Posts Tagged With 'Review'


Hyrule Warriors review: Will it hack’n’slash its way into your Wii U?

Hyrule Warriors was announced during the 18th December Nintendo Direct, and even when it was first shown I was skeptical. I mean, how could a series known for its exploration and puzzle solving, combined with excellent dungeon design, maintain the same atmosphere when some of the elements that make the Zelda series what it is are removed? Let’s find out!

Hyrule Warriors is a unique collaboration between Tecmo Koei, Team Ninja, Omega Force and Nintendo. The basic gameplay of Hyrule Warriors boils down to controlling the battlefield, by capturing bases known as keeps to assist your allies. All the while keeping your main base safe because once that’s gone, its game over. Stages in Hyrule Warriors are based on three main Zelda titles: Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword. Unfortunately, there is very little mention of Wind Waker in the game.

Graphically, the game looks amazing the detail on offer here is incredible. The framerate can dip slightly when there is a lot of action happening onscreen, but this rarely happens. The soundtrack is a mix of grandiose symphonic pieces and hard hitting heavy metal with symphonic elements; overall, the soundtrack is very good.

Hyrule Warriors has three main modes: Legend mode is the main story mode and has you stepping into the boots of a pre-determined character and progressing through the story. Legend mode takes around ten hours to go through and is filled with very impressive CG cutscenes easily on par with the Legend of Zelda tech demo shown way back in 2011. My main gripe is that the cutscenes are not voiced, which leaves them feeling a little hollow. The storyline is actually rather good, considering Omega Force’s last attempt at an original story was One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2, which was abysmal.

There is also a free mode that lets you take any unlocked character into any stage: perfect for strengthening your warriors.

Adventure mode is where the meat of the game lies. Adventure mode is set on the very first Legend of Zelda world map but is filled with tiles. On each tile is a challenge, and when you fulfill the challenge you unlock the tiles around it.  Some tiles have hidden rewards that require the use of certain items to unlock, such as using a candle on a tree, which reveals a reward that may be a new weapon or a heart container. The challenges start off pathetically easy but soon ramp up into a ferocious struggle .

Challenge mode does exactly what it says: it is certainly a challenge. The basic premise is to battle a continuous stream of foes, unlocking rewards until you are defeated. I have yet to make any real progress on this mode, mainly due to its difficulty.

The character selection is a little bit on the small side for a Tecmo Koei game, but each character feels unique and has different battle mechanics. For example, Ganondorf has a gauge below his health that charges as you use his strong attacks. Once filled, you can unleash an attack that can wipeout a keep in one move. Each character has their own progression and can be upgraded using material found in the battlefield to make badges that unlock extra combos or make your character more resilient to damage. Weapons also contain skills that are beneficial to the battle, from enhancing some of your attacks to increasing the chance of finding rarer, more powerful weapons.

Hyrule Warriors is so much more then a simple reskin of a Dynasty Warriors game, and Tecmo Koei clearly respect the Zelda franchise; the amount of content and fan service in Hyrule Warriors is absolutely staggering. If you are looking for a game to keep you entertained for a long time, then Hyrule Warriors will deliver that and more.

+ Incredible amount of content                              -Minor dips in framerate when action ramps up

+Fast paced chaotic fun                                       -Wind Waker is practically forgotten about

+Adventure mode will absolutely devour your time     – Enemy AI could be better

+Character progression is incredibly satisfying

+Each of the thirteen playable characters feels unique


Posted by Colin Crompton 25.09.2014 in All
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Review: Pikmin 3 (Wii U)

Review: Pikmin 3 (Wii U)


Nintendo kept us waiting for the third instalment of their odd, genre bending adventure-strategy game. Pikmin 3 recently landed on the Wii U around the world, however has the wait been worth it?

The main adventure mode is single player only but there are additional modes that let you play either co-operatively or competitively with a friend.

If you have played either of the first two games you will feel right at home in the adventure mode. Unlike most strategy games you actually control a main character and not a cursor, in this case one of the three captains Alph, Brittany or Charlie. As you explore the unique environment you are given the impression you are a tiny creature in a massive world. The HD graphics and extra horse power of the Wii U really go along way in helping build up the realism in the environments. It’s great to see Nintendo able to flex their graphic muscle in this more realistic manner. The characters and creatures that inhabit the game take a contrasting style to the surroundings in a more Nintendo-like fashion. Despite this difference in styles nothing looks out of place and the unique combination of both make for a memorable visual theme.

