It's that time again, dear readers, for the North American Nintendo Download Update. This week brings three high profile retail titles (well, one is on both platforms), an intriguing and shadowy Wii U release along with some other interesting download-only arrivals on both systems. Throw in some discounts and a new DSiWare game (yes, really!) and you have plenty to consider. Let's get to it.
Missed the European Nintendo Download Update earlier in the week? No need to shed a tear, the details are still waiting for you right here.
Wii U eShop
Shadow Puppeteer (Sarepta Studio, $14.99) - This is a platform puzzler designed for intricate solo play or co-op, as both a boy (in a 3D environment) and his shadow (limited to left / right movement) both navigate tricky puzzle areas. With a charming aesthetic and soundtrack this certainly aims to immerse players; we gave this a modest recommendation in our Shadow Puppeteer review.
Level 22 (Moving Player, $6.99) - This seems like a quirky title, as you play a worker that's a bit rough after a night out but needs to get to his work desk on time to avoid getting the sack. You manoeuvre 22 floors of a building, while avoiding being seen, all the while experiencing a "zany little universe". We'll try to take it easy tonight before getting started on a review.
Joe's Diner (Joindots, $7.99) - A first-person game with a slightly odd premise; you work 30 night shifts at a remote diner, while your activities somehow influence two feuding dead chieftains that you must help put to rest. Based on screenshots it looks like you complete busy work to maintain the diner, but we'll see how this stacks up in a review.
Mini-Games Madness Volume: #1 - Hello World! (Skunk Software, $4.99) - We have another development newcomer on the eShop, in this case serving up a collection of four minigames: Mini-Farmer, Eels and Ladders, Copter, and Cave Run. They seem to offer a fairly diverse range of play styles, and we'll see whether this is an entertaining compilation or otherwise in our review.
Wii U Virtual Console
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (Square Enix, $7.99) - A relatively early spin-off in the Final Fantasy franchise for the Game Boy Advance, for which Square and Nintendo co-operated. As the title suggests this is a tactical RPG - a popular one, at that - and we'll figure out a battle plan for a review.
Wii U Retail Download
LEGO Marvel's Avengers (Warner Bros., $49.99) - This one's going to cover six films in total - Avengers (which was called Avengers Assemble in the UK to avoid confusion with the cult TV show of the same name), Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Thor: The Dark World and Iron Man 3. The Wii U version will serve up HD visuals and co-op, and we'll assemble for a review.
Wii U eShop Temporary Discounts
TNT Racers - Nitro Machines Edition (Keen Games, $4.99 until 11th February, normally $7.99)
99Moves (EnjoyUp Games, on discount until 25th February)
RV-7 My Drone (EnjoyUp Games, $1.99) - One of the eShop's most prolific publishers has wasted little time in getting its 2016 underway, in this case adopting the popularity and trend of drones for its latest budget release. We considered this to be average in our RV-7 My Drone review.
3DS Retail Downloads
Final Fantasy Explorers (Square Enix, $39.99) - This spin-off arrival on the 3DS includes a number of legends from the franchises' history, as you tackle the adventure alone or in co-op with others. The focus is very much on basic exploration and combat, it seems, with some aspects of this one trying to tap into the Monster Hunter craze. We gave this a recommendation in our Final Fantasy Explorers review.
LEGO Marvel's Avengers (Warner Bros., $29.99) - The portable version of this latest LEGO title; a review is on the way.
Hello Kitty's Magic Apron (Bergsala Lightweight LLC)
3DS eShop Temporary Discounts
Art of Balance TOUCH! (Shin'en Multimedia, $5.20 until 18th February, normally $6.99)
Darts Up 3D (EnjoyUp Games, on discount until 25th February)
Classic Games Overload: Card & Puzzle Edition (Telegames Inc, $14.99 until 22nd February, normally $29.99)
The Magic Hammer (Wobbly Tooth Games, $2.99 until 25th February, normally $4.99)
3DS eShop Demo
The Magic Hammer (Wobbly Tooth Games, free)
Crazy Train (Floor 84 Studio, 200 Nintendo Points) - Yes! DSiWare returns! What we seem to have here is a budget puzzle game in which you draw out routes to direct various trains safely to their destinations. We'll buy a ticket and hop on board for a review.
In addition Nintendo of America has confirmed the final batch of discounts - 15 in total - for its Winter Warm-Up Sale; those details can be found right here.
