home console and personal computer releases during the 80s — some better than others — but it wasn't until the NES release in 1985 that the game finally saw a replica close...

  • 30

    3DS eShop

    Review SpeedX 3D Hyper Edition

    Lightspeed Lite

    Last year's SpeedX 3D brought Gamelion's endless tunnel racer from the mobile phone market to the 3DS, adding a third dimension and physical controls and proving that mobile games can make excellent eShop experiences. Now the race returns with SpeedX 3D Hyper Edition, and while it's still a whole lot of fun, it's neither the sequel...

  • 31

    DSiWare

    Review Publisher Dream

    This game development biz is confusing...

    CIRCLE Entertainment has published a good variety of games on DSiWare, covering almost any genre that can feasibly work on the ageing service. Its own take on the sim style began with Bookstore Dream, which while owing much to similar smartphone games was a solid effort. Unlike that book publishing title,...

  • 70

    3DS eShop

    Review Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move

    Don't Panic

    At times it feels like Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move is designed as a time trial to measure the shortest amount of time in which players will fling a 3DS across the room. Once the game is afoot, every trick in the book is deployed to trigger urgency: Constant unstoppable motion, ticking clocks, shaking tiles and frenetic music...

  • 13

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Balloon Fight

    Balloons don't float forever

    In Balloon Fight you manipulate a little fellow who can flutter through the skies thanks to a pair of balloons strapped to his back and vigorous arm flapping. The world is a dangerous place for the intrepid defier of gravity, particularly when it comes to jealous birds — also illogically equipped with balloons — who...

  • 30

    3DS eShop

    Review BearShark

    Jumping the Shark

    The Nintendo Video service on 3DS has played host to a number of original series since its inception, including CollegeHumor's BearShark. These 3D animated comedic shorts tell the story of a rather unlucky man named Steve, doomed to be forever hunted by the most fearsome predators of both the land (Bear) and sea (Shark). The show's...

  • 48

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Mega Man

    Fight, Mega Man, for everlasting re-release!

    By now, if you want to play Mega Man you probably already have it. It's been previously released for the Wii and 3DS Virtual Consoles, after all. But if you've somehow managed to let the game pass you by — or just aren't sure if it's worth upgrading your old Virtual Console version — we're happy to...

  • 127

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Super Mario World

    Everybody wants to rule the World

    Right from the six-note melody that opens the first stage, you can tell there's something special about Super Mario World. This is the Super Nintendo launch title that set the bar impossibly high for day-one releases, created the magic that games such as Super Mario 64, Sonic Adventure, and Luigi's Mansion have...

  • 27

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Donkey Kong Jr.

    Son of a Kong

    We recently reported that a Mr. Mike Kasper set the new world record with his high score on an original Donkey Kong Jr. arcade cabinet. Now, all thanks to the recent official Wii U Virtual Console going live, Wii U owners can save their quarters and work on their Donkey Kong Jr. high scores right from the comfort of their own homes in...

  • 85

    3DS eShop

    Review Gummy Bears Magical Medallion

    Bearly playable

    The product description for Gummy Bears Magical Medallion promises a "classic adventure platformer with a Gummy Bears twist". That twist, apparently, is that the game is awful. The excusably nonsensical plot revolves around the evil King Sour Berry stealing the Magical Medallion from...well, nevermind where he stole it from, or who...

  • 9

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review Sengoku

    An interesting twist on the beat 'em up genre

    Given the popularity of arcade titles like Final Fight and Double Dragon, the beat 'em up genre was a big draw in arcades during the late eighties and early nineties. Hoping to cash in on some of this success, SNK created its own unique take on the genre with Sengoku for its Neo Geo system. While the...

  • 37

    DSiWare

    Review Color Commando

    Mini-masterpiece

    Quirky, innovative puzzle-platformers are becoming something of a calling card for Goodbye Galaxy Games, and this latest release fits nicely into that oeuvre. The final panel in a DSiWare triptych that includes the Flipper series and Ace Mathician, Color Commando similarly revolves around manipulating the environment — here via...

