Reviews - News

December2011

  • 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..

  • 72

    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...

  • 49

    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...

  • 211

    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...

  • 34

    GameCube

    Review Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour

    Mario Fore-Stars!

    For many, there isn't a sport on the planet more tedious than golf. To these people the term "a good walk ruined" is about as accurate a description as anyone's ever come up with for anything, and they'd probably be able to reel off a list of far better uses for a golf club — window removal, football hooliganism, that...

  • 47

    Wii

    Review Disney Universe

    A dull new world

    Disney Universe holds a great deal of promise. A game in which you can play as a large number of characters spanning Disney's rich and impressive history? Levels designed in honour of some of its most classic films? Multiplayer for up to four people simultaneously? Yes, yes, and yes. Which is why it's so disappointing that the game is not all that good. On paper, it sounds..

  • 26

    3DS

    Review Centipede: Infestation

    Covered with scorpions

    Modernised versions of old school arcade games are quite common; we've already seen two on 3DS so far, Frogger 3D and Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions, the latter comprising even more classic call-backs of yesteryear, but one game that hasn't seen much love in the remake department is Centipede. Bucking the trend, Centipede:...

  • 48

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Balloon Kid

    Somewhat deflated

    Balloon Kid is the Game Boy sequel to the NES original Balloon Fight. That game is remembered by some as a stone-cold classic of addictive action, and by others as a pointless, repetitive chore. In our Balloon Fight review we fell somewhere in the middle. And so it's quite fitting that we also find ourselves there for the sequel...

  • 18

    3DS

    Review Gem Smashers

    Not so precious

    In 2003, explorers daring enough to venture deep into the recesses of that oppressive structure known as Generic-Looking Game Boy Advance Puzzler Mountain came across a small treasure – a mix between Bust-A-Move and Arkanoid that proved about as fun as it was unexpected. Now comes its successor of the same name, Gem Smashers, but in the eight-year interim it's unfortunately lost..

  • 9

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Adventure Island

    Master Higgins' first Game Boy adventure

    There were a good number of NES franchises that ended up making appearances on the Game Boy system, some better than others. Hudson had already enjoyed some popularity on the NES console with their Adventure Island titles, so it was pretty much a no-brainer that they'd eventually bring the series to...

  • 17

    3DS

    Review Gabrielle's Ghostly Groove 3D

    The story of the ghost

    This past May saw the release of Gabrielle's Ghostly Groove: Monster Mix. We enjoyed it more than we expected to, and you can read why right here in our Gabrielle’s Ghostly Groove: Monster Mix review. In fact, you'd better read that review, because the retail sequel, Gabrielle's Ghostly Groove 3D, doesn't deviate much...

  • 16

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review BurgerTime Deluxe

    A tasty treat

    When people think of Data East's games, they tend to think of Joe & Mac and Karnov, but one title that's just as much of a classic but never seems to get mentioned that often is BurgerTime. Originally debuting in arcades and being ported to many platforms, it was an endlessly looping, fast-paced game with six levels that required...

  • 33

    GameCube

    Review Crazy Taxi

    All the fun of the fare?

    SEGA has a brilliant track record in arcade driving games. OutRun, Daytona USA, SEGA Rally, Hang On; many older readers probably have fond memories of dropping coins on quick races on games housed within some oversized cabinet complete with steering wheel and pedals... before subsequently emptying their wallet of many more...

  • 12

    3DS

    Review Captain America: Super Soldier

    Captain Average

    Superhero fans invariably have very little to look forward to or shout about when it comes to video games. Whether it be down to either a lack of respect for the source material on the part of the developer or a rushed development cycle so that the games can meet strict deadlines and release alongside their film counterparts, comic...

October2011

  • 39

    DSiWare

    Review Halloween: Trick or Treat

    It's the Great Disappointment, Charlie Brown!

    Holiday-specific games are nothing new to Nintendo's download services, but developers just don't seem interested in providing much for your money. Just take a look at the scores for Happy Holidays: Halloween, Happy Holidays: Christmas, Just Sing! Christmas Songs or the immortal

  • 9

    3DS

    Review Mahjong CUB3D

    Fun to the third power?

