Latest Reviews

  • Review Ecco Jr. (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

    The aquatic adventures of Ecco come to life for a younger generation of gamers.

    Ouch - what happened here? Ecco the Dolphin, suddenly transformed into a kid-friendly educational game? In this game, you play as Ecco Jr., a younger version of Ecco, or one of his two friends (Tara the baby orca or Kitnee the baby Atlantic dolphin). There is no real...

  • Review Bubble Bobble (Virtual Console / NES)

    Hi, Bub and Bob

    Bub and Bob are two rosy-cheeked dinosaurs who spit bubbles at their enemies and pop those bubbles for food rewards, all on the quest to save their girlfriends. If you don’t remember this classic arcade game from yesteryear you’ll probably know the two main protagonists from the Bust-a-Move/Puzzle Bobble series. The gameplay is...

  • Review The King of Fighters '94 (Virtual Console / Neo Geo)

    Fatal Fury x Art of Fighting.

    Although SNK's Fatal Fury and Samurai Shodown franchises placed the company on the map as far as 2D fighting games were concerned, it wasn't until the release of the first King of Fighters game SNK could go toe-to-toe with Capcom's Street Fighter – and win. For the uninitiated, KOF involves picking a team of three...

  • Review Double Dribble (Virtual Console / NES)

    Double Dribble is a 5-on-5 basketball game for the NES, based on the 1986 arcade game of the same name.

    This is the first basketball game to come to VC, and unfortunately for us, it's not very good. While Double Dribble was fairly popular back in the day due to the graphics (There are some cutscenes with fairly detailed stuff, like a crowd marching...

  • Review Axelay ( / Super Nintendo)

    Who said the SNES couldn't handle shmups?

    Regardless of the fact that it was released fairly early on in the life of Nintendo's 16-bit console, Axelay remains one of the best looking and most impressive shooters available for the format. Employing a similar format to Konami stable mate Lifeforce, Axelay switches between a vertical and horizontal...

  • Review Blue's Journey (Virtual Console / Neo Geo)

    I'm blue da ba dee da ba daa

    The Neo Geo is known primarily for its fighting games and the occasional shoot-em-up, so it’s good to come across a cutesy platformer on the system. If you are familiar with Super Mario Bros 2 on the NES you’ll have an idea of what to expect from Blue’s Journey. Every good platformer has a gimmick: in this one the...

  • Review Super Mario Bros. 3 (Wii Virtual Console / NES)

    The Mario Bros get even more super

    Back in 1990 when this was released in the USA, Mario fever was at an all time high. A few months earlier, there had even been a movie released called ‘The Wizard’ with that kid from the Wonder Years, which was essentially a commercial for this game. If you never played Super Mario Bros. 3 when it was first...

  • Review Power Golf (Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16)

    Every system needs a golf game, right?

    If Wii Sports’ gesture controlled club swinging has grown old for you, the more in-depth game offered in Hudson’s Power Golf might be of interest. There are three modes of play on offer here: stroke play is for a solo player, match play lets you take on a friend, and competition play allows for two to three...

  • Review Alien Soldier (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

    Hello Epsilon-Eagle

    Treasure produced some of the finest games for the Sega Megadrive such as Gunstar Heroes and Dynamite Headdy, both of which are available on the Virtual Console. Alien Soldier follows in that great Treasure tradition by being a great game that shows off what Sega’s 16 bit wonder was capable of. Outside Japan this game only came...

  • Review Sonic 3D Blast (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

    The evil Dr. Eggman stumbles upon an alternate dimension where some odd birds called Flickies have the ability to travel anywhere.

    After producing three Sonic titles for the Genesis/Megadrive Sega decided to do something a little different – instead of creating another platformer they produced an isometric adventure with CGI rendered graphics, and...

  • Review Samurai Ghost (Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16)

    This action platformer features a samurai ghost from the depths of the underworld.

    The ghost of a samurai? Surely this must be awesome! Unfortunately, the truth is far from it. You play the ghost of a samurai who has returned to avenge himself. Thankfully the game information tells us this, as the main character looks nothing like a samurai. Your...

  • Review Magician Lord (Virtual Console / Neo Geo)

    It's magic!

    One of the first games produced for SNK’s arcade system, Magician Lord is a lot like Capcom’s Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts. You play the titular wizard as he battles to defend his homeland from the evil advances of the absurdly named Gul-Agieze. Considering the age of the game the visuals and sound are both excellent. The sprites...

  • Review Super Air Zonk: Rockabilly Paradise (Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16)

    Super Zonk!

    Fans of excellent Turbografx-16 shoot-em-up Air Zonk will undoubtedly be intrigued by this sequel which was released in the latter years of the console for the CD-Rom attachment. Given the CD format, it would be fair to expect the sequel to be a vast improvement over the HuCard original, but sadly, this is not the case. In this version,...

  • Review Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (Wii Virtual Console / NES)

    Simon's flawed quest

    Castlevania was a smash hit. Despite the difficulty of the game and its lack of quality in some areas it was loved worldwide and proved very popular. It was a no-brainer for Konami to create a sequel. Perhaps borrowing ideas from Nintendo (Super Mario Bros. 2, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, etc.) the game is very different...

  • Review Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos (Wii Virtual Console / NES)

    The ninja returns

    Ryu Hayabusa is back, and this time he brings his dad along for the ride. Well, not really, that was Indiana Jones, wasn’t it? The storyline is largely irrelevant; the point is this series features Ninja action, and therefore a sequel was inevitable. What we really want to know is how this Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos...

