Latest Reviews

  • 11

    SNES

    Review Hyper Iria

    Metroidless Bounty Huntress

    Banpresto always boasted a healthy lineup of anime and manga licensed video games. If you had a favourite series, there would be a good chance if there was a video game counterpart made for your video game console of choice, it was probably released by Banpresto. Of course, getting a western release was easier said than...

  • 7

    SNES

    Review Kaite Tsukutte Asoberu Dezaemon

    Super shmup construction kit

    How would you like to make your own video game? The incredible Super Mario Maker was not the first time a company gave players the tools to produce their own interactive entertainment. In fact, such titles predate the online infrastructure which modern examples of the genre rely on for growth, idea exchange and level...

  • 38

    SNES

    Review Rendering Ranger: R2

    ​Shoot or Die

    Are you familiar with the name Manfred Trenz? How about a company called Rainbow Arts? Perhaps the name Turrican will be more relatable? It all depends on how far back you started playing video games, especially in Europe. All three names warranted attention for Commodore 64 and Amiga owners, since they were synonymous with arcade...

  • 53

    SNES

    Review Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together

    ​Never Cling Alone

    There are some video games that show up late in a console generation that push boundaries and defy preconceptions on what was considered possible. Resident Evil 4 immediately springs to mind, not only pushing the series to a point Capcom that hasn't been able to match since but also serving as a template to every other game in...

  • 31

    SNES

    Review Majyuuou

    Hell is the impossibility of reason… but it's very pretty

    The Super Nintendo (even in Japan) was marketed as a family friendly system, something easily proven by taking a glance at its excellent game library. Despite that, you can find yourself a few horror gems targeted at a more mature audience that naturally never made it out of Japan. KSS...

  • 26

    SNES

    Review Choujikuu Yousai Macross: Scrambled Valkyrie

    Now that Star Fox Zero has made transforming space fighters cool again (as if they could be anything but cool, we hear you cry) we take a break from the relentless war raging in the Lylat system and go back to the classic shmup formula on a console that is not all that well known for the genre. Produced by Winky Soft – a studio responsible for a...

  • 24

    SNES

    Review Shodai Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-Kun

    16-bit barf

    If you were to ask kids in the late '80s and early '90s for iconic NES video game characters, alongside the usual gang of Nintendo, Konami and Capcom regulars, you would often hear the name "Alex". No, not our own Alex "Lovely People" Olney - this Alex was none other than the western version of Kunio, the short-tempered high school...

  • 55

    SNES

    Review Fire Emblem: Mystery Of The Emblem

    ​All Hail Prince Marth! (Yes, that Marth)

    Ask any western gamer who Marth is and they will quickly reply something along the lines of "That cool sword-wielding guy from Super Smash Bros." - something that is understandable since the Fire Emblem series that began all the way back to 1990 on the Famicom only reached the West in 2003. But behind his...

  • 42

    SNES

    Review Dragon Ball Z: Super Butoden 2

    ​Just Saiyan

    Dragon Ball Z fever was very much a real thing in the '90s, but this blonde hair, Kamehameha-throwing insanity hit the UK and America much later than the rest of Europe. As such, it might still not be common knowledge that all four of Super Famicom's Dragon Ball Z one-on-one fighting games received PAL localization and distribution -...

  • 26

    N64

    Review World Driver Championship

    The N64's Gran Turismo?

    Boss Game Studios off-loaded sequel duties to their dumb-fun hit Top Gear Rally in order to commence work on what would be an altogether more serious, authentic project – 1999's World Driver Championship. It would be the last significant output from the assured Redmond-based team, but remains amongst only a handful of truly...

  • 45

    SNES

    Review Front Mission

    ​Crows of Metal, Soldiers of Sorrow

    War never changes. Unless someone replaces tanks with giant walking robots, then it looks much, much cooler yet is still quite tragic. That is exactly the point of Squaresoft's 1995 mech tactical RPG Front Mission. How does a man survive on the battlefield of the future? Canny strategy, pots of money and making...

  • 28

    SNES

    Review Alcahest

    ​The Legend of Alen

    When you think HAL Laboratories, you immediately think Kirby. This is natural since it is by a long shot the most recognizable character ever to come out of the Chiyoda-based software house. Yet with over three decades producing video games, it goes without saying that HAL has a diverse back catalogue going all the way back to...

  • 27

    SNES

    Review Gundam Wing: Endless Duel

    ​Bringing a Gundam to a fist fight

    Mobile Suit Gundam Wing made quite an impact in the West, with the forty-nine episode anime series getting aired by Cartoon Network which would ensure it became one of the most recognizable entries in the iconic Japanese science fiction mecha series in our part of the planet. Predictably, video game adaptations...

  • 16

    SNES

    Review Crystal Beans From Dungeon Explorer

    ​Do NOT shoot the food

    Gauntlet remains a dear memory among many retro gamers. After all, Atari's revolutionary dungeon crawler was one of the best co-op arcade games ever produced and it certainly was no stranger to Nintendo owners with several conversions making their way to NES, Game Boy, Nintendo 64 and GameCube. You will notice a strange...

  • 53

    SNES

    Review Dark Half

    ​Heaven and Hell

    There are hundreds of amazing games for the Super Famicom that remain a mystery to Western gamers. Dark Half is one such game, published by Enix in 1996. It is a late generation Super Famicom title that at first glance seems to be your typical JRPG, with the player taking control of Falco, the Paladin (not to be confused with the...

  • 22

    Wii U eShop / Super Nintendo

    Review Rival Turf!

