Reviews - News

February2013

  • 23

    3DS eShop

    Review Bloody Vampire

    Bloody fun

    Joining Witch's Cat in Agetec's recent duo of playfully spooky eShop releases, Bloody Vampire is a stylish, side-scrolling adventure in the Metroidvania vein. It tells the story of Latis, an exquisitely pigtailed half-vampire / half-human, who sets off to investigate the coming conflict between her two bloodlines with Cereza, her loyal...

  • 18

    Wii U

    Review Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth

    Hulk smash

    Let's face it – for the uninitiated, the fighting genre can be daunting. Millisecond-perfect timing and the memorisation of several-button-presses-long combos are often essential to win, and unfortunately not everybody has enough time to spend shining up their Shoryukens. Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth lowers the entry barrier to the...

  • 33

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Super C

    I think you’re a Contra

    Originally released as an arcade game titled Super Contra, Super C — or Probotector II — is the NES-ported sequel to the now infamously difficult action game Contra. With the continuing story of alien invaders, and most of the same gameplay elements, Super C shares many similarities with its predecessor, but that...

  • 49

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Ice Climber

    Cold Mountain

    What makes a video game a classic? Is it enjoyable gameplay that never feels old? Is it an engaging storyline that draws players into its universe? Or is it simply the inclusion of some characters and stages in the latest Super Smash Bros. title? Ice Climber is the latest “classic” NES game to hit the 3DS Virtual Console, but if it...

  • 18

    3DS eShop

    Review Witch's Cat

    Tabby Laby

    Not many puzzle games are lucky enough to boast spin-offs, let alone side-stories - and though you wouldn't guess it from the title, that's exactly what Agetec has conjured up in Witch's Cat: a side-story in the ongoing Rabi Laby series. This eShop entry picks up where Rabi Laby 2 left off on DSiWare, but where the previous games' puzzles...

  • 51

    Wii U eShop

    Review Zen Pinball 2

    Not always a zen experience

    Zen Pinball 2 is a title that's seen its Wii U eShop release delayed from an original December target, as a result of its free download/paid DLC model requiring extra attention for publication. While the actual pinball is polished, fun and generally first-class, the infrastructure behind it is the exact opposite. With 26...

January2013

  • 41

    WiiWare

    Review Babel Rising

    Bad religion

    God games are usually about protecting people, not condemning them. Babel Rising, however, tears a page or two out of the Book of Genesis and sees you, as the heavenly overseer himself, casting down any subjects that dare to defy. Hundreds of heretics are constructing a gigantic tower to reach the skies, but by smiting them and their...

  • 12

    3DS eShop

    Review 35 Junior Games

    Why buy one when you can have 35?

    When it comes to games that put Nintendo enthusiasts on alert, compilations of mini-games are probably up there with movie licensed cash-ins. If a bold claim is made that a game offers dozens of games for the price of one download, eyebrows are raised and the final package will either be the greatest value ever...

  • 20

    3DS eShop

    Review Picross e2

    More picture crossword goodness

    A few months ago, Nintendo released Picross e on the eShop, the first new Picross game in a while and quite an enjoyable - if rather short - package. Thankfully, if you felt a little short-changed you can delve straight back into puzzle-solving with the sequel, Picross e2. Is it anywhere near as good as its...

  • 135

    3DS

    Review Fire Emblem: Awakening

    I love the smell of Elfire in the morning

    A hint of trepidation arises whenever the "Powers That Be" decide that "Your Cool Thing" needs a bigger audience, primarily because "What They Like" and "Why You Like It" don't always mesh. Take Fire Emblem, possibly the most hardcore of Nintendo's franchises — not "hardcore" in the nonsense term of it...

  • 14

    Wii U

    Review Madden NFL 13

    Still solid after all these years

    It's hard to believe that it's been 25 years since the first Madden Football release, and given that the game has been released on pretty much every gaming platform imaginable over the years, it was pretty much a given we'd see a release on Nintendo's new console. While Madden NFL 13 on the Wii U has lost a bit of...

  • 42

    Wii U

    Review Family Party: 30 Great Games Obstacle Arcade

    Obstacle to fun, maybe

    If you were to poll gamers at large and ask them what they felt were the worst things about the Wii, chances are you'd hear "waggle" and "bad minigame collections" pretty frequently. In fact they often went hand in hand, and Family Party: 30 Great Games Obstacle Arcade is trying its hardest to make sure both of things carry...

