We are only two and a half weeks away from the launch of Wii U! Retail stores are starting to get Wii U demo stations for consumers to try out. My local Best Buy and GameStop both have the demo station, though reports of Target stores receiving them as well are appearing. Here’s a video look at the Wii U demo station at Best Buy…
As the video shows, the demo stations include one Wii U GamePad and one Wii Remote/Nunchuk combo. This allows for co-op play in the only demo currently available: Rayman Legends. I talk extensively in my hands-on at the Wii U Experience in DC about what the controller felt like, but to summarize it’s definitely massive but very comfortable. But I want to also add more impressions on Rayman Legends since I couldn’t capture any video footage of it at the demo station (sorry, I don’t have enough hands).
I played Rayman Legends briefly at the Wii U Experience event, but I only got to use the Wii U Pro Controller while the rep used the GamePad. This time around, I played solo. There were two levels you could play. The first was a platforming level. Not too far into the level I found Murphy, the character that you control with the GamePad. It was at that point that the game asked me to look at the GamePad and I controlled Murphy there, while the other character was AI-controlled. The TV screen showed the same view, but it was of course easier to look at the GamePad since you had to touch the screen.
I was tapping fireballs to get rid of them, holding back enemies so Rayman could defeat them, and helping move platforms around. But the coolest use of the GamePad involved rotating it and guiding Rayman through a spiky maze. This took me multiple tries at first, but once I got the hang of it, it felt great and was interesting. Once I completed the level, it was on to the second. This level involved rhythm platforming and you looked at the TV screen the whole time. You held down the ZR button to run while holding the analog stick to the right to move. You had to use B to jump over obstacles and Y to kick enemies. Pretty simple, but entertaining. Unfortunately, Best Buy had the volume low so the music was hard to hear. But I got to play this afterwards at GameStop and I could hear it clearly. The music was awesome and got me into the game even more.
All in all, Rayman Legends looked great and was fun to play. I was afraid it would be too reliant on co-op since I usually won’t have anyone to play co-op with, but the single player with an AI-controlled computer at your side worked well and was still fun. Hopefully they add more demos to the Wii U demo stations soon. The rest of the games only had videos, or in the case of M-rated titles, just screenshots. But I’ll keep checking back and report on any new demos as they appear. So head on out to your local stores and see if they have a Wii U demo station, it’s definitely worth a try!