The hype train for this console was rather slow but it got me as excited as any other Nintendo console launch would. I purchased the Wii U deluxe bundle with an additional game to keep me tied over; Darksiders II. Here’s a little look at my first impressions and hands-on experience with Nintendo’s new generation of gaming.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS — Unboxing
Despite 35 hours of no sleep due to my insane idea of waiting it up at Meijer, I realized there was no way I could pass out on the bed until this box was opened and I tried this thing out. Unboxing the Wii U deluxe bundle was a satisfying feat on its own. The HDMI cable packaged in is convenient and the box itself seemed firmly packaged. Despite the countless videos of the Wii U gamepad I’ve seen online, pulling it out and handling it in person is a true experience. The first thing I noticed was how incredibly light the gamepad was compared to what I expected, being only slightly heavier than a standard 360/ps3 controller. The Wii U itself is slightly bigger than the Wii but much heavier, even compared to the 360.
The well-known 90 minute update required upon startup was a bit unusual for me. Due to a hindered on-off internet connection, this update had to be resumed a total of four times before completing. The fourth time it also failed, but apparently the Wii U finished the update successfully whilst I was engaged in Nintendoland and Darksiders II. A neat ability I’d like to point out with the Wii U is the ability to change the stream of the game to strictly the gamepad, which works greatly. Living in a home with one working TV, this is easily one of the better benefits for me. 1080p is definitely not needed for the gamepad, since condensing all of the textures from the tv to the gamepad nets you with a beautifully detailed game in the first place. Darksiders II is a ported game, so the use of the gamepad was merely applied as a quick inventory system. Despite how basic of an add-on this is, it actually serves to be quite convenient.
The online component is something I still have to look much into. Miiverse will load and run slow for a little while after the update, but it begins to run much faster later on and you’ll find that reading and posting on specific topics is, in fact, incredibly simple and arguably faster than sifting through internet material on your home computer or laptop.
Growing up with only Nintendo consoles since my early childhood, it’s hard for me to describe the actual power of the system compared to what Sony and Microsoft offer. I can say upon playing Nintendoland that the graphical power is really great. Despite its lack in CPU ability, the massively beefed GPU gives it the power to keep up with its competitors and in some aspects yet to be seen, even surpass them.
What’s a console launch without some game breaking problems? Upon researching, these problems have been quickly recognized and are already being fixed through a future Wii U update. I’d like to address my personal problems with what I’ve encountered my first week of playing frivolously.
-Nintendoland: Absolutely no problems. Using the gyro-sensor can take some getting used to in combination with the screen, but other than that everything played out intuitively.
-Darksiders II: Not really sure where to start here. The game in itself is extremely glitchy but this is more of a software issue than a system issue. The game looks great on the big screen but the game experiences serious screen-tearing issues when moved to the gamepad which has become a big concern of mine. Playing for an extensive time (usually four hours or greater) the console is known to completely freeze up, requiring you to unplug the system altogether. This can happen when trying to return to the Wii U menu and sometimes while in-game. Thankfully this has only happened to me once. The freezing issue has been noted in multiple other games as well, but this issue has already been addressed by Nintendo.
-Wii U: This system is obsessed with updating. Its been known to update multiple times for the same game before playing. Ignoring these updates can actually cause problems as well. Once again though, Nintendo is keen on identifying problems and fixing them so I wouldn’t note this as a major concern.
Overall I’m satisfied with the experience this console gave me. I’m looking forward to future AAA titles and seeing Nintendo’s famed franchises in full-blown HD graphical styles; something I’ve been yearning for.