Nintendo has confirmed that Wii Party U will not be sold via the Nintendo eShop for Wii U. Instead, the party game will be offered at retail as a physical game that comes packaged with a Wii Remote Plus and a stand for the Wii U GamePad. The bundle will be priced at $49.99 and launches on October 25th.
We are beginning a new Sunday feature here at MNN that will put the spotlight on a different Nintendo eShop title each week. The games spotlighted can be new or old, and will also be reviewed. We hope you enjoy it! This week, Chain Blaster for Nintendo 3DS:
The simplicity of arcade-style space shooters seems to never get old, as each new title in the genre manages to evolve the same basic gameplay concepts through the introduction of new power ups or a slight variance in the style of play. Chain Blaster on the 3DS eShop is no exception. While the game employs a mixture of gameplay mechanics that calls to mind classics like Space Invaders and Gradius, rewarding new elements are thrown into the mix to make Chain Blaster a worthwhile experience.
In Chain Blaster, players control an anti-virus ship set on a mission to rid the world’s super-computer from evil virus ships trying to infiltrate and use it to launch nuclear weapons. Like Gradius, players of Chain Blaster fire upon lines of enemy ships to receive power ups, in this case building up their Blast Gauge and Extend Gauge, the latter of which effectively serves as the player’s number of lives. Once the Blast Gauge becomes sufficiently full, the player can fire a Chain Blast that has the ability to destroy multiple lines of enemy ships at once. After several squads of enemies are defeated, mini-bosses appear in the form of larger spaceships, and following the defeat of several mini-bosses, the player’s ship is surrounded by a large space station as the main boss. This succession of enemies is repeated until the completion of the game.
Chain Blaster features some elements that add to its replay value. The 3D backgrounds are simple and sometimes redundant, but are also effective at conveying the experience of flying through outer space. Though the levels can be repetitive, enemies become increasingly difficult, and challenging yourself to higher and higher scores can be addicting. The music enhances the thrills of dodging enemy fire, and though the graphics may seem rudimentary to some, they are just right for this style of game, and serve as a throwback to shooters of yesteryear. Also adding to the replay value are two difficulty options, each with a different spaceship to pilot that places its own limitations on the player. In the harder of the two modes, players must initiate Chain Blasts by flying directly into enemies, as their spaceship in this mode lacks the ability to shoot the blasts.
At only $6.99, Chain Blaster by indie developer G-Style is a small but welcome diversion to the 3DS’s meatier first-party titles, and a worthy successor to the Atari and NES shooters on which it is based.
This week’s Nintendo download for the North American eShop may just burn a whole in your pocket with Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist due for release on August 20 for the Wii U at $59.99. But if the stealth game isn’t really your cup of tea and you do have some extra cash to spare, you can always pick up Runner 2 and Trine 2 on sale for a limited time only.
In accordance with the release of the Good Friends Character Pack DLC for BIT. TRIP Presents: Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien, Nintendo are holding a special sale for the frenzy dash Wii U game, where you can purchase it for a sweet $11.25 (normally $14.99) until 9am PT August 29. Similarly, Trine 2: Director’s Cut for the Wii U is on sale yet again, so if you haven’t had a chance to pick up this indie gem, now’s your chance. You can purchase Trine 2 for a nifty $7.99 (normally $19.99) until 9am PT September 5.
The Wii U Virtual Console also gets a look in this week with new release Galaga. The retro arcade classic where you fend off alien attacks is priced at the standard $4.99. And if none of those games tickle your fancy above, you can see below a list of other new releases this week. Will you be setting your eyes on Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist, or maybe Runner 2 this week?
3DS Virtual Console:
Donkey Kong – $4.99
Nintendo 3DS eShop:
10-in-1 Arcade Collection – $2.99
Barbie Groom & Glam Pups – $29.99
Heavy Fire: Black Arms 3D – $4.99
My Western Horse 3D – $29.99
After appearing in a teaser trailer for upcoming Wii U eShop titles, two new independent games from indie publisher Ripstone have officially been announced for European release. The games are set to launch in late 2013/early 2014. Pure Chess, coming to the 3DS eShop in addition to the Wii U’s, is a visually stunning chess game developed with the assistance of a chess grandmaster. Knytt Underground, arriving on Wii U, is a shadowy 2D puzzle-based platformer created by Nicklas “Nifflas” Nygren, the brains behind 3DS eShop favorite, NightSky.
The two titles join Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams, which now has a European release date of August 22nd, as the latest confirmed titles from Nintendo’s recent eShop trailer. Phil Gaskell, Ripstone co-founder, had the following to say about his company’s two games:
“We’re committed to helping developers bring their games to as many digital channels as possible and this announcement demonstrates that commitment. We think Nintendo gamers are going to love spending hours exploring the world of Knytt Underground and will be blown away by the visual quality of Pure Chess, and we hope to announce more games for eShop in the future.”
