Beta's Wii U review
As I promised, I am reviewing the magnificent Wii U. As you all might know, the Wii U has been released on November 18th in North America, November 30th in Europe and December 8th in Japan. So, as a new era arises we need to comprehend it and see if it's worth your money. Basically, my job is to give you all a glimpse of it so you could decide on whether you will jumping on the train of the new generation with Nintendo or wait. Make yourself comfortable because this will be LONG! XD Just hit below to read the review.
(Just so you know, I am using a Premium Pack for the review, if you're planning to get a Basic Pack then not everything in this review will be included in it)
I will be dividing the review into several parts:
When you unbox your brand new Wii U's packaging you will find the following:
The Wii U itself
The manual (That probably no one reads, except for me XD)
Club Nintendo card (instructions)
Nintendo Network Premium instructions card
AC adapter for the Wii U and another for the GamePad
GamePad charging dock
Wii U stand
The Wii U has a very sleek design with very nice curves, unlike the Wii which had edges. The Wii U has a glossy black color (that attracts finger prints and dust very well, that's why I kept those protectors on it). But I must admit, it's a very nice looking with the glossiness. What you might notice, though, is that it's quite heavier than the Wii and bigger from most aspects. Of course, it wouldn't matter because it's not like you will be carrying it around.
See the difference?
Let's move on to the GamePad. The GamePad was a lot lighter than I expected, and more comfortable. I must say, it is VERY comfortable with all the buttons being reachable easily without the need of stretching. It has those two bumps on the back that are shaped like the palm of your hand (or something) for you to hold it comfortably with a good grip. It has the usual ABXY buttons, L, R, ZL, ZR shoulder buttons, + (Start) and - (Select) buttons, two analogue sticks, D pad, Home button and last but not least, the TV button. The TV button is a great addition to the GamePad's unique experience, you can easily switch between TV, HDMI and AV and control the volume while playing without the hassle of finding the remote! I think some satellite boxes are also supported, not quite sure. There's also one more thing I didn't mean, the NFC (Near Field Communication). It's that's little rectangle on the left side below the D-pad. You are asking what does it do? Very well. In short, it's somekind of new technology that allows you to scan things like cards, etc. It can't be used right now but it will be used by games later on in the future. As for the quality of the screen, it's a bummer that the screen is only a resistive touch screen (single touch) and it can only go as far as 480p, but I must say that the screen is absolutely gorgeous for a screen that only displays 480p! Sometimes, what's on the GamePad's screen is better than on the TV. And the single touch wouldn't bother people a lot. I mean, who is planning to play with the touchscreen only or with both hands, anyway? And do consider that this ONLY the controller, not a whole stand-alone device. Also, you should consider the amount of the sensors they put in it like, the Gyroscope, the Accelerometer and the Geomagnetic sensor (Magnetometer). Those make a difference in gaming experience since the GamePad with those is very sensitive and accurate to moves you make, which is great. (Donkey Kong Crash Course is an excellent example of that)
When you start up your Wii U for the first time it will attempt you set up a User, enter info to customize it to your optimal liking. Of course, it will tell you how to sync your GamePad before all that. Once that is done, the real journey of amazement begins! (Well, after the lengthy update, anyway) You won't be able to access any apps (except for Wii U disc channel) if you don't update. It's pretty much useless without the update. After you do that, you will find your user Mii on the TV screen in the middle while Miis from all over the world (if you're connected to the internet) are under games or apps they used recently and commented on. You will find useful comment, silly comments and drawing that are sometimes wonderful! You as how can you do that or how did they appear on your screen? It's because of this awesome feature that Nintendo implemented in the Wii U which is... *drum roll* MIIVERSE! Miiverse is one of the key features of the Wii U where you're never alone. You're connected to all people in the world using a Wii U here. You can post messages, draw and share your drawing with people. You typically live with everyone with it. It's like a whole society inside a console. Of course, there are strict rules to create a friendly and clean community. Every game and app has its own forum-like section called "Community" where you can just draw, comment or view how others feel and give posts you like a "Yeah!" (A "Like" in other words).
Of course, there are more apps to explore like, YouTube app (You know why it is used), Wii U Chat (For you to video chat with people in your friend list), uPlay (App for Ubisoft games), LoveFilm (An app that needs a subscription (and not available in most countries) which streams all sorts of movies and TV series), Netflix (Same as LoveFilm) and last but definitely not least... the gorgeous internet browser! It's probably the best browser of all gaming consoles so far. It has a high HTML5 capabilities, but no Flash support (Which renders some websites or Flash based things useless) but it's very awesome since you can browse on both screens and you can play a video on YouTube then just click on a button and it's on the screen while you just browse any site when you're playing. So, in other words, you can browse ANY website on the GamePad and let others watch a video on the TV.
Nintendo gave us a new generation of gaming and fun, and surprised us with this awesome console that we never thought was possible or that it could give us deep and rich experience. Yes, the launch did have its ups and downs, but what launch doesn't? My only complaints so far is the slow OS which Nintendo promised to fix in a near future update with the freezing issues some people are having. Other than that the Wii U is a solid console with a very bright future ahead and a great concept behind it.
The good things about it:
Great new ways of playing
GamePad gives a lot of new possibilities
Very fun to play with along with some "wow" moments
Strong line up for launch and launch window
The next gen of Nintendo home consoles
The Miiverse never makes you feel alone
Nintendo games in glorious HD
The bad things about it:
Freezing for some people
(all above issues are fixable either by a software update via the internet)
Battery life of the GamePad doesn't last long
Unsure third-party support
(Since we don't know how graphically advanced will be Sony and Microsoft's next gen home consoles will be, if they are a big leap third-party support might fade)
I recommend it to any Nintendo fan and anyone who wants to have fun and experience something unique and great that nobody else offers. If you don't care much about the third-party issue then why are you still standing? Go ahead and buy it! XD