That's the lot for this week's update in North America; let us know what you plan to download in the poll and comments below.
Might pick up FFT but not sure yet. Still hoping for a Space Hulk review too (Don't let me down NLife) at $29.99 it's a little more then I want to pay but if it is a good game I'd like to support it.
Lot's of options this week though over all
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance! Hey Nintendo bring FFVI to the West VC!
My brother wants Final Fantasy Tactics so I'll probably get that. But I need to get an eshop card first.
I just published a review of Level 22. It's a pretty awesome stealth game!
There's no real reason FFTA can't be on the 3DS, too.
Crazy Train sounds interesting.
I have high hopes for Marvel on the 3DS this time around if it's really an open world Game.
I will pass this week. Got a bunch of games on the PSN Flash sale last week that I haven't even touched.
Final Fantasy GBA down the line, otherwise, nothing. Come on 'Warm-up' sale! 🙏
I don't expect NL to cover things we aren't getting on Wii U or 3DS - that would be a more than full time job - but before anybody picks up Lego AVengers on Wii U keep in mind there are 2 DLC packs only available on PS3 and PS4 from the Ant-Man and Captain America: Civil War movies. Those DLC packs are free on those systems so maybe Wii U will get them as paid DLC later but I wouldn't count on it after Lego Batman 3.
@Fearful-Octopus Would you prefer the SNES or GBA version of FF6? I've only played the GBA version, and wasn't able to finish it, but I heard that the SNES version has better sound quality and benefits from a higher resolution while the GBA version has extra content.
Why has FF1 been remade so many times while FF6 has just a GBA port and a mobile abomination?
@Fearful-Octopus @Salnax Why can't Square simply remake it for the 3DS ?? -_-
(like the IV for DS)
PS: the SNes version has a pretty bad "official" translation while the writer sticked to the real text for the portable one.
I thought Powgi Word Games was being released today. What happened?
@sinalefa What did you pick up? I purchased Unfinished Swan - loved the demo way back when, it's like single player Splatoon in black and white - and Cel Damage HD for my kid who likes crazy violent games like Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars (so glad the similar new game is simply called Rocket League). Sony is lucky I bought those 2 as they came to $5, which is the credit card minimum. One or the other has been on sale in the past but I won't put $5 on my CC for a $3 or $2 game.
That "mobile/PC abomination" has the extra content and script of the GBA version and the quality sound of the SNES version. It also has auto battle.
Can't keep DSiware down, even with a broken leg, it somehow just gets back up from nothingness (even if it takes monthsto do that)
Nothing for me. I just got FFE and Paper Jam so I'm good for games until next month
Will be picking up FFT and maybe a few discounts depending on what the next sale covers.
DSiware continues alive because the 3ds eshop show this games. If Wii U eshop could have access to Wiiware and Wii VC they could support this system too. I give a try to this new DSiware lauch, sounds like AirportMania to mee and that game is great.
I already downloaded Final Fantasy Explorers. With that LBX and Stella Glow (LE) I bought last week with the Chibi Robo I'm trying to complete, my 3ds plate is too full to handle.
First time buying something from the eshop in months. Final Fantasy Tactics!
Will pick up a physical copy of FF Exploerers down the road. FF Tactics Advance is a great if you haven't played it before. I like TNT Racers as well, and 99 Moves.
Crazy Train sounds like some short, quick fun, at least by the description.
@justinr Yes there is. Both the old 3DS and New 3DS do not have enough power to emulate SNES games (And the GBA console is more than double the power of the SNES). So, their only alternative is to do what they did early on, which is have the GBA roms played through a back door found in the DS backwards compatibility of the console. However, doing that prevents the console from going into sleep mode and removes the possibility of save states (Because it's acting exactly like a real DS would with a GBA game inserted).
Bring over the Wii U version of Mario RPG and the 3DS Dreamcast theme, and you've got my money coming in for sure, Nintendo.
It's really tiring seeing how the good games GBA had are all sent to WII U eShop. 3DS could totally handle them and in fact, they are games from a PORTABLE CONSOLE, I have my New 3DS and I'm not 100% convinced about getting a Wii U which is why I think Portable console games (VC) should be where they should be, as a VC for a PORTABLE CONSOLE!. I'd have totally had bought FFTA in my N3DS... but whatever..
