Reviews - News

February2012

  • 75

    Wii

    Review The Last Story

    A memorable tale

    As the Wii prepares to be usurped by its successor, you could argue the console's getting some exceptional adventures in its twilight. European gamers had the pleasure of working through epics such as The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and Xenoblade Chronicles in 2011, with North America due to receive the latter soon. For those...

  • 49

    Game Boy Color

    Review Metal Gear Solid

    Snake sneaks onto Game Boy Color in his first portable op

    Metal Gear is a series born from limitations. Originally intended as a military shooter game for the MSX2 computer system, creator Hideo Kojima found the hardware unable to handle the large amount of on-screen action required for such an adventure. Instead of loud and overt blasting, the...

  • 18

    DSiWare

    Review iSpot Japan

    The multiplayer is the real difference

    Fans of spot-the-difference puzzles will know exactly what to expect from EnjoyUp Games' latest release, iSpot Japan. Players are presented with two similar photographs, and they must identify any details that differ between them. It's simple, and it's a perfect fit for touch screen gaming. Unfortunately,...

  • 42

    Wii Virtual Console / Mega Drive

    Review Strider

    From Russia with love

    When you consider that he hasn’t starred in his own game since 2000, Strider Hiryu’s popularity in Capcom fan circles is impressive, which is largely down to the high regard in which players hold his 1989 coin-op début. Powered by Capcom’s CPS hardware, Strider was an arcade action platformer that redefined the genre;...

  • 53

    Wii

    Review Rhythm Heaven Fever

    Fever pitch

    Rhythm Heaven games are the kind whose sole purpose is to make you smile. You might even say that it's a lot like a not-terrifying clown at a kid's party, actually: colourful and light, uncomplicated and wacky yet determined in its mission to entertain the masses. With Rhythm Heaven Fever marking the series' home console debut, Rhythm...

  • 58

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3

    Third time’s a charm?

    While Nintendo kept things fairly standard with the first two Super Mario Land releases, it obviously decided to make some changes when it got ready to create this third title in the series on Game Boy. Instead of featuring Mario, it decided to give players a chance to shake things up and take on the role of its newest bad...

  • 52

    3DS

    Review Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games

    Must train harder

    2007's Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games on Wii marked the two once arch-nemeses' – in the eyes of us children of the nineties, anyway – first side-by-side appearance that didn't involve them attempting to wallop seven shades of snot out of each other. It was a solid sports offering that exemplified the minigame collection...

  • 100

    3DS

    Review Tekken 3D Prime Edition

    A prime fighting machine

    Tekken 3D Prime Edition is only the second Nintendo appearance for the King of Iron Fist tournament, the last being 2002's dodgy Tekken Advance on Game Boy Advance. With fighting games enjoying a resurgence on 3DS, does Namco Bandai's second hit strike a knockout blow? It's up against stiff competition: Dead or Alive:...

  • 25

    WiiWare

    Review BurgerTime World Tour

    Severely undercooked

    While never really regarded as a smash hit in arcades, the original BurgerTime has always been an entertaining little game. We recently got what is arguably the best older version, BurgerTime Deluxe, on the 3DS eShop, and now we finally have a completely new title that other platforms received a couple of months ago. But is it...

  • 37

    3DS

    Review One Piece Unlimited Cruise SP

    Half an adventure, unlimited boredom

    Tremendously revered in Japan, yet – like the vast majority of animé — enjoying more of a cult following in the West, One Piece follows the story of Monkey D. Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirates in their tumultuous quest to locate the titular treasure. After a lengthy history of translation to video games, the...

  • 29

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Kirby's Block Ball

    Ball breaker

    Outside of the popular platformers for which he was first known, Nintendo is always more than happy to take advantage of Kirby’s robust, rotund appearance for spin-offs. In the past the happy little chap has been flipped and lobbed about in Kirby’s Pinball Land and abused with golf clubs in Kirby’s Dream Course. It was never a...

  • 18

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review The King of Fighters '97

    The once and future king

    Despite being the fourth in the series, The King of Fighters '97 is only the third to reach the Wii Virtual Console, SNK Playmore having skipped King of Fighters '96 in favour of its bigger, beefier brother. Without '96 to bridge the gap, the jump from King of Fighters '95 to '97 is huge: there are six more characters for a...

  • 47

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Maru's Mission

    Mission: Unbearable

    Several months ago, the eShop saw the release of Avenging Spirit, a gleefully eccentric title that made us all sorry we missed it the first time around. Lightning doesn't strike twice for Jaleco with Maru's Mission, however, as this time the publisher has dusted off a forgotten title that really should have stayed that way. The...

