Reviews - News

April2015

  • 117

    Wii U eShop / N64

    Review Donkey Kong 64

    He's finally back, but does he still kick some tail?

    At the mere mention of Nintendo's first 64-bit console, many of us find it difficult not to get swept up by a wave of nostalgia. We drift through countless memories of flickering TV screens and eye-popping graphics, washing up on the shores of 3D gaming's first bold steps onto a Nintendo platform...

  • 35

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Mega Man Zero 3

    (Mostly) Zero changes

    After releasing the previous two Mega Man Zero titles and having them almost universally liked, it would've been crazy to end the series there; so, naturally, Capcom produced Mega Man Zero 3 for the Game Boy Advance. Just as before, the game follows the events of the previous instalments pretty directly. Picking up two months...

  • 22

    3DS eShop

    Review Jet Dog

    A bit ruff

    Here's a quick generalisation: There are huge differences between mobile games and Nintendo 3DS games. The best mobile games take advantage of the host platform with regards to touch controls, usage of the screen and gameplay. It's also fair to say that for every great mobile game, there's a shed load of dross, but at least they're...

  • 34

    Wii U eShop / DS

    Review WarioWare Touched!

    A Touch of Magic

    Nintendo's initial Nintendo 64 and Nintendo DS Wii U Virtual Console titles certainly are an eclectic mix - with WarioWare Touched! perhaps being the most unexpected inclusion of the bunch. Having been initially released on the Nintendo DS in February 2005, WarioWare Touched! is one of the DS's earliest titles, coming from an era of...

  • 131

    Wii U eShop / N64

    Review Super Mario 64

    Platforming perfection

    There are two types of gamer – those who have played Super Mario 64 and those who should. Regularly placing towards the high end of 'best game ever' lists, Super Mario 64 has become a standard name-drop in many a classic gaming debate. Since launching in 1996, there have been a number of successors and contenders for the...

  • 34

    3DS

    Review Etrian Mystery Dungeon

    Sharing the Wonder

    Since its début back in the DS days, ATLUS' Etrian Odyssey series has been well-represented in the West, with every main entry, an ongoing run of 'Untold' story-driven remakes and the magnificent mashup Persona Q all making their way to eager European and American gamers. The Mystery Dungeon games - while equally well-known in...

  • 66

    Wii U eShop

    Review Affordable Space Adventures

    Three players for the price of one

    Affordable Space Adventures is one of relatively few Wii U eShop exclusives, and is unsurprisingly a particularly unique arrival on the store. A collaboration between KnapNok Games and Nifflas, it brings a fusion of the former's expertise in user interfaces and control mechanics, and the latter's surrealist visual...

  • 52

    Wii U eShop

    Review Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures

    Better than a buffalo diarrhoea dump in your ear

    Making a game that is in itself a callout to awful games has to be like preparing fugu: you definitely want to retain the essence people are paying for, but leaving the wrong parts in is going to be lethal. You have to be crappy without being crappy, and if anyone can pull this off with zen-like...

  • 100

    Wii U eShop / DS

    Review Mario Kart DS

    Flawed perfection

    The 2005 hit, Mario Kart DS, marked a new era for Nintendo and its long-running racing series. This particular iteration was released during a transitional phase for the company, with Nintendo beginning to rethink the conventions of gaming. Mario Kart on the DS mirrored this fresh approach, incorporating a portable online...

  • 25

    3DS

    Review Fossil Fighters: Frontier

    Adventure's right around the bend

    On paper, Fossil Fighters might appear to be little more than a Pokémon clone. It's a series about reviving dinosaurs — called vivosaurs — from fossilized remains and pitting them in turn-based battles against other dinosaurs. But even though the formula is undoubtedly similar, Fossil Fighters makes a solid...

  • 19

    3DS eShop

    Review Iron Combat: War in the Air

    Altitude, don't forget to watch altitude...

    Making an immersive 3D shooter on any platform is quite an undertaking, but this is especially true on the 3DS. There are some of these titles available on the platform, but they aren't as popular as many other genres. This makes the elusive quality shooter on 3DS even more valuable, and as a result, games...

  • 4

    3DS eShop

    Review Best of Arcade Games - Tetraminos

    Line 'em up...again and again

    It's safe to say that developer Bigben Interactive has been hard at work, relentlessly churning out adaptions of all manner of board and arcade games as part of a range of "Best Of" titles. While it might seem redundant to try and recreate the mighty Tetris on a Nintendo handheld of all places, Tetraminos is arguably...

  • 59

    3DS eShop

    Review BOXBOY!

