Thursday, July 12, 2012

The LoadDown -- 07/12/2012

Activity levels are picking up a little bit this week, with multiple new downloadable games on several channels...

WiiWare -- Hey, some activity!  Konami's Frogger: Hyper Arcade Edition also arrives on the Wii!  See the XBLA section below for details.

Wii Virtual Console --  This platform is active too, with SNK's Neo*Geo one-on-one brawling classic The King of Fighters '96!

DSiWare --  2 games are available for the DSi and 3DS.  Candle Route is a colorful casual puzzle game, where the player must collect candles and find each level's exit in a limited number of moves; the hero is a little flame, and the game takes place in Crayon Castle, so somebody's probably going to find their Burnt Sienna in a messy little puddle.  Ace Mathician (try saying that five times fast) stars a Koala bear who must move platforms to gain access to fruit, by entering mathematical formulas.  What I like about this concept is that, unlike most math "education" games which focus on computation drills, this one actually uses the equations to affect the game world -- ideally, kids can gain an appreciation for math, something that's always been hard to inspire.

3DS eShop --  A bunch of new 3DS games all of a sudden - 4 in total.  Johnny Kung Fu pits the player's hero against Mr. Wang Gang in what sounds like a very 70s experience - it even does something new as retro-inspired games go, with limited-motion Game & Watch LCD matrix-style rounds included.  Sweet Memories: Black Jack features simulated gambling and suggestive themes for its T rating, as the player plays blackjack with attractive girls.  There are also two more 8-Bit Summer releases, both from the Game Boy era -- Kirby's Pinball Land and RPG The Sword of Hope II, which combines traditional combat and level-up mechanics with some rudimentary adventure game puzzles.

XBox Live Arcade -- Three new titles this week.  Quantum Conundrum is a time-traveling first-person puzzle/platform game, with lots of switches to pull, pitfalls to avoid, and dimensions to explore, with creative direction by Kim Swift (Portal).  Frogger: Hyper Arcade Edition is another vintage coin-op update, bringing Konami's road-crossing amphibian into the fast-paced, skin-swappable, particle-spewing modern era.  And PopCap's Zuma's Revenge! is more casual ball-banging fun; sorry, the official marketing term is apparently "ball-blasting action," which sounds much less entertaining but still kind of smarmy.

PS3 on PSN -- Three new titles here. Quantum Conundrum and Frogger: Hyper Arcade Edition also hit the PS3 this week. And Rainbow Moon is an old-fashioned isometric turn-based RPG that's sure to call Grandia to mind.

Notable on PC -- The Steam Summer Sale is on!  Ready your wishlists and your wallets!

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