Konami Announces WiiWare Plans for Europe

DRiiFT MANIA this month, Contra Rebirth in August.

Konami already released Gradius Rebirth in Europe yesterday, but that won't stop them from releasing another game this month! To top things off, next month they'll be releasing a completely new Contra game which Japan has already been enjoying for a while.

DRiiFT MANIA, which will be released later this month, is an overhead racing game similar to certain classics. You can see the entire track on the screen, and the camera never moves - All you do is drive around, competing with the opposing racers while picking up and using powerups and items. It seems like it'll be good for some frantic fun, hopefully we are proven right!

In August, Europeans will be able to savour the delights of Contra Rebirth, the latest game in the Contra franchise (Only the first few games in the series were changed to "Probotector" in Europe, by the way!). You once again take control of one or two (With a friend) soldiers as you blast your way through multiple stages, dodging the hundreds of thousands of one-hit kill attacks the enemy throws your way. Sean posted his first impressions of the game a while ago, in case you missed them. Looking good!

Konami has also announced the release of Gradius Rebirth, but they're a bit too late for that! The full press release is below:

THRii for WiiWare from Konami

Publisher details new Network Business Development department, as Konami's first WiiWare titles are unveiled

Konami Digital Entertainment GmbH has announced its first downloadable WiiWare titles, as it outlines the role of its new Network Business Development Department.

Konami has created the all-new Network Business Development Department, which is designed to extend Konami’s online activities across Europe. The new team is headed by Florian Stronk, who will oversee all future downloadable content and mobile titles, including WiiWare, PSN, XBLA and DSiWare as well as iPhone and other mobile phone platform releases.

The first titles to emerge from the group will be released in the coming months, with Gradius Rebirth out today, followed by DRiiFT MANIA later this month, and the all-action Contra Rebirth in August. Each title is an all-new game, with Gradius Rebirth marking the welcome return of one of gaming’s most acclaimed shooters of all time.

Gradius Rebirth retains the 2D space-based action the series is famed for, with players guiding their Vic Viper ship through a series of horizontally-scrolling stages infested with thousands of aliens and huge end-of-level bosses. Power-up capsules allow the user to add lasers, secondary weapons systems, shields, etc, to their craft, while new additions include a Score Attack Mode wherein high-scores can be compared, and a Replay system where hard-fought battles can be reviewed.

DRiiFT MANIA will follow later in July, and is a top-down racer that allows up to eight players to race each other, using cartoon-style characters. Featuring twelve different tracks based on four themed environments – cityscape, hills, snow and a desert oasis – players can also select one of 34 vehicles from four categories. Each category is tailored for use within the different environments, with variations of speed, acceleration and handling and grip levels making specific vehicles ideal for particular locations.

DRiiFT MANIA ‘s multi-player modes allow users to play using combinations of Wii Remotes, Nunchucks and Classic Controllers, and seven game modes are on offer. These include single-player and multi-player championships, and Team Race; wherein participants are divided into two teams, with the winner those that amass the most points. The VIP mode elects one player per team as a VIP vehicle, who must be protected at all costs from the opposition cars, with the removal of the VIP car resulting in a win for the attacking team.

DRiiFT MANIA also has a fun ‘Contamination’ idea, where a player is marked contagious and must contaminate very other player within a set period, while ‘Cold Potato’ mode charges the user with collecting said vegetable and holding on to it for as long as possible! Finally, the ‘Meteorite’ option sees players embarking on a normal race, while trying to avoid a series of meteors as they fall from the sky.

Completing the trio in August is Contra Rebirth, a welcome return for Konami other celebrated shoot ‘em up series. Armed soldiers are charged with running and jumping through a series of 2D levels, each littered with alien forces, vehicles and face-offs with massive bosses. OTT weaponry is the order of the day as homing missiles, flame-throwers and high-powered lasers are used to blast a path to the end of each stage, while agility and dexterity are required to clamber over seemingly impassable areas, and scale crumbling buildings.

The Network Business Development Department will also be overseeing the release of Konami’s previously announced Vandal Hearts and Zombie Apocalypse titles for PSN and XBLA. “We have an enviable starting line-up, and are looking to continually offer a strong mix of updated classic Konami IPs and new ideas,” commented Florian Stronk, Head of the Network Business Development Department for Konami Digital Entertainment GmbH. “Using a mixture of both internal and external talent, we look forward to some very exciting announcements in the coming months.”