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Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus (New)

Title : Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus (New)
Publisher : Marvelous
Game Type : Action
Console : MiscGames

Price : £67.99

Here is the formula: play as a pretty lady with some serious weaponry, such as pigtails with rotating blades. Clear a small section of the stage by taking on hordes of adversaries, often fellow ladies. Progress through the level to meet the boss. Power up and reveal (via an anime sequence) a skimpier outfit and seemingly boosting your stats other than your vital stats. Give boss a good beating and cause her to lose items of clothing (again via anime sequences.) Defeat boss, end level. Stylishly done with a real aplomb and an appreciation of the mass market as much as the doujin title. Hats off (and not just to protect the boss' modesty.)

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Nangoku Shonen Papuwa Kun (Cart Only)

Title : Nangoku Shonen Papuwa Kun (Cart Only)
Publisher : Enix
Game Type : Platform
Console : SuperFamicom

Price : £8.99

Stands on a podium (probably a bamboo pole) above its many platform peers on the SFC. A kung fu style hero battles all manner of Japanese folklore with one legged umbrella and Dharma dolls rolling around. The levels are very atmospheric with a blend of Kyoto temples and urban skyscrapers with some lovely Mode 7 and parallax effects. Clever, compact programming and a host of imaginative characters and the ability to level up as players defeat enemies. Bravo!

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Star Soldier

Title : Star Soldier
Publisher : Hudson
Game Type : Shoot Em Up
Console : PSP

Price : £19.99

First shoot 'em up release on the system and what a way to start the party with this update of the timeless PC Engine series that actually has more in common with the GameCube and PS2 cracker. Still the timed high score challenge is kept in there with its roots in the PC Engine Caravan contest. Speed of hand eye co-ordination is the key to clocking up a big score as bonuses are awarded for rapid destruction of incoming waves of enemy ships. The code has been optimized to fit the PSP's dimensions with the console being held vertically suiting the genre perfectly. And ergonomically it works like a dream too. Additional ships have been constructed and its now autofire so you don't have to worry about being able to see whilst frantically hammering the fire button. A very nice shooter, another medal to the Hudson lapel.

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Mosquito (Best)

Title : Mosquito (Best)
Publisher : Sony Computer Entertainment
Game Type : A Bit Special
Console : PS2

Price : £9.99

Innovative, if a little off- kilter, 'Ka' is played through the eyes of a mosquito trying to get a good feed. The much-maligned insect can fly freely within the room to close in on a human occupant and try and hit one of the sweet spots suitable for feeding. Unfortunately the family living in the house are aware of your humming presence and will lash out if flying too close or the blood isn't efficiently pinched with a tight joypad rotation. Interesting scenarios with the mother preparing dinner and the slightly voyeuristic section with a lady in the bath. Sony again delivers another genre bending title. Just keep away from the smoking mosquito coils, no matter how tempting they look.

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