Nintendo Download: 27 & 28 April (Japan)

World Game Parade comes to a close, bountiful VC and lots of DSiWare, next week in Japan

WiiWare

Katamuki Spirits (500pts - Marvelous) – Whilst it may have a fancier sounding name, this is of course DK Games' Equilibrio re-badged as the final entry in Marvelous Entertainment's World Game Parade. We certainly thought it was a fun marble rolling game as seen in our Equilibrio review and we wish DK Games' success with their Japanese debut!

Virtual Console

Metal Max (500pts Famicom - Enterbrain) – Originally published by Data East, this is a Japanese RPG with a sci-fi theme. The Super Famicom sequel, creatively titled Metal Max 2 was ported to the Gameboy Advance.

Samurai Spirits: Zankurō Musōken (900pts Neo Geo - D4 Enterprise) – Gamers outside of Japan will recognise this as Samurai Shodown III. Of course you can already get a collection of the first six games in the series (including this one) in the form of SNK's Samurai Shodown Anthology, but it's always nice for people who want their favourites to be able to have the instant access a downloadable game provides.

Waku Waku 7 (900pts Neo Geo - D4 Enterprise) – This is one of two games released by Sunsoft for the Neo Geo (the other being the yet-to-be-released-outside-of-Japan Galaxy Fight) and like Galaxy Fight, it's a sci-fi-themed fighting game. With Sunsoft releasing games outside of Japan again, we hope that both of these titles will see Wii Shops elsewhere someday.

Mr. Do! (800pts Arcade - Hamster) – Rounding out next week's surprisingly robust Virtual Console offering is Universal's classic digging game Mr. Do! There were a few sequels - including one on the Neo Geo, but the original is definitely the best. Let's hope the kind folks at Hamster will be resurrecting more Universal titles in the future (Ladybug, please?), and of course it would be nice to see any of the Hamster-published VCA titles appear in Wii Shops outside of Japan.

DSiWare

Aaa no Natsukashi no Shooting Watch (200pts - Hudson) – Looks like Nintendo's recreation of its venerable Game & Watch series of LCD-based handhelds on DSi has inspired Hudson to get in on the act. Originally released in 1987, the Shooting Watch was a device modelled in the shape of a Famicom controller and featured a tiny LCD screen that would display the number of button presses per second players could achieve, in addition to a stopwatch function (and presumably a clock). This virtual version should be cheaper than tracking down an original one or the recent limited edition recreation and looks quite faithful to the original device in screenshots. You get 10sec. and 5sec. button pressing modes and charts displaying your pressing prowess as well as a high score table where people can hand-write their initials - perfect for competition at the office!

Artist ni Narou! Kikaruni Sketch (200pts - ERTAIN) – The "Become an Artist!" series continues in budget form. The focus of this entry is casual sketching of images in photos on your DSi.

10 Hyō Sō (200pts - G-Mode) – As the name implies in this game you have 10 seconds to guide a stickman to a goal with 50 courses on offer. The simple style and quick time-wasting aspect remind us very much of another budget release from G-mode so we might check this one out.

Atelier Deco la Doll: Gothic (500pts - Starfish S.D., Inc.) – This is the second doll dress-up app from Starfish for DSi, but this is the first one with a subculture in mind. All the dolls are goths with choice of eye colour (all surrounded by dark shadows, natch) and clothing that tends to be dark and rather Victorian in style. It's something kids elsewhere will appreciate, so we certainly think it has cross-border appeal; now some erstwhile Western publishers just need to pick it up.

Oshiete Darling (800pts - Starfish S.D., Inc.) – This appears to be a "virtual boyfriend" or dating sim. There's apparently a scheduling aspect and interaction with the boys with a selection of three to choose from: schoolboy, university-age and a salaryman in suit and tie. The title translates as "Teach Me Darling" - what will you learn?

Tsukutte Utau Saru Band (800pts - Nintendo) – This is a new title which definitely fits in with Nintendo's other musical toy offerings. The website is thin on details, but from what we've gathered you put together a song and a kawaii monkey band plays and sings it for you. With Nintendo publishing it we'll probably see "Make and Sing: Monkey Band" showing up on other shores eventually.

Renjuku Kanji: Chuugakusei (800pts - I.E. Institute) – The seventh (and most expensive to-date) kanji practice program in the ongoing series of study aides from I.E. Institute. This one is for kids in junior high school (grade 7).