Tagged "Wii U"

Dec 11
By Matt Gander In Reviews No Comments

Featuring such attractions as Buckingham Palace and The London Dungeons, ZombiU represents a good way to experience London from the comfort of your own home. It’s scarily authentic – the rougher areas are full of baseball cap wearing youths, the subway system is packed with brainless idiots who don’t know what they’re doing, and occasionally a rat or two will come scurrying out from piles of garbage. ZombiU also gives you the added advantage of being able to bash these brainless morons over the head with a cricket bat, which is something you can’t do in real life. Not legally, anyway.

So, the zombie apocalypse is upon us. Thankfully there’s somebody out there to give a hand to any survivors willing to listen. An ex-soldier known as ‘The Prepper’ has holed himself up in a secure location and has access to video cameras all over London. He believes the only way to survive is to be prepared – there is no cure or salvation. The Prepper communicates via the WiiU GamePad’s speaker and will do everything he can to help.

As the story unfolds it transpires that there may be a chance to be rescued from London after all. The Prepper, however, will do his very best to persuade you this isn’t the case. The voice acting for your mysterious guardian is superb – he genuinely sounds in utter dismay at how quickly London has fallen into chaos.

The Prepper also supplies you with a ‘bug out bag’ which turns the GamePad into an upgradable survival kit. The inventory can be viewed on here as well as maps, mission objectives and a sonar radar. The radar is a vital tool in your survival, tracking the whereabouts of any nearby zombies. Every single one is a threat taking several whacks with the cricket bat to kill for good.

It’s because they’re able to lead you to your demise within seconds that it’s sometimes wise to try and avoid conflict by looking for alternative routes. Meet your maker and your current randomly chosen survivor will come back as a member of the undead. When cast back into the boots of another survivor you get just one chance to get your backpack back from your former self. It’s an idea similar to retrieving souls on dying in Dark Souls.

There are a few other comparisons that can be made with that rather challenging RPG. The difficulty level is tough, but not impossible. Far from it in fact – every time you ‘respawn’ (for want of a better word) you’re given a handgun with six shots to give you a fighting chance, and sometimes items reappear in the lockers and such that can be looted. The online functions are very nicely done as well. You can imagine our surprise to enter a random building only to find a list of that day’s high scores scribbled on the floor in graffiti. You even come across the reanimated corpses of people on your friend list.

Atmosphere is incredibly tense throughout. There’s a clever use of filters which lends the game a distinct look, and there are more than a couple of moments designed to have you leaping out of your seat. The use of sound and lighting effects is impeccable. The torch can only be used for a couple of minutes before needing a quick recharge – having the batteries die while exploring a dark area is a harrowing experience, especially if you can hear shuffling in the background.

The environments are quite small, but due to the slow pace and how every situation must be handled with care, they can take quite a while to explore fully. However we did observe that a few areas such as the sewer systems that connect key areas and a few of the safe houses are lazily recycled. Entering two different safe houses only to find the knick-knacks inside lined up on the shelves in identical places did leave us feeling a little disorientated as to where on the map we were. It’s a minor quibble, but one worth mentioning.

At least ZombiU rarely feels like a slog like some survival horror games do. The use of explosives is brilliant and even helps it to feel fun in places. A few gun turrets can be found here and there to mow down the infected when they come rushing towards, and the zombies are, amusingly, easily fooled – flares can be used to distract them or lure them into armed mines. Indeed, happiness in this game is a backpack full of things that go boom. Ammo is scarce but every now and then you’re treated to a new weapon with a full clip of ammo. Such a find often lured us into a false sense of confidence as not even having numerous health-packs in your possession can guarantee survival.

Later a sniper rifle is added to your inventory. Shots have to be lined up by holding up the GamePad vertically. We found this tricky at first until realising that you can aim using the analogue stick as well as by twisting the GamePad about. The buttons to zoom in and out are logically placed, both within thumb’s reach.