  • 19

    3DS

    Review Need for Speed: The Run

    Enough speed to make your eyes bleed

    The high pitched sound of the engines roar assures us that we’re quickly approaching top speeds, but it’s barely noticeable from the techno jams blasting through the speakers. As each corner pushes us closer to the edge of losing control and the infectious music fuels our aggressive driving habits, one thing...

  • 3

    WiiWare

    Review Carmen Sandiego Adventures in Math: The Great Gateway Grab

    Not so great

    Last time we checked in on her, Carmen Sandiego had sent her minions out to steal St. Basil’s cathedral in Russia. This week, Sandiego has made her way over to India in Carmen Sandiego Adventures in Math: The Great Gateway Grab. With her eyes set on the Gateway of India, it’s up to you as an agent of ACME to solve the mystery and stop Sandiego’s V.I.L.E. minions before it’s..

  • 22

    WiiWare

    Review TNT Racers

    Keep on truckin'

    It’s not about the winning, it’s about the taking part. Though it’s technically of the racing genre, TNT Racers often encourages you to do all but grab the chequered flag first. Far more important is the ability to unleash timely havoc upon competitors to send them sputtering off-screen; consider it the driver’s guide to...

  • 48

    DSiWare

    Review GO Series: Undead Storm

    Frighteningly good

    To date, the GO Series has been a bit of a mixed bag, ranging from the disappointingly average GO Series: Pinball Attack! to the brilliant dungeon-crawling puzzler PicDun. As such, it's understandable that one might be sceptical of the latest title in the series, GO Series: Undead Storm. We're pleased to report, though, that...

  • 20

    Wii

    Review Back to the Future: The Game

    Make like a tree and read this review

    They say that if you were to travel back a million years and step on a butterfly, you could wipe out an entire species and change the world forever with that one seemingly infinitesimal move. When Marty McFly took a shorter excursion, back three decades to 1955, he almost erased his own existence in a similar...

  • 7

    Wii

    Review Wicked Monsters Blast

    Monster mash

    Cute cartoon creatures; simplistic shooting; a mixture of mini-games. Wicked Monsters Blast is a kids game by-the-numbers, but its charm and heavy nods towards arcade classics such as Point Blank could have youngsters going crackers for these animals despite a slim number of levels. Wicked Monsters Blast is easy to pick up, with scant few concepts to remember. Racing against the clock,..

  • 4

    DSiWare

    Review Successfully Learning Mathematics: Year 3

    It all adds up

    Another week, another dose of edutainment. Successfully Learning Mathematics: Year 3 arrives on DSiWare, allowing another generation of eager young pupils to indulge in some mathematics on their favourite handheld. This title is, in form, identical to Successfully Learning Mathematics: Year 2, which is no surprise as they were originally grouped together in a retail package. The..

January2012

  • 73

    3DSWare

    Review Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword

    Patience, young grasshopper

    We're only a month into 2012 and the eShop's offerings this year are already weighted heavily with samurai-themed games. In truth, the two couldn't be more different: whereas UFO Interactive's Samurai Sword Destiny favours the straightforward button-mashing approach, Nintendo's own Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword puts...

  • 8

    DSiWare

    Review Lola's Alphabet Train

    On the right track

    Lola's Alphabet Train is both a learning tool and a game, but it's quite clearly more the former than the latter. This isn't a bad thing at all, but it's important to know that when setting your expectations. Lola is a chirpy panda bear who, aboard her titular train, presents children with a series of spelling and vocabulary based challenges. These challenges fall into many..

  • 28

    WiiWare

    Review Newton Vs The Horde

    An experiment to be ab-horde

    We're going to say this up front because there won't be much room to say nice things later on in the review: Newton Vs The Horde has an utterly fantastic concept. The idea is to destroy approaching zombie-like creatures by using physics puzzles either found in your environment or created by you. That's an interesting...

  • 17

    3DS

    Review Winter Sports 2012: Feel the Spirit

    Take to the snow... on the go!

    Winter Sports 2012: Feel the Spirit on Wii is, to put it bluntly, catastrophically bad; so bad, in fact, that we “awarded” it a measly 2/10, so there’s obviously absolutely no reason you should be rushing out to pick that travesty up. There is, however, a glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel for Nintendo fans...

  • 21

    Wii

    Review Winter Sports 2012: Feel the Spirit

    Winter blunderland

    Another month, and yet another collection of motion controlled recreations of various sports rears its head on Wii, a console that already has sports-based minigame collections in unparalleled abundance. The latest contender to make a foolish bid to overthrow Wii Sports Resort as the undisputed champion of must-have titles for...