    Mahjong solitaire has appeared on just about every console since the dawn of video games, though their developers generally remain content with sticking to the basic formula. Mahjong CUB3D takes a different path in exactly the way the title suggests – by wrapping the puzzle around a 3D framework. But does the new take on...

  • 10

    DSiWare

    Review Academy: Checkers

    A smart move

    Gamelion's proved itself adept in the DSiWare space, creating portable versions of board or pen and paper games — Extreme Hangmen and Academy: Tic-Tac-Toe are examples — and its latest effort is Academy: Checkers. Checkers — or draughts to some of you — is a game most people know how to play already, removing the need for a...

  • 60

    3DS

    Review Pokémon Rumble Blast

    Let's get ready to rrrrumble! Again...

    Two years ago, Nintendo released the surprisingly addictive Pokémon Rumble on WiiWare. It was a bizarre little title that took the various generations of Pokémon and reduced them to jittering clockwork toys haphazardly duking it out in chaotic Battle Royales. We liked it quite a lot, but it was difficult...

  • 38

    3DSWare

    Review Pyramids

    An ancient relic

    It may be early days for download content exclusive to the 3DS, but we can confidently say that it's been a slow start. In fact, if you disregard 3D Classics and a free Pokédex 3D produced by Nintendo, Pyramids is only the second game to utilise the capabilities of the 3D screen. This adds a certain level of expectation to this...

  • 118

    Wii

    Review Kirby's Return to Dream Land

    A dream come true

    To say that long-time Kirby fans have been clamouring for Nintendo to release a good old-fashioned Kirby title would be a gross understatement. While Nintendo has released several instalments in the series over the past few years, the majority of them, such as Kirby's Epic Yarn and Kirby Mass Attack, have been fairly radical...

  • 7

    WiiWare

    Review Fish Tank

    An unrequested fishin' surplus

    We know what you're thinking: "yawn... another colour-matching puzzler." And you'd be forgiven for shrugging and moving on. If you do that, however, you'll be missing out on a game that's quite good on its own, and a multiplayer experience that absolutely bursts with frantic fun. Fish Tank is a game that's simple in concept and efficient in execution. It's..

  • 9

    DSiWare

    Review Castle Conqueror - Revolution

    It revolves, but it doesn't evolve

    The first Castle Conqueror game was one that we definitely felt comfortable recommending. It mixed cutesy aesthetics with fast and addictive gameplay, and while seasoned RTS veterans no doubt found the game a little too simplified, the amount of fun it offered was difficult to resist. Its sequel, Castle Conqueror — Revolution, feels like a direct and specific..

  • 39

    DS

    Review 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors

    Fine, fine, fine

    You wake up in a cabin on a ship, clueless as to how you arrived. You soon remember a mysterious figure in a gas mask and an odd odour filling your apartment. Before you have time to put the pieces together, the window cracks and water begins to flood the small space. Either you find a way out of the locked room, or you drown. This...

  • 74

    3DS

    Review Cave Story 3D

    Third dimension is the charm

    When Cave Story was first released for the PC in 2004, players quickly fell in love with its simple visual design and action-packed gameplay. And while the game has generally retained that look and feel for its subsequent multiplatform releases in recent years, Nicalis decided to put the 3D capabilities of Nintendo's new...

  • 48

    DS

    Review Professor Layton and the Last Specter

    Smells like evil spirit

    By this point, most of our readers already know if they will like a Professor Layton game long before it's actually released. This is due to the fact that while the specifics of Layton's investigations change, the gameplay remains largely the same. With games such as these, however, that's not a bad thing. The Professor...

  • 33

    Wii

    Review Just Dance 3

    It's evolution, baby

    The world is not lacking in Just Dance games. Since that original perfect storm of pop style, goofy fun and lack of inhibition crashed the Wii party near the tail end of 2009, Ubisoft's dance factory has put out an additional eight releases of varying quality in a short two years. It would thus be easy to dismiss Just Dance 3...

