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Review: Ninja Gaiden (Wii U eShop / NES)

Ninja Gaiden (Wii U eShop / NES)

Original Gaiden

With a hit-list of sequels and spin-offs spanning more than two decades and its latest iteration — Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge — even slicing out a spot in the Wii U's launch lineup, Ninja Gaiden's reputation precedes it. An East-meets-West action platformer with an Japanese aesthetic and an American action-hero heart, this is...

Review: Touch Battle Tank 3D 2 (3DS eShop)

Touch Battle Tank 3D 2 (3DS eShop)

Two of the same

Ideally, a video game sequel should feature everything that worked about the first game and expand and improve upon it so that the the new entry doesn't feel like an expansion pack. Unfortunately, there was very little that worked about Agetec's Touch Battle Tank 3D, and Touch Battle Tank 3D 2 is basically more of the same. With the...

Review: Castle Clout 3D (3DS eShop)

Castle Clout 3D (3DS eShop)

Regal rebellion

Long before the modern age of mobile gaming and pocket-handy computers that we refer to as "smartphones," poor, lowly players would flock to the Internet in order to get their cheap gaming fix. In this era that time has forgotten, those seeking digital entertainment would subject themselves to monstrosities known as "Flash games,"...

Review: Inazuma Eleven 3: Team Ogre Attacks (3DS)

Inazuma Eleven 3: Team Ogre Attacks (3DS)

Extra time

We're no strangers to dual releases in the Inazuma Eleven series, as it apes the money-spinning convention best seen in the Pokémon franchise; yet Inazuma Eleven 3: Team Ogre Attacks adds a third variation at a later release date. For fans of Inazuma Eleven 3 in either of its first two forms this is potentially more of a rather good...

Review: Percy's Predicament (Wii U eShop)

Percy's Predicament (Wii U eShop)

Keep rollin' rollin' rollin' rollin'

Games like Marble Madness and the Super Monkey Ball series have had their share of devoted followers throughout the years, but they exist in a genre that isn’t exactly bursting at the seams with new entries. To those unfamiliar, these are games where the player controls a ball through a series of narrow...

Review: Mighty Bomb Jack (Wii U eShop / NES)

Mighty Bomb Jack (Wii U eShop / NES)

Pyramid schemes

Bomb Jack, released in 1984, was one of Tecmo's early hits, a single-screen arcade game that had players rushing to diffuse bright red bombs planted at major tourist attractions around the globe. By the time its sequel rolled around in 1987, the Super Mario Bros.-induced side-scrolling craze had taken hold of the gaming world, and...

Review: Retro City Rampage: DX (3DS eShop)

Retro City Rampage: DX (3DS eShop)

A Blast From the Recent Past

About one year ago, Vblank Entertainment released Retro City Rampage on WiiWare. While it had also been released in other forms, it served as a notable last breath for Nintendo's first serious digital marketplace. It was a solid game that we enjoyed with some reservations, but the developers made no secret about the...

Review: ARC STYLE: Solitaire (3DS eShop)

ARC STYLE: Solitaire (3DS eShop)

Forever alone

If you've ever had a) a computer, b) a deck of cards, or c) a grandmother, then the odds are good that you've had some exposure to Solitaire. At a relatively low-price point, ARC STYLE: Solitaire aims to bring that hot solo card-arranging action to the 3DS eShop. We would have thought that such a simple game in combination with a touch...

Review: Barbie Dreamhouse Party (Wii U)

Barbie Dreamhouse Party (Wii U)

Problems with plasticity

It's easy to dismiss licensed games like Barbie Dreamhouse Party as cheap cash-ins on popular franchises because, in all honesty, that's usually what they are. Creating a video game based on a classic line of dolls may seem like a step in the right direction towards our increasingly digital future, but it comes with the...

Review: Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (Wii U eShop / NES)

Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (Wii U eShop / NES)

Super Masochist Bros.

Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels is the famously difficult, Japan-only sequel to the titular plumber's breakout NES hit, expanding on the original formula with deviously challenging level design and obstacles. Western audiences were instead given the comparatively easy 'Super Mario USA' (a re-skinned translation of Nintendo's...

Review: LEGO Friends (3DS)

LEGO Friends (3DS)

No friend of mine

Warner Bros. Interactive and Hellbent Games' LEGO Friends is a bad game. There's no nicer way of putting it. A squandered opportunity to make another gaming hit out of a popular LEGO property, LEGO Friends feels like a cynical cash-in designed to provide young gamers with a few minutes of mindless diversion before they request the...

Review: Mario Bros. (3DS eShop / NES)

Mario Bros. (3DS eShop / NES)

Subpar Mario

Mario and Luigi’s adventures have been nothing short of fantastical over the years, to the point where you could be forgiven for questioning their occupations as plumbers. But despite the brothers’ incredibly varied employment history as doctors, sportsmen and racing drivers — in which they’ve rarely called upon their supposed...

Review: Brilliant Hamsters! (3DS eShop)

Brilliant Hamsters! (3DS eShop)

Not quite brilliant

Nintendo revived the pet simulation genre with its hit Nintendogs series, and since then there have been plenty of other pet sims hoping to catch the animal-loving gamers' hearts. Bergsala Lightweight's eShop title Brilliant Hamsters! is a competently crafted pet simulator that simply doesn't present enough variety to sustain...

Review: Chibi-Robo! Photo Finder (3DS eShop)

Chibi-Robo! Photo Finder (3DS eShop)

Photogenic or photobombed?

Explaining the attraction of the Chibi-Robo series to the uninitiated isn't the easiest task. While the idea of a helpful little robot may be charming enough, it's the activities he takes part in — which, on the surface, might sound like little more than virtual chores — that are sure to scare away many a gamer. What...

Review: Cocoto Magic Circus 2 (Wii U eShop)

Cocoto Magic Circus 2 (Wii U eShop)

Look ma', I shot that lizard!

Nintendo, the pillar of family friendly gaming, once made a good amount of money by selling kids plastic guns. OK, it was a Zapper, but the point stands; we may bemoan some mature, modern shooters for the violence they promote, but more fantastical and cuddly violence has always been part of the gaming landscape. Cocoto...

Review: Hot Wheels: World's Best Driver (Wii U)

Hot Wheels: World's Best Driver (Wii U)

Lead it Away

It’s wonderful to think about the toys of our childhood and how they’re being brought back to life as video games. Through gaming, new generations of youngsters can enjoy the same things that older gamers did in their youth, but in a completely different way. It’s safe to assume that many of you reading this grew up building with...

Review: Unepic (Wii U eShop)

Unepic (Wii U eShop)

Not ungood

So you know how it goes: you’re playing a tabletop RPG with your friends. They poke fun at you because you, the Modern Gamer, want to try something that tends to work on a screen but doesn’t jive with the “realism” of high fantasy. Whatever. You excuse yourself to 'observe nature', but the lights go out and suddenly you’re not...