  • 55

    3DS

    Review CRUSH3D

    Fancy that

    The original Crush on PSP was a commercial failure, despite very positive reviews and praise for its ingenious concept. Developer Zoë Mode's returned for a second attempt with CRUSH3D, out now in Europe and heading Stateside in February. CRUSH's central concept is simple: its 3D stages can be "crushed" to become two...

  • 108

    3DS

    Review Resident Evil Revelations

    An evolution of evil

    Resident Evil Revelations arrives on 3DS with a weight of expectation, both of the franchise it represents and as a major release on the revitalised handheld. Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D may have landed first, but this is the one that fans have been anticipating. In a series renowned for its significant transformation and...

  • 22

    3DS

    Review Puppies World 3D

    Leaving you smitten or just flea-bitten?

    Nintendo certainly struck gold with Nintendogs on the DS back in 2005, winning the hearts of millions of gamers the world over with its blend of training, walking and generally caring for a band of virtual puppies so convincingly animated that you’d swear Battersea Dogs Home had dumped a truckload of actual...

  • 6

    WiiWare

    Review Carmen Sandiego Adventures in Math: The Case of the Crumbling Cathedral

    In Russia, game disappoints you

    If you’re wondering where in the world Carmen Sandiego is this week, or what in the world she’s up to, look no further than Moscow, capital city of Russia. As is generally the case, Sandiego is busy using one of her goons from the criminal organization V.I.L.E. to abscond with with a precious landmark. This time, St. Basil’s Cathedral has been turned to sand,..

  • 23

    WiiWare

    Review Stonekeep: Bones of the Ancestors

    Rock-solid or balderdash?

    Stonekeep: Bones of the Ancestors, a remake of Interplay's mid-90's first-person dungeon crawler, sounds pretty good on paper. The Wii is a bit short on quality RPGs — especially on WiiWare — and Stonekeep was a decent-looking, competent RPG back in its day. But pre-rendered 2D environments and FMV characters are no...

  • 15

    3DS eShop / GBC

    Review Prince of Persia

    Lowly servant of Persia

    There's no question the original Prince of Persia is a classic game, with its iconic realistic movements, precision platforming and time limit. It's been ported to many, many platforms over the years, but does this handheld version hold up as well as other versions? In the transition to Game Boy Color, most of the game has...

  • 19

    3DS

    Review Zoo Resort 3D

    Animal magic?

    After looking at the box art you’d be forgiven for thinking Zoo Resort 3D was a cutesy zoo management sim; in fact, you’ll find it's the complete opposite. With a realistic aesthetic and set of mechanics that sets it apart from simulation titles in general, it certainly provides a unique experience on 3DS. Moreover it’s actually...

  • 107

    3DSWare

    Review Mutant Mudds

    Here's Mudd in your eye

    Mutant Mudds started out as a 3D polygonal platformer called Maximillian and the Rise of the Mutant Mudds intended as a retail title for the DS. Sadly, this retail release and a pitched DSiWare rendition never got off the ground. Not ones to let a good concept die, Renegade Kid instead decided to morph and move the project...

  • 23

    DSiWare

    Review Anne's Doll Studio: Gothic Collection

    Doll-orous

    Anne's Doll Studio: Gothic Collection is your chance to slap drab Gothic accessories on two dead eyed dolls that look like charmless rejects from the movie Corpse Bride. That sentence is a complete and accurate summation of this title, and it's probably the only thing you'll need to read in order to decide if you want it. Anne's Doll...

  • 18

    DSiWare

    Review 40-in-1 Explosive Megamix

    More is less

    You’re given a bag of sweets. On the outside they’re a bit misshapen or broken up, but at least they’re brightly coloured, there’s a big variety of flavours and there are plenty of them, right? The first one doesn’t taste quite right. Neither does the second one. Nor the third. Half the bag has to be thrown in the bin when all...

  • 36

    3DS

    Review NASCAR Unleashed

    Gentlemen, please don’t start your engines

    Over the years, the high speed competitive sport of repetitive left turns, otherwise known as NASCAR, has fuelled the hearts of racing enthusiasts around the world. In some places, you can hardly step into a crowded area without seeing some sort of branded paraphernalia. With young drivers like Kyle Busch...

  • 38

    Wii Virtual Console / Super Nintendo

    Review Prince of Persia

    Worthy of the throne

    Most gamers are familiar with the original Prince of Persia. Its incredibly realistic animations, created by Jordan Mechner from hours of video footage of his brother running and jumping around, made it an instant hit, and it's still one of the most well-known western game franchises today. Most people, however, are only...

  • 26

    DSiWare

    Review Gaia's Moon

    Full of fun or made of cheese?

