Latest Reviews

  • Review Mighty Bomb Jack (Wii Virtual Console / NES)

    Jack bombed

    The original Bomb Jack arcade game was a big hit when it was released. It featured a screen with 20 bombs which had to be collected in a specific order if the player was to achieve the highest score; players would play religiously in an attempt to find the best route around the baddies and to get the perfect chain. Arcade perfection! So...

  • Review Final Fight (Wii Virtual Console / Super Nintendo)

    Oh my car

    Final Fight is one of those coin-ops that defines a generation. It was simply the only arcade game to be seen playing in the late 80's/early 90's. When the SNES conversion was confirmed, I was heartbroken - being a Mega Drive owner, I had hoped that the (false) rumours of a Sega port were true (Sega fans had to wait until the Mega CD...

  • Review Battle Lode Runner (Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16)

    This upgraded edition to the famous Lode Runner series includes a 5-player versus mode.

    Lode Runner is strange little title - it's been around for ages, has a cult following but never really seems to break through to the mainstream. This Turbografx 'Battle' edition was produced by Hudsonsoft and graphically is a step up from previous versions, which...

  • Review Wonder Boy in Monster World (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

    Monster World was a peaceful, happy place until one dark day when an army of BioMeka monsters invaded.

    If you have played Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap on the Master System you will know exactly what to expect here. The Wonder Boy series is famed for its confusing naming conventions; to clear it up this is the last Wonder Boy game on the...

  • Review Gradius III (Virtual Console / Super Nintendo)

    Vic Viper is back to rid the galaxy of evil.

    Gradius III was one of the first SNES shooters and to be perfectly honest, it shows. Graphically the game is fairly bland (although the same could be said of the coin op original), the sound is nothing special and when things get hectic there's some terrible slowdown. Regardless of these points, the...

  • Review Donkey Kong Jr. Math (Wii Virtual Console / NES)

    10 minus 9 equals?

    'Edutainment' titles are a strange lot. They're usually poor attempts to shoehorn some 'learning' in videogames, possibly out of fear that games rot the brains of kiddies. Donkey Kong Jr Math is no exception. The game features one player and two player modes. In the one player mode, the objective is to enter math answers in order...

  • Review Virtua Fighter 2 (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

    The intrepid fighters return to the World Fighting Tournament.

    Virtua Fighter 2 remains one of the best one-on-one fighters in the history of videogames. When it was originally released it destroyed the competition, and even today (after three updates) hardcore fans feel that Sega has never really bettered the classic brawler. But before you all get...

  • Review ActRaiser (Virtual Console / Super Nintendo)

    Take control of the Master, a dethroned deity whose once-idyllic world has fallen under the control of the Evil One.

    When I saw the review of this game in the Mean Machines gaming magazine as a youth I was quite literally heartbroken. My Megadrive was (technically, at least) no longer the most powerful console in the world. Nintendo's new machine...

  • Review Pac-Man (Wii Virtual Console / NES)

    Gobble gobble

    He may be as old as the hills but Pac-Man still manages to entertain after all these years. We've been relying on one of those Namco 'plug in' TV games for my pill-popping fix, but thanks to the Virtual Console that battery-hungry gadget can be retired. For those not acquainted with the premise of the game — what cave have you been...

  • Review Bonk's Revenge (Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16)

    I love a good bonk!

    Hudson struck gold with Bonk's Adventure, following its success a sequel was inevitable and we couldn't have asked for a much better follow-up than this. In addition to the usual headbutting caveman antics our hero can now swim up waterfalls (?!!) and swing around on poles.  To vary things a little from the former game the...

  • Review Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

    Not as enchanting as the Master System adventures.

    Before Sonic the Hedgehog our friends Sega had Alex Kidd as their mascot. I grew up with the quirky humour of the original games on the Sega Master System (the 8-bit rival of the NES) - at the time these were some of the best games around. However by the time the Sega Genesis / Megadrive was in full...

  • Review Bravoman (Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16)

    Bravo, jolly good show - NOT!

    It must first be understood that Bravoman isn't to be taken too seriously. The game was created as a parody whose sole purpose was to make light of the many different "superhero" games created over the years. Most Turbo fans will tell you that the game is a semi-sequel to the Keith Courage in Alpha Zones game...

  • Review Vectorman (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

    More than a load of old balls?

    OK, so the main character is compromised of green balls, don't let that make you overlook one of the better 'run and gun' games to hit the Megadrive / Genesis. The shallow premise for the game is that humans have ruined the planet Earth and left the subsequent tidy-up job to their robots. You assume the role of the...

  • Review Star Fox 64 (Virtual Console / Nintendo 64)

    Do a barrel roll.

    The original Star Fox (or ‘Starwing’ if you're a Euro gamer) introduced a whole generation of Nintendo fans to the wonder of 3D visuals. The game was nothing short of a miracle and thanks to the revolutionary Super FX chip it produced graphics that were comparable to the primitive 3D arcade releases of the era. However, when...

  • Review Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream (Wii Virtual Console / NES)

    Hey, where's Mike Tyson gone?

    Although boxing is a fairly obvious display of aggression, it’s surprising that so few video game adaptations of the sport have been worth playing. Punch Out!! Featuring Mr Dream is an exception, and to many it still hasn’t been beaten. Assuming the role of Little Mac, you have to punch your way to ultimate victory...

