Latest Reviews

  • Review Pop'n TwinBee - Konami's Colourful 16-Bit Shmup Shines With Couple Mode Co-op

    Colour me glad

    The TwinBee series enjoyed relative success in Japan throughout the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Pop’n Twinbee was the sixth game in the series, and the last proper shoot ‘em up entry before Konami took it in a different direction with things like spin-off platformer Rainbow Bell Adventures. Because it was never released in...

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    Switch eShop

    Review Ultra Hyperball

    Not very ultra

    If humanity has given the world anything, it’s the ability to turn even the most mundane games into a sport. Rock/Paper/Scissors, the epitome of what you do when you can’t decide who gets to do something unsavoury, now has world championships. Not content with merely kicking a soccer ball into a net, folk now insert themselves...

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    SNES

    Review Shin Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun: Kunio Tachi no Banka

    Say that title three times in a row

    With the celebrations of all these other anniversaries going about it is easy to forget the adventures of Kunio, which also celebrated thirty years in 2016. Despite being absent from most Western gamer’s memories in the past several years (despite the odd virtual console re-release), the legacy of Technōs most...

  • 50

    GBA

    Review Ninja Five-O

    Not your average Joe

    It is not uncommon for a game's critical appeal to far outweigh its selling power. Throughout the history of gaming there have been many cult hits that now go for ridiculous prices on the second hand market, EarthBound and the original Shantae being a couple of notorious examples. However, few games can boast the extreme rarity...

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    3DS

    Review Picross 3D Round 2

    Pleasantly puzzling

    A wise gentleman once said that every puzzle has a solution. In Picross 3D Round 2, finding those answers may have players tearing out their hair while simultaneously cracking a smile. Picross 3D Round 2 is a game that is as addictive as they come. Like its predecessor puzzles are in 3D (as the name so helpfully points out) and...

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    N64

    Review Pokémon Stadium 2

    Second gen magic

    After all the groundbreaking success that Pokémon's first generation had, it would've only been wise for the powers that be to capitalise on the franchise's journey to the top. How was this done? Pokémon launched a new set of games – Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal – in the years of 1999-2001 (depending on the region...

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    N64

    Review Pokémon Stadium

    Your stadium tour awaits

    With the Pokémon franchise being as super effective as it was during the late '90s due to its handheld games, trading cards, television anime and manga, it was only a matter of time before fans saw the groundbreaking series grace the home console territory - and that it did. Pokémon Stadium was released on the Nintendo 64...

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    Wii U eShop / TG-16

    Review R-Type

    More like our type

    You can't have a conversation about shoot-'em-ups, or shmups, without mentioning R-Type. Back in the late '80s and early '90s the game was synonymous with the genre. Unfortunately for Nintendo fans at the time one of the best ports of the arcade classic was on the TurboGrafx-16, an also-ran console that never found its place in...

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    SNES

    Review Front Mission Series: Gun Hazard

    Out Of This Valken World

    The original Front Mission raised the bar very high indeed for what we have come to expect from mecha games on Super Nintendo. Just one year later, Square released a sequel - but don't be fooled, Front Mission Series: Gun Hazard is everything but a traditional follow-up. In fact, it's not even in the same timeline as the...

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    SNES

    Review Super Boss Gaiden

    Bad Day At Sony Headquarters

    The retro gaming world came to a halt on Sunday when Chrono Moogle and Dieter von Laser released this game to the unsuspecting Super Nintendo-loving crowd. Understandably only one person in the world will be able to play Super Boss Gaiden on the SNES Playstation prototype, but for the rest of us the

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    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...

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    SNES

    Review Hyper Iria

    Metroidless Bounty Huntress

    Banpresto always boasted a healthy lineup of anime and manga licensed video games. If you had a favourite series, there would be a good chance if there was a video game counterpart made for your video game console of choice, it was probably released by Banpresto. Of course, getting a western release was easier said than...

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    New 3DS / SNES

    Review Mega Man 7

    The worst Mega Man is still good

    Mega Man 7 is a game that came at the wrong time. By the time of its original 1995 release fans were a bit beleaguered by continued rapid-fire releases, and interest had shifted from the portly robot that could to his slimmer, cooler younger brother - Mega Man X. If you've played one Mega Man game, you'll be...

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    SNES

    Review Kaite Tsukutte Asoberu Dezaemon

    Super shmup construction kit

    How would you like to make your own video game? The incredible Super Mario Maker was not the first time a company gave players the tools to produce their own interactive entertainment. In fact, such titles predate the online infrastructure which modern examples of the genre rely on for growth, idea exchange and level...

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    SNES

    Review Rendering Ranger: R2

    ​Shoot or Die

    Are you familiar with the name Manfred Trenz? How about a company called Rainbow Arts? Perhaps the name Turrican will be more relatable? It all depends on how far back you started playing video games, especially in Europe. All three names warranted attention for Commodore 64 and Amiga owners, since they were synonymous with arcade...

