On Wii Shop and DSiWare today: Final Fantasy, Thorium Wars, Word Searcher

Final Fantasy on NES Nintendo downloads this week: Making its Virtual Console debut is the original Final Fantasy, an NES classic that can now be enjoyed on the Wii system for the very first time. For hand-held gaming action with a sci-fi twist, this week’s new Nintendo DSiWare title, Thorium Wars, lets you take control of an arsenal of vehicles to blast through waves of enemies in a variety of exotic locations. If it’s a more down-to-earth experience you’re after, check out an engaging new WiiWare puzzle game.

Note that you can still receive 1,000 bonus Nintendo DSi Points when buying a new Nintendo DSi game system, by connecting it to the Nintendo DSi Shop before 11:59 p.m. Pacific time on October 5th, 2009. Yes, this is the promotion’s last day.

Get a Nintendo Points Card at AmazonNintendo has now added these new/classic games to the Wii Shop Channel and Nintendo DSi Shop. The games go live at 9AM Pacific time. Users with a high-speed Internet connection can redeem Wii Points or Nintendo DSi Points to download the games. Wii Points can be purchased in the Wii Shop Channel. Nintendo DSi Points can be purchased in the Nintendo DSi Shop. A Nintendo Points Card can be purchased at retail locations or Amazon (see Card on the right).

Where available, we’ve included videos of each of today’s games. Either for nostalgia’s sake or so you can see if any new game is to your taste.

This week’s new Virtual Console game is:

Final Fantasy
Original platform: NES
Publisher: Square Enix
Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) – Mild Fantasy Violence
Price: 500 Wii Points = $5
Description: The world lies shrouded in darkness. The winds die. The sea rages. The earth decays. But the people believe in a prophecy, patiently awaiting its fulfillment. “When darkness veils the earth, four Warriors of Light shall come….” After a long journey, four young travelers did at last appear, and in the hand of each was clutched a crystal.

This week’s new DSiWare game is:

Thorium Wars
Publisher: Big John Games
Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10 and Older) – Fantasy Violence
Price: 1,000 Nintendo DSi Points = $10
Description: In Thorium Wars, you must stop the Thorions, a super species of Thorium-based machines, from destroying mankind. Blast through waves of Thorions by controlling an arsenal of tanks, skyfighters, hovercrafts, gunboats and starfighters with either the standard or touch-screen controls. In 12 exciting missions, navigate through a variety of combat environments while viewing 360 degrees of the battlefield, fully rendered in 3-D. Toggle between first- and third-person views to destroy the terrifying army of Thorium beasts, from swarms of Redeye Drones to the bone-crushing Manticore Walker. This man-versus-machine battle proves to be the ultimate test for the survival of the fittest.

This week’s new WiiWare game is:

Word Searcher
Publisher: Digital Leisure Inc.
Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Price: 500 Wii Points = $5
Description: You’ll need a sharp eye and a quick mind to complete 100 themed word-search puzzles. Word Searcher contains fun words from multiple categories including anatomy, world cities and U.S. presidents. With a huge assortment of subjects to choose from, there’s sure to be a puzzle for everyone to enjoy. Help improve your vocabulary, memory and problem-solving skills with these engaging puzzles. Track and try to beat your own play-through times again and again—words are scrambled every time you play.

Top 20 WiiWare games as of September 30:
1 [1] – Contra Rebirth
2 [2] – Reel Fishing Challenge
3 [3] – My Aquarium
4 [7] – Texas Hold’Em Poker
5 [4] – World of Goo
6 [5] – Tetris Party
7 [6] – Final Fantasy IV: The After Years
8 [8] – My Pokémon Ranch
9 [9] – Dr Mario Online Rx
10 [-] – You, Me, and the Cubes
11 [11] – Sexy Poker
12 [10] – Texas Hold’em Tournament
13 [15] – Defend Your Castle
14 [18] – Water Warfare
15 [17] – Brain Challenge
16 [12] – Tales of Monkey Island: Chapter 1
17 [14] – Family Slot Car Racing
18 [16] – Family Mini Golf
19 [19] – BUST-A-MOVE Plus!
20 [13] – Tales of Monkey Island: Chapter 2

Top 20 DSiWare games as of October 1:
1 [1] – Flipnote Studio
2 [2] – Nintendo DSi Browser
3 [6] – MySims Camera
4 [3] – Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again
5 [4] – Guitar Rock Tour
6 [5] – Paper Airplane Chase
7 [7] – Asphalt 4: Elite Racing
8 [8] – Oscar in Toyland
9 [10] – Art Academy: First Semester
10 [9] – Bird & Beans
11 [11] – WarioWare: Snapped!
12 [N] – Dragon Quest Wars
13 [12] – Dr. Mario Express
14 [14] – Mario Calculator
15 [17] – Mario Clock
16 [15] – Master of Illusion Express: Deep Psyche
17 [19] – Sudoku Student
18 [-] – Clubhouse Games Express: Strategy Pack
19 [16] – Puzzle League Express
20 [18] – Pop+ Solo

* [N] – Denotes a brand new entry in the Top 20
* [-] – Denotes a game that was not on the Top 20 last week