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Nintendo Land Wii U Review - -
Nintendo Land
Reviewed by
Peter Bourke
Nintendo Land Wii U Nintendo Land highlights the potential of the Wii U console, especially when it comes to the capabilities of the GamePad that is definitely a very impressive gaming controller.

Gameplay 8.5
Graphics 8.2
Sound 8.1
Value 8.5
Distributor: Nintendo
Reviewer: Peter Bourke
Review Date: Dec 2012


Nintendo Land

Nintendo Land is reminiscent of another famous launch title called Wiisports in that it showcases the amazing innovative controls of the new Nintendo Wii U. Using just about every feature of the GamePad, Nintendo Land is a collection of awesomely good mini-games based on some highly popular titles from this company such as Donkey Kong and the Legend of Zelda.

Best of all, most of the games are actually quite fun to play but where the game does shine is through its multiplayer experience that allows up to 5 players to join in. You can play the game single-player but unfortunately it is a little limiting with 3 of the games.

The game also uses your Mii character to interact with the park in Nintendo Land and you have a scary voiced yet amusing robot helper called Monita to assist you on your fun journey.

There are a total of 12 different attractions in Nintendo Land that link elements from a variety of Nintendo franchises to create some witty and fun mini-games that really showcase what the GamePad is truly capable of.

Unlike other third party titles on launch day which only briefly touch upon the GamePad controller, Nintendo Land fully utilises this new control system. More importantly, it works very very well!

The main hub in Nintendo Land is called the Plaza which serves as the crux and link with your Mii to this gaming universe. As you explore Nintendo Land, you simply just walk up to a ride which then gives you the option of the playing the game, including how many friends you want to join in.

It definitely makes the experience quite interactive. With 12 attractions, only three games cannot be played solo which is a shame as these games are quite cool. I would have preferred some AI characters to assist but alas this was not the case.

In terms of multiplayer, one gamer uses the GamePad, whereas the other players use the Wiimotes with games allowing up to five players to join in the fun. Interestingly enough, whether you are using the Wiimote or the GamePad, Nintendo have ensured that the gameplay is on an equal setting.

However Nintendo are quite crafty game developers which do make the control systems slightly different. For example in Luigi’s Ghost Mansion, the gamer with the GamePad plays an invisible ghost with players using flashlights to navigate the maze. It's quite innovative and a blast to play with shades of Pac-Man!

Then you get something totally different like The Legend of Zelda Battle Quest with the gamer with the GamePad using this device to shoot arrows and the other players with the Wiimotes using their gaming peripherals as virtual swords to defeat the enemies.

I love using the gyroscope ability of the GamePad to shoot arrows or even the blowing onto the microphone for Donkey Kong’s Crash Course. Impressive to say the least. Whether you're playing Metroid Blast or Pikmin Adventures, Nintendo should be commended on how great these mini-games are.

The gameplay, control system are just about perfect and these are not just some collection of poorly designed mini-games because almost every aspect has specifically tailored in some gaming fashion and offers players endless hours of fun.

From cooperative to competitive play, Nintendo Land is truly one of the most diverse and varied games for Nintendo Wii U that will hopefully serve as a benchmark for things to come. My only fear is that some third party developers will continue their slush of Grade D mini-games titles for the Wii U which is not something I'm looking forward too, especially after playing Nintendo Land.

Graphics / Audio

Graphically, Nintendo Land looks crystal clear on a FULL HD TV thanks to the HD graphics used by the Wii U. Although it's quite plain, it's great to see to a Nintendo game boasting high resolution graphics. The various games that you play also mimic the worlds that they have been taken from like Metroid, Donkey Kong and Pikmin which are great examples of how Nintendo have successfully combines these worlds with the mini-games.

The musical score is cheerily Nintendo and are reminiscent of the various franchises featured in this game. Sound effects are quite bouncy and voice acting of Monita is creepy, although quite amusing. All in all, great gameplay, graphics and audio!

Final Level

Nintendo Land highlights the potential of the Wii U console, especially when it comes to the capabilities of the GamePad that is definitely a very impressive gaming controller. By combining elements of the 3DS and a Tablet with streamlined Nintendo controls, this game not only plays well but gives the player and players some great single and multiplayer excitement. Add in high scores, trophies and lots of unlockables and this may be the future of gaming! Brilliant!

Key Features

Twelve Attractions: Many of Nintendo's most famous characters and game worlds have been recreated in charming and delightful new ways within the Plaza. Patchwork backdrops, wooden and metallic replicas of classic foes, and unique new gameplay experiences will put a smile on the face of everyone from long-time Nintendo fans to players just discovering video games.

Donkey Kong’s Crash Course: Using the GamePad’s motion control, players tilt the controller to guide a fragile rolling cart through an obstacle course that resembles the original Donkey Kong arcade game. This single-player game lets other spectators watch the action on the TV and offer advice about how to pass the next obstacle.

Luigi’s Ghost Mansion: The player with the GamePad is a ghost (invisible to others) who is trying to capture up to four humans armed with flashlights. The ghost must sneak around the environment by staying in the shadows and try to catch them one by one. The humans can work together to revive fallen comrades before the ghost catches everyone. If all four humans are caught before they are revived, the ghost wins. But if they are successful at shining their flashlights on the ghost long enough to reduce its hit points to zero, the humans win.

Animal Crossing™: Sweet Day: The player holding the Wii U GamePad controls two guards who are in charge of safeguarding a candy orchard from a group of candy-loving animals. Up to fourother players, using the Wii Remote controllers to control these animals, must work together to outwit – and outrun – the guards. The game ends when a combined total of 50 pieces of candy are collected, or when the guards catch any one of the animals three times.

The Legend of Zelda™: Battle Quest: The player with the GamePad is an archer who can aim and shoot arrows using the screen as a view finder. That player is joined by up to three others who wield Wii Remote Plus controllers like swords. Players work together to take on a variety of enemies in a world that looks like a cloth version of a game from The Legend of Zelda series.

Takamaru’s Ninja Castle: Based on an early Famicom game available only in Japan, this single-player game turns the GamePad into a launcher for ninja stars. Players swipe the controller’s touch screen to take out an ever-growing army of ninja attackers, earning more points for consecutive hits. Moving the GamePad around at different angles enables the player to take aim in an intuitive fashion.


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