Monday, September 28, 2009

The LoadDown - 09/28/2009

Time for our weekly, semi-opinionated roundup of Wii, DSi and XBox 360 downloadable games...

WiiWare -- 2 titles from major publishers this week.  Taito continues its update series on the Wii, with Arkanoid Plus! carrying the torch for the long-running series, itself a variation on Breakout.  And Konami releases DRiiFT Mania, a racing game; there's no online support as far as I can tell, so it must use Wiimotes and nunchuks to support the promised 8 players.  (I also have no idea whether it's to be pronounced 'Drift', or 'Dreeft'.)  Both titles look to be of solid if not spectacular quality.

Virtual Console -- Just one this week, and I'm always happy to see a coin-op arcade release -- but it's Sega's Altered Beast, which hardly seems worth the 1000 point asking price.  Most people have played this game to death in its slightly-inferior Genesis pack-in incarnation, already available on the Virtual Console, and while the coin-op audiovisuals are better, it's still just a stiff, scrolling beat-'em-up.

DSiWare -- 2 titles this week, and one is a real game.  Art Academy: Second Semester is a sequel with additional creativity tools.  Dragon Quest Wars marks Square/Enix's debut on the DSi download service -- it's a grid-based strategy game, not as sophisticated as Final Fantasy Tactics but not a bad fit for the DSi, and it supports Wi-Fi play with others.  The DSiWare scene is definitely improving as time goes on.

XBLA -- 3 games released on the service last week, all of which have a retro vibe: ION Assault (sort of a neo-Asteroids), The Warriors: Street Brawl (a Final Fight-style beat-'em-up based on the cult 1970's movie), and Zombie Apocalypse (which plays a lot like Robotron:2084).  Unfortunately, the classic-style game mechanics are not enough to make any of these games tremendously worthwhile, especially as the originals and other variations are already available on XBLA.

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