    Boxed in

    BOXBOY! is Game Boy-era design and aesthetics reincarnated for Nintendo's latest handheld, picking up a few new ideas since the monochromatic minster's heyday. With plenty of polish and thoughtful puzzles to conquer, we were surprised to find ourselves so bored with it all. Just like the retro classics, BOXBOY! makes a simple request of...

March2015

  • 58

    3DS

    Review Story of Seasons

    Rewriting the story

    Have you ever wanted to leave it all? Just pack your bags, move to a completely new place and start a brand new life? If you've ever wanted to see what it's like to start fresh, now is your chance with the release of Marvelous' latest farming simulation title, Story of Seasons. As was outlined in our recent review of

  • 4

    3DS eShop

    Review Shanghai Mahjong

    Meagre Matching

    Mahjong's long and prestigious history in the East may be well established, but its presence in the West is far less apparent; to say that Mahjong isn't hugely popular outside of Asia would be somewhat of an understatement. Despite that, the sheer number of Mahjong titles currently found on the 3DS eShop seems to suggest its...

  • 34

    Wii U eShop

    Review Dot Arcade

    Tripping the light fantastic

    Judging games for review brings some challenges. How can a tiny indie game compare with a Nintendo-developed blockbuster? We thought about this a lot when playing James Montagna and Andrew Lim's Dot Arcade, a small, highly focused experience that keeps things simple in the name of fun and longevity. While there's not...

  • 13

    Wii U eShop

    Review Super Destronaut

    Nice space ya got there…

    Copies of other games are nothing new on the eShop - in more ways than one. If there is classic retro style or a suddenly popular gamefad, you can expect someone to throw their own version of it into the ring as well. Whether it comes off as a respected homage or a cheap cash-in is left to the developer, but Super...

  • 11

    Wii U eShop

    Review PENTAPUZZLE

    PENT-UP PUZZLE

    There's nothing inherently wrong with simplicity. When used well, a minimalist approach can be a refreshing way to get back to gaming basics; the recent 50 Pinch Barrage!!, which charmed us with its intuitive and straightforward approach to Pitfall-style platforming, stands as an excellent example of this. However, with the popularity...

  • 138

    New Nintendo 3DS

    Review Xenoblade Chronicles 3D

    Massive adventure, smaller screens

    Xenoblade Chronicles on Wii had a slightly messy localisation and release schedule in the West, with North American gamers even victims of a retailer-exclusive distribution. Its arrival late in the Wii lifecycle didn't help its cause, and those troubles on arrival were far from ideal for an RPG that is...

  • 39

    3DS

    Review Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley

    Lost, but not missed

    The Harvest Moon series has had a bit of a confusing production history, but the good news is that we're here to help you out with the basics. Originally created and developed by the now defunct Victor Entertainment Software until its acquisition in 2003, the Harvest Moon series has since been produced by Marvelous AQL. Though...

  • 21

    3DS eShop

    Review Navy Commander

    A piece of ship

    Don't be suckered in by the game title - Navy Commander is a take on the classic paper and pencil game Battleship (or board game for all you '80s kids) and there's very little commanding involved. The basic premise is simple, beginning with selecting a grid size from three options: 10x10, 15x15 or 20x20. While the 10x10 size is...

  • 50

    Wii U eShop

    Review Elliot Quest

    Quest for glory?

    The Nintendo Web Framework has opened the floodgates for indie developers on the Wii U, and while the HTML5-based system is flexible and user-friendly, the games that have been released so far have been mediocre at best and atrocious at worst - until now. Ansimuz Games and PlayEveryWare's Elliot Quest, created with the Impact...

  • 8

    3DS eShop

    Review Best of Board Games - Solitaire

    A lonely man's game

    Ever-gracing the flickering computer screens of bored office workers everywhere, Solitaire needs next to no introduction. This card game is as old as your Grandma, and it's probably her favourite as well. Played solo, it's been adapted to feature on pretty much every mobile gadget for over a decade, perfect for whiling away a few...

  • 29

    Wii U eShop

    Review Trine Enchanted Edition

    First time Trine

    The Trine series is a bit of an anachronism on the Wii U. The first game we received, Trine 2: Director's Cut, was not only the sequel, but an expanded version of it. Over two years later we now receive an enhanced edition of the original in Trine Enchanted Edition. Chalk it all up to magical dimensional tiddlywinks if you wish, but...

