A nice update for North America this week as we see a game many thought would stay in Japan, a new brain teaser and a catch-up title for the Genesis on the Virtual Console. DSiWare is no slouch though with a selection of strategy and platform games and a nice pet sim for the kiddies.
Muscle March (500pts - Namco-Bandai) -- Possibly the most bizarre WiiWare game to-date featuring body builders smashing through walls chasing down the thief who stole their protein powder. Many swore this would never see the light of day outside of Japan, but incredibly Namco has decided to give it a worldwide release (Europe will hopefully get this soon). We'll let you know if it got our booties shaking or if we were left shaking our heads in disbelief. While you're waiting for the review, you can check out the First Impressions!
The Amazing Brain Train! (600pts - Wahoo Studios) -- A "brain training" game. Find out if it's got the smarts or needs a dunce cap in our upcoming review!
Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi (800pts Genesis - Sega) -- Better late than never we always say. Download it and find out why we reckon it's one of the best action platformers to appear on the Genesis.
STARSHIP DEFENSE (500pts - Nintendo) -- Released in Europe as Starship Patrol, this little strategy game is certainly worth a look. Check out Drake's excellent review to find out what sets this one apart from other "tower defense" games.
Dark Void Zero (500pts - Capcom) -- An 8-bit platformer that was "shelved towards the end of the NES lifecycle" which has been resurrected for DSiWare. Look for our review of this exciting retro-style title soon!
Chronos Twins (500pts - EnjoyUp Games) -- This appears to be the DSiWare counterpart to the recent WiiWare release of a temporal platformer which started life on the GBA and DS. We'll have a review up soon, but in the meantime you can read our review of the WiiWare version to get an idea of what to expect.
Me and My Dogs: Friends Forever (800pts - Gameloft) -- A new pet sim from Gameloft. Our resident dog trainer Rebecca Gunn thought it was worthwhile, so if you're a fan of the genre you might want to give it a look.
As usual please feel free to peruse the press release below:
There's a lot to say about this week's downloadable games. You can check out the brain-training power of The Amazing Brain Train! or the cute puppies of Me And My Dogs: Friends Forever. Fans of more traditional games can protect their space fleet from waves of enemies in STARSHIP DEFENSE™ or explore the dual temporal world of Chronos Twins. Retro gamers will certainly like the ninja stylings of Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi™ on the Virtual Console™ service or the chance to try out the Nintendo DSiWare™ title Dark Void™ Zero, a mythical long-lost game from Capcom's vaults.
And then there's Muscle March.
A bunch of bodybuilders (and a polar bear) clad in bikini briefs chase after protein-powder thieves who can bash through walls at will. Strike your best bodybuilder poses to catch the thief and make the protein powder yours again. This surreal experience is best shared among friends, so start flexing!
ESRB Rating: E 10+ (Everyone 10 and Older) - Comic Mischief
Price: 500 Wii Points™
Description: Muscle March is a quirky Japanese action game stuffed full of macho bodybuilders. The all mighty protein powder has been stolen, so it's up to Tony and his muscle-bound crew to catch the thieves. Choose from a variety of perfectly molded superstars and bring these terrible villains to justice. As the thieves attempt escape, they will smash through walls while making a variety of poses. You must match these poses to fit through the holes and catch up to the thieves. The protein powder will be yours again! Flex your muscles by yourself or with up to three friends in turn-based macho excitement. Posing for a few minutes not enough? Enjoy Endless Rush mode until your muscles bulge and explode! Muscle March will also be the first WiiWare title to offer a polar bear in tight swimwear!
The Amazing Brain Train!
Publisher: Wahoo Studios
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Price: 600 Wii Points
Description: All aboard! Power up your intellect and embark on an epic quest aboard The Amazing Brain Train! Fueled by your mental energy, Professor Fizzwizzle's Brain Train will take you on a brain-boosting adventure. Put your mighty mind to the test and see how far you can go.