April2013

  • 29

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Ice Climber

    Slippery controls are on thin ice

    Ice Climber, despite the self-explanatory title, is more complex than a cursory glance would suggest. Popo the parka-toting lad (and identical twin Nana in the multiplayer mode) must scale thirty-two vertically scrolling mountains to rescue a large number of delicious eggplants, using only wits and indestructible...

  • 7

    3DS

    Review Puzzler World 2013

    Worldly goodness

    There’s a good chance that you already know whether or not you're going to purchase Puzzler World 2013. Whether it's because you’ve played a previous game in the series, you’ve read our review of the DS version – which is, for all intents and purposes, the same game – that released in Europe late last year, or if it’s...

  • 7

    3DS

    Review Puzzler Brain Games

    Brain candy

    Like Nintendo’s Brain Age series, Puzzler Brain Games is a collection of daily brain training activities designed to stimulate the mind and keep you mentally alert. Though instead of feeling like a curriculum of exercises you’d learn in school, Brain Games is presented in a game show-like format and is a more light-hearted affair...

  • 29

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Mega Man 4

    The Blue Bomber vs The Red Menace

    In 1991 the world got a fourth entry in what had quickly shaped up to be one of the NES's most popular series. This game was Mega Man 4, and expectations were high. After all, the first game laid down a solid — if static — template that resonated very well with gamers, the second game refined the formula...

  • 24

    3DS eShop

    Review Crazy Construction

    More like Crazy FUN-struction

    On the surface, Crazy Construction sounds like the epitome of shovelware; a generic puzzle game that slaps together tired ideas and a dash of zany alliteration to garner enough sales to crank out the next one. Take a closer look, however, and you’ll discover a cleverly designed arcade-style title that boasts a fun,...

  • 16

    3DS eShop

    Review Mystery Murders: Jack the Ripper

    Serial Filler

    Mystery Murders: Jack the Ripper is a hidden-object game that tasks you with solving the mystery that has puzzled the world for well over a century now — just who was Jack the Ripper? Here, you’ll be transported to the Whitechapel district of London during the Autumn of 1888 to attempt to stop the infamous serial killer before he...

  • 87

    Wii U

    Review Injustice: Gods Among Us

    Immortal kombat

    We’ve all had this same discussion. Who would win in a fight between Batman and Superman? NetherRealm Studios — the development team behind the successful 2011 reboot of the Mortal Kombat franchise — was kind enough to create Injustice: Gods Among Us, a fighting game almost specifically designed to answer that one burning...

  • 26

    Wii U eShop

    Review Kung Fu Rabbit

    Hop to it

    When Rabbit's dojo is raided by Ultimate Evil, it's time to buck up and get even. The hungry aliens kidnap all of the temple's disciples with a view to hold a great bunny banquet, but they make one huge mistake – they leave the master behind. Now our long-eared hero has to put all his martial arts training to the test to stop the...

  • 28

    3DS

    Review The Croods: Prehistoric Party!

    Party of one

    When popular films are adapted into video games, publishers tend to cover their bases by releasing the results across as many platforms as possible. This often leads to portable systems receiving scaled-back ports from their big-screen brethren, and The Croods: Prehistoric Party on 3DS is a prime example of a handheld hand-me-down. We...

  • 70

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Kirby's Adventure

    Adventure time

    Though Kirby made his debut a year prior on the Game Boy, it was 1993's Kirby's Adventure on the NES that cemented his appearance, his power-stealing ability, and his vast environments full of hidden secrets. Kirby's Adventure did a lot more than expand on the simple charm of Kirby's Dream Land; it earned him a place as one of...

  • 41

    3DS eShop

    Review Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo

    Just a squirrel trying to get a nut

    In early 2012, Little Acorns was released for iOS. It was a simple but charming title in which bespectacled squirrel Mr. Nibbles sought out acorns to prevent his family from starving. When we spell it out that way we realize it sounds rather morbid, but in practice it was a fun and addictive experience that we...

  • 80

    3DS

    Review LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins

    Bricking it

    We all love a good origin story, right? It's an opportunity to delve further into the inner workings of a character, to learn what they're all about and how they became the hero that we know and love. LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins, however, is an oddly timed tale of this ilk: we only just got to know Chase McCain a month ago in...

