We need a bigger tank

Nintendo seems to revel in surprising us, and details of this week's download update in Europe have struck to keep us on our toes. We have a Wii U launch title going free-to-play on the Wii U eShop — with paid DLC, of course — as well as permanent price reductions and goodies on 3DS. Let's get to the details.

Wii U eShop

Tank! Tank! Tank! (Namco Bandai, free) — Yes, you read that right, you'll be able to download this retail title — it hit stores on Wii U launch day in North America and Europe — for free. Of course it's not that simple, as Namco has adopted a free-to-play model that can then be significantly spruced up and enhanced with additional DLC (detailed below). This "Basic Pack" includes three modes — Monster Battle, Free-For-All, and Team Versus — that you can play up to three times a day for free. We felt that its high price tag was one of a few factors that held this one back in our Tank! Tank! Tank! review, though now you can have a regular taster at no cost.

Wii U Add-On Content

Tank! Tank! Tank! (Namco Bandai, €1.99 (normally €9.99) or £1.59 (normally £7.99) until 28th February) — So this is how you could eventually end up paying something close to the original retail price, with content broken up into a series of packs. Some packs will have 80% off until 28th February (My Kong, Monster Battle and Story Mission appear to be discounted), while it appears others will be full price from day one. Purchasing any additional content removes the daily play limit from the Basic Pack, and there will be a grand total of 12 add-on packs available with prices ranging from €1.99/£1.59 to €9.99/£7.99 in price. It's unclear whether all content is reduced in the first two weeks, but it looks like there could be a low cost of entry to enjoy elements of the full game.

Wii U eShop Discount

Chasing Aurora (Broken Rules, €8.99 (was €11.99) / £7.99 (was £10.79) until 21st February) — This is the second discount promotion that we've seen for this visually appealing multiplayer-focused eShop launch title. It does have a single-player mode, but when played with friends on the same couch it can be a particularly enjoyable experience, as our Chasing Aurora review explains.

Wii U eShop Price Reduction

Trine 2: Director's Cut (Frozenbyte, €12.49 (was €16.99) / £9.99 (was £13.99) - permanent decrease) — Following the recent update to add voice chat, improve visuals and include Pro Controller support, Frozenbyte has now opted to permanently decrease the price of this title. Excellent news for those yet to take the plunge into this puzzle/platforming adventure, and it's a title certainly popular among the Nintendo Life staff — you can also check out our recommendation in the Trine 2: Director's Cut review if you want to know more.

3DS Virtual Console

Castlevania (Konami, €4.99 / £4.49) — Arriving in good time to build some hype for a new generation of handheld Castlevania action, this NES original will now be available to play wherever you go. It kept things simple, action-packed and challenging before it all got a little confusing in the sequel; we'll be reviewing the 3DS eShop release soon, but until then you can see how much we enjoyed revisiting this classic in our Wii Virtual Console Castlevania review.

3DS Retail Downloads

Shifting World (Rising Star Games, €19.99 / £17.99) — After arriving in stores last September in Europe, this monochromatic puzzle title now makes its way to the 3DS eShop. Full of potential and good ideas, it's let down by poor execution and performance issues, as we made clear in our Shifting World review.

Mahjong 3D: Warriors of the Emperor (Treva Entertainment, €19.99 / £17.99) — Available in North America as a download-only title, this is being published in Europe on both the eShop and at retail. Available for less in the U.S. ($9.99) this is an excellent Mahjong title with a huge number of puzzles, charming presentation and a level editor for good measure. We gave it a strong recommendation in our Mahjong 3D: Warriors of the Emperor review, though whether you're happy to splash the extra cash is entirely up to you.

3DS eShop Demo

2 Fast 4 Gnomz (QubicGames, free) — Itself a re-release of WiiWare's challenging runner-platformer, this 3DS version makes much needed improvements to make the level of challenge that little bit fairer. We suggest that it's worth consideration in our 2 Fast 4 Gnomz review, and now you can give it a try for free.

So, quite a lot to choose from on Nintendo's latest systems, even if DSi and Wii miss out. Which of these will you be blowing your funds on this week? Let us know in the poll and comments section below.

What will you be downloading first this week? (176 votes)

  1. Tank! Tank! Tank! (Wii U eShop free + add-on content)54%
  2. Chasing Aurora (Wii U eShop discount)2%
  3. Trine 2: Director's Cut (Wii U eShop permanent reduction)7%
  4. Castlevania (3DS Virtual Console)15%
  5. Shifting World (3DS retail download)1%
  6. Mahjong 3D: Warriors of the Emperor (3DS retail download)  0%
  7. Nothing for me this week22%

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