You can control Pikmin 3 using one of three different control schemes, however none is perfect. The GamePad has you moving and aiming with both analogue sticks, the advantage here is the touch screen is used to show an interactive map. The Wii Remote and Nunchuck has you aiming your Pikmin with pointer which is very accurate but you will still need to grab the GamePad to use the map. Finally you can use the Pro controller which has the same button layout of the GamePad without the touchscreen.


Shortly after you crash land on planet PNF-404 you meet the Pikmin. These are small, colorful creatures that come in different types. They will follow your captain if you whistle at them, stay put if discarded and most importantly can be thrown. Throwing Pikmin is your main action and throwing them at different things will accomplish different tasks. Throw Pikmin at enemies to take them down, at fruit so they can carry it back to base or even at an earthy bridge to bash it down to clear the path. Success in these tasks will come down to having enough Pikmin and sometimes of the right types, the more you have the faster the task will be completed.

The goal of the adventure mode is to collect as many fruits as possible. In this world fruits are many times the size of the captains so they need the assistants of the Pikmin, the more you have the easier it is to drag fruit back to your ship. Fruit is squeezed and turned into juice at the end of each day. You need a pot of juice each night to survive, so as long as you keep hold of a single pot you can adventure on for another day.  With the amount of fruit scattered around the planet you shouldn’t have to worry too much about going hungry.

Each day on the planet PNF-404 you will find a healthy balance of enemies to fight, puzzles to solve and secrets to find. The trick is to focus on one or a few specific tasks as your time you can spend on the planet each day is limited. You can even split up your party, assigning specific routes for your captains using the Wii U GamePad’s touchscreen. Enemies come in a variety of different designs and sizes, each having a specific way to be bested. Larger foes can be like puzzles themselves, with a wrong strategy could see you losing a significant portion of your Pikmin army. The bosses take this a step even further. Each is unique and never repeated. Boss battles can be stressful as it is all too easy to loss Pikmin while trying to figure out its weakness.  It can even take several in-game days. In the end though these fights always feel satisfying and never cheap.


To relieve your stress from the often dangerous world of PNF-404 you can always take to some photography. One of the new features the GamePad brings is to be able to take in-game photos by holding up the GamePad and moving it around like a camera. This is the first time we get to see the world of the Pikmin from this point of view and the creatures, pikmin and the environment itself all looks very different from this angle. You can even post your snaps straight to Miiverse, of course you may have more fun browsing the most popular snaps already online.

The challenges mode is made of set stages split up into three types. Collecting fruit, fighting enemies and finally a boss attack mode. Stages in the challenge mode are unlocked as you progress through the main game. The stage designs are exclusive to this mode and on the compact variety. To increase reply value there’s local and online scoreboards for each stage.

If you’re bored of co-operation you can go head-to-hard in a Bingo Battle. This mode is local multiplayer only and has a surprising amount of depth. As you begin you are given a bingo card each filled with different objects, fruits and emeries. The goal is to score Bingo by clearing a line horizontally, vertically or diagonally by dragging your items of choice back to your base.


There’s real strategy to be had in Bingo battle, you can choose to focus on growing your Pikmin population before heading out into battle, try and grab your items as soon as possible or even scoop out what your opponent will be after next and block their Bingo buying you more time to finish your own. Although local multiplayer is not as accessible as online multiplayer this mode is well worth the effort of meeting up the old fashion way to duke it out in this strategically addictive multiplayer mash up.

So has the wati been worth it? Your Pikmin 3 adventure will take you between 10-20+ hours, depending on how many fruits you collect, challenges you complete and Bingo-battles you wage. Each mode has allot of content but can be raced through quickly and seems to be built with replay-ability in mind. Overall Pikmin 3 is an evolution of the Pikmin template instead of a revolution, but it’s well rounded resign, charm and unique gameplay still cannot be found elsewhere.

