There are six new games to choose from this week on Xbox Live Arcade and Virtual Console, though none of them are original games (which you expect from VC but even XBLA is arcade ports this week). Plus, most of this week’s games are relatively inexpensive with one exception.
Games this week include Bonk 3: Bonk’s Big Adventure, Adventure Island, Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole, Donkey Kong Jr. Math, Cyberball 2072 and Fatal Fury Special. Details for the releases are below.
Read More | Nintendo Press Release
This week on XBox Live Arcade comes the anticipated and graphically enhanced arcade cult classic Super Street Fighter Puzzle HD Remix. In addition to upping the graphical fidelity on the game, Capcom has also rebalanced the game with the new X’ mode, although the original version will also be available. The game will cost 800 Microsoft Points.
On Wii‘s Virtual Console this week seems to be sequel week, with the Contra sequel Super C (previously available on XBox Live Arcade) for 500 Wii Points, the SNES role-playing classic Breath of Fire II for 800 Wii Points and the Sega Genesis version of Ghouls n’ Ghosts, the follow-up to Ghosts n’ Goblins for another 800 Wii Points.
Following a light week, Microsoft returns this Wednesday to the two game new/old format, dropping Hexic 2 (800 Microsoft Points) and the Sega classic Ecco the Dolphin (400 Microsoft Points). Hexic 2 comes from famed Tetris creator Alexy Patjitnov and follows up the packed-in original XBLA title and adds new modes including same-screen or Live multiplayer; Ecco the Dolphin boasts enhanced graphics and sound plus a “Best Time” leaderboard.
These games join more than 75 others on the service which has been a huge success for Microsoft as detailed in a lecture by Marc Whitten this week at GameFest, where he discussed the company’s plan for attracting the casual gamer to the XBox 360. Whitten stated that they’ve seen a 156% average financial return in the past year on XBLA titles, earning more than $30 million to date. Based on this success they expect revenue on XBox Live Arcade to double in the next fiscal year and predict that by the end of this year they will have reached 45 million downloads of over 100 available titles.
On Nintendo’s similar download service, Virtual Console, they’re dropping three new games this week including the original NES classic Metroid (500 Wii Points), plus the Sega dungeon crawler Shining in the Darkness (800 Wii Points) as well as the TurbGrafx-16 game Cratermaze (600 Wii Points). Nintendo is choosing now to push the original Metroid title onto the VC as a means of keeping their Metroid brand fresh in gamers’ minds as they prepare to release the marquee Wii game Metroid Prime 3: Corruption in two weeks. As part of this effort, next week’s VC title is expected to be the SNES sequel, Super Metroid.
Read More | Gamasutra
Earlier today, the Wii received a firmware update that closed the Wii Shop for several hours. Now that’s it’s back up, it’s readily apparent that the Shop was the main beneficiary. It now sports a search feature and lists the most popular games, among other things. There was a variety of other, smaller changes that have been documented on NeoGAF.
- Digital Clock added to the Wii Menu right under the channel bar
- Forecast Channel now displays the current condition (cloudy, raining, etc.) directly in the Wii Menu in the Forecast Channel box
- News Channel can now show 2 scrolling headlines at a time in the Wii Menu, 3 when you click on the button (supposedly this requires occasional downloading of the headlines to keep the ticker updated)
- Message Board now has the “Today’s Accomplishments” message as a white message which allows it to stand out from other messages
- Address Book entries can now be shifted around using A+B (supposed to be a launch feature) but only to empty spaces. Not too convenient.
- Calendar in Message Board no longer shows “Today’s Accomplishment” only days as having messages
- Scrolling messages in the Message Board now uses a different sound
- Today’s Accomplishments in Message Boards now includes the names of people to whom messages were sent out
Wii Shop Channel Overhauled: (Visual aesthetic is the same, changes made to organization and browsing methods mostly)
- New Welcome screen detailing 4 Recommended Titles and the points they cost (gone is the title screen bar that had linkable games). The title bar can be clicked on to bring up a list of 20 recommended games.
