Nintendo Download: Fights, Shooters, Sparkles, Vikings, Dragons, Carnivals, Escapes and Card Games (US)

A whopping 8 new downloads this week.

There's nothing really big on DSiWare and WiiWare this week, so instead, Nintendo has chosen to release not 2, but 3 games for both services. The Virtual Console gets two well-known games, but both of them are of debatable quality.

Let's start with WiiWare - "Aha! I Got It!" Escape Game is a lot like certain flash games you can find on the internet - The objective is nothing more than to escape from a room by searching around and solving puzzles to eventually unlock a door. If this contained just one room, we would probably recommend you to stick with free flash games, but the game actually contains two, with the second having three exits (Each with a different ending), so it'll keep you busy for a decent while, and is very fairly priced for 500 Wii Points. Read our review for more.

Carnival King seems to combine arcade shooting games and mini-game collections - It offers a large amount of carnival shooting galleries in which the aim is nothing more than to rapidly hit all the targets that appear. If there's enough of them, the game could be worth it at 700 Wii Points, so keep an eye on our review.

Family Card Games is the seventh and seemingly, for now, the final game in the "Family" series. As the name implies, it's a collection of card games, three to be exact - Daifugo, Speed and Memory. All previous games in the series were of dubious quality, so we're understandably cautious about this one. It does, however, have online multiplayer, which could at least give it some replay value. We'll review it soon. It costs 500 Wii Points, like all previous games.

On the DSiWare side of things, we have Viking Invasion, the service's first tower defense game. Unlike most games in the genre, which opt for a medieval or fantasy setting, in this one you defend your lands against good old vikings, who will come down the river in their warships. It's fairly good, too, so if you're clamoring for a portable tower defense game it could very well be worth it at 800 DSi Points.

Battle of Giants: Dragons - Bronze Edition, which also costs 800 DSi Points, isn't recommended, though. This is a compact version of Ubisoft's retail game Battle of Giants: Dragons, and as such features the same gameplay, just with less content. It's a shame that that gameplay is so disappointing - As the name implies, you spend most of the time battling dragons, but these are seemingly so eager to lose that most of the time you can just win by repeatedly attacking before they get a chance to. After each fight, you run and fly around a nice-looking, but ultimately completely bare overworld before finding another opponent to battle. If you've got money to blow and really enjoy the concept of dragons fighting each other, then go ahead - But we warned you!

Sparkle Snapshots sounds very similar to EA's MySims Camera - It enables you to take photos and decorate them with slightly more advanced features than the DSi already has. It also costs 300 DSi Points more and thus goes for 500! We really doubt that this is going to be worth it unless you lack a PC with Photoshop or any other image editing software - Why pay for something the DSi can already do in some capacity? We'll have a review soon.

Today's Virtual Console "classics" are of shaky quality. Fighting Street is the Turbo CD port of the first Street Fighter, and it's pretty close to the original arcade version - It features the very same wonky controls, shaky animations and overpowered AI opponents. We'll review it soon, but again - There's a very good reason why everybody fondly remembers Street Fighter II and not this.

R-Type on the Master System costs 300 Wii Points less than the near arcade-perfect TurboGrafx-16 version, but obviously it comes at a cost - Yes, it has one extra level, but everything else looks and sounds noticeably weak. This is understandable since it's a weaker system, but throw in large amounts of annoying sprite flickering and we don't see why you would pick this up over the TG16 version, other than saving 300 points. You can read what we thought here.

Eight new games, although a lot of them might be underwhelming to some. Are you picking up anything? More from Nintendo's press release:

NINTENDO DOWNLOAD: THIS WEEK'S DOWNLOADABLE LINEUP TRULY SPARKLES

Nov. 2, 2009

Why just take photos with your Nintendo DSi™ system when you can have access to a virtual photo booth? Sparkle Snapshots™, a new Nintendo DSiWare™ application, lets you customize pictures with fun extras like fancy frames and stamps. On the other hand, if you're more of a fan of Nordic pillaging and/or dragons, you're going to want to check out this week's Nintendo DSiWare offerings of both Viking Invasion and Battle of Giants: Dragons – Bronze Edition.

Three fun WiiWare™ games are added to the ever-growing library, including Carnival King, which turns your TV into a carnival midway. And the Virtual Console™ delivers its usual quality classics, including Fighting Street®, a port of the original arcade version of STREET FIGHTER.

Nintendo DSiWare

Sparkle Snapshots
Publisher: Nintendo
Players: 1
Price: 500 Nintendo DSi Points™
Description: Take photos and embellish them to your heart's desire with Sparkle Snapshots. Choose from a large variety of fancy frames, backgrounds, stamps and funny outfits to decorate your photos, or use the powerful paint program functions to manipulate them in detail. Want to take a new photo and add it to your collection? Adjust the lighting conditions and lens type to match your subject and even use a shutter timer to allow yourself some extra time to get everything perfectly in place. Save your favorite snapshots in your Nintendo DSi Camera album and use Nintendo DS wireless communications to send your masterpieces to your friends. It's all the fun of a photo booth – and more – in the palms of your hands.