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) - Mild Fantasy Violence
Price: 500 Nintendo DSi Points™
Description: STARSHIP DEFENSE takes the tower defense genre into outer space. Defend your space fleet from wave after wave of enemy attacks by equipping a variety of weapons and using a combination of strategic skills and resource management. Attach weapons to your ships using the touch screen, making sure to place them for maximum effect when planning your defense. If you don't, the relentless nature of your enemies could overwhelm you. Increase your chances of success by using energy collected from defeated enemies to install new and more powerful weapons, destroying particular enemies to obtain weapon upgrades, and watching for rare power crystals that unlock advanced attacks, including a devastating black hole. And if you still find yourself in trouble, select an SOS card to call on a special kind of assistance. You'll have to defend your fleet across 30 intense sectors, some with specific challenges, while advancing your rank from lowly recruit all the way to fleet admiral. Are you up to the challenge?
Dark Void Zero
Publisher: Capcom Entertainment
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) - Fantasy Violence
Price: 500 Nintendo DSi Points
Description: As the '80s were drawing to a close, the developers at Capcom began work on a top-secret project that aimed to set new standards for the platformer genre. That game was called Dark Void. Alas, Capcom suspended development on Dark Void as it began to evaluate the SNES™. Before long, the game was shelved and drifted, unnoticed, into the annals of gaming history. Dark Void became a legendary "lost project" at Capcom. Now, nearly 20 years later, Dark Void is back! To commemorate the game's humble origins, Capcom has commissioned this recreation of the original 8-bit classic, now re-titled Dark Void Zero, on the Nintendo DSi™ system. You play as Rusty, the first human born in the Void, who must take on the Watchers in a quest to stop their domination of Earth. With the aid of Nikola Tesla and his state-of-the-art rocket pack, Rusty must take down the Watchers and their minions across three intense levels of action and intrigue.
Publisher: EnjoyUp Games
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) - Fantasy Violence
Price: 500 Nintendo DSi Points
Description: Enter into the original world of Chronos Twins, where you'll live a fantastic adventure full of innovative ideas never seen before in any game. Thanks to its Dual Gameplay game system you'll be able to control Nec in two temporal scenarios at the same time. Chronos Twins mixes action, platforms, adventure and puzzles to challenge your intelligence and ability. If you like games with a real challenge, there's no doubt that Chronos Twins is the game you're looking for.
Me and My Dogs: Friends Forever
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) - Comic Mischief
Price: 800 Wii Points
Description: Have you always dreamed of having a cute dog to cuddle? Thanks to Me And My Dogs: Friends Forever, you can have up to three of the cutest pups imaginable at the same time and take them with you everywhere you go. Choose from friendly Labradors, playful Chow Chows and smart Beagles. Like real dogs, you'll have to take care of them, feed them, wash them and give them lots of love. Play with them at the park and teach them lots of tricks or train them for competitions at the stadium. You can even call them like in real life thanks to the microphone.
Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi
Original platform: Genesis
ESRB Rating: E 10+ (Everyone 10 and Older) - Fantasy Violence
Price: 800 Wii Points
Description: Easy to play, hard to master, Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi, first released in 1987, is the sequel to the original Shinobi arcade game, and is one of the only games in the Shinobi series to feature true arcade-style game play. Play as Joe Musashi, the master ninja known to his enemies only as "The Shinobi." This battle is not one you must fight alone, as this is the first game in the Shinobi series to feature your ninja attack dog, Yamoto, who will charge foes on command, leaving them open to a powerful drop kick. Use your mastery of ancient ninja technique to topple the crime syndicate - the Neo Zeed Corporation - and free the foreign dignitaries they have taken hostage in New York City. Good luck, and may the ninja spirits help guide you in your journey.
Nintendo adds new titles to the Nintendo DSi Shop and the Wii Shop Channel at 9 a.m. Pacific time on Mondays. Users with broadband Internet access can redeem Wii Points or Nintendo DSi Points to download the games. Wii Points can be purchased in the Wii™ Shop Channel. Nintendo DSi Points can be purchased in the Nintendo DSi Shop. A Nintendo Points Card™ can be purchased at retail locations. All points from one Nintendo Points Card must be redeemed in either the Nintendo DSi Shop or the Wii Shop Channel. They are not transferable and cannot be divided between the two systems.
Remember that both Wii and Nintendo DSi feature parental controls that let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about this and other features, visit Wii.com or NintendoDSi.com.