Nintendo Wii U review

What can that GamePad really do?

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There are some really strong titles on the Wii U right now, we'd just like a lot more of them. Even for a Nintendo console many of the classic characters are currently MIA. Mario Kart 8 is just tearing in, but it's 18 months down the line and Super Smash Bros and a new Zelda are yet to arrive.

If you're buying a Wii U you're going to want to get Mario Kart 8. In fact, some Mario Kart fans might say that MK8 makes the Wii U worth buying. It keeps all the frustration and fun of previous Mario Kart games, and gives it to you in a much anticipated, stunning HD environment.

The track design is spot on, with some classics like Toad's Turnpike and Rainbow Road (from N64) making return, alongside new tracks like the slightly intimidating, but ultimately thrilling, Bowser's Castle. The AI is just as unforgiving as in previous iterations but avid Mario Karters will be pleased to know there's now a way to stop those pesky blue shells. There are a few downsides though, mostly in the form of the Wii U game pad. The track minimap now appears on the gamepad screen, which is impractical, and other than adding a horn noise the gamepad is mostly useless.

Mario Kart 8
Mario Kart 8 has great single player, brilliant multiplayer and hours of fun gameplay

Super Mario 3D World was the game to beat before Mario Kart 8 came along. Jam-packed with some of the most inspired levels to date and taking the best from Super Mario 3D Land on the 3DS, it's proof that Nintendo is still top of its game when it comes to software.

Rayman Legends offers an phenomenal platformer experience bursting with creative ideas. Like Mario 3D World, you've also got the option of local co-op.

Super Mario 3D World
Super Mario 3D World was probably the first major reason to buy a Wii U

Pikmin 3 took its sweet time to hit the U but it was definitely worth the wait. Fans of either of the first two games will know exactly what to expect from this strategy game. If you've not played either then, well, frankly I'm envious that you get to experience Pikmin fresh. It's a beautifully crafted adventure, if a little short. I'd also point out that the game still works best with the Wii Remote.

And last, but certainly not least, is The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD. Again, if you never played the Wind Waker on GameCube then you have no idea of the joys that await. For those who have played it, there are enough visual and gameplay improvements here to warrant a purchase. Sailing across the ocean in cel-shaded HD will have you as elated as felt more than 10 years ago.

Wind Waker
While it isn't quite as exciting as a brand new Zelda game the HD remaster of Wind Waker is still worth buying

There are others, too. The Wonderful 101 and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze are both worth picking up. And a number of multi-platform games have made their way onto the U too, including Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Call of Duty: Ghosts, and the upcoming Watch Dogs.

Tech Specs

Product TypeGaming Console
Scan Format1080p
Flash Memory Capacity8 GB
Processor ManufacturerIBM
Graphics Controller ManufacturerATI
Wireless LANYes
Product FamilyWii
Gaming Controller ConnectivityWireless
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
Brand NameNintendo
Input Device TypeGame Pad
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS
Graphics Controller ModelRadeon
Online NetworkWiiWare
Country of OriginJapan
Height45.7 mm
Width171.5 mm
Depth269.2 mm
ManufacturerNintendo Co., Ltd
Product ModelU
Product NameWii U Basic Set
Product LineWii
Manufacturer Part Number2300046
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The new Wii U console introduces the Wii U GamePad, a controller with a 6.2-inch touch screen that redefines how people interact with their games, their entertainment and one another.

Package Contents
  • Wii U Gaming Console
  • Wii U GamePad
  • Wii U GamePad Stylus
  • Wii U Console AC Adapter
  • Wii U GamePad AC Adapter
  • HDMI Cable (1.5m)
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)1.60 kg