    While many portable games praised for their accessibility and simple controls are often times associated with mobile game platforms, DSiWare is not without its own quality pick-up-and play titles. Games like Reflect Missile, Pop Plus: Solo and the Art Style series offer satisfyingly simple gameplay perfect for short...

  • 42

    3DS eShop / GBA

    Review Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

    Once more, to arms!

    For such a long-running series, it's hard to believe Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones was only the second game to leave Japan after GBA predecessor Fire Emblem. Since then the series has had a far bigger presence in the West, a fact underlined by Sacred Stones' status as a 3DS Ambassador title. If Sacred Stones is your first Fire...

  • Review Duracell Wii Charging Stand

    It stands, but does it deliver?

    The Wii has come with a plastic stand for years, but Duracell's effort does more than just support your Wii upright. As the name suggests, the Duracell Wii Charging Stand lets you recharge your Wii Remotes while keeping your Wii in place. It comes bundled with two rechargeable battery packs for your Wii Remote, but...

  • 46

    DSiWare

    Review 101 Pinball World

    Deaf, dumb and blind

    101 Pinball World is, quite frankly, confounding on every level. Teyon's latest misguided attempt to cram large numbers of poorly-designed levels into half-baked games has resulted in a broken, hideous, aurally offensive, shambling monstrosity of a game. And that's being polite. Releasing in North America alongside the...

  • 63

    3DS eShop / GBA

    Review Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi's Island

    Drawing you in

    Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi’s Island joined a Nintendo tradition of re-releasing classic titles for a new audience. Bringing an iconic Super Nintendo platformer to the Game Boy Advance seemed perfectly apt, with the handheld more than capable of 16-bit standard visuals. The question remains, is this port worth playing today?...

  • 9

    3DS

    Review LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7

    Half-blood, whole fun

    Isn't it about time TT Games did something new with its LEGO franchise? How many others have gotten away with utilising near-identical gameplay formulas this many times? Not that it's a terribly bad thing – we'll happily trek through another humorous toy-sized tribute as the team rarely misfires. Delivering the same casual fun as its predecessors comes LEGO Harry Potter:..

  • 15

    Wii

    Review LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7

    Let's finish this the way we started it... together

    Legend has it that every time Billy Joel drives to a holiday party that has a piano, he knows that he's going to end up playing Piano Man by request. He's played it countless times before, but when he plays it again, people will like it. It won't be surprising or innovative, but it will be...

  • 33

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Trip World

    Bad trip?

    Sunsoft made a ton of great games for Nintendo systems back in the day. Everybody knows the likes of Blaster Master and the NES Batman game, but they also had a ton of equally great games which people simply didn't find out about. We've already had some, like Ufouria: The Saga and Lock 'N Chase, but thankfully it's continuing its support,...

  • 36

    WiiWare

    Review Zombii Attack

    iinsufferable

    Zombii Attack is a very silly game. Its main mechanic — firing zombies out of a giant slingshot — is strange enough, but even more preposterous is the fact that this game actually got published on WiiWare. The game is so horrendous that the campy feel and OK music don't even come close to saving it from its abominable controls and...

  • 4

    DSiWare

    Review Successfully Learning Mathematics: Year 2

    A logical progression

    The Successfully Learning series is becoming one of the most prolific on DSiWare, with Successfully Learning Mathematics: Year 2 now the ninth title on the service. Versions of this mathematical matter have previously been released on WiiWare, but Freddy the Vampire’s campaign to teach all young Nintendo gamers through edutainment means that, once again, we’re going back..

  • 32

    Wii

    Review The Kore Gang

    The bore gang

    The Kore Gang has been a long time in the making, a fact reflected in the final result. At its best, it’s colourfully innocuous and fun, while at its worst it can be frustrating and infuriating. It’s likely to be divisive as a result, so we’ll do our best to break it down. You know what everyone likes, though? Good intentions,...

  • 44

    3DS eShop / GBA

    Review WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$!

    No time to catch your breath

    Nintendo has made its name in the games industry by providing tightly focused and highly polished experiences for over 20 years. Its games are always regarded as some of the best in their respective genres, so what to do when it's conquered all charted territory? Invent new ones, of course. WarioWare, Inc.: Mega...

  • 19

    3DS

    Review Imagine Fashion Designer

    "I don’t design clothes, I design dreams"

    Imagine Fashion Designer 3D shies away from simulating the job to presenting a facsimile of it, gamifying the act of compiling outfit combinations and their superficial design. It’s certainly not a deep and involving game of nuanced mechanics and choices as you try to climb the fashion guru ladder; to...

  • 29

    3DSWare

    Review Samurai Sword Destiny

    No ninja, no ninja, no

    There's been a lot of ballyhoo about the death of the dedicated handheld at the hands of smartphones and tablets, and given the amount of doom-and-gloom headlines penned about portables in the past year it can be easy to think that the chair has been kicked so forcefully out from under them that it's shattered against the...

