When a company releases an innovation, it struggles to follow it up with something better. The fact remains true with Nintendo of America and its newest video game console: the Nintendo Wii U.
Six years ago, the Nintendo Wii was released, and a new way of playing video games was introduced, switching out corded controllers for a sensor bar, and a motion-sensing controller.
The Wii U serves as more of an upgrade to the Wii rather than a next-generation console.
What’s back is the concept of the sensor bar and motion-sensing controllers, which combine with the innovation of high-definition graphics and a tablet that enhances the gameplay.
While the graphics are nice, they almost feel unnecessary.
The detail of each game is captured beautifully, but not to the extent of the more powerful consoles such as the Playstation 3 and XBOX 360.
Three games were sampled: Nintendo Land (the game pre-packaged with the bundle), New Super Mario Bros. U, and ZombiU.
Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros. U are two games that thrive under the new high definition graphics, showing off all the bright colors, and beautiful illustrations.
However, ZombiU exposes the system, attempting to give older gamers something to enjoy, but reminding them that they are probably better suited for House of the Living Dead because of the lack of detail, and even the few choices for weapons a gamer has thanks to space limitations.
Where the system does thrive is through the tablet, which does something different for each game.
In Nintendo Land, gamers find themselves able to see through tunnels in a kart race thanks to the tablet, which is also recording each gamer as they play, displaying a picture on the television screen for viewers to watch.
This adds a very cool element to the game, as it puts the U into the Wii.
New Super Mario Bros. U doesn’t really add much more than a minimized version of what’s being played on the big screen, which is cool if you want to play the game while somebody else is watching TV.
ZombiU makes the best use of the tablet, converting it into a mini-map, helping the gamer navigate around the map. It also helps to bring the gamer’s inventory to life, making it easy to select a new weapon, or to use a potion.
All in all, the Wii U is good, but it’s not great.
Unless graphics are a deciding factor, the Wii U is nothing more than a subtle upgrade from the popular Wii, and should be avoided for anything more than the suggested retail value of $349.99.