News Article

Nintendo Download: 31st January 2013 (North America)

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

An awakening, a puddle, underwater exploration and more

While this week's Nintendo download update for Europe is rather modest, albeit with a long-awaited Wii U release, you lucky North Americans have a broad range of content across every platform. There are demos, retail downloads and some interesting new and retro options, so let's get right to it.

Wii U download software

Puddle (Neko Entertainment, $7.99) — A launch day arrival in Europe, this gravity puzzler finally makes its way across the Atlantic. You navigate your puddle of water by tilting the screen — ideally with the left stick or ZL/ZR buttons — working your way through a broad range of attractive environments. It earned a recommendation from us, despite the occasional quirk or difficulty spike; you can check out our Puddle review for more details.

Wii U download demo

The Cave (SEGA, free) — This title arrived to the sound of gasps of relief last week, as the drought of new download-only software on the Wii U eShop ended. It's proven fairly divisive among reviewers and gamers across the web, but now you have the chance to sample it for yourself. You can see what we thought of the full game in our review of The Cave.

3DS download software

Ikachan (Nicalis, $4.99) — This, as advertised in adverts for the game, is from Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya, the creator of Cave Story. Like that title it started life as a free PC game, with this one preceding Cave Story, and has been enhanced and re-purposed for release on the 3DS eShop. Ikachan has its own identity, though does show early indications of what would become Amaya's most celebrated work. We feel this is worth consideration but suffers from a short length and over-simplicity, as our Ikachan review explains.

Witch's Cat (Agetec, $4.99) — A spin-off from the rather decent DSiWare Rabi Laby titles, this new release goes into Wonderland for more puzzle adventures. With 50 stages, various uses of magic and the ability to switch from human to cat at will, we'll see just how deep the rabbit hole goes for our upcoming review.

Bloody Vampire (Agetec, $4.99) — A platformer with RPG elements, you take on the role of Latis, a girl who is half-human, half-vampire. You can expect the use of a variety of magic powers, some levelling as well as buying goodies from dropped loot. We'll take on the quest and bring you a review soon.

3DS Virtual Console

Ice Climber (Nintendo, $4.99) — Those who were eligible for the 3DS Ambassador Programme back in 2011 received this NES title as part of the deal, though it now arrives on the eShop as a full Virtual Console release; it's a relatively simple NES title that sees you clamber up vertical stages while avoiding obstacles and deadly falls. We didn't regard this as a classic in our Ice Climber review for the Wii Virtual Console, but we'll be digging out our winter gear for another climb on the handheld.

3DS download DLC

Sparkle Snapshots 3D (Nintendo, $1 per set) — Two DLC add-ons are now available from the store within the software:

  • Mario Core Set
  • Mario Kart 7 Set

3DS retail downloads

Fire Emblem: Awakening (Nintendo, $39.99) — Available for download alongside the physical release on 4th February, this is a long awaited new entry in the strategy RPG series. With steps to encourage newcomers while pleasing veterans, as well as a lengthy campaign and plenty of additional DLC promised, this is a release with a lot of expectation to live up to. Thankfully it delivers with style, as our extensive Fire Emblem: Awakening review explains.


99Moves (EnjoyUp Games, 200 Nintendo Points) — This is the third entry in the 99 series, with this download giving you a limited number of moves to navigate through dangerous areas. The previous two releases have been enjoyable diversions, so we'll see whether this one continues the trend.

Wii Virtual Console

Metal Slug 4 (D4 Enterprise, 900 Nintendo Points) — With previous Neo-Geo Metal Slug titles already making the jump to the Wii Virtual Console, Metal Slug 4 now joins the ranks. We can expect more classic run and gun action, while the Metallish System for bonus scoring offers a new spin. We'll don a bandana and get blasting to bring you a review.

Phew, lots of downloads on offer. Let us know which is likely to drain you of funds first in the poll below, and share your thoughts on the rest in the comments section.

