Thursday, December 22, 2011

The LoadDown - 12/22/2011

Christmas is nearly here, which means a lot of people will have new consoles to play with.  And if whatever Santa left turns out to be less than entertaining, perhaps something newly available for download will fill the bill...

WiiWare -- One new game this week, Soccer Up, a simple soccer game with 4-player local multiplayer and Mii support.  There's also a free demo version of Gnomz, a Smash Bros.-style fighter that came out in November.

DSiWare -- Three new titles available for the DSi and 3DS.  Doodle Fit is a shape-fitting puzzle game.  Rytmik Retrobits is a musical tool for creating loops, beats and tracks in a retro-drum machine style.  Chronicles of Vampires: Origins is a hidden-object hunt.

3DS eShop -- Two titles arrive exclusively for the 3DS.  TETRIS is the black-and-white Game Boy version of this classic puzzle game; it was the Game Boy's killer app when it first came out and is still a great game today.  WayForward's Mighty Switch Force! is a 2-D sidescrolling platformer/shooter, with puzzle elements, really nice hand-drawn graphics and action from the folks who brought us Shantae and Contra IV.

XBox Live Arcade -- One new game this week: Trine 2 is a sequel to the Finnish side-scrolling fantasy game; the original never came to XBLA but this worthy sequel is a lot of fun, and supports 2-player co-op fighting and puzzle-solving.

PS3 on PSN -- Two new titles.  Sonic CD is the Sega CD-specific Sonic the Hedgehog game; it's been re-released in recent years on Sonic compilations, but it's good to see this overlooked classic available as a stand-alone title.  Apples to Apples brings the categorization-based card game to the PS3 and may be a good choice for family holiday gaming.

PSOne Classics -- Well, it's something, I guess.  Many families may be nostalgia-suckered into buying Atari's PSX "reimagining" of the classic Centipede, but this awkward 3-D version doesn't hold a candle to the original.

Notable on Steam -- Steam's holiday sale is in full swing, with a meta-game featuring special bonus achievements in a variety of games.  I've become a big fan of Steam's ability to push me to sample and buy indie games I might otherwise have missed, at very reasonable prices.

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