Take another journey into sound
Another month, another Monday: that can only mean a brand new episode of the Nintendo Life podcast. James Newton will be talking more about the 3DS following his 3DS First Impressions, as well as waxing lyrical about promising party title Wii Party and more. Zach Kaplan returns with a leaner version of This Nintendo Life and Sean Aaron interviews Chris Osborn from..
We've been expecting you
Surely few words cause such excitement and rampant nostalgia in the Nintendo community as “GoldenEye multiplayer”, so it was with great anticipation we sat down to play Activision’s new Bond outing in a split-screen four-player deathmatch. With only one game mode, one map and four characters available – not including Mr Bond, bizarrely – this was an admittedly..
Glory be to Camelot!
This truly is a rich time for DS RPGs: Dragon Quest IX, Final Fantasy the 4 Heroes of Light and of course Golden Sun: Dark Dawn should ensure we remember 2010 as the Year of the RPG, and Golden Sun could emerge as the best of the bunch. The demo offered two available modes: adventure and battle, and we had time to try both. The...
It’s on fire!
This is truly a golden age fans of remakes of classic gaming titles: Kirby, Donkey Kong, Mario and Sonic are all still rocking 2D like it’s 1994, and EA’s keen to get a piece of the two-dimensional pie with NBA Jam. A throwback to the classic basketball title of old, NBA Jam features the same two-on-two action as its predecessor,...
Cast on for a two-player pearl
Kirby’s Epic Yarn emerged from E3 as a highlight for many people, even winning the much sought-after Nintendo Life Best Overall Game of E3 Award. Whilst Corbie raved about the game’s single-player pursuit, Darren and James got chance to team up in tackling several levels from the game, and like many things in life,...
How's the rodent romp shaping up?
Disney Epic Mickey was a big hit at E3 2010, atoning for its earlier disappointing screenshots with a more refined graphical style and a gameplay system described as "playstyle matters" by Warren Spector. We got the chance to give the rodent a run-out at a recent event, and came away with admittedly mixed feelings. Taking on one of the 3D action-adventure..
Get the lowdown on Okamiden, Super Scribblenauts and more!
Ace Nintendo Life reporters James and Darren were recently invited to attend a special preview event in London to get hands-on with the 3DS as well as Nintendo's upcoming Wii and DS line-up. We've already posted our impressions of the 3DS and its games, so let's cast our eye to the wider...
We enlist for Teyon's war shooter
We've been bringing you regular field updates on Teyon's WiiWare lightgun shooter Heavy Fire: Special Operations since its announcement in April, and we recently got the chance to sit down and blast through two missions from the completed game. Played out entirely on-rails, Heavy Fire is immediately reminiscent of arcade light gun shooters such as Operation Wolf..
More budget side-scrolling shooting for your Japanese DSi
You might think with the release of the G.G. Series Collection+, Genterprise and Suzak would be done releasing budget games for the DSi. After all, the collection includes all the G.G. Series DSiWare releases to-date, plus another 15 games never released to the DSi Shop, but apparently it's time for sequels as one of the first games,..
Nintendo's famous ape is back and better than ever!
When Rare developed the original Donkey Kong Country title for the Super Nintendo console, many were in awe of the impressively-rendered graphics they had managed to syphon out of the Super Nintendo's 16-bit hardware. Now with Rare a part of Microsoft, Nintendo needed someone to reignite the series and decided to look up an old friend for the job..
We take Nintendo's newest Kirby title for a spin
In the weeks leading up to the E3 show, we all heard the rumours of a new Kirby game being possibly in development so it should come as no real shock that one actually materialised during Nintendo's Press Conference. What is surprising is that Kirby's Epic Yarn is not only a 2D side-scroller for the...
Hands on with Nintendo's amazing 3D portable
Any time there's an announcement of new video game hardware, a certain buzz is created. In all truth, you couldn't walk five feet on the streets of Los Angeles on the way to the Convention Center without hearing someone talking about Nintendo's upcoming 3DS system. Even the line for the Nintendo keynote...
We got hands on with Nintendo's flagship E3 title.
