The Nintendo Wii U is the evolution of the phenomenon that was the Nintendo Wii. Taking their innovation when it comes to gameplay and ideas to a new level, the Nintendo Wii U compliments its games with the use of either the original Wii controllers, The arcade pro controller or the unique Wii U tablet that comes boxed with each console.
Nintendo truly dance to the beat of a different drum.
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Bayonetta 2 (Written by Gareth)
Japan’s Platinum Games is probably the best studio in the world when it comes to 3D third person action games. The first game was revered by almost everyone when it hit 360 and PS3 five years ago, and following the fantastic Vanquish and Metal Gear Rising, the sequel is just as exceptional and bonkers as the rest of Platinums back catalogue. Bayonetta is back, and this time she’s doing some Christmas Shopping. Five minutes later, your tearing a humongous angel a new one, on top of a fighter jet, backflips and cartwheels galore, while firing your stiletto pistols at anything that moves. Followed quickly by battling a demon flying around a sky scraper. And this is just in the prologue.
Captain Toad Treasure Tracker (Written by Gareth)
You wouldn’t expect the first calendar release of 2015 from Nintendo to be a puzzle platformer and star Toad as a main character. I’d have thought they would have played it safe and stuck to something more ‘mainstream’. With Smash Brothers and Bayonetta 2 being released a month or so ago Captain Toad would appear to be an after thought from a busy 3014 for Nintendo. However let me a sure you, it’s not! What started as a mini game in Super Mario 3D World has been fully conjured into something quite magical by Nintendo’s Tokyo studio. Unbelievably cute and full to the brim of everything you’d expect from a first party Mushroom Kingdom adventure, Captain Toad is absolutely brilliant.
Mario Kart 8 (Written by Gareth)
Nintendo are known to stick to their established repertoire of video games. A collection of titles that over the last 30 years have grown and shaped themselves into what they are today. While Microsoft and Sony slug it out against one an other with million dollar blockbuster AAA titles, Nintendo continue to plod along doing their own thing. Mario Kart 8 is no exception. Being the latest series to be given the Wii U HD make over, it strives to breath to a bit of life into a ‘next gen’ console that already seems to be fading. In hopes of boosting console sales worldwide, Mario Kart 8 has finally arrived! First thing to notice is how gorgeous it looks. Like Pikmin 3 and Super Mario 3D world before it, the HD treatment that the Wii U gives to Mario Kart 8 is stunning.
Pikmin 3 (Written by Gareth)
Pikmin 3 is a game I have been looking forward to for a very long time. I loved the first two back on the Gamecube, and was hugely surprised when a third didn’t show during the seven years of the Wii. But to my delight Pikmin 3 was finally announced for Wii U. It’s actually only the third game I’ve picked for my neglected machine, but it’s definitely one I’ve been waiting for. If you’re not familiar with the previous offerings, Pikmin is a game about planetary exploration. Doesn’t look that way does it? Then inhabitants of Koppai have almost run out of food, and three inhabitants, Alph, Charlie and Brittany are sent out to search the galaxy for a new way to sustain their planet. After crash landing on planet PNF-404, they find an abundance of giant fruits.
PullBlox World (Written by Gareth)
From the creators of Fire Emblem, Advance Wars and Paper Mario, Intelligent Systems, normally Nintendos in-house guys to go to for RPGs and Strategy games, a puzzle series is the last thing you’d expect to see. However with the success of PullBlox and FallBlox on the 3DS (Pushmo and Crashmo in North America), the jump to the Wii U was always going to happen. The ideas behind this puzzler is to push and pull platforms in order to create a path to the stranded ‘Pushmo’ situated near the top of the puzzle. The platforms can pushed or pulled back and forwards in a grid of four, this shortens the higher up you go. There are 250 puzzles in this iteration, and they start out extremely simple, and ended ridiculously complicated.
More and more games are making the transition from mobile markets to the console market. There seems to be a demand for smaller, less expensive games that have some good, strong gaming mechanics to them to offset the more expensive triple A titles. Developers Yeah Us have decided to jump in on this market opening and bring their title Pumped BMX+ to the PlayStation platforms. I’ve always been a fan of games such as Tony Hawk, Matt Hoffman and Dave Mirra titles so any BMX or skateboarding game always piques my interest. After seeing the trailer for Pumped BMX+ I had to see what it was like. The obvious comparison that will probably be made initially is that to the Trials games one mobile. I can tell you now that its nothing like them. Yes its a linear track game and you control the bike to make it to the end of each level but that’s where it ends.
Let’s address the elephant in the room first: Q.U.B.E looks like Portal, plays like Portal, and if we’re all being honest, it was likely inspired by Portal. But make no mistake about it, Q.U.B.E aims to be a whole different beast. If Portal is the comedy of puzzlers, Q.U.B.E seems to be the dramatic equivalent. Q.U.B.E’s puzzles involve manipulating different coloured blocks to either traverse the environment or move objects from A to B. Red blocks can form towers of up to 3, 3 yellow blocks can form staircases and blue blocks can launch you across the map. Though simple at first, the game is constantly throwing new concepts at you, yet Q.U.B.E a fantastic job of easing them into the puzzles.
In 2013. Yacht Club Games, a recently formed studio helmed by a fellow named Sean Velasco, had a hankering to make a game in a similar vein to Mega Man and Duck Tales, as one tends to do. Of course, making games is a serious expenditure, one that Yacht Club needed some help with. Taking to Kickstarter on March 17, 2013 to announce their very first game, Shovel Knight, Yacht Club were inundated with funding from a variety of sources and by the time the campaign ended, their $75,000 goal was smashed and the final total reached over $300,000. Fast forward through some unfortunate delays, an eventual PC release and the announcement of free DLC updates in the future, we arrive at today: Shovel Knight is finally here on many platforms.
Star Wars Pinball (Written by Gareth)
Zen Studios have hooked up with Lucas Arts to bring the world of Star Wars to their outstanding repertoire of pinball games on the video game consoles (Zen Pinball, Marvel Pinball and Pinball FX). Initially packed with three tables, and the promise of more on the way, this collection dazzles with everything that’s fantastic about George Lucas’ sci-fi phenomenon that is Star Wars. Zen has produced a magnificent pinball engine that has been perfected in its latest carnation, Zen Pinball 2. Originally expansion tables to Zen Pinball 2, Star Wars Pinball has finally been given its own separate game and released on the much starved Wii U. These three tables are spectacular and will have you whizzing all over the place as you try and stop villains, collect bounty’s and shoot down spacecraft while ricocheting off of bumpers, flippers and ramps.
Zen Pinball 2 Table – Guardians Of The Galaxy (Written by Graham)
When Guardians Of The Galaxy was announced as the latest outing in then Marvel film franchise I have to admit I had to take a moment to find out who this band of galactic misfits where. They are by no means the most well-known of the Marvel characters that could have been chosen and so I was initially skeptical as I’m sure many others were. Add to this Zen’s announcement that they were launching a pinball table based on the film and I was wondering if this would appeal to the masses. Without giving away any spoilers for the film I can say that any fears you have for a more unfamiliar set of characters to most being a major release need to be allayed. The film is amazing. It’s every bit as good as the other films out there and can hold its head up high. Can the Pinball table claim the same thing?