Reviews - News

January2013

  • 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,...

  • 49

    Wii U

    Review Tekken Tag Tournament 2

    Tag, you're it

    For as well known a household name as Tekken is, it’s strange to realize that it’s never made its way to a Nintendo home console at any point. There have been handheld offerings on the Game Boy Advance and 3DS, but portable fighters are rarely more than appetizers compared to their beefy console counterparts. Namco Bandai finally...

  • 32

    3DS

    Review Real Heroes Firefighter 3D

    Burnt out

    A review of a game involving putting out fires wouldn’t be a review of a game involving putting out fires without some sort of nod to Sega’s classic Saturn extinguish-‘em-up Burning Rangers. So here it is: Burning Rangers was ace. Real Heroes Firefighter 3D on the other hand, is not. Maybe that’s an unfair comparison, given that...

  • 55

    Wii U eShop

    Review Nano Assault Neo

    Bullet hell on a cell

    Much like the its 3DS predecessor, Nano Assault Neo is an arcade-style shoot 'em up that’s all about piloting a microscopic spacecraft and blasting molecular baddies. There isn’t actually a plot present in this game, so there’s no need to worry about being bogged down by unnecessary story. What we have instead is a...

  • 32

    3DS eShop

    Review 3D MahJongg

    The ancient art of matchmaking

    MahJongg is one of the most classic games on the planet, dating back — by some estimations — to around 500 BC. The fact that it's still popular today says a lot about its addictiveness, and its myriad variants range from social group games — think poker — to solitary, puzzle-like experiences. It's the latter...

  • 118

    Wii U

    Review ZombiU

    Fear Factor

    ZombiU definitely has a lot to prove. After Red Steel - Ubisoft’s hardcore offering at the Wii’s launch - failed to win over the masses by making large promises it failed to deliver on, public response to ZombiU has typically been laced with skepticism. Now that the game has been unleashed and is happily infecting shiny new Wii U...

  • 45

    DSiWare

    Review Spirit Hunters Inc. Shadow/Light

    Bustin' makes us feel bored

    Announced way back in May 2010, Nnooo's Spirit Hunters Inc. — available now in both Light and Shadow flavours — promised, in Nnooo's own words, "a Role Playing Game set in the real world." That's both a tall order and an idea with enormous potential, which is why it's a shame that the finished product mistakes "role...

  • 12

    DSiWare

    Review Working Dawgs: A-Maze-ing Pipes

    Working class

    Taking a page almost directly from the book of Pipe Mania, the hilariously titled Working Dawgs: A-maze-ing Pipes is a puzzle game that involves moving water from one place to another using a complex series of tubes. If you've played this type of game before, then you know exactly what to expect, while newcomers to this particular form...

  • 28

    Wii U eShop

    Review Chasing Aurora

    Soaring

    At its heart, Chasing Aurora is a game about the dream of flight. Developed by Broken Rules - the studio behind And Yet It Moves - it's a beautiful journey with distinct single- and multiplayer components that share a focus on simplicity and the endlessly enjoyable act of flying. As a launch game for the Wii U eShop, it's first and foremost...

  • 21

    Wii

    Review Skylanders Giants

    Big friendly giant

    Fe, fi, fo, fum, we smell the coins of dads and mums. Since its first release on consoles last year, Skylanders has exploded into a multi-million dollar franchise and a children's favourite. What would have been a fairly standard hack-and-slash game by itself was taken to new heights thanks to a clever reliance on collectable...

  • 12

    DSiWare

    Review Jump Trials

    Trial without style

    Jump Trials, a 200 point DSiWare release from G-Style Games, is a game about running and jumping from left to right. It's a game for players who feel that perhaps platformers have become too ambitious, and that the "right" in "left to right" should refer to the far edge of a single DS-sized screen, rather than the ends of the...

  • 38

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Ninja Gaiden

    Frustratingly fun

    Gamers nowadays might be more familiar with the rebooted series, but now you've got yet another chance to experience the original NES Ninja Gaiden, the game that started it all. A classic 2D action platformer, you assume the role of Ryu Hayabusa as he seeks to kill Jaquio, who murdered his father. This original is frequently...

  • 10

    3DS

    Review Puzzler World 2012 3D

    Puzzles, puzzles everywhere

    Puzzler is a big name in the world of pencil-and-paper puzzle compendiums, and Ideas Pad has been bringing the license to the digital age since 2008. Puzzler World 2012 3D is the first 3DS title following a long line of DS games, including the recently reviewed DSiWare release Puzzler World XL. While there haven't been...

