It's the time once again for the North American Nintendo Download Update, and this week serves up a lot of enticing goodies. The Wii U offering includes a range of promising download games, a beta, DS classic and DLC for one of 2015's premium eShop exclusives; on New 3DS we have the next batch of top-class SNES Virtual Console releases to consider, while all portable owners have some interesting eShop and retail download options. Without further pre-amble, let's get to the details.
Missed the European Nintendo Download Update? Don't reach for the gin yet, the details are still right here.
Wii U eShop
Paranautical Activity (Digerati, $9.99 / CAD$13.99) - A game with a somewhat unique and controversial history, it features procedurally-generated levels and permadeath - two common Roguelike elements - as well as hordes of enemies and bosses to fight. Upgrades are available to make things a bit easier, and there are plenty of hidden items to seek out. We'll tackle a review soon.
Asdivine Hearts (KEMCO, $9.99 / CAD$13.99) - A fantasy RPG in which you even have an accompanying cat, the core of the tale revolves around the advancement of shadow through the world. Beyond the core story there are side-quests, a battle arena and more to add some depth; we gave this a recommendation in our Asdivine Hearts review.
Dodge Club Party (JAMES MONTAGNA, $1.99 / CAD$2.60) - Much like the developer's brilliant Dot Arcade, this looks to utilise a simple but charming aesthetic. You move a pixel shape around on screen to avoid other deadly pixels of various kinds, while it'll have multiplayer options to put those Wii Remotes to use. We won't dodge the task of a review.
Draw 2 Survive (Unit DTH Studio, $1.99) - This budget title seems to target a similar gameplay idea to Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, in which you draw a line to keep a ball alive. At launch it only has a 'Survival' mode but four player multiplayer and a story mode are promised in future updates - we'll draw out a review for you.
Slots - Pharaoh's Riches (Skunk Software, $9.99) - Another title aiming to bring the feel of Las Vegas to Wii U, this time in recreating slots. It'll simulate gambling without the cost, also with an "interactive pyramid bonus game" thrown in; we'll raise the stakes and bring you a review.
Wii U Virtual Console
Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day! (Nintendo, $6.99) - An iconic DS title that did much to define and popularise the 'TOUCH! Generation' range on the DS, you can now tackle its challenges and give your brain a workout on Wii U. It was actually available for free (for a spell) previously, so you can check out our Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day! for a lowdown.
Wii U eShop DLC
Satura's Space Adventure (13AM Games, $6.99)
Lilac (13AM Games, free)
Professionals Pack (13AM Games, $1.99)
Winter Pack (13AM Games, $2.99)
Anime Pack (13AM Games, $1.99)
SteamPunk Pack (13AM Games, $1.99)
Extra Value Bundle (13AM Games, $12.99)
Wii U Open Beta
Lost Reavers (Bandai Namco, free) - You can put this free-to-play online co-op shooter to the test in this beta until 26th April.
Wii U eShop Temporary Discounts
Runbow (13AM Games, $11.25 until 28th April, normally $14.99)
Shovel Knight (Yacht Club Games, $9.99 until 21st April, normally $14.99)
PEG SOLITAIRE (RCMADIAX, on discount until 20th April)
SKEASY (RCMADIAX, on discount until 20th April)
Joe's Diner (Joindots, on discount until 21st April)
Super Strike Beach Volleyball (Natsume, $4.99 / CAD$6.99) - Promising 'high-octane' beach volleyball, you have the choice of eight characters (with different abilities) and a campaign mode to take on, though free-play is an option too. This could undoubtedly be fun, so we'll dig out a beach towel and let you know what we think.
Excave III: Tower of Destiny (Bergsala Lightweight, $7.99 / CAD$10.00) - This series offers randomised dungeon crawling of the old-school variety, albeit with some modern features thrown in. This new entry boasts of online leaderboards in addition to special unlocks available if you have save data for its predecessor. We actually found this one to be a step back for the series in our Excave III: Tower of Destiny review.
New Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (Nintendo, $7.99 / CAD$11.29) — The second home console DK entry from Rare, this one puts you in charge of Diddy Kong as you seek to rescue the captured DK; it provides more of the attractive visuals and gameplay that made the first title so hugely popular. We thought this worked well on the portable in our New 3DS Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest review.
Super Metroid (Nintendo, $7.99 / CAD$11.29) - A true classic of the 16-bit age, this took the ideas and concepts of its predecessors on NES and Game Boy and took them forward in rather bold ways. An experience that has inspired so many modern games, it stands up beautifully in the modern day and is perfectly suited to portable gaming - We gave this our highest marks in our Super Metroid review.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (Nintendo, $7.99 / CAD$11.29) - Another definitive entry in its franchises' history, this is an adventure that's always in the running when fans debate the greatest Zelda games. Full of iconic moments and items, like many of the best SNES games this still holds up beautifully for modern-day gaming. Naturally we loved it in our most recent review of the game on New 3DS.
3DS Retail Downloads
Bravely Second: End Layer (Nintendo/Square Enix, $39.99 / CAD$49.99) - Following the strong commercial performance of the first entry in this series, this sequel aims to take the building blocks of that original RPG and make improvements across the board. A variety of adjustments, lovely visuals and excellent writing help this one shine - you can get the full lowdown in our detailed Bravely Second: End Layer review. Available from 15th April.
Langrisser Re:Incarnation Tensei (Aksys Games, $39.99) - Langrisser started on the Sega Mega Drive and had several sequels up through the Sega Saturn, but the only entry to ever make it out of Japan was the first game. With this one heading West on 3DS it has a chance to win over new fans; it promises branching story paths, plenty of strategic battles and 100+ hours of gameplay. Available from 19th April.
3DS Retail DLC
Fire Emblem Fates New DLC: Ballistician Blitz and A Gift from Anna (Nintendo, $1.99) – The Ballistician Blitz map, available for $1.99, is a trial ground using The Wooden Calvary stage from Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light. If you select "A Gift from Anna" from the "Play DLC" section of the Dragon's Gate after downloading it, you may select and receive either the Sighting Lens or the Witch's Mark. A Gift from Anna is free to download in the full game and is only playable once.
3DS eShop Temporary Discounts
The Legend of Legacy (Atlus, $29.99 until 25th April, normally $39.99)
Shovel Knight (Yacht Club Games, $9.99 until 21st April, normally $14.99)
AeternoBlade (Corecell, $10.99 until 28th April, normally $14.99)
Karous: The Beast of RE: Eden (CIRCLE Entertainment, on discount until 28th April)
Samurai Defender (CIRCLE Entertainment, on discount until 28th April)
Snow Moto Racing 3D (Zordix AB, $3.99 until 21st April, normally $7.99)
Jewel Match 3 (Joindots, on discount until 21st April)
3DS HOME Themes
Animal Crossing: Gardening Weather
Bravely Second: Ask Agnès
Don't forget that the eShop Super Spring Sale is also running until 21st April.
That's your lot for the North American Nintendo Download Update this week; let us know what you're planning to download in the poll and comments below.