Latest Reviews

  • 5

    Virtual Console / Super Nintendo

    Review ActRaiser

    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...

  • 5

    Wii Virtual Console / NES

    Review Pac-Man

    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...

  • 6

    Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16

    Review Bonk's Revenge

    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...

  • 4

    Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive

    Review Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle

    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...

  • 0

    Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16

    Review Bravoman

    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...

  • 5

    Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive

    Review Vectorman

    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...

  • 12

    Virtual Console / Nintendo 64

    Review Star Fox 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...

  • 9

    Wii Virtual Console / NES

    Review Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream

    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...

  • 2

    Wii Virtual Console / Super Nintendo

    Review The Legend of the Mystical Ninja

    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...

  • 3

    Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16

    Review Dragon's Curse

    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...

  • 5

    Wii Virtual Console / Super Nintendo

    Review Romance of the Three Kingdoms IV

    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...

  • 6

    Wii Virtual Console / NES

    Review Castlevania

    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...

  • 6

    Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive

    Review Beyond Oasis

    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...

  • 15

    Virtual Console / NES

    Review Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

    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...

  • 4

    Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16

    Review Splatterhouse

    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...

  • 2

    Wii Virtual Console / NES

    Review Tecmo Bowl

    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...

  • 5

    Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive

    Review Sonic Spinball

    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...

  • 4

    Wii Virtual Console / NES

    Review Galaga

    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...

  • 3

    Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16

    Review Double Dungeons

    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...

  • 6

    Wii Virtual Console / Super Nintendo

    Review Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts

    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...

  • 2

    Virtual Console / NES

    Review Elevator Action

    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...

  • 0

    Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive

    Review Sword of Vermilion

    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...

  • 4

    Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16

    Review Chew Man Fu

    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...

  • 2

    Virtual Console / Sega Mega Drive

    Review Bio-Hazard Battle

    An army of biogenetic mutants has gone haywire, terrorizing the world and putting the future of the planet in jeopardy.

    Released as Crying in Japan, this horizontally scrolling shooter was largely ignored by western Megadrive owners due to the sheer volume of shoot-em-ups available on the console at the time. The unusual organic graphics probably...

  • Review The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - Close To Perfection, And An Absolute Must-Play

    Just in time

    This review originally went live in 2007, and we're republishing it to mark the arrival of N64 games on Nintendo Switch Online. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time did for the Zelda series what Super Mario 64 did for the Super Mario Bros. series. It successfully brought one of the most beloved game series in video game history into...

  • 1

    Wii Virtual Console / Mega Drive

    Review Streets of Rage

    Sega's answer to Final Fight

    It's tricky to review Streets of Rage and be fair to it in light of the high quality of its sequel. Nevertheless it laid the foundations for even more future greatness, so it is only fair to give the original game the respect it deserves. Basically, Streets of Rage is Sega's answer to Final Fight; the Axel character is a...

  • 1

    NES

    Review The Legend of Kage

    This classic ninja-action game first appeared in arcades in 1985 and became instantly popular.

    After the recent release of the sublime Kid Icarus you might have expected the quality of NES Virtual Console games to rise, but unfortunately The Legend of Kage is an almost catastrophic true drop in standards. No need for rose tinted specs here, retro...

  • 7

    Wii Virtual Console / NES

    Review Excitebike

    This bike still excites

    Excitebike will no doubt be remembered fondly by older gamers. After all, it was one of the original launch titles for the NES way back in 1985. Some might be dubious and question if a game this old is worth purchasing for the Virtual Console, but worry not — this classic game has somehow managed to retain its appeal...

  • 4

    Virtual Console / TurboGrafx-16

    Review New Adventure Island

    Move over Wonder Boy

    The Wonder Boy and Adventure Island games have seen releases on just about every 8 and 16-bit console you can think of, not to mention a few remakes on some of the more recent systems. Having said that, if you want to play the best the series has to offer, you need only download New Adventure Island on the Wii Virtual Console to...

  • 11

    Wii Virtual Console / NES

    Review Ice Climber

    Ice Ice Baby

    Ice Climber is another classic NES title for the Virtual Console — and thankfully, it's decent enough to be worth considering for download. Ice Climber is a fantastic little game, if somewhat basic. Graphically it's exactly what you'd expect an 8-bit game from 1985 to look like — simple. The premise of the game is pretty bizarre. A...