Nintendo Land Review
Nintendo Land's varied attractions offer plenty of family-friendly fun and make great use of the Wii U's capabilities.
Moving on to attractions that support multiple players, The Legend of Zelda Battle Quest lets you and up to three friends venture into Nintendo Land's charming fabric-and-buttons imitation of Hyrule. If you wield the tablet, your weapon is a bow. As you move the tablet around, the screen acts like a window into the gameworld, letting you look in any direction. Pulling back on the right stick draws your bow, and releasing it lets your arrow fly. If you're playing with a Wii Remote, you take the role of a swordsman. Swordplay is similar to that in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Enemies are often shielded from vertical strikes but vulnerable to horizontal swings (or vice versa), and you've got to change up your attacks accordingly. Both swordplay and archery feel great, and the freedom to look in all directions via the tablet is a particularly nifty use of the Wii U's capabilities. Unfortunately, though this attraction can be played by one player, the difficulty doesn't scale well; unless you approach it with a good number of friends, the challenge becomes overwhelming after the first few stages.
Most of Nintendo Land's attractions are pleasantly simple and straightforward, but Pikmin Adventure strays into shallowness. Your role again varies depending on whether you're playing with the tablet or with a remote. With the tablet, your Mii dons Captain Olimar's spacesuit and attacks enemies and environmental objects by throwing pikmin at them; you simply tap something on the touch screen to hurl pikmin at it. If you're playing with a remote, you dress up as a pikmin and attack things directly. There's a solo or cooperative Challenge mode in which you try to progress through 16 stages, and a competitive Versus mode in which players battle it out to see who can claim the most candy. It's diverting for a little while, and the Pikmin-esque trappings are cute, but the button-mashing (or, if you're playing with the tablet, whatever you call the touch screen equivalent of button-mashing) gameplay is too basic to make this attraction more than a brief diversion.
Significantly better than Pikmin Adventure is Metroid Blast. With the tablet, you take control of a cartoonishly small version of Samus Aran's gunship. The piloting controls are intuitive, and because the vulnerable spots on enemies are often quite small, you'll want to take advantage of the ship's zoom function and engage in some satisfying sharpshooting as you soar around. With a remote and nunchuk, you fight on foot in the Mii equivalent of Samus' distinctive suit. The competitive option in Metroid Blast pits the gunship pilot against the other players. The pilot has the advantage of aerial maneuverability, but the other players are smaller, more elusive targets, capable of curling up into a ball and of zipping up to grapple points scattered around the arena. (You can also eschew the tablet and just battle on the ground.)
Competitive Metroid Blast is an enjoyable sci-fi shootout, especially if you and your friends take turns piloting the gunship. And the solo or cooperative Assault Mission mode is a great offering that takes you through a variety of Metroid-inspired environments and pits you against an assortment of Metroid-inspired enemies, including a towering version of the monster Kraid.
Finally, there are those attractions that are strictly multiplayer and competitive. Each of these features asymmetrical multiplayer in which the player with the tablet plays a very different role from those wielding remotes. In Animal Crossing: Sweet Day, players with remotes run around an environment collecting candy. The player with the tablet controls two gatekeepers, one with each thumbstick, and tries to catch the other players, who move more slowly as they pick up more candy. Controlling the two gatekeepers puts you in a position where a number of things might be competing for your attention and you have to make quick decisions about how best to corner and capture the other players. As a fruit collector, you have your own decisions to make when the gatekeepers are near. Do you jettison some fruit to gain speed, or do you hang on to the fruit you've collected and risk getting caught in pursuit of the glory of victory?
Luigi's Ghost Mansion casts the player with the tablet as a ghost who must sneak up on the other players, causing them to faint. The other players are ghost hunters equipped with flashlights; if they catch the ghost in the beam of their light, the ghost flees and loses some health. The ghost is invisible on the television screen, though it may become briefly visible in a flash of lightning. Ghost hunters must use their flashlights sparingly--batteries drain quickly--but remotes start to vibrate when the ghost is near, encouraging ghost hunters to call out to each other and work together to defeat the ghost. It's suspenseful to feel the ghost near you and frantically try to find it with your flashlight, and playing as the ghost, successfully sneaking up to spook a ghost hunter is satisfying.
The best of the competitive bunch, though, is also the most traditional. Mario Chase is just a big game of hide-and-seek with a nifty technological twist. The player with the tablet is Mario; everyone else is a Toad whose job is to pursue Mario. In the Mario role, the tablet's screen shows you a map of the entire arena, and you can see your pursuers' positions at all times. This certainly gives you an edge, but you're outnumbered, and though the Toads don't know where you are, they can always see how far away from you they are, and whether they're getting closer to you or further away. Arenas are divided into four colored zones, making it easy for pursuers to call out to each other when they spot Mario and rally everyone to that area. It's a game full of thrilling captures and narrow escapes of the sort that elicit squeals of delight from victors and cries of anguish from losers. All in all, it's simply a great time.
