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The Moonlight War novel by S.K.S. Perry

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
Ninja Gaiden (NES)

Ninja Gaiden review (NES)

Reviewed on January 07, 2004

If you’ve played the arcade game with the same name, forget what you’ve seen. The Double Dragon-esque play and look of that somewhat overhead coin-op has been replaced by straight up side-scrolling swashbuckling and a massive dose of taxing platform-leaping. If Super Mario Brothers is your nemesis, you may well forget about taking on the Jaquio and his forces - you’ll be sliced and diced, dropped into bottomless pits and, despite unlimited continues, you will curse and beset upon your controller with intent to kill.
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Magmax (NES)

Magmax review (NES)

Reviewed on January 03, 2004

Magmax allows you to go nowhere fast. I wasn’t aware that the game was one of those simplistic early looping shooters until it registered in my laser-riddled brain that my glazed eyes had been seeing the same backgrounds pass by, over and over and over…
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Life Force (NES)

Life Force review (NES)

Reviewed on January 03, 2004

Take on a massive brain/Cyclops, press through tight spots raining volcanic rock, and reach the famous fire level. It might not look like much these days, but the raging, pseudo-sentient arcing flames were a technological marvel at the time of the game’s release. Was the NES really doing this? Yes, it was, and it still is.
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Kung Fu (NES)

Kung Fu review (NES)

Reviewed on January 03, 2004

The little guys are midgets clad in green, who do an admirable job of keeping pace with the huggers. The first time you see them, you might think to yourself, ''hey, the huggers brought their kids to work,'' or something like that. At least, that's what I thought. I thought the whole idea of having these little guys involved in the fight was slightly disturbing. Are they child soldiers? Or is the game poking fun at midgets? Who can tell?
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Gradius (NES)

Gradius review (NES)

Reviewed on January 03, 2004

From deep space and the theme that accompanies it, we fly full tilt into the earthly environs of level one. Dormant volcanoes line the ground, until at last, one volcano proves to be active, and violently so. Hide, and pray, and shoot, and survive the angry magma to fight Gradius' only boss (outside of the final one, snicker. More on him later). A nondescript ship faces off with you on the right of the screen and moves up and down, loosing volleys of slivery blue lasers. The same pattern is necessary for every level when he greets you. Take his eye out for the first time in level one, knowing that it won’t be the last.
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ESPN NHL Hockey (Xbox)

ESPN NHL Hockey review (XBX)

Reviewed on January 01, 2004

I was with a group of friends at a party, the Xbox was set up, and the owner of the system owned the game as well. We settled down, got comfortable, and got ready for some two-on-two action. I'll stop you right there: we were fully clothed. I promise. Back to hockey then?
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Faxanadu (NES)

Faxanadu review (NES)

Reviewed on December 31, 2003

You know this sprite. You’ve seen him brandish a whip in the legendary Castlevania, and bear upon his shoulder a hawk in the not-so-legendary 8 Eyes. He’s the ubiquitous NES adventurer sprite. And he reappears, ready for action, in Faxanadu.
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Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse (NES)

Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse review (NES)

Reviewed on December 31, 2003

Trevor, who powers axe and holy water and dagger and stopwatch with fallen hearts from candles on walls to augment his whipping power; just as Christopher would do before him, and as Simon - the most famous Belmont - would do after him. And then there is Dracula, who is both pitiful and inspirational in his totalitarian rule of despair and depravity, rallying every undead and crumbling and rotting wraith of yesteryear to follow him, to fall in line with him, to encircle his kingdom with grotesque protection and make him whole.
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Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (NES)

Castlevania II: Simon's Quest review (NES)

Reviewed on December 31, 2003

Despite destroying Dracula in game one, stout-hearted Vampire Killer (that’s a proper title, I’d have you know!) Simon Belmont is stricken by a curse at the hands of the dying despot, and desperately needs to find five of the bloodsucker’s body parts in order to be free of what plagues him. A nasty business to be sure - I’m not altogether certain, but hack Thomas Harris might have lent some assistance in developing the gruesome plot.
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Castlevania (NES)

Castlevania review (NES)

Reviewed on December 31, 2003

Could Konami have known? Did they have even the slightest inkling that their clichéd tale of a stout, brave-hearted adventurer up against a haunted house and all its various and typical denizens would spawn over a dozen incarnations? Surely not. Yet, something like fifteen years after the first adventure featuring Simon’s side-scrolling simplicity, we are playing Castlevania in pseudo-3D, jaded as we watch impossibly real polygonal presentations of Simon’s pretenders to his legacy doing their thing, while big budget orchestrations sing along sweetly.
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Cabal (NES)

