8-bit run amok!
RUNNER is the fourth and next entry in Gaijin Games' six-part Bit.Trip series and we've been fortunate enough to spend some time with the latest build, which has just been sent off to Nintendo for final approval. Though this preview is based on the "final" version of RUNNER, we want to emphasise that changes are still...
Alice in bullet-hell land
Genterprise has published a steady string of G.G. Series games for DSiWare, delivering some much needed arcade-style gaming at a budget price with the majority of games coming from development studio Suzak. Wonder Land is a bullet hell shooter based upon Alice in Wonderland – not exactly a logical pairing, but certainly an amusing one. The sprite-based graphics are sharp..
My little water demon
In case you don't know what a kappa is (and we certainly didn't until we first heard of this game), know that it is a mischievous water sprite from Japanese mythology prone to eating small children (and cucumbers – hence the "kappa maki" found in Japanese sushi restaurants); now residing on the DSi. A product of internal Nintendo studio Brownie Brown, Inc., Kappa..
Picross meets ... Quarth?
Nintendo seems to have single-handedly popularised picross on home and console game systems, with only Hudson daring to dabble in the same space. Continuing the tradition they've partnered with D4 Enterprise to bring a new faster-paced game to the DSi which combines traditional Picross with elements of Konami's old puzzle/shooter, Quarth. Instead of creating an image..
Lots of flash; not much substance
Nintendo isn't exactly known for publishing shooters, much less shooters of the "bullet hell" variety, but that's exactly what we have here. Developed by Arika and recently shown at the Nintendo Media event in North America as Metal Torrent, Aa Mujō Setsuna is certainly one of the most graphically impressive DSiWare games we've seen, but the gameplay is..
Hands-on with three very different titles
You've already heard what we thought of Metroid: Other M, Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Sin and Punishment 2, and we got to play Monster Hunter 3 a few weeks ago, but there's still plenty to tell about the other titles available to play throughout the summit. One title we made a beelin
Blasting, slashing, stunning – trailer inside!
It took forever (well, nearly) for Treasure's seminal N64 game Sin and Punishment to see a Western release, but thankfully the sequel isn't due to take anywhere near as long to find its way to your Wii disc tray, with a European release date of 7th May. When Nintendo offered us the chance to play it with the Wii Zapper on a huge projection screen..
Hey, you got your Columns in my Quarth!
Fantasic Cube is very much an old-school puzzle game, but a decent one and more full-featured than most of the puzzlers we've seen lately. There are three single player game modes on offer and two-way multiplayer either locally or over Wi-Fi connection with friends or random strangers. The primary game mode is your typical Story Mode: the little witch girl..
Budget majaan on the go
Mahjong (or, as they call it in Japan, "majaan") is incredibly popular in Japan where you can find gambling parlours with fully automated tables shuffling, dealing and stacking tiles for players. It therefore should come as no surprise that there are a few mahjong games available in the Japanese DSiWare shop and Handy Mahjong is one of the cheapest available at..
Hit me baby, one more time
As stunning as Retro Studios' Metroid Prime Trilogy undoubtedly is, we still fondly remember Samus Aran's formative years, and particularly the seminal Super Metroid. It seems we're not the only ones fond of this piece of the bounty hunter's history however, as Team Ninja and Tecmo's take on Nintendo's sci-fi franchise...
Super Mario Galaxy 2 had by far the biggest queues of the day, with a cordoned area showcasing the plumber's latest adventure. Our crafty writers, however, took advantage of everyone else's hunger by striking when most other journalists were stopping for lunch, managing to get a good half an hour of hands-on time. With such high hopes surrounding the sequel to arguably one of Mario's..
Budget shooting on the go
Genterprise has published a lot of DSiWare in the past year, mostly as part of a budget line called G. G. Series. These are small arcade-style games with a 200 Point price tag which have caught the attention of many who read our weekly Japanese download news because we just aren't seeing this kind of thing elsewhere for some reason. Z・ONE is one of the first of these..
Two street fighters and a microphone
No doubt many have seen the latest and greatest fighting game on the Wii and thought "me and my mates could do better than that." Well Nintendo must have read your pixie-stick addled thoughts because they went and released a D.I.Y. fighting game for the DSi last December in Japan called Photo Fighter X...
