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Post E3 Wii U Event

Post E3 Wii U Event

Platform: Wii U
Category: Consoles

So a week back we hopped on a late broken ferry over to Vancouver to check out Nintendo Canada's E3 follow up Wii U display. Although we were late for a meeting beforehand due to the unforeseen ferry issue, we did get to the 3pm event on time. Nintendo invited us into a large room at their offices where several displays were set up with Wii U stations and a number of game offerings to peruse. I've only demoed the Wii U a handful of times so admittedly it still takes time getting my bearings around using the screen with certain titles; but overall it's not difficult to catch on. And I really like the potential of the new machine. I just wish there were some deeper games on display. We'll hopefully see that down the road with development time.

The game demos Nintendo had on display included:

Batman Arkum City: Armored Edition
Rayman Legends
Super Mario Brothers U
Wii U Fit
Project P-100
Pikmin 3
Nintendo Land

Admittedly, I didn't get the chance to play every single one of these titles. The games I didn't play were demoed by others and I listened in to the PR station folks explaining the details. But the ones I did try were fun stuff.

The first game I got my hands on was ZombieU. Pretty standard horror shooter zombie affair akin to Resident Evil, or Left4Dead. London has been plagued by zombies and you're trying to get through various areas killing them off, lest you be eaten. You can pick locks, loot bodies, open chests, find and upgrade ammo/weapons that you switch to by dragging to the appropriate slots with the gamepad hand held screen.

Batman Arkum City was the next title in line, but I spent more time watching others than getting hands on time. There's a little more to it with the gamepad controller, but since I've played the title already on other consoles I passed up the wait and moved on to Rayman Legends and Super Mario Brothers U, which I played with Murray G.

Mario Brothers U was fun, but felt much like the same ole, while Rayman Legends was pretty sweet. The graphics in Rayman are sharp and well stylized, and although I tend to shy away from 2D platformers since I've had my fill over the years, I had a blast moving Rayman quickly through a few levels, jumping around and taking out baddies. While I controlled Rayman, Murray stepped in as in as a second player controlling the frog character, Globox, using the Wii U gamepad controller screen to pathe a way for Rayman to travel. This adds an interesting dimension to the two player experience, instead of both players sharing the same features in typical two player mode.

The Wii U Fit offering was entertaining and tiring (that's what it's all about), with the gamepad displaying its usefulness in the few games I tried. In the trampoline venue the handheld screen offers a different view to help you guide yourself back towards the centre target after a jump, and with the water gun title the small screen controller becomes your gun, granting you the ability to choose between the view on the controller's screen or the TV whilst aiming. I found it a lot easier to watch the small screen with this one. The most fun I had was with the waiter title however, with the controller becoming a tray that I needed to keep balanced while attempting to walk and deliver food from one customer to the next. If you tip the tray too much, the food spills and you fail.

So then we moved past Pikman 3, which looks graphically awesome, and picked up the Viewtiful Joe styled superhero title Project P-100 before heading out and trying one of the Nintendo Land scenarios where you play as a ninja. Using the handheld screen I got to flick and toss throwing stars at targets, which I have to say was fairly exhausting on the wrist. For some reason Murray G was able to destroy my accuracy when he had a go. Perhaps it's from playing too much Tron's Deadly Disk back in the day or the fact that he's a championship frisbee player, or perhaps it's something else entirely. I dunno. Overall the controller in games like this really demonstrate a much more active and immersing experience rather than then merely working your thumbs and fingers.

All-in-all it was a fun two hours spent and a good day out. We can't wait to see more from the Wii U and the good folks at Nintendo.


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