Art Attack Gets a Sneak Peek at the Wii U
Next up was the newest incarnation of the side-scrolling Super Mario Bros. Rendered in full HD, the game has never looked better. It also gave me an opportunity to see the feature where you can play a game on the screen of the controller while others use the TV for other purposes. The game plays as classic as you could want...but it does make me wonder if the world of 3D Mario adventures is no more.
An abrupt shift in tone was Zombie U, which is bar none the most realistic zombie gaming experience that you can currently play. First off, there's no health. You get hit, you can heal, but if you're bit then you're automatically a ghoul. Not only that, but the game can take your picture and zombify it so that when your character reanimates, your next character can hunt it down for the backpack full of items you were carrying when you got bit.
Plus, everything happens in real time, including looting, switching weapons and lock picking. You have to be constantly on your guard so you're not attacked.
Zombie U is where you start really getting an idea of what the tablet is capable of, and is also indicative of both its strengths and faults. You have to get used to the fact that not only do you have a tablet, your character does as well. When you use it to scan the area looking for loot or other clues, you hold it up and look around just as they would in the game. This is absolutely not intuitive at all, and will definitely require some practice to get used to. It's a whole new style of gaming after all.
Once you do get the hang of it, it is actually a very impressive step forward, but it still feels like some of the more annoying aspects of games like Spirit Camera on the 3DS. The Wii U is way better, obviously, but if you want to get the most out of the system, you are going to have tor relearn how you interface with your console.
Similar in approach was the Wii U version of Batman: Arkham City. Now, I played this game to absolute death on my PS3, so I walked into the demo pretty confident.
First off, one of the things I trumpeted awhile back about the Wii U's possibilities is readily apparent. Batman's map is right there on the tablet screen, and you can look at it without pausing or slowing down the onscreen action with load times. In fact, all aspects of Batman's menus are used through the controller.
The minus to the controller update, though, is that your detective mode requires the same hold and scan gameplay that Zombie U does. This is not only awkward, it's nonsensical. Batman's detective mode is in his cowl, not in the control pad on his wrist, and I imagine that players that used detective mode in combat to locate enemies will have a hard time switching back and forth.