VC and WiiWare releases for the week of 6/16/08

Sometimes I think it’s unfair that Nintendo is releasing the VC and WiiWare games in the same press release. I mean, how are games like Block Breaker Deluxe (Gameloft, 1-2 players, Rated E for Everyone-Mild Suggestive Themes, 800 Wii Points) and Cocoto Fishing Master (Neko Entertainment, 1 player, Rated E for Everyone, 700 Wii Points), both coming out today for WiiWare, supposed to compete with classic games like this week’s VC release SAMURAI SHODOWN (NEOGEO, 1-2 players, Rated T for Teen-Animated Blood, Crude Humor, Violence, 900 Wii Points)? See, you hear about these together and you know you’re going for the classic game that everyone loves – easy choice. How are these poor WiiWare games supposed to compete?

It might help if one of them wasn’t Block Breaker Deluxe. This is just Brick Breaker for Christ’s sake! You can play it online for free in a million different variations. How has every other early gaming experience evolved into something deeper or died out yet Brick Breaker still has iteration after iteration released of it with little to no change? It’s like the Encino Man of the gaming world, frozen in ice and waking up in a strange world where people try to dress it up in clothes that don’t fit it. This version has trendy night club backgrounds, you say? It’s still a ball bouncing off a paddle into some bricks, you tools! My Atari can handle that, why would I want to pay for it on my Wii!?

OK, breathe. Settle down. At least the second game, Cocoto Fishing Master, seems somewhat original and possibly enticing to those who like fishing. From the description the game seems to function pretty much like the fishing mini-game in Twilight Princess but has a story and plot of its own involving traveling a mystical world to catch the five millennial fish. You play as Cocoto, whose full name must be Cocoto Fishing Master or else the title would have a colon in it, and must save the world from some sort of overflowing lava bowl. I actually enjoy fishing mini-games but I don’t think I like them enough to have it be the only thing in the game. Might be a fun twist on fishing if you’re looking for one.

Samurai Shodown might be one of my favorite fighting games and I probably only played it a handful of times in the arcades. I loved that you could lose your weapon and thought the often copied rage meter was brilliant. With the impending doom of arcades and the fact that most people don’t own a NEOGEO home console, this is going to be one of the best chances to play a fighting game that literally helped define the genre. So pick it up at 9 a.m. Pacific time when all three games go live.