  • Review The Legend of the Mystical Ninja (Wii Virtual Console / Super Nintendo)

    Go go Goemon

    You might be forgiven for dismissing this mysterious game at first glance, but give it a chance and you might find a fantastic game with amazing depth. Kid Ying and Dr. Yang are on an adventure to save Princess Yuki who has been kidnapped by counterfeiters. By traveling through different Warlock Zones in Japan, Kid Ying and Dr. Yang are...

  • Review Dragon's Curse (Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16)

    Wonder Boy by another name...

    Those of you that used to own a Sega Master System may experience an unshakable feeling of deja vu when playing Dragon's Curse (known as Adventure Island in Japan) - because it's pretty much the exact same game as the Master System Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap! The history of the Wonder Boy franchise is complex and...

  • Review Romance of the Three Kingdoms IV (Wii Virtual Console / Super Nintendo)

    Taxing the old grey matter

    First things first - this fourth edition of Koei's long running 'Romance of the Three Kingdoms' series is not going to be for everyone. The franchise, based on actual events in China's history, has evolved and developed considerably over the past few years and it's encouraging that VC users are getting one of the better...

  • Review Castlevania (Wii Virtual Console / NES)

    Introducing Belmont

    The first NES Castlevania was like a breath of fresh air when it was first released. Capcom's spooky, but cartoon-like Ghost 'n' Goblins was the closest thing on the market, but Konami's game was a little more mature and serious. The gothic feel for which the series has become famous for is all present and correct, and the...

  • Review Beyond Oasis (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

    You are the young Prince Ali in a desperate fight to defeat the evil that is threatening your island empire, Oasis.

    This was another late Megadrive/Genesis release but thankfully it avoided the fate of games like Comix Zone and sold pretty well at the time. It's easy to see why - graphically it's one of the best looking games on Sega's 16-bit...

  • Review Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Virtual Console / NES)

    T-U-R-T-L-E POWER!

    Turtle mania was sweeping the world when this came out in 1989. That's probably why this game was so popular despite it being an unfair bag of dog's droppings! So popular was the franchise that Nintendo even bundled the NES with this game in Europe replacing the mighty Super Mario Bros cart. It's easy to see why so many...

  • Review Splatterhouse (Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16)

    Ah Splatter J!

    Heavily inspired by the Jason Voorhees character from the Friday the 13th films so popular in the 80's this game is a hockey mask wearing, butcher knife wielding gorefest! For those who aren't familiar with the game it is basically a 2D scrolling fighter. Unlike it's contemporaries like Double Dragon (and it's Megadrive sequels) the...

  • Review Tecmo Bowl (Wii Virtual Console / NES)

    Will you be bowled over by this one?

    Before video game football became just as complex as real-life football, there was Tecmo Bowl. There weren't hundreds of plays with varying formations or special spin moves to worry about, in fact you didn't actually have to know much about the game of football to enjoy and play it. It was this simplicity that...

  • Review Sonic Spinball (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

    You spin me round, round baby right round

    When Sega knew they had hit on their hands with the Sonic series they decided to take the same route Nintendo had done with Mario - basically to place their lead mascot in as many different games as possible. Mario crossed over to puzzle (Dr Mario), sports (Mario Golf) and racing (Mario Kart) games, and...

  • Review Galaga (Wii Virtual Console / NES)

    Classic blasting action

    The NES version of Galaga is a almost perfect port of the timeless arcade classic. Like space invaders you control a ship at the bottom of the screen and blast away at oncoming enemies. The enemies in Galaga first fly in and line up in formation and then dive-bomb at you while firing sometimes in predictable patterns and...

  • Review Double Dungeons (Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16)

    Double the dungeons, but half of the fun!

    Dungeon crawlers became quite popular back in the early 80's on many of the personal computers like the Commodore 64 and Apple II series of computers. I actually owned an Apple IIc computer and played many of the popular titles like the Wizardry and Bard's Tale series myself. It's probably the main reason...

  • Review Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts (Wii Virtual Console / Super Nintendo)

    Grabbed by the ghoulies

    Ghouls ‘N Ghosts was an arcade classic, and Sega Mega Drive / Genesis owners were undoubtedly over the moon to be treated to an almost arcade perfect conversion in 1989. When the Super Nintendo came out, it needed some games to compete with its rival; quite soon after its launch Capcom was kind enough to treat Nintendo fans...

  • Review Elevator Action (Virtual Console / NES)

    Who would have thought that elevators got any action?

    Originally released in the (very) early 80's, this spy action title was a real eye-opener for gamers of that generation. The premise is simple, yet instantly appealing; the player is dropped onto a series of buildings and has to make their way to the bottom, taking on evil agents and entering...

  • Review Sword of Vermilion (Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive)

    Get your revenge and defeat Tsarkon to free the world of Vermilion from evil.

    Famously developed by Virtua Fighter creator Yu Suzuki, this was one of the first RPGs for Sega's 16-bit system and to be brutally honest, it shows. The graphics are basic and the sound is average so be prepared for a technically underwhelming experience. Thankfully the...

  • Review Chew Man Fu (Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16)

    Fried rice and egg rolls are in danger!

    This is no doubt a game that not many will be familiar with. I think an award should go for best named game 'Chew Man Fu'. The Japanese release was called 'Be Ball' so for once the western name is much more fun! Basically this is a puzzle game where you have to push large coloured balls around the screen; the...