Reviews - News

August2012

  • 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...

July2012

  • 18

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review World Heroes Perfect

    Not quite perfect

    When World Heroes was first released on SNK's Neo Geo arcade and home console system, it was yet another attempt to capture the popularity of Capcom's Street Fighter, this time by developer ADK. While the game featured some unique gameplay and visual features, it was still regarded more as a nice attempt at the genre than any type...

  • 57

    DSiWare

    Review Decathlon 2012

    Torch it

    Well, the London 2012 Olympic games are officially underway, and the eShop now has its equivalent of those ubiquitous bootlegged t-shirts in the form of Decathlon 2012, a digital souvenir that hopes to coast on the excitement of the Olympics without shelling out for the rights to refer to them by name. Already we're off to a great start,...

  • 60

    3DS eShop

    Review Planet Crashers

    Crash and burn

    On first inspection, Planet Crashers is the cute, warm and whimsical RPG world you would expect from Mutant Mudds developer Renegade Kid, providing a shot of humour, quirkiness and style to an already crowded and tired genre. However, much like other adventure RPGs lining our shelves at the moment, Planet Crashers is very much a case...

  • 67

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Mole Mania

    Dig in

    Poor Muddy Mole has returned home to find his family kidnapped by the evil farmer Jinbe. That's the entire plot, and we're happy about that. After all, Mole Mania isn't about storytelling; it's about a massive gauntlet of clever puzzles, and that's exactly why we like it. Divided into eight very large levels, Muddy's adventure finds him...

  • 10

    3DS eShop

    Review Dot Runner: Complete Edition

    On the dot or a runaround?

    Dot Runner: Complete Edition is the latest release from Intense, developer of unique DSiWare RPG GO Series: Picdun. This outing shares the dual perspectives of that title but little else; here you collect dots as a futuristic man-on-a-mission named BOLT in a chase puzzler that's fast and fun, but seriously flawed. While...

  • 39

    3DS

    Review New Art Academy

    A flawed masterpiece

    New Art Academy’s arrival on 3DS comes as no surprise, as the original DSiWare titles and the retail compilation on DS further boosted the handheld’s appeal, particularly to those who wanted more from a gaming machine. As part of a group of ‘bridge’ titles from Nintendo, designed to attract new audiences, it served its...

  • 10

    DSiWare

    Review Rabi Laby 2

    Return to Wonderland

    Remember the old adage “less is more"? Even if you don’t, Agetec certainly does, as is clearly reflected in Rabi Laby 2, its most recent DSiWare release. While it’s true that not much has changed from the first instalment, the original Rabi Laby was pretty good, so there’s not much to find fault with here. Much like its...

  • 5

    WiiWare

    Review Successfully Learning English: Year 2

    Back to the classroom

    If you combine DSiWare and WiiWare, Tivola’s Successfully Learning series has been one of the most prolific franchises available for download. Just when we thought it was all over, Successfully Learning English: Year 2 makes the transition from DSiWare to WiiWare, and young pupils can breathe a sigh of relief. The question is...

  • 106

    DSiWare

    Review Petit Computer

    Massive potential, minor headache

    There are few better places to learn programming than within the BASIC family — heck, it's in the name — which offers general-purpose, relatively simple environments in which to learn the ropes and concepts of coding. Petit Computer is a powerful BASIC coding environment, a type of homebrew application seldom...

  • 9

    3DS eShop

    Review Masyu by Nikoli

    Circle gets the square

    The ...by Nikoli series is nothing new to the eShop, but Masyu by Nikoli stands out for being a puzzle of Nikoli's own creation. This means that if you'd like to play it, more than likely this will be your only option on the service. Therefore the question really boils down to whether or not that puzzle is worth seeking out on...

  • 25

    3DS eShop

    Review The Phantom Thief Stina and 30 Jewels

    Hidden gem or a kick in the jewels?

    The Phantom Thief Stina and 30 Jewels is an arcade-like game that has you breaking into an assortment of stages, grabbing keycodes, deactivating security systems, and escaping into the night with shiny jewel in hand. As a concept, Phantom Thief is intriguing, but while it can be fun, it's ultimately let down by...

  • 26

    3DS

    Review Freakyforms Deluxe: Your Creations, Alive!

    Get your freak on

    When it was released on eShop, Freakyforms: Your Creations, Alive! was a thoroughly charming and cheerful creature creation tool, tailored to entertain kids and big kids alike. Its positive sales on the digital platform were clearly enough to convince Nintendo to expand the package, with Freakyforms Deluxe: Your Creations, Alive!...

