Nintendo Download: 20th December 2010 (North America)

Mario gets the party started!

It's the week before Christmas and plenty is stirring in the Wii Shop Channel, with everything from Virtual Console party games to WiiWare games about killer robots with afros. DSiWare doesn't do without though, with more Christmas carols, dragon's lairs and more.

Virtual Console

Mario Party 2 (Nintendo 64, 1000pts) – A classic multiplayer outing from the plumber's 64-bit days, Mario Party 2 offers a familiar combination of themed boards, chaotic minigames and last-gasp turnarounds where unlucky players rack up plenty of stars to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. We'll have a full review available later this week.

WiiWare

Frobot (Fugazo, 1000pts) – The coolest killer robot in the galaxy arrives on WiiWare after a long wait indeed. A mixture of top-down shooter and puzzle result in a unique combination that's got buckets of style. We've spent a long time in Frobot's company so our review will be ready to hit the dance floor later today.

Inkub (Cosmonaut Games, 500pts) – Billed as a strategy-action hybrid in which you "lead a bionic vegetative growth enterprise", Inkub is another new take on the tower defence genre, with you protecting incubators from invaders. We'll have a review available later this week.

WiiWare Demos

Frobot – See if the baddest robot in the galaxy is your cup of tea with this free sample of his steely delights.

DSiWare

Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp (Digital Leisure, 800pts) – The Don Bluth trilogy is now complete on DSiWare, with Dragon's Lair II rounding out the triptych alongside Dragon's Lair and Space Ace. We'll follow the on-screen prompts to navigate our way through the review later this week.

Cosmo Fighters (Abylight, 500pts) – A four-player, retro-styled beat 'em up on DSiWare? Your eyes aren't lying, it's Abylight's latest downloadable title. DS Download Play could make this one a smart buy to play with regular DS owners over Christmas, so our review squad will knuckle down to bring you the verdict this week.

Just Sing! Christmas Vol. 2 (dtp Entertainment, 200pts) – Get another pair of carols to warble with this seasonal songbook. Or read our Just Sing! Christmas Vol. 2 review and save your money instead. This press release says "merry Christmas".

Paul's Monster Adventure (Agetec Inc., 500pts) – Presumably an accompaniment to bizarre baby blaster Paul's Shooting Adventure, Paul's Monster Adventure tasks you with stealing food to feed starving bosses. A sharp satire on the current economic climate or just a fun way to blow 500 Points? Our review will tell all.

Deck the Halls with Mario Party 2 and Other Downloadable Delights

If there’s one guest who’s welcome at any holiday party, it’s Mario™. This season, the Virtual Console™ service invites you to join Mario and his Mushroom Kingdom crew for the classic, family-friendly fun of Mario Party™ 2, now playable on the Wii™ system for the first time ever. You’ll also find new additions to the WiiWare™ service to help keep your days merry and bright: the unique sci-fi strategy of Inkub and the funky robot challenge of Frobot. (A demo version of Frobot is available for zero Wii Points™.) If you aim to fill your holiday week with hand-held adventure, take a look at the latest arrivals for the Nintendo DSiWare™ service, including Dragon’s Lair® II: Time Warp and Cosmo Fighters. No matter where the season leads you, here’s hoping it’s a warm and happy one.

Virtual Console

Mario Party 2
Original platform: Nintendo 64™
Publisher: Nintendo
Players: 1-4
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) – Mild Violence
Price: 1,000 Wii Points

Description: Get ready to party like it’s the year 2000 all over again, complete with fancy costumes, bags of surprises and games galore. Mario and his Mushroom Kingdom friends return for a new round of Bowser-bashing board game action in Mario Party 2. Each of your favorite characters dons a differently themed outfit to take part in five fun-packed Adventure Boards: Pirate Land, Western Land, Space Land, Mystery Land and Horror Land. Then battle Bowser™ on his own specific board – if you’re brave enough. Up to four players (additional accessories required, sold separately) can travel around the boards and compete in minigames for coins while also using items to gain an advantage. Win the most stars and become the ultimate victor: the Super Star. Or, if you just feel like proving your minigame mettle, visit Mini-Game Land. Head to the Mini-Game Stadium and replay your favorites, including the Item, Battle, Duel and Chance Time minigames.

