Latest Reviews

  • 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...

  • 37

    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...

  • 23

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review Sengoku 3

    Third time's the charm

    While SNK was far more well known for its one-on-one fighting games, it did toss out a few beat 'em ups along the way. Some of the attempts were better than others: Sengoku 3 is one such example. It basically takes many of the solid gameplay perks of the first two games and amps things up considerably. Toss in a fresh coat of...

  • 25

    Nintendo 64

    Review Star Wars Episode I: Battle for Naboo

    Tour de Force

    While it wasn't quite the workhorse that Rare was during the Nintendo 64 era, Factor 5 developed a handful of third-party games that arguably matched Nintendo's own efforts in terms of technical quality. The studio had a knack for getting underneath the hood of the system and exploiting its raw power to create fascinating visual...

  • 66

    Nintendo 64

    Review Star Wars Episode I: Racer

    Watto way to go

    Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace may have been panned by film critics and audiences alike when it released back in 1999, but not everything borne out of it was as big a disaster as Jar Jar Binks. One of these truly rare exceptions was Star Wars Episode I: Racer, a sci-fi racing game developed by by LucasArts. The game was a...

  • 9

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review Sengoku

    An interesting twist on the beat 'em up genre

    Given the popularity of arcade titles like Final Fight and Double Dragon, the beat 'em up genre was a big draw in arcades during the late eighties and early nineties. Hoping to cash in on some of this success, SNK created its own unique take on the genre with Sengoku for its Neo Geo system. While the...

  • 23

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review NAM-1975

    War is heaven

    Although NAM-1975 was an early Neo Geo release, it's certainly not short on fun. Released in 1990, it took a simple shooting approach and built an interesting war theme around it. Simple mechanics and a level of playability that wasn't too common in the genre made for an amazing gameplay experience. Now SNK Playmore is bringing back...

  • 13

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review Art of Fighting 3: The Path of the Warrior

    Third time's a charm?

    Art of Fighting sprang onto the Neo Geo arcade scene in 1993 and brought with it several innovations that would become a staple of future Neo fighting titles. For one thing the game featured huge character sprites, some spanning nearly the height of the screen. It also introduced the now famous SNK zoom system that would keep...

  • 22

    Super Nintendo

    Review Super Pang

    Forever blowing bubbles

    Capcom is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2013. Since the company formed in 1983, it has published a host of classic titles from the Resident Evil series, countless Street Fighter games and many timeless iterations of Mega Man. One of its lesser known titles is Super Pang (known as Super Buster Bros. in North America), an...

  • 28

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review The King of Fighters '98

    The best there ever was

    For many 2D fighting game fans, The King of Fighters '98 represents the zenith of the series; the crowning glory of the only rival lineage to truly bloody the nose of Capcom's genre-defining Street Fighter. It's not hard to see why this is the case; the game looks stunning, has a massive roster of characters and boasts one...

  • 5

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review World Heroes 2 Jet

    Jet setter

    Speed upgrades became all of the rage during the early fighting game craze during the early '90s — Capcom practically made a living at it for a while. So when arcade gamers began complaining about the sluggish speed of World Heroes 2, SNK did the logical thing and borrowed a page from Capcom's book. When World Heroes 2 Jet burst onto...

  • 23

    Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo

    Review Metal Slug 4

    Fourth time a charm?

    If there's one thing that can be said with any degree of certainty, it's that SNK's Metal Slug series always remained fairly consistent over the course of their releases. The gameplay remained pretty much the same, with little more than a few tweaks here and there for good measure. Metal Slug 4 was developed by Korean firm Mega...