  • 11

    Wii U eShop

    Review Don't Touch Anything Red

    Really though, don't touch 'em

    Games are not often as straightforward in their titles as Don't Touch Anything Red. This simple infinite-runner style puzzle game is a test of cunning, reflexes, and one's ability to avoid touching red things. Though the premise and presentation are simple, and there's not a lot here, this self-explanatory title is...

  • 19

    3DS eShop

    Review 50 Pinch Barrage!!

    Pinch me, I'm screaming

    A title like 50 Pinch Barrage!! will not inherently conjure up a lot of confidence in most players. Candidly, this reviewer started with a sense of dread upon hearing it, visions of recent lackluster download titles dancing about in the brain. But you know what they say about books and covers and all that: one shouldn't judge...

  • 146

    Wii U

    Review Mario Party 10

    Let's get this party started!

    It's commonly accepted that partying too hard can be a bad thing. However, that doesn't appear to be a concern for Mario and friends, who since 1998 have appeared in 10 home console Mario Party games and even a few portable outings, too. While Mario's virtual board game gatherings are now a far less common occurrence...

  • 15

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Sky Kid

    Bombs away

    Originally an arcade game, the 1986 Namco NES title Sky Kid draws hard battle lines from the start, though exactly who the warring parties are is unclear. This quirky game is iconic of Namco's early days and even earned a song and a cameo in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U. The action here is a combination of unforgiving and short,...

  • 30

    3DS eShop

    Review Zombie Incident

    City of the Dead

    Throwback platformers are a regular occurence in the video game medium nowadays. As graphics improve in complexity and realism, quirky titles with pixel graphics have become more and more popular as their outdated visuals become increasingly charming. On first impressions, Zombie Incident is a title not dissimilar to the numerous...

  • 63

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Metroid: Zero Mission

    From zero to hero

    First things first, Metroid: Zero Mission is not a straight remake of the original NES Metroid with GBA quality graphics. It's a complete retelling and retooling of Samus' first 2D space adventure, including remixed areas, new power-ups and over a decade of refinements added to the formula. Nintendo has freshened the experience...

  • 13

    3DS eShop / GBC

    Review Harvest Moon 3

    Third time's a chore

    Completing the trilogy of portable Harvest Moon games in the original series, Natsume released Harvest Moon 3 - a title originally release on the Game Boy Color - on the 3DS Virtual Console. This game expands on the two that came before it, recycling the tropes present in the series and shaping them into what more modern entries...

  • 76

    3DS eShop

    Review 3D Out Run

    The beautiful journey

    Nostalgia is a wonderful thing. For people of a certain age Out Run represents days long past, a wonderful era when arcades reigned supreme and home systems paled in comparison. During this time, many valiant attempts were made to produce a home version of Yu Suzuki's 1986 driving masterpiece. However, the 'Super Scaler'...

  • 155

    3DS

    Review Code Name: S.T.E.A.M.

    Join the steam team

    Nintendo is known for its extensive library of beloved characters, most of which appear in multiple titles on a regular basis; so when an internally developed new intellectual property comes along, there's reason to be excited. Code Name: S.T.E.A.M., a third-person shooter/turn-based strategy title by Intelligent Systems - best...

  • 12

    3DS eShop

    Review Proun+

    You spin me right Pround, baby

    A Russian artist named El Lissitzky coined the term "Proun" for use as a title to describe his series of abstract paintings, which challenged traditional views on geometry and perspective. Though the exact meaning of the word was never fully explained, his Proun works evolved to fit new mediums, and spanned over half a...

  • 8

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Kung-Fu Heroes

    Everybody was kung fu fighting

    Kung-Fu Heroes is a charming looking title for the NES released in the US in 1988 - the comical martial arts game was originally launched as an arcade title in 1984, and was then ported to the NES in 1986 by Culture Brain (formerly known as Nihon Game). The NES adaptation is the second entry in the Super Chinese series...

  • 7

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Flying Dragon: The Secret Scroll

    There’s not much fight in this one

    Culture Brain's Hiryū no Ken fighting series dates back to the 1985 arcade release, Shanghai Kid. The 1987 NES title, Flying Dragon: The Secret Scroll – exclusive to Japan and the US (1989) – took the original concept and expanded on it, as well as paving the way for future entries in the franchise. This...

  • 20

    3DS eShop

    Review OlliOlli

    Not at all sketchy

    OlliOlli, as we've said before, isn't really a skateboarding game. The aesthetic provides a lovely minimalist visual style to navigate the tiny pixel skateboarder through, but there's no open world to explore and experiment in, nor is it filled with free-form choices. Mechanically rock-solid, OlliOlli is a 2D on-rails experience...

