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Review Archives (Staff Reviews)

You are currently looking through staff reviews for games that are available on every platform the site currently covers. Below, you will find reviews written by all eligible authors and sorted according to date of submission, with the newest content displaying first. As many as 20 results will display per page. If you would like to try a search with different parameters, specify them below and submit a new search.

Available Reviews

Commander Keen Episode I: Marooned on Mars (PC)

Commander Keen Episode I: Marooned on Mars review (PC)

Reviewed on January 14, 2004

Billy Blaze is eight years old. And he's a genius. He's constructed what he calls a 'beans and bacon' spacecraft from miscellaneous slop he unearthed around his parents' house. When he dons his big brother's yellow football helmet and carries along with him his trusty pogo-stick, we know it is nighttime (got to make sure the folks are asleep, after all), and that he's heading to outer space. We know he is blazing trails of interstellar discovery and aggressive peacekeeping endeavors. We know he has become... Commander Keen!
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Bonk's Revenge (TurboGrafx-16)

Bonk's Revenge review (TG16)

Reviewed on January 14, 2004

Bonk’s Revenge is certainly not as charming and original as the first game, due in large part to the aforementioned omission of the ‘friend philosophy’. No longer are the bosses your hypnotized friends that you must get to ‘snap out of it’ with a few raps to the noggin. Now the bosses are just bad guys, and that’s too bad.
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Blazing Lazers (TurboGrafx-16)

Blazing Lazers review (TG16)

Reviewed on January 14, 2004

Gunhed. It’s quite possibly the coolest name for a vertical shooter ‘starfighter’. Gentlemen, you have to admit it's cool: it has the words 'gun' AND 'hed' in it. And that is only fitting, as this game (known to you and I as Blazing Lazers) is possibly the coolest game the genre has ever seen.
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Galactic Attack (Saturn)

Galactic Attack review (SAT)

Reviewed on January 14, 2004

Not too many games are this privileged. After all, Taito’s vertically scrolling shoot 'em up has three names. It was released in Japan’s arcades as Rayforce, ported home to Japanese Saturns as Layer Section, and finally arrived on North American Saturns as Galactic Attack (yes, we got the crummy name, as is the case more often than not).
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Xevious 3D/G+ (PlayStation)

Xevious 3D/G+ review (PSX)

Reviewed on January 14, 2004

Soon your Solvalou is bothered by a sparse, but pretty snowfall, as you cruise like a bird of prey, firing either your spread, beam, or lock-on lasers (the red lock-on laser looks very cool, but regrettably isn’t very powerful), above enemies afloat on massive glaciers. Take off into outer space, and face a boss whose core is embedded in the dark face of an asteroid. You get to enter a space station with narrow, twisting, changing passages. A quick foray outside, and it’s back indoors, into the skeletal frame of the station, you playing Luke Skywalker to the station’s Death Star.
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Space Shot (PlayStation)

Space Shot review (PSX)

Reviewed on January 14, 2004

Space Shot is in many ways an across-the-board shoot ‘em up clone, taking bits from Darius, (enemy formations) Thunder Force V, (the last boss, the O.V.D. charge weapon) and various other transgressions. But fortunately, and surprisingly, the game enters the Playstation shooter fray with a few wholly unique gameplay functions that elevate it above the fairness of 4-dom.
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Silent Hill (PlayStation)

Silent Hill review (PSX)

Reviewed on January 14, 2004

Outside on the streets, dark and fog is everywhere, snow will fall suddenly and then just as suddenly cease. Then it's back to textured blackness, worse than complete dark because of what the varying shades might conceal. You'll have to rely on your ears for sounds of unearthly growls and flapping wings that reveal the carnivorous canines and winged demons that seek you out.
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RayStorm (PlayStation)

RayStorm review (PSX)

Reviewed on January 14, 2004

Your R-GRAY fighter must fly through 7 levels of mayhem, while you cross your fingers the whole way through. If you’ve heard otherwise, disregard the misinformation. This game is hard, bordering on the impossible in sections. Perhaps that is a failing resultant from the game’s arcade roots—it plays like a quarter muncher, often giving you no chance to get out of a given situation intact.
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Ray Crisis (PlayStation)

Ray Crisis review (PSX)

Reviewed on January 14, 2004

''Series Termination'', the subtitle screams at us, as if there were something riding on this. Even the title itself, ''RayCrisis'' speaks of the urgency and enormousness of the situation. As it stands, some Dr. Mindbender type has gone bonkers, his experiment in Artificial Intelligence following suit. The result is the hackneyed tale of supercomputer against earth. Supercomputer will, of course, prove to be victorious, if not for the player/hero.
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Raiden Project (PlayStation)

Raiden Project review (PSX)