  • 51

    3DS eShop / Game Boy

    Review Wario Land II

    Greed is good

    After the success of the first Wario Land, Nintendo decided to take another shot at putting its beloved new anti-hero in the spotlight. To differentiate it from Mario even further, it removed the "Super Mario Land" prefix and also made a massive gameplay change for Wario Land II. But is it one for the better? Defeated at the end of...

  • 17

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review The King of Fighters '96

    A step in the right direction

    King of the Fighters '96 marks the third release in the popular SNK fighting game series, and while we've already seen KoF releases from both before and after this title, SNK has finally decided to go back and release this pivotal release in the series. With a host of new gameplay additions, many of which help balance...

  • 14

    WiiWare

    Review Frogger: Hyper Arcade Edition

    Hopping mad

    Frogger reached its 30th anniversary last year so, as is tradition for gaming birthdays, Konami has marched out a new edition of the arcade classic. Frogger: Hyper Arcade Edition sets out to bring multiplayer and new play styles to the franchise, but it's not quite all it's croaked up to be. It's split up into eight modes – six game...

  • 131

    3DS

    Review Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance

    Like a dream, or just plain heartless?

    This is a good month for Square Enix fans. First rhythm-action masterpiece Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy came storming into our midst and now it's Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance’s turn to hold the spotlight. Kingdom Hearts 3D may be one of the best looking games on the 3DS, yet like many previous Kingdom...

  • 67

    3DS eShop

    Review Johnny Kung Fu

    Like a punch to the Wang

    We're on to you, UFO Interactive. You've released these side-scrolling action games every few months now and, we'll admit, each one has had a fairly interesting premise — a samurai slicer with RPG elements and a zombie-flavored rhythm game? We can dig it. Now you roll out what seems like an ode to LCD handheld games...

  • 30

    3DS eShop

    Review Sparkle Snapshots 3D

    Take a pretty picture

    It’s easy to forget about all of this multi-functional nonsense and think of 3DS as an all-out gaming machine, but occasionally a new app appears to remind us that, actually, Nintendo intends for the system to offer much more. The arrival of Sparkle Snapshots 3D in the eShop is one such reminder, a camera app designed to...

  • 16

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review 2020 Super Baseball

    Step up to the plate

    Taking a popular sport and fusing it together with a futuristic theme is certainly nothing new in the world of video games. Atari managed quite a bit of success with its robotic football release Cyberball, so it comes as no surprise that other companies would follow suit. Back in 1991 SNK took a page out of Atari's book and...

  • 16

    DSiWare

    Review Candle Route

    Candlelight delight

    Candle Route is a unique and colourful puzzle game starring Sparky, a plucky, anthropomorphic flame charged with bringing light to Crayon Castle before night comes around. The adventure that follows feels a bit like a cross between ChuChu Rocket!, mini-golf, and being a mother duck; most importantly it's beautiful, original and...

  • 25

    DSiWare

    Review Ace Mathician

    Smooth operators

    Ace Mathician, from Flipper developer Goodbye Galaxy Games, is a unique puzzle-platformer that succeeds in combining the magic of both marsupials and maths. The basic idea is to help a friendly koala named Ace reach the fruit at the end of each single-screen stage by rearranging platforms using algebraic equations. Make no mistake:...

  • 58

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review The Sword of Hope II

    The great black and white hope

    Poor Prince Theo. Not only is his first game still unavailable in the eShop, but his second adventure begins with all of his previous hard work being undone, an evil spirit being set free by would-be grave robbers, the Sword of Hope being stolen, and a young orphan accusing him of murdering his father. He really can't...

  • 69

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Kirby's Pinball Land

    Less than the sum of its parts

    While primarily known as the star of a reliably charming series of platformers, Kirby has also starred in a fair share of spin-offs. One of those, Kirby's Block Ball, came to the eShop just a few months ago. It's a flawed but fun reimagining of Breakout. It plays to the strengths of both Breakout as a template and...

  • 36

    3DS

    Review Harvest Moon 3D: The Tale of Two Towns

    Come a cropper

    Marvelous, Natsume and Rising Star Games certainly feel like they're onto a high-yield crop with Harvest Moon; Harvest Moon 3D: The Tale of Two Towns might be the first 3DS entry but it's the eighth HM game in five years. Any concerns that the creative well is running dry are understandable — after all, it's only farming — but...

  • 28

    3DS eShop

    Review Family Tennis 3D

    A good second service

    Arc System Works, most fondly known for the Guilty Gear and BlazBlue series of 2D fighting games, also dabbles in the casual sports genre with its Family series for WiiWare. Those titles generally haven't been very well received, but the series' first entry into the eShop, Family Tennis 3D, is a happy reversal of that trend...

