The Virtual Console Arcade gets a surprise release (always nice) and there's a couple of interesting WiiWare games to tide over Wii owners; add in some intesting titles on the DSi and you get a pretty good week for Nintendo downloading overall.
Pokosuka Racing (500pts - Recom) – At first we thought "Pokosuka" was a typo, because this is a racing game featuring cars with oversized fists that "box" each other, but that doesn't appear to be the case (maybe a helpful reader will clue us in on what it means). Whatever the meaning of the word this is a budget 1-4 player 3D racing game featuring cute little cars that can use their boxing-glove hands to pick up objects on the track to chuck at each other or just pound the daylights out of opponents. There's 8 vehicles bearing cartoony smiley faces and a few fanciful tracks to choose from. Recom's previous output has been on the PS3 making this is their Wii debut!
Zombie in Wonderland (800pts - Marvelous Entertainment, Inc.) – Although you won't find the word "panic" in the title, rest assured this is the game featuring zombies and fairy tale characters from Akaoni Studios, whom we spoke to earlier this week. It's the first of Marvelous Entertainment's World Game Parade imports from Europe and a pretty big coup as well since they're publishing it Japan before it appears anywhere else.
Karate Michi (800pts - Hamster Co.) – Looks like Hamster is adding Data East to the list of companies whose old arcade games are getting ported by them to the Virtual Console Arcade. You'll likely recognise this game by the name Karate Champ, regarded by many as the first arcade fighting game. Our only real recollection is of somewhat complicated controls; which didn't get in the way of its popularity.
Kaite Obaeru Ei Tango Chō (200pts - Nintendo) – This is one of two flash card creation apps this week courtesy of Intelligent Systems. You use the touch screen to write characters in romaji and Japanese (looks like kana and kanji are understood) which are transcripted into block text by the application onto both "sides" of a virtual card in the top screen. After you've created your entries you can title the whole pack "English Test" or what-have-you. Although the application title specifies English, other languages using variantions of the Roman alphabet are also supported such as French, German, Spanish and Italian. You can even write chemical formulae allowing you to create study aids for a variety of tests in both languages and maths/science subjects.
Kaite Obaeru Shushin Tango (200pts - Nintendo) – The second flash card creation application from Intelligent Systems. This one uses the camera to create picture flash cards of objects with the word written on the back - as with the other application the software transcribes Japanese written on the touchscreen using the stylus. You can also take pictures of words or phrases and mask out part of it to create "fill-in the blank" exercises. It's also suggested that you hide captions that appear under images taken from books to create quizzes on the names of animals and plants or as a tool to help you remember the names of your classmates or co-workers.
G.G. Series: Exciting River (200pts - Genterprise) – Genterprise brings us yet another in the endless series of fun little arcade games from Suzak. Exciting River looks like an upside-down version of Atari's classic "Toobin'" with the player controlling a man paddling a canoe up-river, grabbing fruits and avoiding obstacles; with some side-scrolling sections for variety.
Aa! Nikaku Dori (500pts - Acute Entertainment, Inc.) – An interesting-looking puzzle game using mahjong tiles which isn't Shanghai. We're not entirely clear how it's played, but it does involve flipping pairs of tiles (somehow the size of the right-angle between them is relevant) and the developer claims it's simple to learn, so we'll give it a play sometime and report our findings.
Geki Tsui Ō (500pts - Genki Mobile Co., Ltd.) – This is the second game to make interesting use of the DSi's camera as a control mechanism in place of motion sensing. It's a 3D dogfighting game where players control a WWI-era biplane and are tasked with shooting down various targets. The twist is that the camera is used to provide a horizon for the plane and players steer by tilting the DSi in various directions to control pitch and roll. We're not sure if it uses the head-tracking aspect of Rittai Kakushie Attakoreda, but we wouldn't be surprised and you can bet we're eager to find out! Of course if you tire of shooting down computer-controlled planes you can dogfight with up to three other people over local DS Wireless play - we can picture the scene on the commute now...
Hachiwan Diver DS Story (500pts - Silver Star Japan) – This seems to be the DSiWare version of the shogi game (based on the manga of the same name) that came out on WiiWare a year ago.