Pushmo (Pullblox, in parts of the world that don’t appreciate good names) is inargueably the best game of this console generation. The simple concept of a platformer-puzzler like that, with a QR code trading system that allows you to pull in essentially an infinite number of puzzles, has been a huge success for Nintendo and the 3DS so far, being met with rave reviews and an immediate desire for a sequel.
In today’s Nintendo Direct by Nintendo Europe, it was announced that a new entry in the series, entitled Fallblox in Europe, is coming to the eShop in November. The new game changes the Pushmo formula by letting you push and pull blocks sideways as well, and there are now physics in place so if a block is moved a certain way, a block that was on top can fall and take its place. The video example showed them making a staircase with 3 different blocks, but who knows how crazy it’s going to get before too long?
After the announcement of the European release, Joystiq reached out to Nintendo of America asking for a US release date, and they returned with a superior title for North America (Crashmo!) and a release date of November 22. With Paper Mario and Crashmo coming out withing 11 days of each other, that’s going to be the best November I’ve ever had.
The press release from NOA and the Nintendo Direct also mention a chunk of other interesting eShop things, including a 3DS version of Nightsky (which I believe is out on the Wii and PC already) and a new Fluidity game, where you’ll have to do a lot of 3DS rotation to navigate your fluid through the world. Interestingly, because of how rotation-based the game is, the 3D is just automatically disabled, so you don’t have to worry about that weird 3D screen split happening.
Perhaps more interestingly, though, is the set of Level 5 developed games, collaborating with big-name Japanese developers. There are three of these announced so far, first being Suda 51’s Liberation Maiden, a game that sounds an awful lot like Metal Wolf Chaos- the president of Japan gets in her Liberator to go save Japan. Next is a game by Yoot Saito, of Seaman and Odama fame, called Aero Porter, which we know nothing about, and a game by Yasumi Matsuno (Final Fantasy Tactics, Tactics Ogre) called Crimson Shroud. They say these’ll be out before the holiday season, and even if they crash and burn hard, it’s a great initiative I’d love to see developed further. Another game, called Tokyo Crash Mobs, was announced in all of this, too, but I have absolutely no idea what it’s about, I just know it sounds pretty bizarre- something about pedestrian tossing. Which, truthfully, is the best part of games like Prototype, but we’ll see.
On October 18, Nintendo is also bringing some of their older 3DS games to the eShop, such as Mario 3D Land, Starfox 64 3D, and the Ocarina of Time 3D rerelease. They’ll be the full $40, which is a bummer since I think you can get some of them for super cheap elsewhere, but having a downloaded version of some of these could be cool, so I can just jump in, beat Bongo Bongo and not have to worry about having the actual card with me.
A list of virtual console games also came out, including Ninja Gaiden, Castlevania: The Adventure and Zelda II, so it’s starting to sound like I need to get a bigger memory card for the system. Things are going to get pretty crowded in the eShop, which is both exciting and a little worrisome. It’s kind of hard to navigate huge lists of games on the service, but since you can always scan a QR code that takes you to the game’s page or be linked automatically after passing a Mii playing that game, it could potentially ease up a bit. Furthermore, I think this was all for eShop releases on the Nintendo Direct, and there was a whole lot announced there- but most importantly, guaranteed Game of the Year Crashmo. Look for that one this November.