The Wii U after a week...
The Wii U has been out a week. What are everyone's thoughts so far? I think it's one of the strongest launches ever, with something good for just about everybody. Not that it hasn't had some hiccups, but that's pretty normal with nearly every launch. So here are my thoughts on the games I've played so far and the hardware itself:
The Wii U: It's incredibly slick hardware, bottom line. The amount of updates is slightly annoying, but nothing new in this age of constant updating on all systems. The eshop is slick, getting friends is finally easy (though still a little more complex than it needs to be).
The Miiverse may be one of the most entertaining things about the system, with constant user comments (and cool drawings) that make it far more socially integrated than the 360 or the PS3. Yes it's heavily moderated, but they aren't moderating criticism of games, just the racist swearing idiots you usually find online which is a good thing.
The gamepad itself is incredibly slick and works very well with pretty much every game I've played so far. The one downer is the extremely limited battery life of only a few hours means being tethered a lot to an outlet. In an age where controllers are expected to be wireless for hours of play, this is a big downside. Hopefully somebody comes up with something that extends the battery life soon.
Moving on to the games:
Nintendoland: Haven't gotten much time on this one, but I've enjoyed what I've played so far. The unlocking of prizes is fairly addictive and seeing a constant stream of other people's miis is fairly cool. The only bad minigame is Takamaru's Ninja Castle, it's just very imprecise.
New Super Mario Bros U: This is honestly the title I was most worried about after being thoroughly bored with NSMB 2. But from the very beginning this game absolutely shines with not only classic shades of Super Mario World but integrating new fun stuff as well. The level designs are much better as well and just more fun. This is not really a game that's innovative but it's easily the best 2D Mario in years and one of the better 2D side-scrollers in a long time as well.
Sonic All-Stars Racing Transformed: This was a nice little surprise. I mean sure, I put it on my top ten launch picks, but I was expecting it to be passable. It's right up there with the better Mario Kart titles, and is actually based more on skill than things like blue shells. I did have trouble finding online matches, I assume it's because this a new system and it's not exactly a big core title, but I think those looking for something different than your usual shooter fare would do well to pick this up.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II: If you want a game that really shows off the graphics on Wii U, this is probably your best bet as it looks stellar. It controls really well on the gamepad.I played a few online sessions, but being that the install base isn't nearly as big, it is understandably hard to get into the match type you want occasionally. I'm not a huge shooter fan and this isn't really something I would get into but it's certainly a great choice for shooter fans who will miss out on nothing by getting this version over other systems and it adds the option of co-op with two screens which is impressive.
ZombiU: This has probably been the most divisive title at launch. Some praise it, some damned it. I think those that damned it didn't really understand what type of game it is. It's old school survival horror with real suspense that you just don't see in your modern horror games. I don't think it's something I would enjoy myself enough to buy, but anyone looking for an actual scary game that also has the crushing but rewarding difficulty of a game like Dark Souls should at least give this a try and there is supposed to be a demo up in the next few weeks.
Scribblenauts Unlimited: I saved this for last because this for me is the sleeper title of the launch. I've never been horribly impressed with the Scribblenauts series, as it seemed like a good concept that was never really executed well. Until now. This has dominated my Wii U and I've had tons of fun not only solving puzzles but just seeing what wacky stuff I can come up with. With dlc this could have virtually unlimited play value so I hope this entry that finally gets it right gets the attention it deserves.
That's all for today, I'll hopefully be able to get up another post tomorrow now that I'm finally feeling human again. Until then, here's your TRAILER OF THE WEEK: Now You See Me