@Fearful-Octopus I'm with you! I've never played FF6, but I've heard it's really good so I am interested in playing it.
I also got Unfinished Swan as I was curious about it. Pretty interesting concept.
Also got Velocity 2X, Transistor and Race the Sun. Later on I showed my bro the list of games and he insisted on getting Outlast and Ethan Carter. Most of those are still downloading.
For Lego fans Marvel Avengers is really good. I'm enjoying it so far.
@GearB All VC games should be available on Wii U and 3DS. I have a little trouble believing that the New 3DS can't run SNES games.
The PSP can run PS1 games and with a half ass emulator you can run SNES games on it. If the PSP can run SNES games, how are we supposed to believe that the New 3DS can't or are we pretending the New 3DS is weaker than the PSP?
I'd pick up Lego Avengers on the Wii U if they confirmed it would get the dlc, otherwise I'll just wait for it to be free/on sale on Xbox Gold or PS+. That's what I did with Lego Batman 3. It annoys me because I'd much rather have them on the Wii U but I won't pay full price for incomplete games.
I've never played FF Tactics and I feel like that's something that I should have under my belt. I'm also interested in Level 22, Joe's Diner, and the mini-game collection. I'll have to see some gameplay videos or proper reviews before deciding on those, though.
@justinr There is a way. It's called *hax.
@Gerbwmu We are on it, but it's not exactly a quickfire game to review
agreed...should be offered on the eshop as well
Wow, 4 great VC weeks in a row!
First Mario Galaxy, then Metroid: Zero Mission, Mario Advance 4, and now Final Fantasy Tactics!!!
That has to be some kind of a record for the North American Virtual Console!
Now if we could only get Super Mario RPG next week...
Nothing for me...
@Crono1973 It has nothing to do with power, but it all has to do with architecture. First off, the PSP has a similar processor and achitecture to the PS1 which takes a lot of the weight off since they don't have to really redirect that much of the emulation process. Meanwhile, the SNES and GBA have a completely different architecture to the 3DS, so the emulators put enormous strain on the 3DS' CPU because it has to mask everything instead if just a few processes.
Also, yes, SNES and GBA emulation do require a lot of power. They need at least 3 GHz worth to work 100% properly on mobile devices, meanwhile the New 3DS barely has 1 GHz at its disposal.
@Transdude1996 The PSP can emulate SNES games so I am sure the New 3DS can too. Yes, it has to do with power when we are talking emulation.
I don't think you need a 3Ghz CPU to run SNES emulation. I was running SNES emulation in 1998 on a Pentium 1 at 166 Mhz. I don't think the Wii U even has a 3Ghz CPU and I know the Wii doesn't.
Nothing for moi.
FFTA2 is on the DS and uses a (very slightly) more advanced engine than FFTA. I would suspect it's practically trivial to port FFTA2 to the same engine and at least release it on DSiWare. It's probably equally trivial to 'update' it for native 3ds.
I realize most people didn't pick the sale items like I did because NIntendo has not yet announced what the Sale Items will be, but so far both weeks of the sale have included something I want so I'm assuming it'll happen again.
@Crono1973 Of course not, I just intended to say that that kind of games should be released for 3DS too! xD
@justinr Complaining on NintendoLife won't make the game appear on 3DS. The Wii U is a good system. Give it up already.
@Crono1973 When it comes to the most bare bones games, yeah. But, as far as SNES games with anything as simple a few animation layes, speed and quality drop like a rock.
The PSP isn't anywhere near powerful enough to have full SNES emulation without any problems. The 3DS (Both of them) are in the same boat no matter how you spin it.
@Transdude1996 No matter how I spin it? You are the one claiming a 3 GHz CPU is needed for SNES emulation. It's like you forget that SNES emulation has been possible for like 20 years on much slower CPU's. You don't think the Wii had a 3 Ghz CPU do you?
holy--they still make dsiware games?
@Crono1973 Alright then smartass, you go on over to GBAtemp and other such sites and flout about your expansive knowledge of how X system should be able to emulate Z system's games, and you see their response.
@Salnax I would be happy with either version really.
@Rei I would love to see FF VI on 3DS!!!
@ThomasBW84 - thanks!
