Review: Nintendo Land (Wii U)

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Review: Nintendo Land (Wii U)




Best theme park... ever.

Nintendo Land is essentially 12 minigames in one launch title game bundled with the Wii U. Although, really, if we wanted to go technical, these minigames, called Attractions, are really much bigger than the classic minigame. There are 12 Attractions, each representing a different Nintendo series. For a quick history of Nintendo Land, it was unveiled at E3 2012 rather badly, mostly because this one game took up a huge chunk of time there that could've been spent on other things, and after this huge chunk of time, we still didn't know all that much about this game. Half a year later, bundled with the Deluxe Wii U, fans found out what a great game it really is. Since each minigame is really a game in itself, I'm going to review each Attraction seperately, then end with features and an overall score.



Mario Chase is the first of the 3 Multiplayer only attractions, sometimes nicknamed the "tag" Attractions. Mario Chase is extremely easy to play and learn to play, and also very fun to play with friends and family. Also, the rules are right out of an actual game in real life, you guessed it, tag. The GamePad player plays as Mario, and up to 4 WiiMote users can play as Toads. It's the Toads's job to catch Mario, but if Mario stays uncaught for 2-3 minutes(depending on the amount of players), Mario wins. The controls are the easiest of pretty much any game I've ever played, with the GamePad user only using the left circle stick and seeing where all the toads are, and the for the WiiMote the D-Pad is used for moving and 1 is used for Tackle. Tackle can be used to, of course, tackle, but if you miss Mario, you've just wasted precious time. This game, however simplistic, is also incredibly fun to play with friends.



Luigi's Ghost Mansion is the second of the 3 Multiplayer only "tag" games, and it may have the best use of the GamePad out of the 3. The player with the GamePad plays as a ghost, and it's his or her job to scare all ofthe Luigis. It's the WiiMote players's job(who play as Luigi) to find and shine their flashlight on the ghost, who is invisible(unless a light hits the ghost, the ghost dashes, the ghost scares a Luigi, or the ghost is revelaed by Lightning flashing outside). If you're a Luigi, however, don't overuse your flashlight! Overuse of your flashlight will lower the battery in your flashlight, making the flashlight's beam smaller. Of course, there are batteries that'll appear from time to time, but really, it's better safe than scared in this game.



Animal Crossing Sweet Day is the last of the 3 Multiplayer only "tag" games. In this Attraction, the GamePad user plays as 2 characters at once, the Guards, with one circle stick controlling a Guard. The Guards's role is to catch those pesky animals that are collecting candy(which, by-the-way, happens to grow on trees and be lying around on the ground). The Guards, like the Toads in Mario Chase, can try to Tackle the animals, but if they miss, they've wasted valuable time. The Animals have to collect a certain amount of candy without being caught a certain amount of times(again, this varies depending on the amount of players). The Animals are controlled by WiiMotes, and are moved with the D-Pad and pick up candy with 1 and drop candy with 2. Why would you drop candy, you may ask? Well, the more candy an Animal collects, the slower that Animal goes. Actually, if you collect no candies, you can run faster than the Guards, but after the first few candies the Guards can start catching up with you. This adds an element of strategy to this game, which is nice.

Overall, the Multiplayer only games are great to be played with family and friends, as they're really simple and more fun than you'd originally think.



The Legend of Zelda Battle Quest is the first of the 3 Team Attractions that can be played by yourself, or with friends. Either way, in this Attraction, it's still fun to play. The person holding the GamePad can tilt the GamePad around to look all around where he/she's playing, and this fits for the GamePad, because the GamePad player is the Archer. The WiiMote players are Swordsmen. Really, if you've played The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword before, you'll catch on to the controls pretty quickly(if you can get past the fact that you don't use a Nunchuck in Battle Quest, which I didn't use my shield almost the entire game, so it was easy for me to adapt to the controls). Just like in Zelda games, you can charge up your shots too, with the Sword you can hold your Sword in one position for a little bit and that'll charge it up, and with the Archer you just have to hold back your arrow for a couple seconds. This is all like Zelda, but not everything in this game is completely related to it. For example, in every full Zelda game, it's classified as an Action/Adventure game(I'm not including Link's Crossbow Training, by the way). Battle Quest is Action, alright, but there isn't really any Adventure or Exploration, both the Swordmen and the Archer are on a preset path, which is alright, it just kind of take away from that Zelda feel sometimes, if you know what I mean. Also, with each enemy, the game tells you how much health thhat enemy has. This is minor though, and doesn't matter all that much. Overall though, this is a great Attraction to be played anytime, whether alone or with friends.



