Had a good time. There were no physical lines--you reserved a spot to play and came back later. Or you could wait and watch other people play or play some 3DS systems they had with some recent releases, namely, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, Animal Crossing: New Leaf,
and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D
. They gave away Luigi hats as part of the "Year of Luigi", but unfortunately, my brother, my sisters, and I arrived just after the last hat was given away. They also had Wii U lanyards and a special deal for special content for Animal Crossing
if you bought the game from Best Buy. Those who won two out of three Mario Kart 8
races received a "Year of Luigi" coin.
My brother and I ended up playing Super Mario 3D World
. It was definitely fun. The gameplay is like a cross between the Galaxies and the 2D Mario games. I played as Mario for both of the levels we played, and my brother played as Toad. Unfortunately, that meant the two folks we played with had trouble keeping up. My brother, being both a good Mario player and controlling the fastest character was far outpacing the others, and I kept up mainly by being the only one who was able to figure out the Cat Suit almost instantly. The lives and extra items are shared amongst everyone, but at the end of the level, all of the players' individual scores are displayed, showing who did best on the level and worst and so forth. My brother barely beat me out both times.
Soon afterwards, my sisters played Mario Kart 8
. The anti-gravity was fun for them, and the topsy-turviness of some of the shortcuts was very reminiscent of Super Mario Galaxy
. (I still contend that Mario Kart 8
should have been called Mario Kart Galaxy
.) One thing I noticed is that there seem to be no Spiny Shells, and the only two powerups that I noticed that weren't in Mario Kart Wii
was the Fire Flower and one other shield power that I only noticed after it was activated--I don't know its name or icon. The GamePad's gyroscope steering seems to be more sensitive than the Wii Remote steering, but I should also state that that's simply my opinion as an observer--I didn't get the chance to use the GamePad myself.
While we did not play them, we did get a chance to watch others play Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
. Those two are the best looking of the four games at the demonstration, and I'd give DKC: TF
a slight advantage in that department. It looks like a really fun game, and if Mario Kart 8
and Super Mario 3D World
weren't already on our docket, we might consider getting that one. In past years, when our parents wallets were a little more freed up at Christmastime, we might have had an opportunity to get both. Hopefully, the local library will get it, or maybe I'll rent it.