Reviews - News

November2012

  • 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...

  • 132

    3DS eShop

    Review NightSky

    A perfect circle

    Three years ago, Nicalis announced a game called NightSky for release on WiiWare. Needless to say that never happened, but the project was far from dead. Last year our excitement was renewed by the news that NightSky would instead be released for the 3DS eShop, and now, at long last, it's finally here. The question everyone should...

  • 82

    GameCube

    Review Kirby Air Ride

    A Ride for all ages?

    Kirby, everyone’s favourite pink puffball, has hopped on his Warpstar and blasted into the world of “kart” racing in Kirby Air Ride for the Nintendo GameCube. He’s brought with him a few of his brethren, a unique set of controls, and some recognizable scenery, which is packed into this multiplayer-centric package. While...

  • Movie Review Ace Attorney

    Phoenix's début on the big screen makes a good case

    While the video game and movie industries have arguably managed to advance and make some great strides over the last few years, the same can't be said for their offspring. Whether it be the sexy archaeological adventures of Lara Croft, or the hard-hitting, guns-a-blazing ways of Agent 47, most...

  • 17

    Wii

    Review Inazuma Eleven Strikers

    Crazy super-duper Strikers!

    When it comes to Inazuma Eleven Strikers, don't let any references to football (soccer if you're of the North America persuasion) or the snazzy kits fool you, this isn't a football game. It's a ball game with football-style rules, infused with extravagant special moves and buckets of charm, which is guaranteed to raise an...

  • 19

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review The Last Blade 2

    Last Blade Part Deux

    When the original Last Blade title was released it took weapons-based fighting in 2D to new heights with its fluid play controls and intense fighting action. Not wanting to rest on its laurels, SNK soon put together a sequel that didn't try to really overhaul anything, but rather stuck to tweaking a few minor aspects of the...

  • 4

    3DS eShop

    Review Nurikabe by Nikoli

    Blocked and loaded

    The Nikoli puzzle factory is filled with evil geniuses. There really is no way else to explain their signature puzzle types sudoku, kakuro, hitori and the plethora of others that have hit the eShop by way of developer Hamster — the puzzles are simple in premise, seem easy enough to complete but then dropkick your brain when...

  • 96

    3DS

    Review Code of Princess

    A code worth cracking

    For a while now, hack-and-slash has been significantly undermined as a legitimate genre in video gaming, but Code of Princess doesn't care about any of that. Code of Princess spits in the face of modern 3D gaming and says “I can do things better,” and then goes out and does it. Being touted as a spiritual successor to Sega...

  • 3

    DS

    Review Jewel Master: Cradle of Egypt 2

    Is history repeating itself?

    In these risk-averse times, publishers are increasingly relying on sequels to existing IPs to ensure that they turn over a profit. The problem doesn’t stem so much from a dearth of creativity in the industry, but rather as consumers we have a horrible habit of sticking with what we know. Much like the video game...

  • 52

    3DS eShop / GBC

    Review Mario Golf

    A beautiful day on the links

    Released in 1999 to dovetail with the N64 game of the same name, the Game Boy Color version of Mario Golf is more than just a scaled-back, portable edition. In fact, it stands well enough on its own merits, and it's almost unfortunate that it shares a name with its console counterpart; it really does have an identity all...

  • 38

    3DS

    Review Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask

    It's Layton, so you probably know the answer

    While gamers in Japan are eagerly awaiting the final part of the Professor Layton prequel trilogy, those of us in the West are relieved to finally get our hands on what was a Japanese 3DS launch title, Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask — originally known as Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle...

  • 9

    DSiWare

    Review Robot Rescue 2

    Robot Parade

    The sequel to Teyon's first DSiWare release from back in 2009, Robot Rescue 2 charges players with leading a flock of oddly organic looking robots to safety across gridded stages. Rescuing these robots is made more complicated, and much more interesting, by the fact that their movement is synchronized. Press any direction on the D-pad...

  • 34

    GameCube

    Review Geist

    A Ghost of the Past

    Nintendo doesn’t have much of a history when it comes to publishing mature-rated games. In fact, they had never directly released an M-rated game before they published the critically acclaimed Eternal Darkness for the GameCube in 2002. So when it was announced that Nintendo was working closely with developer n-Space on Geist...

  • 107

    3DS eShop

    Review Samurai G

    The "G" is for "garbage"

    UFO Interactive's eShop releases seemed to be on a slow but steady progression towards quality, with Johnny Kung Fu almost breaking through this underwhelming barrier. But then along comes Samurai G to pee in everyone's cereal. Samurai G is like being presented with a spoon and a bowl full of live bees: just one look is...

