A Second Look at the Wii U’s Lineup

A lot of people felt deflated after Nintendo’s media briefing on Tuesday, but it’s starting to look like their major fault at this year’s E3 was just the briefing itself. It took a second look at the Wii U’s launch lineup to actually make me think about getting one sometime within the next 12 months.

The system’s launch window list actually has at least four or five games that I might want to play, which is more than I can say for most platform launches. It has at least a few more games that I’m sure will sell a ton of copies. The problem is that Nintendo made it so you have to actually look for them.

One of the games that may have been the most disserved by the briefing is Zombie U. From the name and target render video I was sure it would be this generation’s Red Steel – a throwaway game that get’s way more attention than it should because of the veritable vacuum around it. Some more information and a real gameplay demo have flipped my opinion almost 180 degrees.

For starters, Zombie U looks truer to the survival horror genre than Resident Evil 6 or Dead Space 3. It looks like almost the only “real” survival horror game I’ve seen on a console this generation, and people are comparing it to roguelikes and that DayZ mod for ArmA II. There’s an emphasis on low supplies, one bite from a zombie will kill you, and every time you die you have to start a new character. The footage linked above looks quite promising. Oh, and it’s in development at Ubisoft Montipiler – the studio responsible for Rayman Origins that is supposedly working on Beyond Good & Evil 2 and Rayman Legends, which, as we saw at the Ubisoft conference, also looks incredible.

One thing that really shocked me is that the next game from Platinum Games and director Hideki Kamiya (Viewtiful Joe, Okami, Bayonetta), is a Wii U exclusive. Tentatively called “Project P-100”, I have no idea what I’m looking at in these videos but it looks fun, and neither Platinum nor Kamiya has let me down yet. Whether or not this came comes out in 2012 will severely impact my decision to buy a Wii U or not.

I think we also need to observe the fact that the Wii U will be the first Nintendo console since the N64 with a full-blown Mario game in its launch window – and at a time when Mario is selling more than ever. The New Super Mario games are selling in the tens of millions of copies and we saw how 3D Land finally helped the 3DS pick up sales. New Super Mario Bros U will be the ideal killer app right out of the gate. I don’t think anyone doubts that it will be a good platformer.

Also, judging from comments and interviews from the show floor, I’m not sure the Wii U’s entire launch window lineup has even been revealed. Activision gave a “no comment” response when asked about Call of Duty, and EA confirmed that there were some sports games for the Wii U on the way (and I’m honestly interested in what EA sports games might be like on the Wii U’s controller), though we don’t know of what nature. Nintendo is still holding some of its cards for the next nine months close to the chest, much to our distress.


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