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Gradius V – Review

It doesn't seem possible, but it's been 20 years since Gradius first showed up on the arcade scene, becoming an instant classic and one of the defining shoot-em-ups (aka, shmups) of all time. Over the years, the Vic Viper has turned up in a plethora of ports, sequels, and side stories, and while some of them have been better than others (Gradius IV has always seemed like the series lowpoint for me, personally), Gradius V may well be the best of them all.

Gradius V – Consumer Guide

According to ESRB, this game contains: Mild Fantasy, Violence

Mario Pinball Land

Game Description: As you play through the varied worlds of the Mushroom Kingdom areas, you'll have to bounce Mario through all sorts of challenges to move on., When Bowser kidnaps Peach and escapes to another dimension, a scientist uses his Spherifier to transform Mario into a ball and fires him after the fiend. It's just a pinball game, right? Hardly. It's a flipping adventure. Mario rolls through different worlds. Instead of performing his signature jump on enemies, Mario just steamrolls them in ball form. Each pinball arena contains a door to the next level.

Mario Pinball Land – Consumer Guide

According to ESRB, this game contains: Comic Mischief

Mario Pinball Land – Review

I'm a big fan of gimmicky pinball games and I also like Mario, so this little cart seemed tailor-made for me. It started strong and kept me playing for a few hours, but everything went downhill so rapidly that it was force of will alone that enabled me to see the credits roll. In fact, I grew such hatred for it that it went out my window and became a gift to the creatures living at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. I'm sure the sea cucumbers will get more use out of it than I will.

Neo Contra – Review

Neo Contra delivers a fun, violence-filled romp, but its virtues as a hardcore action game are tarnished by its hit-or-miss attempts at parody. Other developers have elevated the classic 2D shooter to a form of ballet, where memorizing bullet patterns and releasing your own perfect counter-attack is the grammar of an elegant dance.

Neo Contra – Consumer Guide

According to ESRB, this game contains: Mild Language, Violence

Astro Boy: Omega Factor

Game Description: Invisible enemies are revealed with his x-ray vision, his Arm Canon discharges explosive firepower, his hearing is unparalleled, and his strength is no less than 100,000 horsepower. With his superior, electronic brain, he decodes robotic languages and secret codes. Help Astro uncover his full potential through 10 non-linear, interactive areas, including a volcano, outer space, underground, and the city.

Astro Boy: Omega Factor – Consumer Guide

According to ESRB, this game contains: Mild Cartoon Violence

Astro Boy: Omega Factor – Review

It's rare to find a handheld game with this much emphasis on narrative (and narrative logic) and Osamu Tezuka's colorful roster of characters are ultimately crowbarred in to good effect.

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