BADGP Reviews: Wii Party U
Wii Party U (Nintendo, Nd Cube)
Released: October 25, 2013
November 4, 2013
Review: Cool GamePad, Tons of Modes, Lame Mini-Games
2010’s Wii Party was a decent attempt to cash-in on the success of the Wii name and stave off another Mario Party release. Somehow Nintendo had found a way to further simplify the Mario Party formula and added in some cool little modes involving the Wii Remotes. For example there was a really cool minigame where the players would hide the Wiimotes somewhere within the room and other players would have to find them. This worked due to the speakers within the remotes and proved to be quite fun. Overall, my experience with Wii Party was generally positive, though not overwhelmingly so. The integration of the Miis was welcome and there was a decent amount of creativity on display in the content. Wii Party U has some creativity as well, but the second time around, some of the same ideas are recycled and not nearly as impressive as a result.
Wii Party U is a minigame collection with a slew of modes, 20 to be exact. I will now go over each of them and give my opinion on each one. There 3 overarching categories and I will dissect each one for how fun, sustainable, and worthwhile they are. The presentation and menu system is the exact same as it was in Wii Party, therefore not good at all and a little confusing.
These modes are the long-form Mario Party like games that are comprised of different goals and objectives and where most of the 80 minigames reside.
Highway Rollers is a party game where the players attempt to make it to the end of a long board game like track. Spaces can boost players positions or send them back many spaces. The biggest problem here, as will all of the “TV Party” modes is that they all put way too much emphasis on chance in order to win. A friend and I won all the minigames and we still lost to an NPC playing with us. There are some neat ideas with how the board interacts with the players, but the importance put on chance was frustrating.
GP Island is essentially a reskinned Highway Rollers where the players must get to the end of a track in order to win. The novel idea here is that there are tons of way to “roll” and determine the ways to advance towards the objective. Each way to “roll” is a minigame of its own. For example some time the players play darts, or have to stop the die on the number they want a la The Price is Right. Overall, it is incredibly similar to Highway Rollers, and therefore too dependent on chance and luck to be sustainable and engaging.
-Mii Fashion Plaza-
Easily the lamest titled mode in the collection, but surprisingly one of the best. Players assemble outfits tied to specific spaces and the player banks the point upon completing a lap around the board. It kind of comes down to who can circle the board the most times will likely win, but we found it to be the most engaging mode in “TV Party.”
Despite the clever pun, this was likely the worst mode within the TV Party category of modes. There is so much luck involved in this one; it is hardly fun at all. The players release balls to try to score points and the players who win the minigames will get more balls to drop and therefore a better chance to score points.
Players are tasked with assembling a soccer team, but it is really a hand in poker. The player who wins the minigames gets more players to choose from to build there team, but it was too often the case that the players who got less to choose from typically had better people to choose from including “Wild Cards” or players with sequential numbers to more easily complete a Straight. The chance factor was again frustrating in this mode.
This mode is kind of like Twister, but with the GamePad and Wiimotes. This is game that was copy and pasted from 2010’s Wii Party. It is still okay.
-Name the Face-
This is easily one of my favorite parts of Wii Party U. The picture below will help to demonstrate, but the player with the GamePad is asked to make a face based on the description, but then the options for what it might be are always so similar! It is fun trying to decipher what is going on in the pictures.
This game is sort of like hide-and-seek except where the players want to be found. The player with the GamePad must describe their location to the other players from the first-person perspective, the faster the players find them the more points they get. This game is cool once, but then it is kind of boring after much more time with it.
Players are asked to draw an object on the GamePad except one player is asked to draw something different, but it will look similar. For example, three of us were asked to draw a pen, and one was asked to draw a toothpick. Then, players proceed to guess which one is the outlier. This would work, but if a player chooses oneself then that kind of gives it away making the choosing aspect of this mode a little broken.
-Do U Know Mii?-
In this mode, players must determine where the player with the gamepad will place themselves on a continuum in response to different statements. For example, “I am a compassionate person.” Then the results reveal who knows whom the best. It is okay, but I did not find it as engaging as the version of this game in Wii Party.
This mode would be cool if it worked more reliably. Players set the GamePad away from the TV and must run back and forth (kind of like an egg on a spoon race) filling up a jar with virtual water. But, as I said, it does not always work… bummer.
This is one of the dumbest modes within Wii Party U. The player with the GamePad takes the other players’ food orders and then must remember who ordered what. Ugh, it is really dumb.
-Dance with Mii-
In my notes on Dance with me, I wrote one word: Dope. In this weird mode, players hold hands and dance around the GamePad, truly something that must be experienced to be appreciated, and I would never want to do that.
This is neat, but would have been cooler if it had two inputs instead of one.
This is easily one of the best parts of Wii Party U. Reminiscent of IRL versions of the game, players score runs to determine who wins. Pitching is fun and batting is intense. Baseball is probably where I had the most fun in Wii Party U and also be the game I would boot the game up again to play.
…is a board game kind of like Othello and Connect 4. The players must match up sets of body parts in order to score more points. Minigames happen in between several rounds and they are largely terrible. The game as a whole is just all right.
In a game similar to the IRL version of Labyrinth, player must navigate a puzzle like set of obstacles before the other player. It is a cool little mode, but not something I would want to play over and over again.
These are largely forgettable and generally not very good.
It is a memory game.
This is a cooperative puzzle game. It is more frustrating than fun.
Wii Party U is not a very good game. But it may find redemption in its value proposition. For $50 one gets Wii Party U and a Wiimote. So, it is really only a $10 game. For that price I would say that it is worth it. For people who have four remotes already, I would say pass up on this one, you are not missing much.
3.5 out of 10