If there's one first-party game that's getting most of the attention at Nintendo's E3 booth, it's got to be Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword with the line to play it snaking around the entire Nintendo booth several times. So you can imagine the dirty looks I received when I was whisked up to the VIP...
Shiny 3D platforming comes to WiiWare
Everyone was impressed by the initial videos of Jett Rocket when they first came out, but they don't prepare you for the experience of playing the game itself. We were lucky enough to play a preview build consisting of the first area and it's probably safe to say that based upon our experience this could be the...
Put those backstage lighting skills to work!
Although some may argue that there are too many puzzle games on the Wii's download service, it's always nice when a developer shows us a fresh concept in the genre. Studio Walljump recently treated us to a near-release version of its upcoming WiiWare title Liight and after a bit of time exploring what it has to offer we're happy to report that it looks..
Crack cocaine comes to Wii
Popcap Games is a modern internet success story. At a time when it was deemed impossible to make money from selling downloadable content on the web, John Vechey, Brien Fiete and Jason Kapalka managed to build a gaming juggernaut on the back of simple, but addictive games like Zuma and Peggle that have gone on to become the bane of office managers everywhere. Bejeweled was..
Diving for retro pearls
After Cosmonaut Games' "spot the difference" WiiWare debut, 5 Spots Party, you might not have expected anything exciting to come from them. But after some hands-on time with their latest effort, Dive: The Medes Island Secret, we think that opinion may change. We were lucky enough to get to play a pre-release build of the game which, despite a rather slick..
Downloadable picross? Yes, please!
Although video game versions of nonograms (better known to Nintendo gamers as Picross) were originally controlled with a D-Pad and buttons like any other game, it's clearly a genre that benefits massively from the touchscreen interface of Nintendo's DS family of handhelds. No surprise then that Hudson has seen fit to release a version of their own picross game,..
Running on the run
Whilst the Japanese DSi Shop features some fairly robust gaming experiences it has to be said that there's a place for quick games that can be played in a few seconds. G-Mode's 10 Second Run is a perfect example, essentially a collection of dozens of short platforming levels for when you need a quick bit of running and jumping on the go. There are 50 levels to be played in three..
Fail in the Dark
Fall in the Dark looks pretty good on paper: take an adventurer and guide him through a series of levels in six different worlds with gameplay that's a mix of Toki Tori and Montezuma's Revenge: difficult puzzling combined with 8-bit visuals and gameplay could be good, right? Well it would be except for some rather bizarre level design and worse game mechanics. Your Indiana..
Brick-breaking fun on the go
Tasuke seems to have been putting out a lot of board game titles recently, which all seem to be broken out from a retail release called Table Game Spirits: Victory; which is itself an enhanced version of Table Game Spirits. Both of them are Japanese DS cart releases that collect various Japanese board games including shogi, go, mahjong and hanafuda, as well as Western..
More fun with mahjong tiles
Despite releasing versions of Shanghai on both Gameboy Color and Gameboy Advance in Japan (not to mention Wii and WiiWare versions), Sunsoft have elected not to favour Nintendo's current generation of handheld with the classic match-two puzzle game which they seem to have a monopoly on in the Land of the Rising Sun. Fortunately Acute Entertainment has stepped into the..
More camera-motion mini-game madness
It seems a number of developers have been taken with the idea of using the DSi's cameras to simulate motion-based gameplay, but unfortunately many of these games end up feeling like gimmicky tech-demos more than actually fun games. HI Games & Publishing's latest attempt makes for an uneven experience with one of the four games in Katamuction providing a..
Dogfight motion demo a go-go
Though the DSi has no native motion-sensing capabilities, it hasn't stopped developers from trying to use the system's built-in cameras to approximate the tilt-sensors of the iPhone. As expected however, cameras are not motion sensors and although the latest effort from Genki Mobile includes a fair collection of mini-games involving flying and shooting targets, it all..
"Blame it on the (robot) boogie"
Robots pretty much go with everything and afros are no exception. After getting a bit of time with a pre-release build of Fugazo's WiiWare debut, Frobot, we'd have to say the hairstyle is as fresh on a machine as it is a human being. Navigating menus displaying a fun '70s look to the "Single Playa" game, you'll find that Frobot is an action puzzle game..