  • 9

    3DS

    Review Brunswick Pro Bowling

    Split!

    What's not to like about bowling? The feel of manoeuvring the ball in your hands as you launch it down the lane, the crack of the pins, the fun of going out with your buddies or your team, trying on a pair of communal shoes – ok, not that last one. It was only a matter of time before Crave's Brunswick Pro Bowling series made it to the 3DS,...

  • 15

    DSiWare

    Review 1001 BlockBusters

    1001 ways to say "meh"

    101 Dolphin Pets. 101 Shark Pets. 1001 Crystal Mazes Collection. And now 1001 BlockBusters. Teyon sure tends to feel a great deal of pride for the sheer amount of content it packs into every release. But playing this most recent game, at least, it's difficult not to wish that it'd aim for smaller, mor

  • 17

    DSiWare

    Review Furry Legends

    Fun, but still floaty

    To say that Furry Legends for DSiware has been in development for a long period of time would be an understatement. In fact, the game became so far removed from gamers' minds that many assumed that the game had been cancelled altogether. But here we are, over two years since the game was first announced, and Gamelion has finally unleashed the game, and while it still features..

  • 12

    Wii

    Review X-Men: Destiny

    XY oh why

    X-Men is the type of comic series that makes it tempting to visualise yourself in a starring role. Its heroes are just like the rest of us, give or take a few chromosomes, and its universe works both as an allegory for coming to terms with your identity as it does for the larger issue of race relations. But does X-Men: Destiny mutate into...

  • 5

    DSiWare

    Review House, M.D. - Episode 3: Skull and Bones

    Numb skull

    It’s about time we all came to terms with the fact that episodic games aren’t really going to change from episode to episode. Sure, each episode may have a different plot and contain different puzzles, but the gameplay will stay generally the same. Because of this, all of the good elements of the first episode will generally carry over to the following episodes as well, but this..

  • 16

    3DS

    Review Spider-Man: Edge of Time

    It ain't easy being radioactive

    Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions had a lot going for it last year with its snappy presentation of four incarnations of the webhead powered by a scrappy developer. While not quite in swinging distance of comic game king Batman: Arkham Asylum, Shattered Dimensions brought a massive jolt to a franchise on life support...

  • 6

    Wii

    Review Spider-Man: Edge of Time

    Here come the Spider-Men

    Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions had a lot going for it last year with its snappy presentation of four incarnations of the webhead powered by a scrappy developer. While not quite in swinging distance of comic game king Batman: Arkham Asylum, Shattered Dimensions brought a massive jolt to a franchise on life support — and...

  • 70

    GameCube

    Review Wario World

    Wish you weren't here

    Nintendo is a company that's world renowned for its varied cast of versatile characters and Wario is certainly no exception. Since his first playable appearance in Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3, Wario has starred in a plethora of 2D platforming adventures spanning the Game Boy right through to the DS, each one seeing...

  • 32

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Catrap

    Definitely not a trap

    Nintendo's been releasing 3DS Virtual Console games at a very nice pace so far. In just a few months, we've already had classics like Donkey Kong and Gargoyle's Quest. The newest release, Catrap, however, is probably the most obscure title yet. Originally released in Japan under the title Pitman, and based on a game earlier...

  • 32

    WiiWare

    Review Horizon Riders

    Well balanced?

    Horizon Riders is definitely a Wii-exclusive experience. A game that makes use of both the Balance Board and Wii Zapper, Sabarasa's on-rails shooter is tailor-made for the console. If you are one of the millions that bought Wii Fit, consider yourself in for a treat, as the game makes good use of the peripheral and really shouldn't be played any other way. Those who don't own the..

  • Book Review The History of Nintendo Volume 1

    Let's-a go

    You might consider yourself a Nintendo expert, with innumerable facts and figures at your disposal, but even the most knowledgeable follower of the Kyoto company will find hitherto unknown realms of information in The History of Nintendo: Volume 1 — 1889 - 1980: From playing-cards to Game & Watch. The book made waves last year in...