  • 15

    3DS eShop

    Review Soccer Up 3D

    Own goal

    These days, soccer games tend to fall on one of two ends of a spectrum: there's the relatively realistic sports simulation found in annual FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer instalments, and then there's the zany over-the-top action of the Super Mario Strikers and FIFA Street series. In the golden days of the Amiga, however, there were other...

  • 55

    3DS

    Review Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers

    Soul Shakedown Party

    As an enhanced port of a 1997 first-person dungeon crawling RPG for the ill-fated Sega Saturn, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers seems like an unlikely release — especially considering the original game never left Japan. Both time and the journey across the Pacific have been kind to this 3DS wünder-port,...

  • 30

    DSiWare

    Review Clash of Elementalists

    An Elemental Mistake

    If you’ve stumbled onto any footage of Clash of Elementalists, we wouldn’t be surprised if your first impression was a good one. At first glance, the game-play appears reminiscent of SEGA’s Virtual-On series or even the multiplayer aspect of Kid Icarus: Uprising. This is a third-person arena brawler where you’re bestowed...

  • 21

    3DS

    Review Finding Nemo: Escape to the Big Blue

    Making a splash or a drop in the ocean?

    Finding Nemo: Escape to the Big Blue's re-release would seem a little odd were it not for the fact that Finding Nemo is currently enjoying a second run at UK cinemas due to the wonders of 3D technology. Disney has clearly seen a good opportunity to improve its rate of return on the game — which was...

  • 24

    3DS eShop

    Review Alien Chaos 3D

    Clean shooting

    Alien Chaos 3D may be one of the eShop's cheaper titles, but it's fair to say that it's absolutely stuffed full of action. Developed by Ludosity, this 2D shooter has a fairly simple premise which is boosted by some fun and inventive gameplay features. The end result is a game that's surprisingly inventive, chaotically fun and rather...

  • 53

    GameCube

    Review Viewtiful Joe

    A Viewtiful debut

    Joe is nothing more than an average… well, Joe, as it were. The guy loves old movies and their cheesy melodrama, so when a malevolent hand drags him into a superhero flick, he’s absolutely pumped. This is a chance to do the impossible; to pull off his favorite actions scenes with high-flying kicks, slow-motion thrills, and...

  • 85

    3DS eShop

    Review Dillon's Rolling Western: The Last Ranger

    Spinning in place

    It's been just over a year since the release of Dillon's Rolling Western, an interesting spin — pardon the pun — on the tower defense formula, starring a steely armadillo prone to communicating through loaded silence. As you can see from our review at the time we liked it, though not without reservations. Now we have a sequel,...

  • 29

    Wii U

    Review The Croods: Prehistoric Party!

    Croodités

    As a video game adaptation of Dreamworks' cave-dweller caper, The Croods: Prehistoric Party casts the film's characters in a Mario Party-style experience for up to four players. It borrows heavily from Nintendo's series, linking disparate mini-games together with a simple board game conceit. Like the movie's titular Neanderthal family...

  • 23

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review NAM-1975

    War is heaven

    Although NAM-1975 was an early Neo Geo release, it's certainly not short on fun. Released in 1990, it took a simple shooting approach and built an interesting war theme around it. Simple mechanics and a level of playability that wasn't too common in the genre made for an amazing gameplay experience. Now SNK Playmore is bringing back...

  • 108

    3DS eShop

    Review Witch & Hero

    A curse upon the eShop

    CIRCLE Entertainment has been a prolific publisher on DSiWare, bringing to the fore its own titles and also helping small developers share their work with the DSi/3DS audience. With so many titles against its name there are some that are excellent, as well as others that we'd sooner forget. Witch & Hero arrives on the 3DS...

  • 18

    3DS

    Review 50 Classic Games 3D

    Destined to be forgotten

    At first glance, 50 Classic Games 3D looks reminiscent of Nintendo's 42 All-Time Classics (Clubhouse Games in North America) for DS. But those hoping for a spiritual successor to the original hit are in for a bit of a disappointment. This is because 50 Classic Games 3D is woefully lacking in quality, depth and — most of...

