Same game, bigger screen.
If you, like me (and Neal) purchased and enjoyed Xeodrifter on the 3DS last year, you should check your Wii U downloads list—you’ll get Xeodrifter for free. Similarly, if you buy Xeodrifter on the Wii U, you’ll get the 3DS version for free. If it’s your first time through Xeodrifter, you should definitely check out Neal’s excellent review, which I wholeheartedly endorse and echo. What will you be getting on the Wii U? That’s what I’m here to tell you.
I figured the game would be similar to the two-screen setup of the 3DS: your TV displays the game itself, and the GamePad displays the subscreen, which includes the map, your list of acquired powers, and your weapon customization tool. I was surprised to find that wasn’t the case, though, and the GamePad simply displays what’s on your TV. Press Start brings up the subscreen. This is both understandable (Off-TV Play) and discouraging (constantly bringing up the map). I feel like there was probably a way to include both options—as there is in other games with an optional two-screen setup—so I’m not real happy that both aren’t included here.
However, with that said, the game doesn’t look fabulous on my 51” plasma. As happens with strongly pixelated games like this one, a smaller screen does it better, and I enjoyed Xeodrifter much more on the GamePad than on my TV. I would argue that it actually looks better on the GamePad’s screen than it does on my 3DS XL—that screen seems to provide a Goldilocks-like “just right” size for this particular game (I wonder if the same holds true for Mutant Mudds).
Xeodrifter (Wii U) is otherwise the same game you loved on 3DS, including all pros and cons. You’re still fighting the same boss six times, and you’re still bravely trekking back with no health pickups after boss encounters. There’s still a little too much reliance on invisible passageways to find all the health and weapon upgrades. When I’m hugging every wall in hopes to fall through it, I’m not having a great time. The game’s difficulty curve is decidedly Kid Icarus-ian in that the early stuff is brutal but after you pick up a few heart tanks and weapon customizers (go big and fast or go home) things get much easier.
I highly recommend Xeodrifter no matter what system you get it on—and by getting it on one, you’ll automatically have it on both. It’s a win-win!