For a launch title ZombiU is incredibly ambitious, and the developers have achieved exactly what they set out to do – create a tense yet rewarding survival horror game that makes good use of the Wii U’s unique GamePad. It’s fantastic to see a developer fully understanding what the Wii U is all about right from day one.

Whether ZombiU will be mentioned alongside other great launch titles such as Halo and Super Mario 64 in years to come is, however, questionable. Mistake it for a straight-laced shooter and you will die often, forcing you back to safe houses to try again and thus leading to some frustration. Treat every zombie encounter and situation with a degree of thought though, and you’ll find it immensely satisfying.

Dec 04
By Matt Gander In Reviews No Comments

There seems to be a growing trend with new console launches – a twin-stick shooter can always be found nestled somewhere in the launch line-up. The Xbox 360 had Geometry Wars, PS Vita owners could download Super Stardust Delta on day one and now early adopters of the Wii U have their own ‘old skool’ shooter. As fans of the genre, we couldn’t be happier.

Shin’en’s Nano Assault Neo is a little different from the aforementioned. With a nondescript ship under your control, you’re tasked with travelling from one minuscule spherical planet to another wiping out the parasitic infections that cover the surface.

Once 90 percent have been destroyed, the gate to the next planet opens and a countdown timer starts to tick. There’s thirty second on the clock to reach the gate – which isn’t a particularly tricky task – but it’s up to you to decide if you want to get the time bonus or attempt to kill off the remaining enemies. At the end of each stage your score is added to the online leaderboards.

Each of the four ‘clusters’ has three planets plus a boss battle against a large parasitic creature. Between levels there’s the chance to spend any credits you’ve picked up, in order to boost your firepower or increase your shields. You can also purchase an extra life, and we found that on the later levels it was well worth saving up for one of these – use up all your lives and you have to start the cluster from scratch. The bosses also become a whole lot easier if you purchase homing missiles before battle. A little tip, there.

There’s also a bonus stage to play, which proved handy for building up credits. It’s a simple affair set in a twisty tube in which stalagmites have to be avoided. The texture work here is impressive, although to be fair it’s a visually arousing game throughout. Some of the lighting effects are superb.

The game can be played entirely on the Wii U GamePad, but we did find that playing on a TV made the translucent enemies – which appear as soon as the second cluster – much easier to see and avoid. Indeed, the difficulty curve is quite tough, save only for the last boss which just so happens to be the easiest of the lot. When playing on a TV the GamePad can also be used to position the satellite drones that float around the ship to provide extra fire-power. We never felt the need to, but the option is there at least.

Once single-player has been licked a survival mode opens up. There’s also a list of achievements to unlock, known here simply as ‘missions’.

Although you can see everything on offer within a few hours, Nano Assault Neo isn’t a bad way to blow £8.99. It combines ‘old skool’ sensibilities with a sprinkling of innovation and has some flashy visuals thrown in for good measure. For a launch title we couldn’t have asked for much more.

Dec 03
By Matt Gander In UK Charts No Comments

Nintendo must be feel a little disappointed that there are no Wii U games in the UK top ten chart this week, especially after telling Eurogamer that they “definitely” expected there to be. They even hoped that there would be one or two in the top five.

The three big name Wii U games aren’t that far off from the top ten though. Nintendo Land arrives at #11, New Super Mario Bros. U at #14 and ZombiU at #17.

Why haven’t they done better? Chances are because both Nintendo Land and ZombiU can be purchased bundled with the console: 60 per cent of all Wii U sales were of the Premium pack while 30 per cent went for the ZombiU bundle. Only 10 per cent bought the cheaper Wii U Basic bundle.

If we check the individual format top 40 chart, we see not one of the multi-format Wii U games present. It’s not exactly the glowing start that we were expecting the console to get off to.

Away from the Wii U, the UK top ten is largely unchanged from last week, aside from Far Cry 3 entering at #2. It has become the 9th biggest launch of this year, just behind Hitman Absolution.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II holds onto #1.

