News Article

Nintendo Download: Art, Beasts, Cars, Paddles and Wars (US)

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

Catchup on the Wii, new games on the DSi.

Yes, it's that time again - time to release a few WiiWare and Virtual Console games Europe has already had for some time! The WiiWare side of things is quite decent, but most people will likely pass on this week's single new VC offering. DSiWare gets a certain anticipated strategy title from Square Enix and a new Art Academy game from Nintendo.

Taito has finished (for the time being) remaking Bubble Bobble games on WiiWare, so they've moved on to other franchises - Arkanoid Plus! is a re-imagining of the original ball and paddle game. Even if you're not familiar with the name you're almost definitely familiar with the gameplay: all you need to do is repeatedly bounce a ball off a movable paddle in order to break the various coloured blocks above, catching powerups amidst the action. As with all other "Plus!" games, this one is 200 Wii Points cheaper in North America, only costing 600 instead of 800. We thought that it was quite a faithful remake, but ultimately doesn't really do anything special. It's still as addictive as ever though!

Konami's Driift Mania is a top-down single-screen racer similar to the classic Off-Road games. As you can see the entire track at all times, it really all comes down to accelerating, braking and turning at exactly the right moments. No unfair items and power-ups here! Of course, you can play against the AI, but at its heart it's a true multiplayer game, and with support for up to 8 players it can get quite hectic. Unfortunately, there's no online multiplayer, so you'll have to round up friends in real life if you want to get the most out of it! In our opinion it's quite a fun game, especially if you're going to be making frequent use of multiplayer, but otherwise nothing outstanding. It costs 800 Wii Points.

Quite strange how the world works sometimes: the arcade version of Altered Beast costs 800 Wii Points in Japan, where it was released first. In Europe, which got it second, it costs 900 points. Now North America has it, and guess how much it costs? Yes, 1000 points! Although it's arguably better than the Genesis port, Altered Beast is just one of those games which hasn't stood the test of time - it's shallow and boring, and the only thing it's really good for nowadays is nostalgia or hearing the ridiculous digitized voices again. Wise fwom your gwave!

DSiWare finally gets another big release - Dragon Quest Wars is a strategy spinoff of Square Enix's popular RPG series, featuring Slimes and various other monsters any fan is familiar with. The game looks quite good, and for only 500 DSi Points it seems relatively cheap as well. Watch for our full review soon.

Art Academy: Second Semester is of course the sequel to First Semester, which came out only two weeks ago. The first was quite a decent little title for the artistic types and we have no reason to doubt that this one will just offer more methods to express yourself with. Beware though, because like the first, it costs 800 DSi Points! We'll review it soon.

Five more games! Do any catch your fancy? More from Nintendo's press release:


Sept. 28, 2009

Greek mythology, grid-based strategy, high-speed racing, classic arcade action and a hand-held art course - this week's additions to the Wii™ Shop Channel and Nintendo DSi™ Shop deliver a wildly entertaining mix. With new WiiWare™, Nintendo DSiWare™ and Virtual Console™ games debuting each week, Nintendo offers downloadable games to please everyone under the sun, and the list keeps on growing. For Nintendo DSi users looking to grow their own game library, here's a valuable tip-off: Consumers can still receive 1,000 bonus Nintendo DSi Points™ by purchasing a new Nintendo DSi game system and connecting to the Nintendo DSi Shop by 11:59 p.m. Pacific time on Oct. 5, 2009. For full offer details, please visit

Nintendo DSiWare

Art Academy™: Second Semester
Publisher: Nintendo
Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Price: 800 Nintendo DSi Points
Description: Art Academy is a portable art course that anyone can enjoy. Art Academy: Second Semester provides new and returning students with a larger set of tools and in-depth lessons designed to encourage the creation of more complex artwork. By gaining an even deeper understanding of colors and techniques used by famous impressionist artists, you will be ready to take on more challenging themes that include moving objects, and vast landscapes with distant objects. The openness of Free Paint mode offers plenty of opportunities to hone your skills and boost your confidence as an artist.

Publisher: SQUARE ENIX
Players: 1-4
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) - Mild Cartoon Violence, Mild Language
Price: 500 Nintendo DSi Points
Description: DRAGON QUEST WARS is a grid-based strategy game featuring all of your favorite quirky DRAGON QUEST monsters. Choose from several modes and get ready for battle. While the rules are simple, strategy is the key to victory. The game features single-player and DS Wireless Play, as well as battles with foes worldwide via Nintendo® Wi-Fi Connection. (Broadband Internet access is required for online play.)


