﹛﹛Wolfgang Van Halen successfully lives up to his family name while carving out a separate identity and sound on his debut album, Mammoth WVH.
﹛﹛This is quite a narrow needle to thread, at an undeniably difficult time for the younger Van Halen, whose guitar-hero father Eddie?died?in?October 2020. In addition to his personal grief, the reverence and protective bubble surrounding the elder Van Halen s legacy?was?at a fever pitch. Some online critics even accused Wolfgang of capitalizing on his dad s death with the tribute-paying debut single “Distance.”
﹛﹛But one listen to Mammoth WVH makes it clear he isn t trying to hop on the Van Halen nostalgia train. Apart from a sly lightning-quick quote from Fair Warning s “So This Is Love?” at the end of “Don t Back Down,” there s no obvious trace of his family s band here: no flashy guitar solos, none of David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar s vocal swagger and no winking sexual wordplay.
﹛﹛There is a clear family connection to be found in the high level of musicianship on Mammoth WVH, on which Wolfgang handles every vocal and instrumental part. But he s pulling from a different and newer set of influences, with more earnest and emotionally open lyrics. “The Big Picture” channels prime Alice in Chains, the unabashedly catchy “Think It Over” reveals the influence of pop-punk band Jimmy Eat World and a love of Queens of the Stone Age shines through on “Don t Back Down.”
﹛﹛The songwriting is sharp and admirably varied throughout Mammoth WVH, with the churning bass, chiming acoustic guitars and yearning vocals of “Resolve” and the epic metallic closing track “Stone” adding to the album s display of creative range. There are plenty of clever, complex instrumental bits to reward repeated listens, but they never detract from the disciplined focus on structure, hooks and melodies.
﹛﹛It s going to be fascinating to hear how Wolfgang s music evolves on future albums. Mammoth WVH was completed nearly three years before its release, and?it arrives before he s even?served as a?bandleader in front of a paying audience. But it s hard to ask for a more promising start.
﹛﹛From David Bowie’s overlooked debut to Dave Grohl’s pre-Nirvana record with Scream.
﹛﹛The latest Nintendo Download update for North America has arrived, and it’s bringing new games galore to the eShop in your region. As always, be sure to drop a vote in our poll and comment down below with your potential picks for the week. Enjoy!
﹛﹛Game Builder Garage (Nintendo, 11th Jun, $29.99) – Have you ever dreamed of building your own video games? Game Builder Garage is a great place to start! Learn game design and programming step-by-step from lessons developed by the minds at Nintendo. You＊ll get help from a cast of Nodon 每 creatures that live inside your Nintendo Switch system!
﹛﹛NINJA GAIDEN: Master Collection (Koei Tecmo, 10th Jun, $39.99) – Enjoy heated battles with fearsome opponents in NINJA GAIDEN Sigma, NINJA GAIDEN Sigma 2 and NINJA GAIDEN 3: Razor＊s Edge 每 available together in one thrilling collection. In addition to Ryu Hayabusa, four other characters 每 Ayane, Rachel, Momiji and Kasumi 每 are also playable and appear as they did in the original versions of the games. Read our NINJA GAIDEN: Master Collection review
﹛﹛Wave Break (11th Jun, $29.99) – Experience the world＊s first skateBOATING game, inspired by arcade skateboarding classics. Grind, grab, kickflip and shoot your way through an explosive ＊80s crime-filled world. Enjoy an episodic single-player campaign, ranked online multiplayer, multiple custom game modes and an advanced park creator. From tropical beaches to frozen tundras, ride the waves and score the world＊s biggest combo with style.
﹛﹛Alba: A Wildlife Adventure (PiD, 9th Jun, $19.99) – Join Alba as she visits her grandparents on a Mediterranean island. From idyllic beaches to the ancient castle overlooking the town, a whole island is ready to be explored. Alba is ready for a peaceful summer of wildlife exploration with her friend Ines, but when she sees an animal in danger, she realizes she needs to do something about it. With Ines and your grandfather by your side, you can start a movement to save the island. Maybe even the world after that.
﹛﹛Alchemist Adventure (10th Jun, $19.99) – You awaken in a strange and unknown place, with no memories, alone in a world you know nothing about. Now you must explore the dangerous and abandoned region of Isur and discover its secrets 〞 as they are tightly connected to your own story. To explore the world you will need to use the power gained by combining nature＊s four elements 〞 fire, water, air, earth 〞 with various ingredients.
﹛﹛ANIMUS: Revenant (TROOOZE, 10th Jun, $22.99) – Keeper of this unremembered refuge, the danger is here. A blood debt incurred long ago is to be collected to bring about the end. Summoned from humanity＊s last breaths of desperation, you are all that stands between Cadmeia and its annihilation.
