Nintendo Download: 31st January 2013 (North America)

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.

DSiWare

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)

13%

Ikachan (3DS eShop)

11%

Witch's Cat (3DS eShop)

2%

Bloody Vampire (3DS eShop)

4%

Ice Climber (3DS Virtual Console)

9%

Sparkle Snapshots 3D DLC (in-app purchase)

1%

Fire Emblem: Awakening (3DS retail download)

21%

99Moves (DSiWare)

3%

Metal Slug 4 (Wii Virtual Console)

3%

Nothing for me this week

34%

Please login to vote in this poll.