Reviews - News

October2012

  • 22

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Quarth

    Break it down

    Originally released for the Game Boy in 1990, Konami's Quarth takes the presentation of a Space Invaders-type shooter, and instead gives us a puzzle game. As tempting as it might be to enter these stages with guns blazing, what Quarth actually requires is a healthy amount of foresight and on-the-fly problem solving. It's not without...

  • 5

    DSiWare

    Review Kart Krashers

    A party worth krashing?

    Kart Krashers has a plan to shake up the kart racing genre: keep the karts, erase the race. Sure, it sounds rather pointless, but stick with us. The basic idea is to drive your kart around arena-like courses, shooting for a high score by collecting stars and rings and taking out baddies. The "Krashers" in the name implies a...

September2012

  • 101

    3DS eShop

    Review The Denpa Men: They Came By Wave

    Radioheads

    When we first started hearing the news about Denpa Ningen no RPG coming to the West, we didn't know what to expect. Its visual debt to Nintendo's Miis and Pikmin intrigued us, and the fact that the brains behind this game had their fingers in Pokémon Colosseum and great series such as Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy and Ogre Battle meant...

  • 30

    DSiWare

    Review Retro Pocket

    Through the Past, Darkly

    Before Retro Pocket, Game & Watch fans were poorly served. If they wanted to enjoy those early Nintendo forays into gaming, they were out of luck. There was no way for gamers to get their hands on recreations of those originals, short of picking up the Game & Watch Collection, of course. Or its sequel. But apart...

  • 50

    Wii

    Review Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition

    Sweet dreams

    The Kirby series has been a staple of Nintendo game systems since the pink fluff first appeared on the original Game Boy back in 1992. While the games have always been known more for their charm and unique gameplay than their difficulty, they've become some of the best selling video games in history. Now Nintendo has released Kirby's...

  • 69

    WiiWare

    Review La-Mulana

    WiiWare's last big game?

    La Mulana's WiiWare release has been a rocky road. It was first announced by developer Nigoro in 2009 and suffered several delays before finally hitting the service in Japan in 2011. Of course, most were expecting it to be released elsewhere soon after, but that didn't happen. It was eventually cancelled by its old publisher...

  • 17

    3DS eShop

    Review Heavy Fire: Special Operations 3D

    Fool us once...

    Slowly but surely, Teyon is on its way towards a half-way decent entry in its Heavy Fire series of military pop shooters. After squeezing out two downloadable disasters and an inexplicable retail release, Teyon returns to the well with Heavy Fire: Special Operations 3D — a reloaded version of that first WiiWare gem, now with added...

  • 30

    3DS eShop

    Review Rising Board 3D

    All that glitters is not gold

    The endless runner craze isn't about to end any time soon, and that's understandable. The genre offers an experience that is both suited to quick play sessions and unique every time you boot it up. The DSiWare service even received a rough equivalent in I Must Run!, and now the eShop has Rising Board 3D, an endless...

  • 9

    3DS eShop

    Review Crazy Kangaroo

    Hop, Skippy and jump

    No wonder poor old Barney has gone a bit loopy. Crazy Kangaroo's mad marsupial is on the run after escaping the grasp of evil poachers by daringly bundling himself out of a plane. Unwilling to give up their prize, his captors continue their relentless pursuit to tie this kangaroo down. If you've been near a smartphone in the...

  • 31

    DSiWare

    Review Bookstore Dream

    Let us tell you about this game, fair reader

    Bookstore Dream, to be clear, has about as much book-selling realism as the Call of Duty series has to real warfare. Ultimately though, it is just a game, and this one draws much of its inspiration from a series of smartphone resource management games from developer Kairosoft. We won't complain about...

  • 53

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

    The underdog of the Zelda series returns

    Back in the early days of several franchises, the second game in a series tended to be radically different from the first, because developers had not quite pinned down what they wanted the series to become - take a look at Castlevania II or the western Super Mario Bros. 2 for example. Zelda II is another big...

  • 49

    3DS eShop

    Review Fractured Soul

    Seeing double

    Anyone who's followed the development cycle of Fractured Soul will know that the game has experienced quite a few ups and downs on its route to retail. Not only has it been in development for close to eight years, it's also a game that even the developers wondered would ever actually see the light of day. Now resurrected on Nintendo's...

  • 5

    3DS eShop

    Review Heyawake by Nikoli

    Mind bending

    Heyawake has been around since 1992 and has spawned several books of puzzles for brain teaser fans to tackle. Now the puzzles are appearing on the 3DS eShop in the form of Heyawake by Nikoli. You can take on 50 puzzles of increasing difficulty on your 3DS and compete with up to three other players in a race to see who can finish the...