- Titles You’ve Downloaded was moved to the main shop menu
- New ways to browse
- Popular Titles (2 pages of 10 and includes launch games so not only based on recent info)
- Newest Additions remains the same
- Search for a title which can use partial names
- Search by Category
- System shows the different systems and how many titles have been released under each
- Publisher showing different publishers and amount of titles released (Nice logos!)
- Genre (different genres listed and amount of titles under each)
- Load times in interchannel loading has supposedly decreased
- Password fields filled in using the keyboard (like on the Internet Channel) now display
- Warning added pre-system update detailing that technically modified consoles may cease to function upon being updated. Also the only way to not accept an update is to power down the console by holding the button for 4 seconds (the user can’t back out of hitting I Accept w/o powering down)
- Ability to quickly scroll the different options pages using the +,- keys
- Blue disc light lights up when inserting or removing a game
- Light also comes on when starting the Forecast or News Channels
Read More | NeoGAF
Okay, this week’s crop of games on the Virtual Console is pretty simple: one game you might care about, and two you shouldn’t. Galaga ’90 (TurboGrafx16, 1 player, 600 points) is an updated version of the arcade Galaga, so unless you’re infatuated with Galaga, chances are it isn’t worth your Wii Points. Adventures of Lolo (NES, 1 player, 500 points) is a strange puzzle game that’s only going to get in your way of Wave Race 64 (Nintendo 64, 1-2 players, 1000 points). It’s two players and was pretty fun in the day, and just happens to be the type of game that still holds up today. If you enjoyed the GameCube sequel, are looking for some VC fun or are a fan of jet-skiing, give Wave Race 64 a look.
While the Xbox Live Arcade is set to get the classic Marathon, Virtual Console’s additions this week include Star Soldier (vertical shooter; NES, 500 Wii points), Dynamite Headdy (platformer; Genesis, 800 points) and Drop Off (puzzle; TurboGrafx16, 600 points) – all pretty old titles. This is really a hardcore retro week, apparently.
All three are now available. Check after the break for more details.
The original Paper Mario – which was a straight-up RPG, unlike the recent Wii title – has finally made its way to the Virtual Console in the US. The timing of the release seems a bit odd – you would have thought it should have come out at the same time, if not prior to, Super Paper Mario did. Nevertheless, this was one of the best games on the N64 bar none, so make sure to pick it up for 1,000 Wii Points ($10).
The other two releases are both forgettable, however. Balloon Fight (500 points, NES) and Silent Debuggers (600 points, TurboGrafx16) aren’t worth their price tags, and by today’s standards, aren’t particularly good. Do the sensible thing; buy Paper Mario, and don’t waste any points on these two duds.
Posted by Chris Pereira Categories: Action, Adventure, CAPCOM, Casual, Corporate News, Driving, E3, Electronic Arts, First Person Shooters, Internet, Music, Nintendo, Nintendo DS, Party Games, Puzzle, Release Dates, Retro, Sports, Trailers, Virtual Console, Wii
As with the Microsoft conference before it, I was confined to my hotel Wi-Fi to take in Nintendo’s E3 press conference. But, unlike Microsoft’s, I’m walking away thoroughly and utterly disappointed. I’m going to go ahead and spoil part of the full story from after the break: there was no mention of Smash Bros. being online. Me = worried much.
Set your expectations low before you view the rest after the break.
Sure, the Wii already has the Virtual Console, but all we get there are straight ports of classic games. Great for those of us who may have missed games or want to play them again for nostalgia’s sake, and Nintendo & co. can make a ridiculous profit. Xbox Live Arcade, and PlayStation Network, to an extent, on the other hand, are home to original titles and encourage independent developers to create titles for the platforms.
WiiWare is Nintendo’s answer. We don’t have many details yet, but we know the first content for the platform should be appearing in early 2008. Pricing has not yet been announced.
You either loved or heated Super Mario 2. With its choice of four characters to play as and plentiful numbers of turnips & co. to be tossed at enemies, it was clearly an acquired taste. If you’ve never had the chance to play it (for shame), you can now do so as it’s available on the Wii’s Virtual Console for 500 Wii Points. Joining Mario 2 are Ecco: The Tides of Time (800 points) and the unfortunately capitalized DRAGON SPIRIT (600 points).
Check out after the break for all the details.
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