  • 7

    3DS eShop

    Review Best of Arcade Games - Bubble Buster

    Bubble Burster

    Anyone used to scrolling through the recent reviews section of Nintendo Life should be familiar with the name Bigben Interactive. Best of Arcade Games - Bubble Buster is the latest in a series of puzzlers, card games and arcade greats to be released by the developer, in an attempt to give these classics a "definitive" version on the...

  • 31

    Wii U eShop

    Review OlliOlli

    We're stoked

    OlliOlli isn't really a skateboarding game. The skateboard aesthetic provides a lovely minimalist visual style to navigate the tiny pixel skateboarder through, but there's no open world to explore and experiment in, nor is it filled with free-form choices. Mechanically rock-solid, OlliOlli is a 2D on-rails experience with meticulously...

  • 16

    Wii U eShop

    Review GravBlocks+

    Try to keep up (and down, left, and right)

    Falling block puzzlers aren't necessarily a rare experience these days. What isn't commonplace, however, is such a puzzler that throws a twist on the formula that enhances and refreshes the experience. GravBlocks+ (itself an enhanced version of the Android game GravBlocks) tries its hand at mixing up the...

  • 36

    3DS eShop

    Review Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars

    Tipping the balance

    The differences between the 3DS and Wii U versions of Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars are few and far between, but the 3DS version does feature some differences of note. You can read our thoughts on the Wii U version of the game here. The 3DS version takes full advantage of the SpotPass and StreetPass functionality of the...

  • 86

    Wii U eShop

    Review Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars

    We tip our hats to you

    Despite Mario and Donkey Kong largely getting along with one another these days, there's still the ancestral drive to kidnap women in red dresses burning in DK's DNA, and so we get the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series. The latest entry, Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars has ditched the different 3D perspective of the previous...

  • 2

    3DS eShop

    Review Pong Pong Candy

    Hard candy

    The puzzle genre has been represented quite well on the eShop, with plenty of addictive and clever titles eating up hours and hours of playtime. The sheer volume, however, means that in order to stand out a new release has to have some kind of special hook to grab players, be it personality, gameplay mechanics, or some other defining...

  • 14

    3DS eShop

    Review KAMI

    Paper play

    We don't all claim to be linguists or experts on Japanese language or culture here at Nintendo Life, but being the dedicated journalists that we are, we're always willing to do a bit of research. It turns out that origami, the art of paper folding, has a very interesting linguistic background. When broken down, "ori" means to fold or...

  • 34

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

    Worth fighting for

    While Fire Emblem is a franchise with a long history in Japan, its track record in the West is far more condensed; in fact Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones on Game Boy Advance was only the second series entry to arrive in the West. The first Western arrival is also available on the Wii U eShop, meaning that there's a useful...

  • 7

    3DS eShop

    Review Best of Board Games - Chess

    The King is dead

    When you even mention the term "board game" to someone, chances are that the timeless classic chess will be one of the first examples that springs to mind. Beyond the family fun of Monopoly, Scrabble, and Operation, there's a real intellectual bite to chess that has cemented its reputation as the grandmaster. Bigben Interactive has...

  • 5

    3DS

    Review Gardening Mama 2: Forest Friends

    Wilted beyond saving

    The 'Mama' series is renowned for being a huge success on the more casual side of the gaming market, most famously for the Cooking Mama series which doesn't actually involve preparing the titular character for consumption. It's inevitable then that Mama would take additional avenues in her quest for motion-controlled dominance,...

  • 12

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Pac-Attack

    When worlds collide

    Originally a multi-platform release in 1993, Pac-Attack – otherwise known as Pac-Panic – was derived from Namco's arcade game released in the previous year, Cosmo Gang the Puzzle. On first glance, Pac-Attack may appear to be an average run-of-the-mill puzzle game with one of the prominent videogame characters of the time...

  • 27

    3DS eShop

    Review Adventure Bar Story

    Will battle for food

    Adventure Bar Story sees players taking on two seemingly disparate roles: a chef/restaurant manager and a monster-slaying adventurer. Though these two sound like they would make a questionable mix, the result is actually quite charming and addicting; the ultimate challenge for this quirky RPG is to satisfy the appetite of...

  • 45

    3DS eShop

    Review Pokémon Shuffle

    Hoenn Hustle

    Pokémon have been puzzling ever since the Johto days, when Pokémon Puzzle Challenge married the block-flipping gameplay of Panel de Pon with Game Freak's charming, collectable characters. It's a formula that's stuck, with Denpa Men developer Genius Sonority heading up the most recent series of Poké-puzzle combinations, including...

