The Nintendo Download – 7/12/12

The Nintendo eShop “8-Bit Summer” continues this week, but the oldschool goodness goes well beyond the confines of the eShop’s virtual walls, and those of the Nintendo 3DS as well! But don’t worry, not everything oldschool is… well, old. There are some new titles in here, and a modern classic inspired by those titles sees a discounted price for the weekend, too.

First up are our “8-Bit Summer” headliners, Kirby’s Pinball Land ($3.99) and The Sword of Hope ($2.99). In Kirby’s Pinball Land, one player gets to experience arcade-style action from 1993 as they help Kirby, now in a ball form, take on some familiar enemies in an unfamiliar way as he bounces through each pinball table-like stage.

In The Sword of Hope II, one player takes on an adventure-role playing game from 1996 as Prince Theo of Riccar sets out with his friends to solve a mystery which threatens his very kingdom. In a classic fashion, you’ll have to use specific menu-based commands such as “Look,” “Open,” and “Hit” to solve the puzzles laid before you.

This week’s big non-Virtual Console release is Johnny Kung Fu, a title inspired by a mix of oldschool games, including Nintendo’s own Game & Watch line of titles. This one is a single-player action adventure game that will run you $5.99, and I’ll have a review of it for you very soon.

The Game of the Weekend, which will go on sale for $2.99 ($3 off) at 9am PST/Noon EST on July 13th until Midnight EST on July 15th, is Mighty Switch Force. You can read all about it in my review for the Toronto Video Game Examiner. Since that review was written, new levels and features have been added, though it retains the same intense gameplay– something to take into consideration, as one of the original issues with the otherwise high-scoring game was that there may have been too few levels for some peoples’ taste.

Another Nintendo 3DS eShop release this week is Sweet Memories – Blackjack. For $3.99, this single-player “simulation” has you play blackjack against a number of Japanese high school girls in a poker club created by your character. It’s actually a card game with a story, a slightly unusual combination, and two different modes and an achievement gallery.

Two new titles available through both the Nintendo 3DS eShop and Nintendo DSiWare are Candle Route and Ace Mathician. Each game is $1.99 and made for one player, as well as boasting non-linear, multiple-solution puzzles.

In Candle Route, you’ll use your stylus to help Sparky make his way through 100 levels of puzzle/strategy to collect matches and light candles within a time limit. Ace Mathician is, surprisingly, an action-adventure game which has players use mathematical formulas to position platforms and help Ace the Koala reach fruit.

Before we get into this week’s WiiWare and Wii Virtual Console releases, some of you may be interested to know that Nickelodeon band Big Time Rush has a new video you can view for free on Nintendo Video called “Windows Down.”

The Sword of Hope II isn’t the only game from 1996 to be featured this week, as The King of Fighters ’96 lands on the Virtual Console. For 900 Wii Points, you and a friend can relive the fighting action as the best SNK has to offer, including warriors from Fatal Fury, Ikari Warriors, Psycho Soldier, and Art of Fighting, give it their all for the ultimate victory.

KOF’96 introduces new elements over previous installments as well, including mid-air blocking, dodging forward and backward flips, and different jumping heights. “This title got rid of the idea of projectile spamming as an effective approach,” notes the press release, “and it marked a major turning point in the series.”

Joining Johnny Kung Fu in the “old but new” category is this week’s WiiWare release, Frogger Hyper Arcade Edition from Konami. For 700 Wii Points, you get the arcade classic reimagined in a style befitting the Namco Generations line of titles, such as Pac-Man Championship Edition and Galaga Legions. Up to four players can compete in a variety of new modes which retain the gameplay of the original game, and you can even choose between four unlockable skins, including some which recall other Konami classics such as Contra and Castlevania.

And that’s everything for this week. For more information on each title, just click on the corresponding link above.


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David Oxford

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you're interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at)