Apart from Just Dance Disney Party at #35 there are no other new entries in the top 40. Zone of the Enders HD Collection appears at a lowly #40 in the Xbox 360 chart but is nowhere to be found in the PlayStation 3 chart.

Nov 28
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games No Comments

It’s not such a bad thing that American gamers got hold of their Wii U consoles almost two weeks before us Europeans. In those two weeks reviews of nearly all the launch games have appeared online, giving us a heads up of what to fork out for come this Friday’s launch.

Before we round-up review scores, a little bit about the hardware itself is in order. We aren’t going to quote any prices for bundles in this guide though as chances are they’ll change at the drop of a plumber’s red cap.

The hardware

Taking a leaf out of Microsoft’s book, there’s a choice of a Basic or Premium Pack. The white 8GB Basic Pack is available for around £250 while the black 32GB Premium Pack that can be found for around £300.

It’s a choice that really shouldn’t be too hard to make – after the 8GB Wii U has received its initial software download and a profile has been created only 3GB of storage space remains. That’s not even enough to download launch title Nintendo Land. You can however plug in an external HDD as long as it has its own power source – HDDs up to 2TB are supported. Incidentally, Premium Pack purchasers will have 25GB left after the initial downloads are complete.

There’s also the black ZombiU Premium Pack to consider, which comes with ZombiU and a Pro Controller. There’s no free copy of Nintendo Land in this bundle though.

The Premium packs also lets users sign up exclusively for the Nintendo Network Premium loyalty scheme – for every £62.50 spent on the eShop, a £5 voucher will be sent your way.

No matter which pack you choose, it comes with a HDMI lead so you won’t have to splash out extra. If you’re selling your Wii to fund a Wii U we’d suggest keeping hold of as many Wii controllers as you can, since a lot of Wii U multi-player games use them.

There’s not much point buying a Wii U at all though if you don’t have an interest in any of these 24 launch titles.

The big three

Nintendo Land, New Super Mario’s Bros. U and ZombiU have set the most tongues wagging.

Nintendo Land has a focus on multi-player, but there are still a few single-player modes for all the ‘Billy No-Mates’ out there. It has been designed to teach gamers how the Wii U GamePad works, much like Wii Sports before it, but it’s still a very good mini-game collection in its own right. We had a lot of fun playing the Pac-Man Versus-alike Luigi’s Ghost Mansion and Animal Crossing: Sweet Day at September’s Eurogamer Expo.

It seems pretty surreal to say that New Super Mario’s Bros. U is the first ever HD Mario game, but that is indeed the case. Nintendo have been knocking out the 2D Mario games at quite a rate recently but it’s hard to grumble when the quality has been consistent as it has been.

As for ZombiU, casual this game isn’t. It’s harder than frozen toffee and all the better for it. Taking down the zombies is a troublesome task where more often or not giving them a bash with your trusty cricket bat (a nod to Shawn of the Dead, perhaps?) will result in your own death. Reviewers have mixed opinions on it and it’s easy to see why. Aiming guns is fiddly but purposely so to induce tension – some reviewers loved this fact while others found it, well, fiddly. Comparisons with Dark Souls have been made, which may help to influence your decision.

Nintendo Land – 8.7 IGN, 8/10 Eurogamer
New Super Mario Bros. U – 9.0 EGM, 8/10 Metro Game Central
ZombiU – 9/10 Eurogamer, 6.3 IGN

The safe options

There’s a great deal of Wii U games we’d describe as safe purchases, simply because they’re conversions of already existing games. Very good games, in fact.

Mass Effect 3, Darksiders II, Skylanders Giants, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper, Just Dance 4, Assassin’s Creed 3 and Batman Arkham City: Armoured Edition all fall into this category. A few of these have been criticised for having notably poorer visuals than their 360/PS3 counterparts, but most reviewers have praised their Wii U-exclusive features, such as Mario power-ups in Tekken Tag Tournament.