Publisher: TAITO
Players: 1-2
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) - Mild Fantasy Violence
Price: 600 Wii Points™
Description: ARKANOID Plus! is an updated version of the original arcade blockbuster. Players must destroy colored blocks by guiding an Energy Ball around the screen using a spaceship called a VAUS. The game features a host of new modes and settings that radically alter the experience: Arcade Mode consists of 61 rounds divided into left and right versions, with two types of boss characters appearing in the last round; VS Mode lets players face off against a friend or the CPU; and the unfailingly frantic Time Mode challenges players to clear rounds within a strict time limit. With the subtle differences arising from the choice of "Lives" or "Barrier" rules, plus a plethora of exciting items, you're in for hours and hours of block-busting fun.

DRiiFT Mania
Publisher: Konami Digital Entertainment
Players: 1-8
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) - Comic Mischief
Price: 800 Wii Points
Description: DRiiFT Mania is the ultimate top-down multiplayer racing experience. Challenge your friends in fast, exciting races and some totally crazy game modes. You'll need to adapt your driving skills to the different racing environments if you want to succeed.

Virtual Console

Altered Beast™
Publisher: SEGA
Players: 1-2
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10 and Older) - Fantasy Violence
Price: 1,000 Wii Points
Description: "Rise from your grave!" When legendary Greek god Zeus brings you back to life with those famous words, you set forth on a mission to rescue his daughter, Athena, from the wicked God of the Underworld, Neff. To survive the gauntlet of mythological foes, you must hunt down the three-headed wolves that inhabit each stage and collect the Spirit Balls that they release. The Spirit Balls increase your strength and allow you to transform into a variety of forms, including a Werewolf, Weredragon, Werebear, Weretiger and the ultimate form, the Golden Werewolf. Each creature possesses powerful attacks to help bring an end to Neff's scheme.


From the web

User Comments (66)



Atlantis1982 said:

:Head desk: You really got to be kidding, 1000 points for Altered Beast? What a joke, but at least the WiiWare is far from a joke; a nice pleasant sight I may add. Been begging for a new WiiWare title, either something puzzle or something and Driift might be something I might go get.



Reala said:

Finally a DSIware game that actually sounds interesting and isn't another puzzle game, also Altered Beast is the same price as Majoras Mask, that's crazy.



Link79 said:

Gee what happened to Castlevania the Adventure rebirth coming in quarter 03? You guys at Nintendolife said it was confirmed for this month. I think somebody got the wrong information.



Drake said:

@Link79: That somebody being Nintendo, who clearly put Q3 in their upcoming WiiWare games list?



MrDanger88 said:

"Do any catch your fancy?"

As usual, no. No Pilot Wings or Cave Story = Fail as usual, but thats what I've come to expect every Monday. My Wii will continue to stay off another week at least.



Philip_J_Reed said:

I can't wait to see how Second Semester shapes up. It says there will be more tools this time around, which surprises me, as not all of the tools from First Semester were taught in the lessons!

Should be interesting.



blackknight77 said:

This is really a terrific update for old-school gamers like myself. I plan on downloading Altered Beast and Art Academy pretty soon. I also interested Arkanoid and Driift and may get them eventually as well. Lots of good choices for me today. Nintendo don't forget Impossible Mission, Castlevania Rebirth, and Zombies for October please



Egg_miester said:

10$ for altered beast screw that i'd rather get genesis copy for 2$ cheaper its nice to finally get driftmania, castlevania will probably be out next month



Tsk. 1000 pts for Altered beast?! that's absurd! why is this game so expensive?!

and Q3 has ended and no Cave story nor Castlevania <_< that sucks..



BlueFlameBat said:

Isn't Altered Beast on XBLA for half as much with online play? Just how desperate does SEGA think Wii owners are?!!

Looks at buffalolob's post, thinks about it...

I think we got about another week left before Q3



Kevin said:

Well at least we got Arkanoid Plus! Hopefully Zombies Ate My Neighbors and Final Fantasy will be released next month.



Objection said:

COnsidering what was supposed to come out by Q3, this was a major letdown of an update. Patooi



Knux said:

Altered Beast is 1000 points!? Is Sega that greedy!? What a rip-off! The only games I'm intrested in is Dragon Quest Wars and possibly Arkanoid Plus. But overall, this update is somewhat medicore.



Hardy83 said:

I like DQWars being out, but I find it moronic that Second Semester is just added tools and new lessons for the same price. It should've been in one app for 1000 points. It's just NIntendo up to their usual milking.
I think I'll pass on that one.



