Can Nintendo Land prove the Wii U’s Wii Sports?
Posted by PlayDevil.com Staff on Feb 19, 2013 14:38 (Feb 19, 2013 14:38)
Written by: Alex
The Land from Nintendo:
"NintendoLand" is the Wii U’s Wii Sports. It is the one release title that utilises all of the new machine’s features, splitting them over a dozen mini-games. With a mix of family-friendly games, charming art style and classic Nintendo franchises it is easy to see why Nintendo chose it as the Wii U Premier bundle title. But for those who bought the Basic or Zombi U units, is it worth picking up?
Set around a (predictably) Nintendo themed amusement park, NintendoLand is filled with a selection of single and multiplayer ‘rides’. Each mini-games provides a unique experience, themed on a different Nintendo title, and makes use of all the Wii U’s control features.
There are two ways to move between Nintendo Land’s events, either by navigating the Plaza or through the more convenient (but less entertaining) menu. The Plaza is the centre of the NintendoLand, from which your Mii avatar can enter all rides, as well as offering some (limited) online social features and a display area for trophies. Every entrance is themed on the ride contained within and covered with 8-bit Nintendo mosaics. With a total of twelve titles (six single player and six multiplayer focused), events span from Animal Crossing to Metroid, all catering to a range of audiences and difficulties.
Every game focuses on a single feature of the pad, be it conventional buttons, tilt or touch screen. Metroid is perhaps the most ‘hardcore’ event on offer, making full use of the pads buttons and analogue sticks, as well as using the motion control to aim. Conversely events like F-Zero Twister Race keep the complexity light, asking you to holding the pad vertically like a wheel, simply tilting it to turn. For the most part events are easy to pick up, with only four or so demanding a familiarity with the greater complexities of gaming, ensuring that (the majority of) Nintendo Land can be enjoyed by anyone who picks it up.
Nintendo’s ingenuity runs through all of the mini-games, keeping them entertaining however you experience them, but it is only when multiplayer that NintendoLand really comes alive. This is primarily due to the Wii U controller, which allows Nintendo to create asymmetrical battles. Setting one player against up to four others (or occasionally helping them in co-op games), the player with the Wii U pad takes on a different role to the others, all of whom use traditional Wii remotes.
These games revolve around the lone player having additional information to the others as they either hunt them down, or are hunted down. Most novel among these is the Animal Crossing game. Here the lone player has to track down up to four others as they hunt the world for candy. Trying to catch four other players is tough, so to balance it out the solo player directs two characters, one with each analogue stick. True, each multiplayer event is simple in concept, but their asymmetry and tight design ensures that they are always exciting.