Reviews - News

April2013

  • 28

    3DS

    Review The Croods: Prehistoric Party!

    Party of one

    When popular films are adapted into video games, publishers tend to cover their bases by releasing the results across as many platforms as possible. This often leads to portable systems receiving scaled-back ports from their big-screen brethren, and The Croods: Prehistoric Party on 3DS is a prime example of a handheld hand-me-down. We...

  • 70

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Kirby's Adventure

    Adventure time

    Though Kirby made his debut a year prior on the Game Boy, it was 1993's Kirby's Adventure on the NES that cemented his appearance, his power-stealing ability, and his vast environments full of hidden secrets. Kirby's Adventure did a lot more than expand on the simple charm of Kirby's Dream Land; it earned him a place as one of...

  • 41

    3DS eShop

    Review Super Little Acorns 3D Turbo

    Just a squirrel trying to get a nut

    In early 2012, Little Acorns was released for iOS. It was a simple but charming title in which bespectacled squirrel Mr. Nibbles sought out acorns to prevent his family from starving. When we spell it out that way we realize it sounds rather morbid, but in practice it was a fun and addictive experience that we...

  • 80

    3DS

    Review LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins

    Bricking it

    We all love a good origin story, right? It's an opportunity to delve further into the inner workings of a character, to learn what they're all about and how they became the hero that we know and love. LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins, however, is an oddly timed tale of this ilk: we only just got to know Chase McCain a month ago in...

  • 15

    3DS eShop

    Review Soccer Up 3D

    Own goal

    These days, soccer games tend to fall on one of two ends of a spectrum: there's the relatively realistic sports simulation found in annual FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer instalments, and then there's the zany over-the-top action of the Super Mario Strikers and FIFA Street series. In the golden days of the Amiga, however, there were other...

  • 55

    3DS

    Review Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers

    Soul Shakedown Party

    As an enhanced port of a 1997 first-person dungeon crawling RPG for the ill-fated Sega Saturn, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers seems like an unlikely release — especially considering the original game never left Japan. Both time and the journey across the Pacific have been kind to this 3DS wünder-port,...

  • 30

    DSiWare

    Review Clash of Elementalists

    An Elemental Mistake

    If you’ve stumbled onto any footage of Clash of Elementalists, we wouldn’t be surprised if your first impression was a good one. At first glance, the game-play appears reminiscent of SEGA’s Virtual-On series or even the multiplayer aspect of Kid Icarus: Uprising. This is a third-person arena brawler where you’re bestowed...

  • 21

    3DS

    Review Finding Nemo: Escape to the Big Blue

    Making a splash or a drop in the ocean?

    Finding Nemo: Escape to the Big Blue's re-release would seem a little odd were it not for the fact that Finding Nemo is currently enjoying a second run at UK cinemas due to the wonders of 3D technology. Disney has clearly seen a good opportunity to improve its rate of return on the game — which was...

  • 24

    3DS eShop

    Review Alien Chaos 3D

    Clean shooting

    Alien Chaos 3D may be one of the eShop's cheaper titles, but it's fair to say that it's absolutely stuffed full of action. Developed by Ludosity, this 2D shooter has a fairly simple premise which is boosted by some fun and inventive gameplay features. The end result is a game that's surprisingly inventive, chaotically fun and rather...

  • 53

    GameCube

    Review Viewtiful Joe

    A Viewtiful debut

    Joe is nothing more than an average… well, Joe, as it were. The guy loves old movies and their cheesy melodrama, so when a malevolent hand drags him into a superhero flick, he’s absolutely pumped. This is a chance to do the impossible; to pull off his favorite actions scenes with high-flying kicks, slow-motion thrills, and...

  • 85

    3DS eShop

    Review Dillon's Rolling Western: The Last Ranger

    Spinning in place

    It's been just over a year since the release of Dillon's Rolling Western, an interesting spin — pardon the pun — on the tower defense formula, starring a steely armadillo prone to communicating through loaded silence. As you can see from our review at the time we liked it, though not without reservations. Now we have a sequel,...

  • 29

    Wii U

    Review The Croods: Prehistoric Party!

    Croodités

    As a video game adaptation of Dreamworks' cave-dweller caper, The Croods: Prehistoric Party casts the film's characters in a Mario Party-style experience for up to four players. It borrows heavily from Nintendo's series, linking disparate mini-games together with a simple board game conceit. Like the movie's titular Neanderthal family...

