Now Playing features information for releases on all Nintendo systems for the next week. Check back every Thursday for more of the same.
3DS Virtual Console
September 1, 2011
Balloon Fight (Nintendo)
Donkey Kong Jr. (Nintendo)
Ice Climber (Nintendo)
NES Open Tournament Golf (Nintendo)
Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo)
The Legend of Zelda (Nintendo)
Wrecking Crew (Nintendo)
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (Nintendo)
September 1, 2011
Face Racers: Photo Finish (Majesco)
Pet Zombies in 3D (Majesco)
September 6, 2011
Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection (Crave)
Brunswick Pro Bowling (Crave)
September 1, 2011
House M.D. – Blue Meanie ()
1950s Lawn Mower Kids (Zordix AB)
September 8, 2011
Puzzle Rocks (Cinemax)
Trenches Generals (Fishing Cactus)
Nintendo dishes out $35 of love this week in the form of the 10 NES titles available for free to 3DS ambassadors. This counts for half of the promised freebies, the other 10 being GameBoy Advance titles available later. Don’t forget to download your Ambassador’s Certificate so you can be notified of the free updates to the NES games. I’m firing up
Balloon Fight Metroid Yoshi Zelda II first. I’ve always been curious about the 2D side-scroller half-brother of the Zelda franchise. Here’s hoping the big NES drop doesn’t overshadow the fact that new real 3DS games arrive this week.
(Aside: So if you are an ambassador who paid full price for a 3DS, are they worth it? Given you have no choice in the matter and that Nintendo could have just stuck to apologizing without compensation, I guess the answer is yes… but in the end these are meaningless to me. Having grown up with video games just a little past the NES era, playing around with some of this is fun for about 5 minutes. I mean, come on: Donkey Kong Jr falls two feet and he’s dead? Boy oh boy the kids have it easy these days. On the other hand, if you bought a 3DS at full price, you wanted one at the time and didn’t have to endure endless months of envy. With or without the NES games I’m still happy with having my 3DS on day one. Maybe the GBA games will change my feelings here.)
Pinball Hall of Fame is looking good. The entire table is on the top screen in 3D. You can also play with the 3Ds upside down — this way the score screen is at the top as it should be. Looks very realistic, and must look great in 3D. Sounds make a pinball game and they are awesome. Worried a bit about how small it will look — I had assumed it would use both screens to show the entire table, but the bottom screen zooms in and out depending on where the ball is. It’s very smooth though. The versions for other consoles received decent reviews. The fact that I can tilt my 3DS and lose a turn should add to the realism; just don’t bang on the table with your fist.
Photo Racers is looking like a good stand-in until we get Mario Kart 7. A kart racer brought to you by the same people behind the Cooking Mama series, you can add your face to your driver (becoming a kind of bobble head racer without the bobble), roadside billboards, or even the power ups, plus customize other characteristics. A bit gimmicky though. You get twenty tracks and online multiplayer. I’m looking forward to steering by tilting the 3DS itself, knowing I can go back to tangible controls when it pleases me (I’m looking at you, iPad). I also can’t wait to try the slow motion power up. Haven’t tried it but promo videos are looking good.
Last and certainly not least we have 1950s Lawn Mower Kids. A contender for worst name for a game this year, the gameplay can be described as frantic in that you must guide three kids driving lawnmowers while avoiding obstacles and enemies such as dogs. I’m tempted to sneer something sarcastic but since I haven’t played it yet that wouldn’t be fair. You never know. It might just be more fun than mowing a lawn.
Well, that’s it for this week’s releases; now it’s your turn. Looking forward to 1950s Lawn Mower Kids? (You don’t need to hide the truth from us, we don’t like to judge..) And what about those Ambassador freebies, are you already downloading giddily? Be sure to let us know in the comments!