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access_time November 18, 2012 at 6:38 PM in Nintendo by Andrew Kent

Rant Cast: Wii U First Impressions

(Unfortunately there is no audio due to technical difficulties. There will be audio for the next rant cast though!)

Hello and welcome GotGamer’s to the Rant Cast. I’m your host Andrew and here’s today’s topic:

Wii U First Impressions

Today the Wii U launched, duh, and I was so elated when I received mine, yet I dreaded the long bike ride home. But enough about me, let’s get to the console itself.

To say the least I had to wait about a couple hours for the initial update to install, and halfway through the console claimed it wasn’t connected to the internet so I had to start up the download again. The good thing about this is that the progress of my download was saved fortunately. The rest of the set up was fairly painless, inputting some personal info amongst other things.

When all of that was said and done I poked around the home screen. On my monitor there was the WaraWara Plaza and on the tablet was the typical 3DS/Wii screen with all of your apps. The internet browser was fairly decent, I wouldn’t do it for serious web browsing though, mainly just the type of browsing you would do with any ordinary tablet. Netflix was the only streaming service available, the others (including youtube) are “coming soon” some time in December. Hopefully within the first week. Miiverse was reported to be down earlier today but I found it up and running when I went to check it out. It’s the same as any forum, excep with it you can post drawings or text. Watch out what you post though, moderators will pull down anything that is not compliant with the Miiverse Terms of Service. The eShop is fairly bare, I was hoping to be able to download at least one Zelda game. As for the Tvii service I haven’t messed with it since I’m connecting my Wii U to a monitor.

As for the game pad, reviews saying it isn’t that much heavier than a normal controller have been correct. It felt right at home in my hands. The screen has been fairly compliant to my finger touches but having used a DSi and 3DS before I am naturally drawn to using the stylus which seems to work all of the time.

I’ve been playing a lot of Arkham City: Armored Edition today and that story has some ups and then some downs. Things were down before the ever got up. I started the game by initially looking down at the tablet thinking that the game play would start there…I was quite wrong. Catwoman’s ass was getting handed to her by some thugs while I sat there merrily looking at the cat icon on the screen. It wasn’t until I felt the rumbling from the game pad a few times that I discovered the action was taking place elsewhere. It took me a bit to readjust and get used to the control scheme (I kept using Catwoman’s whip attack instead of her actual physical attack).

Oh mind you while all this is happening I am getting no sound due to the lack of speakers attached to my monitor. It wouldn’t be until a bit later when I got on the phone with my uncle to talk to him about setting something up so I could get audio from the AV out in the back of the Wii U. We realized that one of the alternatives to that we were looking at, a headset for the Wii U and other devices, used a headphone jack that plugged right into the game pad. I grabbed my headphones, plugged them into the game pad, and voila, sound. Now, this doesn’t bother me all that much because I need to have headphones on anyways due to having roommates. It would have been nice though to be able to have the sound go through the speakers while on screen. You do get full sound from the game pad speakers when in game pad mode though.

I did find holding the game pad awkward at times when I would hold the stylus in my right hand to keep it ready for when I needed it. Also when scanning things using the stylus to scan the crime scene while holding the game pad with one hand is not a good idea.

I did try to bring my game pad to the bathroom with me, and while under 25 feet there were too many walls in the way unfortunately. If it did I would be spending too much time in the bathroom and greeted by a pitchfork wielding roommate wanting to use the bathroom but couldn’t because I was hogging it up to play a game.

Other than that there isn’t much more I can tell you. The quality of the game on the game pad and a screen is quite good. The game pad portion of the game does not feel too gimmicky, it feels natural. It could get a bit annoying if you have to go back and forth too much but possibly done in the right way that could work out.

I’ll be reviewing Arkham City: Armored Edition as well as Darksiders II and Assassin’s Creed III for the Wii U. Look out for the reviews in the following weeks.

Until then stay tuned for those reviews and a much more complete review as the console gets all of it’s features online.


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