  • 25

    DSiWare

    Review Crazy Hunter

    Hunting, it’ll make you crazy

    Have you ever thought to yourself, “what’s the least amount of fun I can possibly have while playing a DSiWare game”? Well, think no more, because now your wildest fantasies can be a reality when you play Crazy Hunter. With a plot that makes no sense and controls that are almost impossible to master, you’ll be...

  • 30

    3DS eShop

    Review Picross E

    Almost picture perfect

    By now, most of you should be familiar with the concept of Picross. First appearing on the Game Boy with Mario's Picross and most recently in slightly altered form in Picross 3D, Picross has always been a bit of an unassuming, almost low-key affair, but those who invest their time into it tend to discover an incredibly...

  • 15

    3DS eShop

    Review Balloon Pop Remix

    A popping good time

    Balloon Pop Remix, the latest offering from developer UFO Interactive, is a stylus-based variation on the "bubble-pop" puzzle theme. You slide the stylus over two or more adjacent balloons of any colour to pop them, and as the balloons from below float up to take their place, any matching colour combination of three or more will...

  • 44

    3DS eShop

    Review Outdoors Unleashed: Africa 3D

    To the hunt

    Even before it was released, Outdoors Unleashed: Africa 3D was already turning heads and churning out some very interesting debate about what is and is not considered appropriate for a video game. Because this title is all about hunting on an African safari and involves the killing of wild - and in many cases, endangered - animals,...

  • 4

    WiiWare

    Review Successfully Learning English: Year 4

    A bit tougher than A, B, C

    So, the Successfully Learning series continues its relentless march onto WiiWare, with Successfully Learning English: Year 4 being the third entry in this particular run. As we've come to expect it's much of the same thing, but with a notable step up in challenge for its young pupils. Freddy the Vampire is starting to get...

  • 20

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Kirby's Star Stacker

    Stacked

    Anybody who plays video games probably knows all about the likes of Tetris, Dr. Mario, Puzzle League and other puzzle games, but Kirby had his own original puzzler (as in, not a reskin of Puyo Puyo) as well. The last Kirby game for the original Game Boy, Kirby's Star Stacker is actually a fairly fun game, if a little shallow. Like most...

August2012

  • 21

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review Metal Slug X

    X hits the spot

    While Contra has always been the game by which all run and gun titles have been judged, serious fans of the genre will still flash a wide grin at the mere mention of the Metal Slug series, especially Metal Slug X. There's no denying that Metal Slug 2 had all of the makings of an amazing run and gunner, but the rampant slowdown ended...

  • 3

    WiiWare

    Review Successfully Learning English: Year 3

    Freddy says relax

    Certain things are inevitable, such as death, taxes and another Successfully Learning download. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, if you have a young child that could use some extra help with the subject at hand, and Successfully Learning English: Year 3 delivers reliably. It does exactly the same as predecessor Successfully...

  • 20

    DSiWare

    Review Abyss

    Fun but lacking depth

    Abyss is almost an archetypically simple game. There are no modes, power-ups, online features or options, and every face button performs the same action. The premise is correspondingly uncomplicated: as the charmingly named deep-sea submarine “Nep2no”, you'll float through close-quartered underwater stages, avoiding the...

  • 52

    3DS eShop

    Review VectorRacing

    Lines and lines and lines and lines and lines!

    There's an episode of Family Guy in which Peter Griffin attends a production of Uncle Vanya. Partway through the play he stands up, bored out of his mind, and shouts, "for crying out loud, somebody throw a pie!" That's more or less how we felt playing VectorRacing. VectorRacing is the epic tale...

  • 19

    DSiWare

    Review Crazy Chicken Pirates

    Not crazy enough to work

    Recently two games were released via Nintendo’s handheld online services, Crazy Chicken Pirates and Crazy Chicken Pirates 3D, and, as you’ve probably guessed, they’re very similar to one another. By “very similar”, we actually mean that — with the exception of the additional 3D effect and higher resolution of the...

  • 20

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review Real Bout Fatal Fury Special

    Special indeed

    Generally speaking, the "special" SNK releases are generally used as an upgrade to iron out kinks found in the previous releases of the game. Real Bout Fatal Fury Special is no exception and actually goes quite a long way at upgrading the previous Real Bout Fatal Fury title, even tossing in a bunch of new goodies for fighting game...