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    SNES

    Review Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together

    ​Never Cling Alone

    There are some video games that show up late in a console generation that push boundaries and defy preconceptions on what was considered possible. Resident Evil 4 immediately springs to mind, not only pushing the series to a point Capcom that hasn't been able to match since but also serving as a template to every other game in...

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    Wii U eShop

    Review Midnight 2

    Another round with a square

    It's not easy to mix chill with challenge, and yet the Midnight series somehow manages to do a quite decent job of it. Petite Games has brought the twilight golf-like back for another go, providing another round of stages with next to no changes in the formula. Midnight 2 should feel right at home to those who played its...

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    SNES

    Review Majyuuou

    Hell is the impossibility of reason… but it's very pretty

    The Super Nintendo (even in Japan) was marketed as a family friendly system, something easily proven by taking a glance at its excellent game library. Despite that, you can find yourself a few horror gems targeted at a more mature audience that naturally never made it out of Japan. KSS...

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    SNES

    Review Choujikuu Yousai Macross: Scrambled Valkyrie

    Now that Star Fox Zero has made transforming space fighters cool again (as if they could be anything but cool, we hear you cry) we take a break from the relentless war raging in the Lylat system and go back to the classic shmup formula on a console that is not all that well known for the genre. Produced by Winky Soft – a studio responsible for a...

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    DS

    Review Maestro! Jump in Music

    I am the music man

    We originally saw Maestro! Jump In Music on DSiWare where it went by the name Maestro! Green Groove. However, you might not be aware of the fact that this digital offering was actually a republished version of the original European physical retail release, which can be hard to come by these days. Despite some notable flaws and the...

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    SNES

    Review Shodai Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-Kun

    16-bit barf

    If you were to ask kids in the late '80s and early '90s for iconic NES video game characters, alongside the usual gang of Nintendo, Konami and Capcom regulars, you would often hear the name "Alex". No, not our own Alex "Lovely People" Olney - this Alex was none other than the western version of Kunio, the short-tempered high school...

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    New 3DS / 3DS

    Review Hyrule Warriors Legends

    A Link in your pocket

    The original Hyrule Warriors was a solid if slightly forgettable attempt at fusing the worlds Zelda and Koei Tecmo's Musou series, and despite its occasionally repetitive gameplay managed to alleviate fears that it would be little more than a shameless cash-in. Now, with the 3DS badly in need of top-drawer software as it...

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    SNES

    Review Fire Emblem: Mystery Of The Emblem

    ​All Hail Prince Marth! (Yes, that Marth)

    Ask any western gamer who Marth is and they will quickly reply something along the lines of "That cool sword-wielding guy from Super Smash Bros." - something that is understandable since the Fire Emblem series that began all the way back to 1990 on the Famicom only reached the West in 2003. But behind his...

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    SNES

    Review Dragon Ball Z: Super Butoden 2

    ​Just Saiyan

    Dragon Ball Z fever was very much a real thing in the '90s, but this blonde hair, Kamehameha-throwing insanity hit the UK and America much later than the rest of Europe. As such, it might still not be common knowledge that all four of Super Famicom's Dragon Ball Z one-on-one fighting games received PAL localization and distribution -...

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    N64

    Review World Driver Championship

    The N64's Gran Turismo?

    Boss Game Studios off-loaded sequel duties to their dumb-fun hit Top Gear Rally in order to commence work on what would be an altogether more serious, authentic project – 1999's World Driver Championship. It would be the last significant output from the assured Redmond-based team, but remains amongst only a handful of truly...

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    3DS / GB

    Review Pokémon Red and Blue

    Twenty years ahead of their time

    When these games were released back in the late nineties, the air around younger Game Boy owners was one of excitement and rivalry. Nintendo is clearly trying to capitalise on the nostalgia factor for all of us who were within the target age group (and some who weren't) when these titles were originally released,...

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    SNES

    Review Front Mission

    ​Crows of Metal, Soldiers of Sorrow

    War never changes. Unless someone replaces tanks with giant walking robots, then it looks much, much cooler yet is still quite tragic. That is exactly the point of Squaresoft's 1995 mech tactical RPG Front Mission. How does a man survive on the battlefield of the future? Canny strategy, pots of money and making...

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    SNES

    Review Alcahest

    ​The Legend of Alen

    When you think HAL Laboratories, you immediately think Kirby. This is natural since it is by a long shot the most recognizable character ever to come out of the Chiyoda-based software house. Yet with over three decades producing video games, it goes without saying that HAL has a diverse back catalogue going all the way back to...

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    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...

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    SNES

    Review Crystal Beans From Dungeon Explorer

    ​Do NOT shoot the food

    Gauntlet remains a dear memory among many retro gamers. After all, Atari's revolutionary dungeon crawler was one of the best co-op arcade games ever produced and it certainly was no stranger to Nintendo owners with several conversions making their way to NES, Game Boy, Nintendo 64 and GameCube. You will notice a strange...