The Nintendo Download: It's Old Home Week

Familiar names and face populate this week's downloadable Nintendo games, with appearances by Frogger, Excitebike, Bomberman and more Electroplankton than you can shake a stylus at.

Perhaps the most exciting game to come out as part of this week's Nintendo Download is Excitebike: World Rally for WiiWare (1000 Wii points). It's not just because it's a return to the original motorbike racing title, complete with a track editor that lets you share your creations with friends, but simply the fact that this isn't Excitebots or Excite Truck. If you'd rather fear the road than own the road, you can always grab Frogger Returns (500 points), another 3D update to the classic 2D traffic-dodger.

Rounding out the WiiWare triple-play this week is Dragon Master Spell Caster by Stickmen Studios (500 points), a game that sees players doing battle on dragon back, casting spells and spewing fire in either the single player story mode or split-screen multiplayer.

DSiWare gets six new titles today, through five of those are Electroplankton mini-games available at 200 DSi points apiece. When you're done playing microscopic musical fishies, you can blow them out of the water with Bomberman Blitz (500 points), which delivers the classic Bomberman experience to the DSi with both local and online eight player multiplayer battles.

Rounding up this week's rather massive list of downloadable titles is the Virtual Console, which adds the platforming goodness of Sega's Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap (500 points) and Cybernoid for the Commodore 64 (500 points) to its ever-growing lineup of classic titles.

So what's your poison this week?


Excitebike: World Rally Publisher: Nintendo Players: 1-4 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) Price: 1000 Wii Points™ Description: Prepare to face daredevil jumps, crazy obstacles and other racers in the newest installment in the venerable Excitebike franchise, available exclusively on the WiiWare service. Choose from multiple camera angles as you tilt your way to smooth landings using motion-sensitive controls. Compete in races around the world in four championship circuits. Use Nintendo® Wi-Fi Connection to invite friends to a race. Or if you're feeling brave, take on anyone else looking for a match. Feel like tackling a challenge of your own design? Use the intuitive Track Editor to choose from the available obstacles and put together your dream course, then share courses with friends to see whose creation skills reign supreme.

Frogger Returns Publisher: Konami Digital Entertainment Players: 1-2 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) Price: 500 Wii Points Description: Frogger Returns takes the heart-pounding challenge of arcade Frogger and moves it into the next dimension. Classic top-down 2-D game play is updated with colorful 3-D graphics, a new perspective, new levels, new enemies and game-changing power-ups. A local multiplayer mode lets you race a friend.

Dragon Master Spell Caster™ Publisher: Stickmen Studios Players: 1-2 ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10 and Older) – Mild Fantasy Violence Price: 500 Wii Points Description: The Dragon Lords have returned to the magical world of Nakiha, bringing ultimate power to whoever controls them. Choose your champion, then master amazing magic and fierce dragon attacks to defeat the rival Champions and their Dragon Lords. Choose from four different paths and decide the fate of the world in the fantastic story mode. Battle your friends in two-player split-screen arcade mode and tailor your tactics with different dragon and rider combinations, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Marvel at the effects of mind-blowing spell collisions. Mix spells and unleash their ultimate power. Control your Dragon Lord and crush, bite and burn your way to victory.

Nintendo DSiWare

Bomberman Blitz Publisher: Hudson Entertainment Players: 1-8 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) – Comic Mischief Price: 500 Nintendo DSi Points Description: Bomberman makes his downloadable debut on Nintendo DSiWare with Bomberman Blitz. Dive into a classic multiplayer Bomberman experience with eight-player local or online multiplayer using Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Hone your skills and learn the maps, then take the battle online. Change map and item preferences for enhanced customisation. Delivering unparalleled multiplayer excitement, Bomberman Blitz lets Nintendo DSi users enjoy the addictive fun of Bomberman anytime, anywhere.

