The lights are on
Nintendo Land is the first of many minigame collections to come to the Wii U, but this one is made by Nintendo. It is comprised of twelve games based on Nintendo's properties, from Zelda to Balloon Trip (and one ninja castle game), which are separated into solo, multiplayer battle, and cooperative games. Some of the more notable games include Mario Chase, where one player holding the GamePad tries to flee and avoid being tackled by up to four players with Wii remotes, with the twist being that the GamePad-equipped player has a map revealing the locations of his opponents. Metroid Blast is a cooperative game where the GamePad controls Samus' ship, able to blast enemies from the series from the air, while players with the Wii remotes each control a Samus, fighting from the ground.
Each of the games is widely different, but some have more longevity than others. While the three competitive games require some skill, the cooperative games can be a blast at any social gathering, as they need little gaming experience. All of the single player games can be played for fun and, unlike other mini-games, can last for hours, becoming increasingly harder. These single player games, of which there are six, include Yoshi's Fruit Cart, where the player draws on the GamePad a path for their cart, collecting the fruit and avoiding the obstacles that can only be seen on the TV, and Donkey Kong's Crash Course, where the player tilts the GamePad in a meticulous manner.
Outside of the games, the players' Mii runs around a plaza centered around a tower. If connected to the internet, the plaza will be filled with other Miis, who relay messages people post in response to the games, but the game does not connect online otherwise. Also in the plaza is a larger tower, where you can play a coin-drop mini-game (with coins won from the real games) to win prizes that scatter around the plaza, usually hanging around their game of origin. Opening these prizes with a poke will release what's inside, something of interest from one of the games, like an enemy or item. There are 200 prizes waiting to be collected.
Nintendo Land does well as a successor to Wii Sports even with the $50 price point, introducing players to the GamePad, and may remain on the shelf for some time, being picked up every once and a while, but don't expect it to remain when the system picks up speed.
No one has commented on this article.