  • 29

    3DS

    Review The Amazing Spider-Man

    Hyperbole, True Believers!

    You've got to hand it to Beenox for its stewardship of Spider-Man's games. While each entry has had its share of problems, the studio has pushed the webslinger in fun and genuinely interesting new directions by tapping into the character's rich diversity and exploring comic book universes largely ignored in video games,...

  • 12

    WiiWare

    Review Let's Create! Pottery

    Different console, same game

    Every now and again a game gets released that makes its players collectively ask “why? Why did this happen?” Then, inexplicably, the same exact game gets released on a completely different console after it has barely been changed at all. As you may have already guessed, this is exactly the case with Let’s Create!...

  • 11

    DSiWare

    Review 3, 2, 1... Words Up!

    Fun with words

    3, 2, 1... Words Up! is a great example of how simple can be satisfying. This word-unscrambling game does one thing and does it well, providing a solid dose of portable wordplay to anyone looking to test their lexical limits. The basic objective is to create as many words as possible from a bank of seven letters, and there are two...

  • 82

    3DS

    Review Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy

    You spoony bard!

    This is how you celebrate the 25th anniversary of a beloved game franchise. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, a rhythm game celebrating a quarter-century of some of the most iconic music in video games, is a fantastic title. Every facet radiates care and polish, with the accessible and addictive rhythm mechanics framed by a gorgeous...

  • 8

    3DS eShop

    Review Akari by Nikoli

    Spark in the dark

    Hamster is now at the halfway point of chopping up upcoming retail release Sudoku + 7 other Complex Puzzles by Nikoli and selling each puzzle type individually through the eShop. With Sudoku and Kakuro out of the way, the far more interesting chunks have started to hit as evidenced by last month's Slitherlink and now Akari.

  • 56

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review NES Open Tournament Golf

    Retro golf gaming at its finest

    While the eShop already has Golf for the Game Boy available, anyone who purchased that game may now start to wish they had saved their money. NES Open Tournament Golf is a superior experience in every way. Perhaps not substantially so, but it's certainly a more rewarding way to spend a day on the links. NES Open...

  • 42

    DSiWare

    Review Topoloco

    It may be a map, but it's no legend

    Congratulations are in order for Abstraction Games: it released a topography game that's even less fun that it sounds. Topoloco almost deserves an award for just how much it gets entirely wrong. Before you read the rest of this review, know that we didn't expect this to be much of a game, per se. Topoloco markets...

  • 27

    Wii

    Review Project Zero 2: Wii Edition

    Poltergeist snap

    If you're more than a little wary when it comes to bumps in the night, it might be best to stay away from Project Zero 2: Wii Edition. Tecmo Koei's ghastly survival horror series, also known as Fatal Frame, throws you within the clutches of dozens of malicious apparitions with only a camera for protection. A proton pack it ain't...

  • 49

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Castlevania: The Adventure

    Belmont's first portable adventure

    When the Game Boy hit store shelves in 1989 it didn’t take long for a vast swathe of third-party publishers – many of which had grown fat on the profits generated by Nintendo’s astonishingly popular NES – to sign up to produce software for the device. Konami was one of the first to pledge its allegiance to...

  • 12

    DSiWare

    Review Flip the Core

    Hit or bore?

    We've already seen a few shoot 'em ups pop up on DSiWare, but for the most part the selection has felt more gimmicky than traditional. Flip the Core continues that tradition with a unique "flip" design that allows you to flip the flat background planes, greatly altering the level with one push of a button. And while this interesting...

  • 30

    3DS eShop

    Review Marvel Pinball 3D

    Dat Mahvel

    Unlike video games based on movies or popular comics, licensed pinball tables have a reputation of being pretty great — The Twilight Zone, The Addams Family, Indiana Jones and Monster Bash are but a sampling of the rich properties that have yielded some of the most popular pins of the past 20 years. Marvel Comic's iconic characters are...

  • 6

    DSiWare

    Review Jewel Legends: Tree of Life

    Was it meant for you?

    Not that there’s any shortage of them on DSiWare, but right off the bat it should be said that Jewel Legends: Tree of Life is a puzzle game. Not only is it a puzzle game, but it’s a match three puzzle game, which means that you know exactly what to expect with this download. While there are some new features to spice up...

  • 10

    DSiWare

    Review Escape the Virus: Swarm Survival

    Mini-thrills with micro-organisms

    Escape the Virus: Swarm Survival, an offshoot of the WiiWare title Viral Survival from a few years back, is a collection of two score-based arcade games that take place under the microscope. While there's not a lot to this simple petri dish offering, what's there is an awful lot of fun and the core mechanics are...