@Transdude1996 Well, I am not talking about GBA, just SNES. Why are you ignoring:
Maybe on your mobile device SNES emulation sucks because the emulator is poorly written but an emulator written by Nintendo wouldn't need anywhere near that much power. Actually, my current PC isn't even 3 GHz, do you think I currently have problems running SNES9x?
I have emulated GBA games on my PC, not many and I have never played a full GBA game on PC but from what I saw, GBA emulation also doesn't require 3 GHz.
@LegendOfPokemon I hear all the time it's the best turn based FF, currently playing FF1&2: Dawn of Souls GBA and having a blast! Japan got FF VI GBA recently on VC, the west needs some love too!
What crappy sales!! How many times is TNT racers gonna be on sale??? Jesus!! Also here's hoping square starts bringing vc stuff over from Japan like the snes final fantasys etc.....and maybe some Taito classics they're sitting on??
@sinalefa Nice haul.
I was giving some serious consideration before to just passing on NX to save myself, and my kids, some money. I know Nintendo likes to hold themselves to some higher standard and maintain prices for 3 or 4 years on games and hardware, but they lost the moral high ground when they started offering $60 worth of DLC for SSB and free-to-start games w/ microtransactions. I got a bunch of free stuff from Ntnedo - free WW HD w/ MK8, free Game and Wario from Club Nintendo, free Shop games w/ my DDP 10%, so it's possible the new My Nintendo will show me Nintendo cares about us, the gamers, but for the past year all they've cared about is the money.
2015 was a horrible year for Ntinedo in part b/c of all they took away, I'm hopeing 2016 is equally good w/ what they give us - My Nintendo discounts, a budget Wii U line, and the budget 3DS line coming to the US from the UK, and a great fairly priced experience w/ NX. We shall see, but I am hopeful. But if not, I'm ready to walk away.
I picked up Final Fantasy Explorers which is an awesome Phantasy Star Online Experience we didn't get from Sega. Really good game
Not a bad week by any means, especially for those who are Final Fantasy fans. I may pick up FFT Advance eventually. For now, nothing for me this week.
Unless something is too tempting in the holiday sales.
Getting the PS4 has put things into perspective for me. Although the PSN is not the sales heaven some people make it out to be and the Plus games are usually meh, they do have great games and great prices way more often than Nintendo. Cross play goes a long way too, I have even considered getting a Vita with so many PS4 games granting me the portable version for no additional cost.
I agree that Nintendo used to give things for free and those are gone. The CN successor cannot come soon enough. I cannot pass on the NX as easily (specially not now that Splatoon exists) but the money I give to Nintendo may be less. I never picked up Yoshi or Kirby and I am really thinking about getting Starfox and TPHD.
Finally, remember that Prime and BestBuy have those 20% discounts, the only real discount you may find for some Nintendo games.
People are talking about Nintendo's prices and lack of good sales. I was in Wal Mart the other day and noticed that many Wii games are still $50 like Metroid Other M and Kirby's Epic Yarn.
@Crono1973 NoA almost never reduces retail pricing in North America. I really miss the golden days of Player's Choice and Nintendo Selects (at least when they bothered to add games to the program).
Was looking forward to FFE, but the reviews have been so tepid, I'll pass.
I regularly see Nintendo games on discounts at my local retailers.
Last month, my local Meijer's had a CODE NAME S.T.E.A.M. for $20.
They also had a sale on ORAS, Happy Home Designer, Majora's Mask, Splatoon, Amiibos and other Nintendo stuff the past few months with steep discounts.
Target this fall had a B2G1 on all video games including Nintendo games.
My local Best Buy and Gamestop also have a lot of Nintendo games on sale too.
Though to be fair, Nintendo isn't the only publisher to keep prices steady:
Take Two (includes Rockstar)
Many of WB's games
Microsoft (it's rare to find a Microsoft game on official mark down).
EA's non sports titles
Many of Sega's games
Many of Ubisoft's non yearly games.
It's just yearly games that receive huge mark downs, due to the fact that sales drop off in 3 weeks after release.
Steam does put everything on sale, though Steam users rarely pay more than $10 for any game, causing developers to struggle at making money on Steam.
