The Wonderful 101

The Wonderful 101 Features for Wii U

On: Wii U
Review Verdict Read Review
8Out of 10
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Which Wii U games should you be looking to pick up alongside the console later this year? VideoGamer.com goes hands-on with the launch window line-up to find out which titles should be on your Wii U wish list.

Nintendo Land

Nintendo Land screenshot

Don't let the concept put you off: Nintendo Land's mini-game compilation premise may seem dull, but some of its games are hilariously good fun; get a group together, and they will genuinely make you laugh. Each of the 12 included mini-games are themed around a particular Nintendo title, from Luigi's Mansion, Animal Crossing and Donkey Kong, and with each making a different use of the Wii U GamePad.

Similar to Trials Evolution, Donkey Kong's Crash Course is a physics-based platform-racer where players use the GamePad's gyroscope to tilt their cart through a maze of girders and platforms to reach the end goal as fast as possible. The TV screen provides a complete overview of the map, with the GamePad providing a closer look at your particular location.

Takamuru's Ninja Castle, meanwhile, is a modern reinvention of the NES's Duck Hunt, where players throw shuriken by flicking the GamePad's touch screen in their direction.

Nintendo Land is at its best, though, when it's taking advantage of the Wii U's five-player local multiplayer capabilities and making use of the unique gameplay experiences provided by the GamePad's screen. Luigi's Ghost Mansion offers the best example of the five mini-games revealed so far, pitting the GamePad player as a ghost who's invisible to other players using the TV screen, and who must sneak up on the characters exploring the house.

As Wii Sports was to the Wii, this could be the game to get families picking up a Wii U.

Pikmin 3

Pikmin 3 screenshot

An unambitious use of the Wii U GamePad detracts slightly from Miyamoto's otherwise terrific real-time strategy, which sees crashed cosmonaut Olimar guiding small, plant-like creatures across back garden-alike battlefields.

Unlike a typical RTS, Pikmin 3 sees players recruiting the little creatures as they navigate across the area, collecting fruit and building new paths back to their ship. Each Pikmin has its own strengths and weaknesses: Red Pikmin, for example, are invulnerable to fire, making them perfect for attacking flaming cockroaches, while rock Pikmin are great for taking down walls or attacking creatures protected by glass or crystal. It's been suggested that additional flying Pikmin will also debut in the game.

The use of the GamePad is disappointingly limited, restricted to displaying a flat overhead map of the entire area which the player can use to quickly scan the surroundings and plot new routes. But the fact that Pikmin 3's controls appear better suited to the Wii Remote and Nunchuck - alongside a significant gap between previous games in the series - suggests this may have started life as a Wii project, rather than a game built specifically to take advantage of the Wii U hardware.

Rayman Legends

Rayman Legends screenshot

New Super Mario Bros. U and Rayman Legends appear to be competing for the same space in Wii U's launch line-up, but we think Ubisoft's rhythm-based platformer just has the edge over Nintendo's first-party hope.

So far, we've only seen GamePad functionality working during the game's co-op mode, where a second player can assist Rayman (or any one of the series' other playable characters) by creating new routes and pointing out collectibles.

It's proper co-op too, with success reliant on pitch-perfect timing and navigation, meaning you'll have to communicate with one another when approaching particular areas. One area, for example, sees Rayman navigating a rotating spiked platform, relying on the GamePad player to spin it into the correct position at precisely the right moment.

Legends' refreshing twist on co-op gameplay, coupled with the series' superb level design, makes this one of the stand-out games of the launch line-up.

Project P-100

Pikmin meets Kickass in this arcade brawler from Bayonetta developer Platinum Games, where a city under attack sees teams of superheroes joining forces to send its alien invaders back into orbit.

Controlling a group of up to 100 superheroes, players can launch team attacks to try and overrun enemies, or morph their team into weapons - like a fist, sword or gun - to deliver a larger blow.

The control scheme can seem confusing at first. Oddly, the GamePad's touch screen isn't used to morph the superheroes into particular weapons, but instead act as a reminder as to which gestures players can make on the right-stick. For example, drawing a sweeping circle on the right stick and hitting A creates a fist, while flicking the stick up and immediately right morphs players into a gun. For the most part, the GamePad simply displays a static image featuring these instructions.

Certain areas make better use of the GamePad, though. Heading into a building, for example, lets players control a single character's movements inside the building via an over-the-shoulder third-person camera. But while the rest of the game seems enticing enough for hardcore players to sink their teeth into, it isn't the most encouraging use of the tech on display.

ZombiU

ZombiU screenshot

Ubisoft's 'Dead Island London' sees players fending off a zombie invasion across the city streets and "subways" of Blighty's capital, in what could be the strongest title in Wii U's launch window line-up.

Mixing the best bits of survival horror (limited ammo, puzzles and flesh-eaters) with a loot mechanic straight out of Borderlands, ZombiU also makes the best use of the GamePad we've seen in a third-party title so far, balancing a variety of functions and gameplay mechanics on the console's touch-screen.

As well as managing equipment, the touch screen also functions as the scope on a sniper rifle or crossbow, in a manner reminiscent to the aiming in Uncharted: Golden Abyss on Vita. Similar functionality allows you to analyse the environment for loot, holding the GamePad up to the screen to overlay the area with a thermal-imaging type-camera and highlight hidden equipment.

ZombiU does have its fair share of issues, though. In the build we played, aiming felt far too laggy, creating a knock-on effect with accuracy - an issue when you're trying to make every bullet count. But something that threatens to frustrate even more is the game's one-bite kill premise, an interesting-yet-frustrating mechanic made worse by the fact that you drop your loot every time you die. Still, it's quite cool when you see your old dead self, stumbling about and trying to kill you.

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Woffls's Avatar

Woffls

Yeahhh Lego City looks great. I'm not very excited about it because I can just see it being traditionally shallow Lego gameplay spread over a city.

It's good to see some games getting attention that aren't the usual Nintendo bunch, and I hope they get a lot of exposure over the next few months. I don't really know what P-100 is about, but ZombiU (which needs a new name) sounds really cool, if a bit flawed. Pikmin will obviously be great, and I'll probably buy that at launch, but I've never played the series before and I don't know if I have the attention span.

Rayman Legends or New Super Mario Bros 2 will be a decision I have to make, because I'm not buying both, and I've kinda had enough Mario for a while... except Paper Mario because it's awesome.
Posted 14:37 on 16 June 2012
VG_Dave's Avatar

VG_Dave@ MJTH

Cheers MJTH! Rayman Legends is brilliant fun. From what I can tell, if you played Origins you'll pretty much know what to expect from the SP, but the co-op has been totally reworked. It's great stuff.

Unfortunately, LEGO City Undercover was one of the very few games that was unavailable to play, but is one I've certainly got my eye on. Tank! Tank! Tank! might turn out to be one of my guilty Wii U pleasures, too...
Posted 22:15 on 15 June 2012
MJTH's Avatar

MJTH

Nice list Dave, I'll probably be getting Rayman Legends from that bunch at some point!

I would of also suggested that Lego City undercover would be up. Whilst the Lego games have never really been the most appealing to the "hardcore" they are still great fun! This is the first console Lego game to not be a parody of an existing IP, and its mixture of humour to the GTA style open-world gameplay, means it has great potential.

I would of thought AC III is also a must have launch game, but I'm guessing this is an exclusives only list.
Posted 13:06 on 15 June 2012

Game Stats

Release Date: 23/08/2013
Developer: Platinum Games
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Action
Rating: PEGI 12+
Site Rank: 1,125 5
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