Reviews - News

March2015

  • 62

    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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,...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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,...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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,...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    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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    3DS eShop

    Review Best of Solitaire

    All by myself

    Who doesn't love a good old card game? They're enjoyable, relaxing and you can even play them by yourself if you're socially lacking at the time. Best of Solitaire may seem like a tempting purchase if you're a fan of the solo four-suit adventure, but is it worth spending your money on? Best of Solitaire loads up almost instantly after...

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    3DS eShop

    Review PUZZLEBOX setup

    Flip the script

    It's always refreshing when a game comes along that challenges norms and makes its players rethink the standards of a genre. The modern gaming market is so abundant that even the least common genres are saturated with new titles, making it even more appreciated when something that feels new makes its way onto consoles. As Nintendo...

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    3DS eShop

    Review Mes Comptines

    Straight Outta Comptines

    If you know My First Songs or its sequel on the 3DS, then Mes Comptines (French for “My Rhymes" or “My Nursery Rhymes") will be very familiar territory, even with a language shift. This is the same simplistic rhythm game for small children as its predecessors, and that's really not such a bad thing. Mes Comptines comes...

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    3DS eShop

    Review League of Heroes

    Leaving out the legends

    Ports of mobile games making their way onto Nintendo platforms was once considered disgraceful, but as time passed and the phenomenon became more commonplace the discussion seems to have died off a bit. We like to think that the quality of mobile games has increased over the years, essentially eliminating the idea that cell...

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    Wii U eShop

    Review Chariot

    Not too much dead-weight

    The Wii U is certainly not short of platformer games, from first party titles such as New Super Mario Bros. U to indie epics like Shovel Knight, so an addition to the system's growing list needs a special something to stand out from the crowd. Canadian developer Frima Studio may feel it has the answer with Chariot; it's a...

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    Wii U eShop

    Review Maze

    Get lost

    Sometimes the simplest concept can make for an utterly addictive and engaging virtual experience. From Wii Sports to Angry Birds, the original Mario Bros. to the Mario Party series, there have been plenty of games that have bridged the gap from casual to advanced players, and it all starts at how accessible and universal the concept at the...

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    Wii U eShop

    Review Toon Tanks

    That's all, folks

    Petite Games' Toon Tanks is a good example of a current issue present in the Wii U eShop in North America. There have been many games released that are finished and functional, but don't contain the degree of polish that we have come to expect. While Toon Tanks works just fine in what it sets out to do, the lack of scope or variety...

  • 58

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Fire Emblem

    So much to love Lyndis game

    Before Fire Emblem: Awakening started the Year of Luigi off with a bang, there was a great deal of concern at Nintendo regarding its future viability as a franchise. Sales were at an all-time low, and series producer Hitoshi Yamagami was given an ultimatum: at least 250,000 copies of the latest entry needed to be sold in...

  • 14

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Dig Dug

    A competent but unneeded version of a fun 80's classic

    Originally hitting arcades in 1982, this NES conversion of Dig Dug followed a few years later (albeit only in Japan until arriving on the Wii's Virtual Console service in 2008). It's a classic Namco title that sees you digging your way around a single screen defeating (and sometimes fleeing)...

  • 47

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Mario Party Advance

    Party of One

    Given the palm-rending popularity of the Mario Party series on Nintendo 64, it was only a matter of time before Nintendo brought the festivities to a handheld venue, and in 2005 Mario Party Advance arrived to fulfil the dreams of on-the-go party people everywhere. Developed by the busy bees at Hudson Soft - best known as the house of...

  • 49

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review F-Zero: GP Legend

    Dare you to blink

    The F-Zero series has often dished out a steep challenge to players, and in GP Legend the uninitiated will be given no quarter unless they dig in their heels and learn the ropes. Players will be expected to tame every brutal hairpin, memorize each risky shortcut and etch sweet boosting spots into their brain if they are to succeed...

  • 7

    3DS eShop

    Review Toys vs. Monsters

    Manufacturer refurbished

    If you've ever been disappointed that you can't play a recent and improved version of the hugely successful Plants vs. Zombies on your 3DS - aside from the DS release - you may be intrigued by the shamelessly similarly-named Toys vs. Monsters on the eShop. All of the information about it points to a fun little experience...

  • 16

    Wii U eShop

    Review Underground

    Overground, Wombling free

    It's not often that games have a professional, legitimate use outside of entertainment, but in the case of Underground that's exactly what you get. Not only is it a puzzle game, but it is also designed to teach the skills required for laparoscopic surgery, more commonly known as keyhole surgery. Educational tools are all...

  • 71

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Super Mario Advance 2: Super Mario World

    A world in no need of change

    Having Super Mario Advance 2: Super Mario World exist on the same Virtual Console as the original Super Mario World is like having two legit copies of the Mona Lisa hanging in the Louvre: each is fundamentally a masterpiece, and any attempt to compare the two is mostly going to come down to nitpicking about the way each...