IAmNotWill said:

For those of you complaining about Cave Story, Nicalis said October release. It isn't october yet.

Pretty good update overall. I will probaly buy arkanoid plus and driift in the future soon. I may even give DQ Wars a shot. Only one VC title and it is overpriced... oh well.



Grumble said:

DQWars... Hrm... Might have to give it a try. Art Academy is a terrific app, but the 1st semester only had a handful of lessons (four or five i think) and I didn't think it was worth the 800 pts. DQWars seems like an awesome game, features online multiplayer and is only 500 pts. Hrm, wonder which I'll be getting??



Darknyht said:

I am glad that NOA at least seems to have stopped their one wiiware, one VC, one DSiWare habit. DQWars might be a buy after I see a review, but the rest looks like a pass this week. Besides, I still have a ton of level-grinding before starting the final chapters of FF4: The After Years.



cyrus_zuo said:

Excited for Driift Mania, I was worried we wouldn't get it in the US. There are so few good 8-player same console games...actually there are just so few 8-player same console games... (Bomberman + Jungle Speed + Brain Academy Wii)
Hoping DM will make #4 on that list.
I'll be picking up a copy immediately and be playing with a large group by lunch.



Ren said:

great update! I'm all about some driift mania, and arkanoid plus is a great deal.
I loved some altered beast back in the day but I think I'll let it stay a pleasant memory. If you're enough of a sucker to download it now I can only say 'welcome to your doom!"



R_Kasahara said:


Cave Story's release was supposed to be October for Europe and Q3 2009 for the US. Seeing as how Q3 ends once September does, I'm disappointed as well.

DQ Wars looks pretty cool. Don't have a DSi, though :/



JusticeColde said:

where is
contra, pro wrestling, baseball stars, world heroes, kof '95, moonwalker, sonic & knuckles, super smash bros. & wwf no mercy?
seriously why aren't they releasing hit games on the virtual console
and why is altered beast so overpriced? the only difference from the genesis version is a intermission throughout the game



Mendoza said:

DSiWare gets some good stuff. My guess is that Art Academy 1, UNO and DQW will come to DSiWare EU this friday, which I will buy all of course



longtimegamer said:

They can stick that Altered Beast in their ear. It really offends me that they raised this (yet again), for us . Guess they think we're really suckers.
I hope no one here downloads this, maybe it'll send them a message as to what we think about this move. You can get it in compilations anyway.
I wish we'd get something that wasn't in a compilation (that I actually want). Problem is that people will still buy this.



gabikun said:

You are lucky. I hope Dragon quest Wars will be here (in Europe) next friday.......



WolfRamHeart said:

What, 1000 points for Altered Beast?! You have got to be kidding me Nintendo! That is completely ridiculous! Does this mean that the arcade version of Golden Axe will be 1000 points when it comes to North America as well? Ugh. On the bright side, both WiiWare and DSiWare got some really nice additions today. Another good thing is that Dead Space Extraction and Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days are also coming out this week.



MrPoo6321 said:

That's really lame for the VC this week. 200 extra points for a game we've already had for like 2 years.



Bikeage said:

Altered Beast Arcade had two strikes against it already... the Genesis version already out, and in numerous multiconsole collections, and it being the only VC game released this week. Just getting one game sucks, but that one game having already been released on another system is beyond lame. But strike three is the $10 price tag. I would expect that for Altered Beast ReBirth, not a twenty year old arcade title.



Stuffgamer1 said:

Regarding Q3: Most companies don't mean literal calender quarters when they make announcements like that. They mean quarters of their FINANCIAL years. If Nintendo is anything like Sony, Q3 will last another couple months.

Regarding Altered Beast: That's just BS. I have BOTH versions on a collection with 47 other games that cost me $30, and IMO, they weren't even worth being on the disc.

Regarding the rest of the update: Not sure if I'm really interested in anything. Possibly DQW, but I'll have to see the review first. I've got plenty of other stuff to play anyway, so I'll just go back to all that as usual.



Cheezy said:

Actually not a bad update. We get another arcade game, good WiiWare/DSiWare, voerall, not dissapointing. I'll be getting DQW for myself



Kenji510 said:

Well its a good update for today so ill be grabbing Arkanoid Plus and DQW for sure i want to try out!!

