At yesterday's Nintendo event we had a chance to go hands-on with four more "attractions" in the Nintendo Land collection. Nintendo Land will ship with the $349.99 Deluxe Nintendo Wii U package, and plays like a collection of really polished iOS games. They attractions, which range from beat'em ups to hide-and-go-seek, are not particularly deep or creatively bold, but they do show the potential to be addictive.
At yesterday's Nintendo event we had a chance to go hands-on with four more "attractions" in the Nintendo Land collection. Nintendo Land will ship with the $349.99 Deluxe Nintendo Wii U package. The attractions, which range from beat'em ups to hide-and-go-seek, are not particularly deep or creatively bold, but they do show the potential to be addictive.
"Pikmin Adventure" is a beat'em up à la Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. The player holding the GamePad controls Captain Olimer, tossing tiny Pikmin at enemies by tapping the controller's screen. Up to four Wiimote wielding players control Mii-sized Pikmin, whacking enemies with leaves pinned to their noggins.
Both Olimer and the Mii Pikmin can collect nectar to level up, gaining more powerful moves and weapons. The art style is a bit different from the normal Pikmin games, looking more like knick knacks from a toy box.
"Balloon Trip Breeze"
Remember Balloon Fight? Probably not. The NES game starred balloon-tether critters who would flap across a scrolling screen, trying to collect more balloons and dodge spiky balls. The Wii U update is surprisingly similar, except ow the player steers the flapper with swipes on the GamePad. The art, like "Pikmin Adventure," has the handcrafted look, calling to mind LittleBigPlanet.
The GamePad players controls a large ship that has six health points and can fire lasers or charged-up rockets. Up to four Wiimote players dressed as Samus have 3 health points each, and cooperate to bring down the ship by firing hand canons and evading fire by rolling into a ball. Other than "Balloon Trip Breeze," which is essentially a remake, "Metroid Blast" feels the most creatively uninspired, but looks the most adorable. Aww, mini-Samus!
"Metroid Blast" also includes a co-operative mode, in which the GamePad and Wiimote players team up to zap the popular villains from the Metroid series. It's like an extra cute Horde Mode.
We loved "Chase Mii" from E3 2011. Four players using Wiimotes and a television screen scurry around a large three-dimensional map trying to capture the player using the GamePad, who has the advantage of seeing a bird's-eye-view of the playing field on her second screen.
"Mario Chase" is a remodeled version of that tech demo. Now the GamePad player is a Mii dressed as Mario, while the four "chasers" are Miis dressed as Toad. This is hi-def hide-and-go-seek, sure, but its also the most fun we've had with Nintendo Land.
Worth the wait
It's hard to imagine beat'em ups and third-person shooters attracting a broader audience the way bowling and tennis did years ago. This is not the Wii U's Wii Sports equivalent.
Nintendo Land is a glob of fan service spread across a collection of fun, if not especially original games from a variety of genres. For those already converted, Nintendo Land will likely be an excellent pack-in. Whether it's worth the cost of a stand-alone game, we'll know when the game is released on November 18th.
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