    Pulls too many punches

    Double Dragon may have kicked off the beat 'em up craze, but Capcom's Final Fight was the game that came out of nowhere and quickly became the measuring stick for the genre. So when Capcom had to cut the beloved cooperative play mode from the Super NES home version of the game, Japanese developer Jaleco decided that it would...

  • 7

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Flying Warriors

    "I won’t stop at this"

    Culture Brain USA's NES title, Flying Warriors, draws its inspiration from the previous North American release in the Hiryū no Ken series which debuted in 1988, Flying Dragon: The Secret Scroll. Starring a Shorinji Kempo warrior named Rick Stalker, the story basically mirrors the tale of the original NES entry, with the...

  • 18

    Wii U eShop / NES

    Review Little Ninja Brothers

    Big trouble in little China

    With origin characters Jacky and Lee a distant memory, Culture Brain's successor to Kung-Fu Heroes follows the adventure of two new upbeat ninjas named Jack and Ryu as they attempt to put a stop to the evil Blu Boltar and the Yoma Clan who have invaded Chinaland. Little Ninja Brothers – known as Super Chinese 2 in...

  • 8

    Wii U eShop / Super Nintendo

    Review Super E.D.F. Earth Defense Force

    All buck and no bang!

    Its certainly no secret that the 16-bit era of gaming was a great time to be a shoot em' up fan. Not only were there a large number of titles released, there were also some of the best the genre ever had to offer on display. While the Sega Mega Drive and NEC PC Engine were the definitive hot spots to get your shooter fix, the...

  • 10

    Wii U eShop / Super Nintendo

    Review Metal Marines

    Modern(ish) warfare

    Strategy is a somewhat niche genre among gamers. While there have been excellent strategy games released on consoles - turn-based RPGs like Fire Emblem to the RTS-style Swords and Soldiers series come to mind - the gameplay has always lent itself more to the PC, where players can be more methodical and control units with relative...

  • 33

    Nintendo 64

    Review Quake II

    Worth the "Stroggle"?

    When it comes to first-person shooter games on the Nintendo 64, there’s one title which stands out above all the rest: GoldenEye 007. During the late 1990s, Rare’s Bond-themed masterpiece provided gamers with countless hours of single- and multiplayer fun, and because of this it is still fondly remembered by many to this...

  • 56

    Super Nintendo

    Review Goof Troop

    Gawrsh!

    In the late '80s and early '90s Capcom created a range of games, based on Disney franchises, for the NES and SNES. The likes of Darkwing Duck, Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers and DuckTales all made appearances, the latter of which has even been given the HD treatment for modern systems, including Wii U. One of the more interesting titles was...

  • 26

    Nintendo 64

    Review Densha de Go! 64

    Lost in "trainslation"

    The massive surge in the number of simulation games over the past few years has been nothing short of baffling. Years ago, Microsoft Flight Simulator was essentially the sole attraction in this specialist genre, but now it seems virtually anything can and should be turned into a simulation. Road Works Simulator, Farming...

  • 38

    Super Nintendo

    Review J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings - Volume I

    Middle Earth is doomed

    Before Peter Jackson came along and turned The Lord of the Rings into one of the most popular cinematic experiences of all time, the video game licence to J.R.R. Tolkien's literary epic was held by the now-defunct Interplay. The company pumped out related games for the Commodore Amiga computer and PC CD-ROM — the latter of...

  • 72

    Nintendo 64

    Review Jet Force Gemini

    A Rare gem?

    The Nintendo 64 and Rare go together like Banjo and Kazooie. The developer was behind several of the stellar titles found on the system, many of which were some of the most original games in history. One of the most unique titles released by the UK-based developer was the 3D action-shooter Jet Force Gemini, which launched in 1999. While...

  • 49

    Nintendo 64

    Review Turok 2: Seeds of Evil

    Oblivion is at hand

    Acclaim Entertainment must have always had a good feeling about Turok: Dinosaur Hunter. Before the game was even released in 1997, the company announced that it was already working on a sequel. In hindsight of course, it’s easy to see why Turok: Dinosaur Hunter was such a massive success; it released at an ideal time in the...

  • 84

    Nintendo 64

    Review Turok: Dinosaur Hunter

    A game worthy of acclaim?

    Turok: Dinosaur Hunter was a wise and lucky move for publisher Acclaim Entertainment. In the late '90s, the company was struggling financially and drastically needed to change its fortunes. Making good on its purchases of Valiant Comics in 1994 and development studio Iguana Entertainment in 1995, Acclaim used the rights it...

  • 54

    Nintendo 64

    Review Blast Corps

    Blast from the past

    Long before the mainstream commercialisation of video games that exists today, developers were mostly free from the shackles of big business. AAA games weren't bound by "sequelitis" — although it was still very much present — and the relative youth of 3D gaming had paved the way for innovation. In this regard, Blast Corps is...

  • 41

    Nintendo 64

    Review Pilotwings 64

    Flying high

    Releasing alongside Super Mario 64 when the Nintendo 64 launched back in 1996 (1997 if you're European), it was somewhat inevitable that Pilotwings 64 was never going to see the same commercial or critical success. Simply put, Mario's first 64-bit adventure was a masterpiece and proved that Nintendo could recreate its flagship franchise...

  • 29

    Nintendo 64

    Review Bakuretsu Muteki Bangaioh

    Insanity redefined

    Bakuretsu Muteki Bangaioh (which translates as Explosive, Invincible Bangaioh — you might know it as Bangai-O) is a relatively obscure Japanese exclusive for Nintendo 64 that holds a rather interesting history. Released in 1999 and developed by Treasure — the same team that produced the Sin & Punishment games — it is...