  • 19

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Mappy-Land

    Cats vs. Mouse

    Mappy, a plucky mouse detective, is one of many arcade game mascots lost to time, having only starred in a few games over the years. While the character has guest-starred in various Namco games over the years (and makes a clever cameo in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS), the biggest role Mappy's had is in a web series from the...

February2015

  • 31

    3DS eShop

    Review Titan Attacks

    Space Invaders Neo

    On its official website, British developer Puppy Games declares Titan Attacks as 'the best Space Invaders tribute ever'. Whether you choose to agree with it or not, this simple statement aptly describes what to expect from this homage to Taito's 1978 classic arcade hit. Yes, it's time to jump into a somewhat impractical tank in...

  • 15

    Wii U eShop

    Review Paparazzi

    Snap judgement

    Indie developers seem to be doing a great job of delivering games with local multiplayer to the Wii U eShop as of late. From Chariot to GetClose: A Game for RIVALS, Sportsball to Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition, affordable — and quality — entertainment with the intention of livening up a living room is readily...

  • 1

    3DS

    Review Jewel Quest: The Sapphire Dragon

    Mountainside match-making

    The simplicity of the Match-3 genre is both its blessing and its curse. Its easy learning curve and ability to pick up and play can open it up to a wide fanbase, but only a certain few clever or lucky titles are able to stand out amongst a sea of copies. Jewel Quest: The Sapphire Dragon is the sixth installment in the...

  • 37

    3DS eShop

    Review Flap Flap

    Flap off

    The success of the free mobile hit, Flappy Bird, was arguably one of the darkest periods in the history of video games. It was a title with questionable assets, a tedious concept and flawed mechanics that was made in just a handful of days. Despite this, it was clearly addictive, going viral with unprecedented downloads and media coverage...

  • 14

    Wii U eShop

    Review Blek

    Pure and Simple

    Every so often a video game will emerge which further dissembles the division between games and art; it's fair to say that Blek is one of those titles. Its miminimalistic, unsophisticated presentation and engaging puzzles garnered it resoundingly high praise following its release on iOS and Android, and resulted in developer Kunabi...

  • 52

    3DS eShop

    Review Flipnote Studio 3D

    Striking a nearly perfect note

    From its launch in late 2008 until its eventual discontinuation five years later, Flipnote Studio was a smash hit among both the casual and professional creative types. As an application that assisted in creating flip-book style animations on the DSi, the concept was simple, but the amount of creativity that users put...

  • 22

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts

    Slightly less than super Ghouls ‘N Ghosts

    Once upon a time when arcades were vibrant and 2D platform games were all the rage, Capcom struck gold with the original Ghosts 'N Goblins. The legendary tale of Sir Arthur and his quest to save Princess Prin Prin from demons was a huge success, but also notoriously difficult. Super tough from the off, in...

  • 14

    3DS eShop

    Review Best of Arcade Games - Air Hockey

    Error Hockey

    Step into the dimly-lit, sticky-floored interior of any arcade, pizza place, or bowling alley you can find, and there's bound to be at least one air hockey table somewhere. They're an iconic fixture, always ready to lure you and a friend over for just one game, no matter how many hockey pucks you've sent flying across the room in the...

  • 7

    3DS eShop

    Review Classic Card Games

    Bust

    You might think that you can't go far wrong with a good, old-fashioned card game, and you'd be right for the most part. Unfortunately there has never really been a successful transition of those card games that require multiple players into the download format, as much of the game resides in the psychological. Psyching out your opponents or...

  • 22

    Wii U eShop

    Review Rock 'N Racing Off Road

    Not-So-Super Off Road

    EnjoyUp was clearly inspired by the classic arcade racer Ivan "Ironman" Stewart's Super Off Road when developing Rock 'N Racing Off Road, an old-school, top-down racer. But while the game looks like a modern update to Super Off Road, it's not nearly as fun or memorable. Unfortunately, Rock 'N Racing Off Road is a disappointing...

  • 154

    Wii U

    Review Kirby and the Rainbow Curse

    Clay achin'

    Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is a sequel of sorts to 2005's Canvas Curse, which is considered to be among the top titles the pink puff has ever starred in. That's pretty high praise and a tough act to follow — but 10 years on, Nintendo and developer HAL Laboratory are giving it another whirl. The result is a video game equivalent to a...

  • 9

    3DS eShop

    Review Best of Arcade Games - Brick Breaker

    Just Another Brick in the Wall

    It takes an extremely exceptional video game to defy the tests of time. Technological advancements coupled with ever shifting consumer attitudes and expectations have often seen classic gaming titles left by the proverbial wayside as the years roll on. The likes of Pac-Man, Tetris and Gradius are prime examples of...

