Old school action role-playing meets newfangled dungeon crawler in this week's Nintendo download, as a free demo for Square Enix's Heroes of Ruin goes head-to-head with one of Nintendo's most legendary games.
If you were one of the folks that picked up the Nintendo 3DS before they dropped the price from $250 to sensible, then you've already got your free copy of NES classic The Legend of Zelda. It was one of the titles given out for free to people to keep them from feeling silly for spending too much. Nintendo is now rolling out those games as part of its 8-Bit Summer promotion, one of the easiest to pull-off promotions ever.
Meanwhile, Square Enix gives North American players a taste of Heroes of Ruin, it's Diablo-esque dungeon crawler with online multiplayer support. The game's been out in Europe since the middle of last moth, so it's about time we yanks get our hands on it.
As for the rest, it's a pretty big week for Nintendo downloadables, with seven new titles introduced, including a WiiWare title that lets you make clay pots — the same sort of clay pots one might stow spare rupees in. And that ties things up readily. On to the games!
The Legend of Zelda
Celebrate the Nintendo eShop "8-BIT SUMMER" series with this smash-hit adventure, originally released on the NES console in 1987. Ganon, the King of Evil, has broken free of the Dark World and has captured Hyrule's beloved Princess Zelda. But before she was caught, Zelda managed to shatter the Triforce of Wisdom and scatter its eight pieces throughout Hyrule. Begin your adventure by finding a small wooden sword in a dark cave. As you grow in stature, experience and strength, so do your weapons. Help Link collect the captured pieces of the Triforce, rescue the princess and thwart Ganon's evil plans.
NES Open Tournament Golf
We all know Mario is a hero, but did you know he's also a world-class golfer? This classic NES game from 1991 – now available for Nintendo 3DS as part of the Nintendo eShop's "8-BIT SUMMER" series – lets you challenge another player in Stroke, Match and Tournament modes. Play on three fantasy courses in the United States, the UK and Japan, and try to win a million dollars. Make sure you keep an eye on the wind and the distance to the hole before selecting your club, or else you'll be racking up some high scores –which is exactly what you don't want to do in this game. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced golfer, NES Open Tournament Golf is perfect for those days when you just can't get to the local golf course.
Akari by Nikoli
"Akari" is a puzzle in which you set lights based on the hint numbers in order to light up the entirety of the white space. The main features of "Akari" are the easy to understand rules, and the depth of the game. There are great numbers of patterns for which you will figure out "When the numbers and lights and spaces are combined like this, then THIS is how they are sure to match up", so you have plenty of opportunities to taste "the excitement of discovering new patterns". To ensure your long-term enjoyment, we're prepared both a "Stage Clear" mode and a "Random" mode. In "Stage Clear" mode, you progress by clearing puzzles one by one, and in "Random" mode puzzles are generated at random. Please enjoy this high-quality "Akari" game.
Platform: 3DS / DSi
Price: $4.99 / 500 Points
Meet professor Topoloco. He's absolutely crazy about topography and he is glad to have you in his world topography class! For each of the 5 continents he covers you can practice your skills in a series of mini-games like locating cities and countries, dragging flags, and more! You can practice as much as you want in order to prepare for a final exam which you can take whenever you think you're ready. Topoloco is both a fun topography learning game and a digital atlas for all ages.
3, 2, 1... WordsUp!
The Legend of Zelda
Platform: 3DS / DSi
Price: $1.99 / 200 Points
Show your command of the language in 3, 2, 1... WordsUp! Build the maximum number of words with the same combination of letters. Do it before time runs out or you will lose! Challenge yourself in this unique game of wit and skill. Practice your mental agility and your knowledge of the language in 3, 2, 1... WordsUp!
Let's Create! Pottery
Price: 500 Points
With "Let's Create! Pottery" making ceramics has never been more simple and fun! Become a true artist and create "one of a kind" pottery items and share them with your friends! Throw the clay on the wheel, release all your artistic talents and take benefit of dozens of materials available in order to create your own design! Even when you glaze and fire your very first pot you will feel accomplished and relaxed as pottery is the best way to relieve your everyday stress and find your inner peace. An amazing, therapeutic and uplifting experience you can enjoy with your family and friends!
2020 Super Baseball
Price: 900 Points
Originally released in 1991, this is not your typical baseball game. In the near future, there are two leagues with a total of 12 teams for players to choose from. Pick your team and go for the championship. The games are held at the exclusive Cyber Egg Stadium, where the home run zone is alarmingly small and the fair zone is unusually wide. There is even a stop zone to stop any ball that lands there. As the game progresses Crackers (mines) are installed. During games, armor can be purchased to reinforce your players. All this makes for a unique baseball experience. You may be a bit perplexed at first, but once you get used to it and begin devising a strategy, you might even start enjoying all the curveballs being thrown at you.
Heroes of Ruin
Create your own mercenary and battle forth on your own or join forces with other heroes in 4-player co-operative multiplayer. Test your combat skills and earn rewards by taking on new daily challenges.
The "Game of the Weekend" program is featuring Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword. For a limited time this precision sword-fighting game is available at a special price of $4.99. Offer is valid from 9 a.m. Pacific time on Friday, July 6, through 9 p.m. Pacific time on Sunday, July 8.