Nintendo only adds four titles to the Wii and DS this week, with the Virtual Console passed up completely, but hey... one of the games has "Final Fantasy" in it, and the kids love Final Fantasy.
Of course it also has "Crystal Chronicles" in it, which tends to make many a Final Fantasy fan cringe, but we won't hold that against Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a Darklord for WiiWare (1,000 points). It's a different kind of tower defense game, in which the player places monsters and traps throughout his or her tower, in order to keep heroes from getting to the Dark Crystal on the top floor. Hopefully no Gelflings show up. Damn Gelflings.
Along with the game itself, Square Enix has also released two packs of downloadable content for My Life as a Darklord, getting an early jump on a little extra-added revenue. 400 points scores you the Darklord Armory, adding four destructive spells and one healing spell to your arsenal, each useable once per battle. For 200 points you can purchase the Vile Ribbon, an accessory for the game's protagonist Mira that adds 50 NP to your pool before every battle. And no, I don't know what NP are either, but 50 of them are worth $US2.
My Life as a Darklord is joined on WiiWare by Battle Poker (800 points), which is standard poker with a card grabbing twist, and 5 Spots Party (500 points), a game that challenges players to find five differences between a pair of similar pictures. 5 Spots Party also wins the least intriguing game name of the year award.
A lone DSiWare title rounds out this week's list. Art Style: Zengage (500 DSi points) is a sliding square matching puzzle with more than 100 stages taking place in a surreal world, and at this point I'm not sure the description even matters. The Art Style series has slipped into collectible status for me on the DSi, with any title prefaced by those words an automatic download. Let's hope Nintendo doesn't abuse this power. Art Style: Barbie Princess? Noooooo!
FINAL FANTASY CRYSTAL CHRONICLES: My Life as a Darklord Publisher: SQUARE ENIX Players: 1 ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10 and Older) - Mild Fantasy Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes Price: 1,000 Wii Points™ Description: Step into the royal shoes of the Darklord's daughter as she installs traps and monsters inside her tower to fight back the endless waves of invading adventurers in this world-conquest RPG. Known as Artifacts, these monsters and traps are your only hope in keeping the adventurers from destroying the Dark Crystal on the top floor. Fly your tower across the land and conquer every stage on your way to dominating the entire world.
Battle Poker Publisher: Left Field Productions Players: 1-4 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) Price: 800 Wii Points Description: Battle Poker is a family-friendly card game with up to four players battling against the clock to make the best five-card hand possible. Battles are played across multiple rounds, and points are scored for each round based on the quality of the hand. Each player uses a Wii Remote™ controller to point and click on a standard deck of cards on the screen. The first click flips the card over, at which point it can be grabbed by anyone else. You've got to have fast fingers and eyes to grab the cards you need before someone else snatches them.
5 Spots Party Publisher: Cosmonaut Games Players: 1-4 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) Price: 500 Wii Points Description: Have fun with the entire family and compete in three different play modes. 5 Spots Party is a game of skill for all ages based on the popular game of finding five differences. The goal is to find the greatest number of differences in the pictures shown. In the party modes, you must compete with other players and find as many mistakes as possible. In the 1-Player mode, you must find the differences before time runs out in order to beat the game's highest scores. How far do you think you can go?
Art Style: ZENGAGE™ Publisher: Nintendo Players: 1 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) Price: 500 Nintendo DSi Points™ Description: Do you dream of relaxing with a great puzzle game? Art Style: ZENGAGE revolves around sliding cells (squares) to match colours with cores (beads) located on the board. Clear each stage by matching all of the cores and cells. As you progress through the game's 100-plus stages, you'll encounter cells with special characteristics, such as immovability, which further add to the challenge. To truly master ZENGAGE, you must keep your mind sharp and employ careful strategy to complete stages in as few moves as possible. Combining wistful graphics and mesmerizing sound, ZENGAGE creates a surreal world that should be experienced by all puzzle gaming fans.