To keep us on our toes this week, Microsoft decided to turn off the Xbox Live Arcade pipe. And with the PSN Store remaining offline until yesterday, you might think that it's all tumbleweed in download-ville. Well, as Dave Gahan might roar, wrong.
The Xbox Indie scene continues to provide unexpected delights from enthusiastic types hoping for a big break. After the must-buy trio of Sequence, Upbot Goes Up and Blocks That Matter during May, The Avatar Legends is a hugely ambitious RPG work-in-progress that's worth keeping an eye on, while the endearingly rubbish-looking Hedge Wizard turns out to be far more entertaining than it has any right to be.
And WiiWare's recent fallow period came to an end last week with the swish arrival of FAST: Racing League, a pretender to the F-Zero throne, while the underestimated DSiWare store continues to pump out quality offerings like Mighty Milky Way. It might be sad to see the passing of the import scene, but when you've got quality indie offerings cropping up every week, that niche is well and truly serviced elsewhere.
Mighty Milky Way
- DSiWare - 800 DSiWare Points (Ł7.20)
With Shantae: Risky's Revenge and Mighty Flip Champs already in its locker, WayForward has a knack of reminding us why it's worth bothering to dutifully log onto the DSiWare store.
In this classy chunk of inexplicable goodness, you play a 'green-skinned cutie pie' who can destroy or create planets on a whim, and who appears to be on some sort of mission involving jumping into black holes. Each to their own, I'm not judging.
Known to her friends as Luna, this loveably dysfunctional alien (she's not actually a pie) can run around the circumference of each planet and then dive off into space, and dispense 'planet candy' when she needs to create a new planet to gravitate towards.
If this isn't making any sense, that's to be expected, especially as the game itself struggles to make the basic concepts clear. But fiddle around with its slippery innards long enough, and this oddball, globe-trotting, gravitational puzzle-platform thing hits an unexpected groove.
Over the course of Luna's journeys, you find yourself battling good friends such as electrified force fields, nefarious space monsters and skinny layouts presumably designed for pie-averse aliens.
The further you go, the more hazards await, and the more colourful your language gets. One day they'll be forced to put blood pressure warnings on these things.