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48 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Substance Than You'd Expect, November 18, 2012
This review is from: Nintendo Land (Video Game)
I was not expecting Nintendo Land to be good. Long story short, Nintendo Land attempts to be for the Wii U what Wii Sports was for the Wii. Unlike Wii Sports, there are more than 10 different kinds of games available (these games are "attractions" in Nintendo Land and there are 12 total, and yes, there is a hub world that you can traverse that's like a theme park), and these games mostly have a surprisingly fair amount of substance. Many of these games have different modes of play and plenty have more than several levels to go through (e.g. Pikmin, Zelda, etc.). You play these games for fun, and nearly all are designed to show how the Wii U GamePad (the tablet) can be used in different ways. There's something oddly cool and neat of seeing yourself going through a training area in Metroid Blast on your tablet and getting hints specific to your role, while others are training in a completely different place with their own hints, and knowing it's all coming from the same console and you're all still in the same world. This is the supposed definition of "asymmetric gameplay": not everyone is experiencing the same thing in even the same play style. The person with the GamePad has a markedly different experience than the people on the Wii Remotes. You need to play it to understand, and you should certainly play it with another friend or more to get the most fun out of it (though half the games are solo attractions and they're mostly great).

Each of the attractions have their own "achievements" or in-game special challenges. There's five in each game. Many are fun challenges, some are just insignificant fluff that striving for doesn't necessarily add to the fun (good thing fun is what this game has in spades). You get coins for completing challenges, among other things, and you can use these coins to work towards getting special bonuses that will either decorate your Nintendo Land theme park, add music to a jukebox that you'll eventually be rewarded to, or buttons on the ground that will do all sorts of surprising things. The reward/coin mechanic is a great incentive to keep playing the attractions, especially for the collectors who want to see their entire Nintendo Land be vibrant and filled with cool decor. Each attraction also has one specific goal that will signify you've "mastered" the game. I won't tell you what happens when you master all twelve ;)... because I haven't done that yet.

You'll also see people in the Miiverse occasionally popping up in your Nintendo Land. It's interesting to see so many people bustling around your theme park, posting comments and whatnot. You'll see people from different countries moving around your park with large comment boxes popping over their heads saying whatever it is they feel. You can touch these people on the tablet and see information about how far along Nintendo Land they are, along with options to comment on their comments, send a friend request, and other things. It's a nice in-game mechanic that helps make the gaming community feel more interconnected.

Overall, I can't say yet whether the game is worth $60 regardless of circumstance, but it's a great game altogether. Anyone who gets the Wii U Deluxe will not be disappointed with this pack-in. With no hyperbole, it's truly one of the best party games I've ever played in my life. It does an excellent job of showcasing the Wii U's concept of "asymmetric gameplay", and is still fun to play by yourself (I must have played Donkey Kong's Crash Course for over an hour trying to get a gold trophy!). If you're thinking about getting a Wii U, get a Deluxe. If you can only get a Basic, and are considering this game, get it if you have friends and Wiimotes and Wiimote Plusses with which to play. If you're all by your lonesome, then I'd venture to say that $60 is too much (especially since 3 of the games are only available as multi-player). So the long and short of it is: this is a surprisingly great game with plenty to do, especially if you have friends.
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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 21, 2012 11:25:49 PM PST
Isn't this a "kiddy game" and potential "shovel ware?" How can hide and seek mini games be fun for adults?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2012 2:49:15 AM PST
Ephraim says:
I can't tell if you're being serious. If you are being serious, it's because, as the review implies, these can't really be called mini-games. They've got a fair amount of content (e.g. Metroid Blast has about 40 levels/scenarios if I recall correctly). The term "kiddy" means directly marketed towards children and expected to only be enjoyed by them. This isn't Barbie's Horse Adventure. This is a game that is designed to be a very fun way of showing how the GamePad can be used in unique and entertaining ways. Not satisfied with merely doing that, Nintendo has made this more than a tech demo and filled the game with its own personality and plenty to do. "Shovel ware" denotes that the game is pure garbage (or more accurately: crap), hence the need for a shovel, and connotes a short length. I think I've made a reasonable argument for why these games aren't that. The closest one would be Octopus Dance, but that one game is not the entire collection and is just a fun throwaway. As for brevity, I've spent 10-15 hours with Nintendo Land since the Wii U has come out, and there's still plenty more I want to do (I haven't even played with more than one other person yet). Also, only two of these not-so-mini-games are at all like hide and seek, and those are Mario Chase and Luigi's Ghost Mansion, both of which are joys to play.