  • 17

    Wii U eShop

    Review Puzzle Monkeys

    Fun as a barrel thereof

    Ever since Tetris introduced gamers to the joys of skydiving shapes, block-dropping puzzlers have fallen into place on nearly every console and handheld under the sun, and for good reason: they're simple to learn, endlessly replayable, and - when done right - utterly addicting. Seeking to fill a simian-sized gap in the Wii...

  • 18

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Mega Man Battle Network 2

    Casting a wider net

    The world as portrayed in the Mega Man Battle Network series is so ridiculous and yet so outlandishly awesome that it's hard not to adore. In our boring reality, if your toaster doesn't work it means you're pretty much out of luck. In the Battle Network world, it more likely means you need to upload your virtual companion into...

  • 9

    Wii U eShop

    Review Dolphin Up

    Tony Hawk's Pro Porpoise

    Every once in a while, a game comes along that you didn't know you wanted. Rawkins Games' Dolphin Up is one such title, providing a surprising amount of entertainment with an extremely simple concept. Being a port of a mobile title from a few years ago, its simplicity comes as no surprise — and, with a few more additions,...

  • 31

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Blaster Master

    Master your blast!

    The latest eShop release of Sunsoft's 1988 NES classic, Blaster Master, marks the title's third Virtual Console appearance. With the game previously sighted on the Wii and more recently the 3DS, now it's the Wii U's turn to host this side-scrolling and top-down platform shooter that has since spawned an entire series. The western...

  • 20

    Wii U eShop

    Review Tri-Strip

    Geometry Bores

    Tri-Strip is a puzzle game about placing strips of triangles into a grid to make squares, which clears up space and nets you points; using the stylus, touchscreen and a single button, you can strategically drag, drop and rotate pieces into open spots. It's a style of play that requires a little bit more hesitation and thought when...

  • 33

    3DS eShop

    Review 3D Fantasy Zone

    Blow your mind in a fantasy zone

    One of the first 'cute 'em ups' following Konami's Twinbee, Fantasy Zone first launched in Japanese arcades in 1986, but is better known in the west for its decent Master System conversion. Iconic protagonist Opa-Opa also sneaks in cameo appearances in many Sega games, most recently as a playable character in Sonic...

  • 4

    3DS eShop

    Review Best of Board Games - Mahjong

    Matching never felt so adequate

    Mahjong is something of a cultural institution in the East, widely played to this day throughout China, Japan, and South Korea. For such an enduring board game, the 3DS eShop has seen no shortage of adaptations - of the basic Solitaire version, in any case. In fact, there's almost an embarrassment of options available...

  • 38

    3DS

    Review Ace Combat Assault Horizon Legacy+

    On Cruise control

    Ace Combat Assault Horizon Legacy+ is a slightly peculiar release - it's an arrival with little to distinguish itself from the original aside from New Nintendo 3DS-only features, yet it's naturally being marketed for the original portable models too. The additions are minor yet fun, so it feels rather like an update of content...

  • 75

    3DS eShop

    Review IRONFALL Invasion

    Iron Man

    Announced briefly last year and shown off in a recent Nintendo Direct, IRONFALL Invasion certainly turned some heads. It's one of the very few third person shooters available on the 3DS, developed by the relatively unknown VD-Dev - although it's been around for almost two decades and has developed several good games, it's yet to truly...

  • 10

    3DS eShop

    Review Drop Zone: Under Fire

    Drop it like it’s hot

    Originally released as a WiiWare title near the end of that service's lifetime, Drop Zone: Under Fire has been ported to the 3DS in an attempt to bring virtual base-jumping action to the handheld audience. Whether or not you enjoyed the original release, it's undeniable that this arcade style game's transition to the 3DS hit...

  • 37

    3DS eShop

    Review Moon Chronicles: Episodes 2-4

    Not quite over the moon

    Renegade Kid's episodic Moon Chronicles - an updated port of the Nintendo DS title Moon - has now delivered Episodes 2-4 as downloadable content, allowing players to finally finish the entire game. As a first-person shooter, Moon Chronicles stands out on the eShop and is a welcome change from the vast collection of puzzlers...

  • 111

    3DS

    Review Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

    Digging its claws in

    Monster Hunter is a pivotal franchise for Capcom, consistently delivering the company's biggest sales and securing its profits; it's a phenomenon in Japan. Elsewhere, however, it's a respectable success without truly flourishing, succeeding in capturing a relatively small, dedicated audience but struggling for mainstream...