  • 37

    3DS eShop / GBC

    Review Harvest Moon

    Under thresher

    The Harvest Moon series has always promoted the ideals of hard work and patience over the instant gratification found by more recent prods at gaming agriculture like Farmville. This attitude is even more apparent in Harvest Moon on the Game Boy Color than other iterations, as the handheld game crops the series down to its very roots...

  • 64

    Wii U eShop

    Review Toki Tori 2+

    A hatchling of a grand idea

    While Toki Tori was a launch title on WiiWare and seized a lot of attention as a result, its direct sequel has had a more protracted release history. Initially planned as a Wii U eShop launch title, Toki Tori 2 arrives after developer Two Tribes had a late change of heart and delayed release, taking the opportunity to...

March2013

  • 74

    3DS

    Review Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity

    Neverending story

    With the Pokémon series nearly ready to celebrate its 18th birthday next year, some of its many spin-offs have become enduring gaming traditions in their own right. The Mystery Dungeon games are a prime example, combining classic roguelike dungeon crawling with the endless appeal of playing as Pokémon, and as the series' first...

  • 46

    Wii U

    Review The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct

    Walking Dud

    Zombies are impossible to avoid. Not that the living dead are walking among us and causing havoc, but the media has been absolutely permeated by them. As evidence, we have The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct; the Wii U’s second game about zombies – known in-game as “walkers” – works as the prequel to a television show about...

  • 13

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review Art of Fighting 3: The Path of the Warrior

    Third time's a charm?

    Art of Fighting sprang onto the Neo Geo arcade scene in 1993 and brought with it several innovations that would become a staple of future Neo fighting titles. For one thing the game featured huge character sprites, some spanning nearly the height of the screen. It also introduced the now famous SNK zoom system that would keep...

  • 121

    3DS eShop

    Review HarmoKnight

    Big beat

    When you think Game Freak, you instinctively think Pokémon. It’s hardly surprising; the Japanese studio has been behind the million-selling franchise since day one, and the evergreen popularity of “catching 'em all” has ensured that the firm has little reason — or time — to explore other avenues. Apart from side-projects like...

  • 24

    DSiWare

    Review Forgotten Legions

    Tower offence

    Forgotten Legions tells the story of a character named Merkhovious, who is apparently a wizard or some other type of magic user. He started using dark magic and was quickly banished from the town of Riverkeep, because the higher-ups there frown upon that sort of thing. Now Merkhovious is back, and he’s brought an army of undead...

  • 7

    3DS eShop

    Review Jewel Master Atlantis 3D

    A diamond in the rough?

    For years now, Cerasus Media has been pumping out game after game in the Jewel Master series, and very little has changed in that time. Each instalment is usually playable and entertaining enough, but in most instances the gameplay formula and overall presentation have remained the same. And while the classic phrase "If it...

  • 40

    3DS

    Review Naruto: Powerful Shippuden

    He's a laugher, not a fighter

    The first thing that's going to strike you about Naruto: Powerful Shippuden is the super deformed art style. After all, Namco Bandai has plastered it everywhere, so it must be quite proud of how it turned out. That's probably a smart move, because the visuals rank among this game's main strong points. It's only when you...

  • 105

    Wii U

    Review Need for Speed: Most Wanted U

    Just what U wanted

    Criterion is best known for developing the smash hit Burnout games — which last appeared on a Nintendo console over ten years ago — but since then the studio's gone on to helm the long-running Need for Speed series of racing games. Its latest effort is Need for Speed: Most Wanted U, an enhanced port of last year's PS3/360...

  • 15

    3DS eShop

    Review Lola's Math Train

    I choo-choo-choose you!

    Lola’s Math Train, the follow-up to the pleasantly surprising Lola’s Alphabet Train, isn’t quite a game as much as it’s a learning application. In this instalment Lola, the jubilant panda, is here to help kids learn about math, numbers and logical problem solving through various interactive challenges. This is a...

  • 22

    Super Nintendo

    Review Super Pang

    Forever blowing bubbles

    Capcom is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2013. Since the company formed in 1983, it has published a host of classic titles from the Resident Evil series, countless Street Fighter games and many timeless iterations of Mega Man. One of its lesser known titles is Super Pang (known as Super Buster Bros. in North America), an...