Electroplankton Trapy Publisher: Nintendo Players: 1 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) Price: 200 Nintendo DSi Points Description: Trapy plankton make sounds as they swim over graceful lines made up of linked triangles. The creatures follow the lines you trace along the water. There are six types of Trapy in all, each with a unique colour and sound. All Trapy plankton produce different tones depending on the direction they swim. They produce the lowest-pitched sounds when they swim to the right and produce higher-pitched sounds as their path veers to the left.

Electroplankton Hanenbow Publisher: Nintendo Players: 1 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) Price: 200 Nintendo DSi Points Description: Normally aquatic creatures, Hanenbow sometimes use floating leaves to launch themselves out of the water, creating strange sounds and melodies as they bounce off the leaves. Entire schools of Hanenbow have been known to launch out of the water, one after another. As a leaf is repeatedly hit by flying Hanenbow, it gradually changes colour. This also alters the sound made by bouncing Hanenbow. When all the leaves turn red, a flower will bloom. It remains unclear why the Hanenbow display this curious behaviour.

Electroplankton Rec-Rec Publisher: Nintendo Players: 1 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) Price: 200 Nintendo DSi Points Description: Rec-Rec are fishlike plankton that feed on sound waves. They absorb sound waves transmitted through water and use them as a form of nutrition. The sound waves that the Rec-Rec eat are then stored inside their bodies until they have been digested. Once the digestion process is complete, they play back the sounds in perfect four-second intervals. While these sounds are playfully emitted, wave patterns can be seen pulsating on their bodies. Rec-Rec always swim side by side in schools of four. When they swim at different speeds, the frequency with which they emit sounds also changes.

Electroplankton Nanocarp Publisher: Nintendo Players: 1 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) Price: 200 Nintendo DSi Points Description: Nanocarp have very sensitive hearing. Using their two ears to sense vibrations coming through the water, these plankton can distinguish sound quality and frequency. They display very interesting reactions to the sound of humans clapping or breathing. Nanocarp are also excellent swimmers. They have a tendency to swim in formations of 16 and react together when they detect sounds. These plankton emit sounds on their own when they sense waves on the water's surface. When this happens, the pitch of sounds they produce changes depending on where the Nanocarp is located.

Electroplankton Beatnes Publisher: Nintendo Players: 1 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) Price: 200 Nintendo DSi Points Description: Beatnes are curious plankton with geometrically shaped heads that form vertical strands like seaweed. Their bodies are made up of eight sections, each featuring a distinctive diamond-shaped tail. The sound of a Beatnes can vary wildly depending on which segment of the body is tapped. However, all of the sounds closely resemble the short-wave and triangular-wave sound effects from a Nintendo Entertainment System™ sound chip. When Beatnes are tapped in time with a rhythm, they continue to repeat the sounds in perfect time for a short period.

Virtual Console

Wonder Boy™ III: The Dragon's Trap Original platform: MASTER SYSTEM Publisher: SEGA Players: 1 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) – Mild Cartoon Violence, Tobacco Reference Price: 500 Wii Points Description: Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap is widely considered to be one of the best games produced for the SEGA MASTER SYSTEM. The direct sequel to Wonder Boy in Monster Land, it starts in the final lair of the previous game. This game is the first in the series to allow Wonder Boy to roam freely by using various animal forms, but as with previous games in the series, Wonder Boy can also buy various weapons, armour and items to help him in his quest.

Cybernoid™ Original platform: Commodore 64 Publisher: Commodore Gaming Players: 1 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) – Mild Fantasy Violence Price: 500 Wii Points Description: Federation storage depots have been raided by pirates, who've taken valuable minerals, jewels, ammunition and the latest battle weaponry. You have been commissioned by the Federation to retrieve the cargo and return it to storage within a specified time limit. The pirate craft have activated all planetary defence systems, which you must negotiate along with the pirates themselves. If you fail to reach the depot within the time limit, or if the value of your retrieved cargo is insufficient, you must forfeit one of your Cybernoid ships.

Image courtesy of IGN


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