Latest Reviews

  • Mini Review Prehistorik Man - The Stone-Age Platformer That Time Forgot

    You're in real Barney Rubble now

    For a brief, shining period, the video game industry seemed to become obsessed with cavemen. We’re not sure why this is – the Flintstones remake can’t have accounted for all of it. Bonk’s Adventure, Caveman Games, BC Racers, Joe & Mac, Bignose the Caveman and more absolutely flooded the market with...

  • Mini Review Fire 'n Ice - A Fine Puzzler That's Worthy Of Rediscovery On Switch

    I've got the (Solomon's) key, I've got the secret

    Sokoban, initially released in 1982 for Japanese home computers, is the first “block-pushing” puzzle game that challenged players to move around boxes to accomplish some kind of goal. Of the numerous similar games it inspired, one of the most popular was Tecmo’s Solomon’s Key, released for...

  • Mini Review Doomsday Warrior - A Street Fighter II Clone That's Doomed From The Start

    Welcome to your doom

    The Super Famicom port of Street Fighter II was released in June 1992. Telenet’s Doomsday Warrior then hit the market later that year in November. It’s unknown how long it was in development, but based on the final product, one could easily surmise that it was slapped together as quickly as possible to capitalize on the...

  • Review Psycho Dream - The Flawed Yet Fascinating Cult Classic Finally Comes To The West

    Import Inception

    To best understand Psycho Dream – which has finally come to the west thanks to its addition to the Nintendo Switch Online SNES line-up – you first need to understand Nihon Telenet. It was a prolific company throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, and while its games often had some interesting concepts (and some legitimately...

  • 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...

  • Review Smash Tennis - One Of The Best Sports Games Of The 16-Bit Era

    A stroke of genius

    There have been plenty of underrated games over the years, but every now and then you get an entire series that hasn’t enjoyed the level of success and attention it deserves. That’s the case with Namco’s Smash Court Tennis franchise, which has consistently served up (ahem) some top-quality arcade-style tennis action, but –...

  • Review Pilotwings - 16-bit Flight Simulation, The Nintendo Way

    Mode 7 is the wind beneath my Pilotwings

    Now that SNES games are available on Nintendo Switch Online, we've decided to revisit each of them in a fresh review. Expect to see updated reviews for all of the titles currently available over the next few weeks. Upon introducing its new Super Famicom console in late 1990 it wasn't just critical for...

  • Review Super Mario World - Phenomenal Platforming Perfection

    It's-a Mario masterpiece

    Now that SNES games are available on Nintendo Switch Online, we've decided to revisit each of them in a fresh review. Expect to see updated reviews for all of the titles currently available over the next few weeks. Impressive software is vital for a console's launch, and the powerful one-two combination of the Mode 7...

  • Review F-Zero - The Game That Sold Us Mode 7

    What a way to launch a console

    Now that SNES games are available on Nintendo Switch Online, we've decided to revisit each of them in a fresh review. Expect to see updated reviews for all of the titles currently available over the next few weeks. At their very core, futuristic racing games should have visual flair, and there was already an early...

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    Review Star Fox 2

    Every McCloud has a silver lining

    It's hard to believe that sat here in 2017, we're actually getting the chance to review Star Fox 2. The Super FX-powered SNES swan-song has gone down in gaming folklore as a perfect example of Nintendo's ruthless approach to the video game business. When faced with the possibility that it could be compared...

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    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...

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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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...