The family that karts together, stays together!

Japan gets a lot of downloads ordinarily, but next week must be setting some kind of record - and there's not even a public holiday to account for it!

Okiraku Kart Wii (500pts - Arc System Works) - You cannot keep the Family down, especially if there's a chance to attempt to ride Mario Kart's coattails!There are now six characters with Older Sister and Grandpa being added to the standard Family line-up. Four-player splitscreen support is visible, some kind of power-ups and fanciful cars ranging from putt-putt tractors to 1920s roadsters or even missiles! No doubt this will be distributed worldwide like the rest for us to review.

Kentooshi Furi Furi Boxing (1000pts - Tomy) - It may sound fancy, but it's just good old Rock-em Sock-em Robots - though since this is Tomy and not Mattel, they aren't robots. From screens it looks like there are different camera angles and the ability to dodge, but otherwise it's just left-right-left! Sadly no signs of blocks being knocked off, though boxers with red, green and blue trunks are visible.

Planting strawberries and fighting baddies.  A day in the life of a farmgirl.

Rock 'n' Roll Climber (800pts - Nintendo) - That rock climbing game that was shown at E3 comes to Japan. It's been out in North America for awhile and we thought it was okay.

530 Eco-Shooter (1000pts - Nintendo) - This one looks a bit odd. The developer is Intelligent Systems, one of Nintendo's "2nd Party" developers and the name behind games like the recent Fire Emblem games and Paper Mario games,- among others. This is a lightgun-style shooter in which bits of rubbish seem to be attacking the player who "recycles" them by blasting them with some kind of big gun (hence the "eco" part of the title). There's Wii Zapper support and all manner of fanciful enemies like tins that fly like bees using their cut lids as wings. It's only a single-player game though and for 1000 points might be a bit on the steep side given the other target shooters on the system.

Rock-em sock-em pro-boxers!

Taikokenchi (800pts - Perpetuum Game) - Billed as an "agriculture-based action game" (thank you Google Translate!), it's essentially just Qix or Volfied, but you're drawing lines with a plough and then points are scored at the end for how big the crop was in each area created. There's enemies you have to avoid just like the aforementioned games and it has a cute sort of NES-style look about it, but 800pts seems a bit high when you can already get Volfied on the Virtual Console for 600pts.

Virtual Console
Romancing Saga (800pts Super Famicom - Square) - Yet another classic RPG series from Squaresoft debuts on the Japanese Virtual Console.

Chotetsu Brikin’ger (900pts Neo Geo - Saurus) - This space shooter marks the first appearance of a Neo Geo CD title on the Virtual Console. It was apparently localised and renamed "Ironclad," but never released outside of Japan making it a lost treasure on the Virtual Console for Western Neo Geo and shooter fans. It's noteworthy for featuring some nice 3D-rendered backgrounds and branching paths after every level for added replay variety.

A day at the fair.

Space Manbow (800pts MSX - Konami) - It's been a long time since there were any MSX games released on the Virtual Console so getting three in one week is a bit of a treat. This one is a space shooter, sort of like Gradius meets R-TYPE and has some great visuals. It's regarded by some as having the best soundtrack of any MSX game and could well be worth a look.

Road Fighter (800pts MSX - Konami) - A port of the arcade top-down racing game of the same name. The sprites are lower resolution, but it looks similar enough that fans might consider it worthwhile.

Yume Tairiku Adventure (800pts MSX - Konami) - A 3rd person action game where you're controlling a penguin running through the world jumping over fissures in the earth and fighting giant monsters.

Galaga (800pts Arcade - Namco) - Surely this game needs no introduction. The sequel to Galaxian that set the bar for single-screen alien invasion shooters and one of Namco's most popular arcade games of all time. It's been ported to every console in the universe and spawned numerous sequels, but the original is the best!

Girls shooting space baddies.  We've come a long way baby!

Toy Pop (800pts Arcade - Namco) - Not one of Namco's better-known games, but a fun one all the same. PlayStation owners may recall this was on the first Namco Museum volume. It features co-op play and sees players controlling dolls fighting other toys to rescue their friend with the object being to free little golden hearts from jars to exit the level whilst destroying or avoiding enemy toys.

Katanuki (200pts - G-mode) - A mini-game collection with a Japanese carnival/fair theme boasting "easy one-button play."

Neratte Spotto!! (200pts - Nintendo) - A bird with an army helmet is chucking bombs at monsters with open mouths and you need to help him hit the mark by changing trajectory. If you do it right a monster will eat the bomb and then explode creating more bombs which will go into the mouths of the others until they've all blown up. Continue and repeat until you run out of bombs. No doubt this will get worldwide release due to its pick-up-and-play nature.

Sora o Kakeru Shōjyo Shooting (500pts - I.T.L.) - Pretty anime girls flying ships through space blasting everything in sight. Sounds like a recipe for success! Includes a gallery for viewing the anime gal's stats and the space ships as a bonus.

4 Player de Taisen!! Texas Hold'em (500pts - Hudson) - Hudson is getting in on the Texas Hold'em scene now. This one is either solo or against up to four others in local multiplayer (no WiFi).

Ponjan (500pts - Tomy) -- Ponjan is the kids version of mahjong (the game of the four winds, not the silly matching game). This one looks quite colourful and can be played solo or against up to four friends locally (no WiFi).

Meikyoo Koku go Rakubiki Jiten (800pts - Nintendo) - A 70,000-word Japanese dictionary program in which you can look up words by writing hiragana, katakana and even kanji using your stylus.