Thursday, August 23, 2012

The LoadDown -- 08/23/2012

The pace is picking up a bit this week, as Nintendo tries a novel distribution approach for a substantial new release.

Wii Virtual Console -- The SNK Neo*Geo titles keep coming, with Metal Slug X, basically an enhanced version of Metal Slug 2.  The whole Metal Slug series saw a disc-based release early in the Wii's life, but it's nice to have this well-animated action series available this way too.

DSiWare -- Just one new game here, as the 3DS XL debuts and Nintendo shifts its focus ever more in the direction of its newer portable system.  Abyss is an exploration game where the player's robot must find resources in caverns, as visibility deteriorates over time and the tiny craft's thrusters combat gravity.

3DS eShop -- The big news here is that New Super Mario Bros. 2 is available as a downloadable title, arriving simultaneously with the physical, packaged retail release.  Both editions are priced at $39.99, which seems wrong somehow given that no trucks, boxes, or plastic are involved in delivering the digital release -- but Nintendo is treading carefully at this stage, and likely doesn't want to stick retailers with dust-gathering shelf stock if the online channel suddenly explodes.  There's also VectorRacing, rendered in seriously retro wireframe/vector style, and in true 3-D to boot.

XBox Live Arcade -- Two new games this week... see the PS3 section below for more info on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure HD.

PS3 on PSN -- Four, count 'em, four new titles this week.  JoJo's Bizarre Adventure HD brings the anime-inspired Dreamcast fighting game back for another round.  Valve's Counter-Strike: Global Offensive brings the latest in the popular multiplayer team combat series to the PS3, arriving simultaneously with PC, Mac and XBox 360 releases.  Retro/Grade is an indie rhythm/shooting game where the player must re-fight a space battle -- backwards, to preserve the space-time continuum.  And Deep Black is an underwater swimmer/shooter originally announced as Underwater Wars.

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