The Wii U: the good, the bad, the ugly

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The Wii U interactive system’s Game Pad is a touch-screen controller that looks and acts like a tablet. Most old Wii games and controlers are compatible with the new system. Ages 5 and up, starting at $299 (Nintendo) (MCT)

Cedar Goslin
The Broadside

The Good
The best thing about the Wii U is that it allows you to have fun with people you don’t like– it’s probably no coincidence that it was released at the peak of the “holiday get together” season.
If you’re interested primarily in multiplayer gameplay, the Wii U is for you; it’s the party  console that the original Wii was meant to be, but failed.
Nintendo Land, one of the Wii U release titles, utilizes the multiplayer capabilities of this console. It is a collection of Nintendo-themed mini-games that focus on multiplayer gameplay. The games are simple in concept and design, but are a lot of fun when you put the controllers in the hands of rowdy, competitive guests. Most games are designed for two to five players, so everyone will get a turn. This game is a vast improvement over the gimicky Wii Sports and Wii Play games released for the previous Wii console.
The Wii U also incorporates the use of a touch screen. The console comes with a touch screen controller, which can serve as an extra menu (much like the bottom screen on Nintendo DS systems) or a separate screen for certain players in multiplayer games. Though it may seem a little gimicky at first, the separate screen provides a welcome reprieve from the split screens of the past. Once you start playing a competitive game and don’t have to worry about your opponent spying on your screen, you’ll feel that the additional screen is long overdue. The Wii U only requires one of these new controllers, and will otherwise accept normal Wii controllers. Luckily, the new controller comes with a charging cord that can be plugged into a wall outlet, which means no more buying batteries or remote chargers that never seem to actually work.
The Bad
With titles like Nintendo Land, and New Super Mario Bros. U, this console was built for multiplayer games, but unless you plan to use it as a party console, there’s nothing remarkable about it. The Wii U is host to single player games such as Mass Effect 3, another one of the release titles, but there is no benefit to playing these titles on the Wii U over another console.
The Wii U controller, which is a valuable asset in multiplayer games, becomes inconvenient during single player game play. It’s big and bulky, and it quickly becomes annoying to look at the separate menu items on the touch screen, rather than just pulling up a menu on the TV screen.
The Ugly
At $300 for the bare minimum package, the price tag attached to the Wii U is cringe-worthy, especially for a college student. For a worthwhile console, some gamers may be willing to live off ramen noodles for the rest of the year in order to afford the investment, so the question is: is the Wii U worth it? If you’re primarily interested in single player gaming, the answer is an easy “no way.” The additional features the Wii U offers single player games are gimicky at best, and at worst a hindrance of gameplay. However, if you’re looking for a fun console to entertain your friends and make family gatherings a little more bearable, the Wii U is definitely the console for you. If you are looking for a party console, you could soften the blow of the Wii U’s cost by splitting it up between family members or roommates.
(Contact: cgoslin@cocc.edu)

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