My Wii U arrived! So I spent most of the weekend playing it and the games I got with it.
It’s not a minigame collection. No matter who tells you it is, it isn’t. It’s a collection, sure, but some of the games are full, proper games. Take the Pikmin Adventure game. It’s Pikmin. Sure, it’s not got all the item collecting and night-time save-all-the-pikmin bits, but it’s a complete and reasonably long “campaign”. Single player only game Yoshi Cart would be a £7-ish 3DS download title in a parallel universe – loads and loads of levels (I’ve made it to 37 or something so far), and it’s an excellent puzzle game.
Zelda Battle Quest is also pretty long. It feels like a multiplayer version of Link’s Crossbow Training, and would also make an excellent budget stand-alone release. See also Metroid Blast – it’s a complete game in itself, and probably the biggest of all those in Nintendo Land.
Even the “smallest” of the games (in my opinion) – Donkey Kong’s Crash Course – is still a great Screwball Scramble type game. It’s fun, difficult, and very addictive. Balloon Trip Breeze is another “small” game, but is infinitely replayable.
Mario Chase, Luigi’s Ghost Mansion and Animal Crossing: Sweet Day are all fun multiplayer games, and I suppose do come closest to those in a “minigame” compilation. They’re more substantial than the likes of anything in, say, Raving Rabbids or Mario Party though, and definitely don’t feel throwaway or filler.
Overall, it’s a great package. It trains you in using all of the Wii U’s functions well, and I know I’ll be playing some of the games for a long time.
New Super Mario Bros U
For some reason, many people slated New Super Mario Bros Wii, and (to a lesser extent) the DS’s New Super Mario Bros too. I really enjoyed them. Sure, they weren’t as good as Mario 3 or Mario World, but then, very little is.
NSMBU is more than just a HD continuation of the NSMB “series”. It’s a homage proper to the previous Mario games, taking inspiration from Mario 3 and Mario World (similar world map, Toad houses, Koopa Kids, and so on) and adds gloss and shine and new and HD and makes it drip with wet runny gameplay. It’s the best 2D Mario game since Mario World, and I’m only a third through!
I also let my daughter play as the “helper” in Boost Rush mode. It generally worked really well, with her putting platforms to help me get coins, and tapping baddies to stun them. Really good fun.
Nano Assault Neo
One of the two eShop games I downloaded once my Wii U had arrived. The best way I’ve been able to describe it is it’s like Mutant Storm Reloaded played out on Mario Galaxy planetoids. They’re not mutants, they’re viral infections, and they’re not planetoids, they’re tissue cells, but you get the idea.
Twin stick shooters are one of the few types of shooter I enjoy, and this really is excellent. Eyeball meltingly so.
And this is the other eShop game. I’ve played very little so far, but the game pad touch controls (for the wizard, specifically) are perfect. I had played the Mac version a bit a few months ago, but found it impossible to control. The Wii U’s controller fixes that, so it feels as great to play as it looks. And it looks astounding. Really pretty.