  • 15

    3DS eShop

    Review Cocoto Alien Brick Breaker

    Devil vs Alien

    In 2008 and 2009, Neko entertainment's would-be mascot Cocoto made two appearances on the WiiWare service. Cocoto Fishing Master and Cocoto Platform Jumper weren't total write-offs, but neither were they particularly impressive. They were competent but unmemorable dips into genres revealed by their titles. Cocoto Alien Brick Breaker...

  • 83

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Balloon Fight

    Float on

    To mark the arrival of the Virtual Console on the Wii U, Nintendo has launched a very generous promotion to mark the 30th anniversary of the Famicom (the Japanese version of the NES, in case you were wondering). What this promotion entails is the release of seven classic Nintendo games on the Wii U over a period of seven months for the...

  • 85

    3DS eShop

    Review Ikachan

    Squids today...

    While most people know Pixel's work from the excellent Cave Story, that's not the only game he's ever made, and exploring his lesser known titles can be a lot of fun in itself. Ikachan is one such title, released as freeware for the PC in 2000. That's four years before Cave Story, and you'll definitely see some overlap in terms of...

  • 13

    3DS eShop

    Review Mahjong Mysteries - Ancient Athena

    Mah-tch two

    We'll be honest, while some members of the Nintendo Life team are clever and cultured enough to know all about the intricacies of Mahjong, some of us have to consult Wikipedia to learn the rules. It shouldn't have surprised us, however, that when we opened Mahjong Mysteries - Ancient Athena the variation on offer was basically a single...

  • 81

    Wii U eShop

    Review The Cave

    It sure is dark in here...

    We've been anticipating The Cave here at Nintendo Life Towers ever since it was announced. After all, it's a collaboration between two genuine legends of the industry. Firstly there's Ron Gilbert, whose work includes classics such as Maniac Mansion, the first two Secret of Monkey Island games, and 2010's repetitive but...

  • 23

    Wii U

    Review Rapala Pro Bass Fishing

    Dead in the water

    In attempting to craft a realistic fishing experience, Rapala Pro Bass Fishing got one thing exactly right: you'll be sitting around doing nothing for most of the time you play it. Unfortunately that's due to its almost insultingly lengthy load times, but we'll still give it some credit for unintentional verisimilitude. The...

  • 25

    3DS

    Review Riding Stables 3D

    How about a lovely horse?

    One genre that absolutely feels underrepresented on the eShop is the pet sim. This is at least somewhat surprising, as the 3DS is not only portable, but it encourages gamers to take it with them everywhere, regardless of whether or not they intend to play anything. It accomplishes this through puzzle and Mii sharing, Play...

  • 12

    3DS eShop

    Review Wild Adventures: Ultimate Deer Hunt 3D

    Familiar Hunting Grounds

    Do you remember last year when Outdoors Unleashed: Africa 3D was released on the 3DS eShop and it got people talking about the ethics of video games? Many were up in arms and offended by the idea of a game featuring the hunting of wildlife on an African safari, but that didn’t stop it from being a fun arcade shooter. Now...

  • 35

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Blaster Master

    Master of blasters

    When it was originally released in Japan as Meta Fight, Blaster Master failed to make much of an impact. In the west, however, it was retooled slightly and given a new story about a boy and his pet frog, and became a cult classic that spawned multiple sequels - several of which ended up not even being released in Japan. On the...

  • 48

    Nintendo 64

    Review Beetle Adventure Racing!

    Infested with Bugs

    These days, considering most of us have become accustomed to the smooth frame rates and high definition resolutions provided by modern consoles, revisiting the Nintendo 64 can sometimes be a painful experience as you may find that some of your favourite games haven’t aged very well. Fuzzy textures, choppy frame rates and limited...

  • 31

    3DS eShop

    Review Tokyo Crash Mobs

    Almost at the front of the queue

    Although many people assume that Zuma was the first game to feature match-three marble shooting, the honour actually goes to Puzz Loop, a 1998 arcade release by Pang creator Mitchell Corporation. Sequels on the DS and WiiWare have since followed, and now there’s a fresh entry in the series on the 3DS eShop - not...

  • 114

    Wii U

    Review Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2013

    The hunt is on?

    Maybe we're just gullible human beings here at Nintendo Life Towers, but we expected Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2013 to feature some...you know...hunting. Not that we're disappointed, as this far more action-oriented approach has undoubtedly made for a better game, but the FPS / survival approach certainly caught us off guard. So,...