WiiWare

Frobot
Publisher: Fugazo
Players: 1-4
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10 and Older) – Mild Fantasy Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes
Price: 1,000 Wii Points; demo version available for 0 Wii Points

Description: Frobot is programmed to make love, not war. But when his five foxy girlfriends get botnapped, he doesn’t skip a beat in taking the fight to the streets. Blast your way up from the Funkytown Slums to the BotBlocker HQ and save them. In Burn Baby Burn mode, earn powerful weapons including the Robo Hustle dash and the Jivestalker disco ball to help take on the Man. In The Big Payback, journey through a story mode filled with action, adventure and fro-frazzling physics puzzles to rescue your girlfriends. In Superfreak, find hidden power picks and upgrade your style. It’s a fight to the last Fro in Frobot’s multiplaya arena. Face off with up to three of your friends on one screen to see who will earn the spotlight. In It’s Raining Guns, access an expanded arsenal of funky weapons, including the Bass Bomb grenade and the Heartstopper shield. And in Do the Hustle, you can unlock multiplaya maps by beating single-playa levels in record time.

Note: Some demo versions do not support all game features, and players cannot save their in-game progress in demo versions.

Inkub
Publisher: Cosmonaut Games
Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) – Cartoon Violence
Price: 500 Wii Points

Description: In Inkub, you are responsible for the defense of incubators, each one connected to a life support system by means of transparent carbon tubes. For years, different organisms, viruses and bacteria have formed colonies that attack the species in each incubator. Your objective is to repel the attacks of these organisms and keep the eggs in the incubators safe. To do this, you have an arsenal of weapons, mines and blockers available. Different weapons will be unlocked as you progress through the game, including laser canons, projectiles, blockers, mines and speed inhibitors. Use them by placing them throughout the tube to repel enemy attacks.

Nintendo DSiWare

Dragon’s Lair II: Time Warp
Publisher: Digital Leisure Inc.
Players: 1
ESRB Rating: T (Teen) – Suggestive Themes, Fantasy Violence
Price: 800 Nintendo DSi Points™

Description: Princess Daphne has been spirited away to a wrinkle in time by the evil wizard Mordroc, who plans to force her into marriage. Only you, Dirk the Daring, can save her. Transported by a bumbling old time machine, you begin the rescue mission. But you must hurry, for once the Casket of Doom has opened, Mordroc will place the Death Ring upon Daphne’s finger and she will be lost forever in the Time Warp. Dragon’s Lair II: Time Warp is a fully animated arcade classic from legendary animator Don Bluth. You’ll make your way through time by using your Nintendo DSi™ system to move and wield your sword. Beware of your foes, for they are numerous. Only you can save Princess Daphne.

Cosmo Fighters
Publisher: Abylight
Players: 1-4
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10 and Older) – Cartoon Violence
Price: 500 Nintendo DSi Points

Description: There’s a battle to fight in outer space, but before you meet your fate, train yourself against the CPU to master all the tricks and combos. Whether playing one-on-one or against a group of three, your training will pay off once you challenge your friends and foes. Anyone can play, but only the well trained will win. Send your friends a demo via DS Download Play to allow them to play solo or in a Versus mode. Finding opponents for the Multiplayer mode is easy because only one player needs to have the game loaded onto his or her system. Let the fight begin!

Paul’s Monster Adventure
Publisher: Agetec, Inc.
Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) – Comic Mischief
Price: 500 Nintendo DSi Points

Description: Prepare to embark on an epic adventure and enter a land where monsters known as bosses once ruled with an iron fist. The local inhabitants have rebelled against the bosses by stealing their food supply. Now the bosses are slowly dying from starvation, and it’s up to you to save them. Explore and discover magical items that will aid you on your adventure. Interact with intriguing monsters that desperately need your help to regain their energy. Be warned: The inhabitants may consider your heroic efforts to be a threat and become aggressive if you are caught with food. Do you best to avoid them, but if you need it, you’re equipped with a powerful hammer that will temporally knock out the inhabitants. It’s time to step up to the challenge and restore order to this chaotic land.

Just SING! Christmas Vol. 2
Publisher: dtp young entertainment
Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Price: 200 Nintendo DSi Points

Description: You are the star! Prepare yourself for the next edition of Christmas karaoke. Holiday classics such as “We Wish you a Merry Christmas“ and “Deck the Halls” are waiting for you. Enter the festively decorated stage in a fancy Santa costume, then sing into the built-in microphone of your Nintendo DSi system to instantly capture the magical Christmas spirit. Hit all the right notes and sing in time to reach the top of the high-scores list.

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