  • 20

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon

    Not so mystical

    Shortly after the original release of the excellent Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon for Nintendo 64, Konami released another game with the same title for the original Game Boy. Tragically, the N64 game has still not been released on Wii Virtual Console, but is this handheld offering a good alternative? This instalment of the Goemon...

  • 5

    DSiWare

    Review Escape The Virus: Shoot 'Em Up!

    Not hugely contagious

    Escape the Virus: Shoot 'em Up! is a top-down twin stick arcade shooter without the twin sticks. As a tiny bit of friendly bacteria, you zoom about firing out rounds of red and blue pills at an endless onslaught of nasty-looking viruses, shooting in whichever direction you're moving. The viruses always eventually win, so the...

  • 29

    3DS eShop

    Review Crazy Chicken Pirates 3D

    This poultry is paltry

    There's a story in Crazy Chicken Pirates 3D, but believe us, you won't need one. The game — whose title reads about as gracefully as magnetic poetry — sees you gunning down chickens for 90 seconds. Then, we guess, you can do it again. If you'd like to. You may not, but the option to play again is about the only option the...

  • 52

    3DS eShop

    Review SpeedX 3D

    Speed demon

    There's always the temptation to be a bit snobbish about games that are ported to traditional consoles from smartphones. Given the enormous success of "casual" experiences on mobiles, many dedicated gamers view even the best titles as vapid, shallow experiences — a perspective which is reinforced by the hordes of clones and rip-offs...

  • 9

    DSiWare

    Review The Lost Town - The Jungle

    Lost in translation

    It’s rare for a sequel to a well received game to be released with little to nothing in terms of new content. Usually, a sequel calls for a fresh plot which ushers in new characters and gameplay elements to keep the familiar franchise fresh. Sometimes though, a sequel gets released that is essentially just a re-skinning of the...

  • 28

    3DS eShop

    Review Touch Battle Tank 3D

    Bad touch

    Good intentions most certainly pave the road to disappointment in Touch Battle Tank 3D. While it's clear that the 70 levels of non-stop blasting are meant to feel like frantic, satisfying plunges into arcade-style madness, it's also clear that the components simply don't come together the way they need to. Touch Battle Tank 3D simply feels...

  • 26

    3DS eShop / GBC

    Review Toki Tori

    A good egg

    Many will be familiar with Toki Tori on WiiWare, released a few years ago and since on several systems; it's been quite the popular game, but not many people are familiar with the original entry in the series. This is understandable, because it was released at the tail end of the Game Boy Color's life cycle back in 2002, but now has a...

  • 219

    3DS

    Review New Super Mario Bros. 2

    Going for gold

    At the time of writing, the 2012 London Olympics are in full swing. A global expression of unparalleled sporting excellence, the Games feature hordes of top-class athletes attempting to grab gold glory by taking part in events which are steeped in history and tradition; ultimately, the objective isn’t to be innovative in your...

July2012

  • 18

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review World Heroes Perfect

    Not quite perfect

    When World Heroes was first released on SNK's Neo Geo arcade and home console system, it was yet another attempt to capture the popularity of Capcom's Street Fighter, this time by developer ADK. While the game featured some unique gameplay and visual features, it was still regarded more as a nice attempt at the genre than any type...

  • 57

    DSiWare

    Review Decathlon 2012

    Torch it

    Well, the London 2012 Olympic games are officially underway, and the eShop now has its equivalent of those ubiquitous bootlegged t-shirts in the form of Decathlon 2012, a digital souvenir that hopes to coast on the excitement of the Olympics without shelling out for the rights to refer to them by name. Already we're off to a great start,...

  • 60

    3DS eShop

    Review Planet Crashers

    Crash and burn

    On first inspection, Planet Crashers is the cute, warm and whimsical RPG world you would expect from Mutant Mudds developer Renegade Kid, providing a shot of humour, quirkiness and style to an already crowded and tired genre. However, much like other adventure RPGs lining our shelves at the moment, Planet Crashers is very much a case...

  • 67

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Mole Mania

    Dig in

    Poor Muddy Mole has returned home to find his family kidnapped by the evil farmer Jinbe. That's the entire plot, and we're happy about that. After all, Mole Mania isn't about storytelling; it's about a massive gauntlet of clever puzzles, and that's exactly why we like it. Divided into eight very large levels, Muddy's adventure finds him...

  • 10

    3DS eShop

    Review Dot Runner: Complete Edition

    On the dot or a runaround?

    Dot Runner: Complete Edition is the latest release from Intense, developer of unique DSiWare RPG GO Series: Picdun. This outing shares the dual perspectives of that title but little else; here you collect dots as a futuristic man-on-a-mission named BOLT in a chase puzzler that's fast and fun, but seriously flawed. While...

