There was a time when I was really into Level-5’s Yo-kai Watchmonster battling series. I enjoyed the anime, saw the movie in theaters, and visited the official store in Japan to get plushies of my favorite Yo-kai monsters. Then, after Yo-kai Watch 2‘s 2016 release, the franchise seemingly vanished in the West, and I forgot about it…until now. Yo-kai Watch 3 is one of the last big games launching for the Nintendo 3DS, and it is certainly big.
As a 2D action platformer that features a sword-throwing knight and horror-themed enemies, Cursed Castilla EX takes clear inspiration from Capcom’s old-school arcade game Ghosts ‘n Goblins. Despite the obvious similarities, the sole developer “Locomalito” has refined Capcom’s punishing classic into an experience that is both contemporary and forgiving. Instead of playing as Sir Arthur, you control Don Ramiro, who sets out to rid evil from the lands of Castile, a world inspired by the 16th century Spanish novel, Amadis of Gaul. Although Cursed Castilla has previously launched as a freeware title, this EX version adds two extra levels along with bonus weapons, enemies, and bosses. The added cost is well worth it for any gamers who grew up with arcade cabinets.
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.