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Japan eShop Round-Up (04/18/2012)

by Daan Koopman - April 18, 2012, 6:40 pm EDT
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3D Air Hockey is possibly the most 'interesting' thing about this week.

The Nintendo eShop in Japan is taking it a little slow this week. There is nothing major video-wise and the software, well, could be described as mixed. Nevertheless, it didn't stop us from checking out what the digital Nintendo parade had on offer.

3DS Download Software

3D Air Hockey - 500 yen

Virtual Console

Donkey Kong Jr. (Famicom) - 500 yen

Sonic Blast (GameGear) - 300 yen

Video Content

Nintendo didn't offer almost any videos this week, except for a shorter version of the recently released Pokémon Black/White 2 trailer. As far as third parties are concerned, you will able to find videos of this week's retail and downloadable releases, including the new DLC for Theatrhythm Final Fantasy. Next to all of this, there is a commercial for Dynasty Warriors VS, which will be on store shelves next week.

Software Impressions

I haven't played any of the titles enough to give you the full scoop on if they are worth your money, but I picked Sonic Blast and 3D Air Hockey. As the lover of everything weird and strange, both of these couldn't be more up my alley, right? The problem is that I am not feeling both right now. It feels like I am rushing through the levels of Sonic Blast pretty quickly, while barely getting a good feel for the game at all. This could of course change over time, so I didn't find it fair to give my final thoughts just yet.  

As far as 3D Air Hockey is concerned, it fell flat on its face pretty quick. The game controls well, with most of the movement taking place on the touch screen. You move the paddle over a screen-wide plain, where the ball basically could land anywhere, so keeping focus is everything. There are some special moves, which mix up the gameplay a little bit, but they have an odd combo system backing it up. The player mostly gets rewarded for hitting the ball in the middle of their paddle, but there is never a clear indication of if you are doing it correctly. 

3D Air Hockey does have an optional guide system, which will tell you accurately where the ball is going to land, so at least there is a way to do it right. A big concern, however, is how this guide system can easily exploited to ensure victory. I have tested this and it proved to be a succesful strategy. Either way, you get some difficult patterns from time to time, but even those you will learn pretty quickly. Perhaps it is more fun in multiplayer, but playing it alone in the match and endless modes didn't leave a lasting impression on me. There was barely any excitement to be found and the game doesn't do anything to really stand out. The presentation is decent, but not interesting enough to hold the player's attention. It is shame, because the developer's intentions were clearly in the right place.

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