Burt Reynolds not included
Whilst a game based on Deliverance probably would be very cool, Exciting River is about kayaking to a goal in the quickest time possible, rather than surviving a weekend river-rafting amongst crazed banjo-duelling hillbillies out for blood. Still, exciting it is thanks to good controls and fast-paced gameplay. There are a number of courses to play through in two..
Fancy a game of 4-on-4 Cyberball?
Although "proper" sports video games have been more successful at home and in the arcades, there's something to be said for the made up ones that have less focus on player stats and more on just playing the game. Suzak's Throw Out, a more recent entry in the G.G. Series of budget arcade-style games, is definitely one of the latter: a game that marries..
Drift on outta here
Nothing is perfect, not even the G.G. Series. We figured there had to be at least one dud in this assortment of budget-priced slices of arcade fun and this is definitely it. From the screenshots you'd think you're going to be playing a fun overhead racer like Moto Roader or Super Sprint – a notion reinforced by the fact that there's nine tracks included – but you'd be sadly..
Side-scrolling bullet hell magic
One good thing about the Japanese DSi Shop for retro-gaming fans is the availability of old-school sprite-based shooters, with several decent ones to choose from. The G.G. Series already has a few among its number, but they're all different enough that it cannot hurt to add another one: enter Dark Spirts, of the bullet-hell variety. Players control a figure in a..
Mappy Ninja Gaiden
Ninja have been a fixture of video games for a long time, so it's only fitting that Suzak have created a game for the G.G. Series featuring one that bears more than a passing resemblance to Ryu from Ninja Gaiden. Though his inspiration may run around beating up street toughs, the hero of Shinobi Karakuri-Den bounces around like a certain badge-wearing mouse from Namco. It's a bit..
For fans of mind-bending only
Most of the G.G. Series previewed to-date have been pretty accessible puzzlers or arcade style games from various genres, but here's the first one that's probably only going to be a hit with a small audience due to the nature and level of the challenge on offer. The gameplay is essentially similar to Toki Tori and freeware Flash games: you control a small stick man who..
You have to give credit to developer Suzak for the work it's done with the G.G. Series. Whilst most of the games are interesting takes on traditional genres, it also likes to throw out the occasional brand-new concept, like Tetsubou: a game which could be best termed a "gymnastic puzzler." Players are presented with a multi-screen playfield consisting of a start point..
A refreshingly novel take on the "match three" puzzler
There have been many variations on the "match three" puzzle game, often involving adding another item to complete a matching set, but it's rare to see a truly new and novel mechanic used in what has become something of a cliched puzzle game style. For this reason G.G. Series Conveyor Kombō is something of a surprise, because it not..
Challenging mahjong battles at a budget price
Mahjong games have existed on Japanese consoles almost since the first machines were rolled out, and over time certain standards have emerged, to such an extent that having experience with one mahjong game will lead you to expect certain conventions in another. Part of the attraction of Tasuke's 200V...
All the way from Poland!
Recently an intrepid Nintendo Life reporter made the long and arduous journey to visit Polish developer Gamelion, the chaps behind DSiWare hit Extreme Hangman, to check out their upcoming WiiWare roll ‘em up Furry Legends. With the first instalment currently awaiting approval from Nintendo there was plenty to get our teeth into, and the chance to get some answers about..
Carrying the standard for a forgotten genre
Back in the early 80s the "maze" game was a popular genre both in arcades and on home consoles, featuring a fixed screen and expected mechanics of navigating a character around hazards whilst collecting objects. Once platforming and adventure games took off, the maze game all but vanished; even the king of mazes, Pac-Man himself, has long since..
Pretty girls and shooting action: a recipe for success
If you weren't already jealous of the number of old-fashioned shooting games available in the Japanese DSi Shop thanks to the G.G. Series, now you have another one courtesy of I.T.L. Roughly translated as Shooting Space Girls, this is a side-scroller with a difference, though what that difference is won't be immediately apparent. You have an..
Not a mad dentist, just more arcade fun!