  • 19

    3DS

    Review Pets Resort 3D

    Top dog, or just plain ruff?

    It's that special time of the year again, when the world of casual gaming throws fluffy puppies and wide-eyed kittens at things and hopes to make a profit. This time Neopica has stepped up to the challenge with Pets Resort 3D. In the latest Nintendogs + Cats clone, the player takes command of a rather suspicious...

  • 33

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream

    Heavy Hitter

    Boxing is a fascinating sport. Two human beings enter the ring, then skilfully and tactfully beat the tar out of one another using nothing but their own gloved fists. It’s the perfect fodder for a video game, and that’s exactly why the Punch-Out!! series is such a classic. Originally released in North America as Mike Tyson's...

  • 158

    3DS

    Review Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon

    This game must be possessed

    Nintendo has proclaimed 2013 to be "The Year of Luigi": a long overdue celebration of Mario's underdog brother. There are already a few Luigi-themed (or at least partially related) releases to come later in the year, and we wouldn’t be surprised if the Japanese games giant had a few more projects tucked up its sleeve...

  • 28

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review The King of Fighters '98

    The best there ever was

    For many 2D fighting game fans, The King of Fighters '98 represents the zenith of the series; the crowning glory of the only rival lineage to truly bloody the nose of Capcom's genre-defining Street Fighter. It's not hard to see why this is the case; the game looks stunning, has a massive roster of characters and boasts one...

  • 24

    DSiWare

    Review Goony

    You jelly?

    Aside offerings such as I Must Run!, there haven't been a huge number of endless runner-style games on DSiWare. CIRCLE Entertainment's latest title, Goony, aims to fill that gap a little, while also proving that you don't necessarily need legs or a baffling amount of stamina to star in the genre – if you're a creature made of jelly, you...

  • 95

    3DS

    Review Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

    A monstrous portable adventure

    Back when the 3DS handheld was looking for saviours during the Holiday season of 2011, a certain mustachioed plumber was joined in Japan by Monster Hunter 3 G, an expanded version of the popular Wii title Monster Hunter Tri. Its sales were eye-catching and reflective of the fact that handheld Monster Hunter titles are...

  • 161

    Wii U

    Review Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

    Don't forget your potions

    While the arrival of a new Monster Hunter title, particularly of the handheld variety, in Japan can probably cause retailer's systems to crash, it's a franchise that's been unable to capture that same fevered audience in the West. Capcom's latest attempt is Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, an expanded and enhanced re-release of...

  • 46

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Mega Man 3

    Sibling rivalry

    It's fitting that Mega Man 3 introduces our hero's antagonistic, cocksure older brother Proto Man, as the game itself seems to eternally duke it out with its own brother Mega Man 2 for the coveted title of Best in Series. But wherever you may fall on the question, there's no doubt that this third installment in the classic franchise...

  • 109

    Wii U

    Review LEGO City: Undercover

    On the block rockin' beat

    Between the lucrative high profile movie tie-ins and people begging for Zelda and Mega Man editions, it's sometimes easy to overlook the fact that The LEGO Group cut its teeth on its non-licensed playsets. From fantasy wonderlands to more ordinary examples, the building bricks were an ever-popular force with children and...

  • 34

    Wii U

    Review The Amazing Spider-Man: Ultimate Edition

    Spidey takes Manhattan, again

    Our friendly neighborhood wall crawler's cinematic reboot in last summer's The Amazing Spider-Man had us leaving theatres utterly torn. We're down with new interpretations and while the Spider-Man on-screen offered a lot of what we love about the character, the surrounding film was kind of a mess. The same can be said...

  • Talking Point Review Scores and Unwinnable Arguments

    Just how important are review scores?

    Last week we published our Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate review; we liked it, despite some flaws that we outlined, and gave it a strong recommendation with a score of 8/10, which counts as "very good" in our review scoring policy. Such was the reaction to the review here, elsewhere and to the...

  • 38

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Wrecking Crew

    I'm gonna wreck it!

