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Published May 21, 2010

My “Nintendon’t” column is back and here to stay. While I haven’t decided if it’s going to be weekly or biweekly at this point, you can at least expect it towards the end of the week so that I can get enough time to really delve into each game. Also, as before, I won’t have the cash to buy everything, but I will playtest anything that interests our readers. In this installment, I look at a potentially nifty 3D tech demo, the long awaited fourth BIT.TRIP from Gaijin Games, the indisputable king of Kirby games and a throwaway Tetris clone from a developer that should know better. Other releases include a new Frogger, a Flips book and Blood Beach, a WiiWare turret shooter.

Looksley’s Line Up
500 Points

When this game was first announced in Japan, I recall a lot of my friends erroneously assuming that this was early software for the 3DS. Thank goodness that this ended up being DSiWare instead. Looksley’s Line Up is a fun little download, but the head-tracking technology is in no way ready from prime time.

The game plays like a souped-up Highlights Magazine picture hunt, in which you move your DSi to find hidden images within the environment. (A more video game-y equivalent would be the Riddler question mark challenges from Arkham Asylum.) Under ideal conditions, the perspective shifts around to create the illusion of depth, as if you were looking into a box. Unfortunately, while I was able to play the game to completion – and had some fun doing so – the tracking is so temperamental that I can’t give it a full recommendation. If you’re curious about the technology and have some patience, you’ll get your money’s worth, but don’t expect to play it “on the go” very often.

A Topsy Turvy Life: Turvy Drops
DSiWare/Tecmo Koei Games
200 Points

Even at $2, Turvy Drops should be ignored. On a service rich in puzzley goodness, this lazy Tetris clone is an embarrassing DSiWare debut for Tecmo Koei. The “hook” here is that you turn the DSi upside-down and draw the pieces yourself. Feel free to draw as many long pieces as you want, without penalty. The game is too easy, too drab and too derivative for any discerning gamer.

WiiWare/Aksys Games
800 Points

We’ve been waiting a long time for this one. While the other BIT.TRIP  games encouraged gamers to shoot for high scores, RUNNER focuses more on level progression and shorter challenges. At first glance, one might classify it as a platformer, but it’s obstensibly a rhythm game, too. It’s still hard as hell, but by breaking worlds into a dozen stages apiece, the old-school memorization should be much more approachable to newcomers. For gamers who don’t mind a little trial-and-error, it’s a guaranteed good time. RUNNER is colorful, fast and sounds splendid, thanks to the soundtrack from Anamanaguchi. (If you enjoy this style of game but are seeking something a little bit more forgiving, Tomena Sanner may be more for you.)

Check out our interview with Alex Neuse of Gaijin Games in Episode 124!

Kirby Super Star
Virtual Console/Nintendo
800 Points

Kirby Super Star is one of those first party titles I’ve been waiting for since the Virtual Console service began. While the “eight games in one” tag is a bit of a stretch (unless you mean eight very similar, very short games), each adventure in Super Star is well worth taking. Kirby games are notoriously easy, but this one has enough hidden treasures and powers to keep everyone coming back. The only reason not to pick this up is if you bought the Ultra edition for the DS a couple years ago. (Even then, don’t you want to play it on the big screen?)

WarioWare D.I.Y. Update: Nintendo uploaded dozens of contest winners for the “Sports” category. Even if you’ve thrown in the towel for microgame development, you’ll find the creativity on display to be inspiring.

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