I already have the Alter Beast arcade version in the Sega Genesis Collection for the ps3, so not gonna bother to buy that.



cheetahman91 said:

Drift Mania is a nice suprise for NA this week. As for Altered Beast, Sega must've figured out that nobody would buy that piece of crap anyway, so they jacked the price up. Here's hoping for some Cave Story next month!



brandonbwii said:

DSiware seems to have a couple of really strong releases this week. I'm a bit disappointed in the "catch-up" games on Wiiware. I guess because there are so many great sounding titles that are supposed to be released in America by the end of the year.



Ricardo91 said:

Might get Arkanoid Plus and Drift Mania sometime down the road, but other wise this is yet another lame week on the Nintendo side. sigh...



LinktotheFuture said:

I guess I am in the minority in that I don't think Dragon Quest Wars looks very good at all, in fact it looks horrible. It could probably be good if it was a complete retail release, but it doesn't impress me at all. And 1000 points for Altered Beasts is crazy. Just get the Sega Genesis Collection for those PS2 owners out there for 20 bucks or less, and get both versions of Altered Beasts, as well as Sonic, Golden Axe, etc, a much better value. Too bad there isn't a Gamecube/Wii version of the Sega Genesis Collection.



Metang said:

Altered Beast... 1000 POINTS? What the hell were they thinking?!
That aside, WiiWare and DSiWare got a good update today.



RurouniTeeter said:

Don't judge a game just by its looks. I downloaded the game and its actually quite fun, if you're expecting an RPG Dragon Quest game, on DSi for that matter, for $5... Seriously now... Come on. It's $5 for a reason.

Dragon Quest Wars is simple and fun. Thats all I can say. I really enjoy it. I could see where some don't like it though, just depends on the type of games you like playing really, just don't expect to be an RPG game.



longtimegamer said:

@Metang: Yeah, but unfortunatly some people are still going to buy it. Hopefully they don't keep dong this with sega titles (of course if people keep buying them). This makes me think of when this gas station was about 10 cent cheaper than the one right next to it and there were people who STILL went to the more expensive one. ??? Unless you're in a hurry and the cheaper one is full, why?



odd69 said:

I'm down right disappointed with today's releases, i'll pass on all of it.



Grumble said:

Cheezy.. what do u think of DQW? I downloaded it today, it looks interesting but only got to play it for like 5 minutes while on break @ work today. Worth the $5 just for online multiplayer?

I am wanting MyNotebook (release date: October 09?) and Solitaire DSi to come out...




astarisborn94 said:

I was so excited for the Wii Shop Channel update and this is what we got. Sure DSiWare and WiiWare are good, but the Virtual Console is horrible! Why did Sega seriously think it was a good idea to jack up the price to 1,000 Points on a horribly aged game? We should have gotten something good this week for the Virtual Console, if they are going to have a bad game, they should compliment it with a good game so the week isn't full of suck like this week was.



RurouniTeeter said:

Or maybe Super Smash Bros Fan1999 you should stop whining. Who cares if they overpriced it, just don't buy it then if its aged horribly. Which reminds me of a certain game everyone wants so badly...
Seriously, if the game is that overpriced and crappy, stop talking about it, there's nothing you can do, even if you e-mail Nintendo like 50 times, thats just junk mail to them. Welcome to the world of business kiddos.

Oh, by the way, I know I can't stop people whining and stuff wanting Super Smash Brothers, Super Mario Kart, Final Fantasy, or whatever else BS some people whine about every Monday. =P

You'll get your games when they get here, be happy with what you have now... Haven't any of you learned that?

(Note: I don't mean to target everyone )

@59. KeroKero Cola
I don't know why either. Maybe...Just maybe... because you're so gosh darn picky about what you want.



Bassman_Q said:

I downloaded DQWars first thing when I woke up (at like 10am) but havent started playing it yet. Seems decent enough. Driift Mania also seems decent, and so does Art Academy. As for Altered Beast, thats just crap. Especially when you could get Ocarina of Time for the same price.



Twilight_Crow said:

This is a good Wiiware/Dsiware update, even though there's nothing for me , Arkanoid is great, but I can play many flash block breaker games on my Wii browser for free; Drift Mania is focused on multiplayer, so not for me, but I wish I had a DSi, I like the DQ monsters and have them in a fun little game like DQW, would be nice.
The VC?, lets just say it could be better imo .



Rapadash6 said:

Everything here but the VC release seems all well and good, as usual, for North America.



Kenryoku_Maxis said:

I'd love to play Dragon Quest Wars being a huge fan of Drago nQuest and Fire Emblem....except I still don't have the money for a DSi.

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