Tech News on G4
Wii U: The pen is mightier than the Rabbid
Dec 17, 2012
By John Powell - G4 Canada
Nintendo'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 second in a series of articles, we play through the Wii U launch library and give you our take on the good and the bad.
Imagination is a powerful tool and Scribblenauts Unlimited for the Wii U will give yours a serious workout.
Maxwell, our diminutive hero, was given a magical notebook by his parents. In it, he can create any object he desires by simply writing the word down. Maxwell plays a prank on a hungry old man by conjuring up a rotten apple to give to him. Not a smart move. The old man curses Maxwell's sister. Slowly but surely, she is turning to stone. To reduce the process, Maxwell must complete good deeds and collect Starites.
The good deeds (or puzzles) include such things as helping a young girl by rescuing her cat from a tree. To do so, Maxwell must create a ladder, climb the tree, pet the cat to put it in a good mood, pick it up and carry it to safety. The tasks are not only challenging (even by adult standards sometimes) but also promote good behavior. If you decide to do something mean such as create a tank and splatter people, there are consequences for your actions. No Starlites for you.
That is the marvellous thing about Scribblenauts: you can do almost anything in its world. You can fashion objects to drop into the world, to use yourself, give to other people or to interact, attach to other objects. Want to create Nintendo's Mario? Just write his name in the notebook and he appears. Want wings so you can fly? Just open the notebook and scribble away. Want to give a girl a bouquet of flowers or a farmer a shovel so he can complete his work? Just use the notebook. Although there is a campaign to play and a story to follow, almost everything and anything is interactive.
Unlike the other Scribblenaut games, Unlimited has a Super Mario Brothers-like map screen where players can choose which path to take. You will visit sprawling cities, amusement parks and country farms. The Wii U version also has a co-operative multiplayer mode, so parents can play with their children.
Focusing on puzzles and writing skills, Scribblenauts Unlimited is one of the best children's games of 2012. Created for kids but surprisingly enjoyable for adults as well, the Scribblenauts experience is only limited by the creativity of its players.
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive
Those crazy Rabbids are back and this time their return isn't so welcome. Rabbids Land, a multiplayer party game for the Wii U, borrows so much from titles you have played before you have to wonder why the developers even bothered.
While the other games in the Rabbids series were hilarious and ingenious, Land just falls flat. It does utilize all of the Wii U GamePad's functionality but the board game vehicle used to access the interactive mini-games is just insanely dull. Considering all the things your game console is capable of doing these days, there is nothing fun about watching your friends or family roll dice and move around a virtual board.
The mini-games themselves are passable. The Land gimmick is putting both controllers to use; two players interacting at once like Nintendoland. You may have to bounce Rabbids to safety while the other player tries to stop you. You may have to steal priceless jewels while the other player chases you down. As this is happening though, the third or fourth players are left to sit and admire the pretty lights on their controllers.
Party games where players spend most of it sitting and counting ceiling tiles while they await their next turn are not anyone's idea of a good time. Rabbids Land is one party you might want to skip.
About G4 in Canada
G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.