Posted on November 1, 2012 AT 05:31am
Admittedly, it had been a while since I’d laid my hands on Nintendo’s upcoming console. The last I’d seen of the system was back at E3 and, while I’ve been following coverage like a hawk, how the gamepad felt in my hands was growing a bit dim in my mind. To my surprise the other day, I noticed a kiosk being assembled in my local GameStop. Check out your local store now, because in that display was a playable demo of the Wii U.
The best thing about this kiosk is the ability to hold and closely examine the Wii U gamepad. It’s always a bit larger and surprisingly lighter than what you might be expecting. The handles on the back of the gamepad make it a very comfortable fit in your hands and the placement of the buttons feels pretty natural. The one thing that concerns me about the layout of the controller is easy access to the L, R, ZL and ZR buttons. While it seems pretty easy to be in a position the easily press either set, they don’t seem super easy to switch between. Time will tell on that, but it didn’t effect my play experience with the demo that was there.
Most games represented by the kiosk were only there in trailer form. This is pretty understandable as there are quite a few upcoming games that would be difficult to optimally demo with the controller tethered down. The playable demo that was available was for the upcoming Rayman Legends title. The demo showcases both a single-player level that mainly has you using the gamepad as a proper controller and one that shows off the multiplayer possibilities.
Each of these levels do a great job of showing off the attitude and style that the game has in a great way. The Castle Rock level, the single-player portion, features you running through a level and making well-timed jumps and punches to the tune of the music. It’s basically a great marriage between platforming and rhythm-based gameplay and I hope there are several more levels like it in the final version of the game. The other, Teensies in Trouble, features one player, or the computer if you’re alone, controlling the platforming aspect while you use gamepad to cut ropes, move platforms and tickle enemies to support the other player. Even with the other player being a computer I could tell there is great potential for some good fun with this mode.
If you’re excited about the Wii U and want to get even more hyped, check out your local GameStop to see if they have one of these demo kiosks installed. You’ll get your hands on the new gamepad and get a chance to play a game, I’m very sad to say, that won’t be releasing until next year. Just a couple more weeks until we can take it home and then the real fun begins.
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