E3 2012 Hands On: Nintendoland
Last year, Nintendo’s big E3 “thing” was the unveiling of the Wii U. And while that’s definitely a big thing for them this year, their main attraction was Nintendoland. A theme park of various Nintendo properties such as The Legend of Zelda, Animal Crossing, Donkey Kong and more! You enter Nintendoland and are able to play one of twelve minigame attractions. Out of the twelve set to be in the final product, five were on the show floor: The Legend of Zelda Battle Quest, Luigi’s Ghost Mansion, Animal Crossing Sweet Day, Donkey Kong’s Crash Course, and Takamaru’s Ninja Castle.
Read on to hear about the five attractions that were playable on the show floor!
The Legend of Zelda Battle Quest
The Legend of Zelda Battle Quest consisted of three players. The person with the Wii U gamepad was armed with a bow and arrow, and could aim by moving the gamepad around. Oddly enough, it reminded me of playing The Ocarina of Time on my 3DS when using weapons such as the Bow or the Hookshot. The two Wiimote wielding players had swords and shields and would attack enmies and block their attacks in order to protect the person with the bow. The game was on rails as all three characters slowly walked through the level. As monsters approached, you would slash away at them while the gamepad holder shot arrows. There were also some instances where certain weapons were needed to open certain doors. One door required two targets to be slashed at the same time, while another required two targets to be shot in a certain amount of time.
Luigi’s Ghost Mansion
Luigi’s Ghost Mansion pits one Gamepad wielding ghost against 4 Wiimote users in an attempt to scare them to the point of fainting. In typical Luigi’s Mansion style gameplay, players use flashlights to deplete the health of the ghost as he roams around the screen. The only problem is that player’s can’t see him. While conserving the battery of their flashlight, players walk around the area trying to find the ghost before it has a chance to sneak up on them and drop them to the ground. If a person does manage to faint though it’s not game over! Other players can revive their fallen comrades by shining their lights on them for a period of time. On the good side you’ll have an extra person up and armed for ghost busting, but on the down side, reviving someone can take a long time and that means more battery power gets used up. Luckily at certain points batteries will appear around the map so if someone is running low they’re able to recharge. The game is over when either the ghost or the players are defeated.
Animal Crossing Sweet Day
Similar to the previous game, Animal Crossing Sweet Day is a 1v4 game. Players have to go around and collect a certain amount of candy from the trees on the map before the guards catch them. There are pressure plates located at each tree, sometimes there’s only one, and sometimes there are more, requiring players to work together in order to get more candy. The downside however, is that the more candy you collect the heavier you get. This becomes a problem when the guards show up. Luckily, players can choose to drop pieces of candy in order to run away from the guards, however if they want to win, they’ll have to go back at some point to pick them back up. Both guards are controlled by the Wii U Gamepad. The left stick controls one guard while the right stick controls the other. The respective shoulder buttons are used to tackle down those candy stealing Wiimote users. As the two guards move further apart, the screen on the gamepad will also zoom out, giving the player the ability so see more of the level depending on how far they spread the two guards out. While controlling two guards at once may sound a bit complicated, I have to admit that it worked well and felt really good. This was our favorite out of the shown Nintendoland games.
Donkey Kong’s Crash Course
In Donkey Kong’s Crash Course, one player will tilt the gamepad to guide a cart along a very crazy looking track. The left and right triggers are used to control various movable platforms throughout the level in order to create bridges, or elevate/descend to another level of the track. The hard part is the ball that’s attached to your set of wheels- if it falls off, it’s game over. If you drop from one level to another and don’t have your speed just right… the ball will come off, causing you to start over from your last checkpoint. I’m not sure if it was because we were the last people for the day (and thus felt rushed) or if I just really suck at this one, but this was my least favorite of the bunch.
Takamaru’s Ninja Castle
For those that have been following the Wii U since day one, this next game may look familiar to you. Takamaru’s Ninja Castle was one of the gameplay concepts shown when the Wii U was announced at last year’s E3. You hold the Gamepad vertically and use the touch screen to launch ninja stars at the targets on the screen. It was pretty straightforward- throw stars at the targets that appear on the screen in order to defeat them. Depending on how many hits or where you hit the targets, you’d receive more points.
And there you have it! All five of the Nintendoland attractions shown at E3 2012! While this does feel sort of like a board game-less version of Mario Party, the games showed a good use of the Wii U gamepad and it was fun to play (which is really all that matters in the end right?) Nintendoland is set to launch with the Wii U this holiday season and will include twelve different games.