Latest Reviews

  • Review Shock Troopers (Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo)

    Don't think, just shoot!

    While the run-and-gun genre generally evolved into the side-scrolling blast-a-thons we all know and love, there were a few titles during the early arcade days that took a more overhead perspective like Capcom's popular Commando arcade release. It was this direction that developer Saurus took when it came time to put together...

  • Review The Last Blade 2 (Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo)

    Last Blade Part Deux

    When the original Last Blade title was released it took weapons-based fighting in 2D to new heights with its fluid play controls and intense fighting action. Not wanting to rest on its laurels, SNK soon put together a sequel that didn't try to really overhaul anything, but rather stuck to tweaking a few minor aspects of the...

  • Review Real Bout Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers (Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo)

    Fair and balanced

    Real Bout Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers marks the seventh release in the series and the third and final release in the Real Bout sub-series. While there has always been a lot of debate about whether this game or Real Bout Fatal Fury Special is the better overall fighting game, it's nice to see SNK-Playmore giving Virtual Console fans...

  • Review Metal Slug X (Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo)

    X hits the spot

    While Contra has always been the game by which all run and gun titles have been judged, serious fans of the genre will still flash a wide grin at the mere mention of the Metal Slug series, especially Metal Slug X. There's no denying that Metal Slug 2 had all of the makings of an amazing run and gunner, but the rampant slowdown ended...

  • Review Real Bout Fatal Fury Special (Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo)

    Special indeed

    Generally speaking, the "special" SNK releases are generally used as an upgrade to iron out kinks found in the previous releases of the game. Real Bout Fatal Fury Special is no exception and actually goes quite a long way at upgrading the previous Real Bout Fatal Fury title, even tossing in a bunch of new goodies for fighting game...

  • Review World Heroes Perfect (Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo)

    Not quite perfect

    When World Heroes was first released on SNK's Neo Geo arcade and home console system, it was yet another attempt to capture the popularity of Capcom's Street Fighter, this time by developer ADK. While the game featured some unique gameplay and visual features, it was still regarded more as a nice attempt at the genre than any type...

  • Review The King of Fighters '96 (Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo)

    A step in the right direction

    King of the Fighters '96 marks the third release in the popular SNK fighting game series, and while we've already seen KoF releases from both before and after this title, SNK has finally decided to go back and release this pivotal release in the series. With a host of new gameplay additions, many of which help balance...

  • Review 2020 Super Baseball (Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo)

    Step up to the plate

    Taking a popular sport and fusing it together with a futuristic theme is certainly nothing new in the world of video games. Atari managed quite a bit of success with its robotic football release Cyberball, so it comes as no surprise that other companies would follow suit. Back in 1991 SNK took a page out of Atari's book and...

  • Review Double Dragon II: The Revenge (Wii Virtual Console / NES)

    Revenge is sweet

    When Double Dragon first hit the arcade scene back in 1987, it was immediately lauded for its intense beat 'em up gameplay and slick visuals and soundtrack. After making pit stops on a number of platforms, the NES included, the game only grew in popularity. So it was only natural that a sequel, Double Dragon II: The Revenge would...

  • Review The Last Blade (Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo)

    Neo Geo fighting at its finest

    There are very few game consoles in existence that can compete with the diverse fighting game library of SNK's Neo Geo system. While some of the earlier efforts came up short of reaching the quality of Capcom's Street Fighter II series, many later efforts ended up being some of the best 2D fighting releases of the era...

  • Review Mega Man X2 (Wii Virtual Console / Super Nintendo)

    Still mega

    When Capcom created Mega Man X, it had clearly done something right. Many fans loved finally getting a refreshing take on the series, rather than what was essentially the same thing over and over, and it became quite popular. While the Classic Mega Man series went on a break for a few years, Capcom churned out a few more X games,...

  • Review Metal Slug 3 (Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo)

    Heavy metal

    Due to the bevy of fighting games released for Neo Geo, it's always a refreshing sight to see a game of a different genre from the format re-released on Virtual Console. We've just about hit the jackpot this time — Metal Slug 3 can easily be considered one of the single best games the system ever got. The first and second games in the...

  • Review Monster World IV (Wii Virtual Console / Mega Drive)

    Worth the wait

    Originally released in 1994, Monster World IV is the final game in the Wonder Boy series. It's a very well-liked game and another great entry in the franchise, but there was just one problem: it was never released outside Japan. Until now that is, because SEGA has finally given the rest of the world a chance to experience the game,...

  • Review Wonder Boy in Monster Land (Wii Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

    Boy wonder

    The Wonder Boy franchise is one of many treasured relics from SEGA's past. Dedicated fans have clamoured for a new entry in the platform series ever since the 1994 Mega Drive release of the sixth title, Monster World IV. For now, though, they'll have to make do with the splurge of digital download re-releases. This time, it's the arcade...

  • Review Super Hang-On (Wii Virtual Console / Virtual Console Arcade)

    Winning run

    Name a SEGA arcade racer from the 1980s. Now name one that isn't Out Run. Chances are you've come up with Super Hang-On (or maybe Power Drift if you're really trying), the motorbike racer that's the Pepsi to Out Run's Coke. The fact it's taken SEGA five years to bring Super Hang-On game to the Western Virtual Console is a big surprise,...

  • Review Super Street Fighter II (Wii Virtual Console / Mega Drive)

    Online, but off-base?

