Rice Digital's Reviews
Casual Challenge Players’ Club is a good idea, executed extraordinarily poorly. There’s definitely scope for a pool game with a narrative — in fact, it’s been done before, if you check out the excellent and vastly underappreciated Backstreet Billiards on PS1, which couples a full-on adventure game with 3D pool action — but Casual Challenge Players’ Club does not provide that in any way, shape or form. Couple that with the atrocious physics of the pool action and the inability to just play a simple game of pool, and you, regrettably, are left with a game that really is not worth bothering with.
It’s great to preserve the original arcade experiences as much as possible, of course — particularly with real arcades being a dying breed, and physical arcade machines often sadly ending up discarded and unloved — but Turtles in Time shows us that there’s still a great deal of value in a game originally designed for the arcade being significantly reimagined for its home release.
The arcade version of Turtles in Time is definitely worth playing, then — but, as we’ve previously noted, a lot of people actually hold the SNES version in even higher esteem than its source material. So we’ll take a look at that next time, and see if that’s an attitude still worth holding in 2022, now we have easy access to both versions via the Cowabunga Collection.
Slightly underwhelming boss fights aside, then, Splatoon 3’s single-player definitely lived up to expectations, and is once again well worth spending some time with if you can drag yourself away from the multiplayer. It’s also nice to see Nintendo taking Splatoon’s lore admirably seriously; there’s a thoroughly interesting setting here, and it’s cool to see that it’s clearly been thought about in more depth than simply “there’s kids, right, who are also squids”. It’ll certainly be interesting to see where the series goes from here.
Soulstice celebrates the great things about its biggest inspirations while being memorable in its own right. The presence of Sir Donovan as a capable male Chimera fills a void from Claymore, and how the game explores and shows memories reminiscent of the Vestige fragments in Code Vein makes for a nice interlude after countless battle segments and heavy plot reveals.
n a world where the Internet feels like an increasingly toxic place on a daily basis, Splatoon 3 is a real oasis. It’s a place where people can come together and have fun, and you get the distinct impression that those out to behave like a little shit are not only not welcome, they’re actively silenced. And, to be perfectly honest, these days I am all for that.
I’m genuinely impressed with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project. It represents a solid evolution of the Turtles beat ’em up formula, and is a prime example of a late-era NES game that looks, sounds and plays great. If you, like me, have previously ignored it in favour of the arcade game on the basis that an 8-bit console game couldn’t possibly be as good, then take a bit of time to educate yourself. You will almost certainly be very pleasantly surprised.
All in all, Splatoon 3’s single-player mode hasn’t disappointed so far, and I anticipate it’s going to be a fun experience for the few hours it will probably last, going by my experiences with the previous games. It’s perhaps not as substantial as a Nintendo game designed entirely for the single player such as Super Mario Odyssey — but if you’ve typically shied away from Splatoon on the assumption that it’s a multiplayer-only affair, I’d encourage you to give the single-player mode a shot.
Whether you’re an adventure game veteran from the ’90s or a younger gamer who simply enjoys narrative-centric experiences, Brok is a title you shouldn’t miss. It’s a textbook example of the passion independent developers bring to their projects, and how that passion, when leveraged correctly, can produce not only compelling narratives, but also excellent video games.
HoloCure’s new update doesn’t fundamentally reinvent the game, but it does refine it nicely. A number of the sprites have been redrawn, additional enemy types have been added and the greater variety of ways to play mean that each run can be quite a bit different from the last. The game’s in a good state now — and if subsequent updates continue to be this substantial, the future for HoloCure is very bright indeed.
The important thing to note is that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game shouldn’t be written off just because it’s an NES port of a technically superior arcade game. Rather, it should be looked upon as a distinct experience that has its own value — and plenty of enjoyment to offer, even for a modern audience.
However you choose to play it, Galaga ’88 is worth experiencing. For those who struggle to engage with the older fixed shooters, it’s a nice game to bridge the gap between those classics and more modern shoot ’em ups. And for those who have been happily following the series since its earliest days, it’s a fascinating and well-designed evolution of the formula. It’s one of Namco’s best arcade games — and one that doesn’t get talked about nearly enough these days.
So in answer to the question in the headline, yes, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the NES is eminently worth playing today — just maybe consider playing it as part of the Cowabunga Collection rather than on an original NES, and you’ll probably find yourself having a much better time than you might expect!
For now, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game remains a noteworthy game from a historical perspective, and is definitely still worth playing today. Just be ready for the things it does a bit differently from the norm — and aware that some of its follow-ups provide an arguably superior experience, particularly if you’re playing alone.
Anyway, I think I’ve made my point for now. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cowabunga Collection is a prime example of how video game history should be preserved and celebrated. With the wealth of additional material bundled in alongside the games — plus the solid recreations of the games themselves — this is the closest you’re going to get to an interactive “textbook” on the history of Konami’s Turtles games, and I sincerely hope we see more releases of this astonishingly high quality from Digital Eclipse in the future.
IMMORTALITY has a thought-provoking narrative; it features unassuming but difficult to master gameplay design, and there’s a harrowing truth to discover, plus plenty of additional mysteries to uncover over subsequent playthroughs. It’s an incredible experience, and I urge you to try it for yourself.
I may have some complaints about the game’s overall design choices and gameplay mechanics, but I will certainly give it another playthrough or two and may well change my mind. If that ends up being the case, you’ll all be the first to know, as there’s a ton of potential here. And in the meantime, if you like what you’ve seen and heard so far, you’ll almost certainly find something of worth here — so I encourage you to check it out for yourself.
And once that scenario editor is released — and perhaps some more popular user-made scenarios are translated into English — there’s potentially limitless dungeon-crawling fun on offer right here, making Wizardry: The Five Ordeals a fantastic investment for those who like nothing more than getting the graph paper out and splattering some monsters across the nearest wall.