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Wii U: Ninjas slay walking dead

Dec 4, 2012

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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ZombiUNintendo’s latest gaming console, the Wii U, is one of the very pleasant surprises this holiday season. And with any new console comes a library of launch titles aimed at satisfying everyone from your Aunt Mildred to your brother Michael who spent 4 fours along on creating his Mii. In the first in a series of articles, we play through the Wii U launch library and give you our take on the good and the bad.

ZombiU

Zombies are the convenient punching bags of the modern gaming era. Parents, advocacy groups, nobody minds if you do unspeakable things to undead creatures because, well, they’re already dead. This explains why so many franchises have adopted some sort of “zombie mode” and why there are more zombie games than extras in any George Romero undead movie.

With this kind of competition, if you are gonna make a zombie game these days, it better be killer…in all the right ways. ZombiU is not. Like the rotted corpses shambling through its streets, ZombiU has no original thought or creativity.

Replicating the original survival horror genre really badly, ZombiU’s plot is about as hackneyed as its gameplay. An undead plague has infected London and a group of survivors have sought shelter in the doomsday bunker of a mysterious figure named The Prepper. It is this faceless voice who guides you on all of your missions through the sewers of London and beyond.

ZombiU Armed mostly with just a cricket bat because guns are so hard to come by, you tee off on zombies as you turn on generators, scan security cameras and generally do everything The Prepper commands you to do no matter how dull and boring almost all of the tasks are.

Forget about the head-shot technique. No dice in ZombiU’s world. Apparently these zombies are of the extra strength variety or just have really hard heads because it takes numerous blows to finish them off and the Wii U gamepad don’t make that easy. You must first ready your attack with the left trigger and then swing away with the right. If you don’t hold the left trigger long enough, you will just cross check the undead back a few steps.

One or two of the creatures are bad enough. When encountering a horde, it is best to lure and dispatch them one by one. As you can imagine, this sure and safe strategy chews up a lot of time and since you are stuck with that darned cricket bat for the majority of the game, ZombiU is more like extended batting practice than an action game.

ZombiU ZombiU’s one curious device is you will switch to a new character if you die. The former character becomes a zombie with all of your items in its backpack. This may sound intriguing but having to find your way back to the quest area, recover your inventory again and again is no fun at all.

The Wii U gamepad should have been the star of ZombiU but it isn’t. It serves as your inventory screen, map, and area scanner and on the rare occasion, a sniper rifle sight. All in all, it is just a distraction. The forced interaction just slows down an already dawdling adventure.

The local multiplayer option with a survivor facing off against a zombie king marshalling his troops is a great diversion however it doesn’t offset the uninspiring campaign. You had better like beating zombies about the head because that is what you will be doing for hours and hours.

 

ZombiU ZombiU
Format: Nintendo Wii U
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier
ESRB Rating: M for Mature
Official Site: http://zombiu.ubi.com/
Rating: 4 / 10

 

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s EdgeNintendo’s latest gaming console, the Wii U, is one of the very pleasant surprises this holiday season. And with any new console comes a library of launch titles aimed at satisfying everyone from your Aunt Mildred to your brother Michael who spent 4 fours along on creating his Mii. In the first in a series of articles, we play through the Wii U launch library and give you our take on the good and the bad.

ZombiU

Zombies are the convenient punching bags of the modern gaming era. Parents, advocacy groups, nobody minds if you do unspeakable things to undead creatures because, well, they’re already dead. This explains why so many franchises have adopted some sort of “zombie mode” and why there are more zombie games than extras in any George Romero undead movie.

With this kind of competition, if you are gonna make a zombie game these days, it better be killer…in all the right ways. ZombiU is not. Like the rotted corpses shambling through its streets, ZombiU has no original thought or creativity.

Replicating the original survival horror genre really badly, ZombiU’s plot is about as hackneyed as its gameplay. An undead plague has infected London and a group of survivors have sought shelter in the doomsday bunker of a mysterious figure named The Prepper. It is this faceless voice who guides you on all of your missions through the sewers of London and beyond.

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge Armed mostly with just a cricket bat because guns are so hard to come by, you tee off on zombies as you turn on generators, scan security cameras and generally do everything The Prepper commands you to do no matter how dull and boring almost all of the tasks are.

Forget about the head-shot technique. No dice in ZombiU’s world. Apparently these zombies are of the extra strength variety or just have really hard heads because it takes numerous blows to finish them off and the Wii U gamepad don’t make that easy. You must first ready your attack with the left trigger and then swing away with the right. If you don’t hold the left trigger long enough, you will just cross check the undead back a few steps.

One or two of the creatures are bad enough. When encountering a horde, it is best to lure and dispatch them one by one. As you can imagine, this sure and safe strategy chews up a lot of time and since you are stuck with that darned cricket bat for the majority of the game, ZombiU is more like extended batting practice than an action game.

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge ZombiU’s one curious device is you will switch to a new character if you die. The former character becomes a zombie with all of your items in its backpack. This may sound intriguing but having to find your way back to the quest area, recover your inventory again and again is no fun at all.

The Wii U gamepad should have been the star of ZombiU but it isn’t. It serves as your inventory screen, map, and area scanner and on the rare occasion, a sniper rifle sight. All in all, it is just a distraction. The forced interaction just slows down an already dawdling adventure.

The local multiplayer option with a survivor facing off against a zombie king marshalling his troops is a great diversion however it doesn’t offset the uninspiring campaign. You had better like beating zombies about the head because that is what you will be doing for hours and hours.

 

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge
Format: Nintendo Wii U
Publisher: Nintendo, Tecmo
Developer: Team Ninja
ESRB Rating: M for Mature
Official Site: http://ninjagaiden3.nintendo.com/
Rating: 7.5 / 10

 

 
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