Then there’s FIFA 13, which isn’t a straight conversion of the 360/PS3 soccer sim but still a very good effort. It’s missing modes, but it does add GamePad features.

Mass Effect 3: Special Edition – 9.3 IGN, 4.5/5 GamesRadar
Darksiders II – 4.5/5 Hardcore Gamer, 8.0 GameSpot
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 – 9.0 IGN, 4.5/5 Games Radar
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed – 6.0 GameSpot, 63% ONM
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 – 88% ONM, 7.5 IGN
Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper – 5.0/10 Destructoid, 3.5/5 Hardcore Gamer
Assassin’s Creed III – 8.5 IGN, 8.5 MeriStation
Batman Arkham City: Armoured Edition – 9.5 IGN, 7.0 EGM
FIFA 13 – 80% ONM

The iffy bunch

If you’ve been looking at the pre-order lists online, you may have noticed that a few Wii U games can be found for around the £25 mark. Sadly those price tags do appear to reflect the quality. Arcade conversion Tank! Tank! Tank! lets you use the Wii U camera to plaster your face onto mechanical monsters but the fun it offers is short lived.

The same can also be said for mini-game collections Family Party: 30 Great Games and Game Party Champions. Rabbids Land likewise seems a very pointless game when the Wii U has Nintendo Land.

Sports Connection, Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2013 and Marvel Avengers: Battle For Earth are three more offerings from Ubisoft. The Kinect version of Marvel Avengers gained some curiously high review scores but we fear without motion controls a lot of the novelty will be lost. Ubisoft released countless sports games on the Wii, but that doesn’t mean Sports Connection will be any good.

505 Games’ Funky Barn is another conversion but not of an Xbox 360 or PS3 game – it was first released on 3DS. Why this isn’t an eShop release is beyond us.

007 Legends was a major disappointment on other formats, and we can’t see the Wii U GamePad controls changing that one bit. Whereas scores for that were simply poor, Disney Epic Mickey 2 reviews were mixed – everything from 2/10 to 8/10.

We would have rather had a conversion of Transformers: Fall of Cybertron than Transformers Prime, but the Wii version was well received and should please younger gamers. Rise of the Guardians and Ben 10 Omniverse are also flying the flag for licensed games. Both of these are arriving on Xbox 360, PS3, DS and 3DS this week.

Tank! Tank! Tank! – 2.5/5 GamesRadar, 2.5/5 Joystiq
Rabbids Land – 4.0/10 Game Informer, 5.0 IGN
Sports Connection – 2.5/10 Nintendo World Report
Epic Mickey 2 – 5.75 Game Informer

And don’t forget the eShop

IGN have been running an eShop launch guide that they’ve been updating over the past week or so. It’s well worth a read, but to summarise, Mighty Switch Force HD, Nano Assault Neo and Trine 2 are well worth considering. We’ve had our eye on Nano Assault Neo for a while – it looks stunning and puts those twin-sticks to good use.

What next for Wii U?

The next slew of games does look incredibly strong, although we do worry that there could be long waits between the next few big name titles.

Rayman Legends has been put back until February, but a demo is due on launch day which does soften that blow. Scribblenauts Unlimited and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge have been gaining good scores in the US but aren’t due out in Europe until next year either.

Other games? The Wonderful 101 looks like it could even teach Pikmin 3 a few tricks, Wii Fit U will no doubt be a strong seller and LEGO City: Undercover should have a very broad appeal. Then again, the LEGO games always do. Bayonetta 2 should need no introduction but Game & Wario might – it’s a new Wario Ware in all but name.

There are a few multi-format releases due as well: The Amazing Spider-Man, which will include all DLC; Aliens: Colonial Marines, Injustice: Gods Among Us and Need for Speed: Most Wanted. Splinter Cell: Blacklist has also been rumoured for Wii U and if that’s not confirmed in the next few weeks we’ll eat Rayman’s limbs. Oh.

