Reviews - News

March2013

  • 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...

  • 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!...

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    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...

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    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...

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