Nintendo Download Wrap-Up for February 22nd, 2010

Looks like we changed the name of this column just in time.

For the first time that I or any of us can remember, there is no Virtual Console game to look at. As a writer, this makes me somewhat happy – after all, smaller articles are less work to put together – but as a gamer who likes retro games, this frustrates me. I KNOW the well isn’t dry on older games to put on the service. Nintendo couldn’t at least crap out an N64 game? Something from the Commodore? How many great games – ones that Nintendo or it’s partners own rights to – are still being held back? For what? What was the point in once again saying “screw you” to the Virtual Console? As we’re about to see, it’s not like we have an A+ lineup of WiiWare and DSiWare games this week. Were they going to give us another crappy, overpriced Sonic game, until they found out they were out of them,1 at which point they said “screw it”?

I figure to hell with it. If Nintendo doesn’t care enough to give us anything to be excited about, if they can’t show effort, why should we? Therefore, this’ll be quick and dirty.

On the WiiWare, we start with the inventively named Family Go-Kart Racing. A rip-off of Mario Kart so blatant that I’m shocked Nintendo is even letting it on the service, the game features 6 generic anime characters, items, power-ups, a complete lack of balance, etc.; it’s nothing we haven’t seen before, and we know the formula by heart at this point. At least it’s only $5, which makes it less expensive than the almost twenty year old Super Mario Kart on the VC, and a good $35 less expensive than the crappy Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing. At least if your game is going to suck, as this one almost surely will, make it suck for cheap. We also get Mouse House, a puzzle game that is affordable at $6, but seeing as how this is just a ripoff of Adventures of Lolo, it pisses me off that we couldn’t just get Adventures of Lolo 2 on the service instead; it’s a better game, and costs $1 less. In fact, I have a better idea: give the American Virtual Console the MSX support that its Japanese counterpart already has, and give us ALL the Eggerland games! Sadly, that makes too much sense for Nintendo to do it, as they try harder than ever to become Sony. Finally, we have GhostSlayer, which does look interesting, to it’s credit. This one seems to be what would happen if someone took the premise for Soul Calibur Legends, put it in a horror game, and made it not suck so much. You use the Wiimote to slash at monsters, with greater precision for those that have Wiimote Plus. For $6, this one might be worth a look.

On DSiWare, we have four new titles. Flipper is a puzzle game that confuses me a bit; it appears to be an isometric puzzler in the vein of Solstice, where your character has to gather stars to change the geography of the world in order to finish the stage by getting to your goldfish. It doesn’t make any sense, but at $5, it might be worth a cursory glance. Flight Control is a game where you direct aeroplanes to land on an airstrip without crashing into each other by drawing lines from them with the stylus. This one actually has me interested, but $5 seems a little bit much for what is a bare bones package. Faceez is an application that allows people to take pictures with the DSi’s camera and draw on them or animate them at will. Correct me if I’m wrong – I’m still running on my classic DS and don’t/won’t own a DSi – but doesn’t the system already allow you to do that out of the box? It’s only $2 if you want it, but my question is… why? Finally, Aura-Aura Climber is a game about someone trying to get back into space to be a star, using a grapple system to get higher, avoiding objects along the way. This one seems attractive, especially with a $2 price point.

Three WiiWare games, four DSiWare games, and only two of them are passively interesting. Yes, THIS is the time you don’t release anything good on the Virtual Console, Nintendo. Awesome work.

Until next time, this is Christopher Bowen, who’s still shaking his head at “games” which let you do things that webcam software have supported for years.

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