The Nintendo Wii U release is right around the corner on Nov 18. There is an air of uncertainty whether or not it has the chops to survive this upcoming holiday season and weather the next bout of console wars. There are concerns and worries that its hardware will be much too dated by the time the PS4 and Xbox 720 arrive. Additionally, many have voiced criticism that the new touch screen controller is just a gimmick and no more. However, there is something to be said about Nintendo and its ability to innovate from a hardware and software perspective. To date, the Nintendo Wii has the most hardware sold of all the current gen consoles, with roughly 97 million sold out the door. As every gamer out there knows, at the end of the day, it is the quality of games that determine whether or not a console will sink or float. With that said, these are the three intriguing titles that can change the way the Wii U and its unique controller are adopted into households across the world. The staff at Gaming Illustrated is divided on their opinions of the Wii U as seen in 5 Reasons the Wii U Will Succeed and The Wii U Gamepad is a Leapfrog Leapster.
ZombiU, produced by Ubisoft Montreal, is approaching the genre utilizing everything that the new console has to offer. While the mechanics of navigating this post-apocalyptic horror world revolve around item collecting for survival and dispatching the living-impaired, the role of the controller and how it is going to play out are exciting. For example, in the trailer the survivor is shown attempting to pass through a locked door in real time. Instead of the action being paused to display an unlocked door indicator, the player must instead interact with the control touch screen to enter the pass code while trying to keep tabs on the advancing army of dead behind. This is sure to provide many frenzied moments and keep the adrenaline high. With map integration and inventory management on the controller instead of an in-game menu, there won’t be any rest for the weary from the undead hordes in ZombiU. These kinds of new touches to survival horror can keep even the most seasoned veteran on their toes, and provide a good example of the gamepad’s potential.
New Super Mario Bros. U
The Nintendo 64 launched with only two titles back in 1998. Pilot Wings 64 and Mario 64. Thanks to Mario it was a successful launch. Attempting to do the same in this day and age would spell imminent doom for any new console trying to gain its footing but Mario was able to shoulder the burden and push N64s off the shelf.
Nintendo knows the star power that a Mario game brings and is once again relying on that trusty plumber to transition into the Wii U. Headliner Mario games exude quality and the New Super Mario Bros. U will bring back the frenzied platforming action gamers know and love . Multiple player co-op, challenge modes, and the Wii U’s ingenious controller assistance in providing extra platforms to maneuver through, are sure to be a boon and bane to gamers. With so many new tools added to Mario’s already impressive repertoire, gamers will gladly storm the gates and save Princess Peach once again, regardless if they have to go to multiple castles to do it.
Lego City Undercover
Everyone was thrown into gaming nirvana when the sandbox genre exploded in popularity with the release of Grand Theft Auto 3. Being able to do anything a gamer wanted to and in any order was refreshing in a time when linear games ran rampant. So what better way to capitalize on an enormously successful genre than to bring in the humor and whimsy that a Lego infusion can?
Lego City Undercover has the most ambition and potential of all the other Wii U games coming at launch and has the most “must-have” appeal. As undercover cop Chase McCain, the Lego man in power, gamers will travel a vast and realized Lego built city. Pursuing perpetrators and solving mysteries throughout the city in Lego vehicles or on foot is going to be a refreshing take on the gritty and more serious sandbox games that people are more accustomed to. With the charm and references to popular movie culture such as Dirty Harry and The Matrix, it will be hard not to fall in love exploring the world of Lego City Undercover one Lego at a time.
These three titles have the power to shape and project the path of the success for the Wii U. Nintendo is known to be excessively kid friendly and will move sales based on Mario alone. Yet now players can expect to enjoy experiences with ZombiU and Lego City Undercover that would never have been done on the Wii.
Whether or not the quality will be there remains to be seen but with the exciting gameplay and possibilities that the Wii U controller and system bring to the aforementioned titles, Nintendo is giving itself a fighting chance. It is hard not to applaud the bold and unconventional approach Nintendo is taking with the Wii U. They followed a similar path with the original Wii and its motion controls six years ago and were, on the whole, successful. The adoption of the Wii U and its touch screen controller is no doubt controversial but if it helps kill zombies, save princesses and solve Lego crimes, why not?