It may be a Bank Holiday in some parts, but the European Nintendo Download waits for no-one, with this week's update being a fairly meaty offering featuring every current platform. We have some high-profile arrivals on the 3DS eShop, an assortment of retro treats and even a couple of discounts, so let's get to it.
Wii U Virtual Console
Both of this week's Wii U Virtual Console releases are the U.S. versions, ensuring 60Hz performance.
Solomon's Key (Tecmo, €4.99 / £3.49) — Originally an arcade puzzle platformer, like many of its kind it made the transition to the NES. You navigate rooms full of obstacles by both placing and removing blocks, and is a reasonably fun, compulsive experience; we'll puzzle our way to a fresh look at it, while in the meantime you can check out our Wii Virtual Console Solomon's Key review.
Xevious (Namco Bandai, €4.99 / £3.49) — An iconic scrolling shmup, this is rather primitive to modern eyes and ears due to its encounters with early NES limitations, but it's still regarded affectionately by some retro fans of the genre. It's also appeared in the 3D Classics range, yet we feel its later contemporaries outshine it in a big way; before our Wii U revisit you can check out our Wii Virtual Console Xevious review.
Wii U Permanent Price Reduction
Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage 2 (Tecmo Koie, €49.99 / £39.99, originally €59.99 / £49.99)
Wii U Temporary Price Reduction
Chasing Aurora (Broken Rules, €5.99 / £5.39 until from 9th to 16th May, normally €11.99 / £10.79)
Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move (Nintendo, €9.99 / £8.99) — The fifth game in this popular series sees the former foes, and other famous characters, teaming up rather than competing. We can expect to be charmed by toy versions of various characters, as paths are mapped out and tiles flipped to help them on their way. With 180 puzzle-based levels, four modes, unlockable mini-games and the now-standard level editor, this is certainly high up on a few wishlists. We'll see whether it stands up to its predecessors in our upcoming review.
The Starship Damrey (Level-5, €7.99 / £7.19) — The first of the Guild02 titles arrives this week, and it's the adventure/exploration title from Kazuya Asano and Takemaru Abiko. You awaken on the named starship with no memory of who you are or how you came to be there, and you have to explore and figure out your environment without any hints or tips to guide you. It sounds intriguing, and we'll try to remember how to find it on the eShop to bring you our review, soon.
Bloody Vampire (Agetec, €4.99 / £4.49) — This one brings an old-school feel, with hints of Metroidvania and the "bumping" attack mechanic known from the Ys series. It throws in plenty of items to help you on your way, and is a relatively fun experience despite rough edges and some balancing issues. We gave it a decent recommendation in our Bloody Vampire review.
Reel Fishing 3D Paradise Mini (Natsume, €3.99 / £3.59) — Natsume is well-known for its fishing games, and this series made a few appearances on the Wii. This 3DS version is a reasonable effort, bringing its brand of relatively realistic fishing to the portable space, but it's still lacking in key areas; check out our Reel Fishing 3D Paradise Mini review for the full details.
Crash City Mayhem (Ghostlight, €19.99 / £17.99) — Originally pegged as a retail release, which it may still be in North America, this is an action driving game in which you drive around a city smashing into other vehicles and causing, yep, mayhem. We're sure there'll be a storyline about terrorists thrown in there, too.
3DS Virtual Console
Wrecking Crew (Nintendo, €3.99 / £3.59) — This is a NES title where Mario gives up being a plumber — not that he actually does the day job much — to work on a construction site. He's in the destruction business, in truth, and these vertically scrolling levels get fiendishly difficult; this is a fun slice of retro puzzle platforming, with a crude level editor thrown in, as our Wrecking Crew review explains.
The Beet Party: UnderWaterMelon (Redrover, €0.99 / £0.89) — The Beet Party is a series of 3D short videos available for download on Nintendo eShop. The two-minute interstitials target four to six year olds and follow the adventures of the five coolest beets around as they explore, experiment, celebrate and communicate with beat-boxing sounds when something new arrives in their fridge. In UnderWaterMelon, a giant watermelon is placed in the fridge which causes some major space issues with the Beets.
Color Commando (Circle Entertainment, 200 Nintendo Points) — Likely to be the DSiWare farewell from Goodbye Galaxy Games, as the developer moves onto current-generation projects, this is a worthy finale. An action puzzle-platformer where you match up globs of paint with similarly coloured foes, this is a clever title that shows how modest resources can be used well. We rated it highly and gave it a strong recommendation in our Color Commando review.
Wii Virtual Console
World Heroes 2 Jet (D4 Enterprise, 900 Nintendo Points) — It's another Neo Geo fighting game, and one day we'll no doubt look back on the Wii Virtual Console as a golden age when so many classics from the iconic system were given another chance to shine. Yet this probably won't go down as a classic; it's a thoroughly passable fighter but little more — check out our World Heroes 2 Jet review for the full lowdown.
A packed lineup with some highly anticipated titles this week. Let us know what you plan to buy in the poll and comments below.
What will you be downloading first this week? (173 votes)
Solomon's Key (Wii U Virtual Console)
Xevious (Wii U Virtual Console)
Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage 2 (Wii U eShop permanent discount)
Chasing Aurora (Wii U eShop temporary discount)
Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move (3DS eShop)
The Starship Damrey (3DS eShop)
Bloody Vampire (3DS eShop)
Reel Fishing 3D Paradise Mini (3DS eShop)
Crash City Mayhem (3DS eShop)
The Beet Party: UnderWaterMelon (Nintendo Video)
Color Commando (DSiWare)
World Heroes 2 Jet (Wii Virtual Console)
Nothing for me this week
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