Score: 9/10

Posted by Lewis Pugh 24.08.2013 in All
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Review: Urban Trial Freestyle

Review: Urban Trial Freestyle


Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to demo Urban Trial Freestyle, from Tate Multimedia.  Urban Trial Freestyle is available now via the 3DS eShop for $5.99.  For me, there was an immediate flashback to Excite Bike, and that alone made my heart pitter patter for more.  Starting out, you have your bike, your character, and a city course to explore.  However, as you progress and earn money, you have the opportunity to upgrade.

The physics of the game cane be a bit tricky at times, for example I traveled a good deal of the first course on my back tire leaning more backwards that is humanly possible, but I was able to get a feel for it quickly.  There are also some areas of the course that take some thought to figure out, for example when you have to ride up a wall and flip backwards onto the ledge behind you.  Another fun part is the course creator, another throwback to Excite Bike, and the ability to create seemingly impossible courses for your friends to complete.

The 3D in the game is rather good, as are the graphics and music.  There were times that the terrain started to blend together, but that is normal for me after playing with the 3D on for a while.  If you are a fan of Excite Bike, or biking games that involve physics, this will be the game for you.  Oh yeah, if you buy it by July 4th, you get a 20% discount!

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Urban Trial Freestyle™ for Nintendo 3DS Unleashed onto Nintendo eShop!

Discover the game with a new release trailer and a 20% off launch promotion

Paris, France – June 27th2013
Tate Multimedia’s critically acclaimed Urban Trial Freestyleis now available for download on the Nintendo 3DS hand-held system via Nintendo eShop in North America and in Europe, priced at £6.29 in the UK, $6.99 in North America and 6,99 € in Europe. Urban Trial Freestyle marks the debut of a Trials title on Nintendo 3DS.


Urban Trial Freestylefor Nintendo 3DSfeatures the highly anticipated Track Editor as a console exclusive, allowing players to create their own levels with unlimited possibilities.


Tate Multimedia is also delighted to announce that Urban Trial Freestylewill be available in North America with a 20% discount from June 27 through July 4th. This exclusive offer will allow players to grip the excitement of Urban Trial Freestylefor just USD$5.99/CAD 5.59/MXN 69.00. The offer is also extended to fans in Brazil for BRL 11.90.

More about the game:
Urban Trial Freestyle
offers gamers real-life inspired motorbike stunt and racing action, all taking place on the game’s awesome tracks set across 45+ levels within five diverse cityscapes.  The freestyle action continues beyond the tracks, as the game also includes 64 Custom Bike Configurations enabling players to customize their Body, Engine and Wheels options.


Urban Trial Freestyleincludes three single player modes: Time Attack, Challenge and Stunt Mode which tests players’ performance skills for mastering special stunts such as the Highest and Longest Jump, Biggest Flip, Precise Aiming and Speed Check.

Players can challenge friends via a multiplayer asynchronous ghost mode and via leader boards.


Time Check missions, Environmental Objects and Advanced Physics and Dynamic Animations immerse players in all of the action.  As players progress, new tracks are unlocked and custom motorbike parts, trophies and rider outfits become available.

Urban Trial Freestylehas been greatly influenced by the support of Julien Dupont, the “godfather of urban trial freestyle.” Julien Dupont is known around the world for his unique street style and technique, mashing down barriers and setting new records.

For more information on Urban Trial Freestyle please visit or join the revolution on



TATE MULTIMEDIA S.A is a French-Polish publisher established in 2000, specializing in creating high quality games covering all forms of medias such as F2P/PC/Browser/Mobile/Tablets as well as games on consoles with major console manufacturers for worldwide publishing and distribution.

Tate Multimedia has two main development studios: Tate interactive and Strangelands. Based in Poland, Tate Interactive is an approved developer worldwide for all existing leading consoles, including SONY PS3, Vita, Microsoft XBOX 360, Wii U™ and Nintendo 3DS™.   Strangelands, based in the U.K, develops games on IOS, Android, Tablets, Mobile, and other type of handheld devices.

For more information on TATE MULTIMEDIA SA, please visit

© and published 2013 by Tate Multimedia S.A. Developed by Strangelands. Designed by Tate Interactive and powered by Strangelands. All rights reserved. Urban Trial Freestyle logo is a registered trademark of Tate Multimedia S.A.
Nintendo trademarks and copyrights are properties of Nintendo.