  • 23

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review NAM-1975

    War is heaven

    Although NAM-1975 was an early Neo Geo release, it's certainly not short on fun. Released in 1990, it took a simple shooting approach and built an interesting war theme around it. Simple mechanics and a level of playability that wasn't too common in the genre made for an amazing gameplay experience. Now SNK Playmore is bringing back...

  • 108

    3DS eShop

    Review Witch & Hero

    A curse upon the eShop

    CIRCLE Entertainment has been a prolific publisher on DSiWare, bringing to the fore its own titles and also helping small developers share their work with the DSi/3DS audience. With so many titles against its name there are some that are excellent, as well as others that we'd sooner forget. Witch & Hero arrives on the 3DS...

  • 18

    3DS

    Review 50 Classic Games 3D

    Destined to be forgotten

    At first glance, 50 Classic Games 3D looks reminiscent of Nintendo's 42 All-Time Classics (Clubhouse Games in North America) for DS. But those hoping for a spiritual successor to the original hit are in for a bit of a disappointment. This is because 50 Classic Games 3D is woefully lacking in quality, depth and — most of...

  • 37

    3DS eShop / GBC

    Review Harvest Moon

    Under thresher

    The Harvest Moon series has always promoted the ideals of hard work and patience over the instant gratification found by more recent prods at gaming agriculture like Farmville. This attitude is even more apparent in Harvest Moon on the Game Boy Color than other iterations, as the handheld game crops the series down to its very roots...

  • 64

    Wii U eShop

    Review Toki Tori 2+

    A hatchling of a grand idea

    While Toki Tori was a launch title on WiiWare and seized a lot of attention as a result, its direct sequel has had a more protracted release history. Initially planned as a Wii U eShop launch title, Toki Tori 2 arrives after developer Two Tribes had a late change of heart and delayed release, taking the opportunity to...

March2013

  • 74

    3DS

    Review Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity

    Neverending story

    With the Pokémon series nearly ready to celebrate its 18th birthday next year, some of its many spin-offs have become enduring gaming traditions in their own right. The Mystery Dungeon games are a prime example, combining classic roguelike dungeon crawling with the endless appeal of playing as Pokémon, and as the series' first...

  • 46

    Wii U

    Review The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct

    Walking Dud

    Zombies are impossible to avoid. Not that the living dead are walking among us and causing havoc, but the media has been absolutely permeated by them. As evidence, we have The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct; the Wii U’s second game about zombies – known in-game as “walkers” – works as the prequel to a television show about...

  • 13

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review Art of Fighting 3: The Path of the Warrior

    Third time's a charm?

    Art of Fighting sprang onto the Neo Geo arcade scene in 1993 and brought with it several innovations that would become a staple of future Neo fighting titles. For one thing the game featured huge character sprites, some spanning nearly the height of the screen. It also introduced the now famous SNK zoom system that would keep...

  • 121

    3DS eShop

    Review HarmoKnight

    Big beat

    When you think Game Freak, you instinctively think Pokémon. It’s hardly surprising; the Japanese studio has been behind the million-selling franchise since day one, and the evergreen popularity of “catching 'em all” has ensured that the firm has little reason — or time — to explore other avenues. Apart from side-projects like...

  • 24

    DSiWare

    Review Forgotten Legions

    Tower offence

    Forgotten Legions tells the story of a character named Merkhovious, who is apparently a wizard or some other type of magic user. He started using dark magic and was quickly banished from the town of Riverkeep, because the higher-ups there frown upon that sort of thing. Now Merkhovious is back, and he’s brought an army of undead...

  • 7

    3DS eShop

    Review Jewel Master Atlantis 3D

    A diamond in the rough?

    For years now, Cerasus Media has been pumping out game after game in the Jewel Master series, and very little has changed in that time. Each instalment is usually playable and entertaining enough, but in most instances the gameplay formula and overall presentation have remained the same. And while the classic phrase "If it...

  • 40

    3DS

    Review Naruto: Powerful Shippuden

    He's a laugher, not a fighter

    The first thing that's going to strike you about Naruto: Powerful Shippuden is the super deformed art style. After all, Namco Bandai has plastered it everywhere, so it must be quite proud of how it turned out. That's probably a smart move, because the visuals rank among this game's main strong points. It's only when you...

  • 105

    Wii U

    Review Need for Speed: Most Wanted U

    Just what U wanted

    Criterion is best known for developing the smash hit Burnout games — which last appeared on a Nintendo console over ten years ago — but since then the studio's gone on to helm the long-running Need for Speed series of racing games. Its latest effort is Need for Speed: Most Wanted U, an enhanced port of last year's PS3/360...