  • 42

    3DS eShop / GBA

    Review Mario vs. Donkey Kong

    A worthy successor

    The Mario vs. Donkey Kong series has been going for quite a while now, with four entries under its belt. If you've never played the original, you'd be forgiven for thinking that it's not much more than a fun Lemmings clone, but that's actually not true. In fact, Mario vs. Donkey Kong is closer to the Game Boy version of Donkey...

  • 12

    WiiWare

    Review Carmen Sandiego Adventures in Math: The Big Ben Burglary

    Big Ben brain buster

    Episodic gaming is becoming a regular occurrence on the Wii and DSiWare services, and whether that’s a good or bad thing is completely up to the individual. It is true, however, that if the first episode in a series isn’t very good, then there’s a chance that it won’t get much better moving forward. Carmen Sandiego...

  • 11

    DSiWare

    Review 3 Heroes - Crystal Soul

    Crystal meh

    CIRCLE Entertainment has a whopping 11 releases on DSiWare, with 3 Heroes — Crystal Soul the latest arrival. And while the medieval theme the developer is obviously fond of is still prevalent throughout the experience, this time around it's more of a puzzler than the usual strategy title. At the start of your adventure, you'll find...

  • 85

    3DSWare

    Review 3D Classics: Kid Icarus

    Pit of class

    Kid Icarus was always a bit of a weird game. Originally released alongside Metroid and using an almost identical game engine, it was quickly overshadowed by the popularity of Metroid's giant game world full of areas to explore and, save for a (more entertaining) Game Boy sequel, the series was never heard from again until Pit suddenly...

  • 7

    DSiWare

    Review Quick Fill Q

    Holey-er than thou

    Quick Fill Q is the story of a pink ball rolling across featureless terrain at a glacial pace. Every so often he — this ball is a living creature, for some reason — will come across a hole that looks suspiciously like several Tetris pieces were removed from the ground, and it's up to you to fill it. That's the game, in its entirety, and that in itself isn't a bad thing..

  • 6

    DSiWare

    Review Slingo Supreme

    Will it eat your baby?

    Some games just don’t translate well to the video game format, among them bingo and slots, unless you can bet real money on them. They’re both completely up to chance, and that’s generally not enough to drive a gamer. It’s strange, then, that combining the two works so well. Slingo Supreme does a decent job of bringing the early Internet-borne activity to the small..

  • 105

    3DS eShop / GBA

    Review Kirby & The Amazing Mirror

    Oh, Kirby, you blowhard...

    We have to hand this much to Kirby & The Amazing Mirror: it certainly isn't afraid of trying new things. We might not be totally convinced of the necessity of those things, of course, but it's always nice to see a series attempt to expand its boundaries somewhat. The story forges no new ground whatsoever, though, as...

  • 47

    DSiWare

    Review Flipper 2: Flush the Goldfish

    Flippin’ out

    The DSiWare service continues to serve as a home for independent developers with innovative ideas, and Flipper 2: Flush the Goldfish is another example of that creative spirit. A sequel in name only to Flipper, this latest creation from Goodbye Galaxy Games is full of surprises. The main link to the first game can be found in the...

  • 48

    3DS

    Review Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy

    Nintendo finally lands its true Ace Combat title

    When it comes to the long running Ace Combat series, Nintendo’s been stuck in the hangar bay with only the forgettable Ace Combat Advance releasing on GBA. For all those who’ve missed out on the excellent aerial dog fight action all these years, this disservice has finally ended with Ace Combat:...

  • 20

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Bionic Commando

    Don’t mean a thing if you ain’t got that swing

    If there’s one sacred cow in the entire platforming genre, it’s jumping. According to our highly scientific calculations, there are one hojillion sidescrollers that rely on hopping all about to climb, collect and kill. Capcom’s Bionic Commando series has plenty of climbing, collecting and...

  • 17

    DSiWare

    Review Doodle Fit

    Near perfect fit

    We all know that there is an over-abundance of puzzle games available on the DSiWare service. We also know that there are quite a few DSi and WiiWare games that were originally released as apps on the various mobile services. Miraculously, Doodle Fit is one of those rare games that comes from both of these categories, yet still...

  • 80

    WiiWare

    Review Soccer Up!

    Shoots too narrow

    On the Wii Shop Channel, EnjoyUp! Games describes Soccer Up! as being "a funny soccer game." We're willing to bet you and EnjoyUp! Games have different senses of humour. But we're also willing to bet you have different definitions of "total control," "inertia" and "soccer." Indeed, much of...

