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This week in the Nintendo eShop: Headliners Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem perform a duet, the Zero Escape trilogy comes to its thrilling conclusion, and the Wii U Virtual Console catches a horde of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games.

It’s a rather light week in the discount aisle now that the deluge of great games available during Nintendo’s E3 sale have reverted back to their normal prices. Darksiders II is currently $9.99 on the Wii U. On the 3DS you can once again rely on Atlus to help pinch some pennies, as Legend of Legacy (25% off), Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked (66% off) and Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains (50% off) are all currently on sale until July 4th.


Wii U retail

Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE (Nintendo, $59.99 | available 6/24) – The highly anticipated crossover between the Shin Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem series finally serenades its way onto western shores! An interdimensional evil has invaded modern day Tokyo and it’s up to a bunch of rising pop stars to fight back before all hope fades to black. Battles take place in arenas made to look like concert halls and are governed by a traditional turn-based combat system that blends top-level mechanics from each respective series. Much like with SMT’s demons, Fire Emblem characters are summoned as Persona-type entities called Mirages to aid players in fights. Most interesting is the game’s heavy emphasis on Japanese pop idol culture, explained by Atlus producer Shinjiro Takada to be influenced by Japanese mythology: the idea of the gods (in this case Mirages) being connected to the arts. Despite sounding like the result of some crazy otaku fever dream, all these different gameplay elements work surprisingly well together. Considering how starved the Wii U is for deep RPG experiences, I humbly urge anyone who’s a fan of either series to give this incredibly unique and offbeat crossover a shot.

Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Nintendo, $59.99 | available 6/24) – Mario versus Sonic. Nintendo versus Sega. Mode 7 versus blast processing. Who will take home the gold? This fifth iteration of the series features dozens of playable characters as they compete in 17 events, including full team sports like rugby and soccer. Personally, I’ve always struggled with the logic of pitting these two titans of gaming against each other in this format. Despite Sonic’s ability to kill it in the 100 meter dash or Mario’s potential to dominate the high jump, they seem oddly keen on not abusing their natural talents in what can only be perceived as some misguided effort to even the playing field. The series is also typically known for having only a few standout events amongst a sea of mostly forgettable duds. Especially if you’ve already played the 3DS version, it might be worth passing up for one of the many other solid releases available this week.


LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Warner Bros., $49.99 | available 6/28) – Lack the imagination (or funds) to recreate the battle of Jakku in your living room with all the new LEGO Star Wars play sets that have been coming out? All hope is not lost, as Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has heard your fanboyish plight. The latest iteration in the LEGO Star Wars universe strikes back with all of the storylines from The Force Awakens retold with a clever and humorous spin, as well as exclusive playable content covering untold adventures set between Episodes VI and VII. While they may not fully be considered canon, I for one am excited to learn how Han and Chewie managed to capture those menacing Rathtars, or how exactly Lor San Tekka ended up on Jakku with a map leading to Luke’s location.

Terraria (505 Games, $29.99 | available 6/28) – While already available digitally on Wii U consoles, this week marks the physical retail release of Minecraft’s 2D inspired counterpart. Terraria takes place in a randomly generated pixel world as you forage for materials to craft weapons and armor in an attempt to annihilate hundreds of enemies and giant bosses. Like Minecraft, exploration and resource gathering make up a large chunk of the gameplay experience, though with an even greater emphasis placed on combat. Intuitive use of the GamePad’s touch screen makes item management and building structures a snap and the addition of online multiplayer is extremely fun, allowing up to eight players to join in on the calamity. Having played it on PlayStation Vita a few years ago, I can safely recommend this addicting indie sandbox adventure to anyone wondering what Minecraft would be like had it existed back in the days of the SNES.


Wii U download software

Splashy Duck (RCMADIAX, $1.49) – Have you ever seen those awful bootleg games from China with The Legend of Griselda printed in Comic Sans on the label? Have you ever bought said game and upon popping it in your NES discovered it’s actually just Sonic the Hedgehog with recycled sprites and assets from The Legend of Zelda slapped on? Splashy Duck is pretty much that, only it takes its “inspiration” from the 2013 mobile hit Flappy Bird. It’s not the first game to leech off Flappy Bird’s success, and it certainly won’t be the last, but that by no means excuses it from being such a blatant, unapologetic ripoff. Move along folks, nothing to see here.

