A guide to the very best Wii U ports

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

We take a look at the best third-party ports available to Wii U owners.

With the Wii U out and the eager early adopters having chosen their initial titles (no doubt consisting in the main of Nintendo Land, New Super Mario Bros. U and ZombiU) the time has come to cast an eye about the rest of the Wii U’s line-up.

An oddity of the Wii U is that a sizable chunk of these are ports from other systems. Nintendo has form here of course – The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was not only a Wii launch title, but also a GameCube port – but this time it’s the third party developers who have taken advantage of this particular strategy. Hence a number of games you’d find on Xbox 360 and PS3 are now on Wii U; albeit with a few extra bells and whistles (generally associated with the Wii U’s GamePad).

Here then is a quick what’s what and what’s changed guide to the best of the Wii U’s adopted titles:


Batman Arkham City: Armoured Edition
Price: £49.99
Publisher: Warner Bros.

One of 2011’s finest games instantly becomes one of the Wii U’s best too, as the Dark Knight swoops into Arkham City to once more do battle with Gotham’s criminal contingent. The open sandbox structure of Arkham City versus its predecessor Arkham Asylum marks a major step forward for the franchise, as does the stunning amount of optional side-quests which are enough to keep budding caped crusaders busy for hours at a time.

Batman’s detective skills are pushed to the limits just as much as his combative skills too, as he uses his gadgets and his smarts to trace bullet trajectories, outsmart the more gargantuan bad guys and eventually unravel the malevolent motives of Hugo Strange and the Joker.

What’s new for the Wii U version?

The best added aspects come as ever with use of the Wii U’s GamePad. Here it’s used almost as an extension of Batman’s utility belt and so allows our hero to survey his surroundings, quickly access his gadgets, scan crime scenes etc. Even better the GamePad’s onboard speaker is used to relay the many radio transmissions of Gotham – a option that only serves to make the whole all the more engrossing.

You can also opt to take the whole game off the TV and on to the GamePad, while Batman also comes equipped with gauntlets which let him temporarily increase the power of his attacks – not really useful as it decreases your combo chains but fun if only to see how far you can roundhouse kick thugs.


Trine 2: Director’s Cut
Price: £10.99 (via Nintendo eShop)
Publisher: Frozenbyte

A cerebral take on the side-scrolling platformer sees the heroic trinity of wizard, thief and knight reunited to protect the kingdom from encroaching evil. Each character has a specific role – platform levitation, bow-and arrow and grapple hook and shield and sword respectively – and so players must swap from one role to next (or else employ a friend) in a bid to solve subtle puzzles and repel the not so subtle enemies.

It has its flaws, the way in which ambushes can lead to loss of your knight, so depraving you of any means to easily survive further encounters without plodding back to a character-restoring checkpoint for example. But on the whole Trine 2 is an imaginative and beautiful game that’s a welcome addition to the Wii U’s eShop.

What’s new for the Wii U version?

Swapping between characters by the touch of a button and the ability to place blocks just where you want them (when in the wizard’s slippers at least). You’ll also get the ‘Goblin Menace’ expansion included in the package, the chance to play solely on the GamePad and even the PC version’s online multiplayer options make the leap to Wii U.


Darksiders 2
Price: £49.99
Publisher: THQ

Death takes over clobbering duties in a bid to show War exactly what he’s good for, after the Horseman was earlier tricked into instigating Armageddon on the earth in the first Darksiders entry.

What follows is a Zelda meets God of War action-adventure which never hits the heights of either, but still provides an enjoyable enough adventure. If anything, it’s on the overly long side – a particular problem given most dungeons tend toward similar boulder-rolling puzzles – but the fast and vicious combat coupled with some truly gargantuan boss fights should prove tonic enough for most.

What’s new for the Wii U version?

The GamePad doubles as equipment select screen and map, therefore negating the need for the game’s usual clunky item interface, while the game also comes fully loaded with all of the DLC released thus far. Sadly the frame rate has the tendency to chug during the more epic encounters (a fault both PS3 and Xbox 360 versions share) and you can also opt to play the game via the GamePad directly.


