Valentine's Day is almost here... not that that's influencing this week's lineup of downloadable games in any visible way, but who wouldn't love a new game for V-Day? So I'll try to tie all of these in somehow.
WiiWare -- One anticipated retro title arrives - MonkeyPaw Games' BurgerTime World Tour, bringing the classic Data East arcade game up-to-date. Aside from the 3-D rotating playfield and some flashy new effects, and some alternate means of conveyance for Peter Pepper, the gameplay is still recognizably BurgerTime. It arrives on the Wii after debuting in HD form on the XBox 360 and PSN. This might work as a Valentine's gift -- it's one of those classic arcade games that seems to appeal to both genders.
DSiWare -- One new game for the DSi (and 3DS), the 40-in-1 Explosive Megamix, collecting generic versions of a bunch of games into one big bundle that sounds suspiciously like something from K-Tel. You might be able to get away with a V-Day Explosive Megamix -- nudge nudge -- but most significant others would not be down with the 40-in-1 part.
3DS eShop -- One "new" 3DS game, Maru's Mission, a side-scrolling ninja mission originally published by Jaleco in 1990; it's another GameBoy revival in classic 2-D, black-and-white virtual form. Ninja Maru must rescue his girlfriend. Maybe THAT counts as a Valentine's Day Tie-In!
XBox Live Arcade -- Check out the details in the PS3 section below -- XBLA players get The Simpsons Arcade Game, Shank 2 and Gotham City Impostors this week. High-quality stuff all around, and both The Simpsons Arcade Game and Shank 2 feature local co-op for Valentine's Day fun.
PS3 on PSN -- BIG week for retro fans here! Sega has the zombie light-gun/Move game House of the Dead III and Konami has the well-remembered The Simpsons Arcade Game, never before released on a home console. Warner Brothers/DC's Gotham City Impostors is an interesting concept -- Batman and Joker wannabes battling it out in the chaotic streets of Gotham. And Shank 2 is a retro-style side-scrolling beat-'em-up with attractive comic-book visuals and hopefully improved gameplay over the original. Team up with your best friend/lover and take out some zombies!
PSOne Classics -- Yet another quiet week, going on a month or so now. Maybe that's a sign you should take a break from gaming and spend some time with your significant other for Valentine's Day.
Notable on Steam -- It's another sign of the growing PC/console convergence as Shank 2 and Gotham City Impostors show up on Steam the same week. Jagged Alliance Back in Action updates the classic squad-based strategy game, PixelJunk Eden brings the popular series to the PC, and -- I forgot to mention this last week -- for hardcore retro gamers, the Mortal Kombat Kollection presents all three of Midway's classic coin-op fighting games for $9.99. Throw your SO a controller and play co-op on Shank 2 or compete in Mortal Kombat! FINISH HER! Then FINISH HIM! Y'knowhatI'mtalkin'bout.