  • Review Metal Marines ( / Super Nintendo)

    Heavy metal

    The Japanese love big robots; you only have to look at series like Gundam, Macross and Patlabor to see this. However they seem to like strategy videogames a lot less, which is what makes Namco's Metal Marines (Militia in Japan) all the more surprising. Released at a time where real time strategy titles were only just beginning to...

  • Review Gate of Thunder (Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16)

    The legendary sci-fi shooter is back!

    Playing very much like the highly regarded Thunderforce IV, Gate of Thunder represented a turning point for the PC Engine/TG-16 CD-ROM format. So long the recipient of sub-par ports and lackluster titles, the system was given a much-needed shot in the arm with this stunning shooter. Hudson and NEC promoted the...

  • Review Art of Fighting (Virtual Console / Neo Geo)

    Art of the deal

    What with this, Samurai Showdown, Fatal Fury and World Heroes, the Virtual Console is certainly going to have its fair share of one-on-one fighters! Art of Fighting was another attempt by SNK to usurp Capcom’s Street Fighter 2 from the position of ‘best 2D fighter’ back in the early ‘90s. Again, SNK have shamelessly stolen...

  • Review World Heroes (Virtual Console / Neo Geo)

    A fighting game released in 1992 featuring eight characters, including Hanzo, Janne and Rasputin, modeled on historical figures from throughout the ages.

    Released when the avalanche of Street Fighter 2 clones hit arcades in the early ‘90s, World Heroes was a minor success that gained a cult following thanks to a combination of impressive graphics,...

  • Review Golden Axe III (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

    The once-peaceful kingdom so familiar to fans of the original Golden Axe is under threat once again.

    If you’ve played Golden Axe 2 then you will no doubt be aware that it’s a little too similar to its predecessor. When Sega came to create the third game in the Megadrive trilogy it obviously realized that a sweeping change was in order. Sadly,...

  • Review Fatal Fury (Virtual Console / Neo Geo)

    SNK's answer to Street Fighter II

    When you consider the sheer volume of one-on-one fighters produced by SNK over the past decade or so it's amazing to think that 1991's Fatal Fury was the first time they'd attempted such a game since the company's inception in 1978. Produced to compete with Capcom's legendary Street Fighter II, SNK's game was very...

  • Review Legend of Hero Tonma (Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16)

    Fight your way through seven stages using Tonma's jump ability and shot power.

    What happens when you cross Ninja Spirit and a shoot 'em up? This. Unsurprisingly, it's a game by Irem, who made both Ninja Spirit and quite a few shoot 'em ups! Also not surprising is that it’s a port of the arcade game of the same name; again, just like Ninja Spirit!...

  • Review Streets of Rage 3 (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

    Just when you thought the world was safe from the Syndicate and its shady leader, Mr. X, they have returned to torment the city once again.

    Streets of Rage 3 has been the victim of much flak over the past few years. Coming after the sublime Streets of Rage 2, the third installment had a fight (ho-ho!) on its hands to better such a fantastic game. On...

  • Review Ninja JaJaMaru-kun - A Former Famicom Exclusive Comes To Switch

    Time to put Lord Namazu Dayuu in his place

    Of all the Japan-only games to be given new life on the Virtual Console – and now in 2021, Nintendo Switch Online – Nintendo, oddly enough, picked this Famicom exclusive. While on the surface Ninja JaJaMaru-kun looks like another not-very-good arcade game, it's actually quite fun if you give it a...

  • Review Yoshi's Story (Wii Virtual Console / Nintendo 64)

    Not Yoshi's finest hour

    Remember Yoshi's Island on the Super NES? That awesome platformer that swapped the roles and made Yoshi the main hero with (Baby) Mario being the sidekick? It's become iconic, but this is perhaps the first "real" Yoshi game (Mario isn't in the name and he's barely seen in the game) and it does things a bit differently. The...

  • Review World Class Baseball (Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16)

    Batter up!

    This game began life known as Power League on the Japanese PC Engine and spawned many sequels due to the popularity of Baseball in Japan. The game offers a comprehensive range of options to fine tune your game. For instance you can switch the players in your roster and play a quick game or play in pennant mode. It’s really as...

  • Review Super Thunder Blade (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

    In this follow-up to Thunder Blade, you'll fly a new and improved attack helicopter in a series of attacks against guerilla armies that are bent on taking over the world.

    One of the very first Megadrive/Genesis releases, Super Thunder Blade is a pretty underwhelming action title that failed to get pulses racing when it was converted to the 16-bit...

  • Review Mario's Super Picross (Wii Virtual Console / Super Nintendo)

    You won't pi cross buying this

    Ask anybody to name some Mario puzzlers and you'll most likely hear Dr. Mario, maybe Wario's Woods, Yoshi or Yoshi's Cookie. They never name the best of the lot though — Mario's Super Picross, or its predecessor, 1995 Game Boy title

  • Review Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (Virtual Console / NES)

    For the first time outside of Japan – experience the original sequel to the best-selling video game of all time!

    Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels is a bit of an oddity. "The Lost Levels" isn't even it's real title - This is actually the real version of Super Mario Bros. 2. Japan got this game (As SMB2), but when Nintendo realized...

  • Review NES Play Action Football (Virtual Console / NES)

    Ready! Hut hut hut…

    Coming quite late in the life of the NES - 1990 to be exact - Play Action Football was Nintendo's attempt at creating a realistic gridiron game for their aging, yet still popular console. The diagonal viewpoint is 'fake 3D' which looks a little pathetic by today's standards but was pretty impressive back then. At least it looks...