  • 15

    3DS eShop

    Review Lola's Math Train

    I choo-choo-choose you!

    Lola’s Math Train, the follow-up to the pleasantly surprising Lola’s Alphabet Train, isn’t quite a game as much as it’s a learning application. In this instalment Lola, the jubilant panda, is here to help kids learn about math, numbers and logical problem solving through various interactive challenges. This is a...

  • 22

    Super Nintendo

    Review Super Pang

    Forever blowing bubbles

    Capcom is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2013. Since the company formed in 1983, it has published a host of classic titles from the Resident Evil series, countless Street Fighter games and many timeless iterations of Mega Man. One of its lesser known titles is Super Pang (known as Super Buster Bros. in North America), an...

  • 19

    3DS

    Review Pets Resort 3D

    Top dog, or just plain ruff?

    It's that special time of the year again, when the world of casual gaming throws fluffy puppies and wide-eyed kittens at things and hopes to make a profit. This time Neopica has stepped up to the challenge with Pets Resort 3D. In the latest Nintendogs + Cats clone, the player takes command of a rather suspicious...

  • 33

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream

    Heavy Hitter

    Boxing is a fascinating sport. Two human beings enter the ring, then skilfully and tactfully beat the tar out of one another using nothing but their own gloved fists. It’s the perfect fodder for a video game, and that’s exactly why the Punch-Out!! series is such a classic. Originally released in North America as Mike Tyson's...

  • 158

    3DS

    Review Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon

    This game must be possessed

    Nintendo has proclaimed 2013 to be "The Year of Luigi": a long overdue celebration of Mario's underdog brother. There are already a few Luigi-themed (or at least partially related) releases to come later in the year, and we wouldn’t be surprised if the Japanese games giant had a few more projects tucked up its sleeve...

  • 28

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review The King of Fighters '98

    The best there ever was

    For many 2D fighting game fans, The King of Fighters '98 represents the zenith of the series; the crowning glory of the only rival lineage to truly bloody the nose of Capcom's genre-defining Street Fighter. It's not hard to see why this is the case; the game looks stunning, has a massive roster of characters and boasts one...

  • 24

    DSiWare

    Review Goony

    You jelly?

    Aside offerings such as I Must Run!, there haven't been a huge number of endless runner-style games on DSiWare. CIRCLE Entertainment's latest title, Goony, aims to fill that gap a little, while also proving that you don't necessarily need legs or a baffling amount of stamina to star in the genre – if you're a creature made of jelly, you...

  • 95

    3DS

    Review Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

    A monstrous portable adventure

    Back when the 3DS handheld was looking for saviours during the Holiday season of 2011, a certain mustachioed plumber was joined in Japan by Monster Hunter 3 G, an expanded version of the popular Wii title Monster Hunter Tri. Its sales were eye-catching and reflective of the fact that handheld Monster Hunter titles are...

  • 161

    Wii U

    Review Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

    Don't forget your potions

    While the arrival of a new Monster Hunter title, particularly of the handheld variety, in Japan can probably cause retailer's systems to crash, it's a franchise that's been unable to capture that same fevered audience in the West. Capcom's latest attempt is Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, an expanded and enhanced re-release of...

  • 46

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Mega Man 3

    Sibling rivalry

    It's fitting that Mega Man 3 introduces our hero's antagonistic, cocksure older brother Proto Man, as the game itself seems to eternally duke it out with its own brother Mega Man 2 for the coveted title of Best in Series. But wherever you may fall on the question, there's no doubt that this third installment in the classic franchise...

  • 109

    Wii U

    Review LEGO City: Undercover

    On the block rockin' beat

    Between the lucrative high profile movie tie-ins and people begging for Zelda and Mega Man editions, it's sometimes easy to overlook the fact that The LEGO Group cut its teeth on its non-licensed playsets. From fantasy wonderlands to more ordinary examples, the building bricks were an ever-popular force with children and...

  • 34

    Wii U

    Review The Amazing Spider-Man: Ultimate Edition

    Spidey takes Manhattan, again

    Our friendly neighborhood wall crawler's cinematic reboot in last summer's The Amazing Spider-Man had us leaving theatres utterly torn. We're down with new interpretations and while the Spider-Man on-screen offered a lot of what we love about the character, the surrounding film was kind of a mess. The same can be said...

  • Talking Point Review Scores and Unwinnable Arguments

    Just how important are review scores?

