It's that time again, dear readers, for the North American Nintendo Download Update, and this week has some promising options. One of the Wii's finest games lands on the Wii U Virtual Console, while both eShop platforms have interesting download-only options to consider. On top of that we have a portable retail release from SEGA, DLC for one of 2015's best eShop games and a load of discounts and HOME themes - let's get to it.
Missed the European Nintendo Download Update earlier this week? Don't panic, the details are right here.
Wii U eShop
Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge (Nintendo, free) - A rather charming-looking release that gives a free-to-play twist to the Mario vs. Donkey Kong franchise. All amiibo figures are supported, and this time around specific figures unlock some special stages, with each having their own unique abilities; Mario can wall jump, Yoshi can eat enemies and so on. We'll get chummy with our amiibo and bring you a review soon.
Lost Reavers (Bandai Namco, free) - Available as a beta since 14th April, it's now available in its final form. This is a free-to-play co-op action title in which you team up with three others to fight your way to treasures before extracting them from the area. Lots of co-op hacking and slashing is expected, and we'll see how the full experience stacks up in a review.
The Deer God (Mobot Studios, $7.99) - Developed by Crescent Moon Games and already available on PC, iOS, Android and Xbox One, The Deer God is a pixel-heavy "art adventure" that will "challenge your religion and your platforming skills." We like the look of it, and will see whether it lives up to its potential in a review.
Wii U Virtual Console
Xenoblade Chronicles (Nintendo / Monolith Soft, $19.99) - This had a somewhat troubled history when originally released in North America. It took longer than seemed fair to make its way to the region, and then was exclusive to GameStop and Nintendo's rather limited official store of the time. That's all in the past, as it arrives at a reasonable price point on the Virtual Console - it's a stunning and sprawling RPG, as we explain in our Xenoblade Chronicles review.
Wii U eShop Temporary Discounts
Jones on Fire (Joindots, on discount until 5th May)
Explody Bomb (Alkterios Games, on discount until 19th May)
Hold Your Fire: A Game About Responsibility (Alkterios Games, on discount until 19th May)
SDK Paint (HullBreach Studios, $2.99 until 11th May, normally $3.99)
Journey of a Special Average Balloon (TreeFall Studios, on discount until 5th May)
Outside of the Realm (TreeFall Studios, on discount until 5th May)
The Letter (TreeFall Studios, $0.99 until 5th May, normally $1.99)
Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge (Nintendo, free) - The same as the Wii U release, just extra mini courtesy of the smaller screens.
ASH (CIRCLE Entertainment, $3.99) - Another retro-styled title making its way to the 3DS thanks to CIRCLE Entertainment, this is a turn-based RPG that's putting plenty of emphasis on a sizeable world and story. It looks intriguing and we'll see whether it stands up to scrutiny in our review.
3DS Retail Download
SEGA 3D Classics Collection (SEGA, $29.99) - This includes nine terrific 3D Classics, four of which are coming outside of Japan for the first time; that's a lot of wonderful retro gaming at its best on 3DS. We go through the key games and explain why it's a must-have in our SEGA 3D Classics Collection review.
3DS eShop DLC
SteamWorld Heist: The Outsider (Image & Form, $4.99) - This expansion brings some new story elements and a mysterious new character. In addition to this new character there are missions, weapons and hats galore in this DLC; you can learn all about it in our extensive interview with Image & Form.
3DS eShop Temporary Discounts
Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan (Atlus, on discount until 9th May)
Etrian Mystery Dungeon (Atlus, on discount until 9th May)
Zombie Panic in Wonderland DX (Akaoni, $4.99 until 25th May, normally $8)
Swords & Soldiers 3D (CIRCLE Entertainment, on discount until 5th May)
Tappingo (CIRCLE Entertainment, on discount until 5th May)
Real Heroes: Firefighter 3D Download Edition (Zordix AB, $4.99 until 5th May, normally $9.99)
Gardenscapes (Joindots, on discount until 5th May)
3DS eShop Pre-Purchase
Disney Art Academy (Nintendo, $29.99) - Picking up this latest entry in the drawing series now will enable a quick download when it launches on 13th May.
3DS HOME Themes
Star Fox Zero: Space Battle
Shovel Knight Campfire Dream
Plague Knight's Theme
That's your lot for the North American Nintendo Download Update this week; let us know what you're planning to download in the poll and comments below.