I know that the Wii U has been out for almost 2 months now but before I sat down to write a review, I wanted to make sure that I had thoroughly went through this launch game, especially to see how the replay value stood the test of time. This was one of the games I was most looking forward to when I heard about the Wii U. So what impressions have I walked away with almost 2 months after release? Well, its really a love/hate situation for me.
Nintendo Land the Good
Finally we have a game where you can actually run around as your own personal Mii. Upon starting the game you are met with a nice little intro filled with all the basic controls given by a robotic, tv looking device called Monita. After the hassle that Monita puts you through you are free to explore the “attractions”. My family and I first tackled the obvious ones like Mario Chase and Metroid Blast. These two are without a doubt the best attractions in Nintendo Land. Mario Chase alone kept us entertained for hours. The premise is that one person on the gamepad is running from the other players (who are using wiimotes) through a maze who are trying to capture him. Nothing more than a game of cat and mouse. Who knew that a game with such a simple idea could be so addicting. The player with the gamepad also has the option of turning on the camera (that is built into the gamepad) for the other players to see his/her reactions on the tv while being chased. Sounds a bit ridiculous but its one of those “you gotta try it to understand” kind of situations.
Metroid Blast is exactly what it sounds like: Players blasting either each other or cooperatively going up against waves of enemies. The level designs are a bit reminiscent of Tron (which if you are sci-fi fan like myself, you can appreciate) and this is the only attraction that offers up the most extensive controls (all others are comprised of a 2 to 3 button control system).
Luigi’s Ghost Mansion and Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest are both fun little multiplayer games that will keep a crowd entertained at least for awhile but ultimately you will find yourself going back to Mario Chase. It is positively the best attraction Nintendo Land has to offer.
This game is most definitely meant to be played with other people. While it does offer up some one player attractions, it doesn’t really shine until you have a room of your closest friends or family members. That’s where you’ll find the real treasures of this title and let’s face it, time spent with your family and friends is what it should really be about. In that category Nintendo Land gets it right.
Nintendo Land the Bad
With the few great multiplayer games that Nintendo Land offers up there are at least that many bad ones in single player. Matter of fact, there are more. Attractions like Donkey Kong’s Crash Course, Octopus Dance and Yoshi’s Fruit Cart seemed only a tad interesting and often left a bitter taste in my mouth. They seemed like titles better suited for mobile gaming rather than a showcase title for a brand new next gen console. The more time I spent in single player the more I became bored and wanted to turn the game off till my wife or nephews came to play. You can find details for these individual atrocities with a quick Google search.
Nintendo Land the Ugly
Wii Sports was a great showcase title for the capabilities of the Wii when it first released on November 19, 2006. It may be one of the reasons that there are 80 million copies of the game out in the world today. Wii Sports was WHY people initially bought a Wii. With the Wii U Nintendo Land hasn’t exactly captured that “IT” showcase title. For one, the system is graphically superior to the Wii and thus should offer at least slightly better graphics. In the visuals department Nintendo Land just feels like another Wii game only in high definition. Most of the attractions end up seeming like more of a gimmicky way to show what the gamepad can do rather than focus on actual gameplay and the fun factor of it all. Nintendo nailed the fun factor in some of the attractions but completely “dropped the ball” in most areas. After spending awhile with this title I can honestly say that the only reason that my family and I bring this game out is for Mario Chase.
Nintendo Land the Conclusion
While Nintendo Land is for fun at its core, most of what this title has to offer leaves one feeling as if this was a “generic” effort by Nintendo and not much heart was put into it. Is it really worth the $59.99 price tag? Absolutely not. Nintendo Land comes as a “pack in” title with the Wii U deluxe package so luckily I didn’t feel as much ripped off but for those who purchase a Wii U basic package, I advise to at least rent this game before you buy it. Perhaps if Nintendo offered a demo on the eShop or even lowered the price to a nice $39.99 it could be worth the purchase but until then, this is definitely a try before you buy.
Nintendo Land is fun for the whole family GET IT NOW!
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