The release schedules around the world have seen bumper crops of WiiWare releases (and in PAL territories VC ones courtesy of the latest Hanabi Festival); naturally being Nintendo's home territory it should come as no surprise that Japan outdoes even these impressive download service updates.
Next week sees the release of no less than nine WiiWare releases (although 3 of these are Pokemon titles), four for the Virtual Console and on Wednesday seven DSiWare releases! If you haven't considered importing a Japanese Wii before now, this may push you over the edge!
Sea Farm (500pts - T&S) -- This is a dolphin training sim where the objective is to win trophies in competitions with other virtual dolphin trainers. The entry point is cheap, but there's additional paid downloadable content like training balls and dolphin fashion colours (assuming we're getting the translation correct).
Shikaku i Atama o Maru Kusuru (800pts - IE Institute Co., Ltd.) -- From the makers of kids brain training and English language games for Japanese speakers on the DSi comes what appears to be a knowledge quiz game for the whole family. There're 2,000 questions relating to maths, language and social sciences. Apparently there's some kind of DSi connectivity as well.
Derby Dog (500pts - Sims) -- This is a dog racing game, though not with greyhounds. Raise and train your dog for racing in circuits with a choice of breeds including dachshund, Chihuahua, miniature poodle, Shibanuma, Labrador retriever and French bulldog. The game features 2-8 player WiFi competition and the option to buy additional content in the form of a dog house to improve your dog-raising ability.
Tomenasaner Wii (500pts - Konami) -- The recently unveiled mad-mental single-button breakdancing salaryman game. 1-4 player local multiplayer and a bunch of wacky environments. Expect First Impressions for this exciting new title next week!
Beach de Oshiro o Tsukutcha Wow! (500pts - Konami) -- A catch-up title, this game is known in the Americas as Sandy Beach.
Bit.Trip CORE (500pts - Arc System Works) -- As with Bit.Trip BEAT, this game is 100pts cheaper than the North American release, but is the same great game with no localisation changes apparent outside of the operations guide.
Finally there are three Pokemon Fantasy Dungeon games (1200pts - Nintendo): Susumu! The Adventures of Flame, Ikuzo! The Adventures of Storm and Muzase! The Adventures of Light are all RPGs featuring some kind of WiFi component (though all are stated as single-player games, so it's unclear what this might be -- possibly leader boards?) and a DSi component (possibly tying in with a DSi cart or DSiWare release). It's definitely going to be an expensive month for diehard Pokemon fans!
Final Fantasy IV (SNES, 900pts - Square Enix) -- Familiar outside of Japan as the second Final Fantasy game, it's a good sign that hopefully we'll be seeing this one overseas, though hopefully not with the 100 point premium that seems to have been applied.
Pengo (MD, 600pts - Sega) -- A more fleshed-out story mode, plus a welcome port of the original arcade game are included in this classic Megadrive VC release.
Cosmo Gang, The Video (Arcade, 800pts - Namco) -- Parodius meets Galaga in this 2nd title in the Cosmo Gang series of arcade games from Namco.
Pac Mania (Arcade, 800pts - Namco) -- The first 3D Pac-Man game from Namco which introduced a jump button to the classic dot-munching maze game.
Two new Electroplankton titles, Taiyo Uchuu (Sun-Animalcule elsewhere) and Luminarian (200pts - Nintendo) continue the series of musical diversions on the DSiWare service with the promise of more later in the month of August.
Utsushite Jikkan! Diet Memo (500pts - Bandai-Namco) -- A calorie-counting weight loss program for the DSi which will no doubt be a popular seller and will likely see release overseas.
Otonano Tamu no Keisan Training DS (500pts - IE Institute Co., Ltd.) -- An adults math's training game. Basically the maths portion of the popular Brain Training series in a standalone game from the looks of it.
Detective Saburoo Jinguuji: Akenai Yoru ni & Nazo no Jikenbo (500pts - Arc System Works) -- This is another in a series of Detective Saburoo games for the DSiWare service. People outside of Japan may have come across this character as "Jake Hunter" though only one of dozens of these "visual novels" have ever been officially released outside of Japan.
Asphalt 4 (800pts - Gameloft) -- A racing game already available elsewhere.