This title is Wii U's equivalent of Wii Sports, in that it's aimed largely at accommodating multiplayer while convincing your gran to get up and have a go. It's also one of only two launch titles to really show off Nintendo's patented asymmetric gameplay, the other being ZombiU.
Nintendo Land constantly challenges the tablet-wielding player to deal with a different set of interactions and objectives than those using the traditional Wii controllers. Take the most basic game available Mario Chase which tasks Mario to keep away from the persuing toads.
As Mario, the GamePad player has but two advantages: a map complete with toad locations and a 10 second head start. The toads meanwhile have only a distance-to-Mario indicator and strength in numbers.
Fortunately for them, the maze is also split into four distinct quarters meaning shouts of 'Red, red! No, wait, he's in blue!' will soon be booming across your lounge.
It's a delightful illustration of a gameplay type which would be all but impossible to replicate on any other device, and one enhanced by the hilarious decision to film the Mario player and plaster his or her giggling face on the main TV screen to goad the toads.
Luigi's Ghost Mansion and Animal Crossing: Sweet Day are riffs on that chase mechanic – though each is just distinct enough to feel different – while Metroid Blast and Zelda Battle Quest offer rather more inclusive challenges to bring the GamePad player on to the same team.
The solo Wii U owner needn't feel entirely left out either, as Yoshi's Fruit Cart, Takamaru's Ninja Castle, Balloon Trip Breeze and Donkey Kong's Crash Course come to the fray, each exploring the GamePad’s touch and gyroscope functions. Elsewhere, Pikmin Adventure makes for a relatively large campaign that acts as a tease for Pikmin 3 while providing plenty of group-based (and solo) thrills.
Damp squibs come in the shape of Octopus Dance (a poor Just Dance-style rip-off), while Captain Falcon's Twister Race makes for an unsatisfying time trial racer that really has little in common with F-Zero.
Nintendo Land is a day one purchase you really need to make, if only to answer those questions of: What does it do that the Wii can't, then? Fun alone, better with friends, and but a small taste of what Nintendo can do with its latest innovation.
More Info Official Nintendo Land website
Next page: Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
re: sound ..
Well, since the sound that comes from the pad is the police radio chatter, a tinny little speaker is just about right.
(Worth noting: neither of us actually knows how good the speakers in the pad are, although I doubt very much that they are a match for your main gear.)
Gotta hand it to developers
They bring old games over to a new system to test the water, and when those old games don't sell well as the majority of the people who wanted it already have it on the original systems over a year ago have it already, they will say there is no market on the new Wii U, and screw it over for games.
I've seen this on the Wii, and other other systems they bring a old, and terrible edition of a game from japan over it bombs they cancel the good release in the US as there is no market.
As for people judging a system on the 1st round of games... seriously when has a game system even been remotely pushed at all when they 1st came out. I don't think I can recall a launch game really push any system or show what they can do.
" i didnt want it to use my £2000 B&W speakers or anything. 7.1? nah, can i just use some tinny little speaker on the pad...."
You won't need your 80" 4K TV either - just use the low-res screen on the Gamepad.
"If these are the best games on the Wii U right now I'm glad I haven't bought one. Mario Bros and ZombiU I'd be interested in. But the rest either don't interest me (nintendo land) or I can grab on a console I already own (batman arkham city / Darksiders 2.)"
If only Nintendo had asked you first. Then they wouldn't have had to go to the expense of designing, manufacturing and selling a new console.
I do hope you've written to Sony and Microsoft to prevent them from making the same mistake with *their* next consoles. I'd hate for them to go to the effort of releasing the PS4 & neXBox if they don't interest you.
Given that the previous Wii console also put some sounds through a "tinny" speaker on the game controller, I'd guess you were equally disappointed with that too, so you wouldn't really be the target market (and I don't know of anyone who complains about the noise through the controllers, to be honest - that's there for secondary sounds related to that particular player usually, not the main game action).
And the number of people with a £2000 7.1 amplifier setup AND who like playing Wii are probably lost in the intersection of the Venn diagram rather than a huge portion of the market.
Similarly, when I buy a laptop, the sound quality on it is pretty much irrelevant so long as it's loud enough. There aren't many people who hook up their laptops to the hifi either because that tends to be the audiophiles only anyway. And my TV has speakers on the back that are good enough that I don't even *OWN* a hifi or amplified speaker any more.
Never forget: Most people are happy with laptop speakers, iPod headphones, integrated TV speakers, and the little cheap plug-in iPod "speakers" that run on AA's. You are in the minority here, seriously.