Wii U Hands-On: Katy’s Perspective [Pikmin 3, Nintendo Land & Rayman Legends]

Yesterday, myself and Nintendo Scene’s events-guy-StealthBuda were lucky enough to get a hands-on experience of the upcoming Wii U console, as well as demo lots of Wii U and 3DS titles announced at and before E3. Rather than bore you with an extremely long, in-depth and technical article of every game on show yesterday, we decided to focus on 3 games each that really got us excited about Nintendo’s future.

You can check StealthBuda’s analysis of his top 3 choices (ZombiU, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge and New Super Mario Bros.) here on the website shortly.

As for me, it was all about Pikmin 3, Nintendo Land and Rayman Legends. I know what you’re thinking, what girly choices. But honestly, they were, in my opinion, the most impressive games on show and you could tell that both Nintendo and Ubisoft had worked extremely closely in making the best use of the Wii U’s impressive new technology.

Pikmin 3 – Wii U – Wii U Launch Window

The first thing you notice when you play Pikmin 3, is just how stunning it looks in HD. Any video you have seen from E3 doesn’t even come close to have beautiful the game looks right in front of you. The natural setting of the previous GameCube Pikmin games has always been a highlight, but the Wii U version is a great deal more refined and detailed, with gorgeous rippling water and sunlight bouncing off of leaves. Pikmin 3 is also noticebaly zoomed-out further than the original 2 games, allowing the player to spot lazy Pikmin, hiding in corners, while his comrades do all the hard work.

While the demo I played only showed red and rock Pikmin, however the E3 trailer showed many different varities of Pikmin at Olimar’s disposal. The controls were extremely easy to pick up, and while it felt similar to the GameCube Pikmin adventures, the Motion Plus on the Wii remotes made it much easier to specifically target different objects. The Wii U’s GamePad acted as a map of the area the whole time, which was extremely helpful when trying to manage many Pikmin in levels with time restraints.

The new Rock Pikmin were especially helpful when it came to the boss battle, which saw the player coming against an armoured centipede, in which players should throw the Rock Pikmin at the creature in order to take down it’s armour and then target the flesh underneath. There are lots of different tasks in which certain Pikmin will perform better at, as each have different abilities, for example Red Pikmin can withstand fire, Yellow Pikmin can be thrown higher and Blue Pikmin can breathe underwater. There have also been rumours that another new species of Pikmin will be included, which can be spotted right at the beginning of the E3 trailer, flying past the title screen. They are pink and have a blue flower on top of their heads.

Most importantly of all, Pikmin 3 is an absolute delight to play, and is a MUST for anyone thinking of purchasing a Wii U.

Nintendo Land – Wii U – Holiday

Nintendo Land was one of Nintendo’s main focuses at their E3 presentation and whilst it wasn’t the new HD The Legend of Zelda we were all waiting for, it is something which is bound to bring smiles to many faces. Forget for a moment that it all sounds a bit cutesy and just appreciate that it is an excellent and fun mini-game compilation which will bring families together.

Nintendo Land is set in a theme park and features 12 different attractions for players to enjoy. I was lucky enough to experience the 5 attractions which have been announced so far; Animal Crossing: Sweet Day, The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest, Donkey Kong’s Crash Course, Luigi’s Ghost Mansion and Takemaru’s Ninja Castle.

Animal Crossing: Sweet Day is a lovely little game for up to 5 players, one player equipped with the Wii U’s GamePad and the other 4 players using the Wiimotes. The GamePad player becomes 2 guards and must catch the other 4 players (posing as Animal Crossing critters) before they steal a certain amount of sweets. This all sounds simple enough, but the key to this game is communication between the 4 Wiimote players, to work together to activate switches to get more sweets and to help each other get away from the guards. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Animal Crossing: Sweet Day, both playing with the Wiimote and the GamePad.

The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest is another multiplayer mini-game, in which your Mii dresses as our favourite Hero of Time, Link, and equips himself with a bow (if you are the GamePad user) or a sword (if you brandish a Wiimote). Players must work together to take down enemies in order to reach Faron Woods, combining efforts to open switches and other devices. Another great little game.

Donkey Kong’s Crash Course prompted players to tilt the Wii U’s GamePad to steer a cart through levels, using additional buttons to trigger pulleys etc. in order to reach higher platforms. It sounds easy enough, but trust me, this game is a lot trickier than some of the other attractions Nintendo Land has to offer, getting more complex the long you play. There are also checkpoints to reach and bananas to collect, as well as a princess to save at the end.

Luigi’s Ghost Mansion was most definitely the highlight of all the Nintendo Land games I demoed, another multiplayer, with up to 5 players. Similar to Animal Crossing’s Sweet Day, this game is all about communication and working as a team, as the 4 Wiimote players must track down the ghost using their torches, whilst the GamePad user acts as the ghost, creeping up behind the other players to suck the life out of them. Whilst the main TV screen is completely dark, and only shows the 4 Wiimote players walking about with their torches, the GamePad screen shows the whole area alight and the position of the ghost, so that the GamePad user can sneak up on the others. This may seem like an unfair advantage, but the Wiimote players use the vibrations in their controllers to sense when the ghost is near and then must shine their torch on it to weaken it. For example, if Wiimote Player 1 feels vibrations near the top-left corner of the screen, he must communicate to the other 3 players so that they come and track down the ghost. If you stay in a pack, it is also harder for the ghost to grab you, where as if you go out hunting on your own, you are bound to get attacked.

Lastly, Takemura’s Ninja Castle plays completely differently to the other Nintendo Land games announced so far, as you must hold the Wii U’s GamePad vertically, rather than horizontally. You then swipe the touchscreen to throw ninja stars at hiding assassins, much like the tech demo displayed at E3 last year. Accuracy and speed is key here.

That’s only 5 of the 12 mini-games on offer in Nintendo Land, and to be honest, Luigi’s Ghost Mansion, Zelda: Battle Quest and Animal Crossing: Sweet Day are good enough to be a complete retail package anyway. Another one to add to your Wii U launch list.

Rayman Legends – Wii U – TBA

Anyone who has played Rayman Origins will know what they are in for here – platformer heaven. This time, it’s even better when you invite a few friends over as Ubisoft has created a new multiplayer classic. The Wiimote holder (and up to 3 friends) control Rayman, whilst the GamePad user controls another character who helps adapt the environment so that Rayman can jump, kick and run through the level alive. Once again, the focus is completely on teamwork and communication. For example, on stage has a giant rotating platform maze with spikes in the middle, which the GamePad user must carefully turn so that Rayman can run through and avoid a painful death.

Rayman Legends also features an awesome music stage, which works a bit like Bit. Trip, in which some amazing music plays to the beat of your actions, helping you perfectly time your next move. If only the music was also ‘chiptune’ style like Bit. Trip! But it’s not only the music and teamwork which makes Rayman Legends excellent, but also the beautiful backdrop, brought to life by the Wii U’s HD graphics. If you enjoyed Origins, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t love Legends too.

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5 Responses to “Wii U Hands-On: Katy’s Perspective [Pikmin 3, Nintendo Land & Rayman Legends]”
  1. Excellent coverage. Really like your thoughts on Pikmin and the vission of flowing water and bouncing sun rays. Give me this game now.


  2. Great article!


  3. Sylverstone Khandr says:

    Very awesome! I’m looking to try these games on the 29th, as Club Nintendo invited a very select few to try out the Wii U.


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