Monday, July 26, 2010

The LoadDown - 07/26/2010

Another week of new games available over the wire and on demand...

WiiWare -- Two games this week, both with some rather nice graphics squeezed into the WiiWare format.  Dive: The Medes Island Secret is a 2-D underwater treasure hunt.  Heavy Fire: Special Operations is yet another inexpensive target game with Wii Zapper support.

Wii Virtual Console -- After several quiet weeks, a worthy 16-bit title arrives - Sunsoft's Aero the Acrobat for the SNES, one of the better furry mascot games of its time, with some innovative platforming mechanics and a memorable circus environment.

DSiWare -- Yet another five-release week for Nintendo's handheld.  Crystal Monsters is a lightweight Pokemon/Monster Hunter-type game.  Puffins: Let's Race! presents more casual fun with the big-billed birds.  Petz Hamsterz Family is yet more virtual pet entertainment from Ubisoft.  Absolute Brickbuster is a child of classic Breakout.  And the most innovative, if overly self-explanatory, title is Face Pilot: Fly With Your Nintendo DSi Camera!, which allows players to digitize their own faces AND control a hang glider with head movements.

XBox Live Arcade -- 2010's Summer of Arcade kicks off with Playdead's stylish puzzle/action game, LIMBO.  The physics-based puzzles are challenging and unpredictable in the best of ways, and the foggy, underexposed black-and-white backdrops and charming 2-D animation make the boy's quest to rescue his sister a pleasure to experience.  There's also quite a bit of comical particle-based gore, with the option of turning it down.

Game Room -- Microsoft needs to start organizing the Game Room library more efficiently, as it's not always easy to identify what's new now that the releases are flowing on a regular basis.  This week saw the unlocking of Activision's Enduro and Ice Hockey for the Atari 2600, Konami's pioneering one-on-one arcade fighter Yie Ar Kung-Fu, early console RPG Tower of Doom for the Intellivision, and Atari's 2600 version of Gravitar, an odd choice given that the genuine coin-op version has been available since March.

PS3 on PSN -- It appears that, just as Hollywood studios' rival releases duck out while Harry Potter casts his spell on the box office, Sony isn't releasing much for the PS3 while the Summer of Arcade rolls on.  But there are some interesting titles coming up in August.

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