I’ll always remember November 18, 2001. I was standing in front of a Toys ‘R’ Us (R.I.P.) on a cold morning. It was the first time I had ever lined up for a video game console: the Nintendo GameCube. After waiting several long hours, I finally had Nintendo’s shiny cube in my hands, along with the launch game Luigi’s Mansion. Although it was odd to have no first-day mainline Mario game, I was still excited to experience a brand new adventure starring the green-capped younger brother Luigi. I beat the game within the same weekend, but to this day, I retain fond memories of busting ghosts throughout a comically spooky mansion. Nearly 17 years later, my nostalgia would be put to the test with the remake of Luigi’s Mansion for the Nintendo 3DS.
The original WarioWare for Game Boy Advance was a collection of microgames – three- to five-second challenges that you would play in succession – ranging from silly to utterly insane. Later entries in the series took advantage of unique gimmicks; WarioWare Touched used the Nintendo DS’ touch screen for its fast-paced trials, and WarioWare Twisted had motion-controlled games that utilized the GBA’s gyroscope. WarioWare Gold embraces this legacy as greatest hits compilation including over 300 microgames representing these different control styles.
The first rule of Punch Club is: you don’t pull any punches. In this port of a 2016 game, you manage everything about a fighter’s life except the actual fighting. He handles that all on his own. Instead, you’re in charge of training him, feeding him, managing his social life, and keeping him happy. He’s essentially a Sim, except you can’t kill him by enclosing him in a toiletless room. Jokes aside, the concept is an interesting take on the fight simulation genre. However, a flaw with the execution decays the entertainment value.
The original Radiant Historia for the Nintendo DS was a hard-to-find game released near the end of the portable system’s life. The title has found a new home on the Nintendo 3DS as Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology, adding a new what-if timeline, dungeon, and quality of life improvements. As a “definitive edition,” the game is well-suited for new players, but my big question was whether this upgrade was enough to warrant a replay.
In an age when role-playing games continue to expand in size and scope, it’s a delight to see Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth hold on to its old-school, dungeon-crawling roots. As a first-person dungeon exploration RPG that asks players to draw their own maps, the game has a specific appeal. But for devoted fans and interested newcomers, this is one of the most refined sequels to date.