Latest Reviews

  • Review Neutopia II (Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16)

    Some years have passed since the brave hero Jazeta destroyed Dirth, the Emperor of Darkness.

    Looking very much like it predecessor, Neutopia II plays more like an expansion pack than a fully-fledged sequel. Shamelessly stealing ideas from Nintendo’s Zelda series, this action RPG trundles along quite amiably but never really reaches the heights of...

  • Review Crack Down (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

    The situation is critical. The evil Doctor K has created an army of deranged replicants in order to take over the world, and only two can stop him - Andy Attacker and Ben Breaker - the top soldiers of the CIA's special Crackdown force.

    No, this game is not related to the Xbox 360's Crackdown! Hardly anybody seems to know this game, despite it being...

  • Review ESWAT: City Under Siege (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

    All is not well in Cyber City. Criminals are running amok - looting, pillaging and raping the city of all its worth.

    This was one of the first games I ever loaded into my Megadrive and it still sticks in my memory as one of the best action platformers for the machine. Although it isn't a conversion of the arcade game of the same name (neither was...

  • Review Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

    Sonic and Tails are back for another adventure as they again battle the evil Dr. Eggman (AKA Dr. Robotnik), who is desperately trying to collect all the Chaos Emeralds in order to rebuild his Death Egg.

    After the sublime Sonic 2 Sega decided to stick with the same tried and tested formula for the sequel – a move that disappointed many fans that...

  • Review Adventure Island (Wii Virtual Console / NES)

    An island of adventure

    Adventure Island is somewhat of a Mario clone - you guide Master Higgins to the end of every level (8 worlds with 4 levels each, sound familiar?) dodging wildlife, boulders and fire in order to defeat the witch doctor at the end of each world (also familiar?) who has captured your beloved bride-to-be Tina. Things aren't as...

  • Review Landstalker (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

    After hearing of the legendary treasure of King Nole, the elvish treasure hunter Nigel undertakes a quest to gather various pieces of the famed loot.

    Landstalker is an action RPG released in 1993. It's got an isometric view, something which is quite rare in games, and sounds a bit dated. So does it still hold up? In the game you are Nigel, a...

  • Review Vegas Stakes (Wii Virtual Console / Super Nintendo)

    Always bet on black

    Here's an odd offering for the VC - a gambling game! In Vegas Stakes, sequel to Vegas Dream on the NES, you head to Vegas with a group of friends to try to make it rich. There are four casinos to go to, ranging from the-run-down Hideaway, which only allows small bets, to 2020, a futuristic-looking casino that allows high bets...

  • Review Bonk 3: Bonk's Big Adventure (Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16)

    The hard-headed hero is back for more side-scrolling action in the third installment of the popular Bonk series.

    Bonk 3 was the final game in the original trilogy of Bonk games. As it was the last game, Hudson seemingly decided they had to cram as much into it as they could in order to make it the best game yet - They succeeded. First off, pretty...

  • Review Super C (Wii Virtual Console / NES)

    Super Charged

    After Konami's maddeningly hard Contra/Probotector proved immensely popular, obviously it wasn't going to sit around and not make a sequel. Super C/Probotector II puts you in the role of the same heroes once again as you try to take out alien scum. This time they're possessing humans to attack you. The game's got practically the same...

  • Review Ghouls 'n Ghosts (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

    Arthur must go forth to save his beloved Princess and destroy the root of all evil!

    When you look at this game today, it's hard to believe that it was one of the very first Megadrive releases. Sega did an amazing job of reprogramming the Capcom arcade original for their 16-bit console - the port isn't quite arcade perfect but you have to look...

  • Review Wrecking Crew (Wii Virtual Console / NES)

    Wreck, not dreck

    Wrecking Crew's a bit of an oddball. Despite starring Mario, it flies under many peoples' radars, partly because it launched simultaneous with the legendary Super Mario Bros. and several other titles, thus meaning it was quickly overshadowed. Wrecking Crew's genre is hard to nail down, but is essentially a mix of a platformer and...

  • Review Lunar Pool (Virtual Console / NES)

    Unique and futuristic flair

    The humble pool simulator has never made for the most exciting game, so a futuristic version of the classic pub game set on the moon is an intriguing proposition. It is worth noting that Lunar Pool is based on American pool, which is very different game from what the British play. This game is more similar to billiards in...

  • Review Super Metroid (Wii Virtual Console / Super Nintendo)

    A true classic

    Metroid was very popular in the late 80s and early 90s. Despite only two games being released, players loved it for its unique atmosphere and construction: the whole game consisted of one gigantic overworld with many places to explore and items to find. On top of that, there were plenty of secrets: who can forget the fact that you get...

  • Review Neutopia (Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16)

    You play as a young warrior named Jazeta. The princess Aurora was kidnapped by the evil Dirth, and the king send you on a mission to rescue her.

    If you've glanced over the screens and video you might've already seen - This game is extremely similar to the original The Legend of Zelda game. The overworld is similar, the gameplay is similar, what you...

  • Review Cratermaze (Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16)

    Cratermaze is a comical action game set in a parallel world

    Cratermaze started out life as a Doraemon game but presumably because the franchise wasn't known so well in its native Japan then Hudson thought that changing the sprites might make it make it more attractive to the American audience. So basically you play a little chubby dude who floats...