    It’s common knowledge for most gamers that Mario has been in countless games over the years, in which he has taken on a bevy of different roles and occupations. From race-car driver to boxing referee, Mario has done it all. Curiously enough, just about the only job Mario hasn’t performed in a video game is that of a plumber,...

  • 46

    3DS eShop / GBC

    Review Legend of the River King

    Nothing smells fishy here

    Natsume is mostly known for its Harvest Moon games, but what you might not know is that there is another long-running series from the same developer - in fact, its first game predates the first Harvest Moon by 6 years. Legend of the River King is one of only four games in this series released outside Japan, and it's now...

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    3DS eShop

    Review Nano Assault EX

    EXceptional

    Shin'en is certainly no stranger to the shoot 'em up genre, having already had some solid success with its Iridion releases on Game Boy Advance and Nanostray titles on DS. For those who don't remember, it was just a little over a year ago when the developer released Nano Assault on Nintendo's 3DS system and showed just how amazing the...

  • 52

    Game Boy Advance

    Review Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge

    The dynamic duo go portable

    When we at Nintendo Life think of Rare’s masterpieces from the Nintendo 64 era, we think of expansive and adventurous games like Donkey Kong 64, Jet Force Gemini, and of course the beloved Banjo-Kazooie series. Off-the-wall characters, exuberant locales, and an epic sense of scope added to the hook of what made these...

  • 11

    DSiWare

    Review Easter Eggztravaganza

    All cracked up

    Whenever a major holiday is just around the corner, it’s no surprise that a flood of related products hit the market just in time to grab the attention of consumers. It happens with almost everything, from food to toys to lawn ornaments, and video games are no exception. While it’s not fair to knock a product for being a blatant...

  • 88

    3DS eShop

    Review ATV Wild Ride 3D

    A game of hills and valleys

    Bringing online racing to the 3DS eShop in any form is a pretty ambitious undertaking, but we'll say up front that ATV Wild Ride 3D gets that part exactly right. In our experience the online racing is fast, smooth, and reliable. As far as that goes, we genuinely couldn't ask for anything more, and the simple fact that it...

  • 5

    DS

    Review Puzzler World 2013

    A puzzling affair

    There are a number of reasons why the Puzzler World series continues to see new life on DS. For one, it's still a bestselling series, which is no doubt partly down to the DS's impressive install base around the world. However, it's also the fact that the titles' word and logic puzzles — which historically have been restricted to...

  • 28

    3DS eShop

    Review Coaster Creator 3D

    Layin' down tracks

    Anyone who's ever stepped off of a roller coaster with a huge grin and an idea for a ride of their own will appreciate the immense appeal of Coaster Creator 3D's concept. It combines the classic video game experience of going really fast with the medium's unique ability to let you do things you wouldn't necessarily be able to in...

  • 177

    3DS

    Review Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate

    A change is as good as a rest

    As much as it will pain Castlevania fans to admit, the series was in a pretty bad state prior to the release of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow in 2010. Although a string of “Metroidvania” entries — produced under the guidance of the enigmatic Koji “IGA” Igarashi — had hit the mark from a critical standpoint,...

  • 29

    Wii U

    Review Jeopardy!

    I’ll play your game, you rogue

    As the tagline on the game’s case suggests, the ever popular Jeopardy! very well might be “America’s favorite quiz show”. Countless incarnations of the television program have swept across game consoles from the NES to the current generation of platforms, finally landing squarely on Wii U. After years and...

  • 39

    WiiWare

    Review Retro City Rampage

    Rack up those combos, Player!

    Retro City Rampage is a lot of things, but subtle isn't one of them. One of the first screens — with the title "Common Sense Warning!" — informs you that the game is packed with parodies, and it continues to bludgeon you over the head as you play. You may be a pixellated character given some freedom to romp around a...

  • 45

    Wii U eShop

    Review BIT.TRIP Presents: Runner 2 Future Legend of Rhythm Alien

    A bolt of bliss

    There's a really strong sense of liberation to BIT.TRIP Presents: RUNNER2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien, made more pronounced if you’ve hung with any of the six WiiWare entries of the series. In no small part is it because of all the running and jumping, which does metaphorically speak strongest to our sense of freedom —...