  • 38

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Mega Man Zero 2

    Zero times two

    Just one year after Mega Man Zero, Inti Creates released a sequel for the Game Boy Advance spin-off. That might sound a bit quick, but Mega Man Zero 2 is no mindless cash-in. It took the sturdy foundation set by its predecessor and built upon it in impressive ways, while also smoothing out the rough edges. On top of that it wove an...

  • 9

    3DS eShop

    Review Citizens of Earth

    You've got the whole world in your hands

    Men like our beloved Vice-President of Earth are truly one of a kind. Maybe it's the shocking red hair, the gleaming white smile, or the fact that his suit looks freshly pressed even after taking a full night's sleep in it. We can't put our finger on it, but something about him just...makes him seem...

  • 20

    Wii U eShop

    Review Frenchy Bird

    Avian aggravation

    From the title alone, it's pretty easy to tell that Frenchy Bird is yet another in the line of Flappy Bird imitators released on the Wii U eShop. Yet whereas some of its competitors have been content to merely replicate the feel of the original, Frenchy Bird makes the bold move of replicating it with personality. Goofy music,...

  • 60

    Wii U eShop

    Review Citizens of Earth

    Citizens, Unite Up!!

    ATTENTION ALL RESIDENTS OF THIS FINE, BLUE PLANET WE CALL EARTH! Permit me a moment and I'll show you that role playing games don't all have to be about swinging swords and finding mystical artifacts. They don't have to use that tired old fantasy setting we've grown so used to, or even star a typical protagonist! Here, your...

  • 8

    3DS eShop

    Review Quell Memento

    Worth remembering

    Creating a working puzzle takes a certain level of skill, even more so if you wish to make it interesting. The Quell series really seems to pay a special mind to the puzzle as a form of craft, presenting its challenges to the player while also attempting to build a serene journey through them. Quell Memento, the latest iteration to...

  • 11

    Wii U eShop

    Review Breezeblox

    Breezy

    One of a growing number of indie titles appearing on the Wii U eShop, Breezeblox is a block-rolling puzzle game from début developer Brennan Maddox that, on first glance, seems to owe more than a little to mobigame's cube-based classic EDGE. Beyond the minimalist aesthetic and Cartesian conceit, however, they're very different games, and...

January2015

  • 29

    3DS eShop

    Review Undead Storm Nightmare

    Dream sequel

    Publisher Gamebridge's GO Series of DSiWare games seems to have faded out with 2012's release of GO Series: Undead Storm, but that doesn't mean the properties are completely gone. In a move that no one expected developer G-STYLE has released a sequel to the aforementioned property on the 3DS eShop titled Undead S

  • 10

    Wii U eShop

    Review Midnight

    A decent par

    Atmosphere holds a lot of weight to a game's appeal. Case in point: for all the popularity of gritty military shooters and edgy, hyper-realistic open world games today, there seems to be a sizeable demographic of players wearied by the very thought of jumping into these genres. Beyond disinterest in their gameplay, their lack of...

  • 91

    3DS eShop

    Review Gunman Clive 2

    Panda-ing to its fans

    When Gunman Clive arrived as a budget, bite-sized slice of action platforming on the 3DS in late 2012 it unsurprisingly earned a lot of praise. Its intentionally grubby paper aesthetic and simple, highly polished gameplay seemed like a loving - and skilful - homage to franchises such as Mega Man; that didn't go unnoticed by...

  • 8

    3DS eShop

    Review Monster Combine TD

    Plants vs. Monsters

    When you think of a tower defence game, what usually comes to mind is a long, winding path, with various build spots situated around it. As you defeat enemies, you earn more money to place units on these spots, and they will automatically attack any enemies that come within range. However, while that might be the most common...

  • 15

    3DS eShop

    Review Best of Mahjong

    A lovely pair

    Mahjong is a tile-based game that is utterly steeped in history and mystery – nobody really knows how old it is, as many different sources claim different dates of conception, and it seems nobody's keen to agree any time soon. This Chinese game is highly regarded in the East, but its presence in the West is significantly less...

  • 5

    3DS eShop

    Review Scarygirl Illustration Kit

    Not exactly high art

    With the delayed release of Flipnote Studio 3D - now finally confirmed as a Club Nintendo farewell freebie - there have been other drawing apps for creative gamers to try their hand at, such as Colors! 3D, Comic Workshop and Nintendo's own Art Academy seri

  • 34

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Breath of Fire

    Dragon its heels behind the competition

    The age of the 16-bit RPG is well-remembered, and many iconic titles from the time are still cherished by fans to this day. From Final Fantasy III to Chrono Trigger, the genre showed genuine growth through some shining examples of emotive storytelling mixed with addictive gameplay. Not one to miss out on all...