  • 39

    3DS

    Review New Art Academy

    A flawed masterpiece

    New Art Academy’s arrival on 3DS comes as no surprise, as the original DSiWare titles and the retail compilation on DS further boosted the handheld’s appeal, particularly to those who wanted more from a gaming machine. As part of a group of ‘bridge’ titles from Nintendo, designed to attract new audiences, it served its...

  • 10

    DSiWare

    Review Rabi Laby 2

    Return to Wonderland

    Remember the old adage “less is more"? Even if you don’t, Agetec certainly does, as is clearly reflected in Rabi Laby 2, its most recent DSiWare release. While it’s true that not much has changed from the first instalment, the original Rabi Laby was pretty good, so there’s not much to find fault with here. Much like its...

  • 5

    WiiWare

    Review Successfully Learning English: Year 2

    Back to the classroom

    If you combine DSiWare and WiiWare, Tivola’s Successfully Learning series has been one of the most prolific franchises available for download. Just when we thought it was all over, Successfully Learning English: Year 2 makes the transition from DSiWare to WiiWare, and young pupils can breathe a sigh of relief. The question is...

  • 106

    DSiWare

    Review Petit Computer

    Massive potential, minor headache

    There are few better places to learn programming than within the BASIC family — heck, it's in the name — which offers general-purpose, relatively simple environments in which to learn the ropes and concepts of coding. Petit Computer is a powerful BASIC coding environment, a type of homebrew application seldom...

  • 9

    3DS eShop

    Review Masyu by Nikoli

    Circle gets the square

    The ...by Nikoli series is nothing new to the eShop, but Masyu by Nikoli stands out for being a puzzle of Nikoli's own creation. This means that if you'd like to play it, more than likely this will be your only option on the service. Therefore the question really boils down to whether or not that puzzle is worth seeking out on...

  • 25

    3DS eShop

    Review The Phantom Thief Stina and 30 Jewels

    Hidden gem or a kick in the jewels?

    The Phantom Thief Stina and 30 Jewels is an arcade-like game that has you breaking into an assortment of stages, grabbing keycodes, deactivating security systems, and escaping into the night with shiny jewel in hand. As a concept, Phantom Thief is intriguing, but while it can be fun, it's ultimately let down by...

  • 26

    3DS

    Review Freakyforms Deluxe: Your Creations, Alive!

    Get your freak on

    When it was released on eShop, Freakyforms: Your Creations, Alive! was a thoroughly charming and cheerful creature creation tool, tailored to entertain kids and big kids alike. Its positive sales on the digital platform were clearly enough to convince Nintendo to expand the package, with Freakyforms Deluxe: Your Creations, Alive!...

  • 51

    3DS eShop / Game Boy

    Review Wario Land II

    Greed is good

    After the success of the first Wario Land, Nintendo decided to take another shot at putting its beloved new anti-hero in the spotlight. To differentiate it from Mario even further, it removed the "Super Mario Land" prefix and also made a massive gameplay change for Wario Land II. But is it one for the better? Defeated at the end of...

  • 17

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review The King of Fighters '96

    A step in the right direction

    King of the Fighters '96 marks the third release in the popular SNK fighting game series, and while we've already seen KoF releases from both before and after this title, SNK has finally decided to go back and release this pivotal release in the series. With a host of new gameplay additions, many of which help balance...

  • 14

    WiiWare

    Review Frogger: Hyper Arcade Edition

    Hopping mad

    Frogger reached its 30th anniversary last year so, as is tradition for gaming birthdays, Konami has marched out a new edition of the arcade classic. Frogger: Hyper Arcade Edition sets out to bring multiplayer and new play styles to the franchise, but it's not quite all it's croaked up to be. It's split up into eight modes – six game...

  • 131

    3DS

    Review Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance

    Like a dream, or just plain heartless?

    This is a good month for Square Enix fans. First rhythm-action masterpiece Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy came storming into our midst and now it's Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance’s turn to hold the spotlight. Kingdom Hearts 3D may be one of the best looking games on the 3DS, yet like many previous Kingdom...

  • 67

    3DS eShop

    Review Johnny Kung Fu

    Like a punch to the Wang

    We're on to you, UFO Interactive. You've released these side-scrolling action games every few months now and, we'll admit, each one has had a fairly interesting premise — a samurai slicer with RPG elements and a zombie-flavored rhythm game? We can dig it. Now you roll out what seems like an ode to LCD handheld games...