We take this gravity puzzler for a spin
And Yet It Moves is heading to WiiWare, fresh from its critically-acclaimed PC appearance, so we were naturally curious how it would stack up on the Wii. If you've not played the PC demo yet, here's a brief summary to get you up to speed. And Yet It Moves is a side-scrolling platform game that puts you in control of a Fido Dido-like chap who, handily,..
Portable Driller action is Go!
Namco's Mr. Driller is certainly one of the greatest arcade puzzle franchises ever, and has even surpassed its arcade heritage on home consoles in the the past decade of its existence. Whilst Drill Land remains the franchise pinnacle, subsequent releases on WiiWare and DS have still been fun entries in the series, providing plenty of drilling action for
Round 'em up, move 'em out
So far we haven't been told much about Onteca's upcoming WiiWare title Monsteca Corral, so when the developers offered us to see the game in action for ourselves we jumped at the chance. It's tough to describe Monsteca Corral in traditional genre terms, but it's perhaps closest to a real-time strategy game, although it also reminded us of European GameCube launch title..
Growing a beaut
US readers may scoff at the "First Impressions" title of this article as Rune Factory Frontier has been available in the Western hemisphere for nearly a year, but as always European gamers are left waiting for any Harvest Moon-related titles. However, farming fans need not fret much longer, as Rune Factory Frontier is due for release in the near future, and looks set to be..
Dig Dug II: a new action film from Michael Bay
Tom Create are no strangers to the Nintendo download scene having released a WiiWare "card battle" game and three budget DSiWare games last year. Earth Saver was the last DSiWare game from them in 2009: a puzzle game with a play mechanic very much like Namco's Dig Dug II, but a setting like a millennial disaster flick. The Earth is threatened..
Test your "Chicken Bird Soul"
The DS has become massively popular in part due to the number of games on it which claim to test players cleverness in some way. These are typically referred to as "brain training" programs and they've clearly been embraced by a large audience of people that enjoy being tested on math skills and such. This application appears to be a parody of these games in..
Tri-Crescendo's brooding adventure comes to life
You may have already heard some impressions about Fragile Dreams in our recent podcast, but there's still much to tell about Tri-Crescendo's upcoming post-apocalyptic adventure. The game begins with the death of your surrogate grandfather, the only human being you've ever had contact with. The world is empty and decaying, seemingly uninhabited, but..
Pipe Mania plus Apollo Space Progam plus Sky TV?
Whilst Nintendo's Intelligent Systems development team might be better known for the Fire Emblem series, on the download front they seem to be cutting loose with a lightgun shooter on WiiWare and now a puzzle game for the DSi. At first glance it looks like the classic puzzler Pipe Mania, but that's...
Pinball and shooters: two tastes that go great together
ArtePiazza is better recognised for its work on RPGs like Enix's Dragon Quest series and more recently Koei's Wii RPG Opoona, so it's interesting that their freshman effort on DSiWare is a marriage of video pinball and shooter called Pinball Attack! There are currently no other pinball games on the Japanese DSiWare service, but even taking..
Space Invaders Extreme 2 comes to DSiWare
Space Invaders is a video game icon: even people who don't play video games are likely to recognise the bitmap images of the Invaders thanks to Taito's persistence in keeping the brand name alive via product licensing, video game sequels and home console ports. The celebration of the 30th anniversary of Space Invaders saw the release of a new WiiWare game..
Nintendo let us get to grips with Capcom's monster offering
Yesterday we were cordially invited to a guest lecture at the Science Museum in London. The subject? Monster Hunter of course; in fact, it was the very first session of 'Monster Hunter University'. In a lecture led by long-time series producer Ryozo Tsujimoto, the assembled masses were educated on topics ranging from monster ecology to..