Cabal review (NES)

Reviewed on December 31, 2003

So you wanna be a guerilla (what, playing as Donkey Kong isn’t enough?). As mentioned, you can take a buddy along, so that the cabal now has two members (and it's a good thing, because I'm not sure that one constitutes a cabal). The two of you are quite deadly and nothing will intimidate you.
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Astyanax (NES)

Astyanax review (NES)

Reviewed on December 31, 2003

Thankfully, the story told here can be skipped by pressing the start button. However, should you care to know, Astyanax is a young blonde high school freshman, selected for a world-shattering mission by fate (what else?) and accosted by a fairy from another world named Cutie (what else?). She drags you into her world to rescue a fair princess (Princess Rosebud of Remlia) - against your will. Despite her constant apologies and her help with magic during the proceedings, you can’t help but hate her for getting you into this mess. You were going to lose your virginity that night, and then this!
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Bonk's Adventure (TurboGrafx-16)

Bonk's Adventure review (TG16)

Reviewed on December 29, 2003

Hudson made a departure from their axe and boomerang throwing Higgins play mechanics, and decided that Bonk would be equipped with all his necessary weaponry right on his person. When you first play the game, and watch your onscreen character in all his cuteness bashing equally cutesy enemies with his noggin, you won’t be able to hide your smile. Much of Bonk’s appeal lies in his ability to be endearing but not nauseatingly so.
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Super Star Soldier (TurboGrafx-16)

Super Star Soldier review (TG16)

Reviewed on December 29, 2003

The challenge in SSS is very high, and very fair. The boss patterns are clever and taxing, and as I intimated earlier, the smaller scale of everything in motion on the screen simply allows for more of everything on the screen. More bullets, more enemies, trickier dodging patterns. And just as important: more bullet slipping on your part: your smaller ship allows you to pull off all manner of godlike projectile-evading mastery.
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Ninja Spirit (TurboGrafx-16)

Ninja Spirit review (TG16)

Reviewed on December 29, 2003

The main character’s name is Moonlight (not the most fearsome moniker, true enough, but full of, er, grace). His father has been killed and Moonlight seeks revenge. The opening scene is nothing special - it certainly isn’t as eye-catching as the one in Revenge of Shinobi, and the fact that it’s unapologetically cliché does not help. The saving grace is witnessing Moonlight’s transmogrifying into a wolf. I know we all have to do it sometime, but it’s so satisfying watching a ninja do it.
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Night Creatures (TurboGrafx-16)

Night Creatures review (TG16)

Reviewed on December 29, 2003

The premise of the game is surprisingly compelling. You are a farmer, stricken with a curse. You were bitten by a bat that turned out to be Hecate, the Queen of Darkness. You must hunt down and destroy this nefarious night creature that afflicted you thus, or die trying. Or worse yet, stay alive, but take too long in your mission, and become a night creature yourself. Oooh! Biting irony!
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New Adventure Island (TurboGrafx-16)

New Adventure Island review (TG16)

Reviewed on December 29, 2003

As you fight through the Hudson-trademark, vibrant, ultra-colourful scenarios, you’ll encounter fuchsia snails, yellow cobras, purple frogs, and green clovers. Alright, the clovers bit was just to see if you were paying attention. Deadly, unattended campfires, skulls surrounded by flames, and the mainstay of the Adventure Island enemy roster - the invisible web-climbing spiders, will all chime in to make life difficult for you.
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Spawn: Armageddon (PlayStation 2)

Spawn: Armageddon review (PS2)

Reviewed on December 27, 2003

On the one hand, it's good that Spawn can mostly focus on shooting when the situation calls for it. There's hardly a pause as he empties one weapon's chamber and switches to the next, which is good if you've got a giant crab or whatever bearing down on you. However, some of the weapons understandably affect Spawn's agility.
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Base Wars (NES)

Base Wars review (NES)

Reviewed on December 23, 2003

If the tedious fights were taken out of Base Wars, or if the faulty computer intelligence had been fixed, a better baseball game would have been produced. As it stands though, Base Wars is just an inferior hybrid.
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Wardner (Genesis)

Wardner review (GEN)

Reviewed on December 22, 2003

Wardner strikes a blow for overweight kids everywhere. Because the hero of Wardner is… well, fat. And he’s not one of those fat kids looking (illogically) for a supermodel either; his girl is also pretty portly. There’s nothing more annoying than someone of the George Costanza mindset: ''I can’t date her because she’s bald.'' But, you're bald! (Don’t worry, I won’t digress any further into the universal applications of my Seinfeldian knowledge.)
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