Nintendo deserves plenty of credit for the swift, decisive action it took recently to address the price of the 3DS - but it glosses over the equally pertinent issue of the pricing of the games.
Some of us still accept that the genuine blockbusters can, on occasion, justify bigger price tags, but it's the cost of the downloadable titles that's really puzzling.
Unlike rival services, Nintendo seems unable (or just plain unwilling) to adjust prices when they've been available for a while, or offer special deals. Instead, a growing number of titles sit and stagnate at prices that make little sense when you consider the quality that's offered elsewhere.
It's easy to point to mobile phones, but actually, Sony has been admirably proactive lately, with plenty of deals on a wide variety of its downloadable catalogue. Whether it's been successful is hard to gauge, but at least it's not sitting on its hands. The freebies offered to PlayStation Plus subscribers, in particular, are well worth looking at. Nintendo, meanwhile, appears content to let the world change around it. No wonder the financial community is panicking.
On that note: games!
Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team
- PSN - £6.29
- Xbox Live Arcade - 800 Microsoft Points (£6.80)
There's something irrationally offensive about a download game designed to act as an advert for a boxed product - and given how badly the Red Faction: Armageddon one went down recently, confidence in Kill Team cutting the mustard wasn't exactly high. But once you put aside your distaste and just take it at face value, it's a fine example of how to position a companion release.
Kill Team comes across as a relentless top-down twin-stick shooter in which you have to see off thousands of Orks. Think Gauntlet meets Alien Breed with lashings of testosterone and you're close.
But unlike the slightly disappointing Alien Breed reboot, Kill Team is wisely designed for two-player co-op from the get-go, rather than as some sort of bolted-on afterthought. (The lack of online co-op is a troubling omission, though.) Happily, it's great fun on your own regardless.
It also benefits from a surprising amount of strategy and variety. It's not just a case of wading in and blasting or melee-splatting everything until it falls over and stops respawning. Well, it is a bit, but the difference is that choosing your pick-ups wisely becomes all-important when all hell is breaking loose around you.
For a while you do feel a bit overpowered, but once you're comfortably in the groove the level designers know exactly when to test that complacency and progress isn't the foregone conclusion you thought it was.
And it's a great-looking game too, with high production values and a great sense of direction as the camera dramatically sweeps around you to shift the focus of the action.
With the leaderboard-chasing survival mode adding a bit of meat to the three-hour campaign, there's more than enough here for your money. Whether you're a Warhammer 40K aficionado or not, this is just the right kind of uncomplicated stress relief to distract you from the BBC News 24 ticker.
Go! Go! Kokopolo: Harmonious Forest Revenge
- DSiWare - 800 Points (£7.20)
Uh-oh: someone's been at the Haribo again. This week, a drumming Sky Guardian known to his buddies as Jinbe 'accidentally' lets one of his bongos fall off a cloud and hit a sleepy wildcat called Kokopolo. As you do.
Reacting with misplaced fury, the angry moggy sets off on a path of vengeance upon the various Snap Snap sentry plants that quietly go about their business around each of this game's 80 maze-like levels.
What that means in basic gameplay terms is an endearingly daft but surprisingly tricky affair where provoking your target into chasing you apparently counts as revenge.
In order to get the innocent foliage to react, you have to essentially happy-slap them, then run away and lure them into the jaws of some kind of Venus Flytrap thing. Once you've cleared the maze of occupants, it's off to the next, more challenging stage.
But as endearing as its unabashed hyperactive ways are, Tanuki Studios is not afraid to rip us a new one with every passing level, with a procession of wicked traps and tricky turns to negotiate en route. Part of the problem is that Kokopolo has to sprint around most of the time, making it easy to miss your turn and smack headlong into trouble.
It doesn't help, either, that the jump response is iffy at the best of times, which ensures that you often find yourself taking damage at inopportune moments.
With a slightly gentler ascent, Go! Go! Kokopolo could have charmed us into submission. Instead, this chaotic, vibrant and original idea quickly descends into a battle of wills that only the most determined aggrophile will want to see through.
- PC/Mac (Steam) - £4.99
You've probably had enough match-three puzzle games by now to last you several lifetimes and the eventual tortured afterlife. But YeaBoing counters such concerns by bringing us the "match-all puzzle experience".
