There’s something strange about Umihara Kawase Fresh! It’s not the fish with human legs; it’s not the tadpole that lays frogs. It’s not even the pork pizza you serve to a pig. What’s strange is that it can’t seem to decide how difficult it is. Assuming you are not familiar with the Umihara Kawase series, the opening of...
But can it run Crystal Crisis?
Everyone has dabbled in some form of a falling block puzzle game at some point in their life. For most people, it’s probably some form of Tetris. For others, it may be Dr. Mario, or Puyo Puyo, maybe even Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine. Years upon years of formula tweaking and innovative twists on the simple...
One of Nintendo’s most popular (and amusingly, least supported) franchises is the F-Zero series, which popularized the concept of high-intensity, low-gravity racing. In the void created due to Nintendo’s reluctance to release more games in the series, plenty of other ‘me-too’ titles have released, such as Wipeout and FAST, and...
Got a sweet tooth?
In the modern game industry, it feels like there’s quite a continuous push for ‘event games’, like the sorts of action titles you see plastered over advertisements and social media just about everywhere you go. What doesn’t often get talked about is the market for less intense games; the sorts of experiences more geared...
AA batteries not included
To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Game Boy, 23-year-old French developer Christophe Galati began development on a game. On 29th September 2014, the first prototype of what would later become Save Me Mr. Tako: Tasukete Tako-San was released. Four years later, the game found a distributor in indie mega-publisher...
Beginner's Fight Club
When it comes to the world of virtual fisticuffs, few genres offers as much nuance and space for creativity and flair as the 2D fighter. It was here that fighting games were born after all, and as the years have passed this two-dimensional melting pot has refused to cease bubbling. Instead, it’s evolved into something far...
This is an EX parrot
Proudly continuing the Japanese tradition of awkward-sounding fantasy game titles, Code of Princess arrives on Switch in ‘EX’ form courtesy of new publisher, Nicalis. The 3DS original launched back in 2012 and positioned itself as a spiritual successor to the SEGA Saturn cult classic, Guardian Heroes. This souped-up edition...
“Even though the ideal is high, I never give in”
Upon first release on Sega NAOMI-powered arcades back in 2001, Ikaruga polarised audiences. While it most certainly was a vertical scrolling shmup like one would expect from the spiritual sequel to Radiant Silvergun, it played nothing like it. In fact, it played like no shmup before it and even...
Run, run, as fast as you can
Unless you’ve had experience of the BIT.TRIP games previously, you’d be forgiven for thinking Runner3 is a platform game; Commander Video and his pink lady friend counterpart both jump, kick and slide their way through obstacle-laden courses. So on the surface it looks that way and through a certain pick up in...
It's the end of the world as we know it
Balancing the difficulty in a platform game is a fine art. Even though the genre has pretty-much existed since the inception of modern video games, developers are still often guilty of not providing enough of a challenge or making levels almost impossible to complete. Even in recent times, only a select few...
A VVVVVVery good time
When we first reviewed VVVVVV for the 3DS way back in 2010, we praised it for its ZX Spectrum / Commodore 64-style graphics, along with its simple and intuitive gravity-shifting mechanics. Not much has changed about VVVVVV in the intervening years, but truly, we don't mind. If you haven't tried VVVVVV before it's a...
It'll do, indeed
The Switch is rapidly amassing a library of wonderful titles, both from major, big-name developers and publishers, as well as creative indies. Ittle Dew 2+ is definitely the latter, and we mean that in the best possible way. To answer the inevitable question around what this young series is all about, the most direct...
A few weeks ago, Nicalis quietly announced Knight Terrors, a game unlike most of their others, in that it isn't getting the physical release treatment and is instead exclusive to the eShop. It's also unlike other recent releases in that it's incredibly budget-friendly at a mere three dollars. So, is Nicalis's latest release worth a...
For kids that grew up in the 8- and 16-bit eras, names such as Rastan, Golden Axe and Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts are bound to pull one one's heartstrings. Taking up a warrior's sword (or lance - we see you, Arthur) and doing battle against all manner of fantastic creatures was a delight. Sadly, all of those series are now little more...
A catchy Quote?
Nintendo consoles have, as of late, become a safe haven of sort for indies looking to publish their wares on home consoles. It makes sense, then, that the Switch would receive its own port of one of the most popular indie titles of all time, Cave Story+. Originally released in 2004 on PC, Cave Story gained popularity and...
Bound for greatness
Describing The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ is no simple task. It's Edmund McMillen's follow-up to his first hit (which he co-developed), Super Meat Boy, which we loved. The two games, however, couldn't be more different. Where Super Meat Boy is more of a nod to the platformers of yesteryear, The Binding of Isaac is something...
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is humorously disturbing, potentially offensive and unapologetically gross. This is a game about a boy named Isaac who's scrambling through the depths of his basement to avoid his pursuing mother. But instead of delivering a spanking or a timeout like most mothers do, Isaac's mom is intent to sacrifice her...
Wii U eShop
Gross. Gripping. Great.
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth has been a long time coming on Wii U, but it was worth the wait. With excellent enemy and boss variety along with a seemingly endless supply of pickups and items to help Isaac escape his mom's horrifying basement, the game constantly surprises players with something new. The only thing you'll see...
Wii U eShop
All your spike are belong to us
Between the broken English text, 8-bit sprites and brutal, unforgiving difficulty, it's easy to think of the Nicalis-published 1001 Spikes as a long-forgotten NES gem. While certainly not for everyone, it's a rich, rewarding (and punishing) addition to the Wii U eShop library. This modern-retro platformer is certainly...
We'll get this out of the way right now: 1001 Spikes is hard. So hard, in fact, that it's deliberately unfair. Those of you turned off by that knowledge can save yourself a great deal of frustration by walking on by. Anyone up to the challenge, however, is in for one of the most satisfying platforming experiences in recent years...
The trouble with nostalgia
In 2008, Matrix Software and Red Entertainment teamed up to develop a turn-based Role-playing game for the Nintendo DS appropriately titled Nostalgia. Incorporating classic JRPG gameplay and mechanics with modern visuals, this game was designed to tug at the heart strings of ageing gamers while still managing to provide an...
While most people know Pixel's work from the excellent Cave Story, that's not the only game he's ever made, and exploring his lesser known titles can be a lot of fun in itself. Ikachan is one such title, released as freeware for the PC in 2000. That's four years before Cave Story, and you'll definitely see some overlap in terms of...
A perfect circle
Three years ago, Nicalis announced a game called NightSky for release on WiiWare. Needless to say that never happened, but the project was far from dead. Last year our excitement was renewed by the news that NightSky would instead be released for the 3DS eShop, and now, at long last, it's finally here. The question everyone should...
Stop us if you've heard this one. A guy by the nom de plume of Pixel made a really great game all by himself and released it on PC for free in 2004. It's called... Oh, so you have heard it. We thought so. In 2012, Cave Story needs no introduction. It's not an unknown quantity. In fact, not counting this eShop release, publisher Nicalis...
When VVVVVV burst onto the indie scene in 2010, it was immediately lauded for its simple, addictive gameplay and unique vector visual style. After enjoying quite a bit of success on PC and Mac over the past two years, the game is now making an appearance on a dedicated game system for the first time via Nintendo's 3DS eShop...