VC and WiiWare releases for the week of 5/26/08

Evidently, including Nintendo, the rest of the world didn’t get the memo that the US was on vacation and as such there are not only two new WiiWare games, Dr. Mario Online Rx (Nintendo, 1-4 players, Rated E for Everyone, 1,000 Wii Points) and Family Table Tennis (Aksys Games, 1-2 players, Rated E for Everyone, 500 Wii Points), but also two new Virtual Console games, City Connection (NES, 1-2 players, Rated E for Everyone – Comic Mischief, Tobacco Reference, 500 Wii Points) and Metal Slug (NEOGEO, 1-2 players, Rated T for Teen – Blood, Violence, 900 Wii Points). In fact I’d argue that Nintendo has completely ignored Memorial Day altogether considering this is one of the best weeks ever for downloadable games that the Wii has had.

To start we get a new Dr. Mario with a multitude of gameplay options including online battle. I got a chance to play this on a Japanese Wii and it’s pretty much Dr. Mario you know and love but now with Miis. But there is more since they’ve also included a “Wii version” that plays alot like the Dr. Mario found in Brain Age 2. This is my new preferred method of playing the game since it adds some pretty intriguing game mechanics including being able to move pieces that fall after being placed.

Family Table Tennis, which I also played is like Wii Tennis but a bit faster and some strange sort of family competition/incest thrown in. You play as Daddy, Mommy, Sarah or Billy (and yes the parents are only known as Daddy or Mommy) and hit the ball back and forth. I was impressed by speed and accuracy the game showed when I got my hands on it and was pleased it detected whether I was swinging with a backhand or forehand. It’s really promising to me that even the shovelware, which is where I would firmly plant any game involving the words family and table tennis, on WiiWare is actually well developed and fun.

In the annals of games designed around products there are truly a slim amount of quality titles. Cool Spot comes to mind as one of the best and a few others get brought up here and there. City Connection does not. Partly because the Honda City is only a Japanese car and partly because the game is only decent. Graphics are pathetic by most standards but I remember being challenged like none other when I played this one. I also remember swearing that if I ever lived in Japan I wouldn’t buy a City.

The last game is Metal Slug. Go buy it.

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