Monday, September 21, 2009

The LoadDown - 09/21/2009

The closest thing to current events coverage you're likely to see on this blog... it's our weekly roundup of recent downloadable games for the Wii, XBox 360 and DSi.

WiiWare - 2 games this week.  You, Me & The Cubes is a physics-based puzzler with a bit of Boom Blox in it -- the goal is to load a prescribed number of critters onto a semi-stable, precariously balanced 3-D structure without causing it to fall down.  I'm very interested in this one but will wait to see some reviews of the US edition.  And Aksys' cute, moderately enjoyable Family series continues with Family Tennis, again with no online multiplayer support.

Virtual Console -  It's another Commodore 64 classic this week, although my hunch is that Last Ninja 2 hasn't aged tremendously well, fantastic SID music aside.  I picked up the original The Last Ninja when it came out on the Virtual Console some months back, and with fresh memories of just how tricky and unforgiving some of the game's jumping is, and a few decades of deteriorating eye-hand coordination behind me, I'm going to let this sequel lie.

DSiWare - Two games, er, products this week. Clubhouse Games Express: Strategy Pack features 5 simple strategy games including Backgammon, with online play.  MySims Camera is not a game, really, but an interesting creativity tool -- it allows DSi owners to take real-world photos and dress them up with decorations and EA's MySims avatars.  I am glad to see DSi game pricing hewing a little closer to the remarkably inexpensive iPhone model -- $2 for MySims Camera seems like good value.

XBLA -- Last week saw Bubble Bobble Neo! and Command & Conquer Red Alert 3 Commander's Challenge enter the ring.  The latest update of Taito's venerable co-op arcade classic retains the classic gameplay and is worth a look if you haven't had a Bubble Bobble fix lately, even if the 3-D modeled characters don't sport the clean, bright lines of the pixel-art originals.  CnCRA3CC (even abbreviated, it's a bit of a handful) provides 50 levels of downloadable real-time strategy set in the classic Command & Conquer universe -- originally marketed as an expansion pack for the PC, it operates here as a standalone game.  Unfortunately the C&C play has never adapted tremendously well to the 360 controller, and this is a single-player experience only, so it's neither the perfect RTS nor XBLA game.

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