The Castlevania Anniversary Collection is a required pick-up for fans of the classic whip-slinging series. Granted, there are a couple of minor problems with this set, most notably the lack of button-remapping. Hopefully they're being worked on. Still, it's hard to argue with having four of the all-time best action-platformers around. Plus you get four other games, which range from awful to pretty good. Whether you decide to pick this up now, or wait for the region-select and other fixes, you're guaranteed a good time.
If you're just looking for a mildly-amusing journey to help pass the time, Warlocks 2: God Slayers isn't the worst choice. However, if your intension is to play on the highest difficulty and invest a lot of hours, then the game's flaws will become apparent.
Over 100 stages of mind-boggling puzzles await anyone who decides to tackle Warlock's Tower. Depending on your patience and aptitude for problem-solving, this adventure could last for quite some time. In every respect, Midipixel has done a fine job. The charming visuals and great soundtrack accompany a wealth of challenging ordeals. Frustration and exhaustion are rarely a factor, because this puzzler never tries to do too much at once. Altogether, it's a worthwhile pick-up for genre fans.
With the addition of region-select, Konami's Arcade Classics Anniversary Collection has become the easy recommendation it deserves to be. An eclectic array of games is included in this set, and most of them are still quite entertaining. The newly-added region-select option allows players the chance to study how different approaches to difficulty can affect a title. It's rather fascinating how a few simple changes can create new challenges. All in all, it's a worthwhile pick-up for arcade fans.
Gato Roboto is a bite-sized trek that's sufficiently programmed for the right amount of enjoyment. With enough charm to last a Sunday afternoon, Kiki's escapade is sure to leave behind a pleasant memory or three. Just be sure to keep expectations in check.
All in all, the SNK 40th Anniversary Collection is a fine way to experience SNK's humble beginnings. The included games cover a wide variety of genres, and even the worst of them have one or two admirable qualities. There are no complaints at all when it comes to features. Both region-select and console versions are accounted for, and the museum is loaded with bonus materials. Hopefully the dual-stick control issue is eventually sorted out, as it's the only stain on this otherwise impeccable set.
Inferno Climber: Reborn has a few interesting qualities, but they are completely buried by a combination of poor controls, an awful camera, and quite possibly the worst frame-rate since Virtual Hydlide. Anybody who dares to take on this action-RPG will have to endure a ton of pain. Perhaps, if they suffer in torment for several hours, they'll uncover something of merit. Even then, is it really worth the cost of their soul?
Lapis x Labyrinth is all that a one could want from a rogue-lite. Countless hours will be spent engaging in simplistic yet also compelling hack 'n' slash action. The eight playable classes offer plenty of diversity in their skillset and play-style. Forming them into a squad and maximizing their effectiveness is lots of fun. The frame-drops are regrettable, but can be alleviated somewhat by skilful play. Oh and of course you've got to love the FEVER. Why is FEVER in all-caps anyway? It's because lower-case letters can never hope to contain its awesomeness.
Given the title, Panty Party doesn't really throw a lot curveballs. Seeing as how each pair of undies has their own strengths and weaknesses, there's actually a bit of depth to the action. As long as players make effective use of cover and manage their stamina, they can avoid getting shredded to pieces. The three modes of play are also appreciated. However, the camera is a constant nuisance. Aiming is really unreliable, and the lock-on isn't great, either. Then there's all of the lolicon garbage, which has no place anywhere. Altogether, this is a strange and only somewhat amusing game. It just can't quite reach its full potential.
Altogether, Devil Engine is an intriguing STG that's held back by rough fundamentals. Given enough tuning, it could turn out to be welcome entry in any fan's library. There's plenty of content, and the two playable ships are impressively realized. However, the weak arsenal is a constant nuisance. Attempting to destroy massive bosses or even moderately-sized foes with a pea shooter isn't fun. There are options for quickly eliminating adversity, but getting past their constant waves of fire is also an ordeal. Simply put, it feels like this is trying too hard to break its players.
Nearly thirty years was a mighty long time, but ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove! proves that the wait was worth it. This is an excellent sequel, and it's not just because it captures the spirit of the original. The new features, as well as quality-of-life improvements, really enhance the experience. Each level is filled with things to do, and they all serve a purpose. There aren't any meaningless distractions. Even today, where roguelikes are exponentially more common, this is one that shouldn't be passed up.
Seeing as how Versus STGs are incredibly uncommon, Rival Megagun could easily get some recognition just for being part of such a rare niche. Thankfully, Spacewave Software went above and beyond to create a fantastic shooter. It has gotten the basics down pat, and delivers an exceptionally realized meta. Players are rewarded for thinking three moves ahead, reading their opponents, and finding the right opportunity to strike. For competitive gamers looking for something new, this is highly recommended.