Wonderful 101: Tada, we're heroes!
Last week Nintendo of America began their coast to coast tour giving lucky press members time to try out the Wii U and some of the newly announced content.
The Wonderful 101
Platinum Games’ title for the Wii U, which recently received its name, has promise to be one of the premier games on the system. Wonderful 101 may or may not make it out by March 2013—seriously that’s all they’ll commit to. If I had to create an amalgamate to compare, the game is Marvel Ultimate Alliance meets Pikmin meets any brawler you’ve ever played meets The Incredibles. If you can picture what putting all of these games together would look like, you’re probably close, and you’ll be closer once you put the Viewtiful Joe art style over the top of it. Game play was quick and simple, and, within minutes, quickly began to show its depth.
You can expand your army of heroes by standing next to any citizen you see in the game. As you go through the story, you can also unlock “special heroes,” which will change the way your party functions, and I assume will help you find secrets and other items. As the gamer, you will have multiple attacks at your discretion: the basic group attack is X, they do a standard jab style attack in mob form. The real genius of the game comes with the touch pad controls. You can rally your group to form a Voltron style super attack. Drawing a straight line will turn them into a sword. Drawing a circle will grow them into a fist, an L shape turns them into a gun. Once the move has been set you can push A (which is your power attack) to turn them into the most recently used “weapon.” During boss fights, utilizing this is necessary. I can’t tell you how many times the Nintendo rep laughed as I tried to jab my way through boss battles.
Wonderful 101 stands to be one of the top titles I have played for the WiiU yet. I can only hope the launch date is sooner than later.
During E3 a trailer of London being torn to pieces set to “God Save the Queen” captivated crowds for all four days of the trade show. I was shocked to see the game would be releasing on Wii U, and on no other console. My first experience with ZombiU was mediocre; the interesting but lackluster feeling multiplayer didn’t get me too excited for the game. The single player shown at this event, however, had my heart racing and blood pumping. Single player is truly what ZombiU is about.
The game has a few tweaks that make it very different from your usual zombie shooter. For starters, the game doesn’t have a protagonist—It has hundreds of them. When you die, you’re dead—there isn’t a continue button there is only a start over button. You’ll be given a new player, with a new biography, and new motivations, and all of the progress you had made with leveling and items is gone. The biggest change I saw was simple but dramatic; if you get bitten, you die. You have one vial of Virucide, that allows you to instantly kill a zombie that has grabbed you, and after that you’re done. Strategically, I found multiple moments where running was better than fighting. Limited ammo, a perpetual world, and real time inventory changes made fighting more than 2 zombies a true challenge. The perpetual world doesn’t stop at just your character—there is no break from the undead. If you open a chest to grab items, or open your backpack to update your inventory, the world is still happening. Zombies can still attack you, and time is still moving. Therefore, you have to manage your inventory on rare instances of downtime.
The next big piece of the ZombiU puzzle is the tablet controller integration. All inventory management, and “scanning” is done from the controller. If you need to find an item in a level, you can turn on your scanner. The character has a very similar looking device in his/her pack that allows you to scan for items and information. You then hold the tablet up to the TV (literally) and look at an X-ray shot of the environment, finding what you need. Switching weapons, managing the limited space in your back pack, picking up items, and applying health are all also handled directly from the touch screen. Nothing about the game seemed gimmicky or cheap. It felt real, polished and important.
For horror fans buying Wii U, this is a must. Truthfully, it’s a must for anyone looking for quality titles.
Pokémon Black 2 and White 2
Leaving the Wii U behind, Nintendo was also delivering a very clear message that their handheld lineup is as strong as ever. Without much introduction, many of us are expecting great things from Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, which will be released on October 7, 2012. If Pokémon is beneath you, you’re welcome to skip this section, but let me show you how I see the game. It has hundreds of individual characters with unique traits and abilities, some that can’t even be found unless specific criteria are met. Oh, and it has thousands of hours of game play. If you are an RPG gamer, I consider Pokémon to be the ultimate. Everybody through judging? Wonderful, let’s proceed. This new Pokémon is the first true sequel they’ve ever done. It happens in the same region as the previous game, Kanto. The same Pokémon will be available, and, of course, these titles will present a new mix of them. The game will also continue to utilize the Pokémon dream world, where you can unlock additional creatures through your web browser and sync to your game. For those who are strangers to the Pokémon world, it plays like a classic top-down RPG. Each town has a gym, and each gym has a unique set of challenges for the characters before fighting the gym’s leader to acquire your badge.
Since the game events take place two years after the previous title, there are all new gym leaders, and of course many new characters to meet. The best part of the release is the first few weeks the game is available, you can connect to Nintendo WiFi Connection and receive a free Genesect—this will be the first time that it’s available in distribution like this. Excited? You should be.
Nintendo has a huge holiday ahead of them: the Wii U has so many features available that the demo event barely scratched the surface. They wanted to focus on games and with the limited amount of time, so grabbing the best was a top priority. On top of a stellar gaming system, you also get Wii TiiVii, which allows you to interact socially while watching TV, and control your Tivo, and many other huge features. This holiday has a lot of promise, and Nintendo is ready to capitalize.