  • 30

    3DS eShop

    Review Sparkle Snapshots 3D

    Take a pretty picture

    It’s easy to forget about all of this multi-functional nonsense and think of 3DS as an all-out gaming machine, but occasionally a new app appears to remind us that, actually, Nintendo intends for the system to offer much more. The arrival of Sparkle Snapshots 3D in the eShop is one such reminder, a camera app designed to...

  • 16

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review 2020 Super Baseball

    Step up to the plate

    Taking a popular sport and fusing it together with a futuristic theme is certainly nothing new in the world of video games. Atari managed quite a bit of success with its robotic football release Cyberball, so it comes as no surprise that other companies would follow suit. Back in 1991 SNK took a page out of Atari's book and...

  • 16

    DSiWare

    Review Candle Route

    Candlelight delight

    Candle Route is a unique and colourful puzzle game starring Sparky, a plucky, anthropomorphic flame charged with bringing light to Crayon Castle before night comes around. The adventure that follows feels a bit like a cross between ChuChu Rocket!, mini-golf, and being a mother duck; most importantly it's beautiful, original and...

  • 25

    DSiWare

    Review Ace Mathician

    Smooth operators

    Ace Mathician, from Flipper developer Goodbye Galaxy Games, is a unique puzzle-platformer that succeeds in combining the magic of both marsupials and maths. The basic idea is to help a friendly koala named Ace reach the fruit at the end of each single-screen stage by rearranging platforms using algebraic equations. Make no mistake:...

  • 58

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review The Sword of Hope II

    The great black and white hope

    Poor Prince Theo. Not only is his first game still unavailable in the eShop, but his second adventure begins with all of his previous hard work being undone, an evil spirit being set free by would-be grave robbers, the Sword of Hope being stolen, and a young orphan accusing him of murdering his father. He really can't...

  • 69

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Kirby's Pinball Land

    Less than the sum of its parts

    While primarily known as the star of a reliably charming series of platformers, Kirby has also starred in a fair share of spin-offs. One of those, Kirby's Block Ball, came to the eShop just a few months ago. It's a flawed but fun reimagining of Breakout. It plays to the strengths of both Breakout as a template and...

  • 36

    3DS

    Review Harvest Moon 3D: The Tale of Two Towns

    Come a cropper

    Marvelous, Natsume and Rising Star Games certainly feel like they're onto a high-yield crop with Harvest Moon; Harvest Moon 3D: The Tale of Two Towns might be the first 3DS entry but it's the eighth HM game in five years. Any concerns that the creative well is running dry are understandable — after all, it's only farming — but...

  • 28

    3DS eShop

    Review Family Tennis 3D

    A good second service

    Arc System Works, most fondly known for the Guilty Gear and BlazBlue series of 2D fighting games, also dabbles in the casual sports genre with its Family series for WiiWare. Those titles generally haven't been very well received, but the series' first entry into the eShop, Family Tennis 3D, is a happy reversal of that trend...

  • 29

    3DS

    Review The Amazing Spider-Man

    Hyperbole, True Believers!

    You've got to hand it to Beenox for its stewardship of Spider-Man's games. While each entry has had its share of problems, the studio has pushed the webslinger in fun and genuinely interesting new directions by tapping into the character's rich diversity and exploring comic book universes largely ignored in video games,...

  • 12

    WiiWare

    Review Let's Create! Pottery

    Different console, same game

    Every now and again a game gets released that makes its players collectively ask “why? Why did this happen?” Then, inexplicably, the same exact game gets released on a completely different console after it has barely been changed at all. As you may have already guessed, this is exactly the case with Let’s Create!...

  • 11

    DSiWare

    Review 3, 2, 1... Words Up!

    Fun with words

    3, 2, 1... Words Up! is a great example of how simple can be satisfying. This word-unscrambling game does one thing and does it well, providing a solid dose of portable wordplay to anyone looking to test their lexical limits. The basic objective is to create as many words as possible from a bank of seven letters, and there are two...

  • 82

    3DS

    Review Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy

    You spoony bard!

    This is how you celebrate the 25th anniversary of a beloved game franchise. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, a rhythm game celebrating a quarter-century of some of the most iconic music in video games, is a fantastic title. Every facet radiates care and polish, with the accessible and addictive rhythm mechanics framed by a gorgeous...

  • 8

    3DS eShop

    Review Akari by Nikoli

    Spark in the dark

    Hamster is now at the halfway point of chopping up upcoming retail release Sudoku + 7 other Complex Puzzles by Nikoli and selling each puzzle type individually through the eShop. With Sudoku and Kakuro out of the way, the far more interesting chunks have started to hit as evidenced by last month's Slitherlink and now Akari.