  • 40

    3DS eShop

    Review Splash or Crash

    All's well that ends well

    Simple though it might be, dropping things from a huge height is still pretty entertaining. There's the catharsis of just letting something go, the satisfying sound when gravity takes its hold and an object plummets to its final destination. The plop as a stone reaches the bottom of a well can be deeply gratifying, for...

  • 35

    Wii U

    Review Wheel of Fortune

    Worth a spin?

    Since its debut in 1975, Wheel of Fortune has been an early evening staple in homes across America. Its engaging simplicity has had viewers shouting answers at their television sets for almost 40 years now, and the tension stirred by a spin of its titular wheel has been felt by everybody rooting either for or against any given...

February2013

  • 50

    3DS

    Review Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan

    Wanderlust

    The term "adventure" encompasses many things, but Atlus' Etrian Odyssey series comes about as close as it gets to a pure, digital embodiment of the concept. Blending classic first-person dungeon exploration with a cartographic twist, these games task players with charting out their own maps on the touch screen as they go. The series'...

  • 73

    3DS

    Review Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed

    As smooth as a chili dog

    Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed on 3DS has a tough job, as it's following up on what some may regard as a surprise commercial and critical success. The console versions of this title, including the one on Wii U, did a wonderful job of combining healthy portions of fan service with thrilling racing action. Yet the...

  • 9

    3DS eShop

    Review Viking Invasion 2 - Tower Defense

    A-Viking we will go

    Just like its DSiWare predecessor, Viking Invasion 2 - Tower Defense is a, yep, tower defense game that has you taking on the role of protector. As hordes of enemies draw near the castle that you’ve been gracious enough to defend, you must build towers to attack the oncoming assault. It’s a pretty standard affair for the...

  • 18

    Wii U

    Review Ben 10: Omniverse

    Hangin' with the Plumbers

    Is it just us or has Wii U already amassed a swath of licensed beat-em-ups in the three months since its November launch? It seems like there's no shortage of ways to punch and/or slice hordes of bad things, between the reasonably OK Transformers Prime and the why-oh-why of Rise of the Guardians, so forgive us if the...

  • 38

    3DS eShop

    Review Picdun 2: Witch's Curse

    Dungeons & Drawings

    As a part of INTENSE CO's GO series, the original Picdun brought a unique take on first-person dungeon crawling to DSiWare. A portmanteau of the words "Picture" and "Dungeon", the game turned the genre's traditional map into a pixel art canvas, where players would fill in a picture as they explored their environment. Picdun 2:...

  • 67

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review F-Zero

    The race of a lifetime

    Looking at it today, it’s genuinely hard to believe that F-Zero was a SNES launch title. For a game that is now over two decades old, it remains remarkably impressive from a purely visual standpoint. The Mode 7 rotational and scaling effects — which were relatively new to console players back in 1990 — still look...

  • 16

    3DS

    Review Rise of The Guardians: The Video Game

    A bad game gets an even worse port

    When it comes to a portable version of a recent console game, there are two approaches developers can take. The first is to create a brand new experience, independent from the original. The Sonic Colours team did this, and we're glad they did; instead of one great game we got two, and the portable version was...

  • 48

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Yoshi

    Soft boiled

    Mario's loyal dinosaur companion Yoshi may have made his debut in the Super Nintendo classic Super Mario World, but one year later Nintendo gave him his own title on the rapidly fading NES. That game was Yoshi, and it's now come to non-Ambassadors on the 3DS eShop. It's a falling block puzzler, which is a genre every video game...

  • 5

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review World Heroes 2 Jet

    Jet setter

    Speed upgrades became all of the rage during the early fighting game craze during the early '90s — Capcom practically made a living at it for a while. So when arcade gamers began complaining about the sluggish speed of World Heroes 2, SNK did the logical thing and borrowed a page from Capcom's book. When World Heroes 2 Jet burst onto...

  • 11

    DSiWare

    Review Moke Moke

    Propellerheads

    G-STYLE's latest import from Japan, Moke Moke stars a mysterious race of flying, forest-dwelling fuzzballs known as Moke. Combining the evolutionary advantages of sighted moles with the whimsical utility of those novelty helicopter hats, the Moke spend their time whizzing around the forest in an eternal contest to see who among them...

