Nintendo Land is the perfect launch game to show off the great potential of the Wii U Gamepad.
Nintendo Land is the perfect launch game to show off the great potential of the Wii U Gamepad. Unfortunately Nintendo Land is the sort of theme park that you will likely enjoy on your first visits – but after repeated admissions the novelty wears off quickly.
Nintendo Land is divided into 12 attractions – each uniquely themed with an iconic Nintendo franchise. These franchise range from the more recognize to the more obscure. Boasting a nice colourful palette and a whimsical art style which captures the essence of Nintendo – Nintendo land is a very pleasant game to look at. It may not be the most technical game in the market, but the game is incredibly beautiful. You really must check the game in action, because it looks better than most video tend to suggest.
Luckily for us, Nintendo Land is an incredible fun game, with the condition that you have a couple of friends to play with. Nintendo Land truly shines with multiplayer. The team based and competitive based attractions are the pick of the litter.
My favourite is Metroid Blast. Metroid Blast plays like those all school 3rd person shooters on the Nintendo 64. Playing Metroid blast, I think of those days when I would play Jet Force Gemini, Starfox 64 and conkers bad fur day on multiplayer with a couple of friends. The nostalgia reminds that local multiplayer can be so much fun, I am particularly glad that Nintendo has not abandoned this. Metroid blast is divided into two modes, one objective base and the other a standard battle mode. The individual on the gamepad controls Samus' gunship while the other players are using the Wii remote to control mii's on the ground. Mission mode is fairly lengthy and includes two fantastic Ridley boss battles.
Sadly the attraction for my favourite Nintendo franchise doesn't really achieve the same level of fun as Metroid Blast. Zelda Battle quest is an on-rail mini game. The player on the gamepad wields a bow and arrow – using the gyroscope functionality to aim. Players use the wii remote to swing their swords in the same fashion as you would in Skyward sword and Wii Sport resort. Yes this attraction is fun but the implementation of the gamepad is uninspired and far from impressive. I would have loved if this attraction played more like a Zelda title. Battle quest would of have greatly benefitted if players were given the freedom to explore, solve puzzles and battle enemies - as you would in a Zelda game. Unfortunately the end product is a shallow on-rails attraction that leaves nothing to the imagination.
Asymmetric gameplay and the gamepad really shine in the competitive attractions. The advantages of the gamepad become much more apparent and hopefully you will begin to understand the Wii U just as I did. The first attraction is Mario chase. The goal of Mario chase is simple – it is pretty much a game of hide and seek. On the gamepad a top down view of the map is shown with the icons representing the players, you will know where all the pursuers are located, so it's your job to evade them until the timer runs out. On the other side of the coin, the pursuers will be playing on the TV, trying desperately to hunt you down. Whether playing on the gamepad or playing on the screen, each offer advantages and disadvantages, so the attraction still remains competitive without being imbalance.
Perhaps the best attractions, Luigi's ghost mansion is the most imaginative and inspired mini game I have played in years. Luigi ghost mansion is a game of cat and mouse, the player on the gamepad plays as a ghost, it is their mission to scare the other players 3 times. The additional players simply need to survive without being captured or reduce the health of the ghost to zero by shining light with their torch. Since the ghost is strictly played on the gamepad, the other players are unable to see the position of the ghost, until the light of thunder reveals their position. Luigi Ghost mansion is fun and tense, without a doubt it will be a winner with a couple of friends.
Unfortunately the solo attraction don't fair all that well. Yes they are fun but after a few tries the novelty really starts to wear off. Octopus dance, Donkey Kong's Crash Course and Captain Falcon are particularly bland and use the gamepad in uninteresting ways. My particular problem with most of the solo attraction is that they were unable to retain my attention for very long. They are fun for the first time you play, but you never have the strong urge to come back to them. To really enjoy Nintendo Land it is vital that you have friends to play along with, without anyone Nintendo Land becomes dull and shallow.
Nintendo Land is so dependent on local multiplayer, without anyone to play with, I doubt many players will regularly return to Nintendo Land. I see Nintendo land being the game you put into the Wii U during get togethers, after that it will be left on the shelf collecting dust.
There are some gems amongst these attractions. One being balloon trip breeze. In balloon trip you indirectly guide your Mii through a series of obstacle courses by touching the gamepad to create breezes. The secret to success is planning carefully by looking at the wider view of the TV screen. Although the use of the gamepad is rather average, balloon trip breeze is simplistic and challenging.
How does Nintendo Land utilize Miiverse? Well you can walk around the main plaza of Nintendo Land to see other Mii's, approach a little closer you can read their posts. In addition after a session playing one of the attractions, you are able to express your feelings, experience or just doodle just for the fun of it. I found myself in more than one occasion, just walking around the main plaza just to read other players post. Reading other individuals post intrigues me.
Ultimately, Nintendo Land is an incredibly fun game, but like I said before to get most out of the game, it is best you have a couple of friends sitting around the TV. As a showcase of the Wii U gamepad capabilities, Nintendo Land succeeds with varying degrees.