  • 56

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review NES Open Tournament Golf

    Retro golf gaming at its finest

    While the eShop already has Golf for the Game Boy available, anyone who purchased that game may now start to wish they had saved their money. NES Open Tournament Golf is a superior experience in every way. Perhaps not substantially so, but it's certainly a more rewarding way to spend a day on the links. NES Open...

  • 42

    DSiWare

    Review Topoloco

    It may be a map, but it's no legend

    Congratulations are in order for Abstraction Games: it released a topography game that's even less fun that it sounds. Topoloco almost deserves an award for just how much it gets entirely wrong. Before you read the rest of this review, know that we didn't expect this to be much of a game, per se. Topoloco markets...

  • 27

    Wii

    Review Project Zero 2: Wii Edition

    Poltergeist snap

    If you're more than a little wary when it comes to bumps in the night, it might be best to stay away from Project Zero 2: Wii Edition. Tecmo Koei's ghastly survival horror series, also known as Fatal Frame, throws you within the clutches of dozens of malicious apparitions with only a camera for protection. A proton pack it ain't...

  • 50

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Castlevania: The Adventure

    Belmont's first portable adventure

    When the Game Boy hit store shelves in 1989 it didn’t take long for a vast swathe of third-party publishers – many of which had grown fat on the profits generated by Nintendo’s astonishingly popular NES – to sign up to produce software for the device. Konami was one of the first to pledge its allegiance to...

  • 12

    DSiWare

    Review Flip the Core

    Hit or bore?

    We've already seen a few shoot 'em ups pop up on DSiWare, but for the most part the selection has felt more gimmicky than traditional. Flip the Core continues that tradition with a unique "flip" design that allows you to flip the flat background planes, greatly altering the level with one push of a button. And while this interesting...

  • 30

    3DS eShop

    Review Marvel Pinball 3D

    Dat Mahvel

    Unlike video games based on movies or popular comics, licensed pinball tables have a reputation of being pretty great — The Twilight Zone, The Addams Family, Indiana Jones and Monster Bash are but a sampling of the rich properties that have yielded some of the most popular pins of the past 20 years. Marvel Comic's iconic characters are...

  • 6

    DSiWare

    Review Jewel Legends: Tree of Life

    Was it meant for you?

    Not that there’s any shortage of them on DSiWare, but right off the bat it should be said that Jewel Legends: Tree of Life is a puzzle game. Not only is it a puzzle game, but it’s a match three puzzle game, which means that you know exactly what to expect with this download. While there are some new features to spice up...

  • 10

    DSiWare

    Review Escape the Virus: Swarm Survival

    Mini-thrills with micro-organisms

    Escape the Virus: Swarm Survival, an offshoot of the WiiWare title Viral Survival from a few years back, is a collection of two score-based arcade games that take place under the microscope. While there's not a lot to this simple petri dish offering, what's there is an awful lot of fun and the core mechanics are...

  • 41

    3DS eShop

    Review Bomb Monkey

    Enough bang for your buck?

    Welcome to Bomb Monkey, which does in fact feature both bombs and a monkey. Whew, that's a relief! Now that we no longer have to worry about false advertising, we can talk about the game itself. As any screenshot will suggest, Bomb Monkey is a colour-based puzzle game. You hold your 3DS book-style, and use either the...

June2012

  • 22

    3DS eShop

    Review Slitherlink by Nikoli

    Voldemort's favourite puzzle

    Hamster continues to roll out piecemeal the components of its forthcoming retail package Sudoku + 7 Other Complex Puzzles by Nikoli onto the eShop, now breaking out the brain-bender Slitherlink by Nikoli. Unlike past efforts Sudoku by Nikoli and Kakuro by Nikoli, Slitherlink offers a type of teaser seldom seen in digital...

  • 37

    Wii Virtual Console / NES

    Review Double Dragon II: The Revenge

    Revenge is sweet

    When Double Dragon first hit the arcade scene back in 1987, it was immediately lauded for its intense beat 'em up gameplay and slick visuals and soundtrack. After making pit stops on a number of platforms, the NES included, the game only grew in popularity. So it was only natural that a sequel, Double Dragon II: The Revenge would...

  • 88

    DS

    Review Pokémon Conquest

    Resistance is feudal

    Peanut butter and chocolate, Chris Farley and David Spade, Marvel and Capcom. Taking two great things and smashing them together is a long-standing tradition of the human experience. Now, in the year 2012, another legendary combination can be etched into the annals of history – Pokémon and Nobunaga’s Ambition. Pokémon is...

