Release Date: 11/18/2012
Rating: Everyone 10+
Available Exclusively On
Everyone knows that Nintendo usually offers some sort of software to get you used to and familiar with their new console. The Wii had Wii Sports, the DS has Brain Training, and the Wii U has the very beefy Nintendo Land. This is a game that features a hub that interacts with the Miiverse and has doors to mini-games. Like Mario Party, this game is best played by other people. The AI is pretty dumb and unfair and is just completely boring by yourself.
There are mini-games that feature pretty much every Nintendo franchise. One is an Animal Crossing game that is very competitive and fun. One person controls two dogs on the gamepad while the other players run around using Wiimotes collecting candy. If you play with one other person they must put 15 pieces in dishes, if it’s two or more other people they must collectively get candy and keep it with them. They have to work together because the more you have and slower you run. This game seems unfair at first for the gamepad player because you run slower and your tackles don’t go very far. It takes practice and skill to tactically corner the Wiimote players and get them. Some of these mini-games have a face cam feature because you can’t look up at the TV, it’s cheating. When you look up the Wiimote players will know and can pummel you accordingly.
The best mini-game is the Zelda Battle Quest. This one is the biggest and has ten full levels. The gamepad player is an archer and the Wiimote players are swordsmen. You must get through the on-rails levels without dying, but you all share a pool of health. It’s really fun and the Wii Motion Plus makes Link’s sword motion 1:1 so it feels responsive and fluid. Another mini-game, probably the second biggest, is the Metroid one. The gamepad player is a spaceship while the Wiimote players are Samus. It’s pretty much a deathmatch game and is really fun. The controls are great and it can get really intense.
There are a lot of unbalanced and unfair mini-games here…too many. The Luigi’s Mansion one has the gamepad player as a ghost and the Wiimote players as the catchers. The problem is that the levels are way too small. There’s not enough room to run around in and can be unfair to too many people. My least favorite is the Mario Chase. The gamepad player is way too fast, it’s nearly impossible to catch them, it’s also really boring with uninspired and lame levels. The second most unfair is the Pikmin game. The arenas are way too small and the gamepad player has an unfair advantage by being able to throw their Pikmin at the Wiimote player, so the Wiimote player has no distance attacks.
There are also some single-player mini-games but one person can assist with the Wiimote making things easier. My favorite is the DK Crash Course. You look at the gamepad and have to tilt your car through an obstacle course. the Wiimote player can press A and a bubble will form around you slowing you down. Another one is the Fruit Cart game. You must draw a line on your gamepad to the fruit that appears on the screen. The Wiimote player can get one fruit for you automatically.
As you can see there’s a lot here, but there really aren’t any rewards. You get coins that are used on a Plinko-type mini-game that spits out prizes, but these just clutter your theme park and are pointless. My favorite feature of all is the train. It’s basically a championship mode that gives everyone a try at the gamepad and that user can challenge other Wiimote players, or the gamepad gets passed around. It’s really fun and exciting and brings everyone together. I just wish these games could be played online. Why Nintendo, are you so stuck in the past? The Wii U has online capabilities, and yet their games aren’t online, except for the Miiverse.
The game looks really good, but overall it’s lacking online play and rewards. There are too many unfair and unbalanced mini-games that just aren’t any fun. For a packed-in game with the Wii U, it’s pretty beefy and very fun, but I wouldn’t go out and throw $60 down on this game.