Plus first impressions and news too
Yes, it was but one month ago we all gathered around the soft glow of our audio devices to discover who won the Nintendo Life Game of the Year Awards. This month we look forward, with audio recaps of our recent previews of Art of Balance, Rage of the Gladiator and Calling, as well as a podcast exclusive preview as I talk about my time with Fragile Dream
One-third of MaBoShi reborn on DSiWare
If you've played 3-in-1 WiiWare game MaBoShi, then you'll recognise Moyasu Puzzle Flametail as the "Square" game -- you know, the one that wasn't played with a single button press? The gameplay in Flametail is largely the same as MaBoShi's Square, but there have been some graphical enhancements and the addition of power-ups and a new play mode..
Rage of the Gladiator may not be ready to step into the WiiWare ring just yet, but when Ghostfire Games invited us to a little sparring session with their first-person fighter we accepted immediately. We came away battered and bruised, but still very impressed with how Rage is shaping up. Each of the game’s three control methods feels completely different. Holding the Wii Remote..
One call you might want to take.
For those of you who love a good scare or just enjoy a playful romp through the latest survival horror title, Hudson's got just the game for you. In fact, they were even kind enough to send us over a preview build of their upcoming horror release Calling to check out and we have to say, this is easily one of the spookiest titles to hit the Wii console to date. As..
We get to grips with this blocky beauty
Puzzle games are ten-a-penny on WiiWare, varying from the boring to the brilliant. Attempting to nestle nicely into this overcrowded genre comes Art of Balance, a physics-based block-stacker from the developers of DS shooter Nanostray. Having had chance to sit down with Art of Balance for a few hours it’s...
No robots, but plenty of rock-em, sock-em action!
You might remember a plastic toy called "Rock'em Sock'em Robots" ("Raving Bonkers Fighting Robots" in the UK) in which two robots were fixed on either side of a platform and pressing buttons caused them to punch each other senseless until one of their heads popped up, only to be reset for another go. That's pretty much the same..
Another great old-school shooter for WiiWare
Most of you will probably remember Phalanx as a SNES game, however that was just a port of a game that was developed for the Sharp X68000, a home computer sold exclusively in Japan from 1987-1993. The Sharp X68k (as it was commonly known) used hardware similar to arcade systems of the time; as a result it was capable of running some quite impressive..
Clean pants recommended
Renegade Kid are responsible for some of the more innovative and undeniably horrific first-person experiences on DS, having already given us Dementium: The Ward as well as the excellent Moon. Dementium II was recently announced for release in 2010, hitting North America on February 16th and reaching Europe a few weeks later...
Recycling - with a vengeance!
Intelligent Systems has a reputation of being one of Nintendo's better first-party development teams, with an impressive resume including the Fire Emblem games, Tetris Attack, the Paper Mario series, the WarioWare games and Super Metroid. Seeing a WiiWare title from them naturally raised our curiosity, and that curiosity was rewarded by a challenging lightgun shooter..
We take Team Meat's upcoming platformer for a spin.
The guys over at Team Meat were kind enough to send over a preview build of their upcoming PC/WiiWare title Super Meat Boy yesterday and we've spent the past few hours putting it through its paces and snapping a few screenshots in the process. The guys at Team Meat did want us to make sure and remind readers that this is a beta version of the game..
Plumbing new heights
Now we've had chance to play the final version of New Super Mario Bros. Wii, it's time to tell you the hard truth about Nintendo's latest plumbing escapades. Well, the hard truth is, it's a lot of fun and impossible to play without a smile on your face. Although a lot of emphasis has been put on the series-first multiplayer, solo play is still possible and feels exactly like..
Unconventional puzzling for the kiddies.
This game kind of came out of nowhere, but there does seem to be few WiiWare games concerning shadows on the horizon: Nicalis' Night Game and Hudson's Tower of Shadow being the ones that spring immediately to mind. Shadow Walker's story isn't completely clear seeing as it's relayed storybook-style with a lot of Japanese text. There's a boy with yellow hair..
Could the third time be yet another charm?
Gaijin Games has really earned a place in many a retro-gaming fan's heart with their old, old-school Bit.Trip series on WiiWare. It's one of the shining examples of how good download games can really be: updated Atari 8-bit graphics with jazzed-up special effects and a soundtrack that's enhanced by the...
Worth getting your teeth into?
