Wii U: Nintendo Land, Competitive play
One of my sons and I sat down to play some of the multi-player games in Nintendo Land. I was most anxious to try Luigi’s Ghost Mansion as it just sounded like fun! I had the game pad and he had a wii mote … that meant he was a ghost catcher and I was the ghost. The ghost uses the screen on the game pad so he can move around without the ghost catcher seeing where he is, though there are clues and pitfalls to that. There are windows in each room and from time to time, light shines in through the windows lighting up parts of the maze-like set up of each room. If the ghost is running through a section that is suddenly lit up, the ghost catcher will see the ghost on the television screen while the light is active. Also, there are AI controlled ghost catchers, assuming because there were only two of us (out of five) playing. These AI ghost catchers will spin in circles with their lights shining to alert the other ghost catchers that the ghost is near. The ghost catchers, both human and AI controlled, catch the ghost by shining a light on the ghost. Players need to grab battery packs along the way to keep their flashlight going. The ghost, in order to win, has to sneak up on the ghost catcher and (it looked like) surprise him with a hug. Takes three catches/sneaks to win.
Sounds very simple and straight forward and, for the most part, it is. I think ghost catchers have a CLEAR advantage, not just because of the AI ones who spin their flashing lights in an alarm of sorts, but because the rooms get crowded with so many ghost catchers and the ‘magic’ a ghost can use to drain the batteries of the catchers flashlights makes him visible. That’s on top of the window light shining on half of the pathways in each room. I did manage to catch my son a few times but I don’t think I ever won a round. Another of my sons asked if I’d have more fun if the game would cheat for me … think I said yes. Winning is always more fun and after playing for quite some time, I would have taken a win via cheating. I think. It’s a cute game but feels stacked for the ghost catchers.
Mario Chase proved more fun, for me, as I was able to win a round or two of that game. My son played as Toad whose objective was to chase Mario around a maze-like structure and catch him. Toad has a couple of Yoshi carts with paralyzing tongues to help slow Mario (me) down if they come within range. This was fun for a few rounds and although Toad caught Mario more than Mario escaped being caught, I didn’t feel the game was stacked against Mario. Matter of fact, I almost felt like I was cheating when I grabbed the invincibility star in the center of the course to keep my son at bay for a bit.
Then we played Animal Crossing. I’ve heard great things about this game, that it’s fun, cute and entertaining. I wonder if there’s another version of Animal Crossing as it didn’t quite live up to the hype for me. It was a little fun but I think I’d have preferred a split screen on the television rather than the game pad screen vrs the tv. There were times I couldn’t find my son at all and controlling two ‘guards’, one with each joystick on the game pad comes with a learning curve to say the least. I’ve been sick and by the time we started playing this one I really didn’t feel good. Very well could have clouded my experience.
Hopefully we’ll all be over whatever this sickness is that’s pervaded the Moonbeam household the next time we decide to play the multi-player games!