Metroid Blast is the second of the 3 Team Attractions. This is Nintendo Land's shooter(no, I'm not counting Takamura's Ninja Castle as a shooter... don't really know what you'd classify that as, but that's off topic), and is probably more suitable for ages 10+, as this can be a devious and tricky Attraction at points. The player with the GamePad plays as a character in a Gunship, and the WiiMote players play as Samuses(it's weird saying stuff like that plurally... Samuses, Luigis...). You could argue that the Gunship is easier and more fun to play as than the Samuses in this Attraction, but they each play their part. The Gunship can go in all directions, as a Gunship should, up, down, left, right, forwards, etc. Shooting is more rapid for the Gunship than the Samuses, probably because Nintendo expected you to be moving as you shot. You can charge up your shots simply by holding down ZR(which is the trigger button). With the WiiMote, things get a bit more complicated. Yes, you can still shoot, but not rapidly(unless you pick up a Rapid Fire Helmet item). Turning can be annoying and somewhat slow for a while, until you get the hang of it. You move very, very slowly as compared to the Gunship, but you can get from place to place fast if you grapple on to certain objects, like the Gunship. Metroid Blast is in the Third Person, but if you don't like it, you can switch to First Person(only catch: you have to hold down ZL). There are 3 modes, a Mission mode, a Ground Battle, and a Versus mode. Mission is obviously for missions, Versus is where the Gunship goes against the Samuses, and Ground Battle is where the Samuses go against each other. Overall, Metroid Blast, in my opinion, is one of Nintendo Land's best attractions, but I can understand how one would have some trouble with it.



Pikmin Adventure is the last of the 3 Team Attractions, and really, if you want to play Pikmin, go buy the first two or wait for the third. I haven't actually played either of the ones actually out, but I'm fairly sure this doesn't have much to do with either, it's more like Nintendo trying some new odd way of playing and it didn't turn out as they expected. I'm not saying Pikmin Adventure is especially bad, but this, by no means, is a Pikmin game, and I didn't really enjoy it. It's a bit frustrating, really, at points, and I'm sure this could've been executed much better. After the first few levels, you'll find yourself wondering if it's even possible to beat some levels without using the special items Monita gives you after failing a level a few times. I'm sure some of you will have more patience than me(because I don't have all that much) and will enjoy this more than me, but of all the Multiplayer Attractions, this is the one I disliked the most. Again, it's not that it's a bad game, it just could've been executed a lot better. For the controls,(and by the way this is how I imagine those that find Kid Icarus: Uprising's controls hard), you move with one of the circle sticks, press ZL or ZR to blow the whistle to call back your Pikmin, and tap the screen to throw your Pikmin. This too could've probably been slightly better thought out. Mastering(to be explained later) these missions are also much harder(from actual difficulty or frustration I'm not sure) than Mastering Battle Quest and Metroid Blast missions, for comparison.

Overall, though, the Team Attractions are really fun to play alone or with family/friends, having at least 2 really great Attractions that you'll be playing for quite a while.