There's one last thing to do in Nintendo Land. In each attraction, you earn coins, and you can spend these coins to play a simple game reminiscent of Peggle. Clearing stages here earns you prizes that reside in the park plaza. The pixelated coin drop game is oddly compelling, and it's rewarding to see your plaza go from an empty space to one filled with neat Nintendo-y things.
But like Nintendo Land's use of familiar properties, this bevy of prizes to collect wouldn't be worth much if it wasn't supported by good gameplay. Thankfully, it is. Nintendo Land isn't just a fine showcase of the Wii U's capabilities, though it certainly is that. It's also a great game in its own right, and particularly if you have friends or family members with whom you can play all of the multiplayer attractions, it's a great way to start getting a lot of enjoyment out of the new console immediately.
Is this really a review? About 95% of the review is just a description of all the mini-games that this game has to offer, which can be gleaned from previous articles. The whole point of a review is for the reviewer to actually share their opinion about the game... The only semblance of any sort of an opinion came from the last paragraph.
What a disappointing review!
Seems Nintendo has turned all those "Wii U experinces" from E3 2011 into a full game. Chase mii became Mario Chase, The Ninja throwing star experince became a full Ninja game from the Japanese NES. Takamaru's Ninja castle. Battle mii became Metriod blast. Luigi's Ghost mansion was also an E3 2011 Wii U experience. Only the Pirate Wii U experience didn't make it into a Nintendoland attaction mini game. Shield Pose. But Nintendo did manage to turn those Experiences from E3 2011 into a "pack in game" whose purpose is to introduce the Gamepad functions.
If it wasn't included with the Wii U deluxe set. I personally wouldn't have bought this game separately. For a extra $50.00 this is alright for a throw in. Along with all of the Wii U deluxe extras.
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@IsaacClarke1 Once again, Nintendo is threading in casual gaming. In party games and etc...
A Launch title should be a new Zelda, Mario Metroid or anything like that, beggining the console with this kind of game is just... Wrong.
@Raxyman @King9999 @IsaacClarke1 That's exactly what Nintendo have done by releasing a party game along with another title upon release. Nintendo Land shows that the Wii U can be for casual and fun gaming with friends and family, Mario U shows they can get a bit more serious and will do so, and then AC3, ME3, Batman, zombiU etc. all show that the Wii U will also cater to the more hardcore gamers. Wii U launched with great and perfectly varied games, all of which have received high ratings that the 3DS and VITA's launch titles. I really don't see what you should be complaining about.
@IsaacClarke1 Repetition is funny....oh wait, no it isn't. Fool.
@IsaacClarke1 Bad troll is bad.
Unlike Gametrailers.com's review, GameSpot's is more positive and fitting for a game that is better than what people think it is.
Please use 8.0 as a judgment to cast for NEW GEN. Not verse current gen
That's the only thing I can take here, because as a NEW GEN I think 8.0 is acceptable, but compared to current gen this is like a 9.5 in my SHORT LIVED LIVE Stream viewing of this game. Really impressed.
I wasn't expecting anything but an upgrade or Wii 1.5 to Wii with Wii U BUT
I think Wii U looks Next Gen so far.
Gamespot = just hatin' OR creating a new scale for next gen (which is sort of getting out of hand, and there just needs to be one, not Xbox vs xbox and 3ds vs 3ds)
but eventually this could be something really great soon.
** This game seems like a demo to future games.
Expensive but great! XD
@iwoof did you watch the "gaintbomb- live stream" earlier, wii-u lagged horribly on epic mickey 2, and that game isn't graphically intense, this isn't a Next Gen Console. Plain and simple... Next gen should be pushing boundaries, not trying to catch up to current ones.
So does anyone think that the crown guy for Nintendo Land looks like the Lord of Games from Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts?
Well this sounds good only because of the violence-driven elements, the Hyrule mock-up specifically. I especially appreciate the implementation of a not-so-augmented reality that the tablet becomes...Here finally the technology is being put to good use and the Wii U shows some particular promise.
I have to stop watching reviews. Next thing I know 300 dollars is gone and I'm sleeping on the couch.
@rushiosan Difficulty shouldn't be a factor in a review, since some games are tailored towards more experienced people, take Dark Souls for instance
@rushiosan The game can be mediocre and have no bad points or good points, from your logic it would still get a 10...
@rushiosan What the hell did you expect, a 9.5? There's no direct correlation between how much content is under the "good" and "bad" sections to the score the game gets. Maybe if you read the review you would know why it got an 8, which by the way is a great score, especially for such a casual game.
@rushiosan then don't come on the site man -,-
This actually looks pretty great. Looks fun, and has some pretty graphics too. I know it's not fantastic, but think about it, how great did the PS3's and Xbox 360's launch titles look compared to the games now? Exactly.
Nintendo Land looks fun for a free game you get with the 32GB console.
What other system offers a free game with their console?
Go Nintendo, cant wait to get one!
played this when it was called Warioware and Mario Party... NintendoLand should have been the the better Xbox Live.
What a sexy looking game. Get some friends, some snacks, and a night off, and we'll all have a good time. Can't wait to check out the Metroid Blast and Zelda Battle Quest portions. :D