Star Sky 2 (JMJ Interactive, $4) – Star Sky 2 is a deeply atmospheric and meditative experience that continues the story set by its predecessor. It’s essentially a serene walking simulator meant to get players lost in their own thoughts, in touch with their emotions and, most importantly, relaxed. Your choices along your travels have consequences on how events unfold, emphasizing reflection on the different paths life can take. More art than game, fans of Journey, Flower or The Unfinished Swan will feel right at home with what to expect here.


Educational Pack of Kids Games (Skunk Software, $3.99) – Pro tip: If you want anyone to buy your video game, don’t throw words like ‘kids’ and ‘educational’ in your title. It’s pretty similar to giving your child a Christmas gift with “Socks” written in Sharpie all over the wrapping. It simply doesn’t make your product sound fun or appealing. Anyway, if the blatantly literal title didn’t already give it away, get ready for a compilation of educational mini-games aimed at helping kids learn stuff. Math, color identification, math, shape recognition and math all make an appearance in helping children level up their brains. (Seriously, a lot of the games rely on simple addition.) Honestly, from what I’ve seen, there isn’t anything unique here in video game form that wouldn’t be possible or more fun to do in the real world. It certainly doesn’t help knowing it was developed by Skunk Software – a name that if also taken literally doesn’t exactly elicit feelings of trust or expectations of quality gaming.

Blackjack 21 (Skunk Software, $1.99) – Marketed as a true Blackjack simulator, this title aims to bring the real casino Blackjack experience to the living room. Seriously though, Skunk Software’s description for this game is pretty bananas, and goes to great lengths to constantly reiterate how this is real Blackjack and not just some sub-par knockoff. In fact, the word Blackjack is mentioned so many times that it actually begins to come off as insincere and somewhat untrustworthy. I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody downloaded this and ended up with Video Poker or Baccarat instead. Call me crazy, but when I get a whiff of skunk, I run as far as I can in the opposite direction. Proceed with caution!

Rubik’s Cube (Cypronia, $2.49) – A 3D combination puzzle invented by Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture Ernő Rubik back in 1974, Rubik’s Cube is widely considered to be the world’s best selling toy. Now it can finally be played digitally on your Wii U GamePad using the touch screen! Unlock achievements, learn helpful tips for faster solving and see how you rank against other players online worldwide. After all, you are going to need a lot more practice if you ever plan to compete in the big leagues.


Wii U add-on content

Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE – Tokyo Millennium Collection (Nintendo | available 6/24) – Included in this pack are three exclusive character costumes not found in the main game: Maid (Eleonora), X-Nurse (Kiria) and Santa Outfit (Tsubasa).

Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE – Costume Set (Nintendo | available 6/24) – Be sure to jump on this set to secure four costumes from other Atlus games: Etrian Odyssey III Costume (Kiria), Persona Q Costume (Tsubasa), SMT IV Costume (Touya) and Devil Survivor 2 Costume (Itsuki).

Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE – Hunter Quest DLC Packs (Nintendo | available 6/24) – Also available at launch are three bonus quests: EXPedition Hunter gives experience and items, Masterful Hunter helps build up skills and related items and Savage Hunter pits you against powerful “Savage” enemies that drop special items. Each quest can be bought separately or as part of the Hunter Support Quest DLC Pack, though prices are currently unknown.


Wii U Virtual Console

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team (Nintendo, $7.99) – Pokémon Mystery Dungeon is the longest running series of spin-off games in the Pokéverse, spanning 11 games over 11 years. Originally released in 2006 for the Game Boy Advance, Red Rescue Team, along with its counterpart Blue Rescue Team on the Nintendo DS, marked its series debut, and it still holds up remarkably well to this day. Gameplay is largely an adaptation of rogue-like Mystery Dungeon games, with a focus on randomly changing dungeons and emphasis on story and exploration.

