You’ll probably notice three things about this week’s downloadable content update.
One: It’s a double dose, because last week’s didn’t make it up. Two: The games here are without the company of their retail-shelf counterparts. Three: It’s a blog post, which means I’m blogging! The last two things are connected, as you may have guessed; the eminently capable reibeatall and I have sundered our New Game Plus ties to become each of us a tiny nation unto himself. Join us in this new world order! And click through to see what you can download, already.
[[image:jh_081021_dlc07.jpg::left:0]]WiiWare: Tetris Party
Tetris Online Inc. | Wii | Tetris
And I was just thinking about how the world needs more Tetris. This one has a bunch of variations on the game, and includes online play. But really, I’ve seen enough iterations of Tetris to last a lifetime.
[[image:jh_081021_dlc08.jpg::left:0]]WiiWare: The Incredible Maze
Digital Leisure Inc. | Wii | Puzzle
You know those little toys where you have a ball bearing inside a maze full of obstacles and holes and stuff? You know, the kind you see at stores but probably never buy because they look kind of lame? Well, if you’re the sort of person who actually buys those, then this is the game for you — it probably costs about the same amount, and you get more than one maze!
[[image:jh_081021_dlc03.jpg::left:0]]WiiWare: World of Goo
2D Boy | Wii | Globular construction
You know those horrifying South American ants that arrange themselves into ladders and spheres so they can cross rivers and eat your face while you sleep? Playing World of Goo is kind of like being those ants, except that instead of insects, you’re using globs of slime, and instead of eating faces, you’re trying to get those globs through an exit pipe in the very best tradition of environmental puzzle games.
[[image:jh_081021_dlc010.jpg::left:0]]VC: Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou
Konami | PCE-CD via Wii via Japan | Shmup
This latest in the VC’s run of import releases is one I might actually buy: Gradius II. Take your little fighter and its upgradeable pea-shooter into battle against the evil Bacterion Empire and its new leader, Gofer. And when you beat him, make him ”go fer” a coffee or something. Get it? Haha. Yeah, I hate me, too.
[[image:jh_081021_dlc09.jpg::left:0]]VC: Digital Champ Battle Boxing
Naxat Soft | TG-16 via Wii | Boxing
A first-person boxing game, this is. If you can’t wait for the VC to get Super Punch-Out!!, maybe this’ll tide you over. Me, I’m gonna hold out a while longer.
[[image:jh_081021_dlc04.jpg::left:0]]VC: Secret of Mana
Square Enix | SNES via Wii | Three-player action-RPG
One of the three best games Square made for the SNES, Secret of Mana is an absolute classic that remains unsullied by the series’ unfortunate decline in the years since. Get it, bask in the awesome graphics and gorgeous music, and remember why we used to want Seiken Densetsu 3 so flippin’ bad. Then get a couple friends together to play it as a group.
[[image:jh_081021_dlc06.jpg::left:0]]VC: Street Fighter II: Special Championship Edition
Capcom | Genesis via Wii | Fighting
More Street Fighter II on the Wii, only this time it’s the Genesis version of the game. Not sure why you’d bother with this one, SFII fan or no, unless the Genesis game is really your preferred version.
[[image:jh_081021_dlc011.jpg::left:0]]PSN: SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs: Confrontation
Sony | PS3 | Tactical squad shooter
Sony’s doing the same thing with this new SOCOM game as it did with Warhawk: Release a $60 boxed version packed with a head set, and a $40 download. Word on the Interwebs is that the game has some technical issues right out of the box/ether — things that will surely be patched in a bit but really shouldn’t be an issue at launch time. So, caveat emptor — it might be best to wait until the game’s issues are cleared up before taking the plunge.
[[image:jh_081021_dlc05.jpg::left:0]]PSN: Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords
D3 Publisher | PS3 | Bejeweled: The RPG
If you’ve somehow avoided the debilitating addiction of Puzzle Quest — maybe because you only own a PS3? — the time for your excuses is over! Because now you can get the game on virtually every platform known to man, and this version includes the Wrath of the Plague Lord expansion content.
[[image:jh_081021_dlc01.jpg::left:0]]PSN: Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket Powered Battle-Cars
Psyonix Studios | PS3 | Racing
With some games, you can tell everything you need to know just from the title. This is one of those games.
[[image:jh_081021_dlc02.jpg::left:0]]XBLA/PSN: Age of Booty
Capcom | Xbox 360/PS3 | Strategy
Age of Booty is a hex-based strategy game developed by ex-Bungie employees. And it’s about pirates. I’m pretty much sold on those features alone, but for you skeptics there’ll be a demo, of course.
XBLA: Portal: Still Alive
Valve | Xbox 360 | Environmental puzzle
If you love Portal, as any sane person does, then you’ll probably want to be downloading this one even if you have The Orange Box. Why? A bunch of new reality-twisting levels, that’s why. No new GlaDOS rantings, though.