Thursday, September 29, 2011

The LoadDown -- 09/29/2011

Another week, another new wave of downloadable console games...

WiiWare -- One new game: escapeVektor: Chapter 1, an arcade-inspired maze game with a neat retro-vector-graphics look.  The title implies a series is in the works, presumably contingent on this first game's sales.

Wii Virtual Console -- Nothing new here this week.

DSiWare --  Three new games on Nintendo's most active platform.  The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition brings the Link to the Past-inspired multiplayer game back after too many years away, and this time it works wirelessly on the DSi and 3DS, making it much more accessible than the hardwired GBA/Gamecube approach of the original version.  Crystal Caverns of Amon-Ra is a shoot-the-balls-on-a-track puzzle game, with an Egyptian mythology-inspired title that doesn't seem to affect the gameplay all that much.  And Bugs 'N' Balls is a public service advergame for servicemen.  No, actually it's a game of dodgeball played by colorful insects.

3DS eShop -- One truly classic vintage title arrives, the Game Boy title Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, featuring the debut of Wario.  And, of course, the DSiWare games above are also available on the 3DS.

XBox Live Arcade -- Three new games this week.  Mercury Hg actually is a puzzle game about a blob of mercury making its way through levels based on the periodic table of elements -- it's a remake of the PSP game Mercury MeltdownWorms: Ultimate Mayhem trots out the classic multiplayer combat game yet again -- it's always good destructive fun when friends get together to lob bombs over hills at each others' worms.  MLB Bobblehead Battle is a new entry in Konami's licensed baseball series, which plays a bit like a Mario Party game with a gameboard and baseball-inspired minigames.

PS3 on PSN -- Three new releases hit the bitways this week.  Castlevania: Harmony of Despair, previously seen on XBLA, combines elements from Castlevania history into a massive HD 'vaniathon.  Mercury Hg shows up here too (see XBLA section above.)  Rochard is a Metroidvania-style game about a miner, with more of an emphasis on puzzle-solving, combat and platforming.

PSOne Classics -- Nothing new here for US retro gamers this week, though the Japanese region has remained fairly active.

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