How much fun can you have in Nintendo Land?
Nintendo Land on Wii U is Nintendo’s version of a Disney style virtual theme park packed with 12 fun-filled attractions for you to enjoy solo or together with friends and family.
Nintendo Land is everything you would want from a theme park, without the need to wait in line for a fast pass ticket or wearing ridiculously strange looking ears on your head. In fact, when you enter Nintendo Land, you’re greeted by a strange female robot called Monita instead, who introduces you into the spacious 3D environment and each of the 12 attractions available from the colourful and wondrous plaza. You can visit the park as your own Mii character and play a selection of attractions with up to five players, the choice is yours.
Inside the Nintendo Land Plaza you’ll find each attraction is filled with iconic Nintendo characters you’ve come to know and love over the years and at first you’ll be spoilt for choice as you decide which attraction to begin your theme park experience with. The Nintendo Plaza gives you the freedom to walk up to any of the attraction gates and enter at your pleasure.
Each mini game gives you a brief tutorial and rewards the player with Nintendo Land Coins to win prizes at the Central Tower. The Central Tower stands in the middle of the Nintendo Land Plaza and is where you can spend your hard earned gold coins on new objects to be added to your plaza for you to enjoy. So you’ve won some coins and now you’ll want your new items. Once you’re at the Central Tower, you’re introduced to the coin game. The Coin game is a kind of Pachinko mini game where a sliding robot dangles from the top of the screen and drops your coins in various slots to win prizes. You can choose to keep dropping your gold coins into the mini game to win a bunch of prizes, or save them up and return another time when you’re feeling a little more able to part with them. Your prizes are then launched from the top of Central Tower into the park as wrapped gifts, and you have to hunt them down and unwrap them to see what you got.
The thing I like about Nintendo Land on Wii U is the game pad experience which uses the gyroscope to give you a first person experience of wandering around a virtual theme park, taking in all the sights and sounds without being squeezed to a pulp by the general public. As soon as you start the game, hear the upbeat tunes playing from the game pad and watch the moving locomotive making its way around the plaza, you know you’re in for a good time. The Locomotive acts as the hub for Nintendo Land’s party mode and gives a choice of number of players and number of games before letting the players take turns choosing which games to play.
The mini games are set up in three sections – team attractions, competitive attractions and solo attractions. So what fun attractions are available? You’ve got all the time in the world to explore them all.
On arrival inside the Nintendo Land Plaza, I headed straight for Pikmin Adventure – who could resist the charm of helping Olimar and Pikmin safely off a wild alien planet? This game can be played in challenge or versus mode for one to five players. In solo play you can play as Olimar or as a Pikmin as you enter Bulborb Forest. Using the game pad, you move your character with the left stick, while touching to attack. Simply using the ZL button you can whistle to gather your Pikmin together. It takes a little getting used to, but negotiating from moving the stick and using the stylus together becomes effortless as you guide your Pikmin through lands of yellow and brown cubes, smashing through question mark blocks, finding gold coins hidden away in flower beds, and activating switches.
All of the Pikmin levels need to be completed within a certain time frame, so sometimes it makes sense to use your time wisely, if you don’t want the bright pink spaceship to lift off without you. Over time, you’ll level up, unlock new items, and explore the wonderful world of Pikmin at an enjoyable and rewarding pace, graced with crisp and polished cut-scenes in between levels to finish off each experience. I can’t stress enough how much I’ve enjoyed playing this game and each level offers an incredible amount of amusement.
Once you’ve calmed down from your Pikmin experience, you might want to try your hand at Animal Crossing Sweet Day. Animal Crossing Sweet Day is probably the cutest and most adorable game within Nintendo Land. It’s like the eye-candy world of Animal Crossing minus Tom Nook demanding loan repayments. In this mini game, the person who is holding the game pad, takes control of two guards who are patrolling the sweet candy orchard to stop the Animal Crossing lovers from grabbing the candy and making a quick dash with it before depositing the candy into bowls which are located around the Animal Crossing environment. Each stick on the game pad controls one guard, so when you’re pursuing an animal crossing character across the wide land filled with trees laden with treats, negotiating bridges and doing your best to capture the character before they drop the candy into a bowl, is quite difficult at times. But like everything with Wii U, it gets easier the more you play it. It’s huge amount of fun, when each player takes turns to try out being the Animal Crossing character who gets slower the more sweets they carry, to taking the role of the guards, because each time it offers a new experience of gameplay.
The two games I’ve mentioned don’t even touch the surface of how exciting and fun Nintendo Land is, but part of that experience is exploring these attractions for yourself. Each of the 12 attractions have many levels within them and a mixture of innovative ways to use the Wii U game pad. You’ll be hard pressed to find anything remotely bad with this game. The only thing I will say is that it may become a little repetitive, once you’ve completed the levels and become top ranking. But the variety in the games, each themed on a different Nintendo game, will ensure that it will take some time to get to that point.
Forget the long queues and loud whiny children, Nintendo Land has your entire theme park experience wrapped up. You don’t even have to worry about getting lost, because Nintendo Land has it’s own tourist guide book to make you feel right at home without leaving the comfort of your sofa. It is filled with little moments that will make you smile, and really is the perfect launch title for the new Nintendo Wii U. An essential purchase for every Wii U owner.