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Wii U: 3 Things We Love & 3 Things We Hate

Adam Barnes

Feature


The Wii U isn’t perfect, but why? We detail the three things it does well and the three things it needs to improve.

Published on Nov 30, 2012

We’ve done our in-depth Wii U hardware review, but what are the things that we’d like to see Nintendo work on now? What does it need to do to keep us coming back for more?

Three Things We Love About Wii U

GamePad Multiplayer

We won’t use the term ‘asynchronous’ since it doesn’t properly relay just how fun multiplayer is with the GamePad.

Nintendo Land is the best showcase of this, and games like Mario Chase and Metroid Blast really prove that. This is especially true of Mario Chase, which will get all four players giddy with excitement when the pursuit begins.

Even Pikmin Adventure or Link’s Battle Quest – which are more co-operative games – emphasise the importance of the GamePad and if your friends and family ever found themselves booting up Wii Sports for another evening of wholesome fun, then it’s here where the Wii U really shines.

There’s A Mario Game On Launch

How often does this happen? The Wii U has a new Mario game on launch and while we could criticise the familiarity of it we can’t ignore the simple fact that it is a brilliant game.

It’s a shame that there are so few first party launch titles in the Wii U’s initial launch, but New Super Mario Bros U – with its bevy of secrets, hidden extras and new additions to the series more than make up for it.

We’ve lamented the multiplayer aspect – the GamePad isn’t used to its full potential here – but it’s still a lot of fun for five players to team up and take on the different challenges. Let’s not forget how fun it is to troll each other, too, which NSMBU is all about.

It’s So Very Nintendo

A lot of gamers these days have been raised on a diet of bullets, blood and brute force, so it’s nice to have Nintendo around to even out the balance a bit.

Take the home screen stuff, which plays quaint music as you browse the screen or the Miis that wander contentedly around your television screen. It’s just nice, and we all like nice.

There is, of course, the fact that we should be seeing some brilliant Nintendo games come through down the line, too, and no one makes games quite like Nintendo does.

Three Things We Hate About Wii U

Dual Screen Gaming

This is the biggest shame because this should be something we love about the Wii U, but so far the dual screen gaming has not convinced us. It really is like a giant version of the DS, and that stopped being innovative a long time ago.

We really hope Nintendo understands this and releases some games – first party or otherwise – that proves the reason to have this kind of set up in the first place. 

ZombiU uses the GamePad the most, but even that is a little awkward, glancing up and down far too regularly. Nintendo Land is probably the best use of the controller, but even that isn’t symbiotic enough.

The Controls

The GamePad is fine initially, but playing games like ZombiU or Assassin’s Creed 3 for an extended period of time is not comfortable. It’s a shame that we would always choose to use the Pro Controller over the GamePad.

We’re not really sure how Nintendo can solve this problem, either. It’s a problem with its design, not any particular software issue, and revising the hardware isn’t something Nintendo can or will do.

So it’s a case of grin-and-bear it, unfortunately. It’s not an awful controller, as we’ve said in our Wii U hardware review, but it’s certainly not natural either.

Lacklustre Third Party Support

Nintendo has claimed there is a ton of third party support for the Wii U and it is true that there’s plenty of launch games for the console – but that support is peripheral at best.

Ubisoft has gone all-in, as it usually does with new hardware, but even the superlative Rayman Legends has slipped for reasons unknown. Most of the third party stuff is, at best, the same as the console versions, and that doesn’t seem like much considering the hardware inside the Wii U.

What we have is a mixture of maps and inventory systems added onto the GamePad, and what we should be seeing is a lot more invention the developers Nintendo hopes will "support" the console.

 

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