Now Playing: 10.06.2011

A Balance Board-controlled arcade shooter and a few ghostly games join us this week on Now Playing.

By Andrew Hsieh. Posted 10/06/2011 20:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

Fancy buying a video game or two this week? There’s a lot out there– and that’s where Nintendojo’s Now Playing column comes in. Check out the list, and lean back as we figure out just what these games are all about.


October 4, 2011
NBA 2K12 (2K Sports)


October 6, 2011
Horizon Riders (Sabarasa)


October 2, 2011
Tetris Axis (Nintendo)
October 4, 2011
Gabrielle’s Ghostly Groove (Natsume)
The Hidden (Majesco)

Nintendo eShop

October 6, 2011
Side Pocket (G-Mode)


October 6, 2011
House M.D. – Skull and Bones (Legacy Interactive)
Simply Minesweeper (Engine Software)

Well, as a wise man once said, when nothing comes out for DS, you know things are bad. Okay, maybe that’s a bit harsh– we do have a few DS releases this week, both for DSiWare (which is happily undergoing some semblance of a renaissance now that it’s not just DSi owners buying), and while they’re not particularly fascinating (the episodic House M.D. are minigame fests with too-little of the smart dialogue from the show; Simply Minesweeper is exactly what it sounds like for a cheap-ish $2.00) at least it’s something! It’s a good thing that 3DS has something though, because otherwise, we’d be even sadder than we already are.

In fact, this week’s 3DS offerings are actually pretty decent! Tetris Axis needs no introduction, though we hear Tetris DS gives it a run for its money (Hudson Soft developed the 3DS version, with no access to any of the cool Nintendo references packed in Tetris DS), while Gabrielle’s Ghostly Groove is a 3DS version of the kid-friendly WiiWare game that we reviewed some time ago (and very much liked). The latter has none of the dancing that compelled Gabrielle back on WiiWare, forgoing it for a more traditional rhythm-and-music 3DS game, but so far reviewers seem to be enjoying the Elite Beat Agents-inspired gameplay a lot! (The adorable visuals probably help.) Besides, we understand it’s actually against the law to make sucky rhythm-music games, so we have nothing to worry about.

(What’s that? There’s a Dance Dance Revolution game for Game Boy Color? Never mind.)

Right on the heels of Gabrielle’s Ghostly Groove, The Hidden, a ghost-hunting AR game reminiscent of DSiWare’s Spirit Hunters, Inc., will have players scanning real-world environments for game-world ghouls. It’s Halloween soon, we suppose, so this is as good a time as any to be finding ghosts. Or dancing with them. Natsume and Majesco have covered all bases here.

For Wii, we’ve got NBA 2K12, which we hear is actually The Basketball Game to buy, keeping 2K Sports’ reputation as a company that knows how to make great sports video games. (NBA 2K11 was similarly critically acclaimed.) Only bad thing? Due to the 2011 NBA lockout, 2K Sports couldn’t use this season’s rookies in the game. Too bad, but so long as we can play the game, we guess!

Finally, Sabarasa’s Horizon Riders is what CEO Javier Otaegui calls their “love letter to arcade shooters”– except controlled with the Wii Balance Board. It’s even controllable with the Wii Zapper, which as you can imagine, provides for quite the interesting spectacle and experience. Zooming from left to right across the screen on the Balance Board seems like it’ll definitely provide for a visceral experience even more engrossing than Wii’s usual offerings– turns out there is a way to put the player in the game greater than just with Wii Remotes. Otaegui calls Space Harrier Sabarasa’s main inspiration, despite visual comparisons to Sin & Punishment. One thing’s for sure– it’s definitely a unique offering, and continues the recent trend of great WiiWare games for otherwise starving Wii enthusiasts.

Now if only we got another Mario game instead of Side Pocket.

Thinking of picking up a game or two this week? Gonna play some virtual basketball? Let us know in the comments!

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