Nintendo has sent over a breakdown of first and third party releases for both the Wii and DS, and, as I did for its winter update, I’ve done a little chaff separating and focused on the few that look the most promising. It’s a lighter schedule than last, looking solely at the next three months, and there are fewer surprises (and a few worrying omissions, NanaOn-Sha/Rodney Greenblat’s habitually-delayed Wii rhythm game Major Minor’s Majestic March having dropped from Majesco’s list), but still several titles worthy of mention.
The headline game here is Nintendo’s Wii remake of NES classic Punch-Out!! (above, as somehow fortuitously predicted by today’s Onion news), which they’ve dated for May 18th. This comes alongside other remade franchises like Excitebots, a new racing game from in its ‘Excite‘ (-bike, -Truck) series, due April 20th.
Nintendo has also announced the May 4th release of a ‘Wii-make’ of GameCube game Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat, the formerly-bongo-controlled GameCube game recently covered in great detail by Offworld’s One More Go column. The company made the above video to illustrate the game’s new, more standardized controls: it’ll be interesting to see how the game fares when stripped completely of the percussive conceit that was its original bedrock foundation.
There aren’t many surprises in the upcoming downloadable WiiWare selection they’ve highlighted, instead calling out Bit.Trip: Beat, a game we’ve covered at length, the de Blob creators’ recently mentioned Swords & Soldiers, and IGF 2009 nominee Night Game (above), from Nicklas ‘Nifflas’ Nygren, creator of the freeware hit Knytt Stories.
Similarly, the slate of upcoming DS releases has also been covered well here before, including DSi launch game Rhythm Heaven, another One More Go favorite and one we’re quite pleased to see finally making its way to the states, Personal Trainer: Walking, a portable vaguely Wii Fit spinoff that includes two pedometers, and, as we covered some time ago, links to your Mii Plaza to personalize the experience.
There was one DS surprise, though: obscure handheld franchise character Stafy will finally be coming to the U.S. for the first time, a series that’s been kicking in various forms since Japan’s 2002 launch of the Game Boy Advance (and was first shown off as a Game Boy Color game two years prior).
It’s been a mystifying past seven years to see stateside Nintendo neglecting the franchise apart from nods in games like Super Smash Bros, but, unlike Mother/Earthbound, it’s a series that — for all its solidity and polish — skews to the youngest possible crowd, and makes even the Kirby games look hardcore in comparison.
Finally, on the third party front, there again isn’t much that should cause major shockwaves: THQ’s DS remake of Flash hit Desktop Tower Defense is listed for April 29th, Aspyr confirms that its previously covered DS WiFi signal chaser Treasure World should be released in June.
Namco’s Wii-remake of fantastic underdog PlayStation platformer Klonoa is given a nebulous Q2 date, and, as you might expect, heavy hitters like Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, Peggle: Dual Shot, Henry Hatsworth (right) and Firebrand’s Trackmania DS still remain on target.
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