The indie outfit describes its debut offering as "otherworldly", "Zen-like" and a "relaxing puzzle experience" - and all this without any illegal intoxicants involved. After this promising build-up, it's mildly disappointing to just find yourself tracing lazy lines on an 8x8 grid of coloured blocks. To make blocks disappear, you simply have to join up two or more blocks of the same colour by connecting them with a vertical or horizontal line.
To score the most points, you can follow the suggested task and try to clear blocks of that colour; the more tasks you successfully fulfil in a row, the bigger the reward.
But because there's no obligation to conform to these tasks, you can just keep playing under your own steam and complete levels by accident.
It can be pretty 'zen', if you want to call it that, but it's also a bit rudderless as a result. A little more structure and pressure might have been a good thing, and as a result you feel more like you're playing a proof of concept. If that was the aim, then job done, but it really wouldn't have hurt to include a basic Time Attack or a puzzle campaign to drive you on.
As it is, Lucid flows along happily over its 55 levels, but playing for high scores alone may not be enough to tempt you into the zone.
Artillery: Knights Vs. Orcs
- DSiWare - 500 DSiWare Points/£4.50
In the olden days, it was deemed socially acceptable to torment fellow children on Witches Hats and take out your rising frustration with your state education via a bone-crunching playground session of British Bulldog. Good times.
If Kritzelkratz 3000 had its way, men would settle their differences with the noble art of cannon-firing, where you stand and fire hot metal balls of death at each other until one of you dies of your injuries.
In a sense, this piece of throwaway turn-based chaff is an ultra-simplified Worms. You start off by picking a side, Knights or Orcs, and then proceed to decide your angle of fire and how much power to apply (up to a maximum of 10). Once that's set, all that matters is smashing up your opponent first.
Doing so isn't all that simple, though - or a great deal of fun. The 'gameplay' largely amounts to patient trial and error as you figure out what specific combination of power and angle gets the job done. Once that's established, you still have to score several direct hits and then hope that your opponent doesn't a) stand in front of a tree or b) move from their spot. If they do, then the whole trial and error bit kicks in again as you try to get your eye in.
The game slowly gets a little more involved, with more complex environments to deal with and unlockable abilities such as protective shields or high explosive shells - but at no stage does it develop into something worth investing time in. It's still the same slow-paced, back-and-forth, trial-and-error slog throughout, and 200 levels of it just feels like punishment rather than reward.
Let's Golf 3D
- 3DS - £5.40
"Let's golf again, like we did last summer. Let's golf again, like we did last year." And the year before that, and the one before that.
Yeah, you know what? We've all been golfing a bunch at this point, and it will take more than new courses and made-up golfers to get us excited. Something new - like 3D, for instance. That should make it all OK.
Except - how shall I put this - it's already apparent to all but inexhaustibly excitable folk that merely adding three-dimensional depth to something doesn't instantly make it better or mask its inherent mediocrity. And that's the issue we're facing with Gameloft's debut downloadable 3D offering.
At its core, it has the same rather run-of-the-mill mechanics of the previously available DSiWare (and mobile phone) versions, albeit beefed up with two extra characters and six courses - double the number previously available. With 108 courses and tons of customisation unlockables, you can't knock it for content for five quid.
That said, the mechanics feel a little too lightweight for the game to be interesting and traipsing around the courses rarely feels as challenging as you'd expect. When taking long shots, it feels too easy to get the exact power and accuracy you require, while the short game has precisely the opposite problem.
Even so, Birdies and Eagles come thick and fast, and having to call upon your character's rechargeable skill shot (to enhance accuracy or power, or kill the wind for a shot, for example) rarely seems necessary.
The addition of 3D, meanwhile, is as superfluous as you might suspect. On long shots it gives the novelty of added depth, but on the short putts, it can actually be a complete nuisance, with the character model's head clipping through the view.
One positive note about Let's Golf 3D is that it's the first title to take advantage of Nintendo's new expanded file size limit. With this weighing in at a reported 190MB, more ambitious offerings could be on the way. Unfortunately, Let's Golf 3D isn't one to get overly excited about, and in a market drowning in rival offerings, you won't have far to look to find a better one.