Nintendo’s long awaited downloadable games channel, WiiWare, launched this week. Different from the “Virtual Console,” which allows you to download old-school games from other consoles, WiiWare games are all new titles developed specifically for the Wii and take advantage of the system hardware. It's being billed as a haven for smaller companies to crack into a wider market.
The initial WiiWare offerings are as such:
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King – As the titular monarch, you must re-build your empire in the style of past simulation titles like Sim City or Civilization. Though this one takes place in the Final Fantasy Universe, so it’s that much more cute and weird.
LostWinds – A charming side-scrolling game that let's you harness the power of the wind to move you throughout a gaggle of gorgeous environments.
Defend Your Castle – Title pretty much says it all!
Pop – A casual bubble-popping game. Yay?
VIP Casino Blackjack – Another self-explainer for the Bodog set.
TV Show King – Turn your living room in “Let’s Make a Deal” or “Jeopardy” or something or other with or without a Whammy!
Microsoft News: Banjo 3, Viva Pinata 2, Too Human
First off, the not-so-secret Banjo Kazooie 3, now called Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, will be the popular duo's first time on the 360 and will feature "vehicle-building" gameplay, allowing you to create your own customizable ships for land sea and air out of over 1600 parts.
Nuts & Bolts will release around the holidays.
The under-appreciated Viva Pinata will also get a sequel, Viva Pinata 2: Trouble in Paradise, which will feature co-op play, even more customization, and 30 new pinatas. (Developer Rare will also be releasing a Viva Pinata DS title separate from Microsoft.)
The Xbox Live Camera will also work with the Trouble in Paradise, allowing you to create your own content when the game is released in the fall
It was also announced that the oft-delayed, third-person sci-fi actioner, Too Human, will finally see release this August. However, the once-touted four-player co-op has now been reduced to two.
Other releases of note will include the fantasy game Fable 2 this holiday season and the Xbox Live Arcade title, Penny Arcade: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness on May 2.
Rock Revolution Announced
In an attempt to steal a little milk from the golden teat at which Rock Band and Guitar Hero suckle, Konami has announced their own rhythm-based music title to be available this fall, Rock Revolution.
To be available for the 360, PS3, Wii, and DS, Rock Revolution apparently focuses on drumming (with six super-quiet drum pads and one pedal), though guitar and bass will also be available. Vocals are absent however, except in the DS version, which has a built-in mic.
Songs featured in the short demo seen by the press included "Blitzkrieg Bop," "Detroit Rock City," "We’re Not Gonna Take It," and "All the Small Things." Forty songs in total are expected.
Seems a little late to try and break into this market, so we’re doubting this game will make much of a dent in Guitar Hero and Rock Band’s cash flow… but a little healthy competition never hurts.