  • 41

    3DS eShop

    Review Bomb Monkey

    Enough bang for your buck?

    Welcome to Bomb Monkey, which does in fact feature both bombs and a monkey. Whew, that's a relief! Now that we no longer have to worry about false advertising, we can talk about the game itself. As any screenshot will suggest, Bomb Monkey is a colour-based puzzle game. You hold your 3DS book-style, and use either the...

June2012

  • 22

    3DS eShop

    Review Slitherlink by Nikoli

    Voldemort's favourite puzzle

    Hamster continues to roll out piecemeal the components of its forthcoming retail package Sudoku + 7 Other Complex Puzzles by Nikoli onto the eShop, now breaking out the brain-bender Slitherlink by Nikoli. Unlike past efforts Sudoku by Nikoli and Kakuro by Nikoli, Slitherlink offers a type of teaser seldom seen in digital...

  • 37

    Wii Virtual Console / NES

    Review Double Dragon II: The Revenge

    Revenge is sweet

    When Double Dragon first hit the arcade scene back in 1987, it was immediately lauded for its intense beat 'em up gameplay and slick visuals and soundtrack. After making pit stops on a number of platforms, the NES included, the game only grew in popularity. So it was only natural that a sequel, Double Dragon II: The Revenge would...

  • 88

    DS

    Review Pokémon Conquest

    Resistance is feudal

    Peanut butter and chocolate, Chris Farley and David Spade, Marvel and Capcom. Taking two great things and smashing them together is a long-standing tradition of the human experience. Now, in the year 2012, another legendary combination can be etched into the annals of history – Pokémon and Nobunaga’s Ambition. Pokémon is...

  • 26

    DSiWare

    Review Goooooal Europa 2012

    Missing an open goooooal

    DSiWare is like any other downloadable game platform: it features gems full of creativity and compulsive play, and then it has titles like Goooooal Europa 2012, which tries to hide its painful inadequacies with a ‘fun’ title and a tenuous link to a major football tournament. The idea of a table football game with stylus...

  • 31

    3DS eShop / GG

    Review Sonic Blast

    From the past, not a blast

    Not to be confused with Sonic 3D Blast, Sonic Blast only really shares a fondness for rendered sprites with its 16-bit namesake, sticking to more mainline Sonic staples like running, spinning and grabbing Chaos Emeralds. The rendered sprites weren't particularly impressive back in 1996 and they don't stand up too well...

  • 18

    WiiWare

    Review Save the Furries

    Furful

    We've seen several WiiWare titles make the jump to other, probably more profitable, platforms, but it happens the other way around too. Save the Furries is one example; it started life as an iOS title, but now the alien-saving puzzler has scurried over to the Nintendo side. The goal is to get the titular helpless creatures from A (their...

  • 12

    DSiWare

    Review Lola's Fruit Shop Sudoku

    Sudoku Jr.

    Earlier this year we were pleasantly surprised by Lola's Alphabet Train, a rewardingly sweet journey through simple spelling drills. It was colourful, engaging and inventive. Now we have a sequel in the form of Lola's Fruit Shop Sudoku, and while the previous game's charm is intact, it's a bit less impressive overall. You'd be forgiven...

  • 40

    3DS eShop

    Review Order Up!!

    Finger-licking good

    When it comes to real-world occupations that double as compelling experiences in gaming, the list is pretty short. Soldier, of course. Taxi driver. City planner. And, surprisingly enough, restaurant manager. Order Up!! isn't the first game to tap into that particular well of gainful employment, but it certainly is one of the...

  • 5

    DSiWare

    Review 7 Wonders II

    A small wonder

    When it comes to clones, very few genres are more prime candidates than puzzlers. When Tetris hit back in the 80's it was quickly cloned and in fact, is still being cloned to this very day. 7 Wonders of the Ancient World took the match-three idea and attempted to inject a few new twists into the mix but somehow failed to take the...

  • 35

    3DS eShop

    Review Mad Dog McCree

    Send it to the pound

    Remember back when Laserdisc games were king and everyone loved them and we were all playing them at home? No? Well, that’s probably because it was never the case, and the really great news is that Laserdisc games quickly came and went before they could do any real lasting damage to the future of gaming. With that in mind,...

  • 70

    3DS

    Review Heroes of Ruin

    An heroic effort

    If Heroes of Ruin was judged purely on the level of ambition and functionality on display, it would be hailed as the finest title on 3DS. It takes the capabilities of the handheld and attempts to deliver a fully flavoured action RPG, with all of the online play and functionality that gamers could conceivably demand of a home console...

