New Game Plus: Designated downloads for 01/13/09

The DLC spread this week is a downright decent one, I must say. Even the WiiWare offerings look fair to good, and on Virtual Console we have a bona fide classic on offer in Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse.

I haven’t seen any word on new games for the Xbox Live Arcade this week — if I missed one I’m sure someone will point it out. But if you own Fable II and/or Castle Crashers, there’s downloadable content coming your way this week for both. Fable II’s Knothole Island pack looks particularly interesting.

[[image:090113_dlc01.jpg::left:0]]WiiWare: Jungle Speed
Playful Entertainment Inc. | Wii | Card Game
This is a Wii version of the card game that has each player trying to get rid of their hand first by revealing cards one by one — and if multiple players reveal the same card, then all of them make a mad grab for the totem in the middle of the playing area. But if you make a grab for the totem when your card doesn’t match exactly, then it’s bad news. Looks like a pretty fun game, and the totem-grabbing aspect actually makes it suited to the Wii’s motion controls.

[[image:090113_dlc02.jpg::left:0]]WiiWare: Planet Pachinko
Allied Kingdom | Wii | Platformer + pachinko
Given the Wii’s propensity for casual games, you’d probably figure this one to be a straight translation of pachinko into the digital space. But no, it’s actually a platformer — you’re a robot going through stages inspired by pachinko machines to find a lost puppy. See? Totally different.

[[image:090113_dlc03.jpg::left:0]]VC: Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse
Konami | NES via Wii | Platformer + whips
Probably the best Castlevania game on NES, the third installment has you start out as then-new guy Trevor Belmont in another battle against Dracula, but this time you can find allies to switch places with at will, including future series star Alucard. The game was toughened up a bit for U.S. gamers — did you know Grant is supposed to throw his little knife, not stab with it? Of course you did. But someone else might not.

[[image:090113_dlc04.jpg::left:0]]PSN: Cuboid
Creat Studios | PS3 | Puzzle
You may have played a Web game or something else like Cuboid before — the goal is to guide a cube through a succession of hazardous mazes. And cubes don’t roll so well, so you have to think just where you want it to go. Looks interesting.

[[image:090113_dlc05.jpg::left:0]]PSN: Mahjong Tales: Ancient Wisdom
Creat Studios | PS3 | Tile game
This is…well, it’s Mahjong, the Chinese tile game. Not sure what else you need to know. Looks like it’s probably cheaper than most material sets you’ll find, so if you want to learn the game on the cheap or Remote Play it on your PSP, it could be a good purchase.

8 thoughts on “New Game Plus: Designated downloads for 01/13/09

  1. Cuboid is pretty much the spiritual successor to games like P.Q. for the PSP, and it’s damned fun and damned complex.

    totally worth the download.

    Mahjong, on the other hand, is a shitty port of a lame version of the game, and you can find a billion better versions for free online.

  2. I picked up Castlevania III the other day, hadn’t really played it before. Holy balls that game is freaking awesome!

  3. I know it’s not in this week’s column, but I am looking forward to trying GTI+ on PSN.

  4. So… has anyone ever made a case for CV3 not being the best of the NES lot, who wasn’t just being a troll? Branching path through the game, character switching, technically impressive stuff with the gears and pendulums… what’s not to love?

  5. You forgot about Ultimate Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins coming to PSN for download on PSP! Now the internet can start bitching about Parish’s review all over again!

  6. I’ve always held Castlevania III in high esteem, but it wasn’t until a recent play through (a ROM of the Japanese version) that its awesomeness truly dawned on me. After all this time, it still holds up as a strong piece of design craftsmanship. The graphics, sound, control, and overall game mechanics come together perfectly . As I played it recently, my recurring observation was along the lines of “I can’t believe this is an NES game. They seriously pushed the system to its limits.” And I guess that’s what I admire about it in particular as a title, that it squeezed every last bit of power out of the hardware it was on (producing something that still holds up, opposed to being merely eye candy at the time of its release). My impression is based off the Japanese version, so maybe it’s just my mind making too much out of that version’s extra bells and whistles. Though off the top of my head, the only other NES game that strikes me similarly is Super Mario Bros. 3. Anyway, enough gushing fanaticism/rambling.

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