As a male and married adult, I question your criterion for what's an adult game, seeing as how I can never play a single M-rated game online with a headset, since more often than not, half of those I hear are teen and pre-teen boys. You may not think any of the Nintendo Land games are fun, you may think they're all fun, it depends on your taste and especially the attitude you have going in. This is a game with wholesome fun (hence the E+10 rating), and you should go in expecting such. If you're going in expecting an experience akin to Black Ops II or Madden '13 or something else this game clearly is not, then you're going to be disappointed.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2012 1:56:42 PM PST
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 23, 2012 5:12:10 PM PST
Ephraim says:
I'm 24, but I've played games from the pre-NES era. I'd first off I'd say that you calling Super Paper Mario "shovelware" shows you simply use the term to describe games you don't like. I don't like sports games, but I wouldn't call all Madden games shovelware. Neither would I call most racing games, as there are plenty of people who could eloquently and specifically say why they think PGR2 is better than Forza 3 or some other thing I would consider uninteresting. I don't think any of those games you listed qualify as "shovelware" with the possible exceptions of Wii Sports and Zumba Fitness. Shovelware is more like Elf Bowling or Wii Music, things with very little content. One trick ponies. Just Dance is a one-trick pony, but so would be Guitar Hero and DDR. You can say you don't like a game, but I'd recommend you use a different term since "shovelware" has a very specific connotation.

As for games like Crysis 2 (which many FPS aficionados consider "terrible and solid crap") and Resistance 3, both of which I've played and have owned, you show that you are clearly looking for a different experience than someone is playing Super Street Fighter II. SSFII doesn't have a great story, but it's still considered one of the best games of all time. You can't call your preferences to be absolutes, which you've done quite a lot of at this point. I like my Half-Life (1 & 2), Catherine, Heavy Rain, and others, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy Nintendo Land, which I would argue is innovative in its design. It's certainly done things that I wouldn't have thought to do, and it's something you certainly can't experience anywhere else. Innovation alone is not enough though. You can be unique, but you can be uniquely bad. I'd argue that Nintendo Land is both unique, and a quality package. As I've said before in other ways, if you're looking for a deep story with dark visuals (something mostly absent in the NES days, I might add), why'd you go to the Nintendo Land page? You knew it wasn't that. If you want a stereotypical "adult" experience, you obviously shouldn't be going to Nintendo Land for it. But if you want a game that brings out the kind of fun many people had when they first picked up a plastic guitar in Guitar Hero, then I'd recommend Nintendo Land. If you never liked and of the Guitar Hero or Rock Band games, then I'd venture to say you don't like party games (most of which are indeed crap, but I wouldn't say GH was crap when it came out).

As for the plethora of terrible games available, that is certainly true. At the same time, there are more "great" games now per year than there were in the NES/SNES days because we have a lot more developers because video games have become a worthwhile market in which to invest. You may argue otherwise, but you being 35 now would show that you were the ages of 8 to 13 in the NES era. You cannot claim that you were as objective then as you perhaps are now. I may try my best to get rid of nostalgia when playing a game I grew up with, but I know there will always be some vestige of it in me, no matter how objective I may try to be. However, you seem baffled that some people like more games than you do. You shouldn't be. In the end, I'm basically saying that your tastes are not everyone's taste. I may not like Madden games, and I may think that every Madden every year is the exact same game with different rosters, others can go into specific mechanics of why one is "certainly" better than another. I know that, but I still don't like Madden, and I probably never will, but I'm not going to call the games crap. Same as if you pick up a random game from the 80s or 70s right now, the game will feel like it "sucks", but relative to what was done then at that point and what the hardware allowed to do, it may have been considered revolutionary. All this to say is that not everyone is looking for the same experience you are when approaching video games. Many find it boring that I like documentaries, but should you really dismiss all documentaries as "garbage shovelware"? Why would you do the same with whole genres? There's a difference between disliking something for legitimate reasons (poor, unresponsive controls; bad frame rates; uninspired design; highly derivative; etc.), and not liking it simply because it's not your taste.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 23, 2012 6:50:10 PM PST
I think you've somewhat hit the nail on the head with games these days. I'm finding that there's a TON of them right now and it seems to be more so than what was available back when I was 8ish and playing consoles like ColecoVision and the original NES. There seemed to be quality titles then. Have you ever played Blaster Master for the original NES? That was a great, great game complete with bosses you wanted to defeat and upgrades found after defeating them. These upgrades were used to advance in the game to other areas. There were also labyrinths to traverse some of which were the wrong ones. The original Metal Gear for NES I believe was phenomenal!! Perhaps this was before your time so you might not relate to what I'm saying. Perhaps as a kid, I was having more fun playing video games than I am now at 35. At 35 I certainly haven't been able to find games that have blown my mind!!

