After formally introducing the Wii U at last year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, Nintendo showcased the upcoming console at its own booth at this year's E3, as well as through third-party locations, so there was more than enough opportunity to try it out.
Nintendo argued a strong case for its system when it introduced a number of games, including the "New Super Mario Bros. U," which features four-player interactive action (one with the Wii U tablet touch screen, the others with controllers); "Pikmin 3," a long-awaited sequel with an innovative touch control set-up and amazing new visuals; and "Nintendo Land," a virtual theme park where you can play online with others.
However, the company failed to showcase any kind of killer app. There was no new "Zelda" title (like the one hinted at last year with an interactive demo), no "Metroig" game, nothing that would really appeal to hardcore fans of the company.
Support for the system seems to be ample. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment introduced "Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition," which takes last year’s award-winning comic book endeavor and bumps it up with 1080p high-def as well as with new touch screen options, such as pinpointing enemies on a map. Ubisoft, too, had plenty of Wii U love between the entertaining platform game "Rayman Legends" and the shockingly brutal "Zombi U," a game where you fight for survival.
Judging by our hands-on time with the system, it is rather comfortable, though working between the traditional controls on the side and the back of the system and the touch screen takes some getting used to.
Until you’re used to it, you can take damage in your game – in "Zombi U," for instance.
The interaction between the Wii U unit and the TV is awesome, as you can hold it up to the television screen and use it as a scanner or a device to make things happen in your game.
And it doesn’t look like peripheral activity will get in the way, either – the system works with Wii remotes just fine. The separately sold Pro is quite comfortable to grip, too.
Still, it just seems a bit gimmicky. Especially "Nintendo Land." While some of these mini-games are fun, the project as a whole doesn’t make the Wii U feel innovative. If Nintendo had revealed a more specific action game, we would’ve been getting somewhere. The fact they didn’t introduce a price or release date didn’t help much, either.
But there is innovation here, and some games, like "Pikmin" and "Rayman Legends," are winners. The company could well be onto something when it releases the Wii U later this year.
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