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team (Nintendo, $9.99) – Blue Rescue Team is essentially identical to Red Rescue team in every way with the exception of added touch screen support and slightly increased graphical capabilities. As is typical of the series, there are six exclusive Pokémon only playable in each respective version, so which version you choose simply comes down to personal preference. I’ll admit, it’s not a genre for everyone, but those who appreciate the art of the dungeon crawl will find a highly addicting experience that’s difficult to step away from.


Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky (Nintendo, $9.99) – Released back in 2009 for the Nintendo DS, Explorers of Sky is an enhanced remake of its immediate predecessors, Explorers of Time and Explorers of Darkness. It’s most notable for expanding upon the plot and adding a number of new gameplay features, Pokémon and dungeons. It’s typically considered the definitive version of the three, and being the only option currently available on the Virtual Console should prove an easy pill to swallow for fans of the series and dungeon crawlers alike.

Wii U special offers and deals

Darksiders II ($9.99 | 75% off) until 7/8
Citizens of Earth ($4.99 | 66% off) until 7/4
Another World – 20th Anniversary Edition ($2.40 | 69% off0 until 7/7
Mutant Mudds Super Challenge ($6.99 | 30% off) until 6/30
Legend of Kay Anniversary ($6.99 | 72% off) until 6/30
Wheel of Fortune ($9.99 | 75% off) until 6/30
Jeopardy! ($9.99 | 75% off) until 6/30
99Moves ($0.99 | 60% off) until 7/21
Sweetest Thing ($5.99 | 14% off) until 6/30
Turtle Tale ($1.49 | 50% off) until 6/30
Vector Assault ($3.99 | 20% off) until 6/30
Infinity Runner ($3.99 | 42% off) until 7/7
Star Sky ($2 | 50% off) until 7/7
STEEL RIVALS ($4.99 | 28% off) until 6/30
Super Destronaut ($0.99 | 50% off) until 7/14
Word Party ($14.99 | 25% off) until 6/30
Paranautical Activity ($4.99 | 50% off) until 6/30
Canvaleon ($4.95 | 28% off) until 7/14

Check Nintendo’s website for the full list of deals available.

3DS retail

Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma (Aksys Games, $39.99 | available 6/28) – In this thrilling conclusion to the Zero Escape trilogy, legendary series creator Kotaro Uchikoshi pulls out all the stops to deliver one of the most compelling and mind shredding experiences ever seen on a handheld. For newcomers unfamiliar with the genre, Zero Time Dilemma is a visual novel adventure game that draws upon elements of psychological horror, mystery and suspense. Without giving away too much of the story’s plot, nine people find themselves trapped in a facility by a masked man known only as Zero, forced to solve deadly escape-the-room puzzles for a chance at survival. The series is often praised for experimenting with and pushing the boundaries of interactive storytelling, most notably in how decisions made by the player throughout the narrative have major implications on the story’s development and various endings. Needless to say, make sure you’ve played the first two games in the series beforehand, as several important plots twists rely on prior knowledge of events for both context and magnitude.


LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Warner Bros., $29.99 | available 6/28) – What’s that? You completely skipped the description for the Wii U version and expected to be rewarded for your impatience? And after all the time and effort that went into the various subtle puns and references to Star Wars movie titles, too. Well, I’m not about to create a copy-paste clone of what was already written above, so you’re going to have to scroll back up if you want to learn more about this game. Seeking revenge for making you work a little more for your eShop updates? Uh… [enter witty response that amusingly incorporates a Return of the Jedi reference]. (That’s not how puns work! Oh really? You’re cold?)

3DS download software

The Battle Cats POP! (PONOS | available 6/27) – Fans of adorably cute kittens and mildly strategic tower defense games have a lot to be happy about this week, as the 2012 mobile hit The Battle Cats has finally been purrted for 3DS owners. The premise is simple: Grow your army of fighting felines and take down hordes of whimsically hilarious enemies all around the world in an epic quest for treasure and smug superiority! Despite an overly simplistic battle and leveling system, there’s a surprising amount of content here for those who seek it, with hundreds of rare and exotic cats to discover and collect. Better yet, and unlike its mobile brethren, there are no in-app purchases whatsoever, meaning the entire arsenal of kitty compatriots are at your disposal for no additional cost. In light of this fact, it’s unclear at the moment how much it will cost when it releases later this week, but my guess is anywhere between $2 and $6.

