The Nintendo Download: Altered Arkanoid Dragon Quest Wars

Between Altered Beast, Arkanoid Plus!, and Dragon Quest Wars, all three Nintendo download outlets are getting games that might be worth checking out this week.

Yes, it's a fine week across the board downloadable titles. Even DSiWare is getting an interesting game that doesn't have the words Art Style in the title. That game is Dragon Quest Wars (500 DSi points), a grid-based strategy game featuring monsters from the classic RPG series. Perhaps the most interesting feature of Wars is the ability to play online with opponents around the world via Nintendo Wi-Fi connection. Dragon Quest Wars is joined on DSiWare this week by Nintendo's Art Academy: Second Semester (800 DSi points), a sequel that provides more tools and greater challenges to fans of the First Semester, which was released earlier this month.

It's block-bashing goodness on WiiWare this week with the release of Arkanoid Plus! (600 Wii points), an updated version of Taito's classic ball versus bricks game. They've spiced things up this time around with new modes and settings that change the way the game is played. Konami represents on WiiWare this week as well with DRiFT Mania (800 Wii points), a racing game for 1-8 players.

Finally we have the Virtual Console, which is graced this week by the arcade version of Sega's classic beat-em up Altered Beast (1,000 Wii points). I've always felt the arcade version was far superior to the one that came with the Sega Genesis, so this is one situation where I really don't mind doubling up.

As always, check out the official descriptions below for more info on what you may or may not be purchasing today.

DSiWare

Art Academy™: Second Semester
Publisher: Nintendo
Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Price: 800 Nintendo DSi Points
Description: Art Academy is a portable art course that anyone can enjoy. Art Academy: Second Semester provides new and returning students with a larger set of tools and in-depth lessons designed to encourage the creation of more complex artwork. By gaining an even deeper understanding of colors and techniques used by famous impressionist artists, you will be ready to take on more challenging themes that include moving objects, and vast landscapes with distant objects. The openness of Free Paint mode offers plenty of opportunities to hone your skills and boost your confidence as an artist.

DRAGON QUEST® WARS™
Publisher: SQUARE ENIX
Players: 1-4
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) - Mild Cartoon Violence, Mild Language
Price: 500 Nintendo DSi Points
Description: DRAGON QUEST WARS is a grid-based strategy game featuring all of your favorite quirky DRAGON QUEST monsters. Choose from several modes and get ready for battle. While the rules are simple, strategy is the key to victory. The game features single-player and DS Wireless Play, as well as battles with foes worldwide via Nintendo® Wi-Fi Connection. (Broadband Internet access is required for online play.)

WiiWare

ARKANOID Plus!
Publisher: TAITO
Players: 1-2
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) - Mild Fantasy Violence
Price: 600 Wii Points™
Description: ARKANOID Plus! is an updated version of the original arcade blockbuster. Players must destroy colored blocks by guiding an Energy Ball around the screen using a spaceship called a VAUS. The game features a host of new modes and settings that radically alter the experience: Arcade Mode consists of 61 rounds divided into left and right versions, with two types of boss characters appearing in the last round; VS Mode lets players face off against a friend or the CPU; and the unfailingly frantic Time Mode challenges players to clear rounds within a strict time limit. With the subtle differences arising from the choice of "Lives" or "Barrier" rules, plus a plethora of exciting items, you're in for hours and hours of block-busting fun.

DRiiFT Mania
Publisher: Konami Digital Entertainment
Players: 1-8
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) - Comic Mischief
Price: 800 Wii Points
Description: DRiiFT Mania is the ultimate top-down multiplayer racing experience. Challenge your friends in fast, exciting races and some totally crazy game modes. You'll need to adapt your driving skills to the different racing environments if you want to succeed.

Virtual Console

Altered Beast™
Publisher: SEGA
Players: 1-2
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10 and Older) - Fantasy Violence
Price: 1,000 Wii Points
Description: "Rise from your grave!" When legendary Greek god Zeus brings you back to life with those famous words, you set forth on a mission to rescue his daughter, Athena, from the wicked God of the Underworld, Neff. To survive the gauntlet of mythological foes, you must hunt down the three-headed wolves that inhabit each stage and collect the Spirit Balls that they release. The Spirit Balls increase your strength and allow you to transform into a variety of forms, including a Werewolf, Weredragon, Werebear, Weretiger and the ultimate form, the Golden Werewolf. Each creature possesses powerful attacks to help bring an end to Neff's scheme.