Here are this week's releases on WiiWare, DSiWare, and Virtual Console!
Dive: The Medes Island Secret Publisher: Cosmonaut Games Players: 1 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) – Mild Violence Price: 1,000 Wii Points™ Description: During the past five centuries, hundreds of ships flying every ensign have succumbed to the power of the ocean. Merchant boats, pirate ships, navy vessels – all have ended up covered in coral at the bottom of the ocean. All of them guarded secrets that remained hidden... until now. In Dive: The Medes Islands Secret, you are John Sanders, a treasure hunter and experienced diver who spends months planning and documenting a major expedition to locate and recover several ships of different ensigns around the world.
Heavy Fire: Special Operations Publisher: Teyon Players: 1-2 ESRB Rating: T (Teen) – Blood, Violence Price: 500 Wii Points Description: Join an elite army unit in Heavy Fire: Special Operations, an arcade shooter for the WiiWare service. Play challenging missions in the Middle East from the ground, Humvee or Blackhawk. You will need a quick trigger finger to finish extremely dangerous levels. Rise through the military ranks and accumulate more powerful weapons with different features and controls. Replay the game to improve your best score and submit it to the world rankings. Make combos and smash the environment to get more points. You can take out enemies in a single-player mode or with a friend in multiplayer mode. The Wii Zapper™ accessory is supported but not required.
AERO THE ACROBAT Original platform: Super NES Publisher: Sunsoft Players: 1 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) – Comic Mischief Price: 800 Wii Points Description: The madman industrialist Edgar Ektor has seized control of the World of Amusement. He and a deranged cast of fairground freaks threaten the circus. The only hope for survival is the high-flying, death-defying Aero the acrobat! Spine-tingling terror unfolds as Aero tackles Ektor's wicked henchmen. Bungee-jump into a battle against evil. Skydive toward the danger below. Hang on for the ride of your life as you rise and plunge on a roaring roller coaster. Tiptoe across a terrifying tightrope. Power-drill and twist Aero right through every sinister circus enemy imaginable. All the while, the show must go on. It could become a carnival of carnage in the World of Amusement. Because the evil Ektor isn't clowning around … and there's nothing amusing about that.
Face Pilot™: Fly With Your Nintendo DSi Camera! Publisher: Nintendo Players: 1 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) Price: 500 Nintendo DSi Points Description: With the innovative game Face Pilot: Fly With Your Nintendo DSi Camera!, you can soar through the sky in a hang glider from the comfort of your sofa. Not only will you put your face into the game with the Nintendo DSi Camera, but Face Pilot: Fly With Your Nintendo DSi Camera! also tracks your head movements to give you complete control of your glider. Simply tilt your head sideways to steer left or right, lean back to climb and bend forward to dive. Choose from two play styles and fly through three different types of game play: bursting all of the balloons in a variety of courses, throwing balls at targets for a high score and trying for a fast time in the high-speed challenge. Also, look out for hidden medals that help to unlock new courses and even new gliders. If you're looking for a truly unique and inventive game, schedule a flight to experience Face Pilot: Fly With Your Nintendo DSi Camera! for yourself. The only thing missing is the wind in your hair!
Crystal Monsters Publisher: Gameloft Players: 1 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) – Mild Cartoon Violence Price: 500 Nintendo DSi Points Description: There are two kinds of people in this world: those who can see monsters (called Neo-Seeds) and those who can't. Neo-Seeds wield extraordinary power and battle using tamed monsters in grand tournaments. As a Neo-Seed who has just discovered his ability, you're about to set off on an amazing journey to collect more than 160 monsters and become the greatest Monster Breeder. Explore a vast world, meet new friends and rivals, and engage in dynamic battles that require skill and strategy. Master the nine elemental types, train your monsters through battle, teach them new moves, use team attacks and fuse them together to unlock their true potential. You can even customize three of your favorite monsters by putting friends' faces on them using the built-in camera.
Puffins: Let's Race! Publisher: Other Ocean Interactive Players: 1-4 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) Price: 500 Nintendo DSi Points Description: Get ready to challenge the speediest puffins on the island for the title of Fastest Flyer in Puffins: Let's Race! Race against the clock or go head-to-head with your opponents in a battle to the finish line. Use cleverly placed power-ups like the squawk shot to get ahead of the pack and claim victory. Race through four different game modes on eight different tracks to prove your skill, or challenge up to three of your friends via local wireless play. Do you have what it takes to become the race champion of Puffin Island, or will you be left behind with the rest of the flock?
Petz® Hamsterz® Family Publisher: Ubisoft Players: 1 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) – Comic Mischief Price: 800 Nintendo DSi Points Description: Adopt your very own family of hamsters! Care for them, teach them fun tricks and unlock new toys and accessories to give them lots of love! Care for your hamsters by feeding them, playing with them and keeping them clean and warm. Discover your hamsters' unique personalities – watch them react with cute and funny facial expressions. Teach your hamsters fun activities like bowling or running on ramps and watch them progress. Earn coins that can be used to unlock new toys and accessories for your lovable hamsters.
Absolute BrickBuster Publisher: Tasuke Players: 1 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) Price: 200 Nintendo DSi Points Description: Classic brick game action is here on the Nintendo DSi system. There are two modes of play: Free Play and Challenge. Pick one of eight characters and set special items to play at your own pace in Free Play Mode. The special items include different balls with special attributes, expandable paddle and paddle tilt. There are 10 stages in all. Each even-numbered stage gives you a mission, the result of which will determine the level of the next two stages. In Challenge Mode, different levels of missions are given – clear them to advance in the game.
I have Aero the Acrobat, and I've only gotten a few levels into it, but I recall it not being a very extraordinary platformer. You could do worse than Aero, but it's not really worth it; especially if there's just about any other platformer currently on the Virtual Console that you don't yet own.
I got Face Pilot. It's pretty good, took me a little while to calibrate it properly, but it works very well. I've tried a few courses, there are a lot of hidden goals to achieve so you can unlock more and more courses. Very fun so far!
Edit: there are two control methods. DSi on a table, or DSi in hands. When placing the DSi on the table, you tilt your head to control the pilot, but when you're holding it in your hands you move the DSi around. I only tried the option for holding the DSi.
Seriously. You explore these underwated maze-like caverns and passages, try to find as many treasures as you can, and move on to the next island once you've found THE big treasure on that level. But you'll need to come back to that first level, however, as the first time you play it, your suit doesn't allow you to dive past a certain depth.
So it's exploration-based. I would simply hesitate to call it a "Metroid-like" title because really, you don't find items to gain access to previously inaccessible places. You just find treasures that allow you to buy better gear. Might seem like a small difference, but I just want to make it clear you don't find super missiles to open the green doors.
Oh, and the levels are pretty big. I think they get bigger as you progress, but I'm not sure.
The third level, the last one I played, was much more dark and cramped, with more threatening creatures. Quite the claustrophobic feeling.