    Last week we published our Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate review; we liked it, despite some flaws that we outlined, and gave it a strong recommendation with a score of 8/10, which counts as "very good" in our review scoring policy. Such was the reaction to the review here, elsewhere and to the...

  • 38

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Wrecking Crew

    I'm gonna wreck it!

    It’s common knowledge for most gamers that Mario has been in countless games over the years, in which he has taken on a bevy of different roles and occupations. From race-car driver to boxing referee, Mario has done it all. Curiously enough, just about the only job Mario hasn’t performed in a video game is that of a plumber,...

  • 46

    3DS eShop / GBC

    Review Legend of the River King

    Nothing smells fishy here

    Natsume is mostly known for its Harvest Moon games, but what you might not know is that there is another long-running series from the same developer - in fact, its first game predates the first Harvest Moon by 6 years. Legend of the River King is one of only four games in this series released outside Japan, and it's now...

  • 49

    3DS eShop

    Review Nano Assault EX

    EXceptional

    Shin'en is certainly no stranger to the shoot 'em up genre, having already had some solid success with its Iridion releases on Game Boy Advance and Nanostray titles on DS. For those who don't remember, it was just a little over a year ago when the developer released Nano Assault on Nintendo's 3DS system and showed just how amazing the...

  • 52

    Game Boy Advance

    Review Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge

    The dynamic duo go portable

    When we at Nintendo Life think of Rare’s masterpieces from the Nintendo 64 era, we think of expansive and adventurous games like Donkey Kong 64, Jet Force Gemini, and of course the beloved Banjo-Kazooie series. Off-the-wall characters, exuberant locales, and an epic sense of scope added to the hook of what made these...

  • 11

    DSiWare

    Review Easter Eggztravaganza

    All cracked up

    Whenever a major holiday is just around the corner, it’s no surprise that a flood of related products hit the market just in time to grab the attention of consumers. It happens with almost everything, from food to toys to lawn ornaments, and video games are no exception. While it’s not fair to knock a product for being a blatant...

  • 88

    3DS eShop

    Review ATV Wild Ride 3D

    A game of hills and valleys

    Bringing online racing to the 3DS eShop in any form is a pretty ambitious undertaking, but we'll say up front that ATV Wild Ride 3D gets that part exactly right. In our experience the online racing is fast, smooth, and reliable. As far as that goes, we genuinely couldn't ask for anything more, and the simple fact that it...

  • 5

    DS

    Review Puzzler World 2013

    A puzzling affair

    There are a number of reasons why the Puzzler World series continues to see new life on DS. For one, it's still a bestselling series, which is no doubt partly down to the DS's impressive install base around the world. However, it's also the fact that the titles' word and logic puzzles — which historically have been restricted to...

  • 28

    3DS eShop

    Review Coaster Creator 3D

    Layin' down tracks

    Anyone who's ever stepped off of a roller coaster with a huge grin and an idea for a ride of their own will appreciate the immense appeal of Coaster Creator 3D's concept. It combines the classic video game experience of going really fast with the medium's unique ability to let you do things you wouldn't necessarily be able to in...

  • 177

    3DS

    Review Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate

    A change is as good as a rest

    As much as it will pain Castlevania fans to admit, the series was in a pretty bad state prior to the release of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow in 2010. Although a string of “Metroidvania” entries — produced under the guidance of the enigmatic Koji “IGA” Igarashi — had hit the mark from a critical standpoint,...

  • 29

    Wii U

    Review Jeopardy!

    I’ll play your game, you rogue

    As the tagline on the game’s case suggests, the ever popular Jeopardy! very well might be “America’s favorite quiz show”. Countless incarnations of the television program have swept across game consoles from the NES to the current generation of platforms, finally landing squarely on Wii U. After years and...

  • 39

    WiiWare

    Review Retro City Rampage

    Rack up those combos, Player!

    Retro City Rampage is a lot of things, but subtle isn't one of them. One of the first screens — with the title "Common Sense Warning!" — informs you that the game is packed with parodies, and it continues to bludgeon you over the head as you play. You may be a pixellated character given some freedom to romp around a...

  • 45

    Wii U eShop

    Review BIT.TRIP Presents: Runner 2 Future Legend of Rhythm Alien

    A bolt of bliss

    There's a really strong sense of liberation to BIT.TRIP Presents: RUNNER2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien, made more pronounced if you’ve hung with any of the six WiiWare entries of the series. In no small part is it because of all the running and jumping, which does metaphorically speak strongest to our sense of freedom —...

