Now when I first loaded up a game (ZombiU
), I was a bit confused as to which screen I was supposed to be looking at. The GamePad and the TV were showing me different information, and I wasnít sure which was more relevant. As I navigated through the menus and fired up the story mode, it became clear what the GamePad was going to be used for Ė my map and inventory. This is a welcomed feature. I mean, who really wants to go browsing through menus to access their inventory?
At first the analogue sticks seemed awkward to use, and some of the buttons werenít as easy to press as Iíd have hoped. I found myself having to move my right hand away from the analogue stick in order to press B, which left me unable to look around or aim for a second or so.
The triggers and bumpers are positioned so that they can be easily pressed using your index and middle fingers. After about 30-45 minutes using the GamePad, I was getting used to the feel of it and where the buttons were located, it all became much easier to use and generally a more comfortable experience.
At times, I found that flicking my eyes between the screen and the GamePad wasnít ideal. In the few seconds I spent rearranging my inventory on the GamePad touch screen, my character was being mauled by the living dead - unbeknownst to me.
I think that generally, though, this was due to my own stupidity Ė who moves their belongings around without checking if there are any undead lurking nearby, really? We've been largely trained to expect that while we're checking an inventory screen everything around us just stops. With the Wii U, as when checking an actual, real-life bag, this is no longer the case.
The GamePad uses the sensor bar at certain intervals, and itís incorporated brilliantly. For example, I took control of a mounted machine gun. My TV screen became inactive (and when I say that, I mean I was looking at the GamePad and paying no attention to the TV) and I took a first person view on the GamePad.
I could use the right analogue stick to aim, but I also had the option to move the GamePad as though I was actually manning the turret Ė on the original Wii, I always found the motion controls to be flawed but this, this just works. The problem is, choosing to use the analogue stick for aiming means that you have to hold the GamePad deadly still; otherwise the motion will affect your aiming.
The Wii U isnít an Xbox 360, it isnít a PS3. It most definitely isnít a Wii. Itís something new, something with potential, something that hardcore gamers and casual gamers can both enjoy. Most importantly, itís something that just works. Earlier on I asked what Nintendo were trying to achieve, and thatís the answer; a console that can be taken as light heartedly or as seriously as any gamer wants. A mixture or core gaming experiences, and motion controls that actually work, and work well.
+ Potential to change console gaming for the better
+ Can be enjoyed by both hardcore and casual gamers
+ Motion controls that actually work
- Buttons are in awkward places
- Knowing which screen to look at can be confusing
- Glancing at GamePad screen can effect what happens on TV