Sunday, June 10, 2012

Hands On With The Wii-U

During last years E3 it was impossible for me to get my hands on the Wii-U and try it out.  Now that it is getting closer to release I was finally able to try out Nintendo's next big console.  I was skeptical at first, with its big tablet controller and Nintendo's ambition to open up to a more hardcore audience, it seems like Nintendo is taking a big risk with the launch of Wii-U.  Though I didn't get to play the more popular games like Assassins creed 3 and Zombie-U, I did get my hands on Game & Wario and Super Mario Bros. U.

When I first picked up the the Wii-U tablet controller, I was really surprised how light weight it was in my hands.  I was expecting it to be a little heavy and cumbersome.  I was also surprised of how comfortable it was to hold, the joysticks were easy to use and the action buttons were easily accessible.  Overall I was impressed with the controller. I was very skeptical when I first saw the controller at E3 last year, but after seeing what it could do and getting some hands on time, I think it could be a very unique way to play games.

The first game I got my hands on was a small title called Game & Wario.  It featured some mini-games like archery, skiing and spy picture game.  I chose the Archery game, of course, because I like to shoot things.  The Wii-U controller acted as the bow, holding the controller upright and pulling back on the screen to release the arrow to hit your targets.  You could also collect items in the game to make your arrow stronger by rubbing the tip of the arrow before shooting.  The game was very basic and I think will be available on the Nintendo Store or will come free with the Wii-U.

The other game I got my hands on was the new Super Mario Bros. U.  I played both on the tablet and with a standard Wii controller.  The tablet controller doesn't actually control any characters, with it you can manipulate the world while other players run through it.  Using the stylus you could create blocks for your friends to jump on and help progress through the level.  You could also hit creatures in the game and make them vulnerable for your co-op friends to hit.  The features they showed with the controller were pretty limited but they might add more features upon release.

Nintendo is taking a big risk with the release of the Wii-U.  It is clear that they want to extend their gaming community to the more hardcore gamers that play Playstation and Xbox, but with the constant talk of next gen consoles coming within the next couple years, it might be too little too late for Nintendo's next console.  However, Nintendo has always appealed to a bigger audience with its easy to play and addictive games.  It was a smart idea by Nintendo to incorporate a tablet controller considering tablet computers are becoming widely accessible.  It will be interesting to see what new announcements will be made before the release coming this holiday season.


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