|I love the eShop, by the way.|
I thought my chances of getting a Wii U were pretty slim this Christmas, for reasons I'd rather not have to explain in full detail. But I am lucky. My parents decided to pick one up for me. Now, it is the basic set, but that's not really a big deal to me- the Digital Rewards program would have been neat but I honestly see myself buying more digital stuff on the 3DS than the Wii U, if only because I have an 8 GB console that is already running low because I purchased a single eShop game (it didn't stop me from laying down a USB drive, though, because that's what makes your console yours, etc, etc), and a stand and a new Classic Controller would have also been nice, but it doesn't matter to me because I HAVE A WII U. And that makes me happy.
I enjoy Nintendo consoles for their exclusives, which is why I'm pretty happy with my Wii U. I eagerly look forward to the Wonderful 101, Bayonetta 2, Monster Hunter Tri HD, and Pikmin 3... as well as whatever other games Nintendo decides to throw our way. However, I'm pretty sure that I'm going to be poor for the majority of the Wii U's lifetime, so I'm not expecting to pick up many games- that's why my growing collection of Wii games is such a saving grace. But I will pick up what matters, AKA first party titles and the occasional third party gem. I'm excited to have it so soon, even though the launch period has some tough choices- filled with very niche titles that only appeal to a certain type of player but also too tightly packed and expensive to take full advantage of. We'll just have to wait and see what I can get my hands on.
In other news, I've been playing Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land for the first time! I also "beat" Crashmo but I still have three puzzles left... I must solve them. But I gotta say, this was my first playthrough of Wario Land and I really enjoyed it a ton. I'd only ever played Wario Land 3 in the past, so it was nice to pick this game up- while it was relatively short, there's a whole lot that it does that wouldn't really work for a Mario game, and that's why it was a great idea to transition to a new protagonist. The treasure seeking and collecting mechanic is fun and gives you more of a reason to play through the game- and not being smart with your lives will cost you treasure, which is another reason to be cautious. It's a mechanic that works perfectly and should have been implemented in other games like New Super Mario Bros. 2, really. The level design is really smart, even if a couple of the secret treasures are a bit hard to find- just a one or two, but they're pretty bogus. But overall, it's a very engaging title that has a very different feel from the Super Mario Land games while also feeling like a natural progression at the same time. I also downloaded Wario Land 2 for Christmas and after a few levels, I can see the even bigger departure from the first installment. It plays much more like Wario Land 3 with a lack of world map and more objective-based level design, but I really like it that way. Like the first title, it gives you even MORE to do with its additional collectables- I could seriously see myself putting more time into this game if only because it gives you a reason to WANT to collect its treasures, unlike New Super Mario Bros. 2, which puts them there fore the sake of having a gimmick. There's something that's a part of the bigger picture here (literally), and you want to get all of it because it's going to be fun to do so.
I haven't played much else, though. I've logged an atrocious amount of time into Crimson Shroud, if only because I discovered its hidden areas and I really like the battle system. I also popped in Demo 2.5 of Project M, which was absolutely lovely. Ivysaur, Squirtle, and Zero Suit Samus have had major improvements made to their play styles and I can see them fitting in with the competitive environment quite well- a lot of the aesthetic changes made are very impressive and the engine refinements are great. It was a blast to play with some friends. What was also fun to play with friends was Nintendoland- a lot of really clever gameplay options are available and the party mode is SO much fun. I'll have some impressions up shortly.
Other than that, I played through my review copy of Cognition Episode 1. It's an indie point-and-click and I'll probably post my feelings on the title... eventually. After the review is posted on a certain site. And guess it's time for me to post my top 10 games of the year, huh? Weird.