Nintendo Download: 12 & 13 January 2010 (Japan)

WiiWare takes a back seat, more MSX and the usual load of DSiWare.

Well, the WiiWare releases have been sparse recently and next week there will be none. Wii owners will at least get a Virtual Console update; though with a couple of Konami shooters that frankly looked better in other incarnations elsewhere, it will be small comfort. The DSi, on the other hand seems to be back to true form with six new releases.

Virtual Console

Salamander (800pts MSX - Konami) -- Despite producing great original shooters like Space Manbow on the MSX, it looks like Konami had less success porting their arcade games to the platform. This port of Salamander looks and sounds worse than the Famicom version, much less the outstanding PC Engine port, both of which are more arcade-like and available on the Virtual Console for significantly less points.

Parodius (800pts MSX - Konami) -- Parodius was the first in a series of funny shooting games that lovingly made fun of Gradius. Whilst the arcade sequels are fondly remembered, this first one is not; one only need to look at it to see why. Someday Konami will hopefully treat us to the later games on the VCA, but in the meantime you'll just have to suffer with this bit of history.

DSiWare

at Chess: Challenge Spirits (200pts - Tasuke) -- Chess against the DS or against a friend via "DS Download Play" and then a Challenge Mode where you complete "Missions" against various opponents? Sounds pretty good for a 200-point download, chess fans!

G.G. Series: D-Tank (200pts - Genterprise) -- It's truly amazing how Genterprise keeps on churning these out. More old-school arcade action in the form of a tank game with a top-down view that reminds us of Konami's arcade classic Jackal.

Artist ni Narou! Minna no Nurikai Jookyuu Hen (500pts - Ertain) -- A second colouring book program in as many weeks. This is an "advanced" one where you can colour in the style of Monet or Van Gogh.

Pinball Attack (500pts - Arte Piazza) -- If the name of the developer is familiar that's because they were the creative force behind Koei's Wii RPG Opoona. It's difficult to tell how this game is played from still images, but the screens and description give the impression this is a vertically scrolling shooter where you use a pinball and flippers to eliminate enemies on the way to a boss battle; then repeat through several levels taking place in different environments.

Genius Personal Ei wa Rakubiki Jiten (800pts - Nintendo) -- Yet another Japanese-English dictionary for the DSi. This one seems to be fairly comprehensive with over 80,000 words and phrase translation with special focus on business English.

Genius Personal wa Ei Rakubiki Jiten (800pts - Nintendo) -- Volume 2 of Nintendo's new Japanese-English dictionary. This one has 60,000 words with emphasis on colloquialisms and borrowed words.