  • 11

    DSiWare

    Review Chronicles of Vampires: Origins

    Not so original

    If we made a list of things that we've seen just a little too much of in recent years, vampires and hidden object games would sit somewhere near the top. If that weren't enough to temper our excitement over Chronicles of Vampires: Origins, it happens to have one of the clumsiest titles we've read in recent memory (maybe because The...

  • 53

    3DSWare

    Review Nintendo Letter Box

    A note to remember

    Until mid-December, the only online communication built into the 3DS was a 16-character status message on your friends list. Even by Nintendo standards, that's extremely constrictive. Now we all have the chance to download Nintendo Letter Box — aka Swapnote — for free. The first thing to note about Nintendo Letter Box is it is...

December2011

  • 56

    3DS eShop

    Review VVVVVV

    VVVVVVery impressive

    When VVVVVV burst onto the indie scene in 2010, it was immediately lauded for its simple, addictive gameplay and unique vector visual style. After enjoying quite a bit of success on PC and Mac over the past two years, the game is now making an appearance on a dedicated game system for the first time via Nintendo's 3DS eShop...

  • 20

    DSiWare

    Review Commando: Steel Disaster

    Steely gamers only

    In the early 1990s, when the very idea of 3D polygons was beyond most imaginations, 2D run-and-gun shooters were popular amongst dedicated and skilled gamers. Titles such as Contra on NES, Gunstar Heroes on Mega Drive and Metal Slug on the Neo Geo meant that most console owners experienced, and often loved, the genre. Commando:...

  • 54

    3DS eShop / GBA

    Review Wario Land 4

    A treasure

    Wario is pretty good, for a bad guy. To look at him you wouldn’t think he’d have a heroic streak at all; he’s got the squiggly moustache of a pantomime villain and a nose that would put any alcoholic to shame. Despite all this he’s secretly a sweetheart: considering that the rotund treasure hunter started life as an antagonist to...

  • 14

    DSiWare

    Review WordJong Arcade

    Will it put a spell on you?

    A DSiWare shopper with yet another mahjong solitaire game is like a mule with a spinning wheel – no one knows why he got it, and darned if he knows how to use it. But WordJong Arcade stands out from the pack as it gives the game a Boggle twist; instead of removing matching pairs of tiles, you'll form words as you clear...

  • 54

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Tetris

    From Russia with fun

    Saying that Tetris shifted a few Game Boys is like saying caffeine sold a few energy drinks. Already an established favourite by the time Nintendo's handheld hit the market in 1989, Tetris proved to be the perfect pick-up-and-play experience to go along with the fledgling portable system; while many people initially questioned...

  • 52

    3DS eShop / GBA

    Review F-Zero Maximum Velocity

    Gotta go fast

    F-Zero has always been Nintendo’s way of flaunting how on the cutting-edge of technology it can be when it so chooses. Like a bat out of Hell, the original F-Zero launched alongside the Super NES to draw a clear distinction between where 16-bit Nintendid and SEGagged. Later on N64, F-Zero X boasted 30 on-screen polygonal racers and...

  • 7

    WiiWare

    Review Carmen Sandiego Adventures in Math: The Lady Liberty Larceny

    Where in the world is the rest of the game?

    Remember Carmen Sandiego? That mysterious woman in red who would steal precious and historical items from throughout the world all while teaching kids about history and geography? Well, she’s finally back and up to her old tricks. Except this time, rather than geography, it’s going to take all of your best math skills to stop her crimes in Carmen..

  • 71

    3DS eShop / GBA

    Review Mario Kart Super Circuit

    Short circuit

    It’s hard to believe that the Mario Kart franchise has been around for nearly 20 years and appeared on eight different consoles. Mario Kart: Super Circuit may have been first released in 2001, but now it’s back for a whole new generation of players ten years after release through the 3DS Ambassador program. There are four cups to...

  • 82

    3DSWare

    Review Mighty Switch Force!

    The mighty gets mightier

    While Shantae will likely always be the series WayForward is best known for, its Mighty series has enjoyed a sizeable degree of success on Nintendo's DSiWare service. Now, the developer is looking to carry that success over to the 3DS eShop with the release of puzzle-platformer Mighty Switch Force. While the game is once...

  • 70

    3DS eShop / GBA

    Review Metroid Fusion

    Like cold fusion, only cooler

    Metroid Fusion slipped out of the airlock between two behemoths, simultaneously having to live up to the legacy of its predecessor Super Metroid, which is a big Power Suit to fill, and keep the advancing Metroid Prime at arm cannon's length. It would have been easy for Fusion to have become lost in the vacuum created by...