  • 40

    3DS

    Review Rayman Origins

    Limbless, but not limp

    Rayman Origins has had a long trip to reach 3DS; it was supposed to be released in March, and while it's out now in Europe it won't make it to North America until November. Europeans can enjoy it in 3D for the first time, but if you've already played it on one of the myriad other platforms you might want to think twice before...

  • 21

    DSiWare

    Review Devil Band - Rock the Underworld

    Ear piercing

    If musicians really can save the world — Bob Geldof and Bono would both like you to believe they can — then it's a shame they couldn't do it in a game more interesting than Devil Band - Rock the Underworld. CIRCLE's latest essentially takes Plants vs. Zombies, robs it of its charm and adds in a lot more tapping. You control a metal...

  • 17

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Tumble Pop

    Tumble Pop and lock

    In the future, nests of hornets will be the least of pest control's worries. Tumble Pop is filled with strange beasts, from living skeletons to little grey aliens, manic clowns and Sweetums from The Muppets. In this arcade platformer, it's your job to clean them up with nothing more than a trusty – and presumably engine-powered...

  • 49

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Donkey Kong Jr.

    Defeat the villainous Mario!

    Donkey Kong Jr. was the inevitable sequel to the massively popular arcade smash Donkey Kong. Surprisingly — and rewardingly — it inverted the formula, casting Mario as the villain to be defeated, and Donkey Kong's diaper-clad son as the avenging hero. Is there any wonder Nintendo released this one just in time for...

  • 18

    3DS eShop

    Review 3D Solitaire

    The title says it all

    Nintendo’s digital stores have given us plenty of titles based on old-fashioned games of cards, for those who no longer play with real decks or other people. The thing about solitaire, or course, is that it’s a card game for just one player, and anyone’s who owned a Windows PC in the last 15 years is likely to have played...

  • 22

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review The Last Blade

    Neo Geo fighting at its finest

    There are very few game consoles in existence that can compete with the diverse fighting game library of SNK's Neo Geo system. While some of the earlier efforts came up short of reaching the quality of Capcom's Street Fighter II series, many later efforts ended up being some of the best 2D fighting releases of the era...

  • 35

    Wii Virtual Console / Super Nintendo

    Review Mega Man X2

    Still mega

    When Capcom created Mega Man X, it had clearly done something right. Many fans loved finally getting a refreshing take on the series, rather than what was essentially the same thing over and over, and it became quite popular. While the Classic Mega Man series went on a break for a few years, Capcom churned out a few more X games,...

  • 10

    DSiWare

    Review 99Seconds

    I got 99 problems but time ain't one

    Tiny time-waster games like 99seconds really aren't all that dissimilar from the arcade games of old that we now look on so fondly as champions of game design: simplistic ideas with an execution engaging enough to keep the flow of quarters flowing. Here, the concept is a form of extreme keep-away with a slow-down...

  • 23

    3DS eShop

    Review Kakuro by Nikoli

    4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42

    There's certainly no shortage of number puzzles lurking around the dark, damp corners of the eShop. Sudoku is a prime culprit, and we wouldn't be at all surprised if there was a degree of puzzle overlap between them all, however mathematically unlikely that may be. Kakuro, on the other hand, is much less of a bruised dead horse...

  • 15

    3DS eShop

    Review Sweet Memories Blackjack

    Not fond memories

    Sweet Memories Blackjack is a strange arrival on the 3DS eShop, with a Japanese concept and style that typically doesn’t make it outside of the Land of the Rising Sun. While card games are common on DSiWare, this 3DS exclusive follows a different approach that aims to bring a relationship dynamic to proceedings. This title may...

  • 44

    3DS eShop / GBC

    Review Rayman

    Rayman, fighter of the Night Man

    In 1995, the platformer Rayman was released to great critical acclaim on the PlayStation. It was the first entry in a hugely successful franchise that also spawned an entirely separate sub-franchise along the way. Rayman had charm, class and above all a tremendous sense of fun. Five years later, the game was still...

  • 43

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review Metal Slug 3

    Heavy metal

    Due to the bevy of fighting games released for Neo Geo, it's always a refreshing sight to see a game of a different genre from the format re-released on Virtual Console. We've just about hit the jackpot this time — Metal Slug 3 can easily be considered one of the single best games the system ever got. The first and second games in the...