  • 8

    3DS eShop

    Review Reel Fishing 3D Paradise Mini

    A bassing fancy

    Natsume might be most famous as the house that Harvest Moon built, but fishing fans will know the name from its Legend of the River King and Reel Fishing series. Reel Fishing takes a more realistic approach to the angling action, and saw several installments on WiiWare with decidedly mixed results. Reel Fishing 3D Paradise Mini...

  • 15

    DSiWare

    Review Galaxy Saver

    Safe, but solid

    We've seen a wide variety of shoot 'em ups on the DSiWare service, some obviously better than others. Galaxy Saver is the newest entry and takes quite a few influences from early arcade shooters, while tossing in a few twists in an effort to make the experience stand out. So while there might not be a lot of originality when it comes...

  • 22

    3DS eShop

    Review 101 DinoPets 3D

    Di-no-thanks

    When you first boot up 101 DinoPets 3D you're greeted with an introduction that sees you finding an abandoned dinosaur hatchling on your front porch. If you're anything like us, this will fill you with excitement about how much potential for fun this concept has. Then again if you're anything like us that excitement will soon disappear...

  • 43

    Wii U

    Review Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two

    Port by numbers

    Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two should, on paper, be an excellent game. The original Wii-exclusive title showed a great deal of promise but flawed execution, so optimistic logic suggested that the sequel would resolve those issues and build on the strengths found in that début, making some Disney fans very happy. Not only...

  • 60

    Wii U

    Review Mass Effect 3

    Massively Effective

    Wii U had a rock solid line-up of launch titles to accompany it last year. From Grade-A third party franchises such as Assassin’s Creed through to Mario, a classic staple in the Nintendo canon. Oddly enough, more than a few of these launch games were sequels, or even third games in series’ that have already been around for...

  • 13

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review Shock Troopers 2nd Squad

    Trigger happy

    Much like the original Shock Troopers game, 2nd Squad is very much inspired by the early days of arcade gaming, when overhead run-and-gun titles like Capcom's Commando were in vogue. While the game has a very Metal Slug feel to it, the multi-directional scrolling and 360 degree movement and firing make for quite an intense and engaging...

  • 51

    3DS eShop

    Review Unchained Blades

    Do the wyrm

    If you could wish for anything, what would it be? If you're anything like Fang, the immediately off-putting Dragon King protagonist in the opening moments of Unchained Blades, you'd ask for the name of the strongest being alive, start a fight with a goddess and get thrown out of heaven for your insolence. Thankfully, XSEED's latest 3DS...

  • 31

    DS

    Review Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?!

    I'm ready for you now Brad

    Back in March 2012 fans of the cult TV series Adventure Time rejoiced around the world, as series creator Pendleton Ward announced via a doodle on his Twitter page that WayForward Technologies and D3 Publisher would be working on a video game adaptation for the DS and 3DS, the absurdly named Adventure Time: Hey Ice King!...

  • 36

    Wii U

    Review Just Dance 4

    Dance epidemic tonight

    Given its massive success, we can't even feign surprise at this point that Just Dance hasn't veered far from its path. Pleased with its gift horse and eyes locked firmly elsewhere but its mouth, Ubisoft keeps it on the same track for yet another go round of light-hearted party fun. The prerequisite tweaks and fiddles to the...

  • 8

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review World Heroes 2

    Global gathering

    ADK’s World Heroes series is one of the Neo Geo’s lesser-known fighting dynasties, and is usually pushed to one side when people get all nostalgic about the likes of King of Fighters, Art of Fighting, Samurai Shodown and Fatal Fury. This is probably because the franchise never really took itself all that seriously; the cast was...

  • 17

    Wii U

    Review Skylanders Giants

    Not a giant leap

    Plastic peripherals and Activision seem to be a match made in heaven, with Guitar Hero and then Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure both emptying our wallets. Well, it's not safe to put your money away just yet, as Skylanders Giants hits the shelves complete with a whole new set of must-have plastic collectables. So it's back to Skylands...

  • 10

    DSiWare

    Review Snowboard Xtreme

    Xtremely lacklustre

    Sometimes a game company develops a game that doesn’t turn out to be nearly as well received as they expect it to be. After that, the very same game company will sometimes take that sorry excuse for a game, change the theme, fix the controls, re-skin it to look like something different, and then release it as an entirely new...

  • 12

    3DS eShop

    Review Air Battle Hockey 3D

    Balls to the wall

    Ever since Pong invaded homes 40 years ago, simple ball and paddle games have had a home in gaming. Air Battle Hockey 3D doesn't manage to stand out among the four-decade pedigree, but it is at least a competent entry on its own merits. The game is so simple that there's really not much to say about it. You use your stylus to...

