Reviews - News

January2012

  • 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...

  • 46

    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...

  • 12

    DSiWare

    Review Battle of the Elements

    Elementary, dear Watson

    Lists. Who needs 'em? Whether it's a shopping list or a year-end "Best Of" list, you just know when you're writing it that you'll end up forgetting something important. When the year ends, Battle of the Elements probably won't be on our Best Of list. If you're the kind of person that makes lists of games to buy,...

  • 3

    WiiWare

    Review Big Bass Arcade

    Cast from the past

    Just six months back, Big John Games released Big Bass Arcade on DSiWare, offering up pick-up-and-play fishing action on the go. While the game certainly did what it said on the box, the overly simplistic design left us wanting a bit more content-wise. Enter Big Bass Arcade on WiiWare, a revamped port of that game offering updated...

  • 6

    DSiWare

    Review Just Sing! Christmas Vol. 3

    Ho! Ho! Oh…

    The festive season is almost upon us, so that means presents, sparkly lights, too much food to eat and another entry in the Just Sing! series. Just Sing! Christmas Vol. 3 has arrived, the third festive entry in DTP Entertainment’s karaoke franchise. As this particular set of games is now in its third year we can look forward to some...

November2011

  • 102

    Wii

    Review Rayman Origins

    This platformer's got legs (even if Rayman doesn't)

    As the gaming industry moves onwards and upwards and each genre evolves, it's interesting to observe how the platformer has come around full circle since its debut. Whereas the rest of the industry strives for more expansive and photorealistic environments or interactive storytelling, the...

  • 154

    3DS

    Review Mario Kart 7

    Seventh heaven

    It's hard to believe that it's been almost two decades since Nintendo first unleashed the original Super Mario Kart on gamers back in 1992. Since then, we've seen a Mario Kart release on just about every game system Nintendo has released. Mario Kart 7 marks the debut of the series on Nintendo 3DS and while there are a host of new...

  • 10

    DSiWare

    Review Come On! Heroes

    Arrowsmith

    Hot on the heels of the similarly named Castle Conqueror - Heroes comes CIRCLE Entertainment's Come On! Heroes. It's similar in title only, however, as the gameplay and presentation hearken most closely back to the first Castle Conqueror game. This isn't a bad thing but, unfortunately, a lack of variety really lets this release down...

  • 19

    3DS

    Review James Noir's Hollywood Crimes

    The big easy

    Since its debut, the DS console's (then) unique capabilities have presented developers with more than ample scope to push boundaries and explore new ways for us to interact and perceive handheld games. The touch screen has been hugely beneficial for Level 5’s Professor Layton series, which has proved to be so incredibly popular with...

  • 90

    3DS

    Review Sonic Generations

    Spin cycle

    A lot can change in 20 years. When the original Sonic the Hedgehog launched on 23rd June 1991 we didn't even have the Super NES in the West, and the thought that Nintendo and SEGA would one day work together was less than laughable. Yet here we are, two decades later, playing a celebration of Sonic's career on Nintendo's latest console. A...

  • 46

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Metroid II: Return of Samus

    Exploring colourless lands

    When Metroid was first released it was a unique game: with a lot of exploring to do across a giant map and with plenty of hidden items and paths, those willing to spend the time to find everything were well rewarded. The original title has aged fairly poorly though — the game lacks many things we take for granted...

  • 23

    3DS

    Review The Sims 3 Pets

    A new leash on life

    Porting life management simulator The Sims to handhelds has proven a mixed experience with more missteps than successes, but when The Sims 3 debuted as a 3DS launch title the series hit one of its lowest lows to date. The obvious rush job felt like a cynical slap to the face, EA having sped the title to store shelves in a direly...

  • 7

    WiiWare

    Review Pinocchio's Puzzle

    Pinocchio goes to pieces

    Chances are, when you're deciding to pick up a puzzle game for your console of choice, you don't think of actual jigsaw puzzles. They just don't fit easily into the genre's landscape. Popular puzzlers like Tetris and Angry Birds have an immediacy to them that encourages quick play and gratification, while a real jigsaw puzzle is more something you work at. Pinocchio's..

  • 6

    DSiWare

    Review Escape Trick: Convenience Store

    Convenience snore

    We've already seen two Escape Trick releases on DSiWare, each taking place in a unique environment ranging from a musty prison to a oriental-themed castle. And while the games feature a point-and-click gameplay system that would seem to fit the DS touch screen quite perfectly, the execution in both titles has been severely lacking. Now Intense Co. is going for a third outing and..

  • 73

    3DSWare

    Review 3D Classics: Kirby's Adventure

    A great game gets an underwhelming paint job

    In 1993 the NES got a latter-day boon from a truly brilliant addition to its library: Kirby's Adventure. Still regarded today as one of the strongest titles on the console, it boasted an unforgettable soundtrack, stunningly creative visuals and gameplay innovations that became Kirby staples from there...

  • 12

    DSiWare

    Review The Aquarium of Luck

    Not so lucky

    One genre that has seen plenty of releases on the DS family of consoles is that of pet simulation: all the fun of owning an animal without the expense, smells and responsibility. Next in line via DSiWare is The Aquarium of Luck, bringing the job of fish ownership to two screens. The title itself is strange, and we’d advise young...

