Wii U games hands-on preview: New Super Mario Bros U, ZombiU, Nintendo Land and Rayman Legends played
The Nintendo Wii U won’t be going on sale till later this year, but that didn’t stop us getting our hands on some of the games due to launch on the console. New Super Mario Bros U, ZombiU, Nintendo Land, Rayman Legends – we’ve played them all. Here’s what we think of the first Wii U games so far.
Super Mario Bros U
If you’ve played the original, New Super Mario Bros U is more of the same, with a sprinkling of new features designed to work with Wii U. The biggest of these is two-player co-op play that encourages players to help each other progress though levels by placing blocks in levels for players jump on.
You can play using the TV or the GamePad’s display as if it were a handheld console. Graphics look just as good on the GamePad, with little sign of difference between TV and tablet. The good news is playing with the GamePad isn’t uncomfortable at all, but should you prefer, you can play using the more traditional GamePad Pro controller. It’s a no brainer. If you love Mario games, it’s fair to say you’ll love this.
In what may or may not be a Wii U exclusive Rayman Legends borrows the same lovable cartoon style as seen in the excellent Rayman Origins. The standout feature is the ability for one player to control Rayman using either a GamePad Pro controller or Wii Nunchuk, and another to control new character Murphy – who helps clear the way by opening doors, cutting ropes, and lifting heavy objects to clear the path.
We came away thoroughly impressed by what’s shaping up to be a platformer every bit as enjoyable as Rayman Origins.
Nintendo Land is likely to be the Wii Sports of Wii U. Our time with it was split into playing a series of mini games. The Donkey Kong themed mini games has you attempting to navigate a cart with you in it, across platforms by tilting the GamePad Pro tablet-like controller. This was a good test of the controller’s accelerometer skills, with the pad responding nicely to our every tilt of the pad.
A Legend of Zelda themed mini game had us armed with a bow and arrow, using the GamePad as a viewfinder to aim – working with other players to shoot down enemies, and hitting switches with arrows to clear the way in a nice demonstration of the GamePad’s augmented reality skills and ability to throw up nice co-operative play moments.
In ZombiU, players are caught in the middle of a plague that has transformed london’s inhabitants into zombies. Our play time saw us take on the living dead outside the gates of Buckingham Palace, using the GamePad controller to shoot swing baseball bats at enemies, using the physical buttons on the GamePad, as opposed to swinging the controller like a loon. No waggle control here.
The GamePad’s unique features come in most handy when searching for hidden objects. Tapping one of the bumper buttons activates a scanning mode that turns the screen white in order to pick out objects of interest. It uses augmented reality, so players must rotate the GamePad, using its screen as a viewfinder to investigate their surroundings. Doing so is very neat, and adds a nice sense of physicality to the game world.
You can also swap weapons easily using the touchscreen, and grab new weapons by dropping and dragging items into your inventory using the GamePad’s touchscreen. It’ll take some getting used to, but does remove some of the pain of navigating confusing button layouts. As an experience the Wii U here does what it does well, but question marks remain as to whether we’d want to play an entire first person game holding the Wii U pad. But that didn’t stop us looking forward to playing more in future.
Which Wii U game are you most looking forward to? Drop us a comment telling us.