I bought the following games at release at discount:
*Happy Home Designer ($20 off)
*Xenoblade Chronicles 3DS ($20 off, shortly after release)
*Xenoblade Chronicles X ($30 off at release)
*Pokemon OR ($15 off at release)
*Scribblenauts Wii U (Got it for $8 a few months after release)
*Tekken Tag Tourny 2 (Got it for $8 at the same sale)
*Captain Toad ($10 off at release)
*Super Mario 3D Land ($20 off at release)
*Smash Bros Wii U ($10 off)
*Windwaker HD (I got it at $37 off at release)
*Mario Golf 3DS (I got it at $10 off at release)
*Star Fox 643DS (I go it for $20 off at release at Kmart)
*Splatoon (I got it for $20 off at release too)
TPHD I will get it at a minimum of $5 off at release (depends on how many points I have on Powerups).
I will also get Pokken at least $10 off at release (Depends on my Meijer's rewards account).
I literally bought most of my Wii, DS, 3DS, and Wii U libraries at huge discounts at or near release.
How do I do this???
Nearly every major retailer has a rewards program or frequent shopper program.
Best buy: has their reward zone program that earns extra points for those who have GCU on top of it (I rarely shop at BB).
Toys R Us: has a rewards program that also works with all video game stuff. it's $1 = 1 point.
They also have really good sales every few months.
Target has rewards program too, which bonuses are given to big new releases including video games.
Meijer's has a rewards program for every dollar you spend. I regularly get $5-$30 each month in rewards credit. They also have regular sales on General Merchandise (video games included) and you can use the rewards program with it.
Gamestop has very good program for those who buy tons of games (my Gamestops are really well staffed and clean).
Walmart has a rewards program too.
Kohl's has one too and they have some games and systems.
My point is there is no good reason for you to pay full price for video games, gaming systems, Apple stuff and other products this day in age!!!
You know the Western reviews for Fates aren't out until a few days before release in February.
Every Fire Emblem game released in the West has been met with critically mixed reviews and sub par (below 90) on Metacritic.
The LEGO titles are a hoot, but unless we're talking the spectacular exclusive Lego City Undercover, they'll be twenty bucks or so in a matter of months
We said goodbye to little Johnny today. He had been battling a rare degenerative condition, and for years the only thing which brought him joy was playing Virtual Console games on his 3DS. The drought of releases through 2015 and now have proven too be too much. When informed that Pokemon would likely be the last VC games put out, he had the following last words: "Ugh, what a crock..."
Two games look good to me, Hello Kitty and Crazy Train. I'm in absolute happy shock and disbelief that they released the Hello Kitty game in North America. I believe in miracles now! They definitely showed Nintendo that it can be done, now if only Nintendo could learn something from this (Style Savvy 3!!!).
@Crono1973 the ds and the GBA can run SNES so the 3ds can run it and the new 3ds can run it no problem. The only reason why it not on there is that they are trying to get people to buy the Wii u.
@Transdude1996 the Wii only has 1/4 of 3ghz it is around 788 mhz on the wii.
When informed that Pokemon would likely be the last VC games put out, he had the following last words: "Ugh, what a crock..."
I bet little Johnny hasn't downloaded all the VC games released on 3DS.
Looks like just Tactics Advance for me. Although I don't want to get too burned out on TRPGs before FE Fates...
Whole lotta Nope.
I'm so tempted on Final Fantasy Explorers.
It's a matter of WHEN I'll break and just go get it.
2016 looks to be a GREAT year for Nintendo
Keep these great 3ds games a-comin'!
Level 22 looks like the best game this week but it only takes about 3 hours to beat, longer if you want all the collectibles.
The Dinner games seems like a good concept but unless the difficultly increased from the PC release it looks way too easy.
@Transdude1996 That's funny. There was a Super Famicom game that was playable on 3DS systems called Dragon Ball Z: Super Butoden 2 just late last year, available for download. I really don't believe there are any emulation issues at all. Just 'wise' Nintendo business and marketing reasons.
@Magrane The game was ported, not emulated. IOW, they rewrote the game's code.
RV-7 My Drone (3DS eShop)
@Transdude1996 You're wasting your breath. People just don't get it. Nintendo is nutty about getting the emulation as close to perfect as they can. Even though *hax and RetroArch can run this stuff and quite well on the N3DS, the O3DS doesn't have that.
On topic, this is three weeks in a row of good stuff. I tip my hat to NoA. Keep it up.
I'm going to play FFE via GameFly to see what it's about. I'll try to have an open mind, cause I know the Monster Hunter comparison will be inevitable even for me since I'm playing MH4U currently. Other than this... back to playing MH4U and XCX...
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