This week in the Nintendo eShop: Blaster Master reboots for duty, VOEZ puts your rhythmic tappings to the test, and Bomberman 64 keeps the Wii U’s fuse lit.
Having just launched last week, it may be a while before we see a sale for Switch software (crosses fingers for Super Bomberman R), but fortunately, Wii U and 3DS owners have a couple noteworthy bargains in the bin to sift through.
Wii U owners can actually pick up a pretty awesome game for the next month, completely free of charge! A Wii U exclusive first-person shooter with lofty ambitions to redefine the genre, Swap Fire is designed with a heavy emphasis on couch-multiplayer co-op. Players shoot each other with teleporters in order to swap positions in an effort to trick your opponent off the edge of the map. It’s a simple, yet intuitive mechanic that’s utilized in many different ways over nine unique multiplayer modes, requiring a healthy mix of psychology, strategy and reflexes to best your opponents.
On 3DS, a bunch of leftovers from last week’s Atlus offerings are still on sale, including up to 33% off Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse and Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan. Act fast, as they’re only sticking around until March 13th!
SWITCH DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE
Blaster Master Zero (Inti Creates, $9.99) – Classic Blaster Master returns in this 8-bit style action-adventure game, hearkening back to the golden age of the NES. For the uninitiated, Blaster Master is essentially a beautiful marriage of Contra’s shooting mechanics and Metroid’s unique sense of exploration. A pseudo reboot of the 1988 original, Zero recaptures series side scrolling platforming/top down shooter gameplay in faithful fashion while still managing to feel every bit as fresh and exciting today as it did three decades ago. A slew of new areas, bosses, and power-ups merely serve as icing on the cake, not to mention the incorporation of HD Rumble features and a new two player cooperative mode. Be sure to give this nostalgic blast from the past a shot while you impatiently wait for the Switch’s Virtual Console to roll out sometime later this year.
VOEZ (Flyhigh Works, $25.00) – A colorful rhythmic game oozing with visual flair, VOEZ tasks players with touching falling notes in time with music. All the action is focused on the touch screen, testing your reflexes and rhythmic prowess via the skillful tappings of your fingertips. Imagine Guitar Hero’s lane based structure, only the playing field is constantly in a state of flux depending on the flow of music. Best of all, and despite content being sporadically released over time for its mobile device counterpart, a purchase here on Switch nets you the entire 100+ song soundtrack right from the start. Be sure to check out our full review, written by Nintendo Wire’s unapologetic Elite Beat Agents fanboy and rhythm genre enthusiast: Tom Brown.
Arcade Archives Neo Geo Series (Hamster Corporation, $7.99 each) – Arcade Archives, a series of emulated arcade machine games from the 1980s and 1990s, makes its Switch debut in North America today. Today’s offerings focus on their Neo Geo series, featuring six coin-op classics. Fans of 2D fighters and side scrolling shooters in particular will surely want to check out some of the titles listed below:
3DS DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE
Blaster Master Zero (Inti Creates, $9.99) – Classic Blaster Master returns in this 8-bit style action-adventure game, hearkening back to the golden age of the NES. For the uninitiated, Blaster Master is essentially a beautiful marriage of Contra’s shooting mechanics and Metroid’s unique sense of exploration. A pseudo reboot of the 1988 original, Zero recaptures series side scrolling platforming/top down shooter gameplay in faithful fashion while still managing to feel every bit as fresh and exciting today as it did three decades ago. A slew of new areas, bosses, and power-ups merely serve as icing on the cake, not to mention the incorporation of HD Rumble features and a new two player cooperative mode. Be sure to give this nostalgic blast from the past a shot, especially given the 3DS’ anemic Virtual Console release schedule as of late.
