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Gary Gramling

An Early Look at the Wii U 32

  • Sports Gamer
  • Posted by: Gary Gramling
  • June 28, 2012, 3:42 PM


Some of you might be old enough to remember when the Nintendo Wii came out back in 2006. It was incredible, the most amazing video game breakthrough I had seen in my lifetime. (And I’m a lot older than you.)

It also created big-time expectations for future Nintendo products. And that brings us to the upcoming launch of the Wii U. Jeremy Repanich and I had a chance to test out the Wii U on Tuesday. Let me be clear: It's cool. Very cool. But it wasn’t the kind of mind-blowing experience the Wii was when it came out.

Here’s the basics: The Wii U comes with a gamepad controller. Think of it as a controller crossed with an ipad. This technology opens up some cool new innovations. On Nintendo Land, there was a game called Takamaru's Ninja Castle. You throw ninja stars at your enemies by aiming the game pad at the TV, then swiping the touch screen to fire ninja stars. Pretty neat.

There’s also what Nintendo calls “asymmetric gameplay.” That basically means that a player with a traditional Wii controller and a player with the gamepad can play the same game, but in a different manner. For instance, Nintendo Land's Luigi’s Haunted Mansion. You have five players. Four of them use traditional Wii controllers. Armed with flashlights, their goal is to kill the invisible ghost by shining light on him. Yes, the ghost is invisible, and the only way to sense he’s near is the controller vibrating. The ghost is actually controlled by the one player who has the gamepad. And he can see the ghost he’s controlling on the gamepad screen, while four of us with traditional controllers aren’t seeing him on the TV. It was pretty cool (even if I did die in about 14 seconds).

We played New Super Mario Bros. U, which is a lot of fun (I mean, has there ever been a Mario game that wasn’t fun?). Though the gamepad didn’t add a lot to the game. The player with the game pad could tap enemies to make them go the other way, or put up blocks to keep you from falling off the screen. But that’s about it.

We also played Wii Fit U. It was fun, but like Mario Bros., the gamepad didn’t add a lot to the experience. And Jeremy kicked my butt in the luge, which I wasn’t happy about. I'm pretty sure he cheated.

My personal favorite was Pikmin 3, a reboot of an old school game. The gamepad is perfect for this. Pikmin is a very strategy-heavy game, where you really have to keep an eye on the big picture. And with the gamepad, you can literally keep your eye on the big picture. While you play on the TV, you get a map of the entire level so you can figure out where you have to go next! Obviously, maps have been a part of games in the past. But to bring up a map you'd have to pause and scroll through the menu, which would not only be an annoying waste of time but it would also pull you out of the game.

One other feature of the Wii U that matters to me (but might not matter to you), is this. You can start a Wii U game on TV, then move it to the gamepad screen while someone else watches TV at the same time. So for me, if I’m playing New Super Mario Bros. U and Mrs. Wiz comes into the living room and wants to watch Downton Abbey or some other weird British show, I can move my game to the gamepad and she can watch her show.

One thing we don’t really know right now: What kind of innovations the Wii U will have for your favorite sports titles. Hopefully we'll find out soon!

The bottom line: the Wii U won’t change the gaming world like the Wii once did. But will I ask Santa for one this winter? Yup!

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (24 votes)

32 Comments

i want 1 but i have a 3ds

It was realsed on my bday! Feelin lucky!

I love that I will get Lego city undercover with it and the new Mario game too!:)

I already have a PS3, a DS, a Wii, and a Nintendo 64!

Sorry to burst your bubble but no one cares

It sounds interesting even though I'm not a fan of the wii.

that is pretty amazing because nintendo finally makes something record-breaking

This is a must need for all gamers. Maybe you can play 2K and Madden games on it!

I am: a Gamer, Athletic, TV watcher, Daydreamer, LEGO builder, Looney Tunes admirer, in search of a Ninjago set, Artist, Animator, Web Surfer, Sonic X lover, Hater of Zane, Disliking Pokemon and Cars, Smart, 3/4 fat.

this isso cool

I already have a regular Wii i'll stick with that

I have a Regular Wii to, but the Wii U is also pretty awesome. I'll have both. I wonder if you can play Bakugan or Bonsai Barber. Hope U can't play ANYTHING that has to do with Cars or Toy Story or Pokemon or Old hags.

pathetic. Doesn't Nintendo come out with a new product every month. Spend your money on something cooler like an iPad or a P.S. Vita.

or an Android, Samsung tablet like my sisters friend has that tablet.

looks like a nice device

I only have a 3 ds.

i have 5 to count on. An iPad, a Wii, a PS3, a DS, and a Nintendo 64! Plus, i also have 5 Trash Packs, some Squinkies Boys, SI Kids magazines, LEGO magazines, and some Beanie Babies and extras: iPhone 3GS, Flat Screen TV, WOW cable, Football, Basketball, Badminton Birdie, Diary Of A Wimpy Kid( It's HILARIOUS!), Hot Dogs, Burgers, Bacon (YUMMY BACON), and papers for fake Looney Tunes intros.

Sent from a PC

"Go, Kai,Go!"

I want it I want it I want it

i want that thing baby

SI Kids.com a re NOT made by Babies! They are made by Men!

When does it come out?

omg that looks cool

I want one sooooooo bad!!!!!!!!!!!!

WHAT EVE TRUST ME GET A U DRAW TABLET FOR THE REG WII BUT IT WONT HAVE TOUCH SCREEN BUT WAY CHEAPER THE U WII OR WHATEVER IT CALL IS LIKE TOO HUNDRED BUCKS THE TABLET IS FIFTY

it looks as fun as the Ipad2 9i have one so I know how it is )

ccoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooollllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

it sounds really fun to play. dont u think it too!

NO YOU COULD JUST GET A WII U DRAW TABLET FOR WAY CHEAPER AND STILL GET THE SAME GAMES :) SUCKERS FALL FOR IT A LOT

Looks EXACTLY like the vita

pop

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