Wii U: Hands-on with ZombiU, Pikmin, Project P-100, and more!
I had the opportunity to try out Nintendo's upcoming console at the local Wii U Experience event some time ago. There were many Wii U kiosks set up with various types of games – mostly the prominent ones. While I didn’t try every single game and I couldn’t take an hour with each one, I tried to get my hands on as many as I possibly could.
Possibly one of the most exciting games that will be available at launch, ZombiU immediately caught my attention on the floor. Luckily I was one of the first few people in line so my turn came around quite quickly. The game is atmospheric to say the least as darkness broods around every corner and light is scarce. It really sets that tone of being alone and possibly open to a zombie attack. The mission I had was to search for supplies in a nursery. The stark dichotomy between the unsafe feelings in this nursery versus a real one was exceptionally cool and each open door kept me on my toes as I was afraid of a zombie being on the other side of it.
The gameplay was surprising smooth. ZombiU plays like a survival horror, is one of the first console games in a while to truly capitalize on that idea. Sadly, the shooting doesn’t feel like it makes a difference as bullets fly everywhere. It’s very easy to miss if you make successive shots rather than stopping ever three seconds between each fire. The game discourages run and gun and promotes more of a slow and steady approach. This becomes especially important as zombies run up to you fairly fast and can take you down in mere moments. It’s extremely easy to die, but that's the idea. While it's entirely possible to melee zombies to death, once they’re up in your face, you're pretty much done for. ZombiU is extremely exhilarating and kept me on the edge of my seat.
Of course, the Wii U controller itself is the star in the demo and it was a bit awkward to use. The controller itself is unsurprisingly light as I never felt bogged down by its weight, however, it still is heavier than the 360 or PS3 controller. You can use the controller itself to look around using it as a night vision of sorts with the screen. At the same time the screen acts as a map and inventory. These are cool features although they do feel slightly gimmicky and sort of unneeded. I’m looking forward to ZombiU when it launches with the Wii U holiday season.
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge had a playable segment of the game from the original version. The difference is that you had new weapons, Ninpo, and other features available to you. My brief time with the demo however was one of familiarity but at the same time disappointment.
The game itself played virtually the same as the original. The combat remained unchanged and there were tons of enemies thrown at you on the screen. The enemies weren’t rather smart so it was easy to hack and slash your way to victory. I had twin swords at my disposal as well as a Ninpo which was extremely awesome as I used the reticule to aim my fireballs.
The controller for the most part didn’t do anything special. The action was so focused on the television that I had no time to actually look down at the controller screen to see what it was actually doing. For the most part though, controlling Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge on the Wii U controller was the same as using a 360 or PS3 controller, albeit a bit larger.