EB Expo 2012: Wii U Game Showcase

EB Expo 2012 News Nintendo Wii U

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The Wii U made its Australian debut during the EB Expo this weekend. Before the public got their hands on the console, Nintendo invited a selection of media and VIP personnel to give the Wii U a try. Nintendo’s impressive booth allowed visitors to try out a selection of launch window games, including New Super Mario Bros U, Rayman Legends and ZombiU. The games I got my hands on were quite impressive and do take advantage of the Wii U Gamepad. Below are my opinions on titles that are worth looking out for.

One of the most anticipated Wii U launch titles would be New Super Mario Bros U. The classic platformer brings in the Gamepad for an extra player in another form. Four player multiplayer returns and require the players to use Wiimotes. The Gamepad user is there to aid the players in completing the course. This ranges from adding extra platforms to stunning enemies. Those with the Gamepad will still have a great time despite not controlling any character on screen during multiplayer. While playing on the Gamepad, I still found it enjoyable as I aided my fellow players in raking up the score. Other than that, it’s classic Mario with new powers, such as the Flying Squirrel suit which allows players to glide.

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Nintendo’s other first party offering was NintendoLand, a collection of mini-games based on Nintendo’s franchises. I had the chance to try two mini-games, Donkey Kong Crash Course and Takahara’s Ninja Castle. The Donkey Kong mini-game uses the Gampad’s tilt controls, as well as a few physical controls as players control a mine kart through a level inspired by the original Donkey Kong arcade game. In Takahara’s Ninja Castle, the Gamepad acts as the player’s stash of shuriken. Players throw the shuriken from the Gamepad towards various ninjas. Players have full control of the trajectory.

But most of the Wii U games on show were in fact third party games, especially Ubisoft. ZombiU, another hotly anticipated title, was on show and it does impress. Zombie U is a survival horror set in a mansion in London. Your objective is to survive the zombie outbreak. The Gamepad is essential as it acts what would have been the HUD. The map, inventory, health indicators are all taken care of on that six inch screen. A neat feature is that, once your character dies, it is infected and must be taken care off in the next round of gameplay. Only the single player experience was offered, but it is a game that is worth looking at when it is released at launch.

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Rayman Legends, exclusive to the Wii U, was also present. Fans of Rayman Origins who are picking up the Wii U will be excited to hear that Legends are taking those elements and making it better, especially with the introduction of the Gamepad. The Gamepad player controls Murfy. Murfy’s main role is support, aiding Rayman and his friends through the levels. It is like New Super Mario Bros U, but Ubisoft pushes it further, as some levels require Murfy’s aid to progress through. The screens will be quite different between the TV and Gamepad. Murfy is fun to play with, despite being a support character. Rayman Legends was also the first time I got my hands on the Wii U Pro Controller. The controller is slick, comfortable and responsive. It is an excellent controller for those who don’t want to use the Gamepad often.

The last game I got my hands on was Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition. For those who have played Arkham City already, then you can expect the same gameplay wise. However, the game has been tweaked to take advantage of the Gamepad. Like Zombie U, the inventory is displayed on the Gamepad rather than the TV screen. Items are selected using the touchscreen. Physical controls are still the main controls. When a cut scene is playing, it plays on both screens. A nice little feature, I must say. Overall, it is the same game from two years ago, but it has been tweaked enough to possibly give it another round.

Check out Ben “LinkageAX” Webb’s overall impression of the Nintendo booth. We also have a gallery of photos of the games and the booth.

Josh is the name, writing is my game... well my degree will say that. But, when uni gets me down (and it does), there is no better way that to grab a chair, sit back and slicing up some Darkspawn I started my gaming interest back in the good old 16 bit era with the Sega Mega Drive and Sonic The Hedgehog 2. I was roughly five years old. To this day I still try to fire up the dusty companion and speed through the wacky and bright levels, jumping on some Badniks, collecting those damn Chaos Emeralds. Then I moved onto Sony's disk based console the Playstation (thanks to my uncle). Since then I have picked up each of Sony's consoles from the 5th to current generation that has been released in Australia (with more to come). In terms of writing about games, I am quite new to the field. I started out late last year with my own blog before deciding to move to greener pastures. I have written a few reviews for the Playstation 3 and Playstation Portable. Features as well. I hope I can flex my muscles while writing with Capsule Computers. If I'm not gaming, however, I'm writing narratives. I am currently trying to kickstart a high fantasy novel (which, hopefully, turns into a complex RPG) that I want done in five years or so. My passion of writing has been there for a long time and has flourished as I grew. I'm into the fantasy genre, both games and novels, and thoroughly enjoy a deep and complex RPG, whether it comes from the East or West. Oh and anime is awesome!

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