  • 88

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels

    Lost levels = lost sanity

    It's a story so well known now that we'll just summarise it for you: what is now known as Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels was actually released in Japan as the sequel to enduring classic Super Mario Bros. Western gamers instead received the subconscious vegetable buffet that we more traditionally think of as Super Mario...

  • 47

    3DS eShop

    Review Johnny Impossible

    Mission: Intolerable

    Johnny Impossible is a bad game. We'd be perfectly happy to leave the review at that sentence, as it does actually tell you everything you need to know, but Johnny Impossible is so interestingly bad that we need to say a lot more about it, if only to achieve some sort of closure. Having made his eShop debut in Johnny Kung Fu,...

  • 38

    3DS

    Review Scribblenauts Unlimited

    Doodle dandy

    After enjoying some success with its Drawn to Life title on Nintendo DS, developer 5th Cell set out to create a unique action/puzzler that allowed the player to conjure up almost any object they could think of by merely typing the name of that object into the game. This offered not only a large array of creativity, but also allowed...

  • 13

    DSiWare

    Review Jump Trials Extreme

    Aiming higher

    It's only been a little over a month since G-STYLE's Jump Trials hopped onto the DSiWare service, but its sequel Jump Trials Extreme has already made the long leap over from Japan. Like 10 Second Run, the Jump Trials games are all about performing daring feats of platforming in under 10 seconds. We thought the original was an enjoyable...

December2012

  • 6

    DSiWare

    Review Goooooal América

    New World, old game

    For all the emphatic 'o's in its title's iconic interjection, Goooooal América is not a game about football. Nor is it a foosball game, as you might think. If you happen to have owned a certain toy as a child, however, you'll recognize the game's inspiration right off the bat. It's based on a particular small-scale...

  • 17

    3DS eShop

    Review Mahjong 3D - Warriors of the Emperor

    Not your 奶奶’s Mahjong

    If you’ve ever played any iteration of Mahjong before, then there’s a good chance that you know how the tile-matching gameplay works. While the core experience remains unchanged, it’s what Mahjong 3D - Warriors of the Emperor does with the system that makes this one stand out. Rather than simply finding all of the...

  • 26

    3DS eShop

    Review 3D Game Collection

    Win, lose, or draw?

    Casual appeal and touch-screen controls have made Nintendo's recent handheld systems a perfect fit for digital collections of traditional games and puzzles, and that's the niche in which the rather generically named 3D Game Collection sits comfortably. With 25 games from Backgammon to Battleship, Solitaire to slide puzzles,...

  • 19

    WiiWare

    Review Vampire Crystals

    Vampires, they don’t always suck

    One fact that we all need to face is that fast-paced and frantic video games will never go out of style. Whether they’re classics being played on an arcade cabinet or new entries on a home console, intense action coupled with multiplayer mayhem can be downright addictive. Another fact that we all need to face is...

  • 15

    3DS

    Review Moshi Monsters Moshlings Theme Park

    Goopendous or a Moshi-mess?

    Moshi Monsters Moshlings Theme Park is based on the Moshi Monsters website, a popular Neopets-style virtual pet game that lets you adopt a monster, customise its home and play mini-games to collect prizes. The franchise's first video game outing took the monsters to a zoo, and now they're taking a break to vacation at a...

  • 47

    DSiWare

    Review Cake Ninja XMAS

    Christmas is cancelled

    Long time readers of Nintendo Life will be acutely aware of the fact that we’re not the biggest fans of Cypronia’s Cake Ninja series. The two titles released so far have both received scathing critiques from our staff, which is why we approached this festive edition with a fair degree of trepidation. As the title plainly...

  • 59

    3DS eShop

    Review Gunman Clive

    Mega Clive

    When Gunman Clive was announced for the 3DS eShop, some smartphone gamers may have had their heads turned; one of the few complaints of the original release was controlling the gun-slinging hero with a virtual joystick and buttons. Here was an indie-game with a smart visual style and loving references to some of the classic platforming...

  • 24

    3DS eShop

    Review escapeVektor

    Traces of greatness

    Looking back to the release of escapeVektor: Chapter 1 just over a year ago, we're filled with conflicting emotions. We're glad, of course, because the game was fantastic, inexpensive, and thoroughly addictive. However we can't remember that game without being reminded of the fact that WiiWare never saw the rest of the series...

