“Nintendo Land” is an exclusive game on the Wii U that will launch alongside the console on Sunday Nov. 18 for $59.99. It will also come bundled with the Deluxe Set of the Wii U, carrying a $349.99 price tag.
It is an essential launch game for the Wii U similar to how “Wii Sports” was relevant for the Wii. It was a game that came bundled with the console, giving people a motivation to buy the system, but it was more than that. When the Wii launched, no one had seen anything like it before. It was something where any person of any age could easily jump into the fun and play, bringing family and friends together.
“Wii Sports” was the game that showed off these elements. It came bundled with five different sporting events: tennis, golf, bowling, baseball, and boxing. You could be a boxer without being physically destroyed, bowl over 200 without putting your feet into nasty rented bowling shoes, or hit a ball with your tennis racket without moving your tired body all over the court. Each sporting event showed off the different ways the Wii Remote could be used while possibly making you think “How else could these controls be used with other games?”
With the signature tablet-like controller, the Gamepad, and “Nintendo Land” acting as the “Wii Sports” for Wii U, Nintendo aims to make the experience as fresh as the first time you played the Wii. In “Nintendo Land,” you will play an assortment of mini games with 12 different attractions set in a place similar to an amusement park where your Miis act as the attendees. Each attraction has different themes that resemble Nintendo’s famous franchises including Mario, Zelda, Pikmin, Game & Watch, and Balloon Flight. These attractions aim to show off the capabilities of the Gamepad.
For example, the attraction called Mario Chase has four Miis dressed up as Toad trying to catch Mario as quickly as possible. The four players acting as the Toads use the Wii Remotes while the fifth player, who assumes the role of Mario, uses the Gamepad. The Gamepad acts as a map for Mario to see where the Toads are so he can avoid being snagged. It is a simple way to use the Gamepad, but it effectively shows how it can be used for other games.
Another attraction called Metroid Blast has players dressed in Samus’ suit while the one using the Gamepad pilots Samus’ ship. To pilot the ship, you have to tilt the Gamepad and use the joysticks at the same time, giving a realistic feeling that you are actually flying an aircraft. From what I have watched in the videos of Metroid Blast, it makes the game feel interactive even if you are playing by yourself.
Though “Nintendo Land” acts as a way to show the system’s potential, it doubles as a way to advertise Nintendo’s famous franchises. If a person is over at a friend’s house playing and enjoying the Pikmin attraction, it could give that person some serious motivation to not only play the original franchise, but it possibly gives that person the urge to purchase a Wii U.
Now, do I think it is going to be the best launch game? Personally, no, but “Nintendo Land” is still a brilliant and well thought out strategy by Nintendo. If there is as much effort put into the strategies behind the game as there was into making the it, then we can expect a treat this holiday season.
Robbie Key is a contributor to Analog Addiction. He is also Stephen F. Austin State University’s lone gaming journalist, a blogger for IGN, has a passion for those cryptic things known as video games and most importantly, he is American. You can follow his completely relevant Twitter updates and watch his awesomtacular YouTube videos.