Frontier Days: Founding Pioneers (Circle Entertainment, $5.99) – A town building simulation game in the vein of Age of Empires or Sim City, albeit in much simpler fashion. Despite a two-and-a-half minute video going into the many features and modes available, it’s difficult to pin down exactly how engaging the gameplay is or whether there’s an objective beyond merely constructing an adorably animated civilization from scratch. If boar attacks alone prove your town’s biggest threat at global domination, as the video would suggest, I’m not sure how long the game will be able to hold your attention. I’d probably be more intrigued if the animation wasn’t so… meh. Still, Arc System Works rarely disappoints, so it may very well be worth your time for genre enthusiasts seeking a simulation-lite good time.
Mini Sports Collection (Rainy Frog, $4.99) – Need a sports fix to tide you over while you wait for Mario Sports Superstars later this month? Mini Sports Collection probably won’t be filling that void. There are 12 different sports games to master, each of which focus on a single aspect of the activity it’s trying to mimic. Don’t expect any of them to be fully featured, as it’s pretty much a smattering of minigames in the vein of WarioWare, complete with an arcadey vibe and goofy presentation. In all honestly, We’ve seen these bite-sized offerings done better in many other games before. Duck Hunt, Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball and Wii Sports immediately come to mind, not to mention several Rhythm Heaven minigames like Exhibition Match and Rhythm Rally. Give it a shot if you love the sports genre, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
NEW 3DS DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE
PINK DOT BLUE DOT (RCMADIAX, $1.49) – Spotting an RCMADIAX game from the eShop’s offerings each week is beginning to feel a lot like picking out criminals from a police lineup. Liberal use of capitalization in the title? Check. 3DS exclusive that looks like it was hastily doodled in Microsoft Paint? Check. Cryptic description that gives no real indication of how the game plays until after somebody’s foolishly forked over the cash? Double Check. I mean seriously, what exactly is a “variation of the classic game of keeping colored dots in sync” supposed to mean anyway? More importantly, what classic game are they referencing? These questions alone are more than enough reasons to keep your wallets safely nestled in the deepest depths of your back pocket.
3DS ADD-ON CONTENT
Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 – New Song – Stratosphere (Inti Creates, $0.99) – Includes a synth recipe for an item that plays the song Stratosphere by Joule and Lola when 1000+ Kudos are obtained. Additionally, the amount of credits and experience points you earn are increased by 150%.
Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 – GV1 Song Sets (Inti Creates, $0.99 each) – Each individual set comes with two new songs by Lumen:
- GV1 Song Set #1: Beyond the Blue & Rouge Shimmer
- GV1 Song Set #2: Azure Door & Pain of the Past
- GV1 Song Set #3: Sakura Efflorescence & A Zip to the Moon
- GV1 Song Set #4: Nebulous Clock & Scorching Journey
Each pack also includes synth recipes for items that play the song when 1000+ Kudos are obtained. Additionally, the amount of credits and experience points you earn are increased by 150%.
Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 – Additional Mission Packs (Inti Creates, $1.99 each) – Purchase sets of special missions for Score Attack Mode that pit you against boss characters from the original Azure Striker Gunvolt.
- Mission Set #1 – Merak & Carrera
- Mission Set #2 – Jota & Elise
- Mission Set #3 – Viper & Stratos
- Mission Set #4 – Ultimate Challenge
Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 – Speedrun Mode (Inti Creates, $1.99) – Challenge yourself to complete the game as fast as you can in this new mode! No Prevasion, synthing, or saving allowed!
Mario Sports Superstars (Nintendo, $39.99 | available 3/24) – Who needs actual physical activity when Mario can run around outside for you? (Let’s face it, he could use the exercise.) We’re just two weeks away from this nifty collection of mushroom powered sporting events making it stateside. Soccer, Tennis, Golf, Baseball and Horse Racing make the cut this time around, and each one is sure to keep those adrenal glands pumped while you wait for spring to blossom and the snow to melt. The latter event makes its Mario Sports debut and is surprisingly deep, complete with stable building and horse training mechanics. Pre-purchase today so you don’t have to wait for ungodly long downloads when it finally launches on March 24th.