  • Review Shining in the Darkness (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

    Dark Sol has vowed to reign over the enchanted Kingdom of Thornwood, and only you can stop him.

    Anyone who has played the Atari ST classic Dungeon Master (or one of the many clones that appeared in its wake) will know full well that first person RPGs can be a hell of a lot of fun. Back when Sega first announced Shining in the Darkness (often called...

  • Review Volleyball (Wii Virtual Console / NES)

    Not volley good

    Volleyball represents yet another of Nintendo’s dated sport sims. Comparing to Soccer, Baseball, Ice Hockey, Tennis on the NES this game is the worst of the bunch.  Considering it was released in 1986 it is understandable that the graphics and sound are nothing to write home about. The players continually bop up and down all...

  • Review Breath of Fire II (Wii Virtual Console / Super Nintendo)

    A breath of fresh air

    Capcom’s Breath of Fire series isn’t really respected that much these days. The last instalment — the underrated Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter for the PS2 — was a bit too different from previous games and didn’t really make the impact Capcom possibly hoped for. Compare this to the fanfare that followed the release...

  • Review Wave Race 64 (Virtual Console / Nintendo 64)

    Splash wave

    Given that Wave Race 64 was a launch title for the N64, and that it has now been over 10 years since that launch, it is all the more baffling to play it today. Comparison with modern games tends to put the graphical and physics achievements of older titles into stark relief, but Wave Race is the exception to the rule. In the years since,...

  • Review Galaga '90 (Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16)

    Galaga in the 90s

    This game started out life as Galaga ’88 in the arcades and saw a conversion to the Japanese PC Engine under the same name. Understandably in the two years it took to get released in North America the name needed incrementing so it didn't appear too out-dated but the excellent gameplay remains intact. Sequels to classic games...

  • Review Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master (Wii Virtual Console / Mega Drive)

    The ninja master returns

    Nasty Neo Zeed is back causing trouble again, and it’s up to our hero Joe Musashi to teach them a lesson they won’t forget with his supreme ninja skills. Unlike the original arcade classic, however, there are no hostages to be rescued and you now have an energy bar to spare you from one-hit kills. You have a limited...

  • Review Star Soldier (Wii Virtual Console / NES)

    Not quite a super star

    We’ve already been blessed with the sublime Super Star Soldier and Soldier Blade but now it’s the turn of the game that started it all as the NES classic Star Soldier hits the Virtual Console. Released on the NES way back in 1986, Hudson’s shooter went down a storm in Japan but failed to replicate this success in the...

  • Review Drop Off (Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16)

    Brave five rounds of haunting, nightmarish dreams

    Drop Off is a paddle and ball game like Atari’s classic, Breakout. There is nothing bad about making a game like Breakout, games like Arkanoid did an excellent job of just that. The innovations in that game made for an addictive game experience. It’s a shame that the same cannot be said of Drop...

  • Review Dynamite Headdy (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

    Headdy, the central protagonist of the game, is the star of the Treasure Theatre production of Dynamite Headdy.

    Treasure has already secured its place in history as a purveyor of "gamers' games", encouragingly flying in the face of the accepted practice of style over content to provide such stone-cold classics as Radiant Silvergun, Ikaruga...

  • Review Kirby's Avalanche (Virtual Console / Super Nintendo)

    The call has gone out throughout Dream Land – the First Annual Ghost Trap Competition has begun!

    This is basically Puyo Puyo given a lick of paint, but... wait a minute, isn't that exactly what Damo typed for Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine? Well, it holds true for this game as well. Only this time, instead of Dr. Robotnik and various robots from...

  • Review Shining Force (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

    In ages long forgotten, Light fought Darkness for control of the world.

    Although Shining Force takes place in the same universe as fellow Megadrive/Genesis epic Shining in the Darkness, the games themselves couldn’t really be more different. Whereas SitD is a first person dungeon crawler, Shining Force is a turn-based strategy title more akin to...

  • Review Devil's Crush (Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16)

    Shoot the ball onto the board with the Devil Shooter

    After the wonderfully wacky Alien Crush you would have thought developers Compile would have struggled to create an even more unhinged pinball simulation - but you’d be wrong! Devil’s Crush improves on its spiritual predecessor in almost every way possible. Firstly, the ball physics –...

  • Review Metroid (Wii Virtual Console / NES)

    Where it all started

    More than 20 years have past since Metroid first blew away NES owners with its clever mixture of platforming, exploration and character upgrades. It went on to become spawn many sequels over the years, becoming a much-loved franchise for Nintendo fans – but nostalgia aside, is Metroid still high-quality by today’s standards?...

  • Review Silent Debuggers (Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16)

    Oh bugger

    'Silent Debuggers' has to rank as one of the greatest names ever for a videogame. The first few minutes might convince you that this is a great game too. The funky intro music really sets the scene with style along with some nicely drawn anime style scenes. Welcome to the world of the debuggers, a duo of fearless bounty hunters tasked...

  • Review Paper Mario ( / Nintendo 64)

    A two-dimensional adventure which is anything but thin!

    Remember Super Mario RPG? It was basically the swansong of the SNES, and though sales for it were fairly poor (Since people had moved on to new consoles and all), the games managed to build up quite a fanbase, and is, nowadays, one of the most popular Mario games ever made, despite not being...