What will you be downloading first this week? (231 votes)

Puddle (Wii U eShop)


Ikachan (3DS eShop)


Witch's Cat (3DS eShop)


Bloody Vampire (3DS eShop)


Ice Climber (3DS Virtual Console)


Sparkle Snapshots 3D DLC (in-app purchase)


Fire Emblem: Awakening (3DS retail download)


99Moves (DSiWare)


Metal Slug 4 (Wii Virtual Console)


Nothing for me this week


Please login to vote in this poll.

From the web

User Comments (104)



Nardar said:

Easily FE Awakening, as I have been excited for this for about a year.



Zach777 said:

I concur. Fire Emblem is a warm welcome to the 3DS' cold winter library.




Metal Slug 4 would be the game of this week for me to go after. But I'm more interested in trying Ikachan out tbh.



Undead_terror said:

I will probaubly get the ice climbers, might get one of the 3ds ware later but only if it has a good review.



justinj42 said:

I can't afford to buy anything, what with March expecting me to drop $300. 3 3ds games and 3 Wii U games. So scary



KingEnigma said:


So stoked for it I'm legitimately considering both download and retail copies! Slightly mad, to be sure, but it makes sense to me. Sorry wallet...

Solid release update--



Lalivero said:

Puddle is probably the only thing I'm interested in this week because I already have Ice Climbers through the ambassador program, although it's nice to see the latter finally gets the update.

I agree with others on where the heck ZP2 is.



SmallFryUnify said:

Hey guys, just to let you know that Zen Pinball 2 is actually out and available in the UK. You just need to search for it, in fact as I type this, it's now sowing on the eShop's front page.

You can download all the free DLC as well.



castlezelda said:

even the release day before February, leads me to think Ninty messed up...again, or there was a stupid delay.



Svengoolie said:

Wait, is Fire Emblem actually available now? If I wanted to download, I wouldn't have to wait until next Tuesday?



HeroOfCybertron said:

I'm getting Ikachan and maybe Bloody Vampire and I'm also getting the retail version of Fire Emblem: Awakening on Monday and I'm going to update Ice Climbers hopefully unless they don't update it right away like they did a couple of other ambassador NES games.



Shanksta said:

@player310 Yeah, I did too. I guess I figured right when I thought RCR's website was lying.

On another note, where is Trine 2's update. Was that supposed to be this week or am I mistaken?



ultraraichu said:

Quite an interesting week. I will download the cave demo since it may speed up my buying decision after work and Fire Emblem and Blood Vampire later when I complete 3 3DS games.



GeminiSaint said:

Ikachan for me. It may be kind of short, yes, but it's full of charm. Also, it's priced the same as a NES game, which is fitting, in my opinion.



sketchturner said:

So Retro City Rampage missed its release date AGAIN??? I defended this for a long time but at this point it really has become laughable.



SammyOfMobius said:

Some of these titles seem pretty tempting, but alas I am waiting to get Mega Man 2 next week. Good week nonetheless.



Boo_Buster said:

Maybe Ice Climbers, otherwise I am waiting until Monday to get that physical release of Fire Emblem Awakening.

@MultiMariosonic Ah yes, I nearly forgot out MM2 next week. I'll definitely get that!



SmallFryUnify said:

@Chriiis Ooops, never even noticed, what a tube I am. Sure NA will get it later today though. I checked the eShop at 1pm UK time and it wasn't showing on the front page or New Software section, then I did a search for it and it showed up. I downloaded the main game and one of the DLC tables and when I went back into the eShop which must have been about 30-60 mins later, it was showing on the front page. So maybe it will show in the NA eShop if you search otherwise maybe around 1pm US time wherever you are.



Zemus-DJ said:

I'll be DLing FE:A, ikachan, witches cat, bloody vampire & updating ice climbers



blackknight77 said:

Metal Slug 4 I'm interested. Its not my favorite in the series but its still good. Metal Slug 5 is much better



SetupDisk said:

First puddle then maybe bloody vampire if it is as good as what it is ripping off. Of course FE is getting downloaded next week.



