Grand Theft Pie
After three Thanksgiving meals, you would think enough pie would be had.
NO! I want more. Whose house can I raid next? There’s no pie in the refrigerator here.
I finally opened my Wii U and set it up and it was glorious. That is, after 2 hours worth of critical system update downloads and installation. That seems a bit inappropriate for any system launch. But once it got going, and after freezing once and needing to be unplugged and restarted, we got to playing Nintendo Land, and it kept us going for 6 or 7 hours. And I’m not even sure if we got to every game.
The Donkey Kong platform-race-kart-not-so-mini-game turned out to be a lot of fun. There is only one level at the moment, but it happens to be gigantic. My friend and I alternated attempts and it took us more than I can count to finish it. We will certainly revisit it at some point in order to try to top each other’s scores by balancing speed with caution and memorizing all of the tricks to the gears and switches that make up the map’s puzzles.
There are so many parts to Nintendo Land, I’m not sure what I want to talk about. I think the cooperative and competitive games stand out the most. The Zelda and Metroid games look like a lot of fun, but we don’t have the Wiimote Pluses needed to take full advantage of them. I’m hoping that people at swap meets or on Craigslist will have deals on those, thinking that they won’t need them with the Wii U.
The simpler competitive games do not require Motion Plus, so we spent more time with those. Both the Mario and Luigi’s Mansion games involve one player being chased by the other 3. Playing with fewer than 4 players results in the missing people being replaced by NPCs. In the Mario game, they are robotic Yoshi machines which cannot win, but are very effective at tracking and knocking down the fleeing Mario.
The Luigi’s Mansion game has a more suspenseful and dynamic search and destroy aspect, as one player is an invisible ghost who must sneak up on the other 3 players, who use flashlights to try to kill the ghost. Both games had us yelling and were a grand old time.
The major downside of the whole affair was the Wii U freezing towards the end of the night, just as we were getting into the full swing of Luigi’s Mansion fervor. We gave up after it froze several times consecutively, the last time being before even getting past the Nintendo Land menu screen. The system had been on for at least 6 hours, but this is still unacceptable.
The bottom rear of the case felt a little warm, so I imagine the internal components may have been getting toasty. I let it rest the night and put the little stands on it so it would prop up on its side for better ventilation. Hopefully that will help.
Early adoption of consoles is tricky. Both the PS3 and Xbox 360 had major console breaking flaws that struck randomly and vexed gamers. Red Ring of Death affected 360 owners even years after the console’s debut. That the Wii U would have some issues, being a console of supposedly equal power and significantly smaller size, is not wholly unexpected.