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)
- Tank! Tank! Tank! (Wii U eShop free + add-on content)54%
- Chasing Aurora (Wii U eShop discount)2%
- Trine 2: Director's Cut (Wii U eShop permanent reduction)7%
- Castlevania (3DS Virtual Console)15%
- Shifting World (3DS retail download)1%
- Mahjong 3D: Warriors of the Emperor (3DS retail download) 0%
- Nothing for me this week22%
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Sigh, is it me or is Europe in a slump: no Cace Story, no Fire Emblem Awakening. I feel I need to move to the States to get good Nintendo stuff.
tank, tank tanks gettin it
It makes me happy to know some people will discover how awesome Tank Tank Tank is thanks to this demo.... Freemium model.
What's the purpose of re-reviewing Castlevania for the 3DS eShop? That's very thorough of NL but shouldn't the original review still apply?
ps. I think you should add the ability to select multiple options in the poll. Obviously a free title will skew results massively.
finally that 2fast4gnomz demo !!!
I've wanted to test Tank! Tank! Tank! This is a great opportunity.
Tank! Tank! Tank! (probably with some DLC) and 2 Fast 4 Gnomz demo for me this week!
Nothing for 3DS ????????????
Hey Nintendo please give us Cave story +, Nightsky and Nano assault Ex for 3DS !!!
How long are we going to wait!
They do that Tank Tank Tank promotion in the US and I might give it a go.
Reading "Tank! Tank! Tank! goes free to play" was a good start to my day. Reading that it's basically a demo with stuff to buy later putting it squarely in the Zen Pinball 2 category makes it less good. Still, I never diss demos.
People should buy Trine 2 to show their support of:
1. online multiplayer
2. voice chat
3. price drops
5. a game that's actually come out on the Wii U
If you don't buy Trine 2 now, what will it take? That's what any 3rd party developers will be thinking out loud.
Finally awake enough to realize this is EU, not US, time for coffee.
OK, no Cave story +, no Nightsky, no Nano assault Ex !!!!!
Seems like releasing games on the eshop in europe is as difficult as with retail games ?!? So Nintendo, tell me what the point of the eshop if it's hardly easier than releasing games to retailers ???
some people whine about f-ing everything!
@rjejr - It seems like more than a demo in terms of what's in the "Basic Pack", but you certainly have a point. It'll be interesting to check it out and see whether it's a genuine free-to-play model or, as you say, a demo to rope people in. The heavy discount on extras does mean that I, for one, may take a punt on a couple of bits of content, just to see how well it all works.
Tank! Tank! Tank! Going free-to-play is awesome, can't wait to buy all the discounted DLC before its price goes up
Will go for Tank Tank Tank,was actually going to buy this the other day,I'm glad I went for Mass Effect 3 instead.
@CerberusAzdin Fire Emblem is realising in April, why did you expect it to show up now?
It was only. £23 at launch and deserved a better revw as it fot from Nintendo Gamer and ONM. There seems to be 9 packs with Tank ! Tank! Tank! ? Wonder if there are any differences (additions or ommissions) form the Wii U retail version
Castlevania is mine
@CerberusAzdin I'm coming with ya!
Think i'll get Castlevania for the 3DS and give Tank Tank Tank a whirl whilst it's free. If it's any good i'll purchase the DLC packs, as the videos i've seen look like it's a really fun game.
Why is the Eu getting bones with that Mahjong 3D price ffs?! NA had it for a lot cheaper!
Wohoo !! Shifting Worlds wanted to buy it for long time but couldnt find it anywhere so its instant download for me
Wow, I hope America gets Tank as a free to play. That's awesome.
Code of Princess for christs sake!
Finally a 3DS VC purchase worth getting! Castlevania for me.
*Disclaimer: Mega Man II is a great game, but I have it on iOS. :3
I'll give any demo bar Fifa a whirl so TankX3 for me.
