WiiU

North America

Wii Party U

by Guillaume Veillette - June 19, 2013, 8:01 am PDT
Total comments: 8

GamePad games make for a bigger, more fun party. (Updated with off-screen video)

Snubbed by some party games fans because it didn't have Mario in the title, Wii Party on the Wii console was a very fun game with deeper, more interactive games than is usual in this genre. Not content with having players mash a button or rotate a control stick as quickly as they could, the mini-games would have you try to deceive your opponents, or use the Wii Remote in some novel ways to offer games that could be played around the house and not just on the television.

Many of these same mini-games are back with new twists and new coats of paint in Wii Party U, along with some new ones with their own twists that show up, but the E3 demo centered more around games that use the GamePad. Those GamePad games are a blast.

The first game I tried instructed the player using the GamePad to adopt a specific expression. In my case: "You are about to buy a car". I made my best pensive "should I buy this?" face and hit the shoulder button to snap the picture. My face then appeared on the television and the others had to guess the face I was making. Unfortunately for me, all of the choices involved "is considering buying..." so it wasn't the slam dunk I was hoping for. My "I would buy this at a high price" expression had to be more specific, but how does a "I would like this buy this car" face differ from a "I would like to buy this soda" face, I ask you?

I then passed the GamePad to someone else and had to decide if he was "about to surprise a friend" or "showing his molars". Guessing correctly would give 10 points to myself and the player with the GamePad, so it is always in your best interest to be as expressive as possible. However, purposefully guessing incorrectly can be part of your strategy if you are leading in points, and Wii Party U is rife with opportunities like this one to screw with other player by sacrificing a few points.

Another four player game, Operation: Sandbox, gave a giant tank with several hit points and one-shot kills to the player with the GamePad, and smaller tanks to everyone else. The giant tank has more cumbersome controls, with the two analog sticks assigned to their respective tank threads, while the smaller tanks are more agile and easier to control. The cannonballs that are fired actually roll on the ground, so you can use the slopes of the sand dunes to curve your shots.

There is also a selection of GamePad-only games. Two players look down at the screen and use their analog stick to control the action. I played simple foosball and tabletop baseball matches this way which were very fun. Other games, such as a marble maze, involve tilting the GamePad, requiring cooperation.

There are a lot of different modes offering various ways to string mini-games together (including a board game) that I didn't get to explore, but jumping from one game to the next in Free Play was fun enough. The scores weren't carried over from one game to the next in this demo (we kept switching people and Miis anyway), but I was assured that there are persistent stats in the game. It does track which games a specific Mii has played the most, for how long, etc.

Wii Party U does not offer online play. While I can understand the absence of simultaneous multiplayer online to a point, not even being able to send a challenge on a specific mini-game to a friend seems like a missed opportunity to me. The only online feature is the most basic form of Miiverse integration, where you can post the outcome of a game and have people comment on it. It does not appear that the imagination displayed in the mini-games' design carried over to Wii Party U's Miiverse features.

Still, there is no doubt in my mind that Wii Party U is going to be one of the best party games on the system. Look forward to its release this fall.

Talkback

KhushrenadaJune 12, 2013

Quote:

how does a "I would like this buy this car" face differ from a "I would like to buy this soda" face, I ask you?

I would like to buy this soda is a facial expression of indifference.

I would like to buy this car is a facial expression of trepidation, uncertainty and resignation.

lukas85June 13, 2013

i never thought this had any potential, but actually it could be pretty fun, nintendo needs to advertise the hell out of games like this and wii fit u, if they want the same succes as wii

KeyBillyJune 13, 2013

I don't think I'll have many opportunities to play games like this, but it sounds like good fun.  If it is a bargain price, it would be nice just for the holidays when family members are around.

jarodeaJune 14, 2013

It looks fun, and I'd love it,... if I knew enough people who gamed and could swing by for at least semi-regular party nights.

Quote:

Snubbed by some party games fans because it didn't have Mario in the title

That was me. 

jarodeaJune 14, 2013

Also, this:

Quote:

Another four player game, Operation: Sandbox, gave a giant tank with several hit points and one-shot kills to the player with the GamePad, and smaller tanks to everyone else. The giant tank has more cumbersome controls, with the two analog sticks assigned to their respective tank threads, while the smaller tanks are more agile and easier to control. The cannonballs that are fired actually roll on the ground, so you can use the slopes of the sand dunes to curve your shots.

needs to be an eShop game called Nintendo Combat.  I would buy it in a heartbeat for $8 or less.

azekeJune 16, 2013

For people who grew up on Nintendo and their Mario brands seeing party series disconnected from Mario is a turnoff.
But for people who don't know much about Nintendo, Wii-series is just so much more appealing than rather eclectic in your face and weird Mario universe. Some people will be turned off by perception that Mario is for kids or just after seeing too many colorful things or listening to screechy and high-pitched cartoony voices.
Wii Party and Wii Sports, in contrast, are very unassuming. Yes, it's sterile and safe. But that's the point.
It looks like infomercial. It sounds like some sitcom intro. Nothing offputting, nothing too weird or kiddy.
Wii Party was the big hit among my friends, most of them have never even seen a console game before.
I'm excited for new game and disappointed that it got delayed.

Mop it upJune 16, 2013

Quote from: azeke

For people who grew up on Nintendo and their Mario brands seeing party series disconnected from Mario is a turnoff.

Interestingly enough, I haven't found this to be the case. Even people I know who never owned a gaming system before the Wii prefer Mario Party to Wii Party.

Leo13September 25, 2013

Newegg has this game bundle with the gampad stand and controller for $39.99 and you can get another 10% off
http://wiiudaily.com/2013/09/newegg-wii-party-u-pre-order/

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Wii Party U Box Art

Developer Nintendo

Worldwide Releases

na: Wii Party U
Release Oct 25, 2013
PublisherNintendo
RatingEveryone
jpn: Wii Party U
Release Oct 31, 2013
PublisherNintendo
RatingAll Ages
eu: Wii Party U
Release Oct 25, 2013
PublisherNintendo
aus: Wii Party U
Release Oct 26, 2013
PublisherNintendo
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