As you all know yesterday I was in New York City at a special Invitation Only event to try out the Nintendo Wii U. Many adventures were had as today I’m exhausted. The thing I’m sure you all want to know all about it, so let’s get started.
The event was called the Wii U Experience and was limited to select Club Nintendo members, Nintendo employees, and press. In order to sign in, ID was required and we got a Wii U lanyard and a Wii U Experience card on the lanyard. The card probably has an RFID Chip, which we would scan at select photo booths to take a fun and awesome picture.
Once we got into the area they had couches, and a small area set up for refreshments. They served fruit shish kabobs with a strawberry, two watermelon pieces, a cantaloupe piece, and a grape. The also gave out Wii U labeled mini water bottles and blue Jones soda that had a Berry Lemonade flavor. At the end they gave out some more food, such as blue frosted doughnuts (yes, they had sprinkles!) and small cake lollipops. A red mushroom and Koopa shell which were both red velvet cake, and a blue mushroom which was chocolate cake. All of the food was delicious.
And that concludes our entry.
Wait… you want to hear about games? Oh fine… I guess I can continue.
They had a ton of games to choose from including Nintendo Land, New Super Mario Bros. U, Pikmin 3, Rayman Legends, Project P-100, Game & Wario, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge, ZombiU, Batman Arkham City: Armored Edition, Sing, Wii Fit U, and Just Dance 4. All of the game demos were the same ones that were at E3 a few weeks ago.
We only had two hours to play games and take a look at everything, so sadly we didn’t get to try everything.
The Wii U Gamepad is surprisingly light and extremely comfortable in the hands. I haven’t had a controller this comfortable since the Gamecube controller. I was very impressed by it. The control sticks feel natural; the buttons have the right amount of push. The touch screen has the right amount of sensitivity. The size may cause issues for small children.
We checked out New Super Mario Bros. U, which felt like a new and prettier version of NSMB Wii. This is definitely not a bad thing, the controls on the Wii Remotes are the same as they were in NSMB Wii, things get changed up with Squirrel Mario and the New Yoshi powers. Squirrel Mario has a good glide, the mechanics are tighter than ever, and one of the coolest parts of the power is that you can grab onto the walls and hang onto them. This power is a keeper.
Ballon Yoshi allows you to fly through the level, and from how it felt you can fly indefinitely, I didn’t get to try that as I ended up dieing though and losing Yoshi. It was still very fun as the action was so chaotic.
The final level I tried out Boost Mode using the stylus and the Wii U Gamepad. Placing the assist blocks is as easy as tapping the screen, but you must be quick as the action is very fast paced. Another cool thing is stunning enemies. Tap a koopa and he retracts into his shell. It was tough trying to save people from the Munchers, and sadly, I’m not the person you want to trust to save you in Boost Mode.
Pikmin 3 they had the Wiipad set up on a stand so you could view the map as you controlled our cute space explorer with the Wii Motion Plus and Nunchuk. The rock Pikmin can be used in a boss battle and must be thrown to damage the hard armored shell of the boss. Once the shell is destroyed, the red Pikmin can be thrown at it for massive damage. I got to try out a bit of a level and, it feels very much like an HD Pikmin, it was fabulous. The controls were perfect for precision Pikmin throwing and taking out enemies. This game is a love letter to Pikmin fans.
As for the Wii U Gamepad stand, I asked if that would be packaged with the system however the Nintendo representatives did not know.
As for some of the ones that I took a look at but didn’t get a chance to play:
Rayman Legends, I heard great things about it from those who tried it, and honestly it looks so amazing. I wish I had a chance to try it.
Project P-100, Another one which had a long line, it looked like one of the more insane games, and it looked fun.
Game & Wario, Uhhhh.... I didn't get a chance to look at this one.
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge, Brian got to play this one, it seems to be an improvement over the original build, and it is extremely hard.
ZombiU, It looked awesome and creepy from what I saw of it. Brian got a chance to try it too, It is challenging, but also fun to hunt and kill your zombie self.
Sing, Wii Fit U, and Just Dance 4. These ones we didn’t really check out.
I also played Batman Arkham City: Armored Edition, which was very tactical and felt good with the Wii U Gamepad. Having your inventory on screen is great, and it really feels like you are looking into your pack as you have to take your eyes off the screen. One of the fun parts was the Wii U Gamepad controlled Batarang. If you’ve played with the Beetle in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword it is kind of like that, just so much faster. You view and control the Batarang with the Wii U Gamepad, while the TV just shows Batman looking on. It was also impressive using a First Person view with the Wii U Gamepad, looking around using the controller felt good and was really immersive. This is definitely a must buy for me.
Now for one of the most surprising games, Nintendo Land. We didn’t have the highest expectations for Nintendo Land, but it was seriously a ton of fun.
The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest started off with Aleks and Brian each playing as a Link with a sword. I took control of the Archer Link with the Wii U Gamepad. You move automatically and must look around with the gamepad and pull back on a control stick to fire off an arrow. To reload arrow you need to hold the gamepad horizontally. The tough thing is you only have 5 shared hearts. Needless to say, we got taken out.
With Animal Crossing: Sweet Day we played with two Nintendo Reps on Wiimotes. As the animals you have to run around and collect 50 pieces of candy. However each piece of candy slows you down. To get the candy out of the trees you must stand in front of them, some times you need three people in front of one tree. So, you have to work together. On the flipside as the guards you move each one with the Control Sticks independently of each other and attack with the triggers on the Wii U Gamepad. On the screen you see the entire area and the guards. If you hit the animals, three times you win. With a hit, the animals can also lose a bit of candy.
As the animals, I was able to help my team and we won as we avoided Aleks as he chased us. Brian had more luck as the guards and managed to beat us eventually. When I had my turn with the guards, I was able to trap the animals and secure an easy victory.
With Luigi's Ghost Mansion four players must try to find a ghost in a maze, and weaken it by shining their flashlight towards it. If you are hit by the ghost you can be revived if other people use their flashlight on you. Use your flashlight too much and the battery gets low. The Wiimote will also vibrate if the ghost is nearby. The ghost is controlled with the Wii U Gamepad, and they watch the screen on the controller. The ghost remains invisible to the remaining players unless they hit it to damage it with the flashlight or lightning illuminates the area.
This was the game that we played first and last in the event. I started out as the ghost and managed to pick off people one by one. Twice as they got revived. This game requires strategy if you are the ghost, you have to be sneaky and careful. As the humans, teamwork is key, and if you don’t work together, the ghost will win. We all played both roles and had a ton of fun with it. I was surprised by how much fun it was.
Now for some questions.
Jedi Master J. asked:
1. Will Nintendo be reaching out to indie developers to develop software for their eShop?
2. Does the Wii U actually have a title screen like the Wii and 3DS or is the Miiverse the new start up screen?
3. What's the battery life of Wii U Gamepad?
1. and 2. No information at this time.
3. A single charge lasts up to three to five hours. Charging takes two and a half hours, however, you can play it while it is plugged in.
One of the big questions I had was about Lego City Undercover. Where is it?
The answer is that the game build that they used for E3 is a bit unstable. It unfortunately isn’t ready for public showing yet. So sadly, I wasn’t able to try it out for you guys. Although, I do find it interesting that they have Nintendo as the publisher.
After the event we went back to the Nintendo World Store and participated in a Kid Icarus tournament. Free-for-All Fridays. Sadly, I didn’t advance to the final match, but I did get second by a close margin in my match. Of course we got to spread the awesome news of the Wii U to everyone there too.
There are some more pictures posted here
Anyway, my next entry will focus on some city stats from our 3DSes. Expect that one a little bit later.