Nov 20
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games 5 Comments

Hitman: Absolution has been a long time coming, so this week’s Tuesday release is no doubt a godsend for those who have been looking forward to it. Worth the wait? Yes… well, maybe. Like a lot of this winter’s big releases, reviews have been mixed. So far scores include 5/10 from Videogamer, 7s from both EDGE and Eurogamer and 9.0 from IGN. It’s easy to see why it has gained such mixed reviews – the Kane & Lynch team were at the helm of it. Kane & Lynch 2 scored everything from 1/10 to 9/10.

“Amidst the inevitable and deserved grumbling about its awkward checkpoint system, small levels and weird obsession with its daft story, hopefully those who persevere with it will be rewarded by enough of those moments to make the whole thing feel worthwhile,” said Eurogamer.

As well as the standard edition, there’s the Deluxe Professional version with an artbook, making of DVD, agency gun pack DLC and what appears to be a squeaky dog toy. You also get the Sniper Challenge pre-order bonus with it, which is apparently a lot of fun.

The multi-format Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two and the 3DS-exclusive Disney Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion have also received mixed reviews. The Official Nintendo Magazine gave the Wii version of the former 80% and said it’s a decent Christmas purchase for Wii owners not jumping ship to Wii U. The Xbox 360 version received 8.5 from EGM but only 2/10 from Destructoid. “It’s a gormless, chafing, unquestionably horrid little waste of time. Only the hardcore Disney obsessive need look into this one, and I don’t advice they look too deeply,” said Jim Sterling.

The 3DS version, which is a semi-sequel to Castle of Illusion on Mega Drive, gained a mediocre 5.0 from Game Informer and 60% from the Official Nintendo Magazine. It’s a good game but there’s not enough of it – Game Informer’s reviewer claimed he finished it in just over an hour and a half.

Another one getting mixed scores is PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, although we did kind of expect this one to get an varied reception as it’s very easy to be cynical about it. Curiously, the Official PlayStation Magazine handed out one of the lower scores – a 6/10. Eurogamer said that it was a sturdy brawler and gave it a 7 while TheSixthAxis gave it a 9/10, praising the amount of stuff to unlock. The PlayStation 3 version includes the PS Vita version as well – a fact that may influence your purchasing decision.

LEGO Lord of the Rings on the other hand has been getting a steady string of glowing reviews such as 9/10 from Eurogamer and 8.0 from ZTGD. It’s out on everything – Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PS Vita, 3DS and PC. No Wii U version planned though, oddly.

One game from Activision that Wii U owners should be glad they aren’t going to receive a conversion of is Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse. Destructoid were first off the bat with their review and gave it a resounding 2/10: “This is everything we’ve come to know and loathe about licensed games, distilled into its purest form.”

We’ve saved Virtue’s Last Reward for last. It’s a semi-sequel to 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors on DS, only this time both 3DS and PS Vita owners get to enjoy this user-friendly RPG. The PS Vita version currently has a slightly higher Metacritic score than the 3DS version – 89 over 87 – and both are available to pre-order at Tesco Direct for a not too shabby £22.50.

Next week: The Wii U, along with (breathe in) New Super Mario Bros U, Nintendo Land, ZombiU, Rabbids Land, Assassin’s Creed III, Batman: Arkham City – Armoured Edition, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Disney Epic Mickey 2, Family Party: 30 Great Games Obstacle Arcade, FIFA 13, Game Party Champions, Just Dance 4, Mass Effect 3: Special Edition, Ben 10 Omniverse, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing: Transformed, Funky Barn, Marvel Avengers: Battle For Earth, Skylanders Giants, Sports Connection, Tank! Tank! Tank!, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Wii U Edition, Transformers Prime, Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper and Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2013 (breathe out). Plus: Far Cry 3 (PS3, 360, PC), Kylie Sing & Dance (Wii), Real Heroes: Firefighter 3D (3DS), Toy Story Mania (360, PS3) and Rise of the Guardians (PS3, 360, Wii, Wii U, 3DS, DS).