    It's taken five and a half years for an online Street Fighter game to reach Wii. In that time, Xbox 360 and PS3 owners have had five different SF online titles — six, if you count Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition. Heck, even 3DS has Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition. Wii owners, for their sins, get an online-enabled...

  • Review Samurai Shodown IV (Neo Geo)

    Another victoly

    It's only taken 18 months since Samurai Shodown III for the fourth instalment, Samurai Shodown IV, to reach Virtual Console in Europe. As part of something of a Neo Geo resurgence following King of Fighters '97, Sam Sho IV is another strong addition to VC's fighter library. SSIV takes the basic three strengths of slash from its pre

  • Review Strider (Wii Virtual Console / Mega Drive)

    From Russia with love

    When you consider that he hasn’t starred in his own game since 2000, Strider Hiryu’s popularity in Capcom fan circles is impressive, which is largely down to the high regard in which players hold his 1989 coin-op début. Powered by Capcom’s CPS hardware, Strider was an arcade action platformer that redefined the genre;...

  • Review The King of Fighters '97 (Wii Virtual Console / Neo Geo)

    The once and future king

    Despite being the fourth in the series, The King of Fighters '97 is only the third to reach the Wii Virtual Console, SNK Playmore having skipped King of Fighters '96 in favour of its bigger, beefier brother. Without '96 to bridge the gap, the jump from King of Fighters '95 to '97 is huge: there are six more characters for a...

  • Review Prince of Persia (Wii Virtual Console / Super Nintendo)

    Worthy of the throne

    Most gamers are familiar with the original Prince of Persia. Its incredibly realistic animations, created by Jordan Mechner from hours of video footage of his brother running and jumping around, made it an instant hit, and it's still one of the most well-known western game franchises today. Most people, however, are only...

  • Review Mickey's Speedway USA (Nintendo 64)

    Another kart racing game? Oh, boy!

    By the end of the Nineties, UK developer Rareware had established itself as one of the most talented softcos in the world, and along with Nintendo's own in-house output, had helped to placate Nintendo 64 gamers throughout most of the console's life with a steady supply of premium software. Having delivered the...

  • Review Turok: Rage Wars (Nintendo 64)

    Rage against the machine (gun)

    Multiplayer has been a mainstay in first person shooters since only a few years after the genre's formal debut. Nonetheless, PC gamers had been shooting each other either in LAN setups or online for many years before console FPSes got in on the act. It wasn't until GoldenEye 007 hit the N64 that the idea of getting...

  • Review Diddy Kong Racing (Nintendo 64)

    A Rare treat, or will it drive you bananas?

    For fans of Nintendo kart racers, 1997 has to go down as one of the greatest years in the history of the genre. Not only did it witness the European and North American release of the iconic Mario Kart 64, but Rare also introduced their own challenger to the karting crown with Diddy Kong Racing on the same...

  • Review Mega Man 5 (Wii Virtual Console / NES)

    Can you ever have too much of a good thing?

    While the Mega Man series on NES system didn't change too much from release to release, Capcom did manage to keep coming up with new and more challenging ways to keep platformer fans coming back for more. Mega Man 5 didn't try to re-invent the wheel, but what it did do was bring eight brand new robotic...

  • Review Super Adventure Island II (Virtual Console / Super Nintendo)

    Adventure Island: Wonder Boy Edition

    Most people are aware that the original Adventure Island was in fact a slightly modified NES port of Wonder Boy for the Master System. Immediately after this, Wonder Boy became more of an action RPG-like series, while Adventure Island stayed a platforming series. That is, until the release of Adventure Island IV,...

  • Review Chrono Trigger (Virtual Console / Super Nintendo)

    One of the truly greatest RPG experiences ever created

    Soon after Chrono Trigger appeared on the Super Nintendo in 1995, it quickly became regarded as one of the most unique and impressive RPG releases to hit the system. Not only was it developed by a who's who of some of the greatest role-playing designers in the industry, the finished product...

  • Review Super Adventure Island (Virtual Console / Super Nintendo)

    Back to basics

    The Adventure Island series started out with an almost exact clone of Wonder Boy, but as Wonder Boy became more of an action RPG rather than an action platformer, Adventure Island sequels stuck with the same formula as the first game and built upon it slightly with each release. In Adventure Island II and the later Adventure Island...

  • Review The Ignition Factor (SNES)

    It burns, but it doesn't crash

    Ask anybody to name some firefighting games and you'll be lucky if they name one. Despite the games about the profession generally being quite good, there's not many of them, and they're not very widely known either. The Ignition Factor is one of only two on the SNES, the other one being the more well-known The...

  • Review Mega Man X (Wii Virtual Console / Super Nintendo)

    X-ceptional

    Spinoffs in popular franchises have delivered historically mixed results over the years, but when Capcom spun the X series off of Mega Man, not only did they create a new line every bit as intense and engaging as the originals, but arguably even more polished and fun to a certain degree. And now, after a rather lengthy wait, Capcom have...

  • Review Adventure Island II (Wii Virtual Console / NES)

    Higgins returns

    The first Adventure Island was nothing more than a copy of Wonder Boy with some redone graphics. While Wonder Boy quickly became more of an Action RPG series, Adventure Island stuck to the platformer formula for a while before eventually following the same path. The general mechanics are still the same. Higgins' girlfriend has been...