Donkey Kong's Crash Course was one of the first Attractions unveiled, and is the first of the 6 Solo Attractions. This was one of the Attractions that made Nintendo Land seem like a dull game, which luckily enough, it's quite the opposite. Even though Donkey Kong's Crash Course may be simple in concept, that won't stop you from going for the highest score you can. The way DK's Crash Course essentially works is tilting the GamePad left and right, and occasionally pressing a button that'll activate a part that blocks your way. The object is to get done each Area as fast as possible, without exploding. The Areas are basically checkpoints by the way, so if you die in Area 9, it'll warp you back to the Area 9 flag. Exploding is what'll happen to you if you let the top of your cart... thing... touch something like a wall, which can be caused by going really fast and then stopping, for example. However, it's not like you can just keep exploding over and over again, you have a certain amount of lives, but another can be obtained every 1000 points. DK's Crash Course is great to play even with family and friends playing too, to see how far each of you can go.



Yoshi's Fruit Cart is the second of the six solo attractions, and an interesting one at that. Essentially, you must get your character one a Yoshi to eat all of the fruit, and then get to the gate to the next stage. But there's a twist. You have to use the GamePad to plot your path, and the fruit you need to get only shows up on the TV. This makes it so you have to find similarities between the 2 screens to see where you must plot your path to get all the fruit(note: if you don't get all the fruit, the gate won't open, and you'll have to restart the current level, minus the fruit you've already gotten. This will take up a life, however). And really, that's all there is to it. Eventually there's some bees and holes added that obviosuly, you don't want to run into, but it's a nice, simple attraction that's easy to get the hang of.



Ok, it's time for the attraction we've all been waiting for. Just as a warning, the entire first part of the review of this attraction is going to be horribly and terribly biased.
This is a bad attraction. Actually, that's putting it well -- this is terrible, despicable, and an unforgivable excuse of an attraction. This attraction is so flawed, it's not even funny. Anything bad that could possibly happen to you, will. Anything from failing right before you get a star in the attraction to your GamePad disconnecting(a system problem, not necessarily the game, but it's happened to me and Happy_Mask, and we both about destroyed our GamePads as a result), to you not remembering what the combination of moves was or your fingers not wanting to execute them -- whatever it is, it'll happen. It's hard to believe this ever got approved to go in Nintendo Land, none of the other attractions are even a fraction as flawed as this. Lemme explain the controls to you, though, quickly. Your left circle pad controls your guy's left arm, and vice versa. You can also tilt your body by tilting the GamePad in its respective direction and jump by jerking your GamePad upwards. This is all good and well until the last round, where things get faster and more confusing. Your arms will be going in patterns you can't remember in the second's time it gives you to memorize the pattern, and it gets even worse when ink gets squirt at your GamePad screen, making you look at the TV instead(which, by-the-way, is facing the opposite direction your GamePad is. What I mean by this is that the GamePad's viewing angle is behind you and the TV's viewing angle is in front of you(most of the time). This means if your GamePad screen gets ink on it, you have to look at your character from in front, which means everything is backwards). This really messes with your brain, and by the time you get the attraction starred, you'll probably think you got it starred by pure luck. At any rate, this attraction is completely frusterating, even more frusterating because if you want to beat the game, you have to get it starred. Some people like it, many, many don't.

Captain Falcon's Twister Race is the fourth of the six Solo Attractions, and is another interesting game. To play, you tilt the GamePad from side to side vertically, and on the GamePad is shows an above shot of your current place on the course, which you use to navigate the course mostly.The top screen shows a view of the course similar to the angle most racing games show. Your objective is the get to the next Area as fast as possible. If you don't, you'll run out of time and get the Game Over screen. There're obstacles and turns in the way, so all makes for an fun game of seeing how far you can make it. I don't have any real problems with the game, but actually, I have a problem with the controls. I said you control it by tilting the gamepad vertically, but what's terrible is how the GamePad starts leaning in one direction. It'll gradually start tilting to the left or right as I play, making it so the forward position is really turning 30 degree right or left, or in the worst case I've encountered, 90 degrees in one direction. But besides that, it's a great Attraction.



