What a fine Monday; hello Destructoid! Looks like we have some blogs that were written today that need proper categorizing and judging. Who better to do so than the guy penciled in to do so on this day?!? WHOM? Nobody I can think of, in any case.
But what would Monday be without confusing and unfocused paragraphs about random things flying through the mcgeether, that I just happened to catch with a net on a stick?
The net is metaphorical. The stick is not.
Yesterday I may have procured a Wii U. Yep, I did. After a bunch of updating and charging, I finally did some other stuff with it, and I must say: I'm digging it. Anyone who knows me much knows that I was certainly excited about it, but I always have my doubts when it comes to certain things Nintendo. There's always that seeming catch when it comes to their consoles. With this one, it seems to be how they handled memory. But that's best left for another...blog.
For these isms, I'll just stick to the things I've personally toyed with.
-Nintendo Land. This is mostly what you'd expect: A sort-of tech demo to show off the things the Wii U can do. It's decent-looking, with a very simple style and Miis in place of "normal" characters. The color pops so hard it hurts, and it makes some of the minigames look amazing; The Metroid one especially. Oh and the 60 FPS future is glorious.
The games themselves are surprisingly addictive, especially if you can grab some buddies to play with you. The whole asymmetrical multiplayer" thing is something I really truly enjoy, and I hope more developers take advantage of the gamepad this way. (Zombi U does it, people.) There are plenty of lonely ways to play, as well, and a couple games I can see I'm going to be putting a lot of time into, specifically, Captain Falcon's Twister Race, Balloon Trip Breeze, and Yoshi's Fruit Cart. There is a nice learning curve that smacks you right as you're getting into the groove of each game. It makes me want to jump right back in to progress a little further.
One of the more interesting side features is the Pachinko game. It's a simplified game itself, but the system reminds me of the Coin Launcher in Smash Bros. You earn coins for every game you play, and you use these coins to play Pachinko. Every board you clear earns you a "?" block, which you touch on the gamepad to open. A nice touch. I said touch again. The blocks are seemingly filled with a random item to put in your park, with things like a jukebox, with all manner of Nintendo music, Nintendo-themed props, like Samus' ship, and other weird things, like a button that changes the time of day in the park. Commas. It's a cool reward system that keeps you in the park a bit longer than you might intend. Fun times.
-The online biz. Although it was very spotty day one, the online features are nice and efficient. You can bring up things like Friend Lists, the internet browser, the download manager, etc. without closing the app/game you're running. Very slick. And the browser is nice and fast.
Miiverse is a thing of beauty. It's like Xbox Live, but better. You can follow specific communities based on games or activities, post messages or doodles on those boards, comment on comments, favorite things, look at your friends specifically, add friends from there...everything you might want to. Your activity feed will just show you your whole timeline, like Twitter, if you wish. You can also seemingly add friends from here, or people you've recently played with. Speaking of which, you still need to mutually add friends, but it's not too bad because it's just a username of your choosing.
-The eShop. Technically part of the "online biz," but I thought I would mention it separately. It's clean and easy to see what's available. Whenever they get new games will prove whether or not it can stay that way. You can background download, which is nice, but probably standard now. They launched with 23 games availabe in the eShop, which is a huge step forwrd for Nintendo. Mostly retail titles, (another big step) but the 5 games that aren't retail are really something great. I hope this is a sign of things to come. Trine 2, Little Inferno, Chasing Aurora, Mighty Switch Force: Hyper Drive Edition, and Nano Assault NEO. Nice launch.
I got two of those games, Trine 2 and Nano Assault NEO. Trine 2 isn't new, but my god, it's still beautiful. One of the best-looking games...like ever. I have to say, the gamepad makes playing as Amadeus (the wizard) much easier. drawing boxes and placing things feels like it was made for the gamepad in the first place. Kudos to FrozenByte. As far as new content goes, (copypasta'd) it apparently has new options, difficulty settings and re-worked levels, as well as the "Goblin Menace” campaign that is now directly accessible as a continuation to the original campaign. So 6 new levels and 6 new skills all together, plus one brand new level made just for the Wii U. I'd say it's worth the $20 price tag. I think the new campaign is Wii U/PC only. Don't quote me on that.
Like I said, I also bought Nano Assault NEO. Why? Because Shin'en are one of my favorite smaller developer studios. They made some fantastic WiiWare and 3DS games, and will be doing more stuff for Nintendo. The things they did with the WiiWare's limitations are nothing short of magical, and their brand of sorcery has seemingly benefited themselves in the HD generation. It's 720p, 60FPS and so tasty to my eyes. And...it's only 82 MB. How the fuck that even works is beyond me. Anyway, the game itself is a twin-stick shooter mixed with Fantastic Voyage. It's got power-ups you can buy in-between levels. It's fairly simple, fun, and purty. Buy it if you have a Wii U.
That's a buncha words that just came out of my fingers, and there are more, but we should probably wrap and CAP. Cheers. See you next week when I emerge from my Nintendo coma.