This week in the Nintendo eShop: Fire Emblem Echoes storms hearts, Disgaea 5 threatens social lives, and Thumper reminds us maniacal floating heads are creepy.
It’s another gloomy week for eShop deals. Terraria and Xeodrifter are still up to 75% off on your choice of console, though my personal pick for this week would have to be forma.8. For those not in the know, the game’s a beautiful merge of both PixelJunk Shooter and classic Metroid gameplay with an emphasis on exploration and isolation, best depicted through a complete lack of hand-holding and clever use of its abstract, silhouetted art style reminiscent of Badlands or Limbo. Again, I highly recommend it to anyone eagerly awaiting Samus’ next adventure.
Disgaea 5 Complete (NIS America, $59.99 | available 5/23) – The definitive edition of Disgaea 5 sets its crosshairs for the Switch early next week! It’s one of the best tactical JRPGS around thanks in large part to its lighthearted story, quirky sense of humor, zany characters and highly strategic gameplay, not to mention commitment to providing all previously released downloadable content in one convenient package. Not convinced of its sheer awesomeness? Ricky Berg — SRPG cool dood that he is — recently tossed a few Prinnies through Disgaea 5’s hellishly delightful Netherworld, praising the underdog tale of vengeance for featuring depth and difficulty befitting its demonic inspirations.
SWITCH DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE
Thumper (Drool LLC, $19.99) – Here’s a sentence I never thought I’d say in my lifetime: Prepare to don the carapace of a rhythmic space beetle as you brave breakneck speeds through a hellish void fueled by the nightmares of every innocent creature torched under the sunbeam of your sadistic cousin’s magnifying glass. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. More simply put, Thumper’s a precision-based rhythm game with a devilishly sophisticated one-button control scheme that’s bound to hook its pincers in you. We already lost one poor soul — our resident ghostbuster Jaxson Tapp — to its terrifyingly addictive abyss, who swears violently careening down an otherworldly track towards a giant, spiked skull has never felt more enjoyable.
Arcade Archives – Galaxy Fight: Universal Warriors (Hamster Corporation, $7.99) – Surprise! It’s another retro 2D fighter for all you Neo Geo fans to diligently collect. While lacking the oomph to dethrone Mortal Kombat and Killer Instinct back in its arcade heyday, Galaxy Fight still proves unique enough to be a worthy brawler for die hard fans of the genre. For starters, each and every attack feels original and perfectly suited to its particular character, and indefinite screen scrolling meaning there’s no using the environment for cornering opponents to your advantage. It’s over-the-top sense of humor isn’t lost on me either, featuring busty anthropomorphic furries, space ninjas, killer rabbits, German space lizards named Gunter, and a giant frowning punching bag winkingly outfitted with Ryu’s signature bandana — which is pretty much the same emotion I feel every time I’m reminded of Ultra Street Fighter II’s price on Switch.
ARMS Global Testpunch – (Nintendo, Free) – Last night’s ARMS Direct deluge blew the lid off Nintendo’s fledgling fisticuffed fighter with a flurry of rapid fire reveals — one of which included the unveiling of an online Global Testpunch event! Be sure to boot up your Switch and download the app immediately so you’re ready to enter the ring swinging when the limited time demo goes live in two weeks time.
Disgaea 5 Complete (NIS America, Free) – Curious whether Disgaea’s unique brand of humor falls in line with your own? Fortunately, there’s a free demo just waiting to be booted up by such a renowned tactician as yourself. Just make sure to clear your calendar and put the rest of your backlog on hold for the next few months.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (Nintendo, $39.99 | available 5/19) – The wait is finally over, Fire Emblem fans! The reimagined strategy RPG epic is upon us, chronicling the intertwining stories of Alm and Celica in their journey to bring an end to war and unify Valentia. Word around the web is full of praise thanks to the Gaiden remake’s engaging story, memorable characters and multifaceted gameplay that remains both faithful to series staples while still taking enough risk to carve out its own identity. We’ll be sure to get our review up for you guys as soon as possible, but I think it’s safe to say series and strategy fans alike won’t want to pass up this masterful melding of modern and legacy Fire Emblem gameplay the second it goes live later tonight.
3DS DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE
Cooking Mama: Sweet Shop (Rising Star Games, $29.99) – It’s been a long time coming, but Mama finally returns to digital kitchens, cooking up a storm of delectable treats and candied sweets! Budding sous chefs put their culinary chops to the test in over 160 food-filled minigames using the 3DS’ stylus and microphone to cool, slice, bake and decorate their confectionary creations. There’s even a multiplayer mode for competitive cook-offs between two to four players to find out who’s the true iron chef of palatable pastries. If simulation games make your mouth water and you believe ice cream sandwiches are the most important meal of the day, grab your finest mixing bowl and join Mama in the kitchen for some truly delicious desserts.
Drancia Saga (Circle Entertainment, $5.00) – eShop enthusiasts impressed with Flyhigh Works’ fantastic Switch adventure game Kamiko might want to perk their ears for this one. Drancia Saga is a fast and frantic action arcade title boasting serious retro vibes that harken back to the 8 and 16-bit era. Its shortburst level design and simple gameplay mechanic of plunging through foes with an ever-extended sword is perfectly suited for on-the-go play, with a healthy dose of RPG-lite elements such as gaining experience and upgradeable skill trees thrown in for good measure. There’s even a host of unlockable indie crossover characters should you happen to have their respective games installed on your 3DS, most notably from the Gunman Clive and Legend of Dark Witch series.