Reviewed on January 14, 2004

What then, is the appeal? As 2-D overhead shooters go, Raiden is somewhat of a pioneer, but it can't stand up to most of its successors in terms of intensity. At the same time, you can't really go wrong with Raiden. True, nothing about it is particularly outstanding; but it has no real flaws either. It's challenging, and looks and sounds decent and as always, you get to save the world.
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R-Types (PlayStation)

R-Types review (PSX)

Reviewed on January 14, 2004

One hit. That's all it takes. Maybe if less was thrown your way. Less of everything: alien abominations, attack mechs, membrane walls, mechanical monstrosities. Then maybe you'd have a fighting chance. A reviewer once played the second last level of R-Type and used the phrase: independently controlled eyeballs. Those are essential, and Zen-like concentration and inhuman patience are the other requirements to attain anything resembling success.
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R-Type Delta (PlayStation)

R-Type Delta review (PSX)

Reviewed on January 14, 2004

Yes, it’s true, I’ll admit it. R-Type Delta has the obligatory 3-D ‘let’s get it on’ type introduction, that has become the norm for the modern 2-D shooter. It is polished, but then, so are the intros for Thunderforce V and any number of other games this genre has seen in the last few years. (I think this is an element standardized by the Unknown Guild of 32-bit Shooters.) But from the moment you press start, and bring up the ship selection screen, you know that this game is something more. Something special.
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G Darius (PlayStation)

G Darius review (PSX)

Reviewed on January 14, 2004

G-Darius--the G stand for gigantic--continues the long standing 2-D shooter series with a style and flair not seen before in previous incarnations. Your duty remains the same however; the universe still needs saving, and the bad guys are the same metallic fish that you may have seen in all other Darius games. But now they're...gigantic.
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Einhander (PlayStation)

Einhander review (PSX)

Reviewed on January 14, 2004

Enter Einhander: the German codename meaning, ‘one-armed’, because of the ships’ single manipulator arm. The Selenians would use the Einhander crafts to be, in effect, kamikaze information gatherers. The instruction booklet tells us that “the survival rate for Einhander runs is zero.” It’s up to you to change that.
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Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PlayStation)

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night review (PSX)

Reviewed on January 14, 2004

What is instantly noticeable about SOTN, is the fluidity that the main character, Alucard, moves about with. He is like poetry in motion, his cape billowing behind him as he stalks, his movement decidedly confident and surging. His joints are like water. The enemies aren’t half bad either. You won’t believe how large some of them are, and on one rather eye-popping occasion, Beelzebub, a generally unclean and unhealthy fellow, fills a few screens.
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Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare (PlayStation)

Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare review (PSX)

Reviewed on January 14, 2004

The game returns to the heavily coloured Lovecraftian roots of the original outing. The story is traditional in its potential for spookiness. Some shady setup is hinted at in the intro, and we witness Edward Carnby and Aline Cedrac go down in their plane, due to the intervention of some unseen malevolence. They end up at different points on Shadow Island, (appropriately named) and begin two separate, but intertwining adventures.
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Castlevania: Dracula X (SNES)

Castlevania: Dracula X review (SNES)

Reviewed on January 13, 2004

Great music has always been a Castlevania staple and though the music is competent it is far from great. They have done further remixes on the already remixed soundtrack from IV, and they have made the simple error of trying to fix something that wasn't broken. These remixes only have you longing to hear the Castlevania IV tracks instead.
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U.N. Squadron (SNES)

U.N. Squadron review (SNES)

Reviewed on January 13, 2004

The graphics are amazingly close to the arcade version. The sunsets burn brightly in our eyes, the enemy bases built up in caverns and mountain walls are detailed and atmospheric. Thunderous tracks work hard at making us feel the urgency in our mission, but admittedly, after leaving the game, you’ll be hard pressed to hum a single tune. Our mission is challenging, even on the easy difficulty level, and the limited slowdown is certainly a welcome thing in a Super NES shooter. UN Squadron is a mostly brilliant conversion of an engaging arcade shooting experience. Mostly.
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The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES)

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past review (SNES)

Reviewed on January 13, 2004

Miyamoto and company welcome you to enter dark caverns and dismember segmented desert worms. Be wary of them; their movement is aberrant, erratic. Buy your wares in shops, but buy them also in shallow places beneath the waterfalls. Fairies resurrect you should you falter—capture them and keep them safe in jars that you will find. Swim in deep channels discovering weird whirlpools that mysteriously warp you about your huge world. Play the first four dungeons and take on Agahnim, only to reveal seven more.
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Super R-Type (SNES)

Super R-Type review (SNES)

Reviewed on January 13, 2004

If there was any fun left to be had while playing Super R-Type, after considering the weak sounds, horrid slowdown, and the excessive tedium that the unrewarding difficulty curve creates, it is out the window at this point. Enduring all of those weaknesses in an attempt to appreciate the game's few strengths is made impossible, when you throw in the lack of start back points.
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