TWiG 2009-03-16: A Very Portable St. Patty’s Day

Oooo, tough week for the consoles. Maybe the big console publishers are assuming that most of us are going to be out partying it up and pounding Guinness for St. Patricks day instead of sitting in our houses playing video games.

Or, maybe it’s March, and the publishers just don’t care that much.

Nintendo really has the reins this week, as the most interesting releases we’re going to be seeing are all coming out for the DS and the Wii. Of course, right off the bat we see Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, which has been drawing press for the Drug Wars-esque side game that it seems to contain. This has been a huge year for Grand Theft Auto (can you believe GTA IV came out less than a year ago?), and Chinatown Wars has the potential to be one of the biggest-selling iterations of the series yet. Initial impressions have been positive, the graphics are solid considering the system it’s playing on, and who hasn’t wanted to bring GTA with them when they’ve been locked into a particularly long session? The only question, really, is whether Chinatown Wars can break through to the DS’s highly casual-leaning audience. Even if it doesn’t, though, there are probably plenty of hardcore DS owners to make the game a surefire success.

Of course, the DS is competing with itself, as this week also sees the release of Pokémon Platinum — perhaps not as big a deal as a new Pokémon game typically is simply because, well, it’s not strictly “new”. Pokémon Platinum is an update of Pokémon Diamond/Pearl, with some new junk thrown in for the sake of convincing people to buy the same thing twice. Of course, if you haven’t bought Diamond or Pearl, Platinum might just be the version you want.

A little game for the big console is also drawing a lot of attention: BIT.TRIP BEAT, which looks a lot like one-player pong crossed with Frequency. The player has to knock back a nearly endless parade of dots, which hit the “paddle” at a speedy, highly rhythmic rate. This means that if you play well, you’ll create a song as you go. It doesn’t sound like much, but the few gameplay videos that have been released before today look like a ton of fun — and the tunes aren’t bad, either. At a mere six bucks, what do you have to lose?

But mostly, it’s the DS’s week — I haven’t even mentioned Henry Hatsworth (who I’d love to see brawl with Professor Layton) or the excellent DS port of Trackmania, both also on the way this week. What do you think? Are you playing anything other than DS this week? Let us know!

The full release list and a trailer for Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars are after…the jump.

Xbox 360:

Hasbro Family Game Night (18 March)

Nintendo DS:

Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume (16 March)

World Championship Games: A Track & Field Event (16 March)

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (17 March)

Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure (17 March)

History Great Empires Rome (17 March)

Mind Body & Soul: Big Word Puzzle Book (17 March)

Scrabble (17 March)

Suikoden Tierkreis (17 March)

TrackMania DS (17 March)

SBK-08 Superbike World Championship (18 March)

Pokemon Platinum (22 March)


Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 (17 March)

SingStar: Queen (17 March)


Resistance: Retribution (17 March)

SBK Superbike World Championship (17 March)

Scrabble (17 March)


BIT.TRIP BEAT (16 March, WiiWare)

Summer Games II (16 March, Virtual Console – C64)

Crayola Adventures: Colorful World (17 March)

Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 (17 March)

Ready 2 Rumble Revolution (17 March)

Rune Factory Frontier (17 March)


Men of War (16 March)

Women’s Murder Club: A Darker Shade of Grey (16 March)

Ether Saga Online (17 March)

Grand Ages: Rome (17 March)

Tom Clancy’s HAWX (17 March)

World in Conflict: Complete Edition (17 March)

The Path (18 March)

Runes of Magic (19 March)