  • 62

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Castlevania

    Drac attack

    A while back we were "graced" with the arrival of Castlevania: The Adventure on 3DS Virtual Console, an overly simplistic attempt to bring the series to handhelds. Now the NES original has arrived on the service as well, but is it still worth going batty over? If you've played almost any other "classic-style" Castlevania game, you'll be...

  • 9

    DSiWare

    Review Ah! Heaven

    Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door

    Over the past few years, the DSiWare download service has seen some incredibly strange games with bizarre plots and titles. Ah! Heaven is no exception to this. Simply put, this a vertically scrolling platformer that has you taking control of a spiky haired, sunglasses wearing, nameless soul who just wants to ascend to...

  • 24

    Wii U

    Review Rise of The Guardians: The Video Game

    A legendary failure

    In Rise of the Guardians: The Video Game you take command of a small army of characters, each of whom is designed around a childhood legend. You have characters based on Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sand Man, and Jack Frost. They are coming together to fight a common evil: the sinister Pitch, who wants the...

  • 44

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Dig Dug

    Slightly soiled

    In 1982, Namco released Dig Dug. By that point in time the company had already cemented its place in the gaming history books with enduring classics like Pac-Man and Galaga. Their younger brother Dig Dug never quite reached their heights of popularity, but it's still quite fun in its own right. As with many early arcade games, your...

  • 33

    Wii U eShop

    Review Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage 2

    This game is already dead

    The Fist of the North Star manga series turns thirty this year, which is certainly cause for celebration. It also seems to be the sole reason for the creation of Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage 2, because when placed alongside its predecessor from 2010, it offers precious little in the way of fresh and original...

  • 35

    3DS

    Review Wreck-It Ralph

    They went and wrecked it

    When it comes to video games, film tie-ins have had something of a bumpy history. While GoldenEye 007 for Nintendo 64 proved that a licence can flourish in the right hands, it’s more often than not a rare exception. However, when a game is based on a movie which itself is based on video games, it’s fair to assume that...

  • 8

    DSiWare

    Review 99Moves

    Under pressure

    Having covered bullets and time, EnjoyUp's pint-sized yet madly challenging 99 series of score-attackers aligns its focus on the third staple of classic game design: movement and the limitations thereof. Over the dozen or so stages of 99Moves, players are dared to make it to the end of a gauntlet in as many moves or fewer. It doesn't...

  • Movie Review Wreck-It Ralph

    It's good to be bad

    The film and television industry is traditionally content to boss over video games: movie adaptations of popular gaming franchises are more often than not sub-par, while other projects reference games lazily without any real understanding of the medium. Outside of documentaries like Indie Game: The Movie and more careful...

  • 18

    Wii U

    Review Transformers Prime

    You've got the touch (screen)

    The long-running Transformers franchise has shifted, morphed and diverged enough to certainly live up to its name since debuting in 1984: the original Generation 1 adored by long-time fans and purists, Beast Wars, a few Michael Bay interpretations and loads of comic books and video games. Much of the fiction's focus...

  • 39

    3DS

    Review Brain Age: Concentration Training

    Old brain, new tricks

    Thinking of Nintendo's efforts to capture a more mainstream audience with non-traditional games, the Brain Age series leaps immediately to mind - and then leaps right out again, because we can't seem to concentrate on anything these days. Dr. Ryuta Kawashima, Nintendo's resident neuroscientist, has noticed this too, and has...

  • 67

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Mega Man 2

    Get Equipped With an All-Time Classic

    In 1987, Capcom released the original Mega Man. It was well-received by both gamers and critics, but it was not much of a financial success. Over the course of the next year, however, Mega Man 2 was developed as a labour of love by Keiji Inafune and his team, alongside other projects that were expected to be...

  • 25

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review Metal Slug 4

    Fourth time a charm?

    If there's one thing that can be said with any degree of certainty, it's that SNK's Metal Slug series always remained fairly consistent over the course of their releases. The gameplay remained pretty much the same, with little more than a few tweaks here and there for good measure. Metal Slug 4 was developed by Korean firm Mega...

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