The Castlevania series of action platformers is widely regarded as containing some of the best games on the Famicom, and indeed home consoles full-stop, with top-notch instalments on Super Famicom, PC Engine, Playstation and handheld platforms to name a few. Needless to say the news that the first GameBoy game was being given the WiiWare ReBirth treatment by Konami..
Leader of the pack?
There are very few serious driving games of note on Wii - the machine is undoubtedly missing its Forza Motorsport, Gran Turismo or Race Driver: Grid - and EA's latest in the Need for Speed franchise does little to address this problem. Whilst 360 and PS3 owners can play the generally well-received NFS: Shift, Nintendo gamers are being given a very different racer in the form of..
Another gaming revolution from Archer Maclean?
Wheelspin is an unashamedly old-school arcade racer, with exaggerated physics, rollercoaster-style tracks and an emphasis on enormous speed. Its influences are clear - F-Zero and San Francisco Rush 2049 are the strongest - but sadly Wheelspin never feels more than the sum of its parts. The single-player campaign asks you to fulfill certain objectives..
How do we like these bananas?
It's a well-known fact that monkeys like to fling things at each other, so it should come as no surprise that UK developers The Code Monkeys have taken this concept and applied it to their first title for the WiiWare and DSiWare services, in the form of does-what-it-says-on-the-tin Manic Monkey Mayhem. MMM is a...
Might and magic and myths and... Meteos?!
The DS has loads of good puzzle games - Picross, Tetris, Meteos - and some fantastic strategy titles too - Fire Emblem and Advance Wars chief among them. But it could certainly do with more great puzzle strategy games; titles that blend the addictive action of matching coloured objects with the cerebral challenge of conquering enemies and planning attacks..
Take the beat to the streets
C.O.P. The Recruit was announced back at E3 in June, and quickly marked itself out as one to watch by promising an open world experience unlike anything on DS. Now we've had chance to grab a few minutes with the title, does it live up to the hype or is it lagging behind Chinatown Wars? The first thing you'll notice on loading up C.O.P. is that it looks pretty. Very,..
Put this in your trolley!
There's only one possible conclusion to be drawn from Rabbids Go Home - it's mental. Anyone involved in its development should probably be sectioned under the Mental Health Act, such is the scale of the crazy acts featured in this first traditional adventure game for the Rabbids. Of course, if you've been following our...
We get to grips with the DSiWare games at Nintendo's media summit held in London, 16th September
Well, as if the landslide of WiiWare information from Wednesday’s media summit wasn’t enough, we now have summaries of the DSiWare titles on show. And while the selection on Nintendo's portable machine may not have been as high profile as its console counterpart, the DSi still had a lot to shout..
This breed needs a little more refinement.
Pet sims have been all the rage with the "yoof" for some time; especially on the Nintendo DS with scads of games having words ending with "Z" instead of the more grammatically correct "S." Derby Dog for the Japanese WiiWare service is clearly designed to cash-in on this trend, however instead of simply raising a happy pet to..
London, 16th September: Nintendo hold their WiiWare and DSiWare media summit, and we’re lucky enough to have been invited…
Well, those of you who scan our site on a regular basis will know that today - in London - Nintendo made a few announcements regarding the WiiWare and DSiWare service: first of all, they gave us the release schedule for a lot of upcoming games and then dropped a great piece..
Jumping off a cliff can be fun!
"Everybody dive!" is part of the title of Agenda's newest WiiWare game to hit the Japanese Wii Shop, and that is what this game is all about: diving off cliffs – as penguins are known to do – for big points! Of course this isn't March of the Penguins, so the penguins in this game aren't dropping off...
Art-house gaming comes to WiiWare.
Discipline is a WiiWare game long-rumoured and only recently revealed. As possibly the most unusual game to yet grace the service, it game centres around a prison called Discipline, wherein you control a character apparently posing as an inmate. It's difficult to tell what exactly is happening because text plays a huge part in the game, with a lot of written..
Not quite Steve McQueen...
Well, Simple Series Vol. 4 - The Misshitsu Kara no Dasshutsu is quite a mouthful, so for the purpose of these impressions please forgive the re-titling of this game with the shorter, but still thematically correct name Room Escape. D3 Publisher is known as a publisher of budget games and has pushed out dozens of them for the PS2 and other platforms over the years for the..