  • 48

    Wii

    Review Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

    Tried and true

    By the time you read this, Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has already sold millions upon millions of copies to a worldwide fanbase and been touted as the biggest entertainment launch of all time. To keep its unprecedented growth up, the franchise has continued to top itself year after year with increasingly elaborate...

  • 19

    3DS

    Review Nikoli's Pencil Puzzle

    Sharp?

    It's hard to believe, but there was a time before fancy Tanooki Suits, space-foxes and Lon Lon Milk defined a good game. It was an era without joysticks, Wii Remotes or Power Gloves. How could anyone possibly have had fun in such a world, you ask? Well, back then, people were satisfied with a simple pencil and pad of paper, and that was...

  • 22

    DSiWare

    Review Bloons TD

    Full of hot air?

    There are few things more terrifying than sentient balloons. Just close your eyes and picture them: living, moving latex orbs, floating down a path in your direction. Such is the basic premise of Bloons TD, which takes the charming, monkey-populated world of puzzler Bloons and moulds it to a tower defence formula. And, like its...

  • 212

    Wii

    Review The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

    A legend redefined

    In a way The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has very little riding on it: the Wii has already enjoyed huge success, with a library of critically acclaimed Nintendo games selling millions around the world. Its motion controls — dubbed a 'revolution' back in 2005 — have arguably inspired competitor formats to adopt their own...

  • 9

    WiiWare

    Review Step Up!

    Don't step to this

    The Wii is a great console for combining a love for gaming and fitness. Casual workout titles like Wii Fit offer laid back activities like yoga and jogging, while third-party titles like EA Sports Active offer up more rigorous cardiovascular routines. But what about WiiWare? Sure, retail offerings are great, but Nintendo's download service hasn't really had many options in the..

  • 24

    DSiWare

    Review Castle Conqueror - Heroes

    We can beat them, for ever and ever

    About a year ago, Circle Entertainment released Castle Conqueror, a quirky and simple RTS that was also very addictive and fun. If we had any real complaints about it, it was that the charming simplicity somewhat prevented it from achieving any substantial depth. It was an excellent experience, but it felt as...

  • 10

    DSiWare

    Review House, M.D. - Episode 4: Crashed

    Crash and burn

    Dr. Gregory House is back this month with yet another instalment of House M.D. If you’ve played the previous games in the series, then you know exactly what to expect from this one. If you haven’t had the opportunity to experience any of these games, then feel free to continue reading. You’re in for a real treat. Like the previous three episodes, this game features an all..

  • 42

    3DS

    Review Shinobi

    Shinobi returns for another slice of revenge

    Given the current trend of rebooting classic video game franchises it seems long overdue that SEGA should reinvent fan-favourite Shinobi, for both veteran ninja warriors and younger ninjitsu newcomers to enjoy. Entrusted with this great responsibility is developer Griptonite Games, no stranger to...

  • 51

    3DSWare

    Review Freakyforms: Your Creations, Alive!

    It’s alive!

    The touch screen in the DS family of consoles has often been the focus for artistic experiences. The mere act of holding the stylus should inspire artists, and it’s this instinct that forms the foundation for Freakyforms: Your Creations, Alive! on 3DS. It’s a strange name that doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, and is perfectly...

  • 18

    DSiWare

    Review Rytmik Retrobits

    Bits of class

    The original Rytmik sounded better than any DSiWare music studio deserved to, but follow-up Rytmik: Rock Edition fell a little short in offering a big stadium rock sound through Nintendo's little handheld. Keen to keep offering melody creation tools on DSiWare while embracing its limitations, Cinemax has now put together Rytmik:...

  • 15

    WiiWare

    Review Gnomz

    Fun with a capital Z?

    When we first started playing Gnomz, we were excited: here's a game that's joyously silly, bizarre and simple enough that anyone willing to pick up the controller could play it and have an absolute blast. The graphics are colourful. The soundtrack has a giddy urgency to it. It's got a good sense of humour. WiiWare's Angry...

  • 49

    Wii

    Review Go Vacation

    Be prepared for economy class... if you're lucky

    Since the launch of the Wii and the success of its pack-in title Wii Sports, it seems that there isn't a major publisher or developer that hasn't had their finger in the mini-game collection pie. Most of these copycats have either been inoffensively average or outright terrible. In fact, when it comes...

  • 215

    3DS

    Review Super Mario 3D Land

    Tanooki time

    Super Mario has been a staple of Nintendo systems since the original NES over 26 years ago, and while the series has evolved to a great degree over time, one immutable fact remains: Mario games sell systems. That's why it comes as no real surprise that the plumber's first foray onto 3DS has been about as hyped as any game in recent...

  • 58

    3DS

    Review Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure

    The great gig in the sky

    There's something magical about a good toy. Be it an action figure, doll, transforming truck, projectile-spitting dragon or a wooden block, it doesn't matter how many removable parts or points of articulation they have once burrowed into your imagination and destined for Great Adventure along with the rest of the toy chest...

  • 40

    Wii

    Review Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure

    Gotta buy 'em all

    There's something magical about a good toy. Be it an action figure, doll, transforming truck, projectile-spitting dragon or a wooden block, it doesn't matter how many removable parts or points of articulation they have once burrowed into your imagination and destined for Great Adventure along with the rest of the toy chest. Your...

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