Here we are with another batch of releases, though only the DSiWare saw an abundance of releases this week. As usual, let’s have a look at the Virtual Console release first, which was originally an arcade game and has also been included on Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection…
Original System: Arcade
Original Release Date: 1982
Price: 800 Points/$8
Mark B.: So, way back when I reviewed Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection, of Zaxxon, I said:
“…Zaxxon is an odd shooter where you could (and really had to) change your height to shoot up enemies and dodge projectiles. The game is something of a bear to play at this point, and time has not been kind to the visuals, sadly, making this another historical curiosity instead of a must-play game.”
Ten months later, when asked whether or not Zaxxon should be continued in one of December’s S4 Columns, I followed up with:
“…the arcade version of Zaxxon is pretty fun, even now, on Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection…”
and these two quotes appropriately reflect how I feel about the game: It’s fun, but a complete bear to play at this point.
Look, Zaxxon is a fine game for its time, and as an add-on to some sort of compilation package it’d be a worthwhile game to play, but on its own? Not so much. Eight dollars for what is essentially an archaic, if somewhat enjoyable, shooter isn’t a particularly agreeable price, and I’m more than willing to recommend ignoring this release. If you’re a fan of shooters, you’ve most likely played this enough on your own that you don’t need to own a downloadable version of it, and if you’re not, this isn’t going to make you one. I’d say skip it.
There’s only one new release on the WiiWare service this week: Military Madness: Nectaris. Our own Chris Bowen reviewed the 360 version back in ’09, and he thought that while fans of the original would enjoy the title, newcomers would have difficulty getting into it. The WiiWare version costs the same ($10, or 1000 Wii points), and like the 360 version it does online multiplayer, so if you’re hard up for an SRPG on the Wii, this might be worth looking into. The original Military Madness, of which Nectaris is a remake, is also on the Virtual Console for 600 points/$6, so you could try that out first if you’re not sure about plunking down the full $10.
The DSiWare service saw a bit more activity, with four additions costing 500 DSi points/$5 each (except for AiRace, which goes for 800 DSi Points/$8). Gangstar 2: Kings of L.A. seems to be a Grand Theft Auto in that you drive around performing stunts, completing missions, or just letting the wind blow in your hair. For a handheld GTA experience, I’m more inclined to recommend GTA Chinatown Wars, which can be had for less than $20 these days. Though I suppose if you’re desperate for a GTA fix and cash strapped, this could fill that for a bit. Alpha Bounce combines Breakout (and others of its ilk) gameplay and RPG elements and involves, of course, breaking bricks and upgrading your ship. This amalgamation might bring to mind the Puzzle Quest games, and for $5 it’s worth trying out. As for 7 Card Games, the title says it all, and it has Texas Hold’em and Omaha Poker, Black Jack, Hearts, Freecell, and Klondike Solitaire 1 & 3 Deck. Whether it’s worth the price of admission depends on how invested you are in having card games on your DSi (even then I’d suggest something like Clubhouse Games, as you’d at least have more variety), though you could find free versions of these games if you look in the right places. Lastly, AiRace lets you channel your inner stunt pilot. Considering the lack of racing/stunt flight sims on the DS, this could be worth checking out if you happen to be fond of that genre.
This week we’ve got a VC release that received a lukewarm reception, a WiiWare release that appeals mainly to a certain niche, and a varied grouping of DSiWare releases that look potentially interesting, especially Alpha Bounce. Have fun downloading and join us next week for a look at the next batch of releases.