Jaded, cynical, a big fat loser. Those are all words that come to mind when I think about my knee jerk reaction to Nintendo’s press conference earlier today. Simply put, the Wii U, and more specifically, Nintendo Land needs to be played before it is understood. Although the game is indeed a mini-game collection, there was just a magic about using the Wii U GamePad for the first time in new and unique ways never before seen on a console game.
Take for example Luigi’s Mansion: Haunted Hijinks. Out of all the Nintendo Land mini-games on display at this year’s show, Haunted Hijinks was the most compelling reason to want to own the compilation. Think of Haunted Hijinks as a super evolution of Pac-Man, but 100% better.
Basically, one player acts as the ghost, and will be using the GamePad. On the touch screen the player is able to see his opponent’s position inside the mansion maze, but they are not able to see the ghost unless he is illuminated. To win as a ghost, you must down all four of the other players before time is up.
The four other players take the role of Mii’s with flashlights, and control using Wii Remotes. Their objective is to stay alive while the player contolling the ghost is actively pursuing their Mii. The only way to find the ghost is to use the flashlight, which will put a counter on top of the ghost. The number will reach zero after the ghost has been lit up so many times, at which point the Mii characters will win the game.
There is quite a bit of stratagy involved in Haunted Hijinks for both the ghost and the Mii characters. For one, downed Miis can be revived by their Mii teammates if the flashlight is shined on their downed bodies. As the light is shining on the Mii, a heart will fill up and eventually will allow you to continue on with the other Miis. There are also batteries to collect to refill your flashlight power, as well as a super-flashlight item that will be incredibly effective on the ghost, and the other downed Miis.
As a ghost, hiding from your opponents is pivitol, because you will only be visible by the other Miis if they are directly in front of you with their light on. You can push a button to ‘dash’ but when doing so you will be visible to everyone. When I played the ghost, my strategy was to create a graveyard of sorts because when a Mii is captured, you can pick them up and move them around a bit before they go to a downed state. It was very easy to weed everyone out once I had a few downed Miis in a nice little pile.
Haunted Hijinks will most certainly stand out as one of the better games in the Nintendo Land collection, and I can’t wait to get more hands on time with it.