Thursday, January 12, 2012

The LoadDown - 01/12/2012

The holidays are past, and everyone's looking to snag your extra gaming dollars.  Here's what's new online for the consoles...

WiiWare --  This revival series keeps on going, with its third installment: Carmen Sandiego Adventures in Math: The Case of the Crumbling Cathedral.  I'd wager that the crumbling has something to do with poor civil engineering -- someone didn't do his math properly -- but the actual game finds the cathedral already crumbled as the player travels the globe, solving math problems to track down the villainous Ms. Sandiego.

DSiWare -- Two new releases here this week.  Hip Hop King: Rytmik Edition is a music improv/composition tool with a hip-hop leaning to its sample library.  101 Pinball World is a pinball game that makes good use of the system's twin screens -- but I'd be more enthused if there weren't 101 pinball tables included; something tells me they won't all be stellar.

3DS eShop -- If you have a 3DS, you can also play the DSiWare games.  But you might be wise to avoid 101 Pinball World in favor of Zen Pinball instead -- it's in 3D, of course, and spreads itself less thin with four diverse tables, complete with LED displays.

XBox Live Arcade -- Two new titles arrive.  Choplifter HD (see above) remakes Dan Gorlin's Apple II classic for the current hardware generation, and I'm pleased to see that while the graphics are updated to a modern 3-D engine, the chopper still floats and can only face to the left, front and right.  I particularly like the voice samples provided for the rescuees, who toss off casual, good-natured thanks exactly the way I always imagined they would.  AMY is a French survival horror game that takes more than a page from Capcom's Resident Evil series, but ups the emotional stakes with its painfully vulnerable 8-year-old protagonist.

PS3 on PSN -- Two new titles arrive.  Crazy Machines Elements is a physics-based puzzle/construction game, and retro gaming fans will want to check out Choplifter HD (see above).

PSOne Classics --  A good one this week: Square Enix's Final Fantasy Origins, remaking the original Final Fantasy I & II for the Playstation (and, with these simpler early games, presumably avoiding the loading times that plagued some later ports to the PSX.)

Notable on Steam -- Choplifter HD shows up here as well.

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