The Nintendo Download: Everybody Let's Muscle March

Men (and bears) in tight bikini briefs invade the Nintendo Download this week, bringing Dark Void Zero, Starship Defense, The Secret of Shinobi, and more along for the wild ride.

Namco Bandai's Muscle March (500 Wii points) is one of the oddest titles to hit the WiiWare service so far. Thieves have made off with the protein powder the game's muscle-bound protagonists need to stay in shape. The bandits smashed through walls to escape, so if you want to catch them, you'll need to be in the correct bodybuilder pose in order to fit through the conveniently bodybuilder-shaped holes left behind. If that's too wacky for you, perhaps its WiiWare companion, Wahoo Studios' brain trainer The Amazing Brain Train! (600 points), can take you to a safe place where the thong bears can't get you.

DSiWare gets the lion's share of the new downloadable games this week, with Capcom's 8-bit tribute to the upcoming Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 title, Dark Void Zero (500 DSi points) taking the lead, followed by Q-Games' Starship Defense (500 points), which is essentially tower defence in space. EnjoyUp Games brings Chronis Twins to the DSi this week (500 points), following last week's release of Chronos Twins DS for WiiWare. Gameloft brings up the rear with Me and My Dogs: Friends Forever (800 points), a pet trainer in which you choose between a Chow Chow, Labrador or Beagle, playing with them, giving them love, and then entering them into competitions to see if your love paid off. It's just like real dogs, only without the smell!

Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi for the Sega Genesis (800 Wii points) is this week's sole Virtual Console release, definitely strong enough to stand on its own four legs, thanks to the introduction of Yamoto, Joe Mushashi's faithful hound.

What looks good this week? I mean, aside from Muscle March, of course. That one's a given.


Muscle March

Publisher: NBGI

Players: 1-4

ESRB Rating: E 10+ (Everyone 10 and Older) – Comic Mischief

Price: 500 Wii Points™

Description: Muscle March is a quirky Japanese action game stuffed full of macho bodybuilders. The all mighty protein powder has been stolen, so it's up to Tony and his muscle-bound crew to catch the thieves. Choose from a variety of perfectly molded superstars and bring these terrible villains to justice. As the thieves attempt escape, they will smash through walls while making a variety of poses. You must match these poses to fit through the holes and catch up to the thieves. The protein powder will be yours again! Flex your muscles by yourself or with up to three friends in turn-based macho excitement. Posing for a few minutes not enough? Enjoy Endless Rush mode until your muscles bulge and explode! Muscle March will also be the first WiiWare title to offer a polar bear in tight swimwear!

The Amazing Brain Train!

Publisher: Wahoo Studios

Players: 1

ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)

Price: 600 Wii Points

Description: All aboard! Power up your intellect and embark on an epic quest aboard The Amazing Brain Train! fuelled by your mental energy, Professor Fizzwizzle's Brain Train will take you on a brain-boosting adventure. Put your mighty mind to the test and see how far you can go.

Nintendo DSiWare


Publisher: Nintendo

Players: 1

ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) – Mild Fantasy Violence

Price: 500 Nintendo DSi Points™

Description: STARSHIP Defence takes the tower defence genre into outer space. Defend your space fleet from wave after wave of enemy attacks by equipping a variety of weapons and using a combination of strategic skills and resource management. Attach weapons to your ships using the touch screen, making sure to place them for maximum effect when planning your defence. If you don't, the relentless nature of your enemies could overwhelm you. Increase your chances of success by using energy collected from defeated enemies to install new and more powerful weapons, destroying particular enemies to obtain weapon upgrades, and watching for rare power crystals that unlock advanced attacks, including a devastating black hole. And if you still find yourself in trouble, select an SOS card to call on a special kind of assistance. You'll have to defend your fleet across 30 intense sectors, some with specific challenges, while advancing your rank from lowly recruit all the way to fleet admiral. Are you up to the challenge?

Dark Void Zero

Publisher: Capcom Entertainment

Players: 1

ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) – Fantasy Violence

Price: 500 Nintendo DSi Points

Description: As the '80s were drawing to a close, the developers at Capcom began work on a top-secret project that aimed to set new standards for the platformer genre. That game was called Dark Void. Alas, Capcom suspended development on Dark Void as it began to evaluate the SNES™. Before long, the game was shelved and drifted, unnoticed, into the annals of gaming history. Dark Void became a legendary "lost project" at Capcom. Now, nearly 20 years later, Dark Void is back! To commemorate the game's humble origins, Capcom has commissioned this recreation of the original 8-bit classic, now re-titled Dark Void Zero, on the Nintendo DSi™ system. You play as Rusty, the first human born in the Void, who must take on the Watchers in a quest to stop their domination of Earth. With the aid of Nikola Tesla and his state-of-the-art rocket pack, Rusty must take down the Watchers and their minions across three intense levels of action and intrigue.

Chronos Twins

Publisher: EnjoyUp Games

Players: 1

ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) – Fantasy Violence

Price: 500 Nintendo DSi Points

Description: Enter into the original world of Chronos Twins, where you'll live a fantastic adventure full of innovative ideas never seen before in any game. Thanks to its Dual Gameplay game system you'll be able to control Nec in two temporal scenarios at the same time. Chronos Twins mixes action, platforms, adventure and puzzles to challenge your intelligence and ability. If you like games with a real challenge, there's no doubt that Chronos Twins is the game you're looking for.

Me And My Dogs: Friends Forever

Publisher: Gameloft

Players: 1

ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) – Comic Mischief

Price: 800 Wii Points

Description: Have you always dreamed of having a cute dog to cuddle? Thanks to Me And My Dogs: Friends Forever, you can have up to three of the cutest pups imaginable at the same time and take them with you everywhere you go. Choose from friendly Labradors, playful Chow Chows and smart Beagles. Like real dogs, you'll have to take care of them, feed them, wash them and give them lots of love. Play with them at the park and teach them lots of tricks or train them for competitions at the stadium. You can even call them like in real life thanks to the microphone.

Virtual Console

Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi

Original platform: Genesis

Publisher: SEGA

Players: 1

ESRB Rating: E 10+ (Everyone 10 and Older) – Fantasy Violence

Price: 800 Wii Points

Description: Easy to play, hard to master, Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi, first released in 1987, is the sequel to the original Shinobi arcade game, and is one of the only games in the Shinobi series to feature true arcade-style game play. Play as Joe Musashi, the master ninja known to his enemies only as "The Shinobi." This battle is not one you must fight alone, as this is the first game in the Shinobi series to feature your ninja attack dog, Yamoto, who will charge foes on command, leaving them open to a powerful drop kick. Use your mastery of ancient ninja technique to topple the crime syndicate – the Neo Zeed Corporation – and free the foreign dignitaries they have taken hostage in New York City. Good luck, and may the ninja spirits help guide you in your journey.


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