  • 8

    DSiWare

    Review Rytmik World Music

    Bring the beat back

    Cinemax has cooked up a number of flavours of its Rytmik music production suite, allowing the musically-minded playgrounds with which to explore dance, chip tunes, hip hop, rock and now world music. Rytmik World Music is a fun little musical tool tha

  • 13

    DSiWare

    Review Anonymous Notes Chapter 3 - From The Abyss

    Return of the Abyss

    Things have been quiet on the Anonymous Notes front — after a year and a half the series returns for a hat trick with Anonymous Notes Chapter 3 - From The Abyss. Not much has changed in that time, really: save for a new protagonist, Chapter 3 is still the same mechanically sound and somewhat aimless dungeon crawler as Chapter 2...

  • 34

    Wii

    Review Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two

    Golly gosh, Mickey

    When Disney Epic Mickey arrived on Wii in time for the Holiday season in 2010, it attracted a lot of attention due to its concept and the development leadership of Warren Spector, one of the industry's most respected figures. Its relatively late arrival in the system's lifespan meant it pushed attractive visuals "for a Wii game",...

  • 9

    DSiWare

    Review Castle Conqueror - Heroes 2

    Another heroic effort

    Just over one year ago CIRCLE released Castle Conqueror - Heroes for DSiWare. We weren't stingy with the praise in our review, awarding it a solid 9 out of 10 and holding it up as the strongest title in a very strong series. Now we've received a sequel, and we couldn't be happier. For those who haven't played the first game,...

  • 12

    DSiWare

    Review Zombie Skape

    There is no eskape

    If you haven’t noticed by now, then we’re just going to have to come right out and say it: zombies are popular. There’s no real way to trace the resurgence that zombies have had in popular culture, but it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. That being the case, there have been a whole lot of video games featuring zombies in...

  • 10

    DSiWare

    Review Wizard Defenders

    We have but a fool's hope

    On the surface, Wizard Defenders seems like a promising blend of match-3 puzzling and tower defence; in its best moments it's a concept that works well. Unfortunately these moments are rare, and despite its budget price this title lacks the magic to make a gamer happy. This is a good example of a reasonable idea being...

  • 53

    Wii U

    Review Call of Duty: Black Ops II

    Always outnumbered, never outgunned

    Black Ops was a remarkable achievement for Treyarch. By finally carving out their own vision of the franchise, one steeped in Cold War history and with narrative focus, the studio broke out from under Infinity Ward's imposing shadow and pulled off one of the most compelling games in the series. It was a breath of...

  • 46

    3DS eShop

    Review Hydroventure: Spin Cycle

    Water way to go

    2010 WiiWare title Hydroventure (or Fluidity as it was known in North America) was a fine example of how to harness the unique properties of a console’s hardware to deliver a refreshingly original experience. The water-based gameplay was accentuated by clever puzzles and hidden collectables, making it one of WiiWare’s undisputed...

  • 14

    3DS eShop

    Review Gardenscapes

    Hidden Horticulture

    Who hasn't dreamed of leaving it all behind, of quitting the city and hopping a train to the glorious green of the countryside? Gardenscapes plays off of this desire, casting you as the young inheritor of your grandfather's country home and garden, now both sadly in disrepair. Restoring the once-beautiful garden will require some...

  • 9

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review Real Bout Fatal Fury

    In the beginning...

    After several releases in the Fatal Fury franchise, SNK decided to create a sub-series with the release of Real Bout Fatal Fury. The game didn't deviate too far from the experience that fans had come to expect, but there was a certain intensity and flair that needed to be explored and perhaps that was the reasoning behind the...

  • 45

    Wii U

    Review James Bond: 007 Legends

    Thunderbore

    With the new James Bond film Skyfall currently rocking movie theaters across the globe, you might expect this year's 007 game to be all about the present. Instead, Eurocom's swansong digs into the franchise's rich 50-year legacy, updating some of Bond's more memorable moments for the modern era. With the successful re-imagining of...

  • 21

    3DS eShop

    Review Murder on the Titanic

    Lost at Sea

    Imagine, if you will, a tale of two young lovers aboard the infamous ship known as Titanic. The woman, young and from an affluent family, in love with a poor man working as a stoker deep within the bowels of the ship. Sound vaguely like a blockbuster film you’ve seen at least a dozen times? Now add a murder into the mix and a whole lot...

  • 53

    DSiWare

    Review Chuck E. Cheese's Alien Defense Force

    In space, no one can hear you regret your purchase

    Earlier this year, DSiWare had the misfortune of becoming home to Chuck E. Cheese's Arcade Room. A joyless collection of five dull mini-games and additional gimmicks such as achievements and an outfit customisation feature, the game was a disappointment in nearly every possible way. Now we have a...