Everly said:

@CDreams Unfortunately not. Zen Studios announced that it would be available in the EU eshop 1/31/13 with the NA release coming very soon. So we won't be seeing it today on this side of the pond. Have fun with it though.



Flowerlark said:

I want Fire Emblem, but am definitely going for the physical cart over the download. Therefore I voted Ikachan.



SammyOfMobius said:

@Chriiis Ha ha! That would be so weird! Can't wait for that 3DS Direct to come though, I hope they announce new 3DS games like they did with Wii U.
@DarkCoolEdge Yes indeed. I would recommend waiting for Mega Man 2 if I were you. Totally worth 5 bucks and one of the best games of all time.



DrKarl said:

The controls on the Anthology are absolutely terrible in my opinion. It supports Gamecube controllers, but only with the analog stick. I love Metal Slug, but find this disc unplayable.

What control setup do you use?



Klunk23 said:

I'll be getting a physical copy of Fire Emblem so i obviosly won't be downloading it but still. Can't wait.



SheldonRandoms said:

Nothing for me this week, because of Fire Emblem: Awakening, well hopefully I can beat Tales of the Abyss before then, and if I downloaded something, then I won't play it for long after Fire Emblem: Awakening is released.



Boo_Buster said:

@Ryno_Choryzo To encourage more sales, obviously. If the game was $4.99 I would not have gotten it. I'll take a chance on a $1.99 game, and I know a lot of other people feel the same way. Yeah, a few bucks makes a big difference.



KingEnigma said:

Man... I'm not seeing Fire Emblem downloadable beyond the demo. Ikachan and everything else seems to be up. I know the official release date is 2/4, but the update led me to believe it was out. It's not just me, right? lol--



Shotgunryugan said:

So Retro City Rampage missed the release date again? more delays?
Bleh,i was very patient for this game,but it has gotten to the point were i no longer care for it.

I am interested in MS4,i have MS2 and MS3 already on the Virtual Console,i also need to get the original and MSX sometime.

I am also interested in Fire Emblem after reading the review,might be my first FE game.



UnseatingKDawg said:

Hmm... I wonder if Ice Climber is actually updated with the simultaneous multiplayer, or if they just released it half baked like Donkey Kong Jr.?



CrazyOtto said:

Great week.

Also, only Balloon Fight, Yoshi, and Wrecking Crew still need updated.



FonistofCruxis said:

This update is far better than the one we got in Europe. While we only got something new on WiiUware, America gets new games on WiiUware, 3DSware, DSiware and both VC services! All three of the games America got on 3DSware this week look pretty good too.



rosemo said:

Personally, I'm tired of seeing NES games on the 3DS VC. I want GB/GBC/GBA/GG games on my "handheld" virtual console. Is that too much to ask?



Windy said:

@rosebud I think it is to much to ask. It's my oppinion they should be bringing out at least five VC games a week for various systems which you mentioned. It cannot be hard converting games to VC

Im so tempted on Witches Cat and Bloody Vampire the pics look great and the price seems good Maybe they are like Gunman Clive sleeper hits. Anyone Know? Has anyone tried them yet? checks the forum



Windy said:

@DarkCoolEdge Yup Gunman Clive puts alot of games to shame. I loved Shinobi and had a great time with it but I payed 29.99 for it. Was it worth in respect to the entertainment Value? Oh hell yes! But then Gunman Clive Comes out at 1.99 and is just a blast. Im glad I got a chance to play Shinobi. Im also glad its on cartridge as I like carts better. Gunman Clive is much shorter than Shinobi but in comparison I had more fun with Gunman Clive. Both excellent but both seem almost equal in quality. Now I know the dev costs where far more for shinobi. Gunman Clive might just be a rare occurance for the Eshop. I hope not



GeminiSaint said:

Hahah, I'm finding it funny that Ice Climber (a little bit over 100 blocks) is five times larger than Ikachan (20 blocks)!