  • 40

    3DS eShop

    Review Splash or Crash

    All's well that ends well

    Simple though it might be, dropping things from a huge height is still pretty entertaining. There's the catharsis of just letting something go, the satisfying sound when gravity takes its hold and an object plummets to its final destination. The plop as a stone reaches the bottom of a well can be deeply gratifying, for...

  • 35

    Wii U

    Review Wheel of Fortune

    Worth a spin?

    Since its debut in 1975, Wheel of Fortune has been an early evening staple in homes across America. Its engaging simplicity has had viewers shouting answers at their television sets for almost 40 years now, and the tension stirred by a spin of its titular wheel has been felt by everybody rooting either for or against any given...

February2013

  • 50

    3DS

    Review Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan

    Wanderlust

    The term "adventure" encompasses many things, but Atlus' Etrian Odyssey series comes about as close as it gets to a pure, digital embodiment of the concept. Blending classic first-person dungeon exploration with a cartographic twist, these games task players with charting out their own maps on the touch screen as they go. The series'...

  • 73

    3DS

    Review Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed

    As smooth as a chili dog

    Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed on 3DS has a tough job, as it's following up on what some may regard as a surprise commercial and critical success. The console versions of this title, including the one on Wii U, did a wonderful job of combining healthy portions of fan service with thrilling racing action. Yet the...

  • 9

    3DS eShop

    Review Viking Invasion 2 - Tower Defense

    A-Viking we will go

    Just like its DSiWare predecessor, Viking Invasion 2 - Tower Defense is a, yep, tower defense game that has you taking on the role of protector. As hordes of enemies draw near the castle that you’ve been gracious enough to defend, you must build towers to attack the oncoming assault. It’s a pretty standard affair for the...

  • 18

    Wii U

    Review Ben 10: Omniverse

    Hangin' with the Plumbers

    Is it just us or has Wii U already amassed a swath of licensed beat-em-ups in the three months since its November launch? It seems like there's no shortage of ways to punch and/or slice hordes of bad things, between the reasonably OK Transformers Prime and the why-oh-why of Rise of the Guardians, so forgive us if the...

  • 38

    3DS eShop

    Review Picdun 2: Witch's Curse

    Dungeons & Drawings

    As a part of INTENSE CO's GO series, the original Picdun brought a unique take on first-person dungeon crawling to DSiWare. A portmanteau of the words "Picture" and "Dungeon", the game turned the genre's traditional map into a pixel art canvas, where players would fill in a picture as they explored their environment. Picdun 2:...

  • 67

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review F-Zero

    The race of a lifetime

    Looking at it today, it’s genuinely hard to believe that F-Zero was a SNES launch title. For a game that is now over two decades old, it remains remarkably impressive from a purely visual standpoint. The Mode 7 rotational and scaling effects — which were relatively new to console players back in 1990 — still look...

  • 16

    3DS

    Review Rise of The Guardians: The Video Game

    A bad game gets an even worse port

    When it comes to a portable version of a recent console game, there are two approaches developers can take. The first is to create a brand new experience, independent from the original. The Sonic Colours team did this, and we're glad they did; instead of one great game we got two, and the portable version was...

  • 48

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Yoshi

    Soft boiled

    Mario's loyal dinosaur companion Yoshi may have made his debut in the Super Nintendo classic Super Mario World, but one year later Nintendo gave him his own title on the rapidly fading NES. That game was Yoshi, and it's now come to non-Ambassadors on the 3DS eShop. It's a falling block puzzler, which is a genre every video game...

  • 5

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review World Heroes 2 Jet

    Jet setter

    Speed upgrades became all of the rage during the early fighting game craze during the early '90s — Capcom practically made a living at it for a while. So when arcade gamers began complaining about the sluggish speed of World Heroes 2, SNK did the logical thing and borrowed a page from Capcom's book. When World Heroes 2 Jet burst onto...

  • 11

    DSiWare

    Review Moke Moke

    Propellerheads

    G-STYLE's latest import from Japan, Moke Moke stars a mysterious race of flying, forest-dwelling fuzzballs known as Moke. Combining the evolutionary advantages of sighted moles with the whimsical utility of those novelty helicopter hats, the Moke spend their time whizzing around the forest in an eternal contest to see who among them...

  • 62

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Castlevania

    Drac attack

    A while back we were "graced" with the arrival of Castlevania: The Adventure on 3DS Virtual Console, an overly simplistic attempt to bring the series to handhelds. Now the NES original has arrived on the service as well, but is it still worth going batty over? If you've played almost any other "classic-style" Castlevania game, you'll be...

