First Impressions – The Wii U

A couple days back I was in GameStop, and they had a demo unit of the Wii U set up.

The game was Rayman Legends, although I didn’t realize that at first because some little girl had been playing the console and had left it paused in the middle of one of the games. And which game was it? One about a barbarian chick with an axe, running past armies of… things. I played it and realized it was some sort of rythym game disguised as a platformer, and… was surprisingly fun.

I really liked that barbarian chick. She had these cute, cartoony animations–like when she beats a level, she plays her axe like an air guitar. And she always looks just vaguely psychotic. So I was like, “who is this girl?” and then, “what is this game?”

Well finally I exited this level and it took me back to the main menu where I learned the game was called “Castle Rock,” but it was actually a minigame–the actual GAME game was called Rayman Legends.

Now, I’m not exactly up on the Rayman franchise–I played the original and couldn’t really get into it, so I never really felt like keeping up with the series–so my first question was “Okay, so how come this girl is in the same setting as spaghetti-haired, big-nosed limbless dude?”

So anyway, I played another scenario called “Teensies in Trouble,” still opting to play as barbarian chick because she was more fun, but unfortunately the level forces you to switch to Rayman at a part where you have to summon some insect named Murphy.

This is where my opinion went from “I’m actually enjoying this!” to “No, no I don’t like this at all.” See, what happens here is you have to use the touch screen to make Murphy do things. Rayman will move and act on his own, and Murphy has to arrange things so Rayman can proceed. This was okay at first, although I would rather have had direct control of Rayman. But it got really obnoxious at a part where you had to actually turn the Wii U to rotate a platform, which forced me to divide my attention between two screens (the television, and the controller’s touchscreen) and made for a somewhat disorienting experience. I think I remember Yahtzee prophecizing this very thing not long back.

So what happened, Rayman fell to his death a number of times because I didn’t quite grasp the controls or understand what I had to do to proceed. But lives were unlimited so I kept on going until the demo arbitrarily decided to just end (a timer appeared on the screen saying “demo will end in…” right in the middle of the level).

So, in essence:

The pluses:

-that barbarian chick

The minuses:

-The controller.

All in all, I’d recommend getting a PC Engine instead. Then study Japanese and import you a copy of Ys IV.

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