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Published February 9, 2010

I guess Konami isn’t the only company in the “ReBirth” business. Yesterday, Sunsoft launched its latest attempt to recapture former glory, Blaster Master Overdrive, and it’s actually pretty decent. However, while that game’s grabbing all of the headlines, Konami’s quirky Tomena Sanner, Nintendo’s latest DSi puzzler and an NES game with more vegetables than Super Mario Bros. 2 also get the DWN treatment this week.

We can’t afford to play all of this week’s downloadable releases, so let us know in the comments or the message board if we’ve missed a hidden gem. Special thanks to Tony for the Tomena Sanner write-up.

Master Blaster Overdrive
1,000 Points

Let me start off by saying that I was never a huge fan of the original Master Blaster. I see the appeal – a jumping tank, a missing frog and Metroid-style exploration – but it’s obnoxiously hard, and those overhead sections are universally reviled for a reason. I think this is one of those “you had to be there” cases. That said, I came into Overdrive with an open mind. It’s a killer concept that just needed a bit more polish, and luckily, there have been enough tweaks to make this approachable for newcomers.

Fans may groan at the gritty storyline, but nobody’s going to complain about the handy map and save points. Those changes alone make this infinitely more playable for modern namby-pambies (myself included). The on-foot stuff is more forgivable as well, thanks to the multiple weapons and better controls. It’s a solid quest that’s worth the 10 bucks. Sadly, though the gameplay has mostly been enhanced, it seems that the developers were on a very tight budget. The gray and brown caverns lack the vibrancy of the original, and the remixed music sounds cheap, too. Regardless, this is decent first step toward boosting Sunsoft’s (and Gaijinworks’) nerd cred.

Tomena Sanner
500 Points

Tony says: “Late for work? Well, so is the little business man running across your TV. At least I think he’s going to work. Regardless, it’s your job to help him dodge all of the obstacles in his path on his way to break-dancing Valhalla. Based on my experiences with the iPhone version, the game has one-button controls – but that one button does a ton of stuff. Hop over Torii, steal presents from Santa and beat up the devil in what ends up being a very crazy running platformer. With nine unique stages, Endless mode and a WiiWare exclusive Turbo mode, Tomena Sanner ends up being a fair amount of wacky content at a decent value. What it comes down to is whether or not you have an iPhone or iPod Touch. If you do, pick it up on the App store for a buck. While you might be missing out on Turbo mode (a faster version of the main game) and multiplayer, the core experience of finding out all the ways you can interact with what you come across is easily done on the iPhone. Otherwise, $5 is more than fair for such a unique and zany experience.”

Link ‘n Launch
500 Points

Though this isn’t the space-themed Lincoln Logs game I had hoped for (yeah…sorry), Intelligent Systems’ tile slider still continues the streak of strong first-party software. Here, the object is to rotate and flip pipes so that fuel can reach your rocket ship and propel it upward. There are often upgrades and additional time scattered throughout the pipeline, so you have to figure out the most effective routes while keeping an eye on the clock. The only problem is that I still have trouble wrapping my mind around the tile rotation. There are tons of tutorials to teach you how to use pivot points and sides of other panels, but this is a bit more esoteric than the average Art Style game. The presentation is really colorful and you get a lot of content as usual, so I recommend downloading it and seeing if it clicks for you faster than it has for me.

As  a brief aside, I can’t believe Nintendo didn’t plug in the Pikmin franchise here. Given how much the rockets resemble Olimar’s ride, this pairing would’ve been preferable to the Snorks wannabes that award you with post-level trophies.

Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom
Virtual Console/Hudson

500 Points

When it comes to food-themed games, I have exceedingly low expectations. From my childhood hatred of Spud’s Adventure on the Game Boy to my adult hatred of Yo Noid! on the NES, I’ve learned to keep my hobby and hunger away from each other. However, the one notable exception would be Hudson’s Princess Salad, a bizarre adventure game in which you and Percy the persimmon help other anthropomorphic produce in peril. I’m not the biggest fan of the genre – doubly so when we’re talking about the NES – but the world and dialogue are too nutty to pass up.

One Comment

  1. Tom Tom

    Wow, a “Spud’s Adventure” reference… bless you, sir. Sounds like I’ll have to give Blaster Master and Link ‘n Launch a try!

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