  • 8

    Wii U eShop

    Review uWordsmith

    Limited lexicon

    Word games are rather less common these days than in their most prolific period, but if you're going to build one the Wii U seems like prime real estate for doing so. uWordsmith takes advantage of the GamePad to create a simple yet snappy style of wordplay, but some setbacks make it less than letter perfect. Three modes exist in the...

  • 10

    Wii U eShop

    Review Electronic Super Joy: Groove City

    Groove it or lose it

    Electronic Super Joy: Groove City is a weird game. The plot involves a giant robot stripper that loses her laser nipples, and you're trying to get them back so she stops destroying Groove City in a resulting fit of rage. The story matters very little beyond setup purposes, as the majority of the dialogue is delivered through...

  • 8

    3DS eShop

    Review Space Lift Danger Panic!

    Repetitive Tapping Sci-Fi Game!

    If you're looking for a bizarrely named game that does interesting things with what little it has to offer, look no further than Space Lift Danger Panic! The flagship 3DS eShop title from developer Springloaded, this provides very basic gameplay but manages to combine it with a mysterious and alluring story to balance...

  • 20

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight

    Planet Hopper 1990

    Capcom's Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight is an interesting game, arriving on the NES after the release of the first Street Fighter, but before its sequel hit arcades and caused an explosion of interest in one-on-one brawlers. The game's story was changed for the western release to at least try and justify the use of the name...

  • 7

    Wii U eShop

    Review Family Tennis SP

    Not without its faults

    If there's one thing that Arc System Works - with this game published by Shin'en Multimedia - can't be accused of, it's of sticking to one genre. Over the years it has displayed a competent ability to develop quality beat 'em ups, side scrolling fighters and even racing games, such as Final Lap, a game that dates as far back...

  • 4

    3DS

    Review Penguins of Madagascar

    Likely to ruffle a few feathers

    Everybody loves penguins, right? Well, judging by the success of the Madagascar movie spin-off Penguins of Madagascar it would seem so. The success of a family CGI movie almost certainly results in two things - more movies in the same vein, and a video game adaption for the franchise. Penguins of Madagascar is...

  • 27

    3DS eShop

    Review Battleminer

    Like stepping on a landmine

    Mojang's Minecraft, a small indie title that has become a pop culture phenomenon, would seem like a perfect fit for Nintendo platforms, with a large sense of wonder and creative gameplay. Unfortunately, Nintendo is the only major gaming platform without a version of the venerable franchise. At first glance, Wobbly Tooth...

  • 9

    3DS eShop

    Review Kemonomix+

    Double-plus-ungood

    One of the quirkier titles to hit the 3DS eShop recently, Rocket Studios' Kemonomix+ is the sequel to a Japan-only DSiWare game from 2010: a streamlined simulation featuring a combination of exploration, time-management and monster rearing set on a faraway pastel planet. It borrows good ideas from excellent influences, but leaves...

  • 31

    Wii U eShop

    Review Lucadian Chronicles

    A killer hand

    Card games certainly have their place in Nintendo's history; any fan of Pokémon will know just how important the trading cards were to the series' success, especially upon its début in the '90s. While it may seem strange to turn a card game into a video game — after all, much of the appeal comes from the physical act of using cards...

  • 40

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Axelay

    Restoring some Life Force to the 2D shooter

    When you run through the list of prolific Japanese software houses during the 8 and 16-bit eras, Konami's name is usually pretty close to the top. Like rivals Capcom and Namco, it benefited from the incredible global success of the Nintendo's NES and many of its classic franchises gained astonishing...

  • 51

    3DS eShop

    Review 3D After Burner II

    The need for speed

    Classic ports always fare better when handled by a team that approaches the source game's legacy with the utmost respect, and without a hint of hyperbole 3D After Burner II is a truly exceptional retread. Developer M2 has worked wonders with this re-release of Sega's 1987 arcade cabinet, presenting a faithful port that captures...

  • 8

    Wii U eShop

    Review Cake Ninja 3: The Legend Continues

    Legendarily mundane

    Apparently, ninjas hate cakes, and developer Cypronia has been struggling to produce a decent game based off this assumption since its first attempt on DSiWare back in 2011. With years of experience under its belt and a baked goods massacre to show for it, has the move to Wii U made for a more substantial title? Let's begin by...

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