This week in the Nintendo eShop: NBA Playgrounds talks smack, Blazing Star tests your fail levels and Bonk’s Revenge headbutts Wii U VIrtual Consoles.
There are some pretty decent deals being offered this week for indie game fans. Whether on 3DS or Wii U, both Mutant Mudds Super Challenge and Xeodrifter are just $2.49 a piece, a 75% savings for some truly epic platformers. JRPG action title Gurumin 3D: A Monstrous Adventure is also getting a noteworthy slash in pricing, down to just $9.99. We here at Nintendo Wire loved it, scoring it fairly high for its lighthearted plot, endearing characters and undeniable charm.
SWITCH DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE
NBA Playgrounds (Saber Interactive Incorporated, $19.99 | available 5/9) – Get ready sportsball fans: the two-on-two spiritual successor to NBA Jam dribbles onto the Switch next week! Featuring a robust roster of legendary NBA superstars and enough outdoor trash talk to scare your mom into shipping you off to your auntie and uncle in Bel-Air, Playgrounds is sure to delight fans of B-ball bouncing bobbleheads the world over. Best of all, it features both local and online multiplayer, so you can put your ridiculously flashy skills to the ultimate test and become master of the playground. While I’m generally not a huge fan of sports games, the arcadey vibe, fantasy physics and nostalgic throwbacks have me intrigued, proving a slam dunk for sports ball noobs and pros alike.
Arcade Archives – Blazing Star (Hamster Corporation, $7.99) – This week’s classic Neo Geo title is the amazing 1998 side-scrolling shooter and sequel to Pulstar: Blazing Star. Much like what Metal Slug did for the run-and-gun genre, the fast and frantic arcade action pretty much epitomizes the cream of the shoot ‘em up crop thanks to its tight, responsive controls, pseudo-3D prerendered sprites, invigorating techno soundtrack and gorgeous anime-style cutscenes. If you were to only pick one Neo Geo game to grace your Nintendo Switch, this would be my sole recommendation.
Fun fact: While nearly impossible to pinpoint the very first reference, some online circles attribute the now infamous FAIL meme to the cult classic shmup, courtesy of its wonderfully terrible Japanese-to-English translations. Crash and burn too often or fail to beat a stage in time and prepare to be mocked by the hilariously debilitating phrase “You fail it! Your skill is not enough! See you next time! Bye bye!” Yup, that’s a real sentence that exists.
Blaster Master Zero (Inti Creates, Free) – Classic Blaster Master returns in this 8-bit style action-adventure game, hearkening back to the golden age of the NES. If Ricky Berg’s glowing review failed to sway you, download the free demo today and give this pseudo reboot of the 1988 original a shot.
SWITCH ADD-ON CONTENT
Blaster Master Zero (Inti Creates, Free) – A ton of free DLC is hitting both the Switch and 3DS versions of Inti Creates’ nostalgic blast from the past this week. Outside the addition of a painstakingly difficult hard mode, EX character mode will be adding tons of new characters to play through the game as — starting with Azure Striker’s Gunvolt and Gal*Gun’s Ekoro. Each character will be free for a two week period before shifting to a $1.99 price point, so make sure to jump on this special deal now before it’s too late.
NEW 3DS DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE
Infinite Golf (Petite Games, $1.99) – As the title would imply, this 2D golf game is on par to place endless putt-putt challenge in your back pocket. Taking great inspiration from the runner genre, you’re given three attempts to sink your ball in each of the game’s infinitely spawning holes before it’s game over, besting your own high scores in old school, arcade fashion. Unfortunately, the developer’s description is extremely vague regarding details, like whether stages are randomly generated or the control method used to swing your clubs. Do you simply tap and hold a button using a power meter like the Mario Golf series, conduct a flurry of calculated swipes on the touchscreen using the stylus, or have to master some sort of entirely new and intuitive control scheme? Without a proper summary or gameplay footage to fawn over, maybe hold onto those two bucks for a game that’s less ambiguous.
Triple Breakout (nuGAME, $4.99) – I wish I could tell you something cool and enticing about nuGAME’s seventh brick breaker to slam into the Nintendo eShop. By the looks of it, this latest rendition once again combines traditional breakout mechanics with Pong… and that’s about it. Right down to the copy-pasted developer description, nothing regarding the presentation, concept and even number of bounce pads (two by my count) were altered from its predecessors, which begs the question: Just what in the heck is the word “triple” in the title referring to? Triple the regret for wasting both your valuable time and money? Do yourself a favor and put those five bucks towards anything else. I hear Blazing Star is pretty epic… Just sayin’.
Blaster Master Zero (Inti Creates, Free) – Just like on Nintendo Switch, classic Blaster Master returns in this 3DS version of the 8-bit style action-adventure game, hearkening back to the golden age of the NES. If Ricky Berg’s glowing review failed to sway you, download the free demo today and give this pseudo reboot of the 1988 original a shot.
3DS ADD-ON CONTENT
Blaster Master Zero (Inti Creates, Free) – A ton of free DLC is hitting both Switch and 3DS versions of Inti Creates’ nostalgic blast from the past this week. Outside the addition of a painstakingly difficult hard mode, EX character mode will be adding tons of new characters to play through the game as — starting with Azure Striker’s Gunvolt and Gal*Gun’s Ekoro. Each character will be free for a two week period before shifting to a $1.99 price point, so make sure to jump on this special deal now before it’s too late.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (Nintendo, $39.99 | available 5/19) – The wait is nearly over, Fire Emblem fans! The reimagined RPG epic is nearly upon us, chronicling the intertwining stories of Alm and Celica in their journey to bring an end to war and unify Valentia. Be sure to pre-purchase today so you can jump right into this masterful melding of modern and legacy Fire Emblem gameplay the moment it goes live on May 19th.
