REVIEW: Nintendo Land

Monday, November 26th, 2012

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Nintendo Land Title: Nintendo Land
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: November 18, 2012
Genre: Party Games
Platforms: Wii U
Age Rating: E 10+
Official Website

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have never played a game that led me to call a friend a greasy pig. Nintendo Land will bring out the greasy pig in you, too, if you let it. Nintendo Land is a virtual amusement park with 12 attractions. Before its release, many (including myself) expected it to be somewhat akin to the Wii U version of Wii Sports. Despite this, I was excited to give it a go and see what it had to offer. To properly review this game I obtained some offline world friends and lured them to my home with promises of food and fun times.

With 12 attractions (some of them featuring multiple modes of play) this game has a lot to do! I played through all the games with the maximum and minimum number of players. Here’s what I found out about each game (in no particular order):

Nintendo LandThe Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest (1-4 Players)
Quest
Up to four people (one archer, three swordsman) team up to fight their way through various stages based on areas in Hyrule. The problem is, all the walking is done for you. Since the archer can’t move when firing, and swordsman dash when they’re striking devastating blows, it means the archer and probably all but one swordsman will be left behind. The game worked pretty well with two players (one archer, one swordsman). It was challenging in a few places, but didn’t really reach “frustrating.”

Time Battle
As only the archer you must kill 25 enemies as quickly as possible. There are three levels of difficulty, and each is staged so the enemies are the same every time you play it. It’s extremely easy to beat all three levels. The challenge is aiming for Master level! It’s pretty addicting to see if you can beat each level in under 40 seconds! This one works well, and is a lot of fun!

 

Nintendo LandPikmin Adventure (1-5 Players)
Quest
Up to five players can play this game as Olimar and four Pikmin (red, blue, yellow and white). The levels are very basic beat’em-ups to reach the goal, some of them timed, with bosses scattered throughout, and three different weapons you can find. I played most of this by myself with an NPC Olimar. The AI did a good job of being helpful and stayed out of the way. The game played just as well with two human players (Olimar is mandatory) and some of the bosses near the end were quite challenging! Overall, though, the levels were a bit repetitive, and like Zelda this game played better with fewer players (which kind of defeats the purpose of a party game, don’t you think?).

Versus
Pikmin’s versus mode allows Pikmin to fight against Olimar for candy. Enemies pop up sometimes, along with nectar and the weapons from adventure mode. It doesn’t work well with two players as Olimar is overpowered compared to the single Pikmin, but if you have enough friends and the person playing Olimar is bad enough, victory is possible!

Nintendo LandMetroid Blast (1-5 Players)
Adventure Mode
You and up to four friends fight your way through 20 levels. Like the Pikmin adventure game, the levels are very repetitive – a mix of “kill all the things,” “there’s some coins with your face on them, you should probably get those,” and bosses. The bosses are pretty fun, but collecting coins with your Mii’s face was very annoying as it was hard to tell if a coin was yours until you tried to collect it and it said NOPE.

Gamepad vs. Wiimotes Battle
The gamepad is a little odd to control and seemed a bit slow to me. With practice, it may be powerful, but with how easy it is to control grounded Miis, playing the Gamepad will be an investment of time.

Wiimote Versus
Pretty standard shoot’em-up fare with four Mii-Samuses. If you’re into virtual laser tag then this is your thing. All the same stages from the other Metroid Blast game modes are available.

Nintendo LandMario Chase (2-5 Players)
This game is awesome. One player plays as Mario with the gamepad. Up to four other players play as Toads and try to catch Mario. Mario has a tiny little screen on the gamepad to play off, as half the screen shows a map with all the Toads’ locations. There is plenty of trolling to be had in this game. All the characters move at the same speed (unless Mario has the Star) but Mario seemed to have better turning power, so my friend Kyra (who enjoyed playing as Mario… maybe too much) would run circles around and through us Toads while we slowly spun around just trying to face her. She embodied the spirit of the greasy pig and trolled the crap out of us. This game was one of the crowd favorites, and is super fun if you have a group of people. With 2 players, the lone Toad will get two Yoshi carts that can stun (but not capture!) Mario. They are wily beasts and work rather well, so this game is entirely playable with 2 people, but more fun with a group.

Nintendo LandLuigi’s Ghost Mansion (2-5 Players)
I first played Luigi’s Ghost Mansion at PAX Prime and became addicted then and there. This game is so much fun to play with friends. Up to four players wander through a haunted mansion trying to find the ghost with their flashlights and destroy it, while the ghost tries to knock out each player. The ghost is only visible on the gamepad screen, unless in light or if he’s dashing. Flashlights deal damage, but the batteries will run out. This was one of the first games my friends and I played, and we had to tear ourselves away from it to try out the other games at all! This game is also playable with two people. The lone Mii has several Monita (your guide through Nintendo Land) AI companions with flashlights who patrol the halls and will spin to indicate if the ghost is near. Luigi’s Ghost Mansion takes the cake as my favorite multiplayer Nintendo Land attraction. It’s… to die for!

Nintendo LandAnimal Crossing: Sweet Day (2-5 Players)
Animal Crossing: Sweet Day was kind of a disappointment to me. Up to four players run around eating candy, trying to get the required amount before the Guards (two, both controlled by the gamepad) tackle them 3 times. The more they eat, the slower they are, but they can opt to spit up their candy to make a quick getaway. It’s pretty funny to watch an animal spitting up candy while running from the coppers, but the game can get old pretty quickly. It can be difficult to play as the Guards as well. Sweet Day is worth playing, but not often.

Nintendo LandDonkey Kong’s Crash Course (1 Player)
Donkey Kong’s Crash Course is a tilt-n-slide game. You are a springy cart and must make your way to the princess by sliding across the beams (in the style of the original Donkey Kong). Learning how to control all the different springs and platforms will be a challenge, not to mention simply surviving! You can reset to the last checkpoint with Y without using a life if you’re quick enough, but even so I found myself crashing all over the place. There’s a nice feeling of accomplishment once you beat the first course… and then you see the second one. This game is an all around awesome one-player experience, and a ton of people around Nintendo Land are talking about it.

Nintendo LandOctopus Dance (1 Player)
Despite the fact that your Mii will probably not have eight arms, you CAN dance like an octopus! This single player game requires you to follow a Scuba Diver’s example to the beat of a simple tune and a 1-2-3 count. It gets quite challenging as you are spun around, and robo-squid ink gets all over the gamepad! The game is fun, addicting, quite challenging and works very well!

 

Continued on page 2. Yes! There are more games!


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  • Playing Mario Chase with my family was really tense.  It’s easily my favorite Nintendo Land attraction.  However, I think the Toad’s are at a bit of a disadvantage being only able to move with a D-Pad.  That’s probably why Mario is so much better at turning than them.

    •  Yep, D-Pad’ll do that. Toads can also tackle Mario though, giving them an instant speed boost for a moment. If you miss, you’ll fall behind though…