﹛﹛Arcade Archives HACHA MECHA FIGHTER (HAMSTER, 3rd Jun, $7.99) – “HACHA MECHA FIGHTER” is a shooting game released by NMK in 1991. Control KAWAUSO and TSUCHIBUTA as they fly forward on airplanes and defeat enemies along the way. It’s a great, easy game to get into, even for players who don’t often play shooting games, but still poses enough of a challenge to keep fans of the genre interested!
﹛﹛Conglomerate 451: Overloaded (3rd Jun, $9.99) – Conglomerate 451: Overloaded is here! Face a cyber world in a grid-based, dungeon crawling first-person RPG with roguelike elements. You are the CEO of a Special Agency, instructed by the Senate of Conglomerate city to restore the order in sector 451, where corrupted corporations have established their turfs.
﹛﹛Griftlands (Klei Entertainment, 4th Jun, $19.99) – Griftlands is a deck-building rogue-like where you fight and negotiate your way through a broken-down sci-fi world. Every decision is important, be it the jobs you take, the friends you make, or the cards you collect. Death comes quickly, but each play offers new situations and strategies to explore.
﹛﹛Head Games (Piotr Skalski, 4th Jun, $4.99) – Welcome to the ultimate Head Games competition! Do you have what it takes to beat your opponent in a game of soccer, volleyball or basketball using only head shots? Head Games is an intense, exciting game where you can play against a friend or the AI. You have multiple characters to choose from, and the only goal is to try and hit the ball and score in your opponent＊s net.
﹛﹛Hero Pop (Digital Game Group, 4th Jun, $7.99) – Help the Hero Matrix patrol the city she protects. Match 3 or more of the same colours to clear the bubbles and save the babies. 200 levels of puzzles to play from. Various powers to use in each level.
﹛﹛Inexistence Rebirth (11th Jun, $8.99) – Hald and his sister were chosen by the gods to be “Keepers”. Their shared duty is to maintain order and balance in the world; but peace was not something everyone desired. Claos, a man filled with dark purpose, decides to plunge Hald’s sister in a deep slumber and break the balance. Hald begins his quest to find Claos and break the spell 每 throwing him into a vast world full of mystery and danger.
﹛﹛Kirakira stars idol project Ai (10th Jun, $10.00) – What if your childhood friend grew up into a gorgeous young lady? What if she asked you to move in with her? What if the two of you joined forces to make her the hottest new pop idol sensation? Follow fledgling idol Ai and producer Nobu as they navigate the ups and downs of life, love, and the entertainment industry in this visual novel adventure! -STORY- The entertainment industry is a battlefield.
﹛﹛League Of Champions Soccer (11th Jun, $5.99) – Live the Champions European League Football Cup like real players do. Choose your team and play the matches of the real draw until the final. Served by superbs 3D graphics, animations and sounds, League Of Champions Soccer is based on a highly realistic physic engine in which soccer moves have been coded by soccer fans for soccer fans.
﹛﹛Life of Fly 2 (10th Jun, $9.99) – Life of Fly 2 features 13 short stories each revolving around the life and thoughts of another fly. It is an interesting yet relaxing narrative flight game like no other. You jump into the role of a little fly which is collecting its thought while exploring its own living environment. Each fly talks about its life, about some things that happened to them, and about some almost philosophical thoughts they had. Be prepared to experience some very unusual content, some interesting thoughts that go way beyond the normal life of a fly, and some entertaining short stories with a twist.
﹛﹛Lost Lands: Mistakes of the Past (FIVE-BN STUDIO, 7th Jun, $6.99) – In a new series of “Lost Lands” Susan has to go to the past to try and correct other people’s mistakes. Will she succeed? What problems will she face there? All this can be learned by sinking into the new series of “Lost Lands: Mistakes of the Past”. “Lost Lands: Mistakes of the Past” is an adventurous hidden object game-quest with puzzles and mini-games that tells a fairy-tale story.
﹛﹛Multilevel Parking Driver (11th Jun, $11.99) – Prepare for the ultimate driving and parking exercise! With elaborate, complex parking lots and a huge, detailed outdoor environment, the challenge is here to keep you engaged for a long time!
﹛﹛Piczle Cells (10th Jun, $4.99) – From the creator of the popular Piczle series of logic-puzzles comes this quirky little brain-bender that is guaranteed to befuddle and bemuse! Slide cells on a grid to combine them. That sounds easy enough, right? Well, not so fast there, pointdexter!
﹛﹛Pix Jungle Adventures (10th Jun, $4.99) – Pix Jungle Adventures is a jump and run platformer game where you explore different levels and experience awesome boss fights and tricky platformer puzzles. Features: – 55 Levels – Awesome pixel graphics – simple controls
﹛﹛Puzzle Box 3 in 1 (10th Jun, $4.99) – Puzzle Box 3 in 1 is a small puzzle collection of the top trending puzzle games. In Crazy Numbers you swipe up numbered blocks in a row to merge same numbers up or you add or subtract numbers to match the same numbers in a grid of blocks in merge plus. And in connect the dots you connect the same color with a line without crossing another one.