WII U DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE
WinKings (Lemondo Games, $9.99) – After a brief two week delay, the fast and frantic arena shooter WinKings (a clever play on Vikings) invades Wii U systems with terrific visuals and a rockin’ Nordic soundtrack. Donning the horned helmets of vicious Vikings, up to four players duke it out in close quarters combat until only one is victoriously left standing. Unsurprisingly, the single player features of the game are relatively lacking, with gameplay much more suited for a casual romp among friends. Other than that small quip, I’m personally a huge fan of the over-exaggerated art style and absurdity only a Viking-themed outer space 2D arena fighter could offer.
Citadale – The Legends Trilogy (Nitrolic Games, $9.00) – Penned as a return to your vampire hunting roots, the Citadale trilogy is a collection of Castlevania inspired 2D action platformers that tasks players with guiding Sonja Dorleac (practically an anagram for Dracula) through a dark fortress while fighting countless hordes of the undead. I’m actually fairly confused by what’s being packaged together here, as the original back in November launched with no mention of sequels or followups, yet here we are a few months later with a bundled trilogy. Some digging online proved just as fruitless, where all I discovered was another equally confused soul deep in the annals of a GameFaqs message board pondering the exact same question. Either way, considering the first chapter proved a short-lived experience that never quite reached the lofty standards of its whip wielding inspirations, you’re probably better off staking your bets elsewhere.
Triple Breakout (nuGAME, $4.99) – See the description on New 3DS systems above for all the juicy gossip on this lazy rehash. Sure, I could have detailed it again here, but to quote the wise words of Roger Murtaugh: I’m too old for this.
FIFTEEN (RCMADIAX, $1.49) – Released on New 3DS systems last month, RCMADIAX’s latest experiment in tile-based sliding puzzlers shuffles onto the Wii U today. Despite my complete abhorrence for the game type, I do surprisingly have to give props to the devs for FIFTEEN’s crisp, clean presentation. Each block features vividly vibrant, solid colored squares that really pop thanks to the darker toned backdrop. Though just like on its portable counterpart, the gameplay is insufferably tedious, consisting of the same 15 blocks to rearrange in a slightly different order for each run. Some sort of defining feature or intriguing twist could have went a long way in revitalizing the whole experience.
WII U VIRTUAL CONSOLE
Bonk’s Revenge (Konami, $5.99) – In this second installment of the short-lived Bonk series of platformers, our hard headed hero once again sets off on a lighthearted misadventure in prehistory, this time to recover half of the moon stolen by the evil King Drool III. (King Drool II must have been a fairly just ruler to breeze through his reign without a good bonking.) Just like its predecessor, Bonk powers up upon devouring morsels of meat, allowing him to freeze and stun enemies or turn completely invincible, spewing fiery flames that set ablaze any enemy foolish enough to get too close. While a tad brief and lacking in challenge, this 1991 Turbografx-16 title plays much like your average side-scrolling platformer of the time: charming, humorous and fun for both longtime genre enthusiasts and newcomers alike.
SPECIAL OFFERS AND DEALS
[3DS] Gurumin 3D: A Monstrous Adventure ($9.99 | 33% off) until 5/7
[3DS] Xeodrifter ($2.49 | 75% off) until 6/1
[3DS] Mutant Mudds Super Challenge ($2.49 | 75% off) until 6/1
[3DS] Mutant Mudds ($2.24 | 75% off) until 6/1
[3DS] Gunman Clive 2 ($1.49 | 50% off) until 5/16
[3DS] Fairune ($1.99 | 33% off) until 5/11
[3DS] Ambition of the Slimes ($2.99 | 40% off) until 5/18
[3DS] Lifespeed ($3.00 | 49% off) until 5/16
[3DS] Thorium Wars: Attack of the Skyfighter ($3.99 | 20% off) until 5/11
[3DS] Azada ($1.00 | 83% off) until 5/25
[3DS] Soccer Up 3D ($1.97 | 34% off) until 5/18
[3DS] Coaster Creator 3D ($5.99 | 25% off) until 5/11
[3DS] Ohno Odyssey ($2.49 | 37% off) until 5/11
[3DS] Puzzle Labyrinth ($2.99 | 40% off) until 5/18
[3DS] Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst ($1.00 | 83% off) until 5/25
[3DS] Castle Conqueror Defender ($2.99 | 40% off) until 5/18
[3DS] Bomb Monkey ($0.74 | 75% off) until 6/1
[Wii U] Gunman Clive HD Collection ($1.99 | 50% off) until 5/16
[Wii U] Xeodrifter ($2.49 | 75% off) until 6/1
[Wii U] Mutant Mudds Super Challenge ($2.49 | 75% off) until 6/1
[Wii U] Mutant Mudds Deluxe ($2.49 | 75% off) until 6/1
[Wii U] Trine Enchanted Edition ($7.49 | 50% off) until 5/18
[Wii U] Trine 2: Director’s Cut ($9.99 | 50% off) until 5/18
[Wii U] Nano Assault Neo ($7.49 | 25% off) until 5/18
[Wii U] Swap Fire ($7.49 | 50% off) until 5/27
[Wii U] Citadale ($2.50 | 50% off) until 5/11
[Wii U] Rorrim ($2.49 | 50% off) until 5/11
[Wii U] Back to Bed ($4.99 | 50% off) until 5/17
[Wii U] Gravity+ ($3.49 | 50% off) until 5/11
[Wii U] Ohayou! Beginner’s Japanese ($3.99 | 20% off) until 5/18
[Wii U] Bit Dungeon+ ($3.00 | 50% off) until 5/25
[Wii U] Tallowmere ($2.49 | 50% off) until 5/11
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!