  • 26

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Side Pocket

    Dead ball

    The great thing about the Virtual Console is that it allows people to experience games that they somehow missed out on the first go around and encourages discovery of forgotten and overlooked gems. The flip side is that not everything dug up has aged particularly well, like Data East's portable version of once-esteemed billiards game Side...

  • 20

    3DS

    Review Deca Sports Extreme

    Sixth time the charm?

    When we first played Wii Sports back in 2006, it woke us up to the potential of sports compilations to provide simple yet rich entertainment. When it was at its best, it boiled down a game to its essence, then refined that to make something truly special. Since then, countless titles have attempted to reproduce the formula, and...

  • 69

    Nintendo 64

    Review GoldenEye 007

    Are those golden eyes wearing rose tinted specs?

    Highly revered by countless N64 owners, GoldenEye 007 is often credited with kick-starting the first-person shooter craze on consoles. It not only showed that a good FPS could be crafted for a machine other than a high-spec PC, but arguably also created the multiplayer FPS phenomenon. In fact, if it...

  • 27

    3DS

    Review Frogger 3D

    Look both ways before crossing this game

    Why did the frog cross the road? We've still yet to receive an answer, but the little guy's been doing it for 30 years. Marking his birthday is Frogger 3D, begging the question: can yet another entry really bring anything new to the table? The answer is yes, as this title takes the little amphibian on a...

  • 11

    3DS

    Review FIFA 12

    A narrow miss

    When the 3DS launched in March, Konami instantly seized the opportunity to provide the first football – or soccer, for our US readers – title on the 3DS, with Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D. While that title was prompt but light on content, FIFA 12 has emerged for the second half of the year to attempt a comeback; can it turn the game on its head? Of vital importance to any football..

  • 57

    3DS

    Review Tetris Axis

    Egads! Tetrominos!

    Tetris and handhelds go together like apples and cinnamon, and no more clear has this symbiotic relationship been than on Nintendo hardware, from the time Tetris first dropped like a well-placed I-block into Game Boys everywhere. Tetris DX followed with a splash of colour and tighter play on Game Boy Color, and the...

  • 127

    GameCube

    Review Sonic Adventure 2: Battle

    Super Sonic or Super Chronic?

    SEGA's attempt to have Sonic the Hedgehog transcend his 2D roots and venture into the realm of 3D didn't go nearly as smoothly as Nintendo's own Super Mario 64, despite Sonic Adventure being generally well received upon its release on the Dreamcast in 1999. It didn't take long for the cloud to lift from the judgement of...

  • 20

    DS

    Review Rune Factory 3: A Fantasy Harvest Moon

    Farm-assured prime cut

    Thanks to Rising Star Games, gamers in Europe have finally caught up on the Rune Factory series — until Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny launches on Wii in North America next week, that is. Rune Factory 3: A Fantasy Harvest Moon on DS is the third and so far final portable instalment in the Harvest Moon spin-off, and the strongest so far. If you've not picked up a Rune..

  • 8

    DSiWare

    Review Crystal Caverns of Amon-Ra

    Is the quality of this game just a mirage?

    Puzzle games are a dime a dozen on DSiWare, so when a new one comes along, it's pretty easy to dismiss. Throw in a word like "crystal" and the words "Bejeweled clone" immediately come to mind. While this does involve the matching of three similarly coloured objects, however, Crystal Caverns of Amon-Ra takes a slightly different route..

  • 24

    Nintendo 64

    Review Mickey's Speedway USA

    Another kart racing game? Oh, boy!

    By the end of the Nineties, UK developer Rareware had established itself as one of the most talented softcos in the world, and along with Nintendo's own in-house output, had helped to placate Nintendo 64 gamers throughout most of the console's life with a steady supply of premium software. Having delivered the...

