Wii U – Review of reviews from around the web
We take a look at the critical response to the European launch of Nintendo's latest innovation around the net.
Michael Plant is chief editor and writer of gaming ezine and blog GamesCatalyst.com, as well as editor of 'The Independent'’s games review printed in the Saturday supplement 'Information'. Established in February 2011, Games Catalyst endeavours to bring its unique brand of fact and satire to the videogaming community and, in tandem with 'The Independent', hopefully turn a few non-believers on to gaming while we’re at it.
Thursday 06 December 2012
We’ve already posted our thoughts on Nintendo’s latest arrival. With the dust settling on the Wii U’s launch (and with a reported 40,000 consoles shipped) it’s high time for a look at the thoughts on Nintendo’s latest from around web:
Scoring one star short of a perfect set, we're backing a hit follow-up. The technology and launch games are enough to show there's fight in the Japanese gaming giant yet. This console could reinvent how we interact with gaming all over again.
The Telegraph paints a pretty positive picture for early adopters, although it does have concerns with the processing power under the Wii U’s hood, citing juddering problems in FIFA 13 as an example of how developers have yet to really get to grips with the device’s inner workings. The gamepad, as you’d expect, is the centre of attention, and while there are a few niggles, Tom Hoggins is clearly excited about the potential of the machine in the coming months.
Another positive review from Keith Stuart, although he does highlight an interesting issue – the Wii U isn’t as easy a sell to casual gamers as its motion controlled sibling. While he does praise Nintendo for playing by its own rules, he’s worried that difficulties in describing what it is the Wii U actually does could well spell doom for the machine.
Silicon Era thinks that the Wii U is more for the hardcore gamer than its predecessor, citing the button layout of the gamepad and the Bayonetta 2 publishing deals as prime examples of Nintendo’s desire to get back to the core. Again, they’re full of praise for the potential of the machine, but wary too that third party developers need to get to grips with it far quicker than they did the Wii.
Eurogamer (US Review)
Eurogamer offers up a really in depth break down of the hardware aspects of the Wii, poring over each separate element with minuscule detail. And while it does find the device a little lacking in terms of raw power, it concludes that seeing Nintendo’s first party game teams working on more powerful hardware than the Wii can only be a good thing.
Games Radar looks at the pros and cons of Nintendo’s new system, and while it finds a lot to like, including playing with the gamepad, the Miiverse social network, and plenty of launch game choice, they find a lot to complain about too, like the gamepad’s battery life, the fact you’ll feel a bit like a beta tester, and the lack of any real killer app in the software line up.
While Cnet has some positive things to say about the Wii U, it also urges caution, citing a boring line up of launch games, the low res screen of the gamepad, and a lack of titles that make full use of the console’s more interesting features. They conclude that it’s hard to see who the Wii U is actually designed for.
While Tech Radar is impressed with the innovative nature of the Wii U’s gamepad, once again the lack of a big system selling title is a major let down for them. They’re critical too of the gamepad’s battery life, and suggest that the basic 8GB version of the console is a really bad deal.
IGN is impressed by just how unique an experience the Wii U offers gamers, but at the same time think that this new style of gaming brings with it new kinds of frustrations. Chief amongst them are the constant charging the gamepad requires, and the voice chat, which they say is a complete and utter mess.
Pocket Lint find a few problems with the device, particularly the poor battery life of the gamepad, and the fact you can only use one at once, as well as a sluggish operating system. Judging it solely on gaming though, they find an entertaining and engaging console that’s not quite good enough to replace an Xbox 360 or PS3.
Another positive review for the Wii U, with T3 claiming that the console is truly revolutionary. However, they’re not so impressed with the lack of titles that make full use of the new features the Wii U introduces. In spite of these problems though, they think the console offers something unique and entertaining in a market grown a little stale.
Another review that highlights the positive potential that the Wii U introduces into the console market, urging players to throw off their scepticism and get down to simply enjoying the way the Wii U lets you play games. Once again, the lack of a true killer app in the launch line up is bemoaned.
The consensus seems to be that, while the Wii U is a console with an awful lot of positives, there are a few niggles that you should have a think about before you throw down your hard earned cash.
There’s definitely potential in the Wii U, and there are some decent games in the launch line up – we’ve reviewed some of them, and you can see what we think of ZombiU, New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendo Land.
What’s important now though, is that Nintendo get the word out, and get better at explaining what it is that makes the Wii U so special. There’s a great console here, but it needs great games, and great developers, if it’s going to follow the success of its predecessor.
By Harry Slater
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