Balloon Trip Breeze is the fifth of the the Solo Attractions, and easily one of the best Attractionsin the entire game. You control your character by swiping your stylus on the GamePad in the direction you want to go, and you can swipe faster or slower depending on if you want to be blown faster or slower. You're actually watching the TV while you play this Attraction, and swiping doesn't take much thought, so after a few minutes you won't even think about it. Getting certain amounts of balloons will make the balloons worth more, and you need to constantly get balloons to keep the multiplier up. Defeating enemies is simple, just get above them and drop on top of them to pop their balloons. You can ram into an egg before it hatches to kill an enemy before it even attacks you, too. After you star the Attraction, you'll try to get as many points as you possibly can, which is actually slightly addicting. The remixed music from Balloon Trip is a really nice touch in this game, and really, it feels like a game on its own in a small way. This Attracton is a great time waster, and great to help you relax too.



Takamaru's Ninja Castle is the last of the six Solo Attractions and indeed, the last Attraction in Nintendo Land. Last, but certainly not least Takamuru's Ninja Castle has one of the best uses of the GamePad in the game. To lay, you hold your GamePad vertically and flick Ninja Stars toward the TV, where they hit the paper Ninjas. There are a few differant types of Ninjas, too: there're ones that do nothing, there're ones that'll shoot stars at you, and there're ones that'll throw clay bombs at you. It's possible to deflect the stars with your stars or your sword, but the bombs you must hit with a star to avoid taking damage(keep in mind the bombs seem to defy gravity. Yep, they're pretty slow). It's great fun pretending you're flicking your stars to kill the other Ninjas really. the only complaint I had with this Attraction is the same one I had with Captain Falcon's Twister Race: the center starts leaning to the side after a while. Once you get used to it, however, it's easily one of the most fun Attractions in Nintendo Land.

Other features

Along with the Attractions, there are a few things I didn't mention within the Attractions and a few outside of them. First off, there are these things called Stars. You can get one for every Attraction, and is essentially means you've beaten the Attraction. For example, to get a Star in Donkey Kong's Crash Course, you have to make it through every Area. This doesn't, however, mean that the game ends there, in fact, in every Attraction there's still content after the point at which you get the star, except for two of the Multiplayer only Attractions. There are stages after the 3 day mark(where you get the star) in Balloon Trip Breeze, there are extra Missions in Metroid Blast, and there are Quests after you beat Gannon in Zelda Battle Quest. Also, in each Attraction, you can get Stamps. Stamps are essentially achievements, and they can be quite tricky to get sometimes, actually. Finally, you can get coins in Attractions. There's really no saying when you'll get a coin, it could be when you roll through a specific area in Donkey Kong Crash Course of when you hit a pot in Battle Quest with an arrow. Outside of Attractions, there're items that you can get from winning a stage on the top of Nintendo Land Tower. The items can be anything from a toy Koopa to a Rupee to a Jukebox for listening to the games' music with. You use coins you've collected to try to make it through each level, and each level beaten means one more item to decorate your Plaza with. In the Plaza, if you want to, you can look at other people's Miis that are visiting your plaza and see what they're saying about the game in MiiVerse, and also what they're accomplished in their copy of the game. Your friends will also be in the Plaza, but they're often hard to find if you're not looking very hard.

Conclusion

Nintendo Land is a great game that really shows off what the Wii U is capable of. It's great to play with your family or alone, and it'll keep you entertained for a time while you get Stars and unlock new items. It has a couple flaws here and there, but the games you don't like, you don't have to play.

9.25/10


Last edited by 3Dash on Sat May 25, 2013 7:25 pm; edited 17 times in total (Reason for editing : Adding Attractions and correcting typis)

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Review: Nintendo Land (Wii U) :: Comments

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Post on Mon May 27, 2013 6:34 pm by Professor Clayton

Nice review! I'm glad I'm getting a deluxe version. n_n

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Post on Mon May 27, 2013 6:35 pm by KiDasharus

Clay - Yeah. If nothing else, the deluxe version is worth it for this game.

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