It's the final North American Nintendo Download Update before Christmas, and there are some solid options available on Wii U and 3DS. There's a standout on Wii U, but there's also a fun retro party game and some tempting and affordable options on 3DS. Let's get to it.
Missed the European Nintendo Download Update earlier in the week? Well, don't panic, you can see all the details (and the many, many discounts) right here.
Wii U eShop
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero (WayForward, $19.99 / CAD$22.39) - WayForward's best-known franchise makes the leap to HD for the first time (outside of re-releases); originally funded on Kickstarter, it's been a long wait for this adventure. A chance to introduce Shantae and company to a new audience, this one follows a similar formula as to the most recent 3DS outing, as players get used to hair whipping and transformations brought on by dancing. We were big fans of this in our Shantae: Half-Genie Hero review.
RADIANTFLUX: HYPERFRACTAL (TACS Games, $2.99) - An intriguing looking title with a plot centred around hacking; in execution it's a blend of hacker simulation combined with minigames. For example there's plenty of shoot 'em up play, with nods to minesweeper and even some play similar to the original DOOM. Though it has some positives, we feel this one struggles to reach its potential; we explain why in our Radiantflux: Hyperfractal review.
Wii U Virtual Console
Mario Party 2 (Nintendo, $9.99) - We jump straight into the second N64 entry in the series, which makes sense as it improved on the original and included a number of the same minigames. This one did include more unique game boards, and its blend of polygonal fun still works rather well; we had a jolly time in our Mario Party 2 review.
Geki Yaba Runner Deluxe (QubicGames, $4.99 / CAD$5.50) - In a sense a follow up to 2 Fast 4 Gnomz, this sees those gnomes transform in order to tackle over 100 new levels; the developer states that these fast paced platforming challenges are among the most challenges players will face. Challenge accepted?
Mini Golf Resort (Teyon, $4.99 / CAD$5.64) - As this is Mini Golf the focus is on finding the right angles and timing for getting through tricky challenges. Ultimately this promises character customisation, 1001 holes on 56 courses (across four worlds) and plenty of bonuses to collect. We hope it's not a fore (the second time we've used that lame wordplay for this game) and will check it out in a review.
Gourmet Dream (CIRCLE Entertainment, $5.00 / CAD$7.00) - We've had a few of these Dream titles on 3DS, often taking the form of mini-management sims; this time around you're trying to build up and develop a top-class restaurant. It's a genre that can certainly be fun, and will undoubtedly be to some gamer's tastes.
Hit Ninja (Petite Games, $1.99 / CAD$2.59) - This appears to be a rather simple gallery shooting game, albeit you're firing shurikens at targets with a Japanese background.
3DS eShop Demo
Ice Station Z (Wobbly Tooth, free)
3DS HOME Themes
Mario's Winter Wonderland (Nintendo, $1.99)
As always, Nintendo of America wants you to check out the eShop and official Sales & Deals website for a breakdown of discounts. Games reduced this week include Pirate Pop Plus, SteamWorld Heist and Chasing Aurora.
That's the line-up for this week's festive Nintendo Download Update in North America. Let us know what you plan to download in the poll and comments below.