Latest Reviews

  • Review Air Zonk (Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16)

    A fun shmup

    Air Zonk is a horizontally scrolling shoot-em-up with the cuteness factor cranked up to 10 in much the same way as Konami's Parodius. Hudson essentially took the Bonk character and renamed him Zonk for this one which makes the game even stranger. Perhaps they felt it wasn't appropriate for a caveman to be jetting around in the sky...

  • Review Ecco: The Tides of Time (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

    Flipper the video game

    Good old Ecco the Dolphin, after saving his dolphin chums from an invading alien race you would have thought he could have just spent the rest of his life in peace spinning a ball on his nose! These plans were shattered when the queen of the Vortex took it upon herself to travel back in time to start her trouble again. An...

  • Review Dragon Spirit (Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16)

    A fantastic world of adventure unfolds in this vertical-scrolling shooter.

    Throughout the history of shooting games we've faced a hell of a lot of alien rebels and futuristic baddies. The 2D shooter seems to lend itself to these situations - but it's always nice to see a company try something fresh and new. The PC Engine/TG-16 blast-a-thon Dragon...

  • Review Kirby's Dream Course (Wii Virtual Console / Super Nintendo)

    A new spin on crazy golf

    Kirby much like our friend Mario has never been afraid to offer his own take on another genre. In this case the world renowned sport of mini golf. Unlike other pitch and putt games like EA’s Zany Golf on the Megadrive Kirby has a few tricks up his sleeve. To destroy enemies in your path you roll into them rather than...

  • Review Street Fighter II' Turbo: Hyper Fighting (Wii Virtual Console / Super Nintendo)

    Time to get hyper

    If there's one thing the Virtual Console service has taught us, it's that some games have aged better than others. Playing the original Street Fighter II after all these years is a real eye-opening experience - it is almost too slow to be playable (especially for PAL gamers). After years of Street Fighter updates from Capcom, it...

  • Review Mega Man (Wii Virtual Console / NES)

    The Blue Bomber's debut

    The Mega Man series will need no introduction to most gamers; this game spawned five sequels on the NES, not to mention numerous games on other systems over the years. Mega Man has come a long way since his début way back in 1987. This originally story spins the yarn that Dr Light created six master robots for industrial...

  • Review China Warrior (Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16)

    China Warrior is a side-scrolling action game that was released around the same time as the TurboGrafx16 in Japan.

    When the PC Engine was first released in Japan, China Warrior (or 'The Kung Fu' as it was known in the Land of the Rising Sun) was put forward as a showcase for its graphical prowess. Technically the first game on the system (it was...

  • Review Bloody Wolf (Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16)

    Rambo on the TG16

    Anyone familiar with Ikari Warriors, Mercs or Capcom's Commando will instantly recognise this style of run n' gun action. Yes it's another Rambo clone! That's not such a bad thing - guns, explosions and death is what we all want from our retro games right? The action is viewed from a pseudo overhead / side-on perspective which...

  • Review Lode Runner (Wii Virtual Console / NES)

    A lode of rubbish or not?

    The timing could have been a bit better for this as the far superior Battle Lode Runner for the TurboGrafx became available on the Virtual Console only two months ago. Is there a reason to bother with the NES original when for just 100 more points you could be enjoying better graphics, music and a whole host of new gameplay...

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

    Not long after the malign reign of Death Adder has ended, another evil rises.

    When I first clapped eyes on Golden Axe 2 as a lad I was over the moon. Being a massive fan of the original I simply could not wait to play this. Graphically, it looked even better than the original and promised to be the sequel I was waiting for. Sadly, it actually turned...

  • Review Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

    Dr. Eggman (aka Dr. Robotnik) is searching for the Chaos Emeralds to fuel his new Death Egg engine.

    Any gamer worth his or her salt will remember the day Sonic 2 was released. Cheekily dubbed 'Sonic Twos-Day' (it was released worldwide on a Tuesday, you see) it became a massive seller for Sega and cemented Sonic's position as one of the most popular...

  • Review Balloon Fight (Wii Virtual Console / NES)

    Balloon Light

    Before games like Metroid and The Legend of Zelda, Nintendo's NES console relied on simple arcade titles to keep itself afloat. Balloon Fight used an already-successful gameplay mechanic similar to that of William's Joust arcade release, and while it offers up some simple arcade enjoyment, the repetitive gameplay keeps it from lasting,...

  • Review Adventures of Lolo (Wii Virtual Console / NES)

    Run Lolo Run

    Before HAL labs created our favourite pink puffball named Kirby there was a blue blob by the name of Lolo. In 1989 when Adventures of Lolo was first released it got modest attention due to the quality of the game but as a brand never really made it big. However Lolo has been known to surface as a bad guy in some of the Kirby games so...

  • Review Milon's Secret Castle (Wii Virtual Console / NES)

    A musty old place

    Milon’s Secret Castle is one of those games you’ve never heard of, but when you do finally acknowledge its presence you realize that it inexplicably has an enormous following. A minor classic in the Hudson library, Milon was originally published in 1986 to fairly lukewarm critical response. To be perfectly honest, time has...

  • Review Dead Moon (Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16)

    This side-scrolling shooter includes a total of six scenes spanning areas from Earth to the moon.

    Those naughty aliens! At least this time they had the sense not to try and invade the planet Earth. They are just intent on wrecking the moon instead rather annoyingly! As a solo starfighter pilot it is your job to put an end to this intergalactic...