  • 52

    3DS eShop

    Review Fallblox

    Drop 'em like they're blox

    Meet Fallblox – a game so clever that its very title could be a brand new synonym for “mindboggling”. Predecessor Pullblox / Pushmo remains one of the best titles on the 3DS eShop, an extremely smart puzzler that's fantastic value for money. Fallblox, known in North America as Crashmo, is no lazy sequel: it takes...

  • 5

    DSiWare

    Review Smart Girl's Playhouse Mini

    Empty house

    It’s no easy task setting out to create a game that is wholesome and fun while maintaining an educational aspect. Unfortunately for Smart Girl’s Playhouse Mini, fun seems to have jumped ship, and all you’re left with is a too-sweet edutainment title with very little actual gameplay on offer. Touted as a collection of mini-games...

  • 11

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review Sengoku 2

    Transformations and annihilations

    SNK may have dedicated a large portion of their efforts to the one-on-one fighting genre, but occasionally they would branch out into other game types, sometimes with rather successful results. The original Sengoku was praised for its unique use of character transformations, but the play controls weren't always the...

  • 25

    3DS

    Review The Trash Pack

    Truth in advertising

    Are you a fan of the Trash Pack toyline? Your answer to that question dictates whether or not you'll find anything of value in The Trash Pack for 3DS, as there's nothing noteworthy about this release apart from its connection to that franchise. The Trash Pack forgoes story altogether and presents you, simply, with a menu. From...

  • 22

    3DS eShop

    Review Dress To Play: Cute Witches!

    Half witch, half craft

    Older gamers might look at Dress to Play: Cute Witches! and see echoes of the Cotton series, or Magical Chase. Cute witches (lowercase) are certainly no strangers to shoot-'em-ups, and this game aims to combine a simplified (and bullet-free) version of that side-scrolling action with a dress-up element for character...

  • 37

    3DS eShop

    Review Johnny Hotshot

    A total misfire

    From the studio that brought us such eShop disappointments as Zombie Slayer Diox, Samurai G and clear game of the year contender Chuck E. Cheese's Arcade Room, we now get a Western-themed mess called Johnny Hotshot. And it manages to feel almost consciously terrible. The story of this game is irrelevant, but since the developer saw...

  • 30

    DS

    Review Thundercats

    Thundercats, noooo!

    Perhaps we were foolish to get our hopes up about Thundercats. It is a licensed game, after all, and while that's not a universally bad thing, it should by this point at least make us think twice. Then again, it's Thundercats! The original cartoon is an enduring classic, the recent reboot was surprisingly good, and the...

  • 8

    DSiWare

    Review Come On! Dragons

    Blowing smoke

    Come On! Dragons arrives on DSiWare with the promise of delivering a combination of tower defence and arrow firing action, much like its predecessor Come On! Heroes. Like the original title it succeeds to some degree, but its positives are weighed down by some disappointing flaws, meaning that it's not as hot as the title may suggest...

  • 87

    3DS eShop

    Review Pokédex 3D Pro

    It's evolution, baby

    Admit it – if you were ever a fan of Pokémon, you probably wanted a Pokédex. The best-forgotten LCD-screened plastic versions aside, the 3DS eShop's Pokédex 3D was the first time you could hold the all-knowing electronic encyclopaedia in the palm of your hand – the catch was that it only contained the 150 Unova-region...

  • 17

    3DS eShop

    Review Monster Shooter

    Monster mulch

    Even gurning, gun-toting monsters have their softer sides. Just ask Dum Dum, the hero of Monster Shooter, who stamps through 60 alien-infested levels reducing anything in his way to viscera and goop after his beloved kitten is abducted. Though we're sure any answer you might get would involve more firearms than words. Monster Shooter...

  • 167

    3DS

    Review Paper Mario: Sticker Star

    Stuck on you

    If there's one thing we can learn from its 3DS catalogue so far, it's that Nintendo is great at the safe sequel. Sure, there are out-there exceptions like Kid Icarus: Uprising, but by and large we've seen a whole lot of remakes or new entries in fan-favourite franchises that are more interested in paddling along leisurely than rocking...

  • 22

    WiiWare

    Review Back To Nature

    Back to basics

    It’s a well-known fact that Nintendo’s WiiWare service has its limitations. Developers must reportedly cram their games into a paltry 40MB, and the system’s lack of horsepower can no doubt play a considerable role in curbing some game design ideas. Nevertheless, many independent studios have risen to the challenge and we’ve...

  • 32

    3DS eShop

    Review 2 Fast 4 Gnomz

    Gnome-madic

    While the title might indicate that 2 Fast 4 Gnomz could be the marriage of Miami street racing and gnome culture we've all been waiting for, what we have instead is a much-improved eShop version of QubicGames' WiiWare runner of the same name. In fact, the title's silly, Prince-esque number usage and 90's-edgy "z" belie the fact that 2...

