The Christmas tree is all lit up; I can see it from my office. There is just one more day before Christmas, and the unwrapping of a bunch of new games and systems and toys and… oh, I'm excited. Nintendo has three new games for us today to tide us over, and one of them has me itching to go get the Wii turned on. In fact, I'm humming the theme song now…
Blades of Steel (NES, 500 points or $5)
For those of us who grew up with the bad voice samples, the awesome fights, and the playable Gradius game at intermission, this is one of those magical games from our youth. With real cities, fake teams, and shoot-outs to break up tied games, this is one of those things that my friends and I played for days. The best hockey game ever made? Debatable. But let's go ahead and say yes. For $5, this is worth a download.
Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble (SNES, 800 points or $8)
Donkey Kong Country never really had the game play to justify multiple sequels. By removing Donkey and Diddy Kong for the third title, Nintendo and Rare make the game even less appealing by turning a pigtailed girl and a big, dumb ape baby named Kiddy into the lead characters. Not a smart move. This is good for the completist, but I would stick to the first two titles and call it a day.
Rolling Thunder 2 (Genesis, 800 points or $8)
Better graphics, two-player support, and the same solid game play from the first Rolling Thunder make this a compelling buy. I find that some people loved Rolling Thunder, and others are convinced I'm making it up when I describe it. Finding one of the assigned doors with a machine gun behind it was always a thrill, and the animations were impressive for the time. This isn't a bad game for a rainy day.
Out of these three, I'd say that Blades of Steel is the must-buy. By the way, is the announcer saying "Hit the pass," over and over, or am I insane?