  • 26

    DSiWare

    Review Goooooal Europa 2012

    Missing an open goooooal

    DSiWare is like any other downloadable game platform: it features gems full of creativity and compulsive play, and then it has titles like Goooooal Europa 2012, which tries to hide its painful inadequacies with a ‘fun’ title and a tenuous link to a major football tournament. The idea of a table football game with stylus...

  • 31

    3DS eShop / GG

    Review Sonic Blast

    From the past, not a blast

    Not to be confused with Sonic 3D Blast, Sonic Blast only really shares a fondness for rendered sprites with its 16-bit namesake, sticking to more mainline Sonic staples like running, spinning and grabbing Chaos Emeralds. The rendered sprites weren't particularly impressive back in 1996 and they don't stand up too well...

  • 18

    WiiWare

    Review Save the Furries

    Furful

    We've seen several WiiWare titles make the jump to other, probably more profitable, platforms, but it happens the other way around too. Save the Furries is one example; it started life as an iOS title, but now the alien-saving puzzler has scurried over to the Nintendo side. The goal is to get the titular helpless creatures from A (their...

  • 12

    DSiWare

    Review Lola's Fruit Shop Sudoku

    Sudoku Jr.

    Earlier this year we were pleasantly surprised by Lola's Alphabet Train, a rewardingly sweet journey through simple spelling drills. It was colourful, engaging and inventive. Now we have a sequel in the form of Lola's Fruit Shop Sudoku, and while the previous game's charm is intact, it's a bit less impressive overall. You'd be forgiven...

  • 40

    3DS eShop

    Review Order Up!!

    Finger-licking good

    When it comes to real-world occupations that double as compelling experiences in gaming, the list is pretty short. Soldier, of course. Taxi driver. City planner. And, surprisingly enough, restaurant manager. Order Up!! isn't the first game to tap into that particular well of gainful employment, but it certainly is one of the...

  • 5

    DSiWare

    Review 7 Wonders II

    A small wonder

    When it comes to clones, very few genres are more prime candidates than puzzlers. When Tetris hit back in the 80's it was quickly cloned and in fact, is still being cloned to this very day. 7 Wonders of the Ancient World took the match-three idea and attempted to inject a few new twists into the mix but somehow failed to take the...

  • 35

    3DS eShop

    Review Mad Dog McCree

    Send it to the pound

    Remember back when Laserdisc games were king and everyone loved them and we were all playing them at home? No? Well, that’s probably because it was never the case, and the really great news is that Laserdisc games quickly came and went before they could do any real lasting damage to the future of gaming. With that in mind,...

  • 70

    3DS

    Review Heroes of Ruin

    An heroic effort

    If Heroes of Ruin was judged purely on the level of ambition and functionality on display, it would be hailed as the finest title on 3DS. It takes the capabilities of the handheld and attempts to deliver a fully flavoured action RPG, with all of the online play and functionality that gamers could conceivably demand of a home console...

  • 40

    3DS

    Review Rayman Origins

    Limbless, but not limp

    Rayman Origins has had a long trip to reach 3DS; it was supposed to be released in March, and while it's out now in Europe it won't make it to North America until November. Europeans can enjoy it in 3D for the first time, but if you've already played it on one of the myriad other platforms you might want to think twice before...

  • 21

    DSiWare

    Review Devil Band - Rock the Underworld

    Ear piercing

    If musicians really can save the world — Bob Geldof and Bono would both like you to believe they can — then it's a shame they couldn't do it in a game more interesting than Devil Band - Rock the Underworld. CIRCLE's latest essentially takes Plants vs. Zombies, robs it of its charm and adds in a lot more tapping. You control a metal...

  • 17

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Tumble Pop

    Tumble Pop and lock

    In the future, nests of hornets will be the least of pest control's worries. Tumble Pop is filled with strange beasts, from living skeletons to little grey aliens, manic clowns and Sweetums from The Muppets. In this arcade platformer, it's your job to clean them up with nothing more than a trusty – and presumably engine-powered...

  • 49

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Donkey Kong Jr.

    Defeat the villainous Mario!

    Donkey Kong Jr. was the inevitable sequel to the massively popular arcade smash Donkey Kong. Surprisingly — and rewardingly — it inverted the formula, casting Mario as the villain to be defeated, and Donkey Kong's diaper-clad son as the avenging hero. Is there any wonder Nintendo released this one just in time for...

  • 18

    3DS eShop

    Review 3D Solitaire

    The title says it all

    Nintendo’s digital stores have given us plenty of titles based on old-fashioned games of cards, for those who no longer play with real decks or other people. The thing about solitaire, or course, is that it’s a card game for just one player, and anyone’s who owned a Windows PC in the last 15 years is likely to have played...