Posted by Essel Pratt 02.07.2013 in All
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Review: Zen Pinball 2

Review: Zen Pinball 2


Zen Studios has already delivered pinball joy to the Nintendo 3DS with Zen Pinball 3D and now they grace the Nintendo Wii U with fine-tuned pinball goodness.

The first thing to mention about Zen Pinball 2 is it breaks the mould, at least for console in terms of content distribution. The game is essentially a pinball platform where after a free download you can trial various tables. If you don’t want to be restricted on your playtime you will need to purchase the individual tables, however this is an issue in itself.

Now I feel bad bringing this up as I feel the developers where working with a limited platform out of there control, but it does ultimately affect the user experience. When you select a table you don’t own, you are politely asked to visit the eShop to pay to unlock it. This would be awkward enough however the system fails to be able to provide a link to the item on the store or even a link to the storefront itself. You will have to find your own way there with the home button and start searching.

Whichever board you decided to play you are given these same generous options; you can choose to play either by yourself or with up to three friends, letting you play a more traditional pass and play mode by passing the controller to the next person when you lose a ball. There’s also a mode which lets two people play at the same time. One on the GamePad screen the other on the TV with a Pro controller, a mode that was very appreciated in this household.


The single player mode supports online leader boards and a basic achievement system, you can play on the TV or off TV play, and it’s a great game to jump between the two, which the game lets you do at any time by swiping up or down on the touch screen. Controls are simple as expected; flippers are controlled with either the triggers or shoulder buttons and the right stick to manually launch the ball, this can be achieved on both the GamePad and Pro Controller.

Zen Studios has really pushed the boat out on creating some really creative, colorful tables each with a unique feel and set of features, thankfully each has its own guide letting you know what it has to offer and its own set of systems. As well as original themed tables there’s allot of use of known IP, so if you’re a fan of Marvel or Plants VS. Zombies they may have already hooked you in, and its surprising fun even when limited to a pinball table to play through these universes.

Where Zen Pinball 2 excels is really nailing the feeling of playing on a real pinball table, the ball physics just feel right and it never felt unfair when a ball slipped through the flippers. In addition to feeling authentic the game is not afraid to push the designs of the tables themselves beyond what’s possible on a mechanical table; moving parts, hidden areas and animated enemies are all common place here.

Zen Pinball 2 is a tricky game to review too, especially as everyone’s millage will vary, just buying one table is as valid as purchasing everything on offer and the cost between these options is very significant. Ultimately what you get is a very polished game of pinball that takes advantage of some unique Wii U features and a fantastic choice of tables. If you are even half interested in playing some virtual pinball I can’t recommend the free download enough.

Posted by Lewis Pugh 27.02.2013 in All
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Review: Theatrhythm Final Fantasy strikes a sweet chord

Review: Theatrhythm Final Fantasy strikes a sweet chord

Part parody and part shrine, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy is a must-buy for FF fans and a solid rhythm game for everyone else. Its gameplay is simple but challenging, unlockable content pours down in buckets, and — most importantly — it boasts the best soundtrack since Super Smash Brothers Brawl.

Posted by Richard 04.07.2012 in All
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Review: Mario Tennis Open serves up fast, addictive court action

Review: Mario Tennis Open serves up fast, addictive court action

Mario Tennis Open is a truly fun, hard-to-put-down game full of the charm and excellence you’d expect from Nintendo and Camelot. Its pick-up-and-play nature and smooth, fast online modes make it a perfect anywhere-anytime title. There’s a rhythm to single player progression that takes a little while to grab hold, but — once it does — Mario Tennis Open blossoms into a very fast-paced, addictive experience. This rhythm relies on the game’s two most prominent features: online play and the mind-boggling number of unlockable items for your Mii. Unlike previous attempts to give Mario Tennis an RPG-like structure, MTO’s central “career” line bounces you rapidly between tournament cups, exhibition matches, mini games and the equipment shop — all focused squarely on upgrading and decking out your Mii for online matches. And those online matches are so quick and easy to jump in and out of that it all becomes part of one big, fun cycle.

Posted by Richard 21.05.2012 in All
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