November2015

  • 35

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures

    Waka-waka, or just plain wak?

    If you were to download recent Virtual Console release Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures to your Wii U with no prior knowledge of what to expect, you'd be forgiven for anticipating a spot of maze-based pill-munching entertainment. In reality, this 'sequel' to arcade classic Pac-Man is a bizarre take on the point-and-click...

October2015

  • 3

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Dig Dug II

    Dig in

    The original Dig Dug was fairly popular, so naturally a sequel had to follow eventually. Dig Dug II ended up being not nearly as widespread as its predecessor, only seeing release in arcades and on the NES, so you'd be forgiven for not even knowing it existed! Dig Dug II takes a massive departure from the first game. True to its title that...

  • 57

    3DS

    Review Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden

    Not so extreme

    Outside of Super Smash Bros., it feels like there's something of a gap in the 3DS library when it comes to fighters, so the overseas arrival of Dragon Ball Z: Extreme Butoden is a welcome one. A 2D, sprite based brawler that features characters and storylines from the perpetually popular manga and anime property, it's a solid if...

May2015

  • 10

    Wii U eShop / Super Nintendo

    Review Metal Marines

    Modern(ish) warfare

    Strategy is a somewhat niche genre among gamers. While there have been excellent strategy games released on consoles - turn-based RPGs like Fire Emblem to the RTS-style Swords and Soldiers series come to mind - the gameplay has always lent itself more to the PC, where players can be more methodical and control units with relative...

April2015

  • 23

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament

    Sweet dreams

    Klonoa's never really gotten the recognition he deserves, has he? The floppy-eared hero's original adventure, released for PlayStation in 1997 and given a superb Wii remake in 2008, was an extraordinary 2.5D platformer that forced players to take a different perspective on the action. Following this, Klonoa got multiple releases on...

March2015

  • 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,...

  • 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...

  • 15

    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

  • 37

    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...

January2015

  • 3

    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...

  • 13

    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)...

December2014

  • 17

    Wii U

    Review Penguins of Madagascar

    Un-tactical Espionage Action

    The Penguins from the smash CG hit Madagascar were so popular they received their own film in the form of Penguins of Madagascar, so it was inevitable that the four feathered friends would also receive their own video game adaption. Publisher Little Orbit - which is certainly no stranger to adaptations of movies -was...

November2014

  • 18

    3DS

    Review PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures 2

    Pac-ing on the problems

    In June of 2013, a television series premiered in the United States titled Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures. The show took the classic Pac-Man and ghost arcade characters and restyled them as CGI mascots with an appeal towards young viewers. Less than six months later, a video game based on the show was released on most...

  • 30

    3DS

    Review Power Rangers Super Megaforce

    Dull as dishwater

    Games that are tied in to TV shows are often little more than a quick cash-grab used to dupe unsuspecting parents into buying a sub-par game because their child will recognise the characters. No truer is this statement than when referring to Power Rangers Super Megaforce. Once you load up the game, you'd be forgiven for letting...

October2014

  • 23

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Namco Museum

    Does it deserve to be exhibited on your Wii U?

    Originally released for the Game Boy Advance in 2001, Namco Museum is part of a long-running series (which goes by the same name) that saw regular releases over a 15-year period all the way up until 2010. This game is a compilation, featuring five classic arcade games: Ms. PAC-MAN, Galaga, Galaxian,...

  • 28

    Wii U

    Review Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2

    Pac is back! .....again

    There's a moment during the opening cutscene of Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 where the series' villain Lord Betrayus delights over his giant robot being ready to ''unleash on Pacopolis. Again!'' It's just a throwaway joke that's fitting of the Saturday morning cartoon vibe, but while it may have raised a slight smile...

  • 8

    3DS

    Review Tenkai Knights: Brave Battle

    Tenkai toy, fivekai game

    Games aimed at children are an interesting beast – often you’ll find them less challenging than other games, and if it contains a plot it’s a simple, easy-to-follow romp through a colourful and engaging journey. Unfortunately, Tenkai Knights: Brave Battle doesn’t quite measure up to these expectations. The game...

September2014

  • 15

    3DS

    Review One Piece Unlimited World Red

    A pirate's life

    Even if you don’t follow anime or manga, chances are you’ve heard of Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece - having gotten its start in 1997 and still going strong today, this long-running tale of the Straw Hat crew’s far-reaching, seafaring adventures in piracy has blossomed into one of Japan’s most popular exports. With such wide...

July2014

  • 45

    Wii U

    Review One Piece Unlimited World Red

    Not unlimited, but not bad

    Eiichiro Oda’s anime juggernaut isn't short of games on multiple systems, and quality can be distinctly variable; the unimpressive One Piece: Romance Dawn on 3DS, with its repetitive gameplay and questionable production values, is one at the wrong end of the chain. In that sense it's tough to know what to expect from the...

June2014

  • 8

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Mr. Driller 2

    You know the drill by now

    The re-release of classic Game Boy Advance titles on the Wii U eShop marks the first opportunity many new players will have to take on a variety of really substantial experiences, short of retroactively buying the system itself. Many have made the transition to the TV screen look easy, but some are detrimentally anchored by...

April2014

  • 51

    3DS

    Review Disney Magical World

    A magical world indeed

    To anyone familiar with the handheld’s lineup, it may seem like a bad business decision to make a life simulation game for the 3DS at this point. Three years into the console's life we've seen two Harvest Moon titles, a Rune Factory game, and The Sims 3. All that, and we haven't even mentioned

March2014

  • 16

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Galaga

    Space: The Original Frontier

    There are a few reasons so many early video games took place in space. While the most obvious one is budgetary — a flat black background being quite literally the easiest possible background to render, thereby making "space" a pretty natural choice of setting — there's a psychological reason as well: space is a...

February2014

  • 13

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Sky Kid

    Heavy Weather

    An arcade force to be reckoned with, Namco graced the Famicom and NES with impressive cartridge conversions of quite a few of its enduring coin-op classics. From Dig Dug and Pac-Man to Galaga and Xevious, Nintendo's console quickly amassed a collection of A-list arcade hits, and — along with the heavy hitters and household names —...

December2013

  • 42

    3DS

    Review One Piece Romance Dawn

    Just give it up, Luffy

    Anyone would be forgiven for thinking crafting a decent RPG from the lore of established anime juggernaut One Piece would be a simple task; the bombastic characters, epic quests and thrilling battles the series is known for should, in theory, make for an excellent adventure. With One Piece Romance Dawn, what developer Three...

November2013

  • 60

    Wii U

    Review Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures

    Pac ain't afraid of no ghost

    As gaming's original icon, Pac-Man has enjoyed a long and varied career. He's munched Power Pellets on dozens of different platforms since his 1980 debut, starred in platform games on the Super Nintendo, raced go karts on the GameCube, had a Top-10 single on the US charts, and even worked under the baton of Mario maestro...