The Best Buy near my house has had a Wii U set up for almost a month already, but it rarely works. The glass case it's in apparently causes it to overheat a ton, and it only randomly syncs the right way. Well, it was finally playable the other night, and I got to give Rayman Legends
a shot with my girlfriend. And all I can say is that I'm ecstatic that I reserved a console in time to get one at launch.
The game itself plays almost exactly like Origins,
if you want it to (I'll get to that in a minute). It's a sidescrolling platformer that can be played with two people simultaneously, and it looks absolutely GORGEOUS. Seriously, the only other game that's ever taken my breath away with its visuals like that is Journey.
The UBI Art engine shines in a way that almost shames Origins,
and I can't imagine going back to the original game after I finally get to play the full version of this one. As far as gameplay went, if you've played the first game, then you know what to expect here, and that's definitely not a bad thing.
As far as the new controller is concerned, you could optionally (which made me REALLY happy) control a sort of cursor-character, allowing you to point at certain parts of the stage on the touchscreen and interact with the background to get points and items for the main player. It was fun to see the entire game on my own personal screen, but it was WAY more fun to just play as a second player, like in the original game. The touchscreen didn't do this game's graphics justice, even though the screen itself was very clear. I do, however, think that the touchscreen controls will be required for a lot of the levels in the game.
The GamePad was actually quite comfortable, even for something like a simple sidescroller. It has clicky buttons like the 3DS and the original model DS, which I vastly prefer over the ones that actually feel like they're pressing down. The joysticks feel exactly the way they should, and clicking them is just as easy as on any other controller. It's a bit bigger than I expected it to be, but it works just fine, and after a few minutes, it felt extremely natural.
The most surprising part about playing the Wii U was how long it actually took me to realize I had a second screen I could look at. When I tried to use the cursor-character, it took me forever to figure out that I needed to look at my screen to aim where I wanted him to go -- I was constantly looking at the TV, wondering why I was sucking so badly. It was a really, REALLY weird feeling, but one that I definitely want to explore more. I'm not used to using what basically amounts to a giant DS, but the idea gets more and more awesome every time I think about it.
So anyway, that was my experience with Nintendo's new funbox. I can't wait to get my hands on my own, and in just a little over a week, too.