  • 57

    3DS eShop

    Review Liberation Maiden

    Maiden voyage

    A few months ago, Japan received the 3DS game Guild01, essentially a compilation of four specially developed games, each created by different well-known designers. Instead of simply releasing the collection in the west, Level 5 has chosen to instead publish the individual games as eShop titles — though it seems that only three of the...

  • 35

    3DS

    Review Crosswords Plus

    A few cross words

    The 3DS is no stranger to puzzle games, with Japanese developer Nikoli being responsible for most of the puzzle games on the market. While games like Sudoku, Hitori and Kakuro have provided us with enough numbers to last a lifetime, there’s a distinct lack of wordplay on Nintendo’s newest handheld. Enter Crosswords Plus, the...

  • 18

    3DS

    Review Boulder Dash-XL 3D

    Rockford reborn

    Every system has little-known titles — packed with content and well-constructed gameplay — that fail to fly off shelves or, in some cases, even get into high street stores in the first place. If Boulder Dash-XL 3D suffers that fate it'll be a pity, because it takes its subject matter and goes beyond the basic requirements,...

  • 18

    Wii

    Review Just Dance 4

    Sweat baby, sweat

    The video games industry is currently inundated with a plethora of fitness games promising to give you abs like Schwarzenegger - if you're willing to pay the price. But how many of these titles actually perform? While the Just Dance franchise might be categorised into the silly party genre, Just Dance 4 in fact provides a fun...

  • 7

    DSiWare

    Review Academy: Chess Puzzles

    Chess, minus chess

    Sometimes a game is so simple in concept that it’s difficult to find the right words to describe it. It’s also worth keeping in mind that simplicity is not always a bad thing, and it can often work in a game’s favor. With that being said, Academy: Chess Puzzles is the definitive simple pleasure. The first thing that needs...

  • 6

    WiiWare

    Review Successfully Learning English: Year 5

    One more class, Freddy

    Successfully Learning English: Year 5 represents, probably, the end of an edutainment era. Across DSiWare and WiiWare, Freddy the Vampire has appeared in over 20 titles covering a few different subjects in relentless detail for young pupils, all with the same style, structure and bland presentation. The final part of the Wii's...

  • 46

    3DS

    Review Disney Princess: My Fairytale Adventure

    A royal pain

    Disney has a long history of using video games to place its familiar characters into unfamiliar contexts, often mixing several disparate worlds together for the sake of effect. The best part? It quite often works. From Mickey Mouscapade to the Kingdom Hearts series to the upcoming Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion, it's usually great fun...

  • 23

    WiiWare

    Review Drop Zone: Under Fire

    Falling with style

    One of the coolest things video games can do is let us perform daring, stylish feats we might never attempt in the real world. Drifting around corners at 100mph, snowboarding off the edge of a mountain with reckless bravado, even plucking vegetables from the ground and hurling them at a pink dinosaur — all things we can...

  • 121

    3DS

    Review Angry Birds Trilogy

    Fowl play

    Something of a cultural phenomenon by now, Rovio's Angry Birds franchise is one of the few in gaming to capture the general public's eye, time, wallet and wardrobe, becoming the poster child for "the future" of the industry. It has been called quite a few things in its meteoric rise: Herald of the death of dedicated gaming handhelds...

  • 73

    3DS eShop

    Review Pokémon Dream Radar

    Dreams become reality

    With the Pokémon series still a ways off from making its proper debut on Nintendo 3DS, fans who had purchased the stereoscopic handheld were in need of something to tide them over. Less a proper game and more a companion "app" to Pokémon Black and White 2, Pokémon Dream Radar uses the 3DS's AR capabilities to bring the...

  • 11

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review Real Bout Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers

    Fair and balanced

    Real Bout Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers marks the seventh release in the series and the third and final release in the Real Bout sub-series. While there has always been a lot of debate about whether this game or Real Bout Fatal Fury Special is the better overall fighting game, it's nice to see SNK-Playmore giving Virtual Console fans...

  • 73

    DS

    Review Pokémon Black and White 2

    Pokémon used Sequel! It’s super effective!

    It's fitting that the franchise typically relied upon to sell Nintendo handhelds is also the swansong that bids farewell to the mighty Nintendo DS. The enormously popular Pokémon series graces the highest-selling handheld console of all time for one last hurrah and the result is nothing short of...

