Twas three days before Christmas and all through the Nintendo Download fresh new games both big and small tried desperately to outshine the majesty that is the original Game Boy version of Tetris.
The game that got an entire generation doing lines in the back seat of their parents' cars is a tough act to follow. It may have started on the computer, but the Game Boy version of Tetris is the one that exploded, launching Nintendo into a dominant position in the handheld gaming market that it has yet to relinquish.
That doesn't mean there's nothing else worthwhile in this week's Download. WayForward Technologies' Mighty Switch Force for the 3DS looks particularly interesting. The creators of Contra 4 and the A Boy and His Blob remake for the Wii have certainly proven themselves capable of handling a little 2D action. And the music makers in the audience should get a kick out of Rytmik Retrobits, though it looks like it could be a bit too complicated for the dabbler.
When all is said and done, however, Christmas is a time for the classics, and it doesn't get much more classic than Tetris.
Price: 500 Wii Points
The ultimate soccer game comes back to WiiWare! Soccer Up! is a funny soccer game that allows you a total control of any action of your team players: Control the ball, dribble and shoot with effect to confuse the goalkeeper and score a goal! The ball has inertia and will move freely over the field. Show your ability to control it and make short and long passes. Choose the height, effect and power before shooting to the goal. Become a soccer master and make your rival defenders tremble! Each country has its national team. You can create your own team with the in-game editor: give it the name you like, choose its equipment and the most important, play with your Mii saved on the Mii Channel of your Wii.
DSiWare (DSi / 3DSi)
Chronicles of Vampires: Origins
Price: $US4.99 / 500 DSi Points
Discover a secret that has been hidden for centuries in this supernatural Hidden Object Adventure. When Investigative Reporter and Super Sleuth, Linda Hyde, sets out to cover a rare book exhibition, she receives an offer she can't refuse - to search for lost manuscripts on the behalf of a mysterious collector. However, Linda will soon find out, she is not alone in this quest. A secret world of vampires slowly reveals itself... Confronted with challenging puzzles and mind-bending mini-games, it's up to you to find the clues and put the pieces together to stop this sinister plot. With over 20 locations to explore and over 200 items to find, you'll have to race against time to outwit Linda's supernatural enemies.
Price: $US7.99 / 800 DSi Points
Rytmik Retrobits is an application for creating rhythmical and melodic themes and for composing whole songs. Its user interface blends the fast and well-arranged interface of classic drum machines with flexible pattern interface of popular trackers and with modern sound library. It contains more than 180 carefully selected authentic retro sound samples of electronic drums, percussions, bass, melodic instruments and effects from 8-bit and 16-bit computers and classic consoles.
With Rytmik Retrobits you can quickly and easily create the basic building stone — an audio clip. It consists of musical notations for up to four instruments that you may transpose, select their location in the stereo field, and modify their volume, reverse, shuffle (rhythm twist) and polyphony (with extended polyphony handling), chorus/widening stereo effect, echo and arpeggiator. You may arbitrarily combine up to 128 such clips in four tracks and create complex pieces of music. Moreover, you have a collection of 10 pre-made compositions at your disposal from which you may quickly compose your own pieces.
Rytmik Retrobits is not only for playing with sounds; in the hands of a skilful musician it can become a serious musical instrument — surprisingly powerful pocket music station. For the best musical experience we recommend connecting headphones or quality speaker system. You'll become the king of the retro party in no time...
Price: $US4.99 / 500 DSi Points
Doodle Fit, the best-selling puzzle game, is finally here! Your task is simple: fit the given sets of blocks into given shapes. Drag the blocks inside and outside in search for the layout that covers the whole shape. A level is complete when all blocks have been used and there's no more space free in the shape. The game features over one hundred different levels with a variety of unique shapes to play with. There are almost 550 solutions in total, which means you can enjoy near unlimited replayability.
Easy to pick up, impossible to put down! TETRIS, the iconic block-slotting puzzle game, gets a re-release on the Nintendo 3DS system. It's easy to pick up, yet impossible to put down. Create solid horizontal lines by deftly manoeuvring the falling Tetriminos into place. Clear as many lines as possible before the screen is overrun with Tetriminos. Work your way up from the easiest setting or crank up the speed to increase the challenge. Either way, you're in store for hours of entertainment — all over again.
Mighty Switch Force
Publisher: WayForward Technologies
Space Hooligans have escaped custody and are wreaking havoc all over Planet Land! HQ calls on cybernetic peace-keeper Patricia Wagon to bring these renegades to justice. With the help of Corporal Gendarmor and her trusty Pellet Gun, there's nothing she can't handle. When the going gets tough, Wagon activates her Helmet Siren, altering the world around her in 3D space. Even the third dimension can't hide criminal ne'er-do-wells from the long arm of the law. Enter the mechanical shape-shifting, dimension switching world of Mighty Switch Force and blow crime away.