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Nintendo eShop Shelf: Gameloft Edition

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Nintendo has yet to fully get their act together when it comes to their online services. Their early attempts at digital download stores, the WiiWare and DSiWare shops, were really hard to navigate and very unintuitive, leaving many quality releases without an audience. With the 3DS eShop, they've made browsing a little more fun and a lot less tedious, and as a result I've found lots of cool, unique, inexpensive games that I would otherwise have never played.

For this edition, check out some games from Gameloft, everybody's favorite mobile developer! Hit the jump for more...

Talking Shop With Gameloft

We chatted with Gameloft's SVP of Marketing Gonzague de Vallois about their experiences working on Nintendo platforms and their popular eShop game, Let's Golf 3D.

GayGamer: Gameloft's been one of the largest contributors to Nintendo's digital download services. What is the appeal of the service to the company?

Gameloft: We have been very strong supporters of WiiWare and DSiWare since they have been launched because we view those services as new digital distribution channels. While nobody has made a perfect downloadable service for consoles yet, we feel that Nintendo really knows how to make an easy, user-friendly online experience that reaches our target audience.

GG:Your games are polished, full experiences. What are some of the challenges and secrets of creating great content with Nintendo's size restrictions?

Nintendo has removed some restrictions on Nintendo 3DS games that were present in the past. On the 3DS, we can bring deep content and a very rich experience similar to the one you can get in retail games. So the downloadable product has the same quality as a retail one and at a much more affordable price. It's all for the best players' interests. While developing titles on DSiWare it was much more challenging as the size of games was limited, so we had to develop techniques to compress data to include the most data possible in the smallest space possible without compromising quality.

GG: Has Nintendo offered feedback and guidance to your development teams, or do they just offer the outlet of the eShop?

Nintendo has always offered us technical support and qualitative feedback on game design. Nintendo Europe even has the Mario Club service to accompany each developer during development. So it's been a pleasure to work with Nintendo and we even encourage new developers to launch products on this platform.

GG: What are some of the differences between developing games for the eShop and mobile phone platforms?

The 3DS and smartphones have both their own specificities and unique features. The stereoscopic screen on the 3DS is a great asset. It is also very challenging and exciting to work on so we had to learn step by step. The device also needs specific technology to maximize the performance of the CPU and the GPU. As opposed to smartphones, the 3DS also has analog pad plus stylus controls and Street Pass and Spot Pass. So it is great to be able to use all this in the same device to improve the gaming experience.

GG: Let's Golf! 3D was well received among gamers and critics. What else does Gameloft have planned for the 3DS eShop?

We have not officially announced our upcoming line-up. All we can say for the moment is that we hope our fans appreciate our latest game, Let's Golf! 3D and to expect more great things from Gameloft!

Download These Games!

The following DSiWare games are available to download on the 3DS eShop or on the DSiWare store on the DSi. Many of Gameloft's games best mobile games are available on the eShop, and here are just a few of the very best.

Castle of Magic
Price: $4.99/500 Points
Lowdown: Castle of Magic harkens back to old 16-bit (and some 32-bit) mascot platform games. Power-ups, themed levels and a silly story add up to a game that's short, sweet and fun.

Soul of Darkness
Price: $4.99/500 Points
Lowdown: It would be easy to mistake Soul of Darkness for a lost Castlevania game, and I mean that in the nicest possible way! Gameloft has really created a love letter to the beloved vampire-hunting series. Highly recommended.

Let's Golf! 3D
Price: $6.99
Lowdown: Gameloft's first game made exclusively for the eShop was also the first third-party 3D game released digitally (Nintendo had previously released a few 3D Classics). Let's Golf! 3D works a little bit like Mario Golf (nobody ever accused Gameloft of originality!), but like most of its other games, there's a nice amount of polish and panache to justify the purchase.

P.S. - For those who like a little gimmickry with their video games, most of Gameloft's DSiWare titles come with a photo booth feature that lets you attach your head to your character and sometimes use colored power-ups depending on the colors in the picture you take. It's not essential, but it's a fun little bonus.

Stay tuned for our next installment, where we'll have some information about a new eShop exclusive!

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