  • 9

    DSiWare

    Review Ah! Heaven

    Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door

    Over the past few years, the DSiWare download service has seen some incredibly strange games with bizarre plots and titles. Ah! Heaven is no exception to this. Simply put, this a vertically scrolling platformer that has you taking control of a spiky haired, sunglasses wearing, nameless soul who just wants to ascend to...

  • 24

    Wii U

    Review Rise of The Guardians: The Video Game

    A legendary failure

    In Rise of the Guardians: The Video Game you take command of a small army of characters, each of whom is designed around a childhood legend. You have characters based on Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sand Man, and Jack Frost. They are coming together to fight a common evil: the sinister Pitch, who wants the...

  • 44

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Dig Dug

    Slightly soiled

    In 1982, Namco released Dig Dug. By that point in time the company had already cemented its place in the gaming history books with enduring classics like Pac-Man and Galaga. Their younger brother Dig Dug never quite reached their heights of popularity, but it's still quite fun in its own right. As with many early arcade games, your...

  • 33

    Wii U eShop

    Review Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage 2

    This game is already dead

    The Fist of the North Star manga series turns thirty this year, which is certainly cause for celebration. It also seems to be the sole reason for the creation of Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage 2, because when placed alongside its predecessor from 2010, it offers precious little in the way of fresh and original...

  • 35

    3DS

    Review Wreck-It Ralph

    They went and wrecked it

    When it comes to video games, film tie-ins have had something of a bumpy history. While GoldenEye 007 for Nintendo 64 proved that a licence can flourish in the right hands, it’s more often than not a rare exception. However, when a game is based on a movie which itself is based on video games, it’s fair to assume that...

  • 8

    DSiWare

    Review 99Moves

    Under pressure

    Having covered bullets and time, EnjoyUp's pint-sized yet madly challenging 99 series of score-attackers aligns its focus on the third staple of classic game design: movement and the limitations thereof. Over the dozen or so stages of 99Moves, players are dared to make it to the end of a gauntlet in as many moves or fewer. It doesn't...

  • Movie Review Wreck-It Ralph

    It's good to be bad

    The film and television industry is traditionally content to boss over video games: movie adaptations of popular gaming franchises are more often than not sub-par, while other projects reference games lazily without any real understanding of the medium. Outside of documentaries like Indie Game: The Movie and more careful...

  • 18

    Wii U

    Review Transformers Prime

    You've got the touch (screen)

    The long-running Transformers franchise has shifted, morphed and diverged enough to certainly live up to its name since debuting in 1984: the original Generation 1 adored by long-time fans and purists, Beast Wars, a few Michael Bay interpretations and loads of comic books and video games. Much of the fiction's focus...

  • 39

    3DS

    Review Brain Age: Concentration Training

    Old brain, new tricks

    Thinking of Nintendo's efforts to capture a more mainstream audience with non-traditional games, the Brain Age series leaps immediately to mind - and then leaps right out again, because we can't seem to concentrate on anything these days. Dr. Ryuta Kawashima, Nintendo's resident neuroscientist, has noticed this too, and has...

  • 67

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Mega Man 2

    Get Equipped With an All-Time Classic

    In 1987, Capcom released the original Mega Man. It was well-received by both gamers and critics, but it was not much of a financial success. Over the course of the next year, however, Mega Man 2 was developed as a labour of love by Keiji Inafune and his team, alongside other projects that were expected to be...

  • 25

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review Metal Slug 4

    Fourth time a charm?

    If there's one thing that can be said with any degree of certainty, it's that SNK's Metal Slug series always remained fairly consistent over the course of their releases. The gameplay remained pretty much the same, with little more than a few tweaks here and there for good measure. Metal Slug 4 was developed by Korean firm Mega...

  • 23

    3DS eShop

    Review Bloody Vampire

    Bloody fun

    Joining Witch's Cat in Agetec's recent duo of playfully spooky eShop releases, Bloody Vampire is a stylish, side-scrolling adventure in the Metroidvania vein. It tells the story of Latis, an exquisitely pigtailed half-vampire / half-human, who sets off to investigate the coming conflict between her two bloodlines with Cereza, her loyal...

  • 18

    Wii U

    Review Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth

    Hulk smash

    Let's face it – for the uninitiated, the fighting genre can be daunting. Millisecond-perfect timing and the memorisation of several-button-presses-long combos are often essential to win, and unfortunately not everybody has enough time to spend shining up their Shoryukens. Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth lowers the entry barrier to the...