The problem with today's games it seems is that there's a ton of "gimmicks." You hit the nail on the head in your reference to the "party" game genre. There seems to be a ton of those games and in my opinion, they're all "shovelware." I use this term because it doesn't take a whole lot of imagination to create them. Just Dance, Zumba Fitness, Guitar Hero and the like all fall into this category. Along with these games come the microphones, guitars, drums, motion this and that, nunchucks, remotes and the list can go on. While I've had brief fun playing these games, I can't say I've been blown away. I would classify all the accessories as junk in a way too. I just think the systems are trying to appeal to everyone and in a poor way. What do you think?

I am baffled that people are so drawn to games like Call of Duty that have been developed over and over again. These games have no bosses or feeling of accomplishment when you pass a level. What's the deal with so many players enamored with "trophies." I've heard so many say they've "platinumed" a game. What's the reward in this? The games of yesteryear had "in-game" rewards NOT trophies for say killing so many enemies etc.

I currently have a Wii-U deluxe sitting on my counter. I haven't opened it and have honestly put it up on Craigslist to see if I can flip it for $475 to some parent who has to have the system for Christmas for his/her kids. We'll see if this happens. I can't find the system in stock locally anywhere else. I was considering keeping it for myself because I'm into the new technology of things more than the actual games themselves. It's kinda sad.

Jumping to Madden. That's another problem. I love sports games especially football. However, I'm saddened each year that they're producing the same game only with a roster update!!! You definitely touched on that one!! Who wants to spend another $60 for a roster update? I'm looking for better graphics and improved if not innovative gameplay. Maybe the first iteration in a system's life cycle is the last. I dunno. Back in the 80s the football games made included the all-time greatest teams - the historic teams. Today, these teams aren't included in the package. Disappointing.

Finally, I went to NintendoLand because I wanted to see the reviews for the game included in the deluxe set. I had a feeling I wouldn't like it but I wanted to understand why a game included with a console was or appeared to be a "kiddy" game. These mini games featuring hide and seek with bobble head avatar people can't appeal to everyone. I don't know much about it but from what I've seen it seems very juvenile. How does NintendoLand compare to Guitar Hero? I don't understand? I guess it's a party game??

Well, I kinda rambled here from topic to topic but I think I covered everything.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 23, 2012 10:40:32 PM PST
Ephraim says:
I have played Blaster Master, and for a game from its time, I liked it. But I also liked Dark Souls, which I'm not sure you've played. That's a game with great bosses (generally), and many consider tough as nails (though I didn't think it was as tough as everyone said). Shadow of the Colossus also has great bosses. I've also played the original Metal Gear game and MG: Ghost Babel for GBC and I didn't like the 2D iterations as much as the MGS series (which I played MGS1-3 before playing the original MG and Ghost Babel). As far as not liking games as much anymore, that's a general trend, and it's based on a lot of factors. But to refer to your "kiddy" comment later, my mother is baffled with how ANYONE over the age of 16 can still enjoy playing any video games. She considers them all "kiddy." You may think it an ignorant comment, but I thought the same when you posted your first comment. NL may try to have both mass appeal, and appeal to the people who grew up with those franchises and characters, but other than "the graphics are colorful", there's very little connection between Nintendo Land and something obviously directed exclusively towards children (like Barbie's Horse Adventure).