Mysterious Stars 3D: A Fairy Tale (Collavier Corporation, $7.99) – Great news fans of broken English and children’s activity books: That wish you made last night on a shooting star to combine the two came true! In Mysterious Stars 3D, intrepid star gazers map out constellations in typical Connect the Dots fashion using the 3DS stylus. Once complete, these celestial paintings are brought to life and can be used as decorations for your room because apparently the game’s protagonist — a poor and lonely little girl from Medieval Europe — can’t live a “wonderful life” without the aid of material possessions. If that sounds at all confusing, don’t worry. Star God is here to show you how to how to play, talented you! Also, the Dark Queen is totally a dude, right?
Mysterious Stars 3D: Road To Idol (Collavier Corporation, $5.99) – Pretty much the same game as above, though presumably with completely different constellations to map out. This time, however, you’re helping a completely different little girl with a serious case of derp eye reach for the stars and fulfill her dream of becoming a pop idol (or something) that conveniently also requires the aid of divine gods with a giving nature for earthly goods.
NEW 3DS DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE
DodgeBox (Bidement Entertainment, $1.50) – Where do I even start. The red flags are dropping hotter than Lava Bubbles on this one — from its inconsistent font choice to harrowingly generic geometric texture models. DodgeBox is just another blip in a long line of barely functional mobile monstrosities tasked with endlessly performing some basic task (avoiding falling blocks) until you eventually mess up (get hit by said falling blocks). Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with the genre, but shallow cash grabs like these lacking a modicum of pride or polish feel far more suited as free, ad-riddled mobile games. Seriously, we have a better chance of finally learning the number of licks needed to reach the center of Tootsie Pops than understanding how these barely functional “video games” keep getting greenlit as New 3DS exclusives. The world may never know.
3DS ADD-ON CONTENT
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia – Season Pass – (Nintendo, $44.99 | available 5/19) – Fire Emblem Echoes is set to receive an entire battalion of DLC packs in the months to come. For those that already plan on purchasing all five, Nintendo’s making a Season Pass readily available right out of the (Outrealm) gate. While that price tag may sound steep, consider the fact you’ll be saving more than 30% versus buying each piece of content individually. Not too shabby, if you ask me.
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia – DLC Pack #1: Fledgling Warriors (Nintendo, $7.99 | available 5/19) – This first bundle includes stages and dungeons specifically designed to help novice warriors get a leg up in the opening stages of their adventure with maps tailored for farming items, gold and experience points at an accelerated rate.
3DS HOME MENU THEMES
Fire Emblem Echoes: Alm’s Army ($1.99 | available 5/19)
Fire Emblem Echoes: Celica’s Army ($1.99 | available 5/19)
WII U RETAIL
Darksiders: Warmastered Edition (Nordic Games, $19.99 | available 5/23) – It’s been a long time coming, but the original Darksiders’ souped-up port finally rides for war-torn Wii U consoles next week. Perhaps a little too ironic for one of the Wii U’s final retail releases (Axiom Verge will be holding that illustrious honor come this summer), Darksiders boasts a post-apocalyptic tale of otherworldly struggle between angels, demons and all manner of mythical monstrosities. It plays like a cross between Legend of Zelda’s dungeons and God of War’s control scheme, resulting in a solid action-adventure experience that’s not to be missed.
WII U DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE
PINBALL (RCMADIAX, $1.49) – PINBALL is described by the developers as “classic pinball gameplay with a twist,” which in all honesty looks to be true if completely stripping the spectacle and excitement from a bedazzling pinball machine to a lifeless husk devoid of any sense of personality constitutes a twist. Unless the Microsoft Paint of pinball sounds like the tedious type of gameplay you normally strive for, keep your quarters tucked for any of today’s monumentally better offerings.
WII U VIRTUAL CONSOLE
Blazing Lazers (Konami, $5.99) – Blazing Lazers (yup, that’s not a typo) is a vertical-scrolling shmup praised for surpassing the limitations of the TurboGrafx-16 back in 1989. Many fans consider it one of the best shooters on the market, thanks to bold and colorful graphics, fast-scrolling backgrounds and a bangin’ futuristic soundtrack. The lack of slowdown is particularly impressive, especially considering it was one of the fastest games for the turbo powered hardware back in that era. If a spacefaring journey through bullet hell and back sounds like your typical Thursday afternoon, take this intense Super Star Soldier inspired shooter for a spin.
SPECIAL OFFERS AND DEALS
[3DS] Terraria ($9.99 | 50% off) until 5/25
[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] Chronus Arc ($4.99 | 50% off) until 5/25
[3DS] Azada ($1.00 | 83% off) until 5/25
[3DS] Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst ($1.00 | 83% off) until 5/25
[3DS] Bomb Monkey ($0.74 | 75% off) until 6/1
[3DS] Defend Your Crypt ($2.39 | 20% off) until 5/25
[3DS] Castle Conqueror EX ($1.99 | 50% off) until 6/8
[3DS] Sword & Soldiers 3D ($3.99 | 50% off) until 6/8
[Wii U] forma.8 ($7.49 | 50% off) until 5/25
[Wii U] Terraria ($14.99 | 50% off) until 5/25
[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] Swap Fire ($7.49 | 50% off) until 5/27
[Wii U] Soul Axiom ($7.49 | 50% off) until 6/15
[Wii U] B3 Game Expo for Bees ($3.99 | 20% off) until 5/31
[Wii U] Bit Dungeon+ ($3.00 | 50% off) until 5/25
[Wii U] Defend Your Crypt ($2.39 | 20% off) until 5/25
Check Nintendo’s website for the full list of deals available.
Alm & Celica: Fire Emblem (Nintendo, $19.99 | available 5/19)
Nintendo Switch Dock Set (Nintendo, $89.99 | available 5/19)
What games will you be downloading this week? Be sure to let us know in the comments!