With the Wii approaching the 6 year mark, Nintendo has outpaced their console competitors with console releases. Previewed last year, the WiiU is on full display this year. Streaming media options were mentioned involving Hulu plus, Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon video. The announcement of the ability to use two controllers simultaneously is a shock, and should bring exciting new options to the system. But this event was all about the games.
Pikman 3 was first up, this fun filled challenge based game, incorporates some of the best features of the WiiU. No longer are you restricted with only one leader controlling your army of Pikman, but now you can control up to 4. This may seem daunting to do simultaneously, but with the overview map built in to the controller, and the option to issue commands from it as well, it almost enters the RTS style of gameplay.
New Super Mario Bros U was next with a similar design and control from the Wii version of the same title. They brought in new social aspects of the game, allowing you to see what progress your friends have made in the game, as well as notes they have left for you to find, encouraging you to advance further to pass them on your journey. Also the player with the main controller can enter boost mode when playing with friends, allowing them to place blocks and helpful items along their friends paths to help them along in real time.
One of the first entries into a more core gamer demographic, Batman Arkham Asylum: Armored Edition is looking promising. The WiiU controlled Batarang was one example of how they will use the new tech, allowing you to fly around controlling the Batarang to hit buttons and switches otherwise unreachable. Also placing explosives in key locations, and controlling which ones explode at key opportunities via touchscreen, looks like a new way to plan an attack.
Lego city undercover surprised me with its humor and opportunity for fun. Never playing any of the previous Lego titles, this one looks like it you'd actual hold my attention with the ability to switch characters to play roles, while solving crimes as the beloved mini figs.
A game we have talked about before, ZombiU, showcased how it would use the unique controller. Switching inventory, radar detection, hacking through doors, are all controlled from the handheld controller, while the action on the big screen continues pressuring you to move faster as the hoards approach. Also, showing a sniper mode using the controller as your scope in conjunction with the big screen looks like the killer feature to me.
Lastly they introduced the replacement for Wii sports, one of the most popular titles on the Wii, with Nintendoland. An amusement park styled game with different carnival like games at your disposal. Only showing 2 or 3 titles, they explained that it really is something must be experienced and not shown, so this title will have to live up to a lot once we try it out on the convention floor later this week.
—Nick Lattner / Juxtapoz Video Game Editor
Photos / Videos Nathan Smith