Monday, September 14, 2009

The LoadDown - 09/14/2009

Turning my attention to the present for a moment, here's the weekly roundup of what's new on the U.S. Wii and XBox 360 downloadable scene...

WiiWare -- 3 games.  Spaceball: Revolution is a unique action puzzler that reminds me of the old Avalon-Hill 3-D breakout games back in the day.  The player fires balls at a pattern of tiles at the end of a tunnel to match a specified pattern, and has to bank the balls off of the tunnel walls to get around obstacles.  Looks like an interesting challenge,something different at least.  Mart Racer is a simple grocery store race, and Texas Hold'em Poker is poker against a host of computer players.  Both of these also feature online multiplayer support, which I'm very glad to see turning up more often on WiiWare.

Virtual Console -- A good one and  an interesting choice:  Crash 'n The Boys: Street Challenge, from the classic Kunio-kun series that spawned River City Ransom and Super Dodge Ball.  Nice to see something new and worthwhile on the VC, even in a week with 3 WiiWare releases competing for gamers' points.

DSiWare -- Oscar in Toyland, a decent but repetitive platformer judging from reviews of the game online.  At least it's a real game, something DSiWare needs more of.

XBLA -- Last week unfortunately saw Wallace & Gromit episode 2 pushed back to a future date TBD.  The only title that actually made it out was Sega's Genesis emulation, Sonic & Knuckles, which is a decent entry in the popular series, and may be worth replaying for the achievements, but comes cheaper as part of Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection

Followups and News --

This week the XBLA Lode Runner game is on sale for XBox Live Gold members -- I may pick it up, I really enjoyed the demo but thought 1200 points was a bit pricey; 800 seems much more reasonable. 

In other news, Castlevania The Adventure ReBirth is reportedly coming to WiiWare someday, another in Konami's revival series which should feature 16-bit 2-D Castlevania gameplay (it's a followup to the GameBoy Castlevania Adventure, but I doubt they're going to go THAT old-school.).  Definitely on my list unless something goes horribly, horribly wrong -- Gradius ReBirth and Contra ReBirth were exactly what I had in mind.

And the Wii Nintendo Channel has an update out today, with a new interface, records that track gameplay time and number of sessions, and quality settings for watching videos (the High setting looks slightly better than the old videos, the Normal quality is noticeably lower.)

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