  • 22

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review The Last Blade

    Neo Geo fighting at its finest

    There are very few game consoles in existence that can compete with the diverse fighting game library of SNK's Neo Geo system. While some of the earlier efforts came up short of reaching the quality of Capcom's Street Fighter II series, many later efforts ended up being some of the best 2D fighting releases of the era...

  • 35

    Wii Virtual Console / Super Nintendo

    Review Mega Man X2

    Still mega

    When Capcom created Mega Man X, it had clearly done something right. Many fans loved finally getting a refreshing take on the series, rather than what was essentially the same thing over and over, and it became quite popular. While the Classic Mega Man series went on a break for a few years, Capcom churned out a few more X games,...

  • 10

    DSiWare

    Review 99Seconds

    I got 99 problems but time ain't one

    Tiny time-waster games like 99seconds really aren't all that dissimilar from the arcade games of old that we now look on so fondly as champions of game design: simplistic ideas with an execution engaging enough to keep the flow of quarters flowing. Here, the concept is a form of extreme keep-away with a slow-down...

  • 23

    3DS eShop

    Review Kakuro by Nikoli

    4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42

    There's certainly no shortage of number puzzles lurking around the dark, damp corners of the eShop. Sudoku is a prime culprit, and we wouldn't be at all surprised if there was a degree of puzzle overlap between them all, however mathematically unlikely that may be. Kakuro, on the other hand, is much less of a bruised dead horse...

  • 15

    3DS eShop

    Review Sweet Memories Blackjack

    Not fond memories

    Sweet Memories Blackjack is a strange arrival on the 3DS eShop, with a Japanese concept and style that typically doesn’t make it outside of the Land of the Rising Sun. While card games are common on DSiWare, this 3DS exclusive follows a different approach that aims to bring a relationship dynamic to proceedings. This title may...

  • 44

    3DS eShop / GBC

    Review Rayman

    Rayman, fighter of the Night Man

    In 1995, the platformer Rayman was released to great critical acclaim on the PlayStation. It was the first entry in a hugely successful franchise that also spawned an entirely separate sub-franchise along the way. Rayman had charm, class and above all a tremendous sense of fun. Five years later, the game was still...

  • 43

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review Metal Slug 3

    Heavy metal

    Due to the bevy of fighting games released for Neo Geo, it's always a refreshing sight to see a game of a different genre from the format re-released on Virtual Console. We've just about hit the jackpot this time — Metal Slug 3 can easily be considered one of the single best games the system ever got. The first and second games in the...

May2012

  • 24

    DSiWare

    Review Snakenoid Deluxe

    In which the word "deluxe" is cheapened enormously

    Last year, we reviewed Snakenoid, a Snake/Arkanoid hybrid from Cinemax that answered our question of how one could possibly combine the gameplay from those two games. That answer was, "pretty disappointingly, thanks for asking." We felt it was a bit of a mess, at best, a complete waste of time and...

  • 40

    3DS eShop

    Review Art of Balance TOUCH!

    Art of brilliance

    WiiWare puzzler Art of Balance is one of the best games on the service: instinctive and addictive, it made the well-worn act of stacking shapes feel fresh again. Now on the 3DS eShop, Art of Balance TOUCH! keeps the winning formula going. The premise to Art of Balance is simple. In each stage you're given blocks of various shapes,...

  • 11

    DSiWare

    Review Chronicles of Vampires: Awakening

    Bloody good?

    It seems that popular culture's obsession with vampires may be entering its twilight years. If contemporary films, books and TV series focusing on gothic lore ever felt fresh and exciting, that effect has worn off and the bloodsuckers have come to feel a bit bland and tired. Still clinging onto the trend is the second in Teyon's hidden...

  • 37

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Kirby's Dream Land 2

    Dreamy

    Dream Land's peaceful moniker is surely false advertising. There are constant problems with invasions and takeovers, the bad guys are apparently impossible to evict, based on how often they show up and the fact that some buffoon keeps dumping huge piles of those star blocks in everybody's way. It's an absolute nightmare. You wouldn't get that...

  • 16

    3DS eShop

    Review Sudoku by Nikoli

    SuDDDoku

    Given the volume of the genre found in the eShop, we expect a lot from new digital sudoku games. If someone is going to go ahead and plunk down some cash, a game really needs to bring the thunder compared to the free versions found online and on other devices, or even one of those end-all puzzle books down at the five and dime. Sudoku by...

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