Nov 05
By Matt Gander In Blog No Comments

The new issue of GamesMaster magazine – which comes with an Xbox 360 WWE avatar outfit, Wii U poster and Xbox/PS3 joypad “skins” this month – contains the first two Wii U game reviews.

Hitman: Absolution is also reviewed on Xbox 360 this issue – another first review.

Nintendo Land scored a jolly 86%. “An essential purchase for party lovers that whets the Nintendo appetite,” they said. New Super Mario Bros. U also scored well receiving 82%. “A great excuse for families to gather round the TV, and an enticing glimpse of Mario’s HD future,” was their conclusion for the colourful 2D platformer.

Hitman: Absolution meanwhile walked away with 90%. “On the right difficulty setting Absolution is Hitman at its cleverest, funniest, twisted best,” ended their six page review.

We previewed Nintendo Land back in September and from what we’ve played, GamesMaster’s review would appear to be spot on.

Sep 28
By Matt Gander In Blog 2 Comments

If variety is the spice of life then Nintendo Land is a vindaloo with extra chillies. We’re not just talking about the variety of mini-games present but also the variety of controllers required. Aside from the touch-screen GamePad, some games require just a standard Wii remote while others need a Motion Plus-enabled Wii remote. Haven’t upgraded to Motion Plus yet? Bloody hell, granddad.

Luigi’s Ghost Mansion and Animal Crossing Sweet Days do appear similar on first glance due to a top-down and maze-like design, but actually couldn’t be more different from one another.

Animal Crossing Sweet Days sees four players forage for candy that’s found growing on trees while a fifth player, armed with the GamePad, controls a pair of guards. Guards clutching oversized knives and forks, no less. Communication is the key – there are a few trees on the map that one player alone can nab candy from, but most need to be shaken by two or three players. The more candies a player eats the fatter and slower they become. Once 50 sweets have been gained, the game is won.

It’s the GamePad holder’s job to stop this from happening. Now here’s the brilliant part – this player controls both guards at once, via each of the analogue sticks. It feels a little odd at first – imagine playing something like Geometry Wars with two ships under your control – but the idea soon clicks. The camera pans out if the two guards start heading in different directions to give a wider view. Guards can also jump and then dive to give them an advantage. Nintendo’s idea to force players to communicate to succeed really shines here. It’s a lot of fun.

The action in Luigi’s Ghost Mansion – which we dubbed Luigi’s Pac-Mansion during its E3 showing thanks to the similarities with the oft-forgotten gem Pac-Man Versus – takes place on just one screen. The GamePad holder controls a ghost while the other four players take control of Miis dressed as Luigi, each armed with a torch. Predictably, the ghost has to sneak up on the other players. Once scared poopless the Luigi-clones fall to the floor until revived by a friend. This does however leave the healer open to attack.

As the ghost draws near the Wii Remote starts to rumble. Again, communication is the key – if a player lets others know when their remote is rumbling, then there’s time to regroup to attack. Torch light damages the ghost – who has 100 HP – but use of the torch drains the battery. Additional batteries do appear at random but again, heading off to get one instead of staying in a group will make you a vulnerable straggler. It’s a really well balanced game of tactics and the way that lightening outside occasionally lights up the mansion for a few brief seconds to reveal all, is a nice touch.

The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest and Takamaru’s Ninja Castle share a less blatant similarity – both have hand-crafted style textures, much like Kirby’s Epic Yarn.

The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest is viewed from third-person and involves three Miis dressed in Link outfits, armed with swords and shields, while the GamePad player acts as an archer and must activate switches to open drawbridges and so forth. Instructions for the demo we played were straight to the point: “Fight through the forest.” It’s not going to make up for the lack of a launch day Zelda game, but it is entertaining.

