Here are this week's releases on WiiWare, DSiWare, and Virtual Console!
Cave Story Publisher: Nicalis Players: 1 ESRB Rating: E 10+ (Everyone 10 and Older) - Mild Cartoon Violence, Mild Language Price: 1,000 Nintendo DSi Points™ Description: Cave Story takes you into a rare world where a curious race of innocent rabbit-like creatures, called Mimiga, run free. You wake up in a dark cave with no memory of who you are, where you came from or why you're in such a place. Uncovering Mimiga Village you discover that the once-carefree Mimiga are in danger at the hands of a maniacal scientist. Their only hope rests squarely on the shoulders of a quiet, amnesiac boy who can't remember his own name. Take control and learn the origins of this world's power, stop the delusional villain and save the Mimiga.
Frenzic Publisher: Two Tribes Players: 1 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) Price: 200 Nintendo DSi Points Description: Frenzic is a unique puzzle game that dazzles the eye, teases the brain and keeps you coming back for more. It takes only minutes to learn, but months to master as you devise new, impressive play strategies to push your brain to its limit. Compete against your personal best and climb through seven levels of Devotion from Newbie all the way to Frenzic Master. Frenzic is a must-have for puzzle enthusiasts of all ages.
Spot It! Challenge Publisher: Big John Games Players: 1-4 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) Price: 200 Nintendo DSi Points Description: In Spot It! Challenge, players race the clock to find the hidden objects in cleverly arranged scenes. The puzzles are based on the popular Spot-It book series published by Capstone Press. See how many objects you can spot in 10 different puzzles. Vibrant graphics make spotting objects fun and challenging. Players use the stylus to tap on the hidden objects and also to navigate the extra-large play areas. Spot hundreds of hidden objects in 10 themed puzzles, including Outdoor Sports, Board Games and Fun with Food. Players can compete against their friends using the "Pass Around Play" feature. Up to four players can race to find 10 objects hidden within a puzzle. Each player has to spot the objects and then pass it on to the next player. See who can get the best score! Find objects fast to score the most points. Three levels of difficulty (Easy, Medium and Insane) provide lots of replay value.
Airport Mania: First Flight Publisher: Lemon Games Players: 1-4 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) Price: 500 Wii Points™ Description: Pack your bags for a trip through the skies in Airport Mania. Travel through eight amusing airports while you land a variety of planes, purchase upgrades and avoid delays. Stay on your toes, as some planes carry precious cargo and will need to land in a hurry, while others might need a trip to the repair shop. But, with good planning, you're sure to make it to the gate on time. With unique challenges, whimsical characters and fun that'll put a smile on your face, Airport Mania is one flight you can't miss.
HB Arcade Disc Golf Publisher: HB Studios Multimedia Players: 1-4 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) - Comic Mischief Price: 1,000 Wii Points Description: HB Arcade Disc Golf re-creates the popular disc-flinging sport in the comfort of your own living room. Playing the game is as easy as tossing a disc around on a beautiful day. The goal of the game is to put the disc in the basket in the fewest throws possible. Disc golfers have three different types of discs at their disposal when out on the course: a driver, a mid-range disc and a putter. Also, there are three different types of throws available: forehand, backhand and the hammer throw. The forehand and backhand throws change based on the handedness of the player, and can be used to draw or fade a shot, while the hammer throw is less about distance and more about height. At the end of the round, scores are tallied and the player with the lowest score is the winner.
Cave Story (demo version) Publisher: Nicalis Players: 1 ESRB Rating: E 10+ (Everyone 10 and Older) - Mild Cartoon Violence, Mild Language Price: 0 Wii Points; full version available for 1,200 Wii Points Description: Cave Story takes you into a rare world where a curious race of innocent rabbit-like creatures, called Mimiga, run free. You wake up in a dark cave with no memory of who you are, where you came from or why you're in such a place. Uncovering Mimiga Village you discover that the once-carefree Mimiga are in danger at the hands of a maniacal scientist. Their only hope rests squarely on the shoulders of a quiet, amnesiac boy who can't remember his own name. Take control and learn the origins of this world's power, stop the delusional villain and save the Mimiga.
MAGICAL DROP II Original platform: NEOGEO Publisher: D4 Enterprise Players: 1-2 ESRB Rating: T (Teen) - Mild Suggestive Themes Price: 900 Wii Points Description: MAGICAL DROP II is a puzzle action game released by Data East in 1996. The rules are simple. Control the clown to pull in and throw back the balloons that appear on the screen. If you line up three or more balloons of the same color in a row vertically, they will burst. Some balloons feature unique characteristics. Special balloons, which come in all four colors, pop every balloon of the same color. Arrow balloons burst everything in the direction the arrow is facing. Rainbow balloons have the same effect as special balloons, but can be thrown against a balloon of any color. And then there are bubble balloons, which simply get in your way. Together, these provide you with great chains and combos that make a puzzle game so much fun. Choose between VS CPU Mode, full of battles with a host of comical characters, and Puzzle Mode, where you'll enjoy a one-player challenge. Both modes support player-versus-player action, meaning you can have a great time together with friends.
For the most part, Cave Story on DSiWare is the same as it is on WiiWare. There are some different modes and such, but the main game is the same. Basically, it's just Cave Story to have on you at all times. If portability isn't a factor for you, then there's no real good reason to get the DSiWare version.
From the videos I've seen Magical Drop looks like every other "match 3" puzzle game in existence.
Back when one of them showed up as an import on PSN, Destructoid reviewed it and said it was awesome. In the comments I asked just what makes it stand out, and the thing people got back to me with was "it's really frantic".
Match 3s don't have the hold on me that they once did, but I still kind of like them, if they have something unique to offer. I just want to make sure that I haven't already played this exact game in some other form, since the puzzle genre is so incestuous. I'll check out some video.
@GameDadGrant Well, I don't have either version, and I want to get one, so I just have to choose.
@Pandareus Magical Drop is a match 3 puzzle game, but it has its own twist where you can actually remove blocks and shoot them back up. You also pull down the pieces by the same color in a column. Also, the character you choose will also depend on what "trash" you send at your opponent and what trash comes to you as well.
In multiplayer it's definitely the fastest puzzle game of its type I've played.
It's the multiplayer that really shines in the game (though playing vs. CPU can be fun too I suppose ).
I can't really think of a direct comparison to it really. Most other match 3s either have you rotating blocks or just have a block falling down to connect, whereas Magical Drop you have to remove and connect. I guess the closest comparisons would be Critter Crunch on the PSN. There's also Astropop from Popcap but that game is just a plain direct rip-off of Magical Drop without the multiplayer.
@Simbabbad I do enjoy me some Mitchell (who were involved with Puzz Loop/Magnetica (ZUMA), Pang/Buster Bros., Number Battle, and Osman/Cannon Dancer, the spiritual successor to Strider). I especially feel for them after their recent comment in some European interview about how hard it was to survive for a company in their position.