  • 95

    3DS

    Review Disney Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion

    Mouse trapped

    It takes a brave developer to tackle nostalgia head-on, even moreso when the original game was created by a completely different company and is considered one of the high points of an entire generation. For the first portable entry in the Disney Epic Mickey series, Dreamrift has peered back to the well-loved Mickey Mouse games of the...

  • 25

    Wii U

    Review NBA 2K13

    Hoop dreams

    Despite its only competitor in the basketball sim arena being dormant for the past few years, the NBA 2K series has continued to march forward year after year enjoying fan and critical acclaim thanks to its constant improvement with each franchise iteration. The series finally makes the bounce pass to a Nintendo console, and hoops fans...

  • 16

    Wii Virtual Console / NES

    Review BurgerTime

    Burger building bonanza

    When the coin-op release of BurgerTime hit arcades in 1982, it was praised for its quirky theme and wildly unique gameplay design. Given the game's popularity at the time, it garnered a port on just about every home game system and personal computer of the period. The NES release came a bit later, but it was a fairly accurate...

  • 42

    3DS eShop / GBC

    Review Wario Land 3

    Warioid

    Nintendo loves to experiment with the Wario Land series. The second game diverted from the first in that it was more of a puzzler than a platformer, as Wario was invincible, and the third game continues that trend by offering yet another twist: an almost Metroid-like exploration system. This time, Wario finds a mysterious music box in the...

  • 75

    3DS eShop

    Review Crimson Shroud

    The red coat is coming

    All magic in the world stems from gifts delivered directly to mankind from the gods. That much, as far as Crimson Shroud is concerned, is fact. Or is it? As you lead your party through a treacherous dungeon in search of the original gift — the titular and mysterious Crimson Shroud — other possibilities present themselves...

  • 62

    Wii U

    Review Batman: Arkham City Armoured Edition

    The Dark Knight Rises… again

    Last year saw the release of Batman: Arkham City, an open-world action adventure game that was touted as one of the best titles of its generation. Now Nintendo gamers are treated to an all new iteration of the already classic game made specifically for Wii U, with Batman: Arkham City: Armored Edition. While the new...

  • 67

    Wii U

    Review Assassin's Creed III

    America, **** yeah!

    Assassin's Creed III is a weird game to launch alongside Wii U: there is little context for those Nintendo-only players who sat out the other four games because they perhaps didn't own the proper hardware, and those who are invested in the series probably already picked this up elsewhere when it released weeks before the Wii U...

  • 53

    Wii U

    Review Darksiders II

    Don't fear the reaper

    Whenever a new piece of Nintendo hardware is released one of the first things fans ask is “when is a Zelda game coming out?” In the case of the Wii U, the answer is simple: it’s already out, it’s just called Darksiders II. Like the original Darksiders, this sequel wears its inspiration on its sleeve. You’ll ride a...

  • 11

    Wii U

    Review Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2013

    Witness the fitness

    Wii Fit may have kickstarted the fitness genre, but it isn't the only game in town. Ubisoft's Your Shape series started out on Wii with its own motion capture camera before moving to Kinect, and now comes full circle with Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2013 for the Wii U. While ditching the motion capture for a Wii Remote comes with...

  • 33

    Wii U

    Review Funky Barn

    E - I - E - I - oh

    If you're looking for the most happening place on Miiverse, look no further than the community for Funky Barn. Filled with sketches of animals in sunglasses and musical references, it's become a haven for memes and the friendliest trolling you've ever seen. When somebody posts about the game itself rather than its title, it's met...

  • 34

    DSiWare

    Review Crystal Adventure

    In which "adventure" is revealed to be a relative term

    If there's one thing RPG fans enjoy, it's a good story. The quest should be epic, the characters should be interesting, and there should preferably be a few surprising twists along the way as well. Here is the story of Crystal Adventure: you get bored quickly and delete it. Okay, you caught...

  • 32

    DSiWare

    Review Christmas Wonderland 2

    Roast it on an open fire

    A textbook example of a sequel nobody asked for, Christmas Wonderland 2 has graced DSiWare. We guess, however, that we should be somewhat grateful. After all, last year Microvalue released two awful holiday-themed hidden object games: Halloween: Trick or Treat and the first Christmas Wonderland. This year it only left one...

  • 28

    Wii U eShop

    Review Puddle

    Soak it up

    Puddle was originally released on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network earlier this year to decent reviews, and after looking at feedback from the previous versions Neko Entertainment has released what it claims to be the best edition of the game at Wii U launch. The Fluidity (Hydroventure)-like game isn't quite a super soaker, but...

