Although the WiiU has been out for a few months, I feel it’s still relatively timely to review an expensive gaming console, as people aren’t willing to slap $350 dollars down for a console they’re not sure about.
As reviews on the WiiU first started coming in, I was intrigued. The controller seemed neat and I had my eye on ZombiU. I thought it would be a nice system to have, but never did I think I’d enjoy it as much as I am. Even with the three games I have for it, I’m getting a lot of fun out of it, not to mention all the multimedia (TVii, Netflix, web browser) that’s built in to it.
The console itself is quite small, just a bit bigger than the gamepad itself. The gamepad, while large, is surprisingly light and comfortable to hold. All of the button placement feels natural and it’s intuitive to use. Nintendo has really stepped up their game with this gamepad. For games such as Nintendo Land, and the indie game Little Inferno (quite fun by the way), you don’t even have to be looking at the TV screen (though some Nintendo Land games do require you to see the TV). This is pretty awesome as it allows family members or significant others to do their own thing on the TV while you play your game.
The implementation of the gamepad with ZombiU is something that must be mentioned. The screen on the gamepad shows the player’s map and inventory. Going into your backpack through the use of the screen is pretty fluid, and having the map in front of you is an awesome feeling. Hardly is the game ever paused, as both these are looked at in real-time, reminding one of Dead Souls. The use of the gamepad with ZombiU is solid and really compliments the gameplay. I honestly think the game would be an inferior product if it were ported to another platform. That’s how integral and easy to use the gamepad is for this game.
The use of the gamepad with ZombiU gives me hope that developers will be willing to experiment with this new technology, and make something that can really stand apart from the other console experiences. I do fear, however, that developers will pass up this console, as it will be too much work to implement the gameplay to the WiiU, or that games will be made, but without thoughtful or compelling implementation of the gamepad. I can only hope for the best. If nothing else, I hope some indie developers will see the potential of the WiiU and will be able to put some stuff on the online store.
The Miiverse is something I just started looking into, but really intrigued me. It is a community hub on the online network in which players can get together with other gamers to discuss different games on the WiiU. Everything from hints, to praise of the game, to anecdotes of adventures are posted on games in the Miiverse. I don’t know why people aren’t talking more about this, as it’s a neat little community center for people to get together and discuss the game, bypassing online forums completely. It’s something that you can’t find on any other console and in my opinion is a nice addition to online gaming.
I must also mention that the WiiU is fully compatible with all original Wii games, as well as Wii controllers (as long as you have Wii Motion Plus). Nintendo Land has even implemented the original Wii controllers, using them as controllers for extra players.
Oh, yes, almost forgot the mention that the god-awful friend codes are gone, replaced with usernames.
This console is worth saving up some money for, or at least going over to a friend’s house to check out.