  • 99

    3DS eShop / GBA

    Review The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap

    Small but mighty

    Those poor Hylians just can't have any fun, can they? Just when everything seems to be all well and good, some creep with bad skin comes along, unleashes a whirlwind of evil and shrouds the land in darkness. It's tough for us to feel too bad for them, though. Because as history has shown, bad news for Hyrule means great news for...

  • 48

    DSiWare

    Review Cake Ninja

    Maybe it’s a fruit cake

    Nintendo’s handheld consoles face the ever-growing prominence of smartphones, particularly in terms of the games on these devices. Cake Ninja is undoubtedly influenced by a thoroughly popular game on Android and iOS that involves slicing fruit: this ninja, however, has lost his way. The gameplay within this title...

  • 14

    DSiWare

    Review Elite Forces: Unit 77

    Definitely forcing it

    On paper, Elite Forces: Unit 77 sounds great. A number of high-profile and wealthy individuals have gone missing all over the world, and it's correctly assumed that this is just the first step in a global terrorist plot. Desperate, the world turns to a renegade troop of no-nonsense butt-kickers: Unit 77. Unit 77 consists of...

  • Review Duracell Wireless Wii Sensor Bar

    Worth a closer look?

    You'd have to say the wire on the standard Wii sensor bar is of a reasonably generous length, but the fact it's wired at all irritates some, leaving wires trailing around if you don't have your TV and Wii set up how Nintendo originally envisioned. We took the Duracell wireless Wii sensor bar for a spin to see if it's worth going...

  • 12

    DSiWare

    Review Christmas Wonderland

    Cruel, cruel Santa…

    Christmas is here, with endlessly looping festive songs on the radio, frazzled and angry shoppers seeking toys that are always out of stock, and themed downloads appearing on DSiWare. Christmas Wonderland has arrived: is it a land full of magic and goodwill, or a cheap resort with dogs dressed as reindeer? Christmas Wonderland is primarily a hidden object game: a number of..

  • 14

    WiiWare

    Review Paper Wars: Cannon Fodder

    Not the worst game ever

    At the back of every game shelf, at the bottom of every YouTube favourites list, in the dark recesses of every gamer's heart, they live. Games with which we are far too familiar, games that some of us have taken a near-masochistic pride in seeking out. Superman. E.T. Super Noah's Ark 3D. These are some of the worst games ever made. And now comes Paper Wars: Cannon Fodder,..

  • 3

    DSiWare

    Review Word Searcher 4

    It’s more word searches… again

    You know the old adage “less is more?” Well, it’s pretty obvious that Digital Leisure takes this saying to heart with its Word Searcher series. Word Searcher 4 marks the fourth game in the series of word search puzzle games, and it’s not much of an advancement from the last one, or the one before that, or even the one before that. If you’ve played any..

  • 21

    3DS

    Review The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn

    Blistering barnacles

    In the nine months since the 3DS launched, Ubisoft has released no fewer than 12 games for the handheld. Some, like Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars 3D, have been very good. Others — say, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 3D — haven't. Where does The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn fit in? Somewhere in the...

  • 5

    DSiWare

    Review House, M.D. - Episode 5: Under the Big Top

    Not-so-grand finale

    If you’ve been keeping score at home, then you should know by now that playing the House, M.D. games is about as fun as being hospitalised. Fortunately, the suffering can finally end now that the fifth and final installment in the series has arrived. If you’ve played any of the previous games and enjoyed them, then stop reading now and purchase this game. If you haven’t,..

  • 5

    3DS

    Review Michael Jackson: The Experience 3D

    Once you pop, will you want to stop?

    Given the runaway success of motion-controlled dance games and the stratospheric popularity of Michael Jackson, it’s frankly quite bewildering that nobody thought to marry the two before his death in 2009. Last year’s Michael Jackson: The Experience from Ubisoft was a thoroughly decent example of the genre,...

  • 87

    3DSWare

    Review Pullblox

    Mega blox

    Intelligent Systems is mostly known for its work on the Advance Wars, Fire Emblem and WarioWare series, but occasionally, when it's not too busy, it develops some unique games: it's created titles like Cubivore on the GameCube and Eco Shooter Plant 530 on WiiWare. Now it's back with another original creation for the eShop, and it can quite...

  • 45

    3DS

    Review The Hidden

    Hide and don't seek

    Hey, kids — remember the movie Ghostbusters? Remember how exciting and fun it looked? Well, be prepared to have that illusion siphoned out of you by The Hidden, which takes the concept of ghost busting and marries it to the embarrassment of walking in circles in public places. The Hidden bills itself as an "augmented...