  • Review ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

    Funky!

    The original ToeJam & Earl was a quite a big hit for Sega at the time so it was a no-brainer than a sequel should be released. With the success of Sonic the Hedgehog it must have seemed like a logical step to reinvent ToeJam & Earl to be a 2D side-scrolling platform game as well. The exploration of an almost open-end world and long...

  • Review World Sports Competition (Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16)

    Feeling sporty?

    There won't be many gamers out there that remember this one most likely. World Sports Competition is a game based on the Olympic Games, but without the official license. As to be expected the games are represented as a series of mini-games which you and up to four other friends can take part in. All the usual Olympic events are...

  • Review Kid Chameleon (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

    Karma karma karma karma karma chameleon.

    The first thought that enters your head when playing Kid Chameleon is probably 'Mario Clone'. The game steals ideas from Nintendo's finest, such as jumping on the heads of enemies and bashing item boxes from below. It's not the first game to copy Mario and it certainly won't be the last, but back in the early...

  • Review J.J. & Jeff (Wii Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16)

    Two bungling detectives on a crazy adventure

    The PC Engine (Japanese name for TurboGrafx-16) has always been a console to attract weird games. If you've ever played Toilet Kids and Photograph Boy then you will know what I mean. This particular game started out life as Kato Chan & Ken Chan in Japan, aside from the characters being changed to...

  • Review Mach Rider (Wii Virtual Console / NES)

    Return of the Mach

    The action is fast and furious in this crazy motorbiking game. You have to blast your way through enemy vehicles and barrels on the track in addition to avoiding oil slicks. The pressure is always on to keep going fast to avoid enemies ramming into you from behind! Getting to the end of each course before the timer runs out adds...

  • Review Super Mario Bros. 2 (Wii Virtual Console / NES)

    A strange, but entertaining dream

    It should be no secret by now, so let's get it out of the way first - Yes, the Super Mario Bros. 2 that most of us know, that is, this one, is technically not really a Mario game. Originally released in Japan as Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic (Dream Factory: Heart-Pounding Panic), it was designed by Shigeru Miyamoto,...

  • Review Streets of Rage 2 (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

    The best one

    For many of our readers this game will need no introduction. If you haven't yet played Streets of Rage 2 then you are in for a treat. Simply put this is probably the best scrolling beat-em-up available on any console. Yes it is that good! Sega didn't do just a lazy update of the original - this sequel got the full treatment. So what's...

  • Review Blazing Lazers (Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16)

    Blazing Lazers is a vertical-scrolling shooter that was praised for surpassing the limitations of the hardware of its time.

    Originally released in Japan as Gunhed, Blazing Lazers was one of the most heavily featured titles in the original TurboGrafx-16 adverts, and with very good reason. Considering the age of the title (it was originally released...

  • Review Yoshi (Wii Virtual Console / NES)

    An eggciting puzzler?

    In the early 90s, presumably following the success of Tetris, Nintendo went through a phase of releasing one falling block puzzler after another. Dr. Mario, Yoshi’s Cookie and Wario’s Woods are key examples of this. Many gamers will no doubt have forgotten this puzzler simply known as Yoshi in North Amer

  • Review Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (Wii Virtual Console / Super Nintendo)

    More monkey business

    For anyone familiar with the original DK Country game this is more of the same. This is a good thing as the original was almost perfection in every way and this game manages to build on the franchise even more! For a 16-bit console the graphics are amazing. The smooth animation and wonderful artwork create a 3D feel which works...

  • Review Ninja Gaiden (Wii Virtual Console / NES)

    The nimble ninja

    Ninja Gaiden ranks as one of the finest 'ninja' style games ever made, right up there with The Revenge of Shinobi. When it was first released it amazed gamers with the degree of control it allowed over the main character, Ryu. He felt so quick and mobile - just like a proper Ninja should - and within seconds of picking up the pad,...

  • Review NES Open Tournament Golf (Virtual Console / NES)

    Tee off with Mario in this classic sporting simulation from 1992

    Mario is no stranger to appearing in sports game crossovers these days; he’s virtually done it all now from baseball to soccer. This sporting career began of course with his appearance in NES Open Tournament Golf, which is something of a sequel to the original NES launch title...

  • Review Ninja Spirit (Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16)

    Ninja Spirit is a side-scrolling action game that amazed the gaming world with its precision graphics and quality game play.

    While it would be easy for someone to dismiss any ninja action title that doesn't have the name Ninja Gaiden or Shinobi in the title, doing that would cause you to miss a little-known, but outstanding ninja action title...

  • Review Ordyne (Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16)

    A colourful shmup

    For those who have never come across this gem in Namco's history Ordyne is a cutesy horizontal scrolling shoot-em-up in the vein of Konami's Paradious. It's a lot more obscure than it ought to be as in fact it was quite a novel game at the time. You're cast as Dr. Yuichiro Tomari, a brilliant and eccentric research scientist who...

  • Review Shockman (Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16)

    It's been two years since Arnold and Sonya were made into Shockmen.

    Shockman is actually the second game in the Japanese ‘Schbibinman’ series. The first title never saw the light of day outside of Japan sadly, it was basically a fun platform action game along the same lines as Mega Man. It’s sequel Schbibinman 2 was released in North America...