I'll get Castlevania on 3DS Virtual console at some point, the save states should be very useful. Even if this weeks 3DS VC game is one I'd like to get, I'm still annoyed that NES games are being released on 3DS VC more frequently than games on classic handheld consoles. I'm fine with NES games being available on the service but I would prefer it if GB/GBC/GG games were released more often than NES games as they're not already available on Wii VC. The last non-NES 3DS VC game was Wario Land 3 at the beginning of December!
I brought Tank Tank Tank retail just last week for £20 new. Be interesting if F2P model will actually save any money or how much extra it will cost to buy the dlc packs to get the F2P version to the same level of content as the retail version.
What I suggest is downloading the F2P version, if you like it calculate the cost of the dlc packs, then look online for the best retail prices.
My point is it just feels like Nintendo fans in the EU have been forgotten. I know Fire Emblem is out in April but WHEN exactly in April? The US already has it and they will get Monster Hunter earlier than us too.
My point is that things are feeling a bit stale. You would have thought that we would get Nintendo TV any time now but again we are still waiting for that as well.
Nintendo forgot about Europe, thats all.
Already got Trine 2 at 25% off last week so I can't complain about the price reduction and I got Chasing Aurora with the first discount (which was more) so I'm happy to not be ripped off. Of course I'll download the free retail game, can't say no to something free!
Agreed! Everyone should definitely pick up Trine 2 with the perm price reduction. I bought it when it was on sale at the end of last year and have enjoyed what I've played of it. It is a gorgeous game, though; that much is sure!
i knew nintendo ws going to make a come back!!! suck i don't have the wii u
Trine 2 is an amazingly beautiful game. Congrats to the makers.
Still no Cave Story for Europe means my US boycott continues against Nicalis. I wont be buying any Nicalis games as a stand against Nicalis and them not making Cave Story available to our friends in Europe. So no Ikachan for me makes me sad but oh well
I will see how much the complete Tank "puzzle" will cost and decide then. I love those kind of "whacky arcade" style games, but the price tag was pretty steep for so little content.
Also, ill finaly getting trine 2 and maybe castlevania.
sigh and we, then fans with no 3DS nor Wii U are starting to get forgotten...
@CerberusAzdin Cave Story is relased in 2011. I played on my German Wii (Wii Ware Content) and it´s already available for 3DS.
A permanent price decrease? Kinda looks like publishers and indies DO get complete control over pricing now. Very good news!
Why is this always for Europe? I don't mean just on NintendoLife, but everywhere. I can only ever find the update for Europe. I feel for you guys though, Europe seems to be having a drought even worse than North America's. But even though we have The Cave and some other fun Indie games they can only hold my attention for so long. The Cave has little replay value after you've been through everyone's unique story segment, I've played Trine 2 enough since launch that the graphics are even starting to get boring, and NSMBU can only be 5 starred so many times before it gets old. I'm not even a big pinball fan but I would even be happy with Zen pinball and the plants versus zombies table. If we get the same update (unlikely) and the best thing my Wii U has to offer is a glorified demo of tank tank tank I guess I'll be going another week minimum with nothing to play. Here is my money Nintendo, why don't you wanna take it? Also tired of having to wait until a random time on Thursdays to check the eShop and see what's been added. Can't find a specific time for the update anywhere, if there is a set time I mean.
Nintendo needs an official update news outlet like Sony's PS blog.
@Scollurio : According to Official Nintendo Magazine (I browsed through last month's issue of the Australian magazine), Code of Princess won't be released in Europe and Australia until "Late 2013".
i think developers are putting prices high on wii u eshop because they are not expecting it to sell well on wii U but when they realise it does, and realises the Wii U is great... they reduce the price
Hello Shin'en: where is Nano Assault EX that was supposed to release in December last year?!
Tank! x 3 is waaay more fun than it has any right to be. Definitely worth a go. You might find yourselves addicted to solo missions (as I was) and then pulling in a friend with My Kong Mode. Will be interesting to see how the f2p model works...