May2012

  • 24

    DSiWare

    Review Snakenoid Deluxe

    In which the word "deluxe" is cheapened enormously

    Last year, we reviewed Snakenoid, a Snake/Arkanoid hybrid from Cinemax that answered our question of how one could possibly combine the gameplay from those two games. That answer was, "pretty disappointingly, thanks for asking." We felt it was a bit of a mess, at best, a complete waste of time and...

  • 40

    3DS eShop

    Review Art of Balance TOUCH!

    Art of brilliance

    WiiWare puzzler Art of Balance is one of the best games on the service: instinctive and addictive, it made the well-worn act of stacking shapes feel fresh again. Now on the 3DS eShop, Art of Balance TOUCH! keeps the winning formula going. The premise to Art of Balance is simple. In each stage you're given blocks of various shapes,...

  • 11

    DSiWare

    Review Chronicles of Vampires: Awakening

    Bloody good?

    It seems that popular culture's obsession with vampires may be entering its twilight years. If contemporary films, books and TV series focusing on gothic lore ever felt fresh and exciting, that effect has worn off and the bloodsuckers have come to feel a bit bland and tired. Still clinging onto the trend is the second in Teyon's hidden...

  • 37

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Kirby's Dream Land 2

    Dreamy

    Dream Land's peaceful moniker is surely false advertising. There are constant problems with invasions and takeovers, the bad guys are apparently impossible to evict, based on how often they show up and the fact that some buffoon keeps dumping huge piles of those star blocks in everybody's way. It's an absolute nightmare. You wouldn't get that...

  • 16

    3DS eShop

    Review Sudoku by Nikoli

    SuDDDoku

    Given the volume of the genre found in the eShop, we expect a lot from new digital sudoku games. If someone is going to go ahead and plunk down some cash, a game really needs to bring the thunder compared to the free versions found online and on other devices, or even one of those end-all puzzle books down at the five and dime. Sudoku by...

  • 114

    3DS

    Review Mario Tennis Open

    Open season

    Camelot's revered Mario Tennis series has a split legacy: on home consoles as a primarily multiplayer-focused insane-o-thon, and on portables as a more solo-oriented sports RPG. Mario Tennis Open falls somewhere in between, trying to capture the best of both worlds in the most accessible way possible. In many ways Camelot succeeds in its...

  • 11

    DSiWare

    Review Curling Super Championship

    Bowls on ice

    DSiWare has been home to some interesting concepts and ideas, developing a diverse library of different experiences of varying standards. Despite this, Curling Super Championship is one of the more unique entries, taking a relatively minor winter sport and turning it into a video game. While some may feel the need to dismiss it off...

  • 43

    Wii Virtual Console / Mega Drive

    Review Monster World IV

    Worth the wait

    Originally released in 1994, Monster World IV is the final game in the Wonder Boy series. It's a very well-liked game and another great entry in the franchise, but there was just one problem: it was never released outside Japan. Until now that is, because SEGA has finally given the rest of the world a chance to experience the game,...

  • 24

    Wii Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade

    Review Wonder Boy in Monster Land

    Boy wonder

    The Wonder Boy franchise is one of many treasured relics from SEGA's past. Dedicated fans have clamoured for a new entry in the platform series ever since the 1994 Mega Drive release of the sixth title, Monster World IV. For now, though, they'll have to make do with the splurge of digital download re-releases. This time, it's the arcade...

  • 51

    3DS eShop / GG

    Review Sonic Labyrinth

    Maze craze

    Failed game pitches from the 1990s: Madden without the ball. Mario without the jumping. Sonic without the speed. Except someone at SEGA must have thought the last one was a good idea, and gave Minato Giken the go-ahead to develop Sonic Labyrinth for Game Gear. As the story goes, Dr. Robotnik has tricked Sonic into wearing special shoes...

  • 12

    DSiWare

    Review Paul's Shooting Adventure 2

    Looks like we're having twins

    Upon its western release in late 2010, Paul's Shooting Adventure was a pleasant surprise. It starred a flying baby named Paul, also known as The Ultimate Pacifier, who battled evil alien sea creatures because, hey, why not? It was a surprisingly fun game with colourful graphics and an upbeat soundtrack, not to mention...

  • 26

    3DS

    Review Shifting World

    Less was more

    In 2008, a Flash-based platformer/puzzle game called Shift was released online. Its gameplay was a model of brilliant simplicity: levels were constructed from black and white blocks, and the Shift key would flip the room upside down, turn background objects solid and push previously solid objects into the background. It was a premise...

  • 39

    3DS eShop / GBC

    Review Game & Watch Gallery 2

    Now in colour!