  • 33

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Super C

    I think you’re a Contra

    Originally released as an arcade game titled Super Contra, Super C — or Probotector II — is the NES-ported sequel to the now infamously difficult action game Contra. With the continuing story of alien invaders, and most of the same gameplay elements, Super C shares many similarities with its predecessor, but that...

  • 49

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Ice Climber

    Cold Mountain

    What makes a video game a classic? Is it enjoyable gameplay that never feels old? Is it an engaging storyline that draws players into its universe? Or is it simply the inclusion of some characters and stages in the latest Super Smash Bros. title? Ice Climber is the latest “classic” NES game to hit the 3DS Virtual Console, but if it...

  • 18

    3DS eShop

    Review Witch's Cat

    Tabby Laby

    Not many puzzle games are lucky enough to boast spin-offs, let alone side-stories - and though you wouldn't guess it from the title, that's exactly what Agetec has conjured up in Witch's Cat: a side-story in the ongoing Rabi Laby series. This eShop entry picks up where Rabi Laby 2 left off on DSiWare, but where the previous games' puzzles...

  • 51

    Wii U eShop

    Review Zen Pinball 2

    Not always a zen experience

    Zen Pinball 2 is a title that's seen its Wii U eShop release delayed from an original December target, as a result of its free download/paid DLC model requiring extra attention for publication. While the actual pinball is polished, fun and generally first-class, the infrastructure behind it is the exact opposite. With 26...

January2013

  • 41

    WiiWare

    Review Babel Rising

    Bad religion

    God games are usually about protecting people, not condemning them. Babel Rising, however, tears a page or two out of the Book of Genesis and sees you, as the heavenly overseer himself, casting down any subjects that dare to defy. Hundreds of heretics are constructing a gigantic tower to reach the skies, but by smiting them and their...

  • 12

    3DS eShop

    Review 35 Junior Games

    Why buy one when you can have 35?

    When it comes to games that put Nintendo enthusiasts on alert, compilations of mini-games are probably up there with movie licensed cash-ins. If a bold claim is made that a game offers dozens of games for the price of one download, eyebrows are raised and the final package will either be the greatest value ever...

  • 20

    3DS eShop

    Review Picross e2

    More picture crossword goodness

    A few months ago, Nintendo released Picross e on the eShop, the first new Picross game in a while and quite an enjoyable - if rather short - package. Thankfully, if you felt a little short-changed you can delve straight back into puzzle-solving with the sequel, Picross e2. Is it anywhere near as good as its...

  • 135

    3DS

    Review Fire Emblem: Awakening

    I love the smell of Elfire in the morning

    A hint of trepidation arises whenever the "Powers That Be" decide that "Your Cool Thing" needs a bigger audience, primarily because "What They Like" and "Why You Like It" don't always mesh. Take Fire Emblem, possibly the most hardcore of Nintendo's franchises — not "hardcore" in the nonsense term of it...

  • 14

    Wii U

    Review Madden NFL 13

    Still solid after all these years

    It's hard to believe that it's been 25 years since the first Madden Football release, and given that the game has been released on pretty much every gaming platform imaginable over the years, it was pretty much a given we'd see a release on Nintendo's new console. While Madden NFL 13 on the Wii U has lost a bit of...

  • 44

    Wii U

    Review Family Party: 30 Great Games Obstacle Arcade

    Obstacle to fun, maybe

    If you were to poll gamers at large and ask them what they felt were the worst things about the Wii, chances are you'd hear "waggle" and "bad minigame collections" pretty frequently. In fact they often went hand in hand, and Family Party: 30 Great Games Obstacle Arcade is trying its hardest to make sure both of things carry...

  • 15

    3DS eShop

    Review Cocoto Alien Brick Breaker

    Devil vs Alien

    In 2008 and 2009, Neko entertainment's would-be mascot Cocoto made two appearances on the WiiWare service. Cocoto Fishing Master and Cocoto Platform Jumper weren't total write-offs, but neither were they particularly impressive. They were competent but unmemorable dips into genres revealed by their titles. Cocoto Alien Brick Breaker...

  • 83

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Balloon Fight

    Float on

    To mark the arrival of the Virtual Console on the Wii U, Nintendo has launched a very generous promotion to mark the 30th anniversary of the Famicom (the Japanese version of the NES, in case you were wondering). What this promotion entails is the release of seven classic Nintendo games on the Wii U over a period of seven months for the...