  • 33

    DS

    Review Learn With Pokémon: Typing Adventure

    SEMI-COLON COMMA WOOBAT

    It would be very easy to dismiss Learn With Pokémon Typing Adventure as ‘just another Pokémon spin-off’, or even worse, an ‘edutainment game’. Yet in fact, the title conceals a rather addictive addition to the Pokémon franchise, bundled with a nifty Bluetooth keyboard and stand. As with most Pokémon spin-offs,...

  • 86

    3DS eShop

    Review Cave Story

    Spelunker

    Stop us if you've heard this one. A guy by the nom de plume of Pixel made a really great game all by himself and released it on PC for free in 2004. It's called... Oh, so you have heard it. We thought so. In 2012, Cave Story needs no introduction. It's not an unknown quantity. In fact, not counting this eShop release, publisher Nicalis...

  • 8

    3DS eShop

    Review Hitori by Nikoli

    Brainy cells

    Connoisseurs of the eShop should be well acquainted with Japanese puzzle maker Nikoli: Hamster has trickled out an assortment of its brand of logic puzzles for months now, with varying success. Hitori by Nikoli offers a clever inversion on typical puzzle design, a Jeopardy!-style twist to its approach by handing over a grid of answers...

  • 40

    3DS

    Review Hotel Transylvania

    Stab it with your steely knives

    Released as an obvious tie-in with the movie of the same name, Hotel Transylvania aims to provide an experience evocative of some classic Castlevania titles, particularly the DS games and that influential masterpiece Symphony of the Night. That's the good news. The bad news is that, as with many movie tie-ins, Hotel...

  • 22

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Quarth

    Break it down

    Originally released for the Game Boy in 1990, Konami's Quarth takes the presentation of a Space Invaders-type shooter, and instead gives us a puzzle game. As tempting as it might be to enter these stages with guns blazing, what Quarth actually requires is a healthy amount of foresight and on-the-fly problem solving. It's not without...

  • 5

    DSiWare

    Review Kart Krashers

    A party worth krashing?

    Kart Krashers has a plan to shake up the kart racing genre: keep the karts, erase the race. Sure, it sounds rather pointless, but stick with us. The basic idea is to drive your kart around arena-like courses, shooting for a high score by collecting stars and rings and taking out baddies. The "Krashers" in the name implies a...

September2012

  • 101

    3DS eShop

    Review The Denpa Men: They Came By Wave

    Radioheads

    When we first started hearing the news about Denpa Ningen no RPG coming to the West, we didn't know what to expect. Its visual debt to Nintendo's Miis and Pikmin intrigued us, and the fact that the brains behind this game had their fingers in Pokémon Colosseum and great series such as Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy and Ogre Battle meant...

  • 30

    DSiWare

    Review Retro Pocket

    Through the Past, Darkly

    Before Retro Pocket, Game & Watch fans were poorly served. If they wanted to enjoy those early Nintendo forays into gaming, they were out of luck. There was no way for gamers to get their hands on recreations of those originals, short of picking up the Game & Watch Collection, of course. Or its sequel. But apart...

  • 50

    Wii

    Review Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition

    Sweet dreams

    The Kirby series has been a staple of Nintendo game systems since the pink fluff first appeared on the original Game Boy back in 1992. While the games have always been known more for their charm and unique gameplay than their difficulty, they've become some of the best selling video games in history. Now Nintendo has released Kirby's...

  • 69

    WiiWare

    Review La-Mulana

    WiiWare's last big game?

    La Mulana's WiiWare release has been a rocky road. It was first announced by developer Nigoro in 2009 and suffered several delays before finally hitting the service in Japan in 2011. Of course, most were expecting it to be released elsewhere soon after, but that didn't happen. It was eventually cancelled by its old publisher...

  • 17

    3DS eShop

    Review Heavy Fire: Special Operations 3D

    Fool us once...

    Slowly but surely, Teyon is on its way towards a half-way decent entry in its Heavy Fire series of military pop shooters. After squeezing out two downloadable disasters and an inexplicable retail release, Teyon returns to the well with Heavy Fire: Special Operations 3D — a reloaded version of that first WiiWare gem, now with added...

  • 30

    3DS eShop

    Review Rising Board 3D

    All that glitters is not gold

    The endless runner craze isn't about to end any time soon, and that's understandable. The genre offers an experience that is both suited to quick play sessions and unique every time you boot it up. The DSiWare service even received a rough equivalent in I Must Run!, and now the eShop has Rising Board 3D, an endless...