It's not hard to see why we keep on downloading G.G. Series games to preview because as many as there are, they all seem to have been made by people who care about delivering a quality slice of simple gaming fun. That they're only 200 Points each is just icing on the electron cake of arcade goodness. Drilling Attack features a robot (or person in chunky..
Tank-tastic arcade fun!
Tanks feature in some of the earliest arcade games, from vector graphics classics like Battle Zone and Armor Attack to "newer" sprite-based games like Vindicators and Tank Force. As with the latter D-Tank sees players controlling a tank and trying to defend a base from attack by incoming waves of enemy tanks: a fairly simple premise, but as with other G.G. Series..
Arcade action the G.G. Series way
The G.G. Series of games in the Japanese DSi Shop really are a little slice of arcade heaven. Not just because they offer some good old-fashioned fun, but because they're such well-crafted titles generally. Assault Buster is certainly one to put into the "pretty good" column, offering an interesting combination of run-and-gun and shooting action. Players..
Breaking new ground with the DSi camera
Although rumours abound of a motion-enabled successor to the DS being readied for unveiling in the near future, it seems some developers just couldn't wait and decided to attempt the same kind of game mechanics afforded by accelerometers utilising the second camera present on the DSi. The system is known as...
A touching game of combat
Tom Create's follow-up to the cheap-and-cheerful space-based take on Dig Dug II is Touchpen Wars, an arcade-style shooter that's also offered at the budget price of 200 Points. Don't be fooled by the title – it's not a game laden with sentiment, but uses flicks and taps of the stylus to launch projectiles from gun emplacements at the bottom of the lower screen towards..
More budget puzzling fun from Suzak
Vertex is another take on the puzzle genre in the G.G. Series and like Energy Chain it's a competent and fairly original concept, but not necessarily an addictive one. Players move a small glowing green dot at the bottom which is projecting a guide line to the top of the screen. The object is to press buttons to light up the correct number of darkened vertices..
A refreshing spin on the classic Tetris concept
Sakasa Drops is the second DSiWare effort from Tecmo and like Gyaku Shooting is played holding your DSi upside down with the touchscreen up top. It's a novel gimmick that literally conveys the fact that the tables are being turned on some familiar gameplay. This game most strongly echoes the classic puzzle game Tetris with a couple of twists: players..
It's Star Force in a world gone mad!
Tecmo have finally dipped their toes in the DSiWare water with a couple of games that have the novel feature of being played holding your DSi upside-down with the touchscreen at the top. This first one is based upon the classic Tekhan vertical shooter Star Force, which was one of the Virtual Console Arcade launch titles on the Wii. In both graphics and sound..
Budget puzzling from the budget DSiWare machine
We have to figure that Suzak is porting games they originally developed for mobile phones for the G.G. Series, because it just doesn't seem possible that they could have made so many games in so short a span of time and actually had this many of them turn out to be worthwhile. Energy Chain is a puzzle game and whilst we wouldn't necessarily call it..
"You're a shining star, no matter who you are..."
Sakura Wars is a rather interesting series of games and one of Sega's biggest franchises in Japan, though oddly only the spin-off anime has been seen elsewhere – until now. The fifth Sakura Taisen game (as the series is known in Japan), So Long, My Love is the first to get localised for Western markets and as such is a rare treat. We were lucky..
"There's a super-man coming, there's a super-man coming..."
This entry in the G.G. Series is a nice little brawler with a superhero theme. As with other games in the series, there's no menu options to worry about, game modes or story: instead you just use the D-Pad and a couple of buttons to pound on some costumed freaks until they get the better of you. Stages have static backgrounds and are a few..
Please note that these impressions are based upon playing an alpha version of the game code. Changes are certain to be made prior to the final game release. If a developer is going to make a puzzle game that uses a well-established mechanic – such as matching three objects of the same colour – it's important to put a new spin on things, and thankfully that's what Sudden Games has..
The seminal indie game finally comes to Nintendo
Cave Story is like a Cinderella tale of indie game development, arriving at a time when the conventional wisdom was that the days of a lone programmer creating a complex and compelling game were behind us; it proved that the old spirit of the 8-bit era is still alive and well in the 21st century...