With E3 2013 pretty much wrapped up and we’re slowly digesting the deluge of news items on new games and consoles, there were select Best Buys that featured Wii U demos from E3 2013.
The games demos that were featured were Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD. During the time I was at the demo station, I got to view people playing all four games and got to demo Wind Waker HD. As I approached the demo area, there was already a substantial crowd waiting and it took me about 90-100 minutes to move my way up the queue to try out one game. But before then, I’ll talk about what I saw with demos played by others at this event.
Super Mario 3D World looked very similar to 3D land, minus the fact that Princess Peach was playable, which I think was really neat, though I did not get a chance to have hands on time with this game. The newly announced Cat suit requires you to pick up the Bell item to use the powerup. The Cat suit allows you to run up walls and there are sections of walls with arrows pointing up or down that will either speed or slow you down.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze plays much like Donkey Cong Country Returns. I didn’t expect too much with this game, but the visuals are nice and crisp and controls seem to be quite responsive.
Mario Kart 8 was by far the most popular title at this demo location. From the perspective I was at, controls on the Wii U GamePad was fine, but the same problem with Mario Kart Wii arose with the Wiimote only option, where most players overcompensated while turning. I am really hoping that this game will be able to be controlled using the Wii U Pro Controller alongside other analog controllers. Besides that, It seemed to me that Mario Kart 8 operated much like the Wii version with uprezzed models and mechanics from Mario Kart 7. All in all, it should be another solid installment in the Mario Kart franchise.
Last but not least is the Wind Waker HD demo. There were twol levels one could choose from: Outset Island and Helmaroc King Battle. I had previously viewed Outset Island as another player had tried it out, and the visuals look gorgeous and smooth. There is now a transparency in the sails that was notthere in the Gamecube version. When it was my turn to demo the game, I went for the Helmarock King Battle. Basing it on my experience with the Gamecube version, I definitely welcomed the change in controller. The grapple hook and arrows were much easier and faster with the gyro controls. The feathers coming off the Helmaroc do stay on the stage during the battle, which I think is a great touch to the atmosphere for the game and being in HD makes everything look well polished too. This just might get me to boot up Wind Waker on my Wii to replay it before it’s re-release. All in all, from first impressions, it’ll be another title I’ll be picking up.
All in all, these demo days are a great way to create buzz for new systems and games if they’re advertised properly, especially when you see someone walking out the store with a brand new Wii U Deluxe.