News Article

Konami Announces WiiWare Plans for Europe

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

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.”

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User Comments (29)



Dazza said:

Good news, I have been looking forward to playing Contra ReBirth for some time now. Driift also looks pretty good, I am a sucker for games like Super Off Road.



KnucklesSonic8 said:

Go Konami! Love how they're putting a lot of modes into Driift Mania. I'll definitely be getting it right away.



JaredJ said:

This is all good news. Hopefully they release dates for North America soon.



Djungelurban said:

Something tells me that Konami's gonna dominate the charts in the coming months like they're Hudson or something.
Which come to think of it is owned by Konami too so yeah, Konami/Hudson is maintaining it's grip on WiiWare.



xesbeth said:

Ah it's the occasion to understand the (crazy) Contra rebirth story. Also, Konami have finally a look to europe, it's about time!

Now If they could release Salamander Rebirth (or announce other Rebirth game).



Mama_Luigi said:




cr00mz said:

i hope driift mania has online, it would be pretty rediculous if it didnt i mean 8 player on one console. as fun as that would be i doubt there are people with that many controllers.



Sneaker13 said:

I think I would love DRiiFT MANIA. I played Excessive Speed for the PC for hours and hours. This looks pretty cool too.

And of course Contra Rebirth looks pretty cool too. Even though I have never played a Contra game.



KDR_11k said:

I don't think Konami will dominate the charts. They might have some success with Driift but I don't think Gradius and Contra will take many sales home.



Djungelurban said:

Well, after being released for less than 48 hours ago it ranks 8th on the local "Popular Titles" list. Sure, our market might be small but I do think it's interesting.



djshep1973 said:

I know it hasn't been announced or anything, but the thought of an update to Salamander gets me excited .. mmmmmmm, Salamander Rebirth.... lol

I'd also love to see a Castlevania Rebirth as well, that could be awesome!



KDR_11k said:

Well, after being released for less than 48 hours ago it ranks 8th on the local "Popular Titles" list. Sure, our market might be small but I do think it's interesting.

I think it's one of those games that spike and drop hard, it'll rank highly for one week, then drop off the charts in no time.



Sean_Aaron said:

Contra ReBirth didn't last long in Japan either. I think Konami is doing it right with these titles. Oh and to the Salamander fan, I'm pretty sure I read that Salamander ReBirth has been registered as a trademark, so I would expect to see that at some point. It would also be nice to see Konami support the VCA as well -- Jailbreak and Jackal are both games I'd love to have a shot at on the Wii.



Pawtrick said:

Bomberman Blast was 8 players as well, that was a blast at parties. Just have your friends bring their controllers. A simple game like Driift looks like it would be great at parties for both the casual and veteran gamers.



Sage_Joch said:

Hm, really looking forward to Contra Rebirth, although i'd actually prefer the european version sporting the old robot models as I really liked playing with them.



opeter said:

Hurray, can't wait for these two games. In the meantime, I'll play Gradius Rebirth.

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