  • 9

    3DS eShop

    Review Crazy Kangaroo

    Hop, Skippy and jump

    No wonder poor old Barney has gone a bit loopy. Crazy Kangaroo's mad marsupial is on the run after escaping the grasp of evil poachers by daringly bundling himself out of a plane. Unwilling to give up their prize, his captors continue their relentless pursuit to tie this kangaroo down. If you've been near a smartphone in the...

  • 31

    DSiWare

    Review Bookstore Dream

    Let us tell you about this game, fair reader

    Bookstore Dream, to be clear, has about as much book-selling realism as the Call of Duty series has to real warfare. Ultimately though, it is just a game, and this one draws much of its inspiration from a series of smartphone resource management games from developer Kairosoft. We won't complain about...

  • 53

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

    The underdog of the Zelda series returns

    Back in the early days of several franchises, the second game in a series tended to be radically different from the first, because developers had not quite pinned down what they wanted the series to become - take a look at Castlevania II or the western Super Mario Bros. 2 for example. Zelda II is another big...

  • 49

    3DS eShop

    Review Fractured Soul

    Seeing double

    Anyone who's followed the development cycle of Fractured Soul will know that the game has experienced quite a few ups and downs on its route to retail. Not only has it been in development for close to eight years, it's also a game that even the developers wondered would ever actually see the light of day. Now resurrected on Nintendo's...

  • 5

    3DS eShop

    Review Heyawake by Nikoli

    Mind bending

    Heyawake has been around since 1992 and has spawned several books of puzzles for brain teaser fans to tackle. Now the puzzles are appearing on the 3DS eShop in the form of Heyawake by Nikoli. You can take on 50 puzzles of increasing difficulty on your 3DS and compete with up to three other players in a race to see who can finish the...

  • 25

    DSiWare

    Review Crazy Hunter

    Hunting, it’ll make you crazy

    Have you ever thought to yourself, “what’s the least amount of fun I can possibly have while playing a DSiWare game”? Well, think no more, because now your wildest fantasies can be a reality when you play Crazy Hunter. With a plot that makes no sense and controls that are almost impossible to master, you’ll be...

  • 30

    3DS eShop

    Review Picross E

    Almost picture perfect

    By now, most of you should be familiar with the concept of Picross. First appearing on the Game Boy with Mario's Picross and most recently in slightly altered form in Picross 3D, Picross has always been a bit of an unassuming, almost low-key affair, but those who invest their time into it tend to discover an incredibly...

  • 15

    3DS eShop

    Review Balloon Pop Remix

    A popping good time

    Balloon Pop Remix, the latest offering from developer UFO Interactive, is a stylus-based variation on the "bubble-pop" puzzle theme. You slide the stylus over two or more adjacent balloons of any colour to pop them, and as the balloons from below float up to take their place, any matching colour combination of three or more will...

  • 44

    3DS eShop

    Review Outdoors Unleashed: Africa 3D

    To the hunt

    Even before it was released, Outdoors Unleashed: Africa 3D was already turning heads and churning out some very interesting debate about what is and is not considered appropriate for a video game. Because this title is all about hunting on an African safari and involves the killing of wild - and in many cases, endangered - animals,...

  • 4

    WiiWare

    Review Successfully Learning English: Year 4

    A bit tougher than A, B, C

    So, the Successfully Learning series continues its relentless march onto WiiWare, with Successfully Learning English: Year 4 being the third entry in this particular run. As we've come to expect it's much of the same thing, but with a notable step up in challenge for its young pupils. Freddy the Vampire is starting to get...

  • 20

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Kirby's Star Stacker

    Stacked

    Anybody who plays video games probably knows all about the likes of Tetris, Dr. Mario, Puzzle League and other puzzle games, but Kirby had his own original puzzler (as in, not a reskin of Puyo Puyo) as well. The last Kirby game for the original Game Boy, Kirby's Star Stacker is actually a fairly fun game, if a little shallow. Like most...

August2012

  • 21

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review Metal Slug X

    X hits the spot

    While Contra has always been the game by which all run and gun titles have been judged, serious fans of the genre will still flash a wide grin at the mere mention of the Metal Slug series, especially Metal Slug X. There's no denying that Metal Slug 2 had all of the makings of an amazing run and gunner, but the rampant slowdown ended...

  • 3

    WiiWare

    Review Successfully Learning English: Year 3

    Freddy says relax

    Certain things are inevitable, such as death, taxes and another Successfully Learning download. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, if you have a young child that could use some extra help with the subject at hand, and Successfully Learning English: Year 3 delivers reliably. It does exactly the same as predecessor Successfully...

