Welcome to the Nintendo Land tour!

Welcome everyone! As you may or may not know, I just got a Wii U (click here to read my unboxing article). I’ve got two games for it so far. New Super Mario Bros. U is fun, but it’s really just another paint by numbers, play it safe Mario game. And there’s nothing wrong with that and it’s still fun, but not inspiring to write a lot about. However, Nintendo Land is great and I like it so much, I’m going to be your tour guide for a quick visit and run through of the park’s attractions! So stay with the group, and keep your hands and feet inside the blog at all times.

Yoshi’s Fruit Cart

First we’ll do the single player games, of which there are six. In Yoshi’s Fruit Cart, your Mii rides an electronic Yoshi car, and you must trace a path on the Wii U controller to nab all the fruit and make it to the exit. You must get all the fruit and not fall in any holes before you reach the exit, or you’ll lose a life. But here’s the catch, the fruit shows up on the TV screen, but not on the controller. So you kind of have to eyeball where to trace. In some levels, the grass on the ground has patterns that you can use as a guideline. I think this could’ve been done on the DS, but it’s still really fun and there are tons of stages that get challenging fast!

Octopus Dance

I’m not sure what this has to do with the old Game & Watch game aside from your Mii being a diver and there being the Octopus in the background. But it’s basically Space Channel 5 where you must mimic the other diver’s dance moves to the beat. It’s easy to do when their backs are facing you, but the other diver makes you switch every so often so you must alternate looking at the TV and the controller. Too bad it’s not really Space Channel 5, but then I guess the game would be called SEGA Land!

Donkey Kong’s Crash Course

In this game, you must tilt the controller to roll a cart through a maze of Donkey Kong girders and ladders. You lose if you crash. It’s really hard; I can’t make it past the first ramp. I either go too fast and crash, or I don’t make the jump and crash anyway. Anyone have any pointers?

Takamaru’s Ninja Castle

This one is based on an old Famicom game in Japan that’s even somewhat obscure over there. I’d like to learn more about it, though. Anyone know of any videos of the old game in action? Anyway, in this one you hold the Wii U controller sideways and aim towards the TV, and slide throwing stars to hit paper origami ninjas. So it’s a shooting gallery type of game. If you think that’s fun, wait’ll you try the bow and arrow game in the upcoming Game & Wario!

Captain Falcon’s Twisted Race

Nintendo needs to make another F-Zero game. In this one you mostly look at the Wii U controller screen as you view the race track from a top-down perspective as you tilt the controller to steer around the track. The only time you need to look at the TV is when you go through a tunnel. It’s very fun, and it’s too bad that you can’t use multiple Wii U controllers for a multiplayer version. Oh well. It is pretty funny seeing your Mii with Falcon’s beefy body.

Balloon Trip Breeze

The last of the single player games plays like the side scrolling Balloon Trip mode from Balloon Fight. Except you use the touch screen to steer instead of buttons. It’s all right, but I’ve never been very good at that mode of Balloon Fight! It also could’ve been done easily on the DS or 3DS as well.

The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest

The next three games can be done with one to five players. One thing to note is that two of the games in Nintendo Land require Wii MotionPlus controllers, and this is one of them. Which kind of stinks because I’m sure not EVERYONE has those kind of remotes already, but oh well. Anyway, in Battle Quest, you and up to four other friends are dressed as Links and must either work together to make it to the end of a stage or fight each other in an arena. The person with the Wii U controller is an archer and can do long distance attacks, while the rest of the team has swords. It’s kind of neat and I can’t wait to play more of it with brother Jeff, but it really just makes me want to play another Four Swords game.

Pikmin Adventure

Pikmin is one of the few Nintendo series I’ve never been able to enjoy or really get into. But this game is still pretty fun, and you don’t need MotionPlus for it at least. In this one, the person holding the Wii U controller is Olimar, and the Wii remote players are little Pikmin. You travel through top down viewed stages, working together to battle enemies and make it to the rocket at the end of the stage. Collect nectar to level up and get more powerful attacks. Olimar can tap on the Wii U screen to attack, and call all his Pikmin, even the Wii controlled ones, to throw for a more powerful hit. And that’s all there is to it, really. I hope I can get to play this game more with Jeff and his friends.