  • 13

    Wii U eShop

    Review Spy Chameleon

    Incog-neato

    Spanish developer EnjoyUp games has had a steady stream of titles arrive on Nintendo's digital platforms in recent times, including Darts Up, 99Moves and Rock Zombie, although arguably these games have yet to set the eShop alight. However, this port of Unfinished Pixel's PC game, Spy Chameleon

  • 3

    3DS eShop

    Review My First Songs 2

    More of the same

    For those who haven't read our review of the original My First Songs on 3DS, you may want to read that before going any further in this one. My First Songs 2 is the sequel to My First Songs and generally follows the same formula as the original. You have a variety of nursery rhymes which you can tap along to using the touch screen...

  • 16

    Wii U eShop

    Review BLOK DROP X TWISTED FUSION

    A twist to a solid formula

    Crossovers can sometimes make for odd bedfellows. In the case of BLOK DROP X TWISTED FUSION (BDXTF), the minimalist-styled puzzle formula of BLOK DROP U has received a few tinkerings and a fresh coat of paint from Twisted Fusion, a title that has not yet been released at the time of this review. It's hard to say many were...

  • 2

    Wii U eShop

    Review 99Moves

    Show me your 99Moves

    Hot on the heels of October's 99Seconds comes a Wii U eShop version of 99Moves, which like its predecessor had origins as an EnjoyUp Games DSiWare title. For the most part, this is a simple port, but what changes there are offer mixed results — some of them are definitively positive, such as the improved resolution and frame...

  • 16

    3DS eShop

    Review Sumico

    To sum up

    Puzzle games are ten-a-penny these days and usually take the form of a clone of an existing puzzle game – most notably Bejeweled – so it's nice to see new ideas sprouting forth from developers such as those found in Sumico for the 3DS. Does its shiny new gameplay offer something fresh and enjoyable, or is it puzzle pitfall? The basic...

  • 9

    3DS eShop

    Review Brutus & Futée

    Et tu, Futée

    You'd be forgiven for not being especially inspired by the title of Brutus and Futée, as two unknown character's names doesn't really strike that much confidence in consumers. The title also doesn't give anything away in regards to the gameplay itself, so is this strangely named game worth your time? The two titular characters in...

  • 35

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Kuru Kuru Kururin

    Brill Brill Brilliant

    Kururin's siblings have wandered off and got themselves lost, and now he must hop into his Helirin (a spinning blade with a cockpit stuck in the middle) to fly around a number of worlds to rescue them. There are tutorial levels available in Kuru Kuru Kururin, but the game is straightforward enough even if the gameplay is quite...

December2014

  • 75

    Wii U eShop

    Review Shantae And The Pirate's Curse

    More like a blessing

    While WayForward has been working away on the crowd-funded Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, which will be released on every platform under the sun, it hasn't forgotten its Nintendo roots. Shantae and the Pirate's Curse, the final game of the "original" series, wraps up the storyline started in the original Game Boy Color title and...

  • 20

    Wii U eShop

    Review TOSS N GO

    Use as directed

    Simplicity is never a bad thing in itself. An experience can be extremely easy in execution, yet still provide plenty of rewarding elements. Sometimes, however, something can be boiled down into such simple elements that it loses some of those satisfying quirks, and that's where RCMADIAX's TOSS N GO suffers. TOSS N GO is another in...

  • 25

    Wii U eShop

    Review A World of Keflings

    What a wonderful world

    Originally finding a home on Xbox Live Arcade, NinjaBee's A Kingdom for Keflings charmed players with its colourful worlds, fun simulation gameplay and creative use of Microsoft's then-new Live Avatars. Six years after that début, the gnome-like beings make their first appearance on a Nintendo platform with this re-release of...

  • 44

    Wii U

    Review NES Remix Pack

    Two for the price of two?

    Nintendo's NES Remix Pack, a retail compilation of eShop titles NES Remix and NES Remix 2, contains two great games but feels like a bit of a missed opportunity. While both games are quite good, Nintendo has opted to simply package the two together and not made an attempt to make them feel like a cohesive whole. We didn't...

  • 36

    Wii U eShop

    Review Plenty of Fishies

    Plenty of fishies, not enough frames

    There's a curious debate about resolution and framerate currently detonating across communities of "serious" gamers right now, one that this reviewer finds frankly ridiculous. There's no denying the higher aesthetic quality of games running at 1080p resolution and 60 frames per second — they look amazing —...

  • 61

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Duck Hunt

    Old dog, same tricks

    Despite Nintendo's refusal to acknowledge the Duck Hunt character in Super Smash Bros. until long after the 3DS version was released, we all knew that the duo – or trio – were in the game. What we didn't know at that time was that Duck Hunt was due to release on the Wii U's Virtual Console, and now it has. The question is...

  • 4

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Shadow of the Ninja

    Gaming pleasure and pain, oh look it's ninjas again

    There's a great moment early on in Shadow of the Ninja where an armoured trooper stands atop a ledge occasionally shooting at you. You can't simply wait for the firing to stop before attacking as the gun doubles as a shield against your slashing blade. As you contemplate jumping between bullets to...

  • 14

    Wii U

    Review The Voice: I Want You

    Desafinado

    Since American Idol first graced the airwaves back in 2002, a number of similar shows have stepped up to deliver the singing superstar search process season after season, including - since 2011 - NBC's The Voice. In this Wii U title based on the show, The Voice translates into a karaoke game with a tournament structure, a soundtrack split...

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