  • 40

    WiiWare

    Review escapeVektor: Chapter 1

    Virtual world, real quality

    After the delightful Pop (and its various offshoots), it seemed a bit like Nnooo was taking a break from game development. The studio released several applications through DSiWare, and while they were quite good, gamers might be forgiven for assuming that the company's future releases would gravitate more toward...

  • 44

    3DS

    Review Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked

    Cool as hell

    Nintendo 3DS owners don't have many choices when it comes to picking out a new RPG nowadays. Aside from DS games, the only title currently out in the genre is Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked, which is itself a port of a 2009 DS game. Atlus's decision to bring the title over to the 3DS may seem a bit confusing at first,...

  • 30

    DS

    Review Aliens: Infestation

    "Another glorious day in the Corps!"

    Of the four main Alien films, it's James Cameron’s action packed 1986 movie Aliens that provides the most explosive source material for a video game conversion. Konami knew this when it picked up the licence and released a fun arcade game, enabling players to blast pink xenomorphs in 1990. SEGA fans have...

  • 37

    3DS

    Review Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection

    Top of the high score table or tilt?

    When was the last time you played a really great pinball table? Not a digital approximation but an actual whiz-bangin', light-flashin', chaos table? Sadly, the agonising death of the arcade has put a damper on the availability of pinball tables, and unless you're one of the lucky few who live nearby a...

  • 19

    3DS

    Review Thor: God of Thunder

    Does 3D Thor give 2D a hammering?

    When SEGA decided to port Thor: God of Thunder to 3DS, there were two clear routes available: could build upon the DS game, a well-received pixel art 2D side-scrolling brawler by WayForward, or directly convert Red Fly Studio’s third person Wii hack-and-slash title. It chose the latter — after all Red Fly has built a reputation on Wii for fun movie licensed..

  • 72

    DSiWare

    Review The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition

    Four Links for the price of none

    In the hubbub, hype and over-excitement of E3 2011, some gamers would have been particularly delighted by a DSiWare announcement from Nintendo: while that seems unlikely, it does reflect the dedication of fans and their love for the Zelda series. After a relatively short wait, the much anticipated The Legend of...

  • 23

    DSiWare

    Review Bugs'N'Balls

    Together at last

    Say what you will about the rest of the game, one thing Bugs'N'Balls gets exactly right is its title. It has bugs, and they are indeed armed with balls. The question is this: do bugs and balls go together like peanut butter and jelly, or is it more like oil and water? Let's just say it's peanut butter jelly time. Bugs'N'Balls is excellent fun in short bursts, and it comes with an..

  • 15

    WiiWare

    Review 101-in-1 Explosive Megamix

    101 reasons to avoid this

    One hundred and one games. It's a tempting proposition isn't it? It's unlikely that as an average consumer you will play, let alone purchase, one hundred and one games in a whole year, so when Nordcurrent comes a-knockin' at your door and offers you exactly that many titles for the low, low price of 700 Points, you'd be forgiven for thinking it's a Billy Bargain. But when..

September2011

  • 101

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins

    Monochrome Mario is back in style

    Nintendo managed to squeeze quite a bit of the Super Mario experience into the original Super Mario Land, but many gamers felt like the game was a bit too scaled down to feel like a true adventure from the series. Nintendo obviously sensed this when they sat down to create Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, as this...

  • 10

    DSiWare

    Review Break Tactics

    Uninspired, but not broken

    Strategy games come in many forms, but these days, subgenres like tower defence and resource management are far more commonplace than your traditional turn-based affairs. Break Tactics helps fill the void, and while it's a fine entry in the category, it doesn't innovate much either. The game is reminiscent of Chess and a...

  • 20

    Nintendo 64

    Review Turok: Rage Wars

    Rage against the machine (gun)

    Multiplayer has been a mainstay in first person shooters since only a few years after the genre's formal debut. Nonetheless, PC gamers had been shooting each other either in LAN setups or online for many years before console FPSes got in on the act. It wasn't until GoldenEye 007 hit the N64 that the idea of getting...

