April2018

  • 64

    Switch

    Review Wild Guns Reloaded

    Welcome to Westworld!

    Back in 1994, Natsume delivered the definitive ‘shooting gallery’ shmup made famous in previous years by the likes of Neo Geo NAM-1975 and TAD’s Cabal. Sadly, a limited number of copies coupled with being a late generation SNES game meant that a lot of people missed out on this slice of space western action. Add in some...

December2017

  • 18

    3DS

    Review River City: Rival Showdown

    Come get some!

    Following on from last year’s River City: Tokyo Rumble, Natsume is taking the rough ‘n’ tumble Kunio-Kun out for another spin in a follow up action game. River City: Rival Showdown largely follows the same beats as its predecessor, but refines many of its ideas down into a tighter and more enjoyable experience. Though it still...

October2016

  • 60

    3DS

    Review River City: Tokyo Rumble

    Straight out of the '80s

    River City Ransom was a fantastic NES brawler that - in many ways - was a pioneer for the then-fledgling genre, and has gone on to achieve something of a cult following. It was actually part of the much larger Kunio-kun series, though this perhaps wasn't so easy to keep track of due to spotty localization and a lack of...

May2016

  • 14

    3DS eShop

    Review Super Strike Beach Volleyball

    The Family that Plays Together

    You wouldn't be wrong in thinking that the art in Super Strike Beach Volleyball looks familiar. You also wouldn't be wrong in thinking that the art looks like it was ripped completely from games such as Family Tennis 3D or Family Fishing. Make no mistake, this latest all-ages outdoor sport title is part of the Arc...

February2016

  • 28

    SNES

    Review Gundam Wing: Endless Duel

    ​Bringing a Gundam to a fist fight

    Mobile Suit Gundam Wing made quite an impact in the West, with the forty-nine episode anime series getting aired by Cartoon Network which would ensure it became one of the most recognizable entries in the iconic Japanese science fiction mecha series in our part of the planet. Predictably, video game adaptations...

December2015

  • 14

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Medabots AX: Metabee & Rokusho

    Medaboring

    The previous Medabots game was an RPG which had some cool ideas and stayed quite true to the source material, but ultimately was undermined by a handful of major annoyances. Medabots AX, strangely enough, was actually originally released shortly before it, but this time around has seen the light of day second. Surprisingly, this game is...

November2015

  • 16

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town

    Farm Fatale

    If you're familiar with the original Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town, released on the Wii U Virtual console earlier in 2015, then you know just about all there is to expect out of its follow-up, Harvest Moon: More Friends of Mineral Town. In fact, you should probably skim the review of the first title if you want a rundown of the...

October2015

  • 3

    Wii U eShop

    Review Ninja Strike: Dangerous Dash

    These ninjas should stay hidden

    Ninja Strike: Dangerous Dash is a perfect example of what sounds like a great idea being held back by poor execution. Published by Natsume, Ninja Strike: Dangerous Dash is a formulaic endless runner; in it you initially take control of Blue Shadow, a blue-clad Ninja with a red scarf. The art style is simple but...

  • 24

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Pocky & Rocky with Becky

    Plain & Repetitive with Boredom

    There's real promise behind Pocky & Rocky with Becky, far more than the unimaginative title might suggest. Bite-size levels quickly give way to intriguing boss battles, and speedy pacing helps hold your interest throughout the campaign. However, these positive aspects quickly fade in the face of bland enemies,...

  • 14

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Medabots: Metabee & Rokusho

    Meh-abots

    Medabots has always been a bit of an odd case. Clearly created to hitch a ride on the Pokémon hype train, it's a series about people who - instead of capturing and fighting with creatures - collect machine parts to build and fight with robots. Unlike Digimon, which was also similar in setup, Medabots never really seemed to catch on...

  • 22

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Car Battler Joe

    One cup of Speed Racer lore. One cup of Mad Max universe...

    Car Battler Joe tells the cliched story of how Joe Todoroki went out of the comfort of his bedroom to drive through the wasteland of Galacia in pursuit of his estranged father. Rumour has it that he joined a band of misfits in order to destroy the same sport that made him the most famous...

September2015

  • 14

    Wii U eShop

    Review Brave Tank Hero

    War, war never changes

    Oh Brave Tank Hero, you were not a great game on the 3DS. For those of you who missed the review, ultimately Brave Tank Hero was a mediocre affair on the portable system - the flawed game design and an array of oversights ruined what could have been a good title. Now, Natsume has released the game for the Wii U eShop; will a...