Rubik’s Cube (Cypronia, $4.99) – Expect the exact same game released today on the Wii U, though at double the price. Why you ask? My guess is portability comes at a premium. I mean, have you ever tried fitting a Rubik’s Cube in your pocket? Cargo shorts aside, this may be a good option for getting your three dimensional puzzle solving fix on the go.

Unholy Heights (Bergsala Lightweight LLC, $6) – Unholy heights is a bizarrely unique mashup of tower defense and apartment management simulation games (yes, you read that correctly). You play as the devil moonlighting as a landlord as he suckers monsters into moving in his recently purchased tenement building. Each monster has its own procedurally generated lifestyle and routine, and it’s your job to charge them rent and keep them happy by being diligently attentive to their needs. Humans will occasionally catch wind of your devious plans for suburban domination, in which case you can rally your demonic tenants to fight back and protect their new home. If the prospect of watching lovingly hand drawn monsters and humans slaughtering each other over the price of rent puts a smile on your face, give this charmingly refreshing indie title a spin.

3DS Virtual Console

Super Ghouls ’n Ghosts (Capcom, $7.99) – The third game in the devilishly difficult Ghosts ‘n Goblins series, Super Ghouls ‘N Ghosts is a side scrolling run and gun platformer hell-bent on trying your patience and crushing your soul every chance it gets. Donning little more than a suit of armor and an unflattering pair of boxer briefs, the valiant knight Sir Arthur must once again battle hordes of the undead to rescue the kidnapped princess Guinevere from the demon king Astaroth. While most players will be turned off by its old school challenge, the incredible level design, imaginative enemies and gripping gameplay help secure it as one of the best platformers the SNES has to offer.


3DS Pre-purchase

BOXBOXBOY! (Nintendo, $4.99 | available 6/30) – Get ready to once again think outside the box, as Qbby’s next adventure in puzzling looms ever closer to hitting western shores! Now armed with the power to create two sets of boxes, players will have to master new tricks and formations to overcome the the various obstacles and challenges presented in its 120 brain tickling levels. Best of all, if you’ve already played the critically acclaimed original, every costume earned can be carried over to the sequel. Pre-purchase right now so you can jump into the action without delay upon the game’s release on June 30th.

3DS special offers and deals

Legend of Legacy ($29.99 | 25% off) until 7/4
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked ($9.99 | 66% off) until 7/4
Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains ($14.99 | 50% off) until 7/4
Another World – 20th Anniversary Edition ($2.40 | 69% off0 until 7/7
Mutant Mudds Super Challenge ($6.99 | 30% off) until 6/30
Xeodrifter ($4.99 | 50% off) until 6/30
Moon Chronicles ($4.49 | 50% off) until 6/30
Dementium Remastered ($7.49 | 50% off) until 6/30
The Legend of Dark Witch ($2.79 | 30% off) until 6/30
Goosebumps: The Game ($14.99 | 50% off) until 7/11
Big Hero 6 Battle in the Bay ($9.99 | 50% off) until 7/11
Disney Frozen: Olaf’s Quest ($9.99 | 50% off) until 7/11
Darts Up 3D ($0.99 | 66% off) until 7/21
Jewel Match 3 ($3.99 | 42% off) until 6/30
Turtle Tale ($1.49 | 50% off) until 6/30
Parking Star 3D ($1.99 | 33% off) until 7/14
Quell Reflect ($2.79 | 30% off) until 7/14
Snow Moto Racing 3D ($3.99 | 50% off) until 6/30
Classic Games Overload: Card & Puzzle Edition ($14.99 | 50% off) until 7/6
Fairune ($2.99 | 33% off) until 7/7
Farming Simulator 3D ($2.49 | 75% off) until 6/30

Check Nintendo’s website for the full list of deals available.

What games will you be downloading this week? Be sure to let us know in the comments!

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Written by Matthew Weidner

When it comes to playing and writing about video games, Matthew aspires to be the very best, like no one ever was. Writing for Nintendo Wire and the thought of one day finally achieving a perfect, no death Super Meat Boy run fills him with determination.