Assassin’s Creed 3
Price: £49.99
Publisher: Ubisoft

It’s ‘Goodbye Ezio, hello Connor’ as Renaissance Europe makes way for Revolutionary War era America. As usual Templar and Assassin clans are pulling the strings (and in even more interesting ways here) as the technology of a pre-human society is sought in what is proving to be an ever more convoluted narrative.

Still, the breath taking scale on display more than makes up for that as the tribal Connor takes on all comers with stealthy arrow or the sharp end of a tomahawk. The use of weather effects to change landscapes works brilliantly too and is perfectly complemented by improvements to the animation (see Connor trudge through snow drifts and prepare for your jaw to hit the floor).

The only downside is the slightly confused structure of missions and the feeling that Connor isn’t as in tune with his world as he might be; an issue of character model versus environment. Amazing naval battle sections do go some way to remedying that however.

What’s new for the Wii U version?

The ubiquitous touchscreen equipment selection screen and accompanying map are present and correct and each comes with its advantages while helping to keep you in the game. Other than that there’s very little different other than the visuals which some have claimed are markedly less detailed than on other consoles – truth be told however I’ve found it difficult to spot too difference myself.


Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
Price: £49.99
Publisher: Activision

Securing Black Ops 2 as a launch title really should have been more of a celebrated coup for Nintendo, the shooter is after all the latest in gaming’s most popular franchise. Strangely however, despite being a solid port which even features some clever extras, the same effect which set shop registers ringing across the land in regards to the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions has failed to materialise.

A miscalculation in marketing? An indicator of the Wii U’s initial adopters? Or simply because everyone who bought a Wii U had already bought the game on another system? Perhaps we’ll find out once the game’s overall sale figures are confirmed.

What’s new for the Wii U version?

Without doubt the most impressive addition comes during local multiplayer as, rather than force players into split screen mode, Black Ops 2 lets one player use the TV with the second user able to view the action in its proper ratios via the GamePad’s screen. The GamePad also comes into its own during online multiplayer with the device providing an easily viewed map as well as allowing players to swap classes on the fly – a nice touch.

Come back in the next few days for the second part of our guide which is set to include such luminaries as Mass Effect 3, as well as Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge which is due to release on Friday.

Sport
Thiago Silva pulls Arjen Robben back to concede a penalty
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: More misery for hosts as Dutch take third place
Sport
Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
Van Persie gives bronze medal to eccentric fan moments after being handed it by Blatter
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
News
scienceScientists have developed a material so dark you can't see it...
News
Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Life and Style
Once a month, waistline watcher Suran steps into a 3D body scanner that maps his body shape and records measurements with pinpoint accuracy
techFrom heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
News
Soft power: Matthew Barzun
peopleThe US Ambassador to London, Matthew Barzun, holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence. He says it's all part of the job
Sport
Joe Root and James Anderson celebrate their record-beaking partnership
cricketEngland's last-wicket stand against India rewrites the history books
News
Gavin Maxwell in Sandaig with one of his pet otters
peopleWas the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?
News
Rowsell says: 'Wearing wigs is a way of looking normal. I pick a style and colour and stick to it because I don't want to keep wearing different styles'
peopleThe World Champion cyclist Joanna Rowsell on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    C# Developer (HTML5, JavaScript, ASP.NET, Mathematics, Entity)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

    C# Integration Developer (.NET, Tibco EMS, SQL 2008/2012, XML)

    £60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...

    PHP Web Developer (HTML5, CSS3, Jenkins, Vagrant, MySQL)

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: PHP Web Develo...

    JavaScript Developer (Angular, Web Forms, HTML5, Ext JS,CSS3)

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: JavaScript Dev...

    Day In a Page

    Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

    How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

    A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
    The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

    The evolution of Andy Serkis

    First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

    You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

    Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
    Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

    Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

    Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Children's books are too white, says Laureate

    Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
    Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

    Blackest is the new black

    Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

    The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
    Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

    Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

    From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
    Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

    Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

    When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
    Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

    Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

    The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
    Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

    Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

    The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

    Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

    Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
    Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

    Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

    The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
    The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

    The Open 2014

    Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?