  • 34

    3DS eShop

    Review Gotcha Racing

    A delight at every turn

    Gotcha Racing is about as simple as racing games come, but it's far more addictive than most. The concept is derived from Japan's Gachapon capsule toys — small, highly collectible toys that usually go for about 100 yen apiece. It's this concept that drives the heart of the game. When you first start Gotcha Racing you'll be...

August2015

  • 16

    3DS eShop

    Review Brave Tank Hero

    As Salvatore from Wind Waker would say… "Splish!"

    In Conker's Bad Fur Day, there is a chapter towards the end of the game called War. In that chapter there is one small section in which the protagonist squirrel has to get inside a tank and storm the Tediz's base. Brave Tank Hero is somewhat similar to that section of Conker's BFD, in the sense...

July2015

  • 14

    Wii U eShop / GBA

    Review Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town

    Tending to the roots

    If you're a fan of the Harvest Moon series, you know that a faithful instalment will leave only two questions: who do I get to marry and just how much free time can I afford to sacrifice over the next month or two? Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town sticks closer to this original formula than some of its more modern cousins,...

April2015

  • 58

    3DS eShop

    Review A-Train 3D: City Simulator

    ​Chugging uphill

    In the 3DS library, there is a rather unsurprising gap of management sim games. The niche genre essentially revolves around placing the player in the chair of a person in charge of a large city or company, tasking them with running it and maximising profitability. This is something of a double-edged sword; patient gamers will find...

March2015

  • 38

    3DS

    Review Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley

    Lost, but not missed

    The Harvest Moon series has had a bit of a confusing production history, but the good news is that we're here to help you out with the basics. Originally created and developed by the now defunct Victor Entertainment Software until its acquisition in 2003, the Harvest Moon series has since been produced by Marvelous AQL. Though...

  • 14

    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...

December2014

  • 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...

  • 10

    3DS eShop / NES

    Review S.C.A.T.: Special Cybernetic Attack Team

    Invading aliens, a fight for survival and all that jazz

    It is the year 2029 and aliens are attacking the earth. Have they observed mankind’s violent nature and opted for a pre-emptive strike to protect themselves? Or do they just dislike the way the people of S.C.A.T.: Special Cybernetic Attack Team have taken to painting their buildings a shade...

  • 21

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Shadow of the Ninja

    Go ninja, go ninja GO!

    Ninjas really were a hot ticket back in the '90s. The Turtles were making TV and toy executives money hand over fist, and children became so caught up in the craze they had the sheer gall to drag their parents into the cinema to watch dreck like Surf Ninjas. Yep, it was a great time to be a kid. The trend bled into gaming and...

  • 25

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review S.C.A.T.: Special Cybernetic Attack Team

    I'm a scatman

    Right, let's get this dealt with from the start; S.C.A.T is an awful name for a game — we won't go into why here, but it actually stands for Special Cybernetic Attack Team. Interestingly, the cart shipped in Europe as Action in New York. That's a much better title, although the game has as much to do with the Big Apple as mushy peas...

  • 26

    Wii U eShop

    Review Alphadia Genesis

    Alphadia Generic

    Like every other game genre, there's no one set of generally agreed-upon rules for what makes a Japanese RPG good. Some people simply can't stand turn-based gameplay, feeling it's an obsolete relic of an era gone past; others get misty-eyed with nostalgia and/or prefer its more deliberate pacing. Then there are gamers who debate...

November2014

  • 16

    Wii U eShop / SNES

    Review Natsume Championship Wrestling

    Tapped out

    Let's be honest here: wrestling is essentially one big television drama, and that's no way an attempt to belittle the incredible athleticism of the men and women involved. It's Eastenders with a mullet and tight pants, complete with plot twists and a cast of larger than life characters to root for. These heels and faces are the reason we...

  • 29

    3DS eShop / GBC

    Review Lufia: The Legend Returns

    The legend isn't feeling so good

    Young Wain is the protector of his small village; it’s not a tough gig, with just the occasional blob-creature to slash on the outskirts, but things are about to change. As a spiritual force awakens inside him, the powerful Sinistrels re-emerge to release a threat of “unseen terror on the land”. His bloodline...