Monday, July 30, 2012

Nintendo Land (WiiU) Impressions

If memory serves me right...Nintendo only had one surprise at their E3 2012 conference, and it was labeled as Nintendo Land. 

My imagination runs wild at the thought of a Nintendo theme park similar to Disney World. Explorring Princess Peach's Castle, a virtual reality Lylat System Arwing fight, a DK spinning barrel ride....the possibilities our endless. Even a virtual version of something similar would be an awesome endeavor. Sadly Nintendo Land is not the virtual theme park that I was hoping for. 

Nintendo Land is a collection of mini games inspired by Nintendo franchises. Each mini game has it's own rules and gameplay that falls into the world of that particular franchise. These mini games are not controlled by familiar characters such as Mario, Link, and Samus, but instead you will be controlling your Mii dressed up in an outfit that is fitting for that world. 

I got the chance to try out two of the twelve attractions: Animal Crossing: Sweet Day and The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest.

Sweet Day was a five player mini game that has four players working together to collect candy from trees while one person with the tablet attempts to take down the team by controlling two guards simultaneously with the tablet's two sticks. 

I am pretty sure the guy with the tablet was a developer, or was cheating.

I got to play on the team of four...and well...we did not do very well. I never felt like I got to fully appreciate the game since the guy with the tablet was so good. I guess it also didn't help that my teammates were not very talkative...but we will blame that on the loud atmosphere of the WiiU Experience. 

I am positive that this game could be a riot if you got together with four of your peeps. 

Next up was Battle Quest which put three players dressed as Link together for a co-op adventure. Two players have Wii-motes which act as swords, while one player with the tablet takes on the role of archer. 

I was one of the sword wielders, and found the controls to be responsive and something like a blend of Wii Sports Resort's sword game and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Even some of the enemies reminded me of Skyward Sword, since specific angled slashes were required to defeat them. 

All three members of the team share a heart pool. We sadly did not make it to the end of the stage, but it was fun non the less. 

I also had the chance to watch some players try out Luigi's Ghost Mansion. 

Similar to Sweet Day, four players work together, while one player on the tablet attempts to take them down. 
The player with the tablet plays as a ghost, while the four other players explorer the mansion interior with their flashlights. 

I was able to get a small amount of footage of Ghost Mansion. Check it out below!

The representatives at the event kept describing Nintendo Land as an example of what Nintendo is calling Asymmetrical multiplayer. I think Nintendo Land does a great job of this, but what worries me about the game is the possibility of an extreme lack of depth.

Nintendo Land seems to be the answer to the success of Wii Sports. Though Wii Sports was not incredibly deep, it had additive gameplay that kept players of all ages coming back for more. For Nintendo Land  to reach the caliber of Wii Sports it is going to either need depth or addictive gameplay...lets see if Nintendo can deliever this.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

New Super Mario Bros U WiiU Impressions.

Ready for more 2D platforming?
New Super Mario Bros U was one of the games I got to play but was not able to get gameplay footage of.

The fun things about NSMBU is the fact that a small speed run tournament was hosted at the WiiU experience....and well...My partner and I took home first place! =)

Now when I say I played with a teammate you are probably thinking one of us was Mario and the other was Luigi or some generic Toad...not exactly....

That's right folks. We BEAT Mario and Luigi.

During the tournament I took control of Mario with the classic sideways Wii-mote controller scheme. Mario controlled the same as always...I did not notice any differences in controls. While I was sprinting through the course as fast as possible my teammate assistance me in my run with the WiiU game pad. He could add stepping blocks, stun enemies, and help me gather useful items. In one scenery I was running through the stage without enough time to jump on a Koopa shell... luckily my partner came to the last minute rescue by tapping the Koopa as it appears real time on his game pad. Doing this popped the Koopa shell into Mario's hands allowing me to take out some Goombas off in the distance.

The demo at the WiiU Experience featured 3 playable levels. For a Super Mario veteran like myself I found these stages very simple, but fun non the less.  The stages looked very colorful and vibrant in its widescreen HD showing.

The full game can also be played on the gamepad at any time without the need of the television which is another great addition. Want to check the weather or how a sports team is doing? Just switch to the gamepad mode and keep playing while you check up on your favorite team.

New Super Mario Bros U is nothing groundbreaking, but it is more of the same fun you would come to expect from the New series. New levels, new power-ups, new graphics, and new features, and the ability to bring your Mii into the platforming action.


Batman: Arkham City (WiiU) Impressions.

I did not get the chance to take control of Batman in the port to the amazing game that first launched last year for other current gen consoles.

With that said...I did get some honest feedback from people who did experience Arkham through the tablet as we as the chance to watch a play through of the demo. (You can check out some of the gameplay yourself by clicking the link above.)

From what I could tell the game looked identical to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 counterparts. This is a very good thing, since Arkham City is a gorgeous looking game. 
What does this version do that is different though?

The big thing is the fact that the tablet now allows as control of gadgets and your menu. The tablet also gives you control of the new Battle Armored Tech (B.A.T.) which is an upgrade of the normal armor for Batman and Catwoman.
The WiiU version has the subname "Armored Edition" I was not given much information on what all will be included in this version to make it stand out other than the new tablet features and added DLC.
I feel like this version may suffer from finding an audience with so many people already diving into the experience this past year. Without enough new features there may not be enough incenteve for Arkham vets to jump back into the city. 
I am interested to see if the legacy of Nintendo fans that missed Batman's adventure last year will be enough for this game to gain high sales.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Wii Fit U Impressions

On July 19th I got to try out some of the games coming very soon for the WiiU system.

The first game I got to put not just my hand on, but my whole body was Wii Fit U.

I got the chance to try out two of the new mini games that will be on the final release later this year: bob sledding and paddle boat.
Click here for a Bob Sled Video

Both games were very fun to play, espically with people around comentating. Both mini games also made me feel like I was working out, more so the bob sledding...I could really feel it working my hidden six pack.
Click here for a Paddle Boat Video

The issue I could see with Wii Fit U judging from the demo is it is just Wii Fit Plus Plus. The demo did not do much to utilies the tablet. You could chose workouts on the tablet, as well as have an extra camera that featured extra shots of what was going on. I am really hoping that the final game will have much more acnoligment of the tablet...and I am sure it will.

One thing you may also notice about this game as well as all other WiiU games is they look great! The Mii characters really cant go much farther in terms of depth, but you will notice right a way how much clearer everything becomes in HD.

I am extremely happy to see Nintendo catching up to the HD world!


Monday, July 23, 2012

Something Different...

Hey Everyone!!!
Last Thursday I was given the chance to try out Nintendo’s new console coming out later this year.
I was not able to get a ton of footage….They gave us a limit…Regardless I did get some off screen footage of the WiiU in use. 
This week I decided that instead of sticking to the normal routen I will be posting impressions, photos, and videos of the WiiU experience I had. 
Check back later this week for more!