Takamaru’s Ninja Castle – based on a Famicom game released only in Japan – features beady-eyed origami ninjas of different colours. This mini-game is single-player only, requiring the GamePad to be laid flat on the palm of the player’s hand. To calibrate, three ninja stars have to be thrown at a drum by swiping the touch screen at the start of each round. It’s a simple game of aiming and shooting that’s less complex than even Link’s Crossbow Training, but thankfully there is an accuracy rating leaderboard and a combo system in place. Simply miss a shot and the combo meter resets back to zero.

Due to its basic nature we can’t imagine anybody getting hours upon hours of play from this mini-game, leaving the single-screen puzzler Donkey Kong’s Crash Course a more viable option for those playing on their lonesome.

What we’ve played so far has been less than half of the Nintendo Land package – just five games of the proposed 12 – but that was enough to tell us that this is a hefty cut above other mini-game collections out there.

Wii Sports may not have been the best game ever but the Wii couldn’t have launched with a finer piece of software. It helped to get the console into millions of homes thanks to its pick-up and play nature. This game does a sterling job of introducing players to the GamePad, but if Nintendo hopes that it will perform a similar favour for the Wii U as Wii Sports did to the Wii, they’re going to have to pull off a marketing miracle. Golf, tennis and boxing are things anybody can instantly grasp and understand. Chasing for sweets, searching for ghosts and running around as Samus Aran are somewhat less so.

Sep 13
By Matt Gander In Blog No Comments

The headline for this article may sound like a rhetorical question, but it actually isn’t. Ubisoft has revealed that the price of converting an already existing game to Wii U is around 1m Euro. That’s a little over $1.2 million, and around £800k in real money.

Considering that some Xbox Live Arcade and PSN games cost also around a million to develop and publish, that’s a reasonably low figure.

As such, today’s barrage of Nintendo Direct conferences have revealed an awful lot of conversions for the Wii U launch period.

We already knew that Ubisoft had a shed-load planned, but now Activision has shown their assortment. Leading the way is Call of Duty: Black Ops II, which Nintendo Gamer magazine revealed a few months ago. Then there’s Skylanders Giants, Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts 2013, Transformers Prime: The Game, James Bond 007 Legends and Wipeout 3. That last one is based on a game show, just to avoid any possible confusion with a certain futuristic racer.

Epic Mickey 2 from Disney Interactive was confirmed to be making the jump to Wii U as well.

Are the announcements of these conversions bad news? Absolutely not. Brand recognition should never be underestimated. A healthy library of games also helps to provide a console with more in-store shelf space. This is why most supermarkets only have one shelf at the very most dedicated to the PS Vita – there’s very little being released. Well, that and that the PS Vita’s game boxes are about the same size as a carton of Ribena.

A steady slew of releases – conversions or not – can only be a good thing, is what we’re saying.

Let’s not forget that original games are coming too. Bayonetta 2 is a Wii U-exclusive, project P-100 (now officially called The Wonderful 101) looks, well, wonderful while Capcom’s Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate will let players share save data between Wii U and 3DS iterations. At a push, Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper could also be considered a new game.

In case you missed the news stories on the bigger sites, the Wii U is due to launch 30th November in Europe, 18th November in the US and 8th December in Japan. The white 8GB “basic model” has been spotted for £249 on Amazon while the black 32G “premium model” which comes with extra cradles and stands has been seen to for £279.85 at Shop.To.

Buyers of the 32GB model will also become members of the Nintendo Network Premium scheme. Members are rewarded Wii eShop points and a 10% discount for digital downloads.

The full European launch day software line up consists of New Super Mario Bros U, Rayman Legends, ZombiU, Darksiders 2, FIFA 13 and Mass Effect 3. Three downloadable games will also be available at launch – Trine 2: Director’s Cut, Toki Tori 2 and Shin’en’s Nano Assault Neo.

The European premium bundle will come with Nintendo Land as a pack-in, which is a more than pleasing bonus.

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