WII U DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE
Blue-Collar Astronaut (Mutated Software, $10.00) – It’s the year 2XXX. Hoverboards are finally a thing and intergalactic space travel is within our grasp. Crippled by student debt, it’s time you finally put that degree in astrophysics to good use by… delivering pizzas? Enter Blue-Collar Astronaut: a game about ditching your major and performing odd jobs throughout the galaxy in a barely functional spacecraft. Humorous name and compelling premise aside, the game’s unfortunately plagued by frustrating controls and repetitive levels, making it hard to wholeheartedly recommend. On the plus side, there’s a wide variety of missions available within multiple game modes, and both the hand drawn art and original soundtrack really help sell the game’s charming demeanor and lighthearted tone. I just wish the gameplay itself was more exciting and not as much a drag as delivery jobs are in the real world.
Candy Hoarder (Nitrolic Games, $1.49) – Tell me if this description sounds familiar. In Candy Hoarder, players match candy with other candy by swiping in multiple directions to obtain the highest score. Surprisingly enough, it doesn’t actually play anything like that other candy game you are no doubt thinking of, though that fact isn’t necessarily doing it any favors. Visually, the game’s downright appalling, with what could have been vibrant confectionary delights merely depicted as boring colored circles. Gameplay is extremely one-note as well, reminiscent of the mediocre drivel RCMADIAX pumps out each and every week. Trust me, you’re better off hoarding your cash for a real candy stash.
WII U VIRTUAL CONSOLE
Bomberman 64 (Konami, $9.99) – Fresh off the bomb-kicking heels of his explosive Switch debut, the bodacious bomber’s very first 3D adventure lights a fuse on Wii U Virtual consoles. This 1997 3D adventure lit the Nintendo 64 on fire back in its heyday thanks to the game’s charming personality, new gameplay mechanics and intense multiplayer mode. It was the first Bomberman game fully rendered in isometric 3D, posing unique opportunities for inventive puzzles and vertical challenges never before seen in its two-dimensional predecessors. Best of all, it took all these design risks while maintaining the unique qualities rooted in the series’ popularity. To this day, raging in frantic multiplayer mayhem with all three of my siblings huddled around our tiny CRT TV remains one of my fondest childhood memories. Whether a rookie or connoisseur in the art of fuse-based weapons combat, give this classic a shot if Super Bomberman R’s price tag sets off a nuclear holocaust in your soul.
SPECIAL OFFERS AND DEALS
[3DS] Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse ($39.99 | 20% off) until 3/13
[3DS] Shin Megami Tensei IV ($14.99 | 25% off) until 3/13
[3DS] Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked ($9.99 | 66% off) until 3/20
[3DS] Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan ($19.99 | 33% off) until 3/13
[3DS] Etrian Mystery Dungeon ($19.99 | 33% off) until 3/20
[3DS] Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars ($9.99 | 66% off) until 3/13
[3DS] Citizens of Earth ($4.49 | 70% off) until 3/13
[3DS] Citizens of Earth ($4.49 | 70% off) until 3/13
[3DS] Mercenaries Saga 2 ($3.99 | 20% off) until 3/16
[3DS] Kingdom’s Item Shop ($3.99 | 20% off) until 3/16
[3DS] Adventure Bar Story ($4.79 | 20% off) until 3/16
[3DS] Adventure Labyrinth Story ($3.99 | 20% off) until 3/16
[3DS] Conveni Dream ($3.99 | 20%) until 3/16
[3DS] The Keep ($7.99 | 38%) until 3/16
[3DS] Turtle Tale ($1.49 | 50% off) until 3/23
[Wii U] Swap Fire (Free | 100% off) until 4/9
[Wii U] Citizens of Earth ($4.49 | 70% off) until 3/13
[Wii U] Soul Axiom ($5.99 | 60% off) until 3/17
[Wii U] Turtle Tale ($1.49 | 50% off) until 3/23
[Wii U] Fit Music ($12.90 | 35% off) until 3/30
[Wii U] Dungeon Hearts DX ($4.99 | 50% off) until 3/30
[Wii U] Master Reboot ($4.49 | 70% off) until 3/23
[Wii U] Queen’s Garden ($4.89 | 30% off) until 3/16
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!