Monday, October 19, 2009

The LoadDown - 10/19/2009

It's a good week on the downloadable scene -- lots of content, much of it worthwhile!

WiiWare -- Two games today.  First, LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias was rumored to be lined up for release today, and I'm happy to report that it made it out on schedule.  I really liked the original LostWinds, which made great use of the Wii's pointer controls to influence the natural environment, and this sequel looks to provide more of the same unique, gentle platforming experience.  The second new WiiWare game is Hudson's Shootanto: Evolutionary Mayhem, a first-person shooter with a deep-history bent as weapons and enemies evolve over time.  I imagine the visuals will be limited by the 40MB download size limit, but Hudson's WiiWare FPS games have been pretty solid to date.

Virtual Console -- A single, but interesting, Virtual Console Arcade release today:  Tecmo's original coin-op arcade game Rygar, which is different enough from the NES version to be worth a look.  It's side-scrolling hack-and-slash battle action in the classic 1980's 16-bit mold, with nicely detailed and shaded graphics, but the insert-coin-to-continue gameplay isn't as deep as the NES version, lacking the gurus and the adventure/item-acquisition elements.  Unlike the Namco and Sega games, the Tecmo arcade games haven't been re-released to death, though this game was made available on Tecmo's classics compilation for the original XBox some years ago.

DSiWare -- An experiment in episodic gaming as a mass release, apparently, as a new character stars in five simple but commendably varied action games:  Crash-Course Domo™, Hard-Hat Domo™, Pro-Putt Domo™, Rock-n-Roll Domo™, and White-Water Domo™.  Each sold separately!

XBLA -- The recent Telltale Games adventure drought on XBLA ended last week, but in an unexpected manner, as the second season collection, Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space hit the service for 1600 points (US$20), a very good value.  I've just completed the first of the five episodes, Ice Station Santa, and am enjoying this season as much as I did the first (though playing on the 360 this round, I do miss the Wii's point-and-click controller).  Another adventure-ish game, Axel & Pixel, also hit the service, with an interesting collage look and some action and puzzle elements to mix things up a bit.

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