Wii Party U Hands-On Impressions – Party Phil, Please, Marry Me
Some games may be a lot more fun while you are drunk. One of those games is probably going to be Wii Party U. In the time Yamilia and I had with the game, we were shown a few different mini-games that employed the various ways to play with the Nintendo Wii U, from using any combination of the television, the GamePad, and even the camera on the GamePad. At some point, everyone in the room agreed that, yes, this game would be hilarious if alcohol were involved. Wii Party U is just shaping up to be that kind of game, if the mini-games we got to try were any indication. Still, that is no basis for whether or not it’s an excellent all-around party game. Let’s see whether or not this is a party worth going to.
The first mini-game we got to play was a tank game appropriately named “TANK! TANK! TANK!” in which up to three people can operate fast little tanks with the Wii Remote, while one person operates a much larger, slower, and more intimidating tank with the GamePad. In this 3 vs. 1, every tank can shoot these spiked cannonballs to shoot down the enemy. Teamwork plays a vital role as the 3 small tanks must operate like a unit and strategize a way to whittle away at the giant tank’s health. The giant tank does have one huge advantage to make up for its severe lack of speed: the GamePad gives a third-person view of the battlefield, which helps a lot.
The game was fun enough (Yamilia even fired me in the heat of battle because I won), but it felt a pretty imbalanced as that third-person view on the GamePad helped a little too much. Basically, every person that played as the giant tank was more or less guaranteed to win. If Nintendo were to give the small tanks just two little hearts, or piece of health, rather than making them blast off in one hit, it would really round out the whole mini-game, making it a solid and fair fight. Regardless, it was still plenty of fun.
The next game we all played together where players take turns using the GamePad to take a picture of themselves following an on-screen prompt and making everyone else guess what the prompt was. For example, on my turn, I was told to make a face like a sock puppet.
Then the other 3 contestants had to guess what I was trying to do, either be a sock puppet, Party Phil (I wish I was Party Phil), or some other stuff. It was not particularly easy to guess among the other choice, mostly because Party Phil and I share the same devilishly handsome features. You would probably be welcome to make up your own rules for the game though. At first, we were playing with one hand available to use in the picture as well, but it made the game way too easy. Plus, it was hilarious to watch Angela, the Nintendo representative, try to appear like she is a monkey picking bugs off the back of her head with nothing but her face. I wish we had gotten a picture of that.
Fortunately, you don’t have to wish you get a picture of any other completely absurd and hilarious shots as you can save the pictures you took during the game to go back later and peruse through the memories of that one night. You know which night I’m talking about.
The last mini-game we got to play was table foosball using only the GamePad. For the record, I can’t remember right now, but I am pretty sure I got fired a second time after I beat her here as well.
Anyway, the game works using only the GamePad and the two control sticks on both sides of it. There will be a little stand to accompany the game that allows to controller to remain perfect still and parallel to any flat surface. As you face off head-to-head, your control stick will move your whole team simultaneously as you try to score a goal on the opposite team. For anyone that’s not playing, they can watch the action playing out on the television screen for a good luck at who they ought to judge harshly. I actually had the most fun with this one, perhaps because of its simplicity and how much I like regular foosball.
Once we finished demoing the three mini-games, were we shown the library of mini-games showing over 80, which is about as much as Mario Party 9. Still, it is now evident that the use of the GamePad opens up a world of opportunities for various mini-games. I don’t really think Wii Party U is a reason to get a Wii U, but it might be something to look out for. As of now, the games are intuitive, they feel great, and will probably be something fun for Wii U owners who love to play games with their friends and family. Or strangers, that’s fine too.