But your claims against party games are reaffirming my point that they're simply not "your thing." But to someone that does play party games (not me), they know there's (supposedly) a large difference between Rock Band and Zumba Fitness. Supposedly Zumba has bad body detection, bad online, and many other issues. At least Rock Band has none of those things (except maybe with the mic), and what it seeks to do, it actually does well. So while I agree they are trying to appeal to everyone, I think the quality of the execution varies. Back to my football or racing analogy. A developer can make the most realistic physics and jaw-dropping graphics for one of those games, and I will not care one iota. The gameplay doesn't interest me. I've played several of those kinds of games, and have pretty much never liked any of them, even the "acclaimed"ones. Same with most fighting games: no interest, even though I actually liked them a lot when I was a kid. But a game like Nintendo Land, yes, seeing all the unique ways the GamePad can be used does interest me. Football gameplay doesn't interest me, but I don't look down on you for enjoying it. Same thing like I don't look down on those who like Just Dance. If they say Just Dance 3 is the best game of all time, I'm sure I could have a discussion with them to show (to a third party observer) why they're hilariously wrong, but if they say it's their favourite game of all time, then that's based on their preference of what they like and nearly nothing you say will likely stop them from liking it. I think Across the Universe (the Beatles movie) is crap, but I'm not going to convince those that love it that they love a bad movie. As a sidenote, I would recommend you not opening your Wii U since it sounds like you won't enjoy it. Wait until the holidays get closer, or see what others are charging on eBay and (if you need money soon) change prices accordingly.

I don't like CoD, but even though they have no bosses, there's certainly a sense of accomplishment when you kill all these other people online. It's the same satisfaction as beating someone in basketball or something. Knowing you are quantifiably better than someone at something makes you feel good, and making the player feel good is what most games try to do. Not all, but most in general are seeking to simply make the player happy. Same thing with those who brag about achievements. It's a measure you can use to justify how you're better than someone at something. I like fun achievements that present to me the idea of an actual challenge that I wouldn't have thought of, but would enjoy doing.

I've already addressed your Wii U.

And yet plenty of people still love it. There are those who the only game they get a year is the new Madden. To each, their own.

Well like I said, the majority of these games aren't hide-and-seek (only two somewhat are), but I've now played the game with others outside my family and they do enjoy the "hide-and-seek" games, as well as the others. Again, literally half the games are single player experiences. Three more are single or multi, and the last three are multiplayer only. As for "bobblehead avatars", but I'm not sure you remember that when the Wii came out Miis were very popular. Everyone wanted to make their own Mii. Everyone. It's the whole reason Microsoft followed suit with what they called "avatars." People like seeing digital representations of themselves in silly costumes. Juvenile or not, it's what people like and it shouldn't "bother" you that they like it. I'm somewhat perplexed by it too, but I don't think they should be done away with just because I don't like them. Nintendo Land is like Guitar Hero in that it presents an approachable, but completely new way to play something. Most of the games don't have complex gameplay, but just like that guitar becomes intuitive in minutes, so too does the GamePad. Everyone knows how Iron Man by Black Sabbath goes, and everyone knows how to play hide-and-seek.

As an aside, I don't think the comment section of reviews are supposed to be used like a private messaging system.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 12:04:27 AM PST
Apologies if my original comment came off as "ignorant" or bothersome. I think I was venting my own frustrations with the included game as it relates to my own personal taste in what I define as fun. I got the word "shovelware" from the Internet and I can honestly say I've seen the word used on more than one occasion which led me to the belief that many games were just being thrown together. Now that I recall, the word was used in an article I read about the original Wii and it's software.

Btw is there a better way to message you aside from this comment section? Anyway, I haven't played NintendoLand yet but I can say that I'm not "bothered" by the avatars. I was just disappointed that they didn't bundle the system with a new Zelda, Mario, Metroid etc. I guess it's too early for that in the console's life cycle. It would have been nice though because I loved the original Zelda back on the NES and I wanted to see if I would still enjoy it today. Since you're 24, how do you play the original Blaster Master/Metl Gear etc.?? Do you have an emulator set up? Believe it or not, I was hoping that there would be some sort of "homebrew channel" like there was on the Wii from what I've read/seen on YouTube. It appears there is but right now you can't load emulators and play old ROMS. I no longer have my NES or ColecoVision systems but it would be nice to play these old games again on a TV instead of a computer. It seems like emulator communities with ROMS are hard to locate these days at least on Google. I've tried looking for things but can't find them. I somewhat bought the Wii-U because of it's ability to run other non-licensed code (I guess the jail breaking is illegal??) specifically the thought that I could play all the old games interested me. You can't do this with the Xbox360 or PS3 that I know of unless you get a console with a mod which I'm not going to do.

