Monday, December 14, 2009

The LoadDown - 12/14/2009

First, some great retro news from Sunsoft -- the company is releasing its classic games on the Virtual Console, starting this week as it turns out, and has also picked up the rights to the long-defunct Nihon Telenet library, which means we may see PC Engine classics like the Valis series on the VC soon.  Working Designs' Victor Ireland is involved -- he brought many of Nihon Telenet's games to the US TurboGrafx-16 once upon a time.

On to this week's roundup of downloadable games for Wii and XBox 360...

WiiWare -- 4 games this week.  Diatomic presents retro arcade-style action on a microbial scale -- it's a kinetic 2-D shooter, sort of like Omega Race crossed with AsteroidsStunt Cars is a local multiplayer racing game on treacherous elevated tracks.  Moki Moki is a puzzle game with gravity effects, and a playfield controlled by tilting the Wii Remote.  Rubik's Puzzle Galaxy: RUSH revives Ernst Rubik's puzzle franchise, with a game that seems to be mostly about traffic control, but does include a version of the classic Cube as a bonus.

Virtual Console -- 2 games.  First, Sunsoft makes its Virtual Console debut with one of my favorite 8-bit games, Blaster Master -- a Metroidvania-style action game from before the term was coined.  We also get Earthworm Jim 2 in its Sega Genesis incarnation, always reliable for well-animated cartoon platforming fun.

DSiWare -- 5 games.  LITTLEST PET SHOP brings the long-running toy franchise to the DSi, with a virtual pet approach.  Miami Nights is a T-rated game that seems like a mini-Sims -- create an avatar and take him or her through a life simulation, making moral choices, friends and possibly enemies along the way.  Bejeweled Twist brings PopCap's popular rotate-the-jewels-into-place franchise to the DSi.  Yummy Yummy Cooking Jam is a Diner Dash-style game with a dash of Cooking Mama.  And Master of Illusion Express: Matchmaker is a new toy expanding on the magic tricks title from a few years back, bringing the DSi camera into play.

XBLA -- Just one game again this week, as Taito continues its update series with Qix++, perhaps the geekiest name ever given to a videogame.  But Qix remains good clean old-fashioned fun.

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