  • 24

    DSiWare

    Review Cake Ninja 2

    Unjust desserts

    Almost one year ago, the DSiWare service was graced with the appearance of Cake Ninja, an unrepentant clone of mobile craze Fruit Ninja. However, its lifeless approach to the formula, lack of addictiveness and total dearth of variety doomed it to receive a mere 2/10 in our review. Now we have Cake Ninja 2, which seeks to atone for...

  • 16

    DSiWare

    Review Spot It! Mean Machines

    I spy a decent game

    At a glance, Spot It! Mean Machines is simply a collection of grainy photographs of piles of junk. If you continue to explore this title, you'll find that your initial assessment was astute, but you will also find that it’s amazing how much fun can be had while staring at these still images. If you’re a fan of classic Spot...

  • 20

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review Shock Troopers

    Don't think, just shoot!

    While the run-and-gun genre generally evolved into the side-scrolling blast-a-thons we all know and love, there were a few titles during the early arcade days that took a more overhead perspective like Capcom's popular Commando arcade release. It was this direction that developer Saurus took when it came time to put together...

October2012

  • Movie Review Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva

    A true gentleman never disappoints his fans

    Puzzle 001: How do you adapt a best-selling puzzle series for the big screen? The answer? Bring the puzzles along for the ride. For most movies, shoehorning in memorable gameplay elements hasn't always worked out as planned — the first-person shooting segment from Doom was lampooned by many viewers,...

  • 14

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Mighty Bomb Jack

    Not so mighty

    The original Bomb Jack was an addictive little arcade game in which the objective was to collect all the bombs in each level while avoiding enemies. Sounds like a simple concept - and it was. For the NES, though, Tecmo decided to make a sequel with a bit of an adventure game element to it. The bomb rooms from the original game are...

  • 37

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Ghosts 'n Goblins

    A Halloween greeting from Satan himself

    Capcom couldn't have picked a better time to release Ghosts 'n Goblins onto the 3DS Virtual Console. It's Halloween, after all, and this is one of the most classic spooky games there is. The real question is how well it holds up today, and that's one we're happy to answer: quite well, actually. Despite the...

  • 19

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Gradius

    Dated, but legendary

    To say that the original Gradius was influential on the evolution of the side-scrolling shoot 'em up would be a gross understatement. When the game hit arcades in 1985 it was lauded for its amazing level designs and simple, yet wildly playable, power-up system. This NES release was one of the first home ports of the game and has...

  • 10

    DSiWare

    Review Puzzler World XL

    My God, it's full of puzzles

    Based on a popular brand of pencil-and-paper puzzle collections, Puzzler World XL is the latest release from developer Ideas Pad. It doesn't stray far from its digital cousins or its analogue ancestors, but fans of classic puzzles will find an excellent companion in this expansive, well-rounded package. First and...

  • 11

    DSiWare

    Review 18th Gate

    Dungeon crawler

    18th Gate is not a game for the easily bored. It's a fairly basic strategy RPG that has you edging through – yes – 18 dungeons to the magical portal gates at the end, with the caveat that you only have a limited number of turns to escape from each maze. Each turn can be an attack, a spell or a single step to an adjacent hexagonal...

  • 16

    WiiWare

    Review Reel Fishing Ocean Challenge

    Pain in the bass

    It’s been about two years since the last Reel Fishing game was released for WiiWare, and you’d think that that was enough time to figure out how to improve on the formula. Unfortunately, that isn't at all what has happened. Instead, a series of games based on an activity as simple as fishing has somehow managed to sink deeper...

  • 53

    3DS

    Review Style Savvy: Trendsetters

    They see me stylin', they hatin'

    What's the hottest new fashion trend this fall season? Nintendo's hoping it won't be cobalt leg-warmers or autumn florals, but rather their newly released 3DS fashion sim, Style Savvy: Trendsetters. With engaging collection and customization-based gameplay and classy production values, they've certainly got a good...

  • 45

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Mega Man

    The NES experience, now on 3DS

    A while back, the 3DS Virtual Console got Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge, the Blue Bomber's first Game Boy outing. It's a decent conversion of the console game, but many would agree that the handheld Mega Man games didn't really begin to shine until later in the series. Curiously, instead of working their way closer to...

  • 19

    Game Boy

    Review Castlevania Legends

    Tainted bloodline

    The odds were stacked against Castlevania Legends almost from the start. When it was released towards the end of the '90s, it had the near-impossible task of following Castlevania: Symphony of the Night - a game which had revitalised Konami's gothic series and won widespread critical acclaim. To add to the heady level of...

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