It's that time again, slightly later than normal, for the North American Download Update details. This week brings a range of new options on Wii U, a number of which are exclusives, along with a 3DS retail release, the latest from CIRCLE Entertainment and a whole load of discounts. Let's get to the details.
Missed the European Nintendo Download Update details earlier this week? You silly so-and-so! Don't worry, the information you need is right here.
Wii U eShop
Swords & Soldiers II (Ronimo Games, $19.99) - A Wii U exclusive and sequel to one of the finest Wiiware games, this is a real time strategy game with a side-on 2D perspective. You can play as Vikings, Persians or Demons in local multiplayer, while the meat of the experience is likely to be in the campaign. We anticipate humour and lovely cartoon visuals in this one, too; we'll let you know whether it lives up to its potential in our review very soon.
Blocky Bot (Mobot Studios, $1.99) - A budget release from a studio typically associated with larger download games, in this case being a vertical platformer with various visual styles and fellow 'Nindie' cameos. It's an endless platformer that aims to get you addictive to score chasing; we'll see whether it's malfunctioning or not in our review.
Journey of a Special Average Balloon (TreeFall Studios, $1.49) - The latest title from the young development studio that brought Maze and The Letter to Wii U, this involves manoeuvring a balloon to collect items and avoid dangers, with a range of modes and mini-games that are variations on the theme. We'll see whether it leaves us deflated or not in our review.
Shapes of Gray (Secret Tunnel Entertainment, $6.99) - Another first-time Wii U developer, this is a "stripped-down action-arcade game" of short puzzle-driven levels, all with a very simple (and grey) aesthetic. We'll see how many shades of grey this really has in our review.
Stone Shire (Finger Gun Games, $7.99) - It's a Minecraft-inspired game on Wii U, jumping into the market ahead of various competitors; it's set up as a simple sandbox experience in which you explore and try to survive. We'll see whether it's memorable or digs itself too deep in our review.
Vector Assault (WizByte Games, $4.99) - An arena twin-stick shooter with retro-style graphics, this seems to be all about score-chasing for bragging rights on its online leaderboards, while local co-op is also thrown in. We'll get blasting for a review.
Wii U Virtual Console
Mega Man Zero 2 (Capcom, $7.99) - Picking up on events one year after its Game Boy Advance predecessor, this intriguing action spin-off learns some key lessons to improve on the original while maintaining plenty of the qualities that helped it stand out. It delivers, too, and we gave it a hearty recommendation in our Mega Man Zero 2 review.
SUPER E.D.F. Earth Defense Force (HAMSTER Inc, $7.99) - A SNES retro arrival for shmup fans, in this you're defending Earth from an invasion or, in other words, shoot all of the things. We only gave this a modest recommendation in our Wii Virtual Console SUPER E.D.F. Earth Defense Force review, but we'll take another look on Wii U.
Wii U eShop Temporary Discounts
SpongeBob SquarePants: Plankton's Robotic Revenge (Activision, $19.99 until 28th May, normally $39.99)
Bombing Bastards (Sanuk Games, $4.99 from 25th May to 1st June, normally $6.99)
Shiny the Firefly (Padaone Games, $6.99 until 20th June, normally $9.99)
Master Reboot (Wales Interactive, $7.49 until 18th June, normally $14.99)
Wii U eShop Demo
Shiny the Firefly (Padaone Games, free)
Samurai Defender (CIRCLE Entertainment, $3.99) - A side-on castle defence game set in the "Warring States period of Japan". You tap on enemies to attack them with your bowmen, while earning coins and levelling up boosts your abilities and defensive options. We'll summon our inner Samurai for review.
3DS Retail Download
Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition (Nintendo, $29.99) - In a deal that certainly offers reasonable value, we have both the original 3DS iteration of the franchise and the Nintendo's Mario version in one package. Blending match-three combo making with elements of RPGs and adventure games, you have to battle through stages (or a quest depending on which game you're playing) to save the world or Princess. Essentially two games for the price of one, we gave this a solid recommendation in our Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition review. Available from 22nd May.
3DS eShop Temporary Discounts
SpongeBob SquarePants: Plankton's Robotic Revenge (Activision, $14.99 until 28th May, normally $29.99)
SpongeBob HeroPants (Activision, $19.99 until 28th May, normally $29.99)
Yumi's Odd Odyssey (Natsume, on discount until 31st May)
Harvest Moon 3D: A New Beginning (Natsume, on discount until 31st May)
Retro City Rampage: DX (Vblank Entertainment, $4.99 until 28th May, normally $9.99)
Hello Kitty Picnic With Sanrio Friends (Majesco, on discount from 25th May to 1st June)
Hello Kitty and Sanrio Friends 3D Racing (Majesco, on discount from 25th May to 1st June)
I Love My Little Boy (BigBen Interactive, $14.99 until 4th June, normally $24.99)
I Love My Little Girl (BigBen Interactive, $14.99 until 4th June, normally $24.99)
3D MahJongg (Joindots, on discount until 4th June)
Gardenscapes (Joindots, on discount until 4th June)
Battleminer (Wobbly Tooth Games, $3.99 until 18th June, normally $7.99)
3DS HOME Theme
Swapnote: Nikki and Friends
That's everything on the way to the North American eShop stores this week. Let us know what you plan to download in the poll and comments below.
What will you be downloading first this week? (237 votes)
Swords & Soldiers II (Wii U eShop)
Blocky Bot (Wii U eShop)
Journey of a Special Average Balloon (Wii U eShop)
Shapes of Gray (Wii U eShop)
Stone Shire (Wii U eShop)
Vector Assault (Wii U eShop)
Mega Man Zero 2 (Wii U Virtual Console)
SUPER E.D.F. Earth Defense Force (Wii U Virtual Console)
One of the Wii U eShop temporary discounts
Shiny the Firefly (Wii U eShop demo)
Samurai Defender (3DS eShop)
Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons: Super Mario Bros. Edition (3DS retail download)
One of the 3DS eShop temporary discounts
Swapnote: Nikki and Friends (3DS HOME theme)
Nothing for me this week
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