  • 96

    Wii U

    Review Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed

    Mighty morphin power racers

    SEGA may no longer be the same company that bloodied Nintendo’s nose during the glorious days of the 16-bit console wars, but it still has a keen fan base and a truly amazing legacy within the games industry. Even so, there have been numerous occasions over the past few years where it's struggled to emerge from...

  • 15

    Wii U

    Review Wipeout 3

    Thrills and spills

    Gamers will forever associate the name Wipeout with Psygnosis' futuristic racing series, but in the world of primetime TV, Wipeout means wacky announcers, massive pratfalls and Big Red Balls. Based on ABC's hit US game show (which our UK readers will recognize as Total Wipeout) Wipeout 3 brings the slapstick spirit of the show to...

  • 21

    3DS

    Review Transformers Prime

    More than meets the eye?

    Long-time Transformers fans have enjoyed a renaissance of sorts this console generation, with the Cybertron games offering a vision of the robots in disguise that those of us who grew up with the old cartoon could get behind in our capacity as grumpy old men. Keen to serve fans of all ages, Activision has turned its...

  • 20

    Wii U

    Review Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper

    Hyper fighting

    It's great to see such a variety of titles hitting the Wii U during its launch window, and of the many ports it's a joy to see the best of the Warriors Orochi games make the transition in Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper. For the uninitiated, the Warriors Orochi series is a crossover of the Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors games, where...

  • 50

    3DS

    Review Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward

    I want to play a game

    You wake up in a sealed metal bunker, surrounded by strangers, an odd bracelet secured around your wrist. You're told that there's only one way to escape: earn a certain number of points by participating in a deadly game with and against your fellow prisoners. But who can you rely on? Can you pick out allies from enemies? Would...

  • 74

    Wii U

    Review Tank! Tank! Tank!

    Meh! Meh! Meh!

    Every so often a video game comes along with a concept so amazing that copies should come with a roll of duct tape to keep consumers from having their faces rocked off. Tanks with crazy weapons fighting giant robot monsters in expansive, destructible cities seems like a concept that you’d have to work pretty hard to screw up...

  • 6

    DSiWare

    Review Invasion of the Alien Blobs!

    Houston, we have a bloblem

    At this point it's unlikely that anybody with a DSi or 3DS is in need of an inexpensive time-waster, but Invasion of the Alien Blobs! is here to provide one more option. And while it's not exactly a great game, it certainly provides some mindless fun along the way. The best thing about Invasion of the Alien Blobs! is its...

  • 35

    Wii U

    Review FIFA 13

    Party like it's 2011

    EA has a bit of history when it comes to releasing versions of FIFA on new consoles. No matter how many years the series runs for or how many formats the game is released on, the first edition on a new machine is always a bit hit and miss. You can track that all the way back to the days of the Sega Megadrive and EA’s first...

  • 38

    Wii U

    Review Game Party Champions

    Mini lame

    Whenever a new console is launched, there are always one or two decidedly awful titles released that have been thrown together in time for the big night. The publisher’s thinking here is that most early adopters will want to leave the store with a stack of games for their new console, and if they keep the retail price low, their atrocity...

  • 32

    DSiWare

    Review Bloons TD 4

    Pop it and drop it

    Last year the DSiWare service saw the release of Bloons TD. It was an unimpressive but acceptable entry into the overstuffed tower defence genre, and this year we're leaping ahead three sequels to Bloons TD 4. If Bloons TD 4 is at all representative of the course the series has taken, we can safely say we haven't missed much by...

  • 16

    Wii

    Review We Sing 80s

    Tonight we're going to party like it's 1989

    Ah, the eighties: a time of dodgy haircuts, peculiar outfits and synthesizers dominating the airwaves. In truth, the Nintendo Life office is still a bit like that, but never mind. What we have here with We Sing 80s is a singing game dedicated to that decade, making oldies or retro-minded youngsters all the...

November2012

  • 38

    Wii U

    Review Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge

    Bloody hell

    It’s been a long time since master ninja Ryu Hayabusa infiltrated a Nintendo home console, with 1995’s Ninja Gaiden Trilogy for the SNES marking his last appearance. Tecmo Koei decided the time was finally right for Ryu to make his return with Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge, a souped-up, improved version of Ninja Gaiden 3, which...

