News Article

Nintendo Download: 2nd & 3rd February 2010 (Japan)

Posted by Sean Aaron

WiiWare catch-up, a couple MSX ports and a sprinkling of DSiWare in Japan next week

The slow start to the year continues to be slow, but at least there's some quality releases to be had.


Excitebike World Race (1000pts - Nintendo) – Better late than never for this well received update to the Famicom classic.

Virtual Console

Quarth (800pts MSX - Konami) – Some gamers outside of Japan might recognise this by the name "Block Hole" which was used in both the arcades and for the excellent Gameboy port. Graphically and musically the MSX version is quite faithful to the arcade and far superior to the Famicom port. For the uninitiated, Quarth is a puzzle game in which players control a ship at the bottom of the screen, firing squares at incomplete shapes in order to clear them before they reach the bottom. Importers should definitely give this classic game a fair hearing.

Contra (800pts MSX - Konami) – The MSX port doesn't look half bad, but really doesn't offer much over the Famicom/NES port beyond a lack of flickering and the ability to switch between collected weapons.


Are? DS ga Sakasa Desu Kedo. Gyaku Shooting (200pts - Tecmo) – One of two new games that seem to be the start of a series of quick arcade-style games from Tecmo, which have the novel feature of being made to be played with your DSi upside down (?)! This first entry is a vertical scrolling shooter with an opening stage that looks like a direct port of the arcade classic Star Force, though later levels have a more modern appearance. If we understand the description correctly it looks like the player is using the stylus to control the attacking ships trying to kill the hero ship in the "bottom" screen?

Are? DS ga Sakasa Desu Kedo. Sakasa Drops (200pts - Tecmo) – The second in the "Sakasa" series from Tecmo. This one looks like a falling block game with little space men in it. Like Gyaku Shooting it's played holding your DSi upside down so the touch screen is at the top. Potentially the goal is reversed as well and you're supposed to fill the screen rather than stop it from filling?

Artist ni Narou! Minna no Nurikai Museum Hen (500pts - Ertain) – Yet another entry in the line of "colouring-book" programs from Ertain. In this one you're applying your virtual oils to five virtual canvases from Czech Art Nouveau painter Alphonse Mucha.

Hobonichi Rosenzu 2010 (500pts - Nintendo) – An update to the Hobonichi Rosenzu 2009 railway map application released last January on DSiWare. Contained herein are maps for seven regional Japanese railway lines as well as subway, shinkansen, and privately run lines for those areas.

Renjuku Kanji: Shoogaku 3 Nensei (500pts - I.E. Institute) – Grade 3 Kanji practice for Japanese students from our friends at I.E. Institute!

From the web

Game Screenshots

User Comments (17)



JayArr said:

Maybe this could pave the way for Contra (NES).....hope springs eternal.



MarkyVigoroth said:

Gahahaha! I want those backwards games!
(As for Kanji, I rather wait for Remembering the Kanji, first.)



WarioFan63 said:

Is that map thing actually being released as an update and not a separate application?



XD375 said:

Perhaps this is the reason Contra NES hasn't been released yet. Hopefully MSX will find its way over here.



Sean_Aaron said:

@WarioFan83: It's got a separate listing so it's a standalone app; not sure if people who bought the 2009 one get a discount or what. I mean "update" in the sense that there was an earlier one which this one supercedes.



KeeperBvK said:

"Gamers outside of Japan might recognise this by the name "Block Hole" which was used in both the arcades and for the excellent Gameboy port."

Not entirely true. The European name of the GB port was Quarth, just like in Japan.



Varoennauraa said:

I'm bit of a MSX-fan, but saying "(Contra's)MSX port isn't half bad" is misleading. Its true, that it isn't half bad, for it is wholly bad. Ok, no flickering, but also no scrolling! Animation is awkward both visually and gameplay-wice. 800 points is something i'd pay for Hideo Kojimas games and my favourite MSX-masterpiece, Maze of Galious, but MSX games released thus far are significantly inferior to other 8-bit games.



SwerdMurd said:

yeah wtf inverted DSiware...I'm surprised the touch-screen-at-the-top thing hasn't been used before. Color me intrigued.



StarBoy91 said:

Quarth. What an interesting nomenclature.
I should probably look into the Game Boy Pocket port.



Adamant said:

Quarth was also released under the horrendously generic name "Block Game" on Konami GB Classics.

Fun game, though. Go download, Japanese Wii owners



Pj1 said:

Still no mention that a VC is on it's way for DSi, what a shame...



That_Guy_from_Faxana said:

Quarth is THE. BEST. PUZZLER. EVER. No kidding. The crossbreed between tetris & shoot ém up is brilliant, and it has a great soundtrack as well as a variety of vs and co-op modes. Co-op is a blast.



Heikki said:

Oooh, they're doing MSX games now! Maze of Galious is probably still the one game I've played the most hours in my life. I'd love to play through it once more on the Virtual Console!



Sean_Aaron said:

MSX games have been on VC in Japan for awhile now, but it's only recently that it's been getting more attention. Definitely getting Quarth tonight, it's a great game and the soundtrack is indeed smashing. If you can play Gameboy games the Gameboy version is very good, I can remember spending a lot of time with it back when I had my original fat GB.

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