I think that if I perhaps had someone to play NintendoLand with and show me around, I might take to the games. Socializing with someone in the room is a lot better than playing by yourself. As far as the mini-games, from what you're saying they're not like playing Zelda or Metroid - they just have the characters for those franchises. Again, for me a bummer.

I rarely play multiplayer. I guess it's not my thing. The problem for me is that for the most part you're playing against a pre-teen/teen who plays every waking hour. The games themselves involve a lot of spawn camping and it's just not that much fun to spawn, die and respawn again. I'm perplexed that people actually enjoy this type of thing and wear headsets even.

I want to make the point that I'm not looking down on people for enjoying something that I don't. As of right now, I own an Xbox360 and a PS3 and I've probably played a grand total of no more than 10 games between them. I'm probably more of a Nintendo fan because that's the system I grew up with. To that end, I was disappointed with the Wii since Nintendo didn't seem to take the serious game player to heart with manufacturing something capable of cutting-edge graphics. As I'm sure you're aware, Nintendo's Wii could be found in nursing homes even. The console is selling for $100 bucks or less now and you know the saying "you get what you pay for." With the Wii-U I've been hoping for AAA titles that scream graphics and innovation, not just displaying a HD image in 1080p. That's the same thing as a re-release of a Roger Moore James Bond flick in HD or a remastering of an old game in HD - not that big of a deal. Am I off the mark?

I bought the Wii-U in the hopes of enjoying Nintendoland and perhaps getting into old game franchises again. I'm waiting to read more things about it, and see if it's a worthwhile system. In the meantime, I will watch and wait to see if my console sells. I'm in no rush to get money. My mom bought the system for me and she too was interested in perhaps playing some old games on it with me. I'm mostly talking about ColecoVision games like Oil's Well and Miner 2049er. Have you played those games? Anyway, $377 is lot of dough to spend to play emulated games through the homebrew on your TV but right now, no other games are screaming at me to buy them.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2012 8:42:54 AM PST
J. Frank says:
to JoelCDCiganPharm.D.: I am 25, and I was VERY skeptical about Nintendoland and the Wii U in general. My brother (31) got one last week, decided he didn't want it and sold it to me. I invited him and our friends (other guys between 25-30, including one gamer who has been hating on the kiddy-ness of Nintendo lately) to try it out with Nintendoland yesterday. I can tell you that we ended up playing those two hide and seek games the most, maybe even hours at a time over and over. In my living room I had 4 grown men laughing, shouting and strategizing as if we were a police force trying to catch a criminal (since one of those games has more of a manhunt feel than hide and seek). Then there were the other team games like the Metroid Blast and the Zelda game that had us locked in for another several hours, and probably more in the future.

The X-Box lover/Nintendo dismisser said he still wouldnt buy it but couldnt wait to come over again to play Nintendoland, and my brother now wants to buy the Wii U again, but without selling it off this time. Two huge skeptics who were turned over just by playing this.

I can understand not liking the party genre since there really are so many crappy games out there, but I can honestly say after playing this for hours on end this week that this is not shovelware, not a gimmick, but an amazing game. Maybe you will like it, maybe you won't... all in taste.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2012 2:03:08 PM PST
@J. Frank: I had a Deluxe Wii-U set but decided to return it. I didn't receive any bites from people that wanted to buy it off me for $477. To be honest, I don't think the console is in high demand but rather, Nintendo has pulled some of the supply away from stores to spread out console sales over their entire quarter.

For someone that already has an Xbox360 and PS3, I didn't need another system to play mostly ports on what's available for other current gen systems. From what I've read, Nintendo invested most of thir resources on the Gamepad controller and not enough on the system itself. What resulted is a system that is only on par with or slightly below the performance of the Xbox360 and PS3. I'm actually surprised that the Wii-U is able to process the information for 2 displays based on the system architecture.

As far as NintendoLand goes, I'm sure it's fun with a group of people. Unfortunately for me, I don't have anyone to play the system with. I mostly play single player games.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2013 8:39:06 AM PST
Cyclone Claw says:
Personally I have to take one star off this game myself due to the very annoying and frustrating forced tutorial robot. I wanted to shoot it.
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