Recently Proteus, Humming Bird (Proteus' brother), ZeldaQueen and I had the opportunity to visit the Wii U experience that was put on by Nintendo when it came through Denver the past weekend. So what are our impressions of the new system? It was mostly positive for use. We got to play around 5 games each (and not all the same games). For the fact of linearity I an going to split this article up by game.
New Super Mario Bros. U
This game was played co-op. The primary player used a Wii Mote held sideways to move Mario around the screen while the secondary player used the Wii Pad to knock out enemies and create blocks that Mario can jump on to avoid obstacles or pits. This was a rapid fire play through as it was during a contest to beat a level as fast as possible. The game was fun though and I look forward to playing a fuller version of the game when the system is released this year.
Game and Wario (Tentative Title)
The true mini-game title for the Wii U. Game and Wario had 3 mini games. The demo tech did say there would be many more titles at launch. We played two of the games. One that used the Wii Pad's tilt controls to move a skier through a course. You had to watch the pad to see what to do though as the TV screen was used solely for those that were not playing. There were a few obstacles and going off course would slow you down. In a party environment this would be a contest for fastest time, and was a fun contest between the four of us.
The second game involved shooting nose arrows at approaching robots to prevent then from getting your strawberries (lives). If one reached the bottom of the TV screen then all the present bots would jump to the Wii Pad and you would have to furiously tap on the robots to destroy them. This was easy to do with a few robots, but I was much more frantic when there were 15+ of them coming at me. A fun game this was far more solo as it was the single longest Wario Ware style game I have every played. Much more suited for a quick game break or those moments no one else wants to play.
Again another game that was setup with a primary and secondary player. This time the primary player used the Pro controller (looks like and 360 controller) and the secondary player used the Wii Pad. The secondary player would manipulate the environment to assist the primary player. This would take forms in pulling up certain creatures, cutting ropes, and turning platforms. The co-op feature of this game was really fun and worked well once we had a hold of the situation. I am a little curious to see how the game works in a single player perspective as you had to have the help of the secondary player to complete the demo.
They had two forms of ZombiU in play at the Wii U Experience. The single player version uses the Wii Pad for control and interacting with the environment. In this demo you had to recover medicine from a nursery for someone. While playing I started to wonder, is it really necessary that I scan EVERYTHING before approaching it, or were they just showing off. Also I did not think it was needed to always tell the player to look at the tablet as the reason they would need to look at it was usually initiated by the player in the first place. What I did like was that when a character died you did not respawn as that character. You just took over a new character that, when they got to where your old character died, had to kill the zombied character you where playing.
Now the multiplayer version of the game was something that was new to me. It was your standard capture the flag scenario. One player used the TV screen and a Pro controller as a survivor gathering ammo and weapons while the other used the Wii Pad to control the zombies and move them around the map. The goal of both was to capture 4 flags first. The zombies were slower at it, but they had numbers on their side while the survivor had fire power on their side to take care of said zombies. It was a nice play on the capture the flag game type and I look forward to what more they offer when the game releases.
That was all I played. Proteus, ZeldaQueen and Hummingbird all played Nintendo Land which I have a preview on from E3 here. They also had the opportunity to play Sing and Pikman 3. So I will have to get them to update this with their experiences. Overall we were all impressed with what they to show us. We are looking a bit more forward to getting a Wii U when the system launches. Hopefully we will know more on this at the September press conference.