Viking Invasion
Publisher: BiP Media
Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) – Mild Fantasy Violence
Price: 800 Nintendo DSi Points
Description: They come from the North, and they're about to invade your Nintendo DSi system. Beware of Olaf the Viking and his motley crew. Even now, their drakkars are sailing up the rivers to attack your castles. It's up to you to construct fortifications to prevent them from pillaging everything you own. The more you defend yourself, the more ferocious they'll become. Before you know it, they'll be invoking legions of fantastic creatures straight out of the mythical land of Asgard. Fortunately, the experience you gain will help you to build even more powerful defenses. Thwart all your assailants' ruses and unlock new kinds of buildings: tornado-blowing windmills to repel the ships, monoliths that strengthen your fortifications or canons that shoot studded shells. Discover more than 10 levels, tons of units, a Campaign mode, a Survival mode and three difficulty levels. There's even a little surprise at the end. Can you rise to the challenge and stop Olaf from taking your treasure home to his sweetheart Olga?

Battle of Giants: Dragons – Bronze Edition
Publisher: Ubisoft
Players: 1-4
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10 and Older) – Mild Fantasy Violence
Price: 800 Nintendo DSi Points
Description: As last of the noble and rare Bronze Dragons, you must defeat the evil SALMU dragons and reclaim the 25 exclusive bronze gems they stole. Explore 10 maps and travel through the great jungles of Earth, the scorched grounds of Fire, the frozen wastelands of Ice and the floating islands of Wind. Customize your dragon's appearance by changing its body, wings, tail shape and colors – even add stripes. Test your dragon's fighting skills against your friends in head-to-head combat or four-player tournaments.

WiiWare

Carnival King
Publisher: Incredible Technologies
Players: 1-2
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) – Mild Cartoon Violence
Price: 700 Wii Points™
Description: Carnival King is a fun-for-all-ages video game that brings the spirit and energy of competitive carnival games to the screen. Players compete for top scores and prizes while visiting three different amusement parks: Arcadia, Dreamland and Lagoon Park. Each park has four sets of games and a Bonus Round to test players' speed and accuracy. For novices or sharpshooters, the games are continually challenging, and the difficulty level can be adjusted to match each player's growing confidence.

"Aha! I Got It!" Escape Game
Publisher: Ateam Inc.
Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Price: 500 Wii Points
Description: Play alone or with family and friends to solve this puzzling adventure game. Today is Milo's birthday, and he just got an amazing present from his dad: a room full of puzzles. Milo needs to solve all the puzzles to escape from the room. Shake, push and twist the Wii Remote™ controller to collect and use in-game items. There's plenty to solve – see if you have what it takes to figure it all out.

Family Card Games
Publisher: Aksys Games
Players: 1-2
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) – Mild Suggestive Themes
Price: 500 Wii Points
Description: Daddy, Mommy, Sarah and Billy are back for some good ol' card game action. Try your hand at one of three card games: Daifugo, Speed or Memory. Family Card Games offers appealing cel-shaded graphics, endearing music and friendly, competitive match-ups. You can play one-player Daifugo or play against up to three other random players in an online match. You can also view your ranking and see how you match up with players around the world. Test your reflexes against another player in Speed and see who truly has the fastest hands. Memory will test your mental capacity as you try to remember where cards and their respective matches are.

Virtual Console

Fighting Street
Original platform: TurboGrafx16 CD-ROM
Publisher: Capcom
Players: 1-2
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10 and Older) – Mild Blood, Violence
Price: 800 Wii Points
Description: A port of the arcade version of STREET FIGHTER, the legendary fighting game that started it all. Players control RYU or KEN and battle against unique fighters from all over the world. The first fighter to knock out an opponent and win two rounds is the winner. Power up your attack to three different levels – the longer you hold a button, the stronger your attack. Input commands to perform special attacks and deal serious damage to your opponent. Combine your normal and special attacks effectively to fight your way to victory.

R-TYPE™
Original platform: SEGA Master System
Publisher: SEGA
Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) – Mild Fantasy Violence
Price: 500 Wii Points
Description: R-TYPE is a classic, side-scrolling arcade shoot-'em-up that was developed by Irem in 1987. It's the 22nd century, and you are humanity's last hope against the evil Bydo Empire. Your ship is called the R-9a "Arrowhead" and comes with a standard gun, but power-ups and upgrades are available in each mission. Navigate through eight challenging levels that will test even the best gamer's reflexes. The SEGA Master System version features an exclusive secret level not found in any other release.

[via press.nintendo.com]