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.


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