    After successfully remaking and re-releasing four Game & Watch games with Mario characters in Game & Watch Gallery, it was only a matter of time before Nintendo selected another bunch to redo. With around 50 different Game & Watch games originally released, there certainly isn't a small pool to pick from, but here we have...

  • 29

    Wii Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade

    Review Super Hang-On

    Winning run

    Name a SEGA arcade racer from the 1980s. Now name one that isn't Out Run. Chances are you've come up with Super Hang-On (or maybe Power Drift if you're really trying), the motorbike racer that's the Pepsi to Out Run's Coke. The fact it's taken SEGA five years to bring Super Hang-On game to the Western Virtual Console is a big surprise,...

  • 19

    DSiWare

    Review Cat Frenzy

    Purr crazy

    “Little kittens are trapped in a well!” yowls Cat Frenzy's press release, invoking worrying thoughts of helpless baby felines in peril. Actually, this sliding block game is a bit more cheery in reality – the background implies they're actually in a house, for starters. Phew. Played with your handheld in sideways book-style, Cat...

  • 54

    3DS eShop

    Review Bird Mania 3D

    A first-class flight

    3DS Download Software has been a bit of a mixed bag so far, with titles ranging from the glorious to the utterly forgettable. Similarly, developer Teyon has been responsible for both memorable, addictive fun and fuelling our screaming nightmares. For those reasons, we weren't sure what to expect of Bird Mania 3D. But now that...

  • 39

    DSiWare

    Review Amoebattle

    There will be bloodstreams

    Intrinsic Games has brought some interesting titles to DSiWare so far, with topsy-turvy platformer Divergent Shift and arctic rescue puzzler Penguin Patrol both offering respectable and fun takes on their material. With Amoebattle, whose title is much more fun to read than it is to say out loud, Intrinsic Games looks to...

  • 20

    3DS eShop

    Review Block Factory

    Block party

    If you've ever harboured the desire to create your own block-falling games, Block Factory might just be what you've been looking for. Through its editor you can build new games in the puzzle sub-genre with ease, but in doing so you'll have to look past the bland presentation, and it soon becomes clear that there's a reason there are only...

April2012

  • 77

    DSiWare

    Review Chuck E. Cheese's Arcade Room

    Cheese Louise

    We're not sure why UFO Interactive bothered to get the Chuck E. Cheese license for this mirthless assortment of half-baked minigames, but we can conclusively say that it wasn't worth its time or the effort to do so. Chuck E. Cheese's Arcade Room is, in a word, awful. The first major issue is the stingy number of games available. We're...

  • 19

    WiiWare

    Review Rush Rush Rally Racing

    Blast from the 'Cast

    Undeserving of such a short lifespan, Dreamcast has continued to play home to the occasional independent development. One such game is Senile Team's Rush Rush Rally Racing (R4). Originally created as an entry for a Dreamcast programming contest back in 2009, the team adapted its work so that it was fit for release on WiiWare...

  • 71

    3DS

    Review Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir

    The ghost of a much better game

    There's something magical within Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir. Really, there is. You wouldn't know it by playing it, because the execution is downright terrible, but at heart, somewhere, deep inside this absolute mess is the germ of a great idea; that's the nicest thing we can say about it. Spirit Camera is an...

  • 13

    Wii

    Review We Sing Pop

    Get by with a little help…

    Here at Nintendo Life we're used to reviewing a lot of franchise sequels, as developers and publishers quite rightly give gamers more of what they want. We're not talking Super Mario, however, but rather the We Sing series, a franchise of karaoke games exclusive to Wii. Unfortunately we aren't well-known for angelic...

  • 28

    DSiWare

    Review I Must Run!

    Can I bolt?

    Held in prison for daring to protect his beloved from an attack, I Must Run!'s nameless protagonist is challenged to break out and run across the city in less than 24 hours for the ultimate prize: his wife's life. Apparently the escape itself poses no problem, as we cut straight to the chase. I Must Run! is a game of the same ilk as the...

  • 48

    Wii Virtual Console / Mega Drive

    Review Super Street Fighter II

    Online, but off-base?

    It's taken five and a half years for an online Street Fighter game to reach Wii. In that time, Xbox 360 and PS3 owners have had five different SF online titles — six, if you count Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition. Heck, even 3DS has Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition. Wii owners, for their sins, get an online-enabled...

  • 27

    DSiWare

    Review Anne's Doll Studio: Tokyo Collection

    Goodbye, Dolly

    If you were clamouring for a sequel to Anne's Doll Studio: Gothic Collection, it can only mean that you've never played it. Nevertheless, here we are, being punished for whatever hideous, unforgivable sins we must have committed in our past lives. Anne's Doll Studio: Tokyo Collection is that sequel, and while the previous instalment...