  • 20

    DSiWare

    Review Abyss

    Fun but lacking depth

    Abyss is almost an archetypically simple game. There are no modes, power-ups, online features or options, and every face button performs the same action. The premise is correspondingly uncomplicated: as the charmingly named deep-sea submarine “Nep2no”, you'll float through close-quartered underwater stages, avoiding the...

  • 52

    3DS eShop

    Review VectorRacing

    Lines and lines and lines and lines and lines!

    There's an episode of Family Guy in which Peter Griffin attends a production of Uncle Vanya. Partway through the play he stands up, bored out of his mind, and shouts, "for crying out loud, somebody throw a pie!" That's more or less how we felt playing VectorRacing. VectorRacing is the epic tale...

  • 19

    DSiWare

    Review Crazy Chicken Pirates

    Not crazy enough to work

    Recently two games were released via Nintendo’s handheld online services, Crazy Chicken Pirates and Crazy Chicken Pirates 3D, and, as you’ve probably guessed, they’re very similar to one another. By “very similar”, we actually mean that — with the exception of the additional 3D effect and higher resolution of the...

  • 20

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review Real Bout Fatal Fury Special

    Special indeed

    Generally speaking, the "special" SNK releases are generally used as an upgrade to iron out kinks found in the previous releases of the game. Real Bout Fatal Fury Special is no exception and actually goes quite a long way at upgrading the previous Real Bout Fatal Fury title, even tossing in a bunch of new goodies for fighting game...

  • 20

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon

    Not so mystical

    Shortly after the original release of the excellent Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon for Nintendo 64, Konami released another game with the same title for the original Game Boy. Tragically, the N64 game has still not been released on Wii Virtual Console, but is this handheld offering a good alternative? This instalment of the Goemon...

  • 5

    DSiWare

    Review Escape The Virus: Shoot 'Em Up!

    Not hugely contagious

    Escape the Virus: Shoot 'em Up! is a top-down twin stick arcade shooter without the twin sticks. As a tiny bit of friendly bacteria, you zoom about firing out rounds of red and blue pills at an endless onslaught of nasty-looking viruses, shooting in whichever direction you're moving. The viruses always eventually win, so the...

  • 29

    3DS eShop

    Review Crazy Chicken Pirates 3D

    This poultry is paltry

    There's a story in Crazy Chicken Pirates 3D, but believe us, you won't need one. The game — whose title reads about as gracefully as magnetic poetry — sees you gunning down chickens for 90 seconds. Then, we guess, you can do it again. If you'd like to. You may not, but the option to play again is about the only option the...

  • 52

    3DS eShop

    Review SpeedX 3D

    Speed demon

    There's always the temptation to be a bit snobbish about games that are ported to traditional consoles from smartphones. Given the enormous success of "casual" experiences on mobiles, many dedicated gamers view even the best titles as vapid, shallow experiences — a perspective which is reinforced by the hordes of clones and rip-offs...

  • 9

    DSiWare

    Review The Lost Town - The Jungle

    Lost in translation

    It’s rare for a sequel to a well received game to be released with little to nothing in terms of new content. Usually, a sequel calls for a fresh plot which ushers in new characters and gameplay elements to keep the familiar franchise fresh. Sometimes though, a sequel gets released that is essentially just a re-skinning of the...

  • 28

    3DS eShop

    Review Touch Battle Tank 3D

    Bad touch

    Good intentions most certainly pave the road to disappointment in Touch Battle Tank 3D. While it's clear that the 70 levels of non-stop blasting are meant to feel like frantic, satisfying plunges into arcade-style madness, it's also clear that the components simply don't come together the way they need to. Touch Battle Tank 3D simply feels...

  • 26

    3DS eShop / GBC

    Review Toki Tori

    A good egg

    Many will be familiar with Toki Tori on WiiWare, released a few years ago and since on several systems; it's been quite the popular game, but not many people are familiar with the original entry in the series. This is understandable, because it was released at the tail end of the Game Boy Color's life cycle back in 2002, but now has a...

  • 219

    3DS

    Review New Super Mario Bros. 2

    Going for gold

    At the time of writing, the 2012 London Olympics are in full swing. A global expression of unparalleled sporting excellence, the Games feature hordes of top-class athletes attempting to grab gold glory by taking part in events which are steeped in history and tradition; ultimately, the objective isn’t to be innovative in your...

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