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Customer Review

61 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A review for the uncertain, 16 Dec. 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Nintendo Wii U 32GB Premium Pack - Black (Video Game)
I had a conversation with a Wii-owning friend, and he didn't know what a Wii U is. So I thought I'd write a simple review in an attempt to clear up some of the confusion caused by Nintendo's lousy marketing.

Wii U is not the same as a Wii. It is not a peripheral for the original Wii. It is a whole new system, with high-definition (i.e. 1080p) graphics and more powerful hardware. The Wii U is backwards compatible with the software and peripherals for the original Wii.

Wii U is part of the "eighth generation" of games consoles, along with Sony Playstation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One. Wii U is not quite as powerful as those other consoles, and it doesn't enjoy some of the franchises that they do (e.g. Grand Theft Auto). However, as it has done throughout previous generations, Nintendo relies upon a core set of games series: Mario, Zelda, Smash Bros., Pikmin, Mario Kart, Metroid etc.

Mario in particular has been well served on the Wii U already, with New Super Mario Bros. U, New Super Luigi U and the critically acclaimed Super Mario 3D World. Zelda fans have a hi-def remake of Wind Waker (originally on the GameCube). Pikmin 3 is excellent. New incarnations of Smash Bros. and Mario Kart are due in 2014. This is not to say that third-party franchises have passed the Wii U by entirely - there is an enhanced version of Batman Arkham City, for example, as well as the latest instalments of the Call of Duty and Assassin's Creed series. And then there is Rayman Legends, a modern platforming classic.

What sets Wii U apart from other consoles (including the original Wii) is its Gamepad. This is no ordinary controller. It is a large (and comfortable) controller-plus-tablet with a 6-inch touchscreen. Different games take advantage of this in different ways. For example, in Assassin's Creed the screen can be used as a map, or to show the HUD, leaving the TV screen just for the action. In New Super Mario Bros., one can leave notes for other players who may also be struggling on a particular level. These notes can be typed using the on-screen keyboard, or hand-written using the stylus. It's a very natural and friendly way of keeping players connected.

The Gamepad has other advantages. It can be paired with your TV and used as a remote control. It can also be used in a kind of "dual mode", whereby someone can watch, say, Netflix on the TV whilst you play a game purely through the Gamepad. Just the act of pairing the Gamepad with the console is a joy to behold: faint music emanates from the controller, and then the melody is completed as the rest of the music suddenly swells from the TV.

The main disadvantage of Wii U is its lack of sales, because this means the game library is fairly small. Yet analysts predict lifetime sales similar to the GameCube (about 25 million), which was one of the great consoles of its generation. For me, it's a matter of quality over quantity. I bought my Wii U after playing Super Mario 3D World in a store. It really is worth the cost of the console - which, I might add, is considerably lower than Playstation 4 (£349) or Xbox One (£429).

A few final words on who should buy the Wii U. I would say anyone and everyone who enjoys video games. There's a tendency - a kind of elitism - that seems to be emerging from a so-called "hardcore" gaming crowd who regard Nintendo products as merely for kids, casual gamers, or families. It is true that the Wii U, and its associated "Miiverse", is more family-friendly than the aggressively competitive online realms of Playstation and Xbox. But for me (and I have been gaming since the Commodore Amiga, and owned most systems since, including the PS3) this is a breath of fresh air. Besides, the ostensibly cute Mario games present a far greater challenge than something like Modern Warfare 3, which I skated through in under five hours.

So don't wait for the next stock intake of the "real" next gen - it's right here, right now.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Dec 2013 14:05:02 GMT
Well said , it's a shame that some people regard 'adult' games as being mature because they have violence and swearing when I would say those games are immature for the same reason! I have a ps3 also but 90% of my time is spent on the wiiu , mario games are challenging , far more so than these FPS games that lead you by the hand

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Feb 2014 17:59:14 GMT
STANSOLO says:
Thank you for a great review on the wii u, at last someone who knows about gaming.
I'm a massive game fan and have had most consoles for the past 30 years right up till now and have being thinking of what next gen console to buy. You good sir have chosen for me...the Wii U.
Thanks

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Feb 2014 09:03:16 GMT
R. J. Lister says:
No worries my friend - enjoy.

Posted on 13 Mar 2014 13:45:54 GMT
Couldn't have put it any better myself!
I'm fortunate enough to have Wii U, XBox 360 and a PS4, with Nintendo's console being far and away the favourite.
Backwards compatability (AND your 'old' Wii games look just that bit better playing thru Wii U), plus most games give you the CHOICE of which controller to use (GamePad, Pro-Controller, Wiimote & Nunchuck, Wii Pro-Controller, Wii Zapper) who else offers THAT??
So far, no annoying micro DLC either! I'm sick of games on Microsoft & Sony consoles 'touting' extra camos, weapons etc etc for £1.69 here, £2 there........ you get the picture!
I agree totally with the "Nintendo's lousy marketing" comment, most people seem to think the GAMEPAD is the Wii U!!
Anyway, I would wholeheartedly recommend buying a Wii U, it's a quality piece of kit!
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