  • 98

    Wii U

    Review Nintendo Land

    This Land is your land

    Nintendo Land has a lot to live up to. Not only does its name invoke a fantastic, imaginary kingdom many of us would happily sail to sight-unseen, it's also the game poised to provide proof of the Wii U's concept, as Wii Sports did for the Wii back in 2006. And like Wii Sports before it, if you've picked up a Deluxe Wii U it's...

  • 78

    Wii U

    Review New Super Mario Bros. U

    High definition hijinks

    New Super Mario Bros. U marks the first time that a brand new Mario game has accompanied a Nintendo hardware launch since the days of the N64, and consequently places an inordinate amount of pressure and expectation on its high-definition shoulders. It’s perhaps not what hardcore fans wanted; following so closely on the...

  • 39

    Wii U

    Review Scribblenauts Unlimited

    Scribble to your heart’s content

    The Scribblenauts series has always been about pushing your imagination to its limits and solving puzzles in unique and often hilarious ways. With its various open worlds and the ability to seamlessly traverse between them, as well as the brand new object editor which lets you create almost anything and everything,...

  • 18

    Wii U

    Review ESPN Sports Connection

    Taking one for the team

    Launching with Wii Sports was, in hindsight, one of Nintendo's best ideas: the pack-in's elegant simplicity helped skyrocket the fledgling Wii right up into the stratosphere. Families rallied around Tennis, grannies couldn't get enough Bowling, that annoying uncle hogged Golf, mass hysteria yadda yadda. So no surprise then...

  • 18

    3DS eShop

    Review PIX3D

    Pix 'n' mix

    Block puzzlers: the genre that keeps on giving. Just when you think all the possibilities of the humble square have been exhausted, along comes another game to prove just how wrong you are. PIX3D combines cuboids and pixel art in a retro love-in that's fun, despite a general lack of challenge in its main mode. PIX3D's concept is both...

  • 12

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review Ninja Master's: Haō Ninpō Chō

    Something old, something new

    Not only were there a huge number of fighting games throughout the lifespan of the Neo Geo system, there was also a serious amount of variety in the styles and executions of those games. While most Neo Geo fans will associate developer ADK with its popular World Heroes series, it was its final release for the system,...

  • 42

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Pac-Man

    Ghost gobblin' on the go

    If you were to ask one hundred people to make a list of the most classic video games of all time, you shouldn't be surprised to find Pac-Man on every one of those lists. It's an unrivaled masterpiece of gaming simplicity, an experience that involves nothing more than moving endlessly around a single maze, yet which somehow...

  • 22

    Wii U

    Review SiNG Party

    Pants party

    When you're aiming for a wide audience with your new console, it's important to have all of your boxes ticked. New Mario? Check. Zombies? Check. Party game? Check, mate. That seems to be the driving force behind SiNG Party, a game so light and fluffy that it wafts through the air like the smell of cotton candy. It just kind of exists in...

  • 69

    Wii U eShop

    Review Trine 2: Director's Cut

    Three’s company, two

    It’s always a strange occurrence when the sequel to a hit game becomes available to a new community of gamers, especially when those gamers might have no prior knowledge of the series. Trine 2: Director’s Cut is not only one of the first games available on the Wii U eShop, but it's also the first iteration of the Trine...

  • 43

    Wii U eShop

    Review Little Inferno

    Burn, baby, burn

    "Your Little Inferno is not like other games. There are no points, there is no score, you are not being timed. Just make a nice fire, and stay warm in the glow of your high definition entertainment product." This opening letter from Tomorrow Corporation - the real-life developer and in-game mega-conglomerate from whom you've just...

  • 42

    Wii U eShop

    Review Mighty Switch Force: Hyper Drive Edition

    Arresting development

    When Mighty Switch Force was released for the 3DS eShop it was quickly heralded as not only one of the service’s best games but also one of the best games on the stereoscopic handheld period. Faultless controls, addictive puzzle platforming and a healthy dose of WayForward’s trademark charm made it shine, and now with the...

  • 25

    Wii U

    Review Rabbids Land

    Worth your launch day carrots?

    The inaugural Rabbids game was a launch title for the Wii back in 2006, so it seems only fitting that Wii U should have its own outing with the furry little hellions right from the get-go in Rabbids Land. This time around the action is presented in the context of a digital board game, like Mario Party, and while the...

  • 27

    3DS eShop

    Review Aero Porter

    A game with a lot of baggage

    We at Nintendo Life absolutely loved Airport Mania: First Flight. Its appeal was rooted largely in the simplicity of its tasks, and the larger effects they all seemed to have. Airport Mania took the entire, massive scope of airport management and narrowed it to a tiny focus: directing and maintaining planes. There was,...

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