Nintendo Wii U review

Wii U

Six years after Nintendo unveiled the unique Wii console to the world with its fancy motion sensor controller dubbed the Wii Remote, the Japanese games manufacturer has devised a new way of interacting with video games by enhancing the user experience with the new Wii U.

The GamePad controller, featuring a large 6.2-inch display, camera, speakers and motion sensors feels like a chunky iPad. And yet it’s very comfortable to hold and use, as it’s not too heavy thanks to the Nintendo’s approach to ergonomic design.

The game playing features are taken directly from the popular DS and 3DS handheld consoles, whereby you have physical buttons (like the D-pad) and a touch screen to interact with.

Super Mario Wii U

Playing games with the GamePad is a joy as it brings a new sense of perspective and experience. Nintendo Land in particular shows off the many features on the controller by tilting, rotating and touching the screen to aid the fun and addictive game play.

While survival horror game ZombiU uses the GamePad as a form of a scanner to look for items as a way of staying alive from the zombies.

Super Mario Wii U game

As for the Wii U, this is the first time that Nintendo has gone for the High Definition route and games now look absolutely breathtaking on a HDTV. New Super Mario Bros. U is a great example, as the environments look even more immense and lively thanks to the gorgeous visuals.

And yet the feature I love the most about the Wii U is the social network. The Miiverse reminds me of a combination of Facebook, Twitter and an online forum.

Miiverse v2

You can post status updates on games with text messages or drawings that everybody on the Nintendo Network can see. Players can ‘follow’ one another and rate status updates with ‘Yeah!’ approval. In addition, if you are having a difficult time on a level, just post a message on Miiverse about your troubles and a solution on how to complete it is given by the helpful players online.

This social interaction makes the Wii U really unique. Instead of the usual online competition to be the best against the rest, there is a sense of networking and embracing your online friends. It feels friendlier and you get to see the different personalities thanks to the witty messages and drawings.

Is this Nintendo’s finest console? The HD visuals do make the games look fantastic and thanks to the powerful processors, the Wii U can finally match the capability of Sony’s PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 from Microsoft.

As for GamePad, the touch screen elements work very well in the games on offer in particular Batman: Arkham City Armoured Edition. Although it will be fascinating to see developers creating new and exciting ways to harness the GamePad and the system’s other unique options to deliver one-of-a-kind experiences in the years ahead.

6 thoughts to “Nintendo Wii U review”

  1. Nice to hear your thoughts mate on the new Wii console. I had it pre-ordered from Amazon, but changed my mind at the last minute. I just wasn’t sure I’d play it at this time and wanted to wait for the full reviews and peoples thoughts like yourself.

    I am really wanting to play Mario in HD though, so that is a big temptation.

    I think it has great potencial, but developers need to have some imagination and commitment to develop for the new machine. My fear is it’ll still be ignored by the major games companies and not since the N64 will the console rely on the ever rock solid in-house development team. The console was obviously design by them, with their thoughts and imagination for how it can be used. Asking someone else to do a similar or better job rarely happens.

    It’s huge update when you first turn it on has caused a few issues the least being it takes forever. one of the big features Nintendo pushed at their keynote speech was it’s interactivity with cable boxes and interent TV. It’s sounded great, but not only is not working for the US at release, I highly doubt we’ll ever get that function in the UK.

    So, while I do want the latest gadget (as always) I’m just not ready take the plunge on a fairly expensive console, with a controller that has rubbish battery life, and if I remember correctly, you cannot play and charge at the same time? If so that’s utterly insane. Also the AAA games are expensive. Over £40 on Amazon and an insane £50 in Game or Gamestation (no fucking wonder the high street retailer is in trouble and taking Gamestation with it, but that’s another story)

    Therefore, I’ll be waiting for when this thing really kicks off, and can get some decent second hands games for second hand prices.

  2. Thanks for the comment invisiblekid. I am really pleased by the Wii U and even though I have a soft spot to the unappreciated GameCube (I still regard Super Monkey Ball 2 as one of the finest multiplayer games ever), the latest console from Nintendo is a hit.

    Sure, the current price on the ‘premium’ console and the small crop of launch games are expensive but it’s worth every penny thanks to the unique GamePad controller that brings a whole new level of fun and enjoyment.

    As for the battery life on GamePad, you’re right it’s rubbish. It takes two and half hours to charge and then it is ready for use for around three to five hours depending on what settings you have (sound, brightness, rumble feature). You can continue the game while re-charging.

    Like I mention in the main post, the online social community with the Nintendo Network is really impressive. No more bloody Friend Codes and you can post status updates with either drawings or text messages.

    And yet the best part is everyone online are helping each other to complete a game. Feeling stuck on a particular course in Nintendo Land? Just post a message on Miiverse and a solution will be provided by the many online Miis. Just like a forum in fact.

    As for the future games heading to the Wii U, I am really excited by Pikmin 3. It’s been a long time (in fact the GameCube had the first two games!) so I am looking forward to the touch controls while commanding the little Pikmins!

    Nintendo and the third-party game developers need to embrace the new technology offered by the Wii U and push to create new and entertaining games in the near future. As always the success of a game console is down to the quality of the titles. That will truly be a test to make or break a system.

  3. Like the review mate, I do agree with some of Invisiblekid’s concerns, the games are pricy and I really don’t understand how purchasing Mario Bros. U online at the Nintendo store is nearly £15 more than Grainger Games in the high street. Nintendo really need to sort that out!! Battery life for the controller is poor, however it is a small price to pay for such an innovative feature and if you are near a power port it isn’t too much of an issue to my mind.

    The whole experience is slick and user friendly (You reading this Microsoft!? Every time you update Xbox Live home it gets more and more messy and cluttered!) as I come to expect from Nintendo, their showcase games such as the aforementioned Mario title and Nintendo Land just have that wonderful polish that no other game manufacturer seem capable of in my opinion. Nintendo are the best at creating games that are fun to play and it shines. I can’t wait to play Nintendo Land with my mates!

    I am really pleased with how the controller works with Batman Arkham City, the area map is available to view at all times and the inventory is much quicker and more convenient for me. I wouldn’t normally purchase a title that I already have, but if they were to release the Elder Scrolls: Skyrim I would purchase it in a heartbeat!

    The console has a lot of potential, I’m slightly disappointed at Nintendo for not giving it as much power as they could have because it’s only on a par with the Xbox 360 and PS3 for now, and I know with next year’s announcements that won’t be for long. I’m excited for it’s future however I just hope it doesn’t get ignored!

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