  • 85

    3DS eShop

    Review Ikachan

    Squids today...

    While most people know Pixel's work from the excellent Cave Story, that's not the only game he's ever made, and exploring his lesser known titles can be a lot of fun in itself. Ikachan is one such title, released as freeware for the PC in 2000. That's four years before Cave Story, and you'll definitely see some overlap in terms of...

  • 13

    3DS eShop

    Review Mahjong Mysteries - Ancient Athena

    Mah-tch two

    We'll be honest, while some members of the Nintendo Life team are clever and cultured enough to know all about the intricacies of Mahjong, some of us have to consult Wikipedia to learn the rules. It shouldn't have surprised us, however, that when we opened Mahjong Mysteries - Ancient Athena the variation on offer was basically a single...

  • 81

    Wii U eShop

    Review The Cave

    It sure is dark in here...

    We've been anticipating The Cave here at Nintendo Life Towers ever since it was announced. After all, it's a collaboration between two genuine legends of the industry. Firstly there's Ron Gilbert, whose work includes classics such as Maniac Mansion, the first two Secret of Monkey Island games, and 2010's repetitive but...

  • 23

    Wii U

    Review Rapala Pro Bass Fishing

    Dead in the water

    In attempting to craft a realistic fishing experience, Rapala Pro Bass Fishing got one thing exactly right: you'll be sitting around doing nothing for most of the time you play it. Unfortunately that's due to its almost insultingly lengthy load times, but we'll still give it some credit for unintentional verisimilitude. The...

  • 25

    3DS

    Review Riding Stables 3D

    How about a lovely horse?

    One genre that absolutely feels underrepresented on the eShop is the pet sim. This is at least somewhat surprising, as the 3DS is not only portable, but it encourages gamers to take it with them everywhere, regardless of whether or not they intend to play anything. It accomplishes this through puzzle and Mii sharing, Play...

  • 12

    3DS eShop

    Review Wild Adventures: Ultimate Deer Hunt 3D

    Familiar Hunting Grounds

    Do you remember last year when Outdoors Unleashed: Africa 3D was released on the 3DS eShop and it got people talking about the ethics of video games? Many were up in arms and offended by the idea of a game featuring the hunting of wildlife on an African safari, but that didn’t stop it from being a fun arcade shooter. Now...

  • 35

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Blaster Master

    Master of blasters

    When it was originally released in Japan as Meta Fight, Blaster Master failed to make much of an impact. In the west, however, it was retooled slightly and given a new story about a boy and his pet frog, and became a cult classic that spawned multiple sequels - several of which ended up not even being released in Japan. On the...

  • 48

    Nintendo 64

    Review Beetle Adventure Racing!

    Infested with Bugs

    These days, considering most of us have become accustomed to the smooth frame rates and high definition resolutions provided by modern consoles, revisiting the Nintendo 64 can sometimes be a painful experience as you may find that some of your favourite games haven’t aged very well. Fuzzy textures, choppy frame rates and limited...

  • 31

    3DS eShop

    Review Tokyo Crash Mobs

    Almost at the front of the queue

    Although many people assume that Zuma was the first game to feature match-three marble shooting, the honour actually goes to Puzz Loop, a 1998 arcade release by Pang creator Mitchell Corporation. Sequels on the DS and WiiWare have since followed, and now there’s a fresh entry in the series on the 3DS eShop - not...

  • 114

    Wii U

    Review Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2013

    The hunt is on?

    Maybe we're just gullible human beings here at Nintendo Life Towers, but we expected Cabela's Dangerous Hunts 2013 to feature some...you know...hunting. Not that we're disappointed, as this far more action-oriented approach has undoubtedly made for a better game, but the FPS / survival approach certainly caught us off guard. So,...

  • 8

    3DS eShop

    Review Reel Fishing 3D Paradise Mini

    A bassing fancy

    Natsume might be most famous as the house that Harvest Moon built, but fishing fans will know the name from its Legend of the River King and Reel Fishing series. Reel Fishing takes a more realistic approach to the angling action, and saw several installments on WiiWare with decidedly mixed results. Reel Fishing 3D Paradise Mini...

  • 15

    DSiWare

    Review Galaxy Saver

    Safe, but solid

    We've seen a wide variety of shoot 'em ups on the DSiWare service, some obviously better than others. Galaxy Saver is the newest entry and takes quite a few influences from early arcade shooters, while tossing in a few twists in an effort to make the experience stand out. So while there might not be a lot of originality when it comes...

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