Thursday, October 6, 2011

The LoadDown -- 10/06/2011

What's new in the world of near-instant gratification, i.e. downloadable console games...

WiiWare --  In an unusual (for the Wii) twist mimicking the XBLA approach, the platform sees Horizon Riders and a free limited demo of Horizon Riders.  It's a racing game featuring hoverboard riders, and works with the Wii Balance Board -- nice to see the trusty old Wii Fit peripheral getting some support.

Wii Virtual Console -- Nothing here this week; again, Nintendo's retro-gaming focus seems to be all about the DS lately.

DSiWare -- Two new titles this week, which is fairly quiet by DSiWare standards.  House M.D. -- Skull & Bones is the third investigative medical adventure for the DSi and 3DS, featuring the characters from the popular TV series.  Simply Minesweeper is, simply, Minesweeper.

3DS eShop -- In addition to the DSiWare game, the 3DS gets a virtual Game Boy release with Data East's 8-bit pool game Side Pocket, originally seen on the NES.  There's also a free Pokedex 3D update with new information about everyone's favorite pocket monsters.

XBox Live Arcade -- Four new titles this week.  For a change, XBLA and PSN seem to be largely in synch, with Sega Bass Fishing, Space Channel 5: Part 2 and NBA Jam: On Fire Edition hitting both platforms at the same time; see details below.  The fourth XBLA titles is Orcs Must Die! -- it's an action game with tower-defense elements, as the player sets up traps to stop the invading orc hordes.

PS3 on PSN -- Four new titles this week.  Two Dreamcast ports from Sega -- Sega Bass Fishing, which hasn't aged all that well, and Space Channel 5: Part 2, the rareish sequel to Ulala's first rhythm/dance adventure, which improves the visuals with real-time 3-D backgrounds instead of pre-rendered video footage.  NBA Jam: On Fire Edition continues the recent revival of Midway's classic arcade basketball game series with some new features including improved AI.  Eufloria is an interesting fractal-based action/puzzle game based on a concept by physicist Freeman Dyson, challenging the player to grow and spread trees across randomly-generated asteroids.

PSOne Classics -- Nothing new here this week.

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