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It's that time again, North America, when we can calm down from Nintendo Direct madness and consider the week's download options; this is the last pre-Christmas update, too. This week brings us new offerings on the Wii U and 3DS eShop platforms, with plenty of diversity and styles to choose from. Without further pre-amble let's get right to it.

Wii U eShop

Knytt Underground (Ripstone, $12.99) — The work of well-known Indie developer Nifflas, this title makes the jump from various other platforms onto the Wii U. Perhaps unlike any other download game on the system to date, it looks set to be an atmospheric experience that requires exploration and curiosity, as well as manipulation of various abilities — including a ball form. This also includes extra 'Hype Infinity' content that was previously PC-only; until our review is ready you can check out our extended developer interview in part one and part two.

Wii U Virtual Console

Castlevania (Konami, $4.99) — This NES beginning of a classic Konami franchise makes its way to the Wii U, bringing its trademark difficulty and classic music along for the adventure. While it naturally has rough 8-bit edges, this may be worthwhile for fans keen to revisit the beginnings of the iconic Konami franchise; you can check out our Castlevania 3DS Virtual Console review to learn more.

Wii U eShop Temporary Discounts

Little Inferno (Tomorrow Corporation, $4.99 until 2nd January, normally $9.99)

Wii U eShop Demo

Nano Assault Neo (Shin'en Multimedia, free)

3DS eShop

3D Streets of Rage (SEGA, $5.99) — This sidescrolling beat-'em-up is likely to be familiar to many gamers of the early '90s, with its sequel also being memorable. The act of walking the streets and beating up any and all thugs in the way is self explanatory but can certainly be fun; we'll see whether this does the original justice in our review.

3D Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master (SEGA, $5.99) — It's more sidescrolling action, but this time around with some jumping and ninja moves thrown in. The Shinobi franchise is certainly a retro favourite for Sega fans in the Nintendo Life team, and the company opts to bring us the third in the series for this 3D remake. We'll summon our inner ninja to bring you a review.

Banana Bliss: Jungle Puzzles (Teyon, $3.99) — This looks like a rather cheerful puzzle game in which you navigate your character (Morris the monkey) through plenty of quick-fire, short levels to rescue his "beloved sweetheart" Molly. There are apparently over 300 levels, so we'll swing into action with our review.

Winter Sports 2012: Feel the Spirit (Teyon, $9.99) — Originally released way back in January 2012 as a retail title, this arrives on the download store still sporting its original 2012 name. No doubt released to capitalise on buzz for the Winter Olympics early next year, this lands at a reduced price and earned a reasonable recommendation in our original Winter Sports 2012: Feel the Spirit review.

3DS Virtual Console

Crash'n The Boys Street Challenge (Arcsystem Works, $4.99) — This is actually the first time this game has had the Virtual Console treatment in Europe, and could turn heads with its peculiar premise. It takes sporting events and adds a "street" twist for the competing teams, which seems to be that they fight a lot. We'll take another look, but we were left underwhelmed in our Wii Virtual Console Crash'n The Boys Street Challenge review.

3DS eShop Demo

Brunch Panic (CIRCLE Entertainment, free)

World Conqueror 3D (CIRCLE Entertainment, free)

That's everything for this week, North America. Let us know what you plan to download in the poll and comments below.

What will you be downloading first this week? (262 votes)

  1. Knytt Underground (Wii U eShop)10%
  2. Castlevania (Wii U Virtual Console)7%
  3. Little Inferno (Wii U eShop temporary discount)2%
  4. 3D Streets of Rage (3DS eShop)16%
  5. 3D Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master (3DS eShop)8%
  6. Banana Bliss: Jungle Puzzles (3DS eShop)1%
  7. Winter Sports 2012: Feel the Spirit (3DS eShop)  0%
  8. Crash'n The Boys Street Challenge (3DS Virtual Console)2%
  9. Just demo content for me14%
  10. Nothing for me this week41%

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