Metroid Blast

This is the other game that requires the Wii MotionPlus remote or attachment. They warn you right at the start that this game is for more advanced players, and they certainly are right. The Wii remote players play as Samus on the ground shooting things. I don’t know how this part works since I’ve only played with the Wii U controller, but the person holding the Wii U touch pad certainly has a hard part, too. That person controls Samus in a flying gunship to help out the ground troops, and the flying controls are so complicated that it took me about five minutes to get through the tutorial for it. It’s not really TOO hard, just takes a while to get used to.

Mario Chase

The last three games in Nintendo Land are two to five players only, and are variations on the Pac-Man Vs. formula. If you’ve ever played Pac-Man Vs., you’ll know what I’m talking about. Mario Chase is just a simple, yet fun, game of tag. The Wii U controller person plays as Mario, and gets a head start to run around a maze, and can see the whole map of the level on the Wii U touch screen. The other players are Toads and must try and catch Mario in a given time limit. It’s actually pretty hard for Mario to win in this one; he only won one time in our initial playthroughs.

Luigi’s Ghost Mansion

Out of all the games in Nintendo Land, the general consensus between me, Jeff, and his friends is that Luigi’s Ghost Mansion was our standout favorite. The Wii U controller player is a ghost and can see the whole maze and everyone on the touch screen. The other players control ghost hunters on the TV, but can’t see the ghost. The Wii remotes will rumble when the ghost is near, so players must yell out when the ghost is close. They can shine their flashlights on the ghost to reveal it and whittle down its hit points, but be careful because the batteries do die out, so you must use the light sparingly. Power-ups like batteries and super bright lights appear, and the ghost has to watch out for strikes of lightning that can reveal his spot on the maze. The players win if they defeat the ghost, but the ghost wins if he catches all the players. You can revive other players by shining the light on them for a while, though. We played this game over and over again on the day I first got the Wii U. I LOVE being the ghost! I will say that if I ever go ghost hunting in real life like what they do on TV, I’m never bringing Jeff and his friends along, they get spooked too easily!

Animal Crossing: Sweet Days

My other favorite game is this one, but that has more to do with the fact that I just LOVE Animal Crossing. I hate it that I have to wait until next year to play the 3DS New Leaf game, but at least I can play SOME kind of Animal Crossing game now, even if it is just a mini-game. In this one, the Wii remote players are animals and must run around town collecting pieces of candy. But the Wii U controller plays as gatekeepers Copper and Booker, and can catch the animals running around. The animals win if they collect enough candy, but the gatekeepers win if they catch the animals a certain number of times. If an animal gets too much candy, their heads swell and they slow down. They can drop candy if they are being chased. Being gatekeepers is tricky because you control both dogs at the same time with the two analog sticks.

Thanks for visiting, come back soon!

And those are all the games. There are a few more things in Nintendo Land worth mentioning, though. There is a train that runs around the hub, and if there are multiple players, you can get on the train and play a tournament where everyone plays mini-games in succession randomly. By playing games, you’ll also earn coins which can be used to play a pachinko/Plinko-like game. Each coin acts as a ball and when all the targets are filled, you’ll earn a prize and move onto the next stage until you run out of coins. It’s kind of like the coin game in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Prizes include SSB-like trophies you can decorate the park with, music for the jukebox, and other goodies. Most of the game has a retro feel to it, so classic Nintendo fans will love it.

The game says that by connecting with Miiverse, your hub world will be filled with Miis from all over the world, instead of just random local Miis. But I’m not sure how that works. Do you have to connect Nintendo Land to the Internet manually or does that happen automatically? It’s hard to tell because Miiverse was working a bit spotty the first day I got my Wii U. Maybe one of you can help me with that? Also, the Nintendo Land host is a floating monitor named Monita, but me and Jeff and his friends just call her BMO “Beamo” from Adventure Time.

And that’s all for now! In the comments section, tell me your favorite Nintendo Land attractions. Are there any other games you would’ve liked to have seen featured in the game? Me personally, I would’ve liked to have a Kirby mini-game. Are there any other virtual video game themed amusement parks you’d like to visit? SEGA Land? Capcom Land? I’d like to go to Namco Land, myself. That’s all for now! Have a great Thanksgiving everyone! In my next big blog, I think I’ll talk about the coin-op classics in Midway Arcade Origins! Later! –Cary

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