﹛﹛Sable＊s Grimoire (10th Jun, $14.99) – When Sable is accepted into Amadronia Magic Academy, he believes that his dream of becoming a world-renowned magic researcher is finally within his grasp. Unfortunately for Sable, his first day at Amadronia quickly proves to him that this will not be the case. Play as Sable, an aspiring magic researcher, as he gets sucked into the daily lives and troubles of his demi-human classmates.
﹛﹛Shieldwall Chronicles: Swords of the North (10th Jun, $7.99) – In Shieldwall Chronicles: Swords of the North, you lead a mercenary band into the perilous and cold northlands of Tarren. Your search for fortune will see you pitch blade and spell book against a host of enemies including the undead, demons, and lizardmen and many other creatures.
﹛﹛Sun Wukong VS Robot (11th Jun, $4.99) – Get ready to run, jump, fight, and explore! Sun Wukong VS Robot is a mini retro pixel metroidvania game inspired by old-school classics. Sun Wukong has awakened. Our hero appears at the center of a mechanical maze and is holding the weapon from his legends.
﹛﹛Super Soccer Blast: America VS Europe (11th Jun, $9.99) – Super Soccer Blast America vs Europe is an arcade-style football game that tackles football in a light-hearted and accessible way. As a breakaway from the seriousness of simulation and realism, it brings a very arcade style to the field with retro throwbacks. Prepare for the kick-off with a fast-paced football game, bringing a refreshing look to the football genre with accessible controls and skilled-based gameplay like over-the-top classic soccer games.
﹛﹛The Solitaire Conspiracy (11th Jun, $11.99) – Protego, the world＊s leading spy agency, has been destroyed. Only one person can wield C. A. R. D. S to take control of Protego＊s scattered spy crews and save the world. You. Guided by Protego＊s only remaining analyst, Jim Ratio (Greg Miller), you must master the unique powers of each crew in a game of tactical Solitaire like none you＊ve ever played before.
﹛﹛Umurangi Generation Special Edition (Origame Digital, 5th Jun, $24.99) – Umurangi Generation is a first person photography game in the retro future. Set in Tauranga Aotearoa off the back of an impending crisis you are a courier for the Tauranga Express. Throughout the game you will unlock a variety of lenses and equipment.
﹛﹛Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town (LeonardoInteractive, 8th Jun, $24.99) – Willy Morgan is a third-person adventure game, set in a fantasy pirate-themed world with a modern touch. Combining the traditional point-and-click genre gameplay with a unique cartoon 3D graphics, Willy Morgan has the dreamy atmosphere, the humor and the freedom to explore typical of timeless classics.
﹛﹛What will you be downloading this week?
﹛﹛Game Builder Garage
﹛﹛Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection
﹛﹛Alba: A Wildlife Adventure
﹛﹛Arcade Archives HACHA MECHA FIGHTER
﹛﹛Conglomerate 451: Overloaded
﹛﹛Kirakira stars idol project Ai
﹛﹛League Of Champions Soccer
﹛﹛Life of Fly 2
﹛﹛Lost Lands: Mistakes of the Past
﹛﹛Multilevel Parking Driver
﹛﹛Pix Jungle Adventures
﹛﹛Puzzle Box 3 in 1
﹛﹛Shieldwall Chronicles: Swords of the North
﹛﹛Sun Wukong VS Robot
﹛﹛Super Soccer Blast: America VS Europe
﹛﹛The Solitaire Conspiracy
﹛﹛Umurangi Generation Special Edition
﹛﹛Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town
﹛﹛Nothing for me this week
﹛﹛(You can select up to 5 answers)
﹛﹛So that’s your lot for this week’s North American Nintendo Download. Go on, be a sport and drop a vote in the poll above, and comment below with your hot picks!
﹛﹛Alba: A Wildlife Adventure (Switch eShop)Alchemist Adventure (Switch eShop)ANIMUS: Revenant (Switch eShop)Arcade Archives HACHA MECHA FIGHTER (Switch eShop)Conglomerate 451: Overloaded (Switch eShop)Game Builder Garage (Switch)Griftlands (Switch eShop)Head Games (Switch eShop)Hero Pop (Switch eShop)Inexistence Rebirth (Switch eShop)Kirakira stars idol project Ai (Switch eShop)League Of Champions Soccer (Switch eShop)Life of Fly 2 (Switch eShop)Lost Lands: Mistakes of the Past (Switch eShop)Multilevel Parking Driver (Switch eShop)Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection (Switch eShop)Piczle Cells (Switch eShop)Pix Jungle Adventures (Switch eShop)Puzzle Box 3 in 1 (Switch eShop)Sable’s Grimoire (Switch eShop)Shieldwall Chronicles: Swords of the North (Switch eShop)Sun Wukong VS Robot (Switch eShop)Super Soccer Blast: America VS Europe (Switch eShop)The Solitaire Conspiracy (Switch eShop)Umurangi Generation Special Edition (Switch eShop)Wave Break (Switch eShop)Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town (Switch eShop)