  • 3

    WiiWare

    Review Xmas Puzzle

    X-cceptable

    Less than a month ago, EnjoyUp Games released Pinocchio’s Puzzle, a jigsaw puzzle game that proved to be good fun for the whole family. Now, just in time for the holidays, EnjoyUp’s second jigsaw puzzle videogame emerges as Xmas Puzzle. But is this puzzle worth finishing and framing, or is it just a cheap Christmas cash cow? If you played Pinocchio’s Puzzle, then the first thing..

  • 12

    DSiWare

    Review Castle Conqueror - Against

    Another day in paradise

    Another Castle Conqueror game? If CIRCLE Entertainment keeps this up, this just might turn into a monthly tradition. It's worth reading our previous reviews of Castle Conqueror and Castle Conqueror — Revolution as the gameplay here is largely the same as its real-time predecessors. The basic concept remains untouched:...

  • 56

    3DS

    Review Tales of the Abyss

    Abyssmal?

    In the nine months or so that it’s been on sale, the 3DS has had a number of obstacles thrust upon it, but one major problem for early adopters to lament has surely been the distinct lack of quality software available, with only a handful of truly great games seeing release. Of course, in the last few weeks that’s picked up somewhat,...

  • 25

    3DS eShop / GBC

    Review Blaster Master: Enemy Below

    Underground hit

    When the original Blaster Master made its appearance on the NES in 1988, it was lauded for its unique gameplay style and vast environment. Sunsoft would follow up the game with releases on Sega's Genesis and Nintendo's Game Boy, but it wasn't until it decided to create a sequel for Nintendo's Game Boy Color that Nintendo fans really...

  • 18

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Lock 'N Chase

    Puzzle Pac-Man

    Data East had quite a few relatively unknown Game Boy games back in the day. Much BurgerTime Deluxe, released a few weeks ago, Lock 'N Chase is essentially a "sequel" to the original arcade game, with the same general gameplay but with many more levels and even a few new gameplay mechanics. If you've played the arcade game,...

  • 40

    Wii

    Review Fortune Street

    A sound investment

    Mario and friends are no strangers to the board game scene: the Mario Party series is a perennial favorite, and rightly so. Those games are colourful, exciting and, most of all, fun. But it may come as something of a surprise to find our favorite denizens of the Mushroom Kingdom sharing a board with characters from the Dragon...

  • 37

    Wii

    Review Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games

    Olympic shames

    It was four years ago that the old 16-bit rivals teamed up for the first time: Sonic appeared in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and the two took their tussle to the track in Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games. It wasn't exactly a high watermark for either mascot, but it felt right at home on the Wii at the time: motion gaming was taking...

  • 27

    DS

    Review Power Rangers Samurai

    Go go Power Rangers

    Centuries ago, dark forces threatened to destroy civilisation in Japan. The danger was thought to have been destroyed by a clan of fearless warriors wielding power symbols that had been passed down for generations. Now these dark forces have returned to finish the destruction they started so long ago, and the survival of Earth...

  • 9

    Wii

    Review We Sing Rock

    Wii salutes you

    Some things in life never change. When you're in a rush in your lunch hour, there will always be a massive queue outside the bakery. If you trip on a loose bit of pavement, you will always attempt to turn it into a jog to appear completely in control to the strangers around you. Failed sneezes are forever disappointing, there's never...

  • 42

    3DSWare

    Review Zen Pinball 3D

    Flippin’ fun

    As gaming arcades and old-fashioned pinball tables become increasingly rare in public spaces, pinball enthusiasts can now revert to digitised versions for their fix. It’s good news for these gamers as the 3DS eShop’s latest 3D offering is Zen Pinball 3D, a stereoscopic edition of the highly rated PlayStation Network release. We...

  • 35

    3DS

    Review F1 2011

    Not in pole position

    Codemasters has a rich heritage in racing games and over the last 20 years has produced cracking examples of virtual car racing from just about every discipline. Whether it be off-road and rally in its Colin McRae and DiRT series, more track-based events in TOCA and GRID or even the art of pitting minuscule vehicles against one...

  • 17

    DSiWare

    Review Double Bloob

    Bloobin' boring

    For those who aren't aware, Double Bloob was actually announced over four years ago as a DS retail title. After disappearing for a few of those years, the game has now resurfaced on DSiWare. It'd be easy to assume that those four years of development time were used to make sure that the game was polished and enjoyable. That assumption would be dead wrong. Double Bloob allows you to..

  • 10

    DSiWare

    Review Play & Learn Chinese

    Might leave you hungry for more a few hours later

    DSiWare isn’t just for games, you know. Comprising a small, inconspicuous corner of the market, a handful of language applications serve to assist those who can’t quite afford a pocket translator or a class at the civic centre. So far we’ve seen entries in German, French and Spanish, and now...

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