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Nintendo’s newest console, the Wii U, launches on November 18th, 2012. The Wii U supports high definition graphics, a first for Nintendo consoles. The most innovative aspect of the console is the GamePad. This new controller is outfitted with a touch screen display. This screen is used to supplement main gameplay. With supported games, the GamePad can even display the main game while the television is turned off!
The Wii U marks the first entry in the eighth generation of video game home consoles. What can we expect from this exciting, innovating machine? Let’s take a look at the upcoming games for the Wii U, from console launch and beyond, to see what gamers should be excited for!
The Wii U launches with 23 available games, including first party games along with third party ports of recently released games. Here are a few launch titles you should be excited about.
Date of release: 11/18/12
Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier
ZombiU follows the exploits of various survivors in modern day London. A prophesized zombie apocalypse brings the city to its knees, and player take control of survivors desperate to escape the destruction of the city. ZombiU shines for it’s focus on the use of the Wii U GamePad. The game utilizes the GamePad screen in 18 unique ways. For example, to access your backpack, which holds all of your items, you must take your eyes off of the main television and look at the GamePad screen. The game does not pause during this stage. Players will be left vulnerable while they loot corpses, access their backpack, or scan the surrounding area for CCTV cameras. Survival is the key to ZombiU and it’s much harder than it looks. The game incorporates elements of permanent death; and every survivor the player controls is randomly generated.
Date of release: 11/18/12
Nintendo’s Mario franchise has gone through multiple iterations and the trend continues with the latest New Super Mario Bros. game. The game supports multiplayer for up to 5 players. The game includes 8 new worlds for players to clear, and introduces new items and enemies to the mix. The Flying Squirrel Suit is the newest power-up that Mario and co. this time around. This suit allows Mario to glide and cling to walls, blocks, and pipes. Green Yoshis also make a return, and various Baby Yoshis make their first appearance since their Super Mario World debut.
Date of release: 11/18/12
Developer: 5th Cell
Scribblenauts Unlimited is the fourth title in the Scribblenauts series and the Wii U’s GamePad pairs wonderfully with this creative series. Players control Maxwell as he collects Starites by using drawn objects players create themselves. The Wii U version of Scribblenauts Unlimited contains a 2-player co-operative multiplayer mode, along with online support and content sharing. Since this is the first time the series has seen release on a home console, the visual style has been revamped for the Wii U. Exclusive character cameos from The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario are also confirmed.
Other Launch Titles:
Assassin’s Creed 3 – A direct port of the latest game in the action/stealth series.
Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed – A arcade racer staring the beloved characters of Sega franchises.
Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two: A platformer/action-adventure following Mickey and new partner Oswald.
Launch Window Titles
The Launch "Window" of any console could be considered within the first 4-6 months after the console has been released. Several games will be making their way to the Wii U and here are a few to keep an eye on.
Date of release: Q1 2013
Rayman Legends is a direct sequel to last year’s Rayman Origins. Rayman, Globox, and the Teensies find themselves pulled into mysterious paintings as they wander through an enchanted forest. The game follows up to the formula established in Rayman Origins. Up to five players run, jump, punch, and kick their way through various levels while collecting Lums and freeing Teensies. Four players can platform together, with a fifth player controlling Murfy with the GamePad. Murfy provides help as a support role and can cut ropes, activate mechanisms, or grab hold of enemies.
Date of release: Q2 2013
Pikmin 3 is the valiant return of the beloved Nintendo franchise. The previous game, Pikmin 2, was released all the way back in 2004 and it’s exciting to see the series receive a modern update. The game includes plenty of updates, including at least two brand new species of Pikmin. Rock Pikmin can be used to smash through barriers, and Pink Pikmin, which have their own wings. Players can control up to four different leaders of Pikmin at once. The game follows four as-of-yet unnamed characters as they explore the Pikmin Planet. The game will include a series first with multiplayer support.
Date of release: Q2 2013
Remember WarioWare? The frantic, loony microgames caught quite the buzz when the games were released for Nintendo handles. It would later spawn a quirker franchise all of it's own. Game & Wario is considered the spiritual successor to the WarioWare series. The game will include several minigames that utilize the Wii U Gamepad. It’s touch screen, motion controls, and camera will taken full advantage of during play.
Other Launch Window Titles:
Injustice: Gods Among Us: A bold fighting game featuring a large cast of DC Comics characters
Monster Hunter 3: Ultimate : Expanded re-release of the fantasy action/roleplaying game for the Wii.
Young Justice: Legacy – A multiplayer action RPG based on the hit television show.
New consoles always have plenty of exciting games to look forward to in the far future. Some games have already been announced or alluded to for this new console, including new installments of Nintendo franchises and much more! What can we expect in the long run?
After the remarkable Skyward Sword, it’s difficult not to be excited for the next Zelda game. The Wii U has plenty of interesting gameplay features that could mold very well to the Zelda mechanic. While the game is still a ways off, some information about it’s development have been brought to light already. Visually, the game’s style would be reminiscent to Skyward Sword. Nintendo is said to have hired the biggest development in the company’s history for the game. Those working on the game have said the game’s scale would rival “Rockstar/GTA territory”. The WIi U Gamepad will be the key tool in this next installment. Another reason to be excited? The first dungeon of the game, The Forest Temple, is said to rival the entire size of Hyrule Field in Ocarina of Time.
Along with a new Zelda title, another game confirmed to be in the early development stages is the next iteration of Super Smash Bros. The most exciting topic of the new Super Smash Bros. is the new character additions. What can we expect this time around? Leader Developer Masahiro Sakurai has stated “…can’t say that it’s entirely out of the realm of possibility that some Capcom character should appear in the next Smash Bros…” The game has been confirmed to have some form of connectivity across platforms. Further details of the game are slim so far, but there’s plenty to be excited about for this brawler. Character possibilities have truly become endless at this point!
Developer: Square Enix
Date of release: TBA
Here’s an interesting one. Dragon Quest X is the tenth installment of the acclaimed Dragon Quest series. One of the most popular RPG series of gaming history, Dragon Quest X is approaching the series as a Massively Mulitplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG). Gameplay remains similar to other Dragon Quest games, which include a traditional RPG style with a mix of MMO features. The player can explore an open world environment that is colored with random towns, enemies, quests and secrets. Similar to other MMOs, players will be able to make a group with four other players and complete quests. The game will include six races: Human, Ogre, Elf, Dwarf, Puklipo, and Weddie. The Wii U, a system not particularly praised for it’s online capability, will receive this game in March 2013.