Some fans call the Shin Megami Tensei games ‘Pokemon with the lights out’. Even though the SMT series predates Pokemon by quite a few years, the flow of catching, levelling up and fusing demons feels very much like the basic Pokemon grind. But what sets SMT apart from other JRPGs is its willingness to tackle mature and truly apocalyptic themes. Strange Journey fits right into that tradition, telling the story of a doomed multinational effort to investigate a mysterious black hole called the Schwarzwelt that has appeared at the South Pole.
When a $20 DS version of a popular free PC game comes out, we expect it to offer more than the original free game to warrant a purchase. If it's an awesome enough game – so good that there's value in being able to play it portably – it needs to be a competent port at the very least. Bookworm DS isn't atrociously terrible, but it's definitely a downgrade from the version that's available for free, which makes it difficult to justify on any level...
We’ve always suspected the WarioWare team must have invented some kind of instant brain-tapping gadget that sucks ideas out of their heads and converts them into mad little microgames. There’s no other way to explain the inventive insanity of the WarioWare series. If the designers had to explain their ideas to a programmer, the magic might evaporate...
On paper, Rooms: The Main Building sounds about as much fun as a three-hour slideshow entitled ‘Artex – Swirly Ceilings through the Ages’. That’s because it’s based on those godawful tile-sliding puzzles where you have to rearrange a picture.
The entire Sonic collection on a cartridge the size of a special edition Christmas stamp… If we could go back in time and tell ourselves we’d be playing this on a full-colour dual-screen handheld, in the year 2010, we’d have been amazed. Surely it’s not going to take the best part of 20 years for the rest of the world to realise that Sonic is actually a load of old pants…
Ever played Ragnarok Online? No? It’s an (almost) decade-old MMORPG from Korea and is worth the seven-day free trial just so you can marvel at the peerless sprite work on display. With its sunny locales and unbearably sweet character art, if there’s one thing this particular PC game can’t be accused of is lacking charm.
It takes 24 seconds to go from springing the DS power switch to smashing Picross 3D’s blocks. Instant fun. How easily writing a review becomes a ‘quick go on Picross 3D’.
You know you’re in dangerous sci-fi waters when a world has a made-up swear word. Battlestar’s ‘frak’. Judge Dredd’s ‘drokk’. Infinite Space gives us ‘grus’. Syntactical reverse engineering struggles to pinpoint the exact meaning.
If your idea of ‘strategy’ is casting a fire spell on an ice monster, Spectral Force Genesis might come as a bit of a shock. This isn’t an RPG; it’s a game about diplomacy, about careful resource management, and only in part a game about battling. And Spectral Force doesn’t so much throw you in at the deep end of all this tactical twiddling – it hurls you into the sea.
Just as every few years brings us a new Harry Potter movie, or another awful Dane Cook album, it's once again time for a new Pokemon game. HeartGold and SoulSilver are the latest in a long line of Pokemon remakes and updates, and as such offer the exact same improvements everyone has come to expect: more Pokemon, more side quests/mini-games, and better graphics.