News Article

Nintendo Download: 22, 24 December 2009 (Japan)

Posted by Sean Aaron

WiiWare catch-up and more MSX games for the Virtual Console.

The Wii gets the lion's share of Japanese downloads next week with four new WiiWare and three new VC titles. DSiWare gets a couple of games and two more Rurubu travel guides to round things out.

Note that the DSiWare releases will be on Thursday the 24th rather than Wednesday due to the holiday on the Emperor's birthday. Year-end holidays the following week mean this will be the last Japanese download week of 2009. A bit subdued, but perhaps just some calm before a storm in 2010! Cheers to NL regular Ratengo for clueing us in!


Othello (500pts - Arc System Works) -- A classic board game that will be familiar to many. It's similar to go in that players place black or white tokens on the board to occupy the most territory at the end of the game. Silver Star Japan released a version on WiiWare last September which also looks pretty nice and offers 1-2 player multiplayer options, but Arc System Works has upped the bar by including 2-player Wi-Fi play for the same low price of 500 points.

School of Darkness (1000pts - Square Enix) -- Savvy gamers outside of Japan will recognise this as LIT, which Square Enix was sufficiently taken with to localise for Japan. Oddly enough the game's new name is in English -- possibly a trademark issue or trying to avoid giving the impression it was a game about reading books?

Lost Winds: Winter of the Melodias (1000pts - Square Enix) -- Another Western import for Japan courtesy of Square Enix. They brought the previous Lost Winds outing to Japan this time last year; almost to the day, so Japanese fans of the series will actually have waited less time between chapters than the rest of us!

PHALANX (500pts - Zoom) -- It was only last month that we reported this old X68/SNES game was getting a makeover, so it's nice to see it coming so soon -- to Japan anyway. If we're understanding the info page on the Japanese Nintendo WiiWare site it sounds like they've included both a Wii facelift and attempted to reproduce the look and feel of the original Sharp X68 game as a separate play mode. Google translate has also thrown up an additional interesting tidbit: "Also, you can play with it and make up one's own level of difficulty." Whether this just means there's selectable difficulty or players can tweak aspects of the game to essentially roll their own difficulty level isn't clear, but we'll be sure to bring our readers some First Impressions of this retro shooter offering next week!

Virtual Console

Gradius 2 (800pts MSX - Konami) -- More MSX goodness from Konami. Gradius 2 is the first of two MSX titles getting released next week. Known as Nemesis 2 in Europe, this is a sequel to the original Gradius/Nemesis, however it has nothing to do with the arcade game titled "Gradius II." Rather than controlling the Vic Viper, your ship is the Metalion. This game has a stronger story component than other Gradius games, which is relayed via inter-level cut scenes.

Majoo Densetsu (800pts MSX - Konami) -- Known as "Knightmare" in Europe, this is a vertical shooter in which you control a knight shooting down baddies whilst trying to rescue Aphrodite. It featured sophisticated graphics for the MSX with an overhead angle and sprites that cast shadows.

Famicom Tantei Club Part II (500pts FC - Nintendo) -- This is the sequel to a detective adventure game for the Famicom, siimilar to the Detective Saburoo series of "visual novels."


Simple DS Series Volume 2: The Misshitsu Kara no Dasshutsu Gakkoo Hen (500pts - D3 Publisher) -- A room escape game in which players need to collect items -- adventure game style -- and use them to escape a series of rooms at a primary school.

Katamuku + Action: Katamuction (500pts - Hi Games and Publishing) -- This is a collection of mini-games which appear to be played using tilting motion. We're unaware of any tilt sensor being built into the DSi, so it's possible we're not understanding the translation properly. There's an assortment of games that seem to include shooting bits, running away from dinosaurs, controlling a bear trying to catch salmon and platforming?

Pocket Rurubu: Nagoya, Pocket Rurubu: Kobe (800pts - Nintendo) -- Two more Rurubu guidebooks you can download for your DSi. Perfect for Japanese travelers in Japan who want to travel to these Japanese cities; for less than the cost of their printed equivalents no doubt.

From the web

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User Comments (21)



Egg_miester said:

damn lit should have been called school of darkness over here that would been hardcore but yay for PHALANX the week seems to be a shooter week for the wii



Reala said:

500 points for othello, sounds good to me, hope it comes to Europe.



Ratengo said:

The DSiWare update will be on the 24th of December instead due to Emperor's Birthday on Wednesday. It should also be noted that the next week's update is the last of this year. In summary: Japan got 136 Virtual Console titles and 105 WiIWare titles during 2009 to compare to 2008's 145 and 60 titles respectively. That's a pretty fantastic year and I'm already looking forward to 2010, which will hopefully even be better. Until then: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year...!



jangonov said:

A tilt game? perhaps it is something like those maze games with the small metal BB? you just control it via the touch screen. (tap, drag, to move a corner or side)



StarBoy91 said:

I thought Phalanx was only available for the SNES. :/ Anyway, that's awesome news. Phalanx is a game I've been interested in for some time, although I fail to see what the banjo-playing man in the US SNES BoxCover has to do with the game. :/



accc said:

The SNES version of Famicom Tantei Club Part II is already on the VC in Japan. Why would anyone want to buy the NES version instead?



StarBoy91 said:

Eeep!! I thought the SNES game Phalanx was gonna come to Japan, I didn't read WiiWare. I skimmed through the article, I must confess.



JamieO said:

I wonder if Sean will be adding WiiWare Phalanx, and its bargain priced facelift, to his list of Japanese import game reviews? I hope so, his import Virtual Console Chotetsu Brikin'ger review was brilliant!



KnucklesSonic8 said:

Hope we get Othello. And Jazzy Billiards. Wow, Arc System Works is really getting into Wi-Fi support now.



Sean_Aaron said:

Cheers Ratengo, I've updated; totally missed those DSiWare releases were dated the 24th!

@Starboy91: Phalanx was originally a game on the Sharp X68000 computer, it was later ported to the SNES, though as you've noted this is not a VC release, but a WiiWare "rebirth" of the title, if you will.

@JamieO: A full review is unlikely since I strongly suspect we'll be seeing this game released outside of Japan. I do plan on picking it up and giving y'all some First Impressions though, and there will be more import VC reviews in the future (Space Manbow is ready to launch!).



jhuhn said:

Japan won't get an update on December 29-30, 2009 because of the holidays, so we'll find out what Virtual Console games will be confirmed for January 2010.



Sean_Aaron said:

Hah, changed that one too, transliterating katakana back to English is really annoying!



WarioFan63 said:

So actually, I didn't realize this but this Famicom Tantei release is Nintendo's first very own double dip. Maybe there is hope for SNES Wario's Woods and Yoshi's Cookie. And their Arcade library I suppose.



chris3116 said:

I remember playing on Othello on NES. It was really cool. I would get it. Phalanx seems very cool. I also saw the boxart of this game with the old farmer with a banjo. The Wiiware version has the original Phalanx (I don't know if it's the xp86000 or the SNES version) and a remake.

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