This is a neat title from Platinum Games, the folks behind MadWorld, Bayonetta, and Vanquish. In it, you control of gang of violence-minded freaks (one wears a toilet on his head) and face a series of powerful enemies. While I didn't have nearly enough time to master the control scheme, it seems that your group moves and attacks mostly as a big blob; by landing blows, you fill a meter that can be used to execute powerful moves (such as using your team to create a big gun or fist). I'd need more time with it before I could outright recommend it, but it's definitely a game to watch out for.
New Super Mario Bros. U
Judging by the demo, this will be a fitting follow-up to the excellent Wii game. Unfortunately, aside from the upgraded graphics and a couple of new Mario forms (including a flying squirrel), it's not much different.
NSMBU is easily the most try-hard attempt to implement the features of the new controller. If you're not one of the main players (who can easily be controlled by a Wiimote turned sideways, NES-style), all you can really do is draw blocks on the screen. This can help or hurt your fellow players, and it might be fun in a very casual setting, but it doesn't really add to the game much.
This game is long-awaited—and awesome, judging by the demo. The graphics are amazing, and the classic gameplay is intact, along with some new twists (such as Rock Pikmin, a new breed that smashes through tough surfaces). Unfortunately, the demo was Wiimote-only, so it's not clear what the tablet will bring to the table, except for the option to watch replays of each match on the small screen.
Game & Wario
This is a child-centric minigame compilation. I only got to try one of the games, one where you point the tablet at the screen like a camera and take pictures of suspects in an investigation. It did a good enough job of illustrating the motion controls of the Wii U, but it was an extremely simple game. Not a bad choice if you're hoping to entertain some kids.
All in all, I was more impressed by the Wii U than I expected to be. It seems that Nintendo is trying to repeat the success it had with the Wii by sticking to the formula: Don't worry too much about being more powerful than the competition, focus on doing something that they're not, and appeal to casual gamers. If the Wii U launches at a reasonable price point, plenty of families will find it to be a great buy for the holidays.
But meanwhile, hardcore gamers will have to guess as to the console's third-party support going forward and decide how badly they want to play Nintendo's first-party titles. And I'm still not crazy about that controller.
Date: June 29, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central. This week's is also purely a work of fiction*