You can play Othello with a friend in Vietnam!

The Wii gets the lion's share of Japanese downloads next week with four new WiiWare and three new VC titles. DSiWare gets a couple of games and two more Rurubu travel guides to round things out.

Note that the DSiWare releases will be on Thursday the 24th rather than Wednesday due to the holiday on the Emperor's birthday. Year-end holidays the following week mean this will be the last Japanese download week of 2009. A bit subdued, but perhaps just some calm before a storm in 2010! Cheers to NL regular Ratengo for clueing us in!


Othello (500pts - Arc System Works) -- A classic board game that will be familiar to many. It's similar to go in that players place black or white tokens on the board to occupy the most territory at the end of the game. Silver Star Japan released a version on WiiWare last September which also looks pretty nice and offers 1-2 player multiplayer options, but Arc System Works has upped the bar by including 2-player Wi-Fi play for the same low price of 500 points.

Sharp X68000 shooting action comes to the Wii!

School of Darkness (1000pts - Square Enix) -- Savvy gamers outside of Japan will recognise this as LIT, which Square Enix was sufficiently taken with to localise for Japan. Oddly enough the game's new name is in English -- possibly a trademark issue or trying to avoid giving the impression it was a game about reading books?

Lost Winds: Winter of the Melodias (1000pts - Square Enix) -- Another Western import for Japan courtesy of Square Enix. They brought the previous Lost Winds outing to Japan this time last year; almost to the day, so Japanese fans of the series will actually have waited less time between chapters than the rest of us!

PHALANX (500pts - Zoom) -- It was only last month that we reported this old X68/SNES game was getting a makeover, so it's nice to see it coming so soon -- to Japan anyway. If we're understanding the info page on the Japanese Nintendo WiiWare site it sounds like they've included both a Wii facelift and attempted to reproduce the look and feel of the original Sharp X68 game as a separate play mode. Google translate has also thrown up an additional interesting tidbit: "Also, you can play with it and make up one's own level of difficulty." Whether this just means there's selectable difficulty or players can tweak aspects of the game to essentially roll their own difficulty level isn't clear, but we'll be sure to bring our readers some First Impressions of this retro shooter offering next week!

Help the bear get the fish, yum yum!

Virtual Console

Gradius 2 (800pts MSX - Konami) -- More MSX goodness from Konami. Gradius 2 is the first of two MSX titles getting released next week. Known as Nemesis 2 in Europe, this is a sequel to the original Gradius/Nemesis, however it has nothing to do with the arcade game titled "Gradius II." Rather than controlling the Vic Viper, your ship is the Metalion. This game has a stronger story component than other Gradius games, which is relayed via inter-level cut scenes.

Majoo Densetsu (800pts MSX - Konami) -- Known as "Knightmare" in Europe, this is a vertical shooter in which you control a knight shooting down baddies whilst trying to rescue Aphrodite. It featured sophisticated graphics for the MSX with an overhead angle and sprites that cast shadows.

Famicom Tantei Club Part II (500pts FC - Nintendo) -- This is the sequel to a detective adventure game for the Famicom, siimilar to the Detective Saburoo series of "visual novels."


Simple DS Series Volume 2: The Misshitsu Kara no Dasshutsu Gakkoo Hen (500pts - D3 Publisher) -- A room escape game in which players need to collect items -- adventure game style -- and use them to escape a series of rooms at a primary school.

Katamuku + Action: Katamuction (500pts - Hi Games and Publishing) -- This is a collection of mini-games which appear to be played using tilting motion. We're unaware of any tilt sensor being built into the DSi, so it's possible we're not understanding the translation properly. There's an assortment of games that seem to include shooting bits, running away from dinosaurs, controlling a bear trying to catch salmon and platforming?

Pocket Rurubu: Nagoya, Pocket Rurubu: Kobe (800pts - Nintendo) -- Two more Rurubu guidebooks you can download for your DSi. Perfect for Japanese travelers in Japan who want to travel to these Japanese cities; for less than the cost of their printed equivalents no doubt.