Nintendo Land Review

A controller coaster ride though Nintendo's best-loved games

Fun with friends Nintendo Land Review Page 2  Everybody Plays
7th December, 2012
Game Info // Nintendo Land
Nintendo Land Boxart
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Players (same console): 1 - 5
Online Multiplayer: None
Subtitles: No
Available On: Wii U
Genre: Mini-game

Team Attractions

The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest
Number of Players: 1 to 4
Requires Motion Plus

An adventure for up to four players, in this game, three people act as Wii Remote wielding swordsmen to the GamePad player's archer, fighting their way through hoards of felted foes to reach the mystical Triforce at the end of each of the nine levels. Arrows are fired by pulling back on the GamePad's right analogue stick, letting go to send them soaring – and aiming is a case of holding the controller up and pointing it in the direction of your enemies, taking out the sneaky campers that like to stand just out of your pals' reach. Swashbucklers on the other hand play out much like The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, with each swing of your Wii Remote being replicated on screen – and when some enemies carry shields that require you to swipe in a specific direction, you'll need to think before you swing, lest you'll end up with the stuffing knocked out of you rather than the other way round.

To be honest, we found the Zelda game to be pretty tough, even if it sounds like a good idea on paper. For starters, it simply doesn't work that well as a team - the archer ends up getting left behind with very little to do, while the Wii Remote wielders speed off swiping their way through half the battlefield. It also gets pretty hectic out on the battlefield, and less able players will find them depleting the team's stock of health hearts fairly rapidly – and when there seems to be a distinct lack of health pick ups scattered around levels, and your whole team shares a communal stock of health (a big no-no for a multiplayer game), you'll find your epic adventure gets cut short much sooner than you'd hoped. It's not a bad game, but probably one suited to more experienced players at the least.

Pikmin Adventure
Number of Players: 1 to 5

On the other hand, Pikmin is quite possibly our favourite Team game of the lot – it's easier to control than Metroid Blast and not as difficult as The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest, and seeing your Mii dressed up in a Captain Olimar/Pikmin suit is quite entertaining. Much like the games on which this attraction is based, Captain Olimar is the Supreme Pikmin Overlord, controlling a veritable army of the pint-sized creatures on the GamePad's Touch Screen, while the remaining Wii Remote players don Pikmin outfits and join in the smashing. Captain Olimar also has an additional power in the form of his whistle, with which he can quickly call every Pikmin to his side, including his multiplayer companions. Whether you use this power to save your friends from danger or simply to get on their nerves is up to you.

With some sixteen stages to complete, it's fairly lengthy for a minigame, too. Most levels simply involve making it to the Rocket at the end, smashing up blocks and beating up enemies along the way, although there is a little bit of strategy involved in taking down the bigger foes. You can also pick up orange blobs of nectar along the way which increase your character's level, making you pack a more powerful punch – or in the case of Olimar, granting him a few more Pikmin creatures to hurl. Perhaps the only downside is again that players all have a shared number of hearts, meaning that a single poor player could ruin it for the rest, although with plenty of health pick-ups along the way and the fact that the larger Pikmin can be revived again after being swallowed by a particularly peckish beast means it never seems quite as harsh as The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest can.

Metroid Blast
Number of Players: 1 to 5
Requires Wii Motion Plus and Nunchucks

Definitely one designed more for the more adept player, this final co-operative attraction is basically a shooter – up to four players wielding Wii Remotes and Nunchucks run around an arena, taking out all manner of space enemies from the ground, while the single GamePad player can soar through the skies raining down death from above. Thanks to the Wii Remote players' grapling hook, they can attach themselves to the base of the ship to be whisked away to safety – or just to work as a mobile turret. There's also a couple of competitive modes thrown in for good measure; one in which all the Wii Remote players work together to shoot down the GamePad player, and another in which the battle takes place solely on the ground with everyone duking it out with Wii Remotes and Nunchucks,

Piloting the ship with the GamePad can be problematic at times, especially as we struggle with dual analogue sticks at the best of times, let alone when motion-controlled aiming is added to the mix. It's also worth bearing in mind that for those newer to games, or even those used to playing these sorts of games on other consoles, the combination of Wii Remote to aim and Nunchuck to move can take a bit of getting used to (as our helpful test child proved). Once you've got everything straight in your head though, it's a pretty decent game to pass the time with.

Competitive Attractions

Mario Chase
Number of Players: 1 to 5

The runaway (almost literally) star of the show, Mario Chase is an addictive game for up to five players and is essentially a Mushroom Kingdom-themed hybrid of tag and hide and seek. While the four Wii Remote players get turned into the scourge of the Mushroom Kingdom (aka the little mushroom men, Toads), the player with the GamePad plays as everyone's favourite portly plumber, and must evade the other players for two and a half minutes. While the Toads have the advantage in terms of sheer numbers (and can work together to corner the other player), the lone Mario not only gets a ten second head start, but also has an overview of the entire course (and the location of the other players) on their GamePad screen, helping them avoid Toad-al annihilation. There's three different courses to chase each other round too, to help mix things up a bit – the slides on the third level have turned out to be a particular favourite here at Everybody Plays Towers.

Luigi's Ghost Mansion
Number of Players: 1 to 5

In a dark, dark town there was a dark, dark house, and in the dark, dark house down a dark, dark hall, some characters lived. There was a red Mii, a green Mii and a ghostly Mii – booooooo! Playing as a group of ghost hunters in a spooky mansion, the Wii Remote players need to try their best to find the ghostly GamePad player, shining their special torches on them enough times to defeat them without getting caught themselves. But there's a catch – being a ghost, the other player is mostly invisible, and the only warning players get of it's proximity is a tell-tale rumbling of their Remotes, so players will need to work together and watch eachothers' backs if they want to win. As for the GamePad player, they need to creep up behind the other players undetected to knock each one out in turn – if they manage to make them all faint, then the ghost has won.

Animal Crossing: Sweet Day
Number of Players: 1 to 5

If there's one thing Nintendo's brightly coloured anthropomorphic animals like, it's sweets. So much so it seems they've had to enlist the help of the town guards to protect their stock of sugary snacks– which quite literally seem to grow on trees. Up to four Wii Remote players control a selection of candy-coloured mammals who need to run around each course gobbling up as many gobstoppers as they can, storing them inside their comically enlarged noggins. For each sweet they pick up, their head swells and they start to move slower and slower – making them easier to catch by the GamePad player's pair of guards, each one controlled with a different analogue stick. Depending on the number of people playing, there's different rules that come into play – a GamePad player and single Wii Remote will default to the 'stash' rules, where you need to deposit your sweeties in silver bowls scattered around the course; add in any more Wii Remotes, and you'll find yourself playing by the 'carry' rules, whereby you need to pick up and hold on to a set number of sweets between you to win. While not quite as addictive as Mario Chase, it's still a thoroughly enjoyable game – and hilariously disorientating for a non-ambidextrous player on the GamePad, although we would have liked an extra third course to compete on.

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