If you were looking to get some retro gaming in later today, why not pick up Super Mario Bros. 2? Nintendo has announced that straight after the Nintendo Direct, you’ll be able to purchase the fantastic Super Mario Bros. 2 on the 3DS European eShop. Will you be downloading this title at all?
This week Nintendo has brought a whole host of sales to the North American eShop, and there’s some pretty great bargains in there if you’ve been saving up those extra pennies. But first up, Nintendo has brought two new additions to the Virtual Console – Pilot Wings for Wii U and Sonic Drift 2 for 3DS. So, if you’d been looking for a game that’s a little more retro than Disney’s Planes, aerial adventure Pilot Wings will be right up your street. The simulation title brings time limit objectives, skydiving lessons and daring rescue missions all for $7.99. But if you like your games to be much more grounded on a race track, you can pick up retro classic Sonic Drift 2 for $3.99. With the ability to race in local multiplayer and across 17 courses it’s a great title for Sonic fans.
Those of you who have yet to pick up the Mighty Switch Force! titles will be happy, as this week the North American eShop gets a reduced price on both Mighty Switch Force! and Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition to celebrate the recent launch of Mighty Switch Force! 2. You can pick up the former for a sweet $3.99 (normally $5.99) for the Nintendo 3DS and the latter for $6.67 (normally $9.99) for the Wii U until 9am PT July 11.
The final two titles on sale this week are Order Up!!, a simulation strategy restaurant game, and Planet Crashers, a role-playing game where you must journey to different galaxies and battle dungeon enemies. Both Nintendo 3DS titles are on sale at $4.99 (normally $9.99) from 9am PT July 8 to July 22.
You can find the following titles below new to the eShop as well:
- Vampire Master of Darkness – VC 3DS, $4.99
- G-LOC Air Battle – VC 3DS, $3.99
- Deer Hunting King – 3DS, $4.99
- Fishdom H20: A Hidden Odyssey – 3DS, $4.99
- Crazy Construction – Demo – 3DS, $4.99
Animal Crossing: New Leaf has launched in North America. As Nintendo promised, the game was available for purchase from the Nintendo eShop right at midnight. The digital version of the game costs $34.99 and requires 6,000 Blocks to download. If you’re still deciding on whether you should purchase the game, be sure to check out our Animal Crossing: New Leaf review. If you do pick up the game and want to know how to make your character’s face look like how you want it to, check out this Animal Crossing: New Leaf face guide.
All Nintendo-published Nintendo 3DS games are available in the Nintendo eShop. This means that Nintendo 3DS users have three options to buy select games. They can purchase a physical copy at retail, a digital copy from the Nintendo eShop, or they can just buy both! If you’re wondering which version of Animal Crossing: New Leaf you should get, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata recommends buying the digital version of the game, which launches in the Nintendo eShop at midnight. Read Iwata’s recommendation below:
… Animal Crossing is a game that I hope people will play throughout the whole year. But we want people to play other games too. So something I would recommend is the digital download version. I think a title like Animal Crossing: New Leaf, which you can play throughout the year, is ideally suited to this format. That makes me sound a little like a salesman, doesn’t it? (laughs)
We at My Nintendo News also suggest purchasing the download version of Animal Crossing: New Leaf, because it’s a game that doesn’t have an ending, and you’ll want to play it frequently to check out what’s new.
It’s E3 next week, but just in case you’re going to have some free time why not pick up a few great titles landing on the North American eShop? If you’re looking for a bargain – as most of us usually are – you can pick up Yoshi for a measly 30 cents when it’s released next Wednesday. Originally released in 1991 for the NES, Yoshi is a classic action puzzler where you must play as Mario to help save the little green dinosaur who’s been imprisoned in an egg. Fancy giving it a go? You can pick this gem up for the Wii U’s virtual console on June 12.
But if you’re looking for a title to keep the stress from building, then why not pick up Animal Crossing: New Leaf, when it’s released for the Nintendo 3DS on June 9. The title will be available promptly at midnight, but if you’re unsure whether to purchase the newest addition to the franchise, you can read our review here.
And the eShop wouldn’t be on form if there wasn’t a sale on, right? For a limited time only, you can purchase Trine 2: The Director’s Cut for $9.99 for the Wii U. And luckily for North American fans, you can purchase the title for much longer than your friends across the pond in Europe – the offer lasts until 9am PT, June 27, so make sure you don’t miss out.
You’ll also find a few other additions new to the eShop this week, including Spelunker and Senagoku 3 for the Virtual Console, as well as Marvel Avengers Battle For Earth for Wii U, priced at $29.99. Let us know which games you’ll be picking up next week in the comments below.
Both the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U offer free downloadable demos from the Nintendo eShop. For some reason, the demos have a limited number of uses. Once you download a demo, you can play it a certain amount of times. For example, the Project X Zone demo has only five uses, even though the full game launches in more than two weeks. This means you can’t try out the demo every day leading up to the game’s release.
According to a publisher who’s had multiple use-limited demos released, Nintendo is responsible for the requirement. Do limited use demos bother you? Do you think five uses for the Project X Zone demo are sufficient? Let us know in the comments below.