Aside from Sam and Max 2: Beyond Time and Space, there's next to nothing coming out for Wii and DS this week. Perhaps one of Nintendo's seven digital titles, two for WiiWare, one Virtual Console and four DSiWare, will offset the dearth of options. Fingers crossed...
Pick of the week: Final Fantasy II
Platform: Virtual Console
Price: 800 Wii Points
Originally on: Super NES, 1991
One of our veryfavoritest Final Fantasy games, the Super NES Final Fantasy II is actually the Japanese Final Fantasy IV. Rather than tweak the title screen and update the title, however, Nintendo and Square saw fit to leave the old, incorrect "II" so as not to confuse... wait, no, to re-confuse a whole new generation of players. We'll turn people away from JRPGs yet!
Max and the Magic Marker
Price: 1,000 Wii Points
Having never played this, I can only comment on the super-cute screens and what's undoubtedly a gorgeous visual aesthetic. Gameplay revolves around drawing and scribbling various shapes and platforms, and as long as the Wii Remote functionality is well implemented, this should be fun enough. The best praise we've heard calls it a combination of World of Goo and Drawn to Life - in other words, highly creative with some flaws that are a direct result of said creativity.
Price: 1,000 Wii Points
Billed a gothic take on the swarming gameplay of Robotron, Smash TV and Geometry Wars, Dracula: Undead Awakening should be plenty interesting. Then the early reviews started rolling in, plus the lack of multiplayer, so now we're not so sure. Note that we used a PSP screenshot, because Nintendo's press site somehow thought this was an appropriate image:
Drac's Wave War is also out for DSiWare today, with essentially the same everything. Somehow it's been deemed the better of the two, so if you have to get one, try the DS version at its slightly more reasonable price of 500 Wii Points.
Price: 800 DSi Points
More than 100 creatures to collect, card battles, strategy... things. You get the idea. Maybe there's more to this than I'm getting at first pass, but it's not exactly making a strong first impression. If the single-player quest is lame, maybe the two-player duels will be worth your digital cash.
Price: 500 DSi Points
Players: 1, but that's being generous
This is a book for kids. The title screen says "Too Ghoul for School." If this amuses you, ask your mom for five fake dollars so you can buy it. If you have any other reaction, then move on.