@tddct89 The North American update is always released on the morning before the downloads arrive (early afternoon UK), which we publish right away. We're not holding out on you, but it's Nintendo of America that decides to announce the download news on the day! Nintendo of Europe fluctuates between Monday and Tuesday, typically.
Obviously odd exceptions with release dates come through, which we often post as news stories when they pop up
Let your Valentine give you a love bite to remember this Thursday with Castlevania.
Castlevania (NES) for me!!!
when is the North america release for this i want it free and i will buy alll of the DLC!!
The states get dig dug, and EU gets castlevania....jealous
@ThomasBW84 First off thanks for the reply. And as I said it's not just NintendoLife, sorry if it seemed like I meant you guys ignored NA gamers or something. But now that I know I'll be sure to check out this site a few times Thursday mornings before the updates actually go live. I created an account just to make that comment but NintendoLife seems more and more like a friendly community to me every day. So I'll be contributing to conversations in comment sections much more frequently in the coming days, months, etc... To be honest the only reason I came here is because after receiving constant backlash on IGN no matter how positive my comments were people there recommended this site. You guys already have a good name but I'll be sure to spread the word to fellow Nintendo gamers.
Edit: I'm not bashing IGN, they can be a great site with great news, but the (what seems like) lack of interest or care for the Wii U in the passed month or so I need somewhere to get my news. (True story) I didn't even see IGN report that the 3DS resident evil was coming to Wii U, which is def excellent news for anyone with a Wii U, and especially those that dont have a 3DS to play the original.
Wow pretty nice week, Good to see that devs are taking advantage of the flexibility of the eShop with reasonable prices.
Ah! I bought Trine 2 only a while ago and now it's a pound cheaper
Castlevania is great! Still, I Wish Konami would hype Mirror of Fate by releasing an unreleased title, like Castlevania: Bloodlines.
Getting these duplicates on 3DS VC is starting to annoy me, when there are so many titles yet to see the light of day on any VC ONCE.
i already have Trine 2 for the wii u, and i love it to play with the gamepad.
next i will buy Tank tank tank! cant wait, and also buy the DLC!! every dlc they will drop i will buy lol.
i hope there comes a sequel for trine on the wiiU
My cousin said Tank tank tank was really fun in multiplayer despite itś simple and got bad reviews. Now I´ll see it myself.
I really want Tank Tank Tank in NA. Hopefully its not going to take as long as Zen Pinball 2
Hope Tank!Tank!Tank! Will be released for free in NA
Possibly Tank Tank Tank if it comes out free in the NA eShop.
Ah, the first permanent price reduction! Hopefully many will follow!!
As for Tank Tank Tank: I guess it Tank Tank Tanked at retail! At least the youtube kiddie liked it!
Yes it out on Wii ware and in 3D for 3DS but there's the 'classic' version that has been released in the states for the 3DS eshop.
Is this coming to US eshop? Also, they just announced that Europe gets alimited edition bundle for Lego City: Undercover
I'll give Tank Tank Tank a go. If I like it, I'll buy the physical disc release, otherwise if I think it's crap I'll just delete it again and forget about it.
I've still got my original NES cart of Castlevania, plus the Wii VC release, so I'll probably give Castlevania a miss and just wait for Mirror Of Fate instead. Already have Chasing Aurora and Trine 2.
i'm interested in this tank tank tank business... seems like a smart move. now if only they had an "online" pack
Good week (for 3DS and Wii U owners). I'll d/l Casltevania first - save states will be very welcome.
Will also try TTT; if i like it i'll look out for the retail version (unless the discounted dlc gives a complete verison of the game, which is cheaper).
Already got Trine 2 and Chasing Aurora from previous sales.
And then the 2F4G demo. I already tried the Wiiware demo and thought it was OK, but the runner game on BitTrip Complete was much better.
Unfortuantely, i didn't enjoy the Shifting World demo so i will give that a miss, I found it totally confusing even with the arrows telling you where to go, I just couldn't get my head round it.
Where is Retro City Rampage?
I mean, if it doesn't come to the Wii anymore, the developer should say it...
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