  • 87

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review The Legend of Zelda

    Rough around the edges, but an unforgettable adventure

    When The Legend of Zelda was released in 1986, it was at least as much an eye-opening experience for gamers as Super Mario Bros. had been. Whereas that game expanded and solidified the left-to-right nature of platformers for generations to come, The Legend of Zelda opened sprawling worlds before...

  • 65

    3DS eShop

    Review Colors! 3D

    Color! us impressed

    There’s something that needs to be said about applications on the 3DS, and that’s simply that there should be many more of them. Not only should there be more apps, but there should also be some really great apps that take a simple concept and turn it into something incredible using the 3DS’s technological capabilities...

  • 80

    Wii

    Review Pandora's Tower

    A difficult feast

    Wii owners who enjoy Japanese RPGs have been spoiled recently, especially those that live in Europe: Xenoblade Chronicles and The Last Story provide two very different flavours of Japanese gaming, and the trio of originally Japan-exclusive titles is complete with Pandora’s Tower. If you like challenging concepts, demons and...

  • 26

    DSiWare

    Review Penguin Patrol

    Snow major complaints; it's an ice game! Catch our drift?

    The charmingly simple story of Penguin Patrol revolves around a young Eskimo who witnesses a greedy walrus slugging along with a sack full of distressed penguins. The walrus is obviously looking forward to a nice big dinner, but it's up to you to prevent him from getting that far. You...

  • 44

    3DS

    Review Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure

    It’s got the rhythm

    The early part of 2012 has brought us some blockbuster titles on 3DS that, in their own way, involve plenty of tension and shooting enemies. Perhaps it’s time to sit back and indulge in something a little more off the wall and unexpected, and Rhythm Thief & the Emperor’s Treasure certainly fits the bill. Despite the...

  • 28

    3DS eShop

    Review SpeedThru: Potzol's Puzzle

    Spinning out of control

    Back in 2010, Nintendo published an amusing little WiiWare title called ThruSpace, a game which at its very core simply involved flipping, turning and moving a block around in order to fit through gaps in walls. KeysFactory, the developer responsible for that title, has now created SpeedThru: Potzol's Puzzle — known as...

  • 15

    DS

    Review Inazuma Eleven 2 Firestorm

    Back of the net

    It’s time to save the world from aliens, but how? We could solve a lot of puzzles, blast enemies away with big guns, fly through space in an intergalactic warship or, alternatively, play football. In the universe of Inazuma Eleven 2 there isn’t a single problem that can’t be solved with a football – or soccer – match...

  • 6

    WiiWare

    Review Carmen Sandiego Adventures in Math: The Island of Diamonds

    Less Diamond, more rough

    Here it is, the thrilling conclusion to yet another series of episodic games that failed to impress from the get-go. That’s not to say that the Carmen Sandiego Adventures in Math series was a complete let-down, but a few crucial flaws detracted from the package as a whole and really held the entire series back. What...

March2012

  • 33

    DSiWare

    Review 90's Pool

    It's pool! In the 90's!

    The Berlin Wall has recently fallen, Seinfeld is dominating television and Justin Bieber has just been born. Yes, it's the 1990s and, for some reason, we're playing pool. We'll leave the jokes about the title to you folks in the comments, as 90's Pool doesn't really leave us in much of a mood for fun. And for a video game,...

  • 27

    3DS eShop

    Review Arc Style: Soccer!! 3D

    Like real soccer, it's better with friends

    Hoping against hope to sweep the award for most cumbersomely titled game in the eShop, Arc Style: Soccer!! 3D is here, and it's brought with it a slew of impressive options for customisation. Unfortunately, the gameplay seems to have been sacrificed on their behalf. As with just about any sports game, Arc...

  • 40

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Dr. Mario

    The doctor’s out

    If there’s one thing the 3DS eShop has plenty of, it’s puzzle games. It’s a genre that's always been commonplace on Nintendo handhelds, with Tetris probably the best known example. It’s hardly surprising that Nintendo’s mascot extraordinaire, Mario, invaded Game Boy with his own puzzle title, Dr. Mario. Does it make us...

  • 7

    DSiWare

    Review 1st Class Poker & BlackJack

    Show ‘em what you got

    Nintendo download services aren’t lacking for casino-style titles, ensuring that you don’t need a pesky deck of cards if you want a game of chance. In the case of poker games, we should be grateful that it means gambling only with fake, electronic money — always a safer way to play. 1st Class Poker & BlackJack is...

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