DarkEdi said:

Please bring soon KOF 98 so we can have sooner KOF 99-00-01-02 and 03.

Great week. Games for DS- 3DS- Wii and Wii U.



ogo79 said:

oh come on! someone cry already, its thursday! youre supposed to be complaining!
ive made popcorn for nothing...



MetalMario said:

Might grab Ikachan later, and I will be getting the physical copy of Fire Emblem: Awakening.



tripunktoj said:

Voted for Ice Climber, since I'm 3DS Ambassador I'll just download the update. I am considering Ikachan and Puddle for the next time I add funds to my accounts.



Windy said:

@ogo79 Well. I did complain about the lack of VC games. But overall this looks like a pretty good week. Im going to pick up Witches Cat and Bloody Vampire. Im currently boycotting Ikachan until our friends in Europe get Cave Story. Im not buying any Nicalis games until cave story is released for Europe. Did you need another bucket of popcorn? Haha



nf_2 said:

I didn't realize that FE was getting a DL option before retail... I'm seriously debating if I should just download it now instead of waiting.



WaveBoy said:

I'd aim for Metal Slug 4...But like somebody pointed out it's already available on the Antholgy collection. Besides, I'm cool with shaking the wii remote to throw grenades unless there's some other emulation bugs that i don't know about.



KnightRider666 said:

@Windy: Too bad I already have Ice Climber from the ambassador package. At least they're giving us what appears to be one NES VC game on the eshop per week.



RR529 said:

I'll eventually give Ikachan a DL. Might look into Witch's Cat and/or Bloody Vampire, if they seem interesting (I want to support Japanese eShop titles, and I believe Agetec publishes Silver Star Japan's titles).

I'll buy FE:A at retail.



Blue_Yoshi said:

I've been waiting for Puddle since the Wii U launch. Though I heard the gyro controls were disappointing, I still think its worth a shot.



ajcismo said:

No Pinball? Meanwhile Europe got Pinball? Ugh... I'm going back to my mancave and dusting off the Gamecube. .



Bassman_Q said:

I will be downloading Ika-chan...

... on my laptop PC! (seriously, being so short and with no new special features, I might as well get the freeware version, even if it lacks the comfort of a controller.)

Aside from that, I will be purchasing a retail copy of Fire Emblem from GameStop on Monday. Character art book Ftw!



MarioKenny1992 said:

anyways, nothing for me yet. I do have a wish for a 3DS remake though - how about Sonic 3 & Knuckles? Sega could not just enhance the graphics and music, but also add leaderboards, a super hard mode for the character you played as after you finish the game with all 14 emeralds, a co-op mode where one player is Sonic and the other is Tails, and maybe challenges too! Sega gets free money from me in an instant when they do it XD who agrees?



Barbiegurl777 said:

Love the add on content in sparkle snapshots - 3dsware! Already used the new add on content in sparkle snapshots to make my new profile pic on here!

Happy Gaming! (^_^)



Undead_terror said:

I voted for ice climber as I said but still have not bought it, might save my monmey so nothing for me this week.



Windy said:

Picked up Bloody Vampire. What a Nice Surprise! Not as good as Gunman Clive but Darn Close



Mattiator said:

Just a reminder/confirmation that the update to Ice Climber adds multiplayer via download play, so you can play with friends with only one copy of the game. Hopefully this means we'll be seeing the addition of two-player for Balloon Fight, as well as the Game Boy VC titles (Like Fortified Zone and Radar Mission).



UnseatingKDawg said:

@MarioKenny1992: I personally wouldn't mind 3D Classics of Sonic 1, 2, 3, Knuckles, and CD. I'd actually like to see some 3D Classics at all; we haven't gotten one since Kid Icarus, which was back in April last year. It seems they just dropped all support for the 3D remakes...



UnseatingKDawg said:

@Mattiator: I did check that out and the Download Play option works without a hitch. I'm voting with you, man. I'm hoping they update quite a few of the titles already released that had 2-Player disabled.

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