July2016

  • 48

    SNES

    Review Whirlo

    ​AKA: Xandra, the legendary klutz gummy hero

    You might have stumbled upon Namco's love letter to Norse mythology, the Valkyrie series, in the past. Of the few games released, there is one rather noteworthy entry for the arcade named Walküre no Densetsu, a one or two player overhead shmup/platformer hybrid with a lot of impressive scaling effects...

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,...

January2015

  • 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)...

June2014

  • 34

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Pac-Land

    Pac your bags, man

    Never before released for the NES in the west, Namco has dropped its Pac-Man platformer Pac-Land onto the eShop to celebrate the announcement of Pac-Man in the new Super Smash Bros. games. A departure from the simple, addictive gameplay the Pac-Man series is known for, Pac-Land attempts to expand the scope and appeal of its iconic...

  • 32

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Pac-Man Collection

    A Pac-aged deal

    Pac-Man is a creature of classic longevity. We kindly submit as evidence to this claim the fact we’re reviewing a 13-year-old game compilation for a character who was a spry 21 at the time. The question now is how well the four games of Pac-Man Collection have held up since its 2001 GBA release. Do Pac-dots even have expiration...

May2014

  • 40

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Klonoa: Empire of Dreams

    Wahoo!

    Starting life on the PlayStation in 1997, at a time when Super Mario 64 had just brought the gaming world triple-jumping headlong into the era of 3D platforming, Namco's Klonoa series has always done things differently. Klonoa's first outing, Klonoa: Door to Phantomile, was a pioneering foray into 2.5D, mixing polygonal backgrounds with...

March2014

  • 17

    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

  • 15

    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 —...

August2013

  • 35

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Galaga

    That man is playing Galaga!

    Galaga is old. It may well state 1988 on Galaga’s NES title screen, but that refers to its European and US release date, the Japanese Famicom conversion was released early in 1985 and they are all based on a port of Namco’s 1981 coin-op. This means that with any Wii U Virtual Console purchase you must consider if you...

May2013

  • 16

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Xevious

    An early vertical scrolling classic

    When Xevious hit arcades in 1982 it represented one of the first vertical shoot 'em ups of its kind. Not only that, but the game introduced a second bombing mechanic to give it a little more flare. After seeing a handful of home releases, it sprang upon the NES system with a vengeance and once again showed that...

  • 24

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Pac-Man

    Pac is back!

    When Pac-Man hit arcades in 1981, it was a phenomenal success. Spawning clothing, cereals and even a hit song, the game took the world by storm. It saw a rash of home console and personal computer releases during the 80s — some better than others — but it wasn't until the NES release in 1985 that the game finally saw a replica close...

February2013

  • 44

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Dig Dug

    Slightly soiled

    In 1982, Namco released Dig Dug. By that point in time the company had already cemented its place in the gaming history books with enduring classics like Pac-Man and Galaga. Their younger brother Dig Dug never quite reached their heights of popularity, but it's still quite fun in its own right. As with many early arcade games, your...

November2012

  • 42

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review Pac-Man

    Ghost gobblin' on the go

    If you were to ask one hundred people to make a list of the most classic video games of all time, you shouldn't be surprised to find Pac-Man on every one of those lists. It's an unrivaled masterpiece of gaming simplicity, an experience that involves nothing more than moving endlessly around a single maze, yet which somehow...

February2012

  • 98

    3DS

    Review Tekken 3D Prime Edition

    A prime fighting machine

    Tekken 3D Prime Edition is only the second Nintendo appearance for the King of Iron Fist tournament, the last being 2002's dodgy Tekken Advance on Game Boy Advance. With fighting games enjoying a resurgence on 3DS, does Namco Bandai's second hit strike a knockout blow? It's up against stiff competition: Dead or Alive:...

August2011

  • 33

    3DS eShop / GB

    Review Pac-Man

    Pac's back to steal your money

    Everybody knows Pac-Man. The game's been ported to just about every platform under the sun, including the NES version on the Wii Virtual Console. It's now being released yet again on the 3DS Virtual Console, but is it worth another investment? Of course, there is absolutely nothing different about the gameplay in this...

July2011

  • 82

    3DS

    Review Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions

    Waka waka waka

    Pac-Man and Galaga have provided 30 years worth of entertainment, coin shortages, hit songs and waka-wakas across the world, and to celebrate Namco has cooked up a number of presents for fans. One such present is Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions, a six-layer cake iced with 3D. But instead of a tasty bakery delight, some dead bugs have...

  • 21

    GameCube

    Review Donkey Konga

    Moving to a new beat

    Donkey Konga is a pretty average rhythm action title when purely viewed as a piece of software engrained upon a small disc that one slaps onto the GameCube's spindle. Without a "true" Donkey Kong platformer on the horizon Nintendo rather shamelessly took the beloved characters of the franchise and transposed them into...

October2010

  • 15

    DS

    Review Blue Dragon: Awakened Shadow

    Forever in the shadow of other RPGs

    Awakened Shadow is the third RPG game in Hironobu Sakaguchi’s Blue Dragon series. Developed at Mistwalker Studios, this iteration also marks the third completely new gameplay style after the turn-based tactics of the original and the RTS stylings of Blue Dragon Plus. Awakened Shadow has a more real-time action...

September2010

  • 79

    GameCube

    Review Star Fox: Assault

    A bumpy ride for Team Star Fox

    Star Fox has an active history on the GameCube, first appearing on the console in the form of Star Fox Adventures back in 2001. It took on a whole new direction and saw Fox McCloud out of the cockpit for the first time in an on-foot adventure across Dinosaur Planet, and while the game received acclaim in some quarters,...

March2010

  • 23

    Wii

    Review Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces

    A sky full of aces

    Air combat games are a rarity on the Wii, which is quite surprising considering the tilt sensors on the Remote and Nunchuk have been demonstrated to be the most reliable form of motion control available on the Wii. Thankfully Namco Bandai have decided to step into the breach with Project Aces' excellent movie tie-in Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces. Being a game based upon any film..

  • 34

    Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16

    Review Wonder Momo

    A guilty pleasure for import PC Engine fans

    You cannot be blamed for not having heard of Wonder Momo, a Namco arcade game from the mid-late 80s which was never released outside of Japan. It belongs in the box of "odd" Japanese games, being a beat-em-up with the unusual setting of a Super Sentai (Power Rangers to the gaijin amongst you)...

September2009

  • 15

    GameCube

    Review Namco Museum: 50th Anniversary

    This is one exhibition that will disappoint many

    Namco is a company with one of the most impressive back catalogues in video games and is now one of the biggest names in home entertainment following a successful merger with toy and anime company Bandai five years ago. Released at the end of the Gamecube's life to coincide with the 50th anniversary...

August2009

  • 21

    GameCube

    Review Mr. Driller Drill Land

    "Dig a Chance!"

    If Namco had a corporate mascot that wasn't Pac-Man it would almost certainly be Mr. Driller. The retro arcade game from the end of the last century has spawned a franchise seeing seven games released with a version of some form on nearly every console made in the past decade. Its popularity is not only down to the simple, yet engaging gamplay based around drilling through..

June2009

  • 26

    Wii

    Review The Munchables

    Who would have thought eating your fruits and vegetables would be so much fun?

    We've already seen some strange stuff from Namco-Bandai in the past with their Katamari Damacy releases, but they appear to have outdone even themselves with their latest oddball outing for the Nintendo Wii console. The Munchables carefully weaves a zany world full of...