  • 39

    DSiWare

    Review Cut the Rope

    This cuts it

    There has been much debate in gaming circles about Nintendo’s digital offerings and the competition from smartphones and tablets. Now one of the biggest hits from those rival platforms, Cut the Rope, has finally arrived on DSiWare. The question is, does this title succeed on the DSi, or does it miss out on the candy? The premise of...

  • 7

    DSiWare

    Review Escape Trick: Ninja Castle

    Escape while you still can

    Escape Trick: Ninja Castle is the second game in the Escape Trick series that we've seen here at Nintendo Life. The first game, Escape Trick: The Secret of Rock City Prison, failed to really grab us: its ambition was laudable, but its execution consisted of dull visuals, underwhelming gameplay, and nonsensical puzzle...

  • 59

    3DSWare

    Review 3D Classics: TwinBee

    Bee very grateful for this one

    Most of our readers could be forgiven for never having played TwinBee: after all, it began life in 1985 as an arcade game that never left Japan. It was later ported to the Famicom, and though some reports state that an NES localisation project was actually completed, for some reason it was never released. In fact,...

  • 12

    3DS

    Review Puzzler Mind Gym 3D

    Fair-ebellum

    Brains – we've all got 'em, and up until 2006, many thought that video games would rot 'em. That's when a certain Dr. Kawashima came on the DS scene with his Brain Age training game and showed people, with the help of some (since called into question) science, that with simple math problems and puzzles intended to exercise different areas of thought, you could keep in good mental..

  • 14

    Wii

    Review We Dance

    Don't touch this

    When a genre of game saturates a market it's fair to expect that any new title coming out within that style of play must do a good impression of the leaders in the field, in the very least aping what made the forerunners successful, hopefully providing an interesting alternative. As the number of first person shooters, mini-game...

  • 4

    DSiWare

    Review Defense of the Middle Kingdom

    Middle of the road

    Many games take the history of Asian nations as their focus, from the Japanese combat-based Samurai Warriors series to the Romance of the Three Kingdoms games, which use the warring kingdoms of first-century China as their basis. The newest to enter the ring is Defense of the Middle Kingdom, which also focuses on the latter's subject matter, putting a tower defence spin on the..

  • 24

    DS

    Review Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2

    Joker's wild

    When Enix released the original Dragon Quest Monsters for Game Boy back in 1998, many quickly dismissed it as just another vain attempt to cash in on the Pokémon craze. But over the past 13 years, the Monsters series has developed quite a following and become more in-depth and multiplayer-friendly with each new release. Where the first Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker on DS introduced a..

  • 84

    DS

    Review Kirby Mass Attack

    Ten for the price of one

    It's no secret that Kirby has been a huge part of Nintendo's portable systems over the years, even making his debut on the original Game Boy back in 1992. When Kirby Canvas Curse was released, it took the traditional button controls away and replaced them with the touchscreen controls of the DS. While some die-hard fans of...

  • 23

    3DS

    Review Driver: Renegade 3D

    Stuck in neutral

    Driving and racing games have, so far, been relatively well represented on the 3DS in its early lifespan, with Ridge Racer 3D and Asphalt 3D competing for the affections of driving fans. Ubisoft has now joined in with Driver Renegade 3D, an exclusive title in the franchise for the handheld. Does it provide a high-octane adrenaline...

  • 92

    WiiWare

    Review MotoHeroz

    In pole position

    If there's one letter of the alphabet that, when included at the end of a title should instantly tell you not to buy that game, it's the letter “z”. The quality of a product with a name that has the linguistic audacity to inappropriately replace the sensual sweeps of a sexily shaped "s", is for the most part awful:...

  • 9

    Wii

    Review We Sing: UK Hits

    Great Britain, average game

    Is it OK to be competent? Is it OK, not to excel, not to push the boundaries, but just to be totally fine? It's fair to say that we all want this medium to drive forward and provide us an experience you can't find elsewhere, but when a product doesn't claim to be groundbreaking should we really expect a revolution in game design? Probably not, which is what Nordic Games..

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