Wii Party U Review for Wii U

Wii Party U Review for Wii U

Wii Party U Brings the Party to You

The word “party” means different things to different people. For example, my party checklist normally includes too much food, age appropriate beverages (depending on the type of party), and things that explode and/or catch on fire. While I have found this formula to be wildly successful and entertaining, I must submit that there are other types of parties. They may not be as fun, but that just boils down to personal preference.

When I first sat down (or stood up as the case may be) to play Wii Party U , I immediately noticed the plethora of options available. There are three major modes–House Party, TV Party, and GamePad Party. Each mode is a little different, offering a different experience. For instance, TV Party pits your fellow partygoers and you against each other in a board game-style setting where you have to roll for the number of spaces you can move. But instead of simply rolling dice, each player is challenged with one of the many mini-games that make up the bulk of Wii Party U . It could be simply stopping a wheel on a number, blowing darts (literally blowing) at balloons via the GamePad, or firing an arrow at a carousel of numbers to achieve your roll score.

But the diversity of the mini-games doesn’t stop there. Wii Party U gets a little innovative with its controls. There are several instances where you have to turn the GamePad away from you and complete puzzles backwards. You may land on a square that will give you a shortcut, kick you back a couple spaces, or pit you in a challenge against the other player for extra moves. These challenges also draw from the immense library of mini-games included with Wii Party U , but there are so many you will rarely see the same mini in any one session. In short, the TV Party mode captures all of the triumph and pitfalls of a real board game, without the monotony of sitting around a table.

Each of these game sessions will take you about 45 minutes to complete, so if you aren’t prepared to commit that sort of time to one game mode, you might have to try something else. Luckily for you, Wii Party U has plenty more to explore.

House Party mode takes a different approach. Games in this mode are more akin to a game show, and players must compete in mini-games that determine the order of play. One of my favorites from Wii Party U is “Ball Dozer,” so I’ll use it as an example. “Ball Dozer” is a take on the popular coin-dropping games from old arcades. Basically, you drop up to four balls (depending on how you place in the mini-game) onto a platform of other balls. The balls you drop will force balls from the upper platform to a lower platform, and from the lower platform into the scoring bucket. After each round, you will have to play a different mini-game to determine your placement in the order of play, which also determines how many balls you drop.

Wii Party U Screenshot

This is just a simple example, but the diversity of play in these games is excellent. Using the game that the players choose as the core of the experience, Wii Party U injects fun mini-games to break up what would become tedious and boring. This keeps the game fresh and enjoyable.

Of course, there is still much more to do. If you feel like playing Wii Party U without your TV, you can switch to GamePad Party. This mode allows you to go head-to-head with one other player via the GamePad controller. Or, if you just want to play your favorite mini-game, you can simply select one and play to your heart’s content

Wii Party U Screenshot

There are so many different games in Wii Party U that I can’t possibly tell you about them all. While I have found some “go-to” games within the game itself, I have yet to find any game in Wii Party U that isn’t fun. Obviously, some are more fun than others, but that’s the nature of the beast.

While the gameplay of Wii Party U shines, the audio-visual qualities pale in comparison. However, I will say this–graphics and audio have clearly taken a backseat to fun, which is always the right choice. But I couldn’t help but think that the graphics could have been better. Honestly, Wii Party U looks like a Wii game with HD graphics. Visually, the game is sufficient for what it’s trying to achieve, but it doesn’t hide the fact that we are supposed to be in the “next generation” of consoles, and this game doesn’t look “next-gen.” That being said, the visuals that are displayed are clean and well rendered. I didn’t notice any hiccups in framerate (nor should I have) or any other visual stability.

Wii Party U Screenshot

Sadly, the audio of Wii Party U is just as ambient as its visuals. Sure, they are sufficient and are by no means subpar, but the audio lacks any real flavor whatsoever. They’re just a bland background of sounds and stock music to keep you from having to play the game in total silence. It is typical Nintendo fare, audio you can probably find in previous Wii Party games or other first-party games. Again, I don’t think that the audio is poorly done. It’s just capable of filling its role and nothing more.

Wii Party U ’s strongest asset is the ability to weave its smorgasbord of mini-games into the other game modes seamlessly. With the amount of games included on this disc, the gameplay is always varied, and you rarely have the same experience twice. Add to that the ability to play without your TV on the GamePad, and you have a versatile title that is simple to pick up and play for gamers of all ages.

So even though Wii Party U doesn’t contain any of my normal ingredients for a killer party, it certainly has the potential to create some fun times with family and friends. Who knows? Maybe I can add this to the list of party necessities in the future. Wii Party U definitely has the diversity to be enjoyed by anyone, and racing a zebra, a rhino, and a giraffe while inebriated could turn out to be the stuff of legend.

This looks like an original Wii game, with HD graphics. 4.5 Control
Nintendo’s motion control system works great. With the addition of the GamePad to the mix, it creates an interesting, varied, and functional control scheme. 3.5 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Sound and music are sufficient. 4.0 Play Value
There is a ton of fun stuff to do in this game. Nintendo is the master of the party game. 3.8 Overall Rating – Good
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.

Review Rating Legend
0.1 – 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 – 2.9 = Average 3.5 – 3.9 = Good 4.5 – 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 – 2.4 = Poor 3.0 – 3.4 = Fair 4.0 – 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Everyone at the party competes with his or her own Mii characters in a medley of party games.
  • Experience new ways to play with others using the Wii U GamePad. For example, in “Lost-and-Found Square,” imagine you are the person holding the GamePad and you are lost in a playground. Your goal is to describe your surroundings based on what you see on the GamePad in order to help the other players find your location.
  • Post your impressions of game sessions to Miiverse. You can rate your performance by adding a one- to five-star ranking after the match is over.
  • When you want to leave the TV behind, you can choose to play exclusively on the Wii U GamePad with an array of 15 tabletop games, ranging from foosball to baseball, for two-player competitive and cooperative play.
  • In addition to the main games that everyone can play together, there are 80 mini-games that can be played on your own. These include the Tabletop Mini-game that can be played with the Wii U GamePad only.

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