Minecraft Wii U Edition Review
I never thought I’d play Minecraft. I only have a Wii U console and it looked like the game wouldn’t be coming to Nintendo’s system. And to tell the truth, I was ok with that. I had played the Minecraft clones and thought they were just alright. Then, when Minecraft came to the Wii U, I didn’t feel any real need to play it. Enter Nintendo. Nintendo gave Games Reviews a review code of Minecraft Wii U Edition and I was asked to review the game. How did Minecraft Wii U turn out? Here’s my review of the game!
There were blocks everywhere. No matter where I turned, there was another block. Even the enemies were made of blocks. Sure there were objects, like doors and some plants, that were not made of blocks, but for the most part, everything was blocky. When I saw a preview of Minecraft for other systems, I admit I didn’t like the look of Minecraft. It just seemed too blocky and uninteresting. Oh how wrong I was…
Minecraft Wii U Edition is a very nice looking game. Yes, things are blocky, but they are also very three dimensional and each Minecraft world is unique. I especially enjoyed the Wii U exclusive Mario themed world. Everything in the Mario world is so bright, colorful, and cartoon-y. The Mario world is much more cartoon-y then the cartoon world in fact. I liked the Mario world the best, but the regular Minecraft themed world is cool too. I also dug my preview of the Steampunk world and the Skyrim world. Many of the worlds look great and its amazing how vast they are. I love how the worlds load up first and then you go into them. There is no loading time while you are walking around and that’s very impressive. Out of all the worlds, it was always the Mario world that made me the happiest though. Having a Mario themed world in Minecraft is a real treat and I just want to thank Nintendo, Microsoft, and everyone involved for making it happen. And the Mario world comes with Minecraft Wii U edition when you buy it, meaning that you don’t have to pay for it like some of the other worlds.
There are a lot of worlds that you can visit, but the downside is that some of them are just a preview and you’ll have to buy them in order to save what you created in them. I do like how you can try out the dlc worlds before you buy them! There is a lot of DLC for Minecraft and its a good thing that you can try the major dlc expansions. You don’t have to buy the DLC to enjoy the game, but if you like the game a lot, you’ll definitely be tempted to buy some of it, especially the additional worlds. I’m glad its all optional stuff though. In fact, all of the dlc just changes the “skin” of the people, animals, and environments you explore. They don’t really effect the gameplay (but they sure look nice!).
The two main modes of Minecraft are Create Mode and Survival mode. First of all, there’s Create Mode, which is a very open mode where you can just play around with most of the objects, tools, and various things that you find in Minecraft. The goal of this mode is to, of course, create things. I’m sure some people are really good at creating things in Minecraft, unfortunately, I’m not one of them. While I liked create mode a lot, I found the game’s controls limiting a bit. I always wondered why these creation games on Wii U didn’t use the touch screen for creation. Using the analog stick and buttons to place blocks and other objects just feels a little slow and not as accurate as touch screen controls would be, though I suppose it could be worse and you can create some things with these controls! I just think the controls could be a lot better.
There is a little bit of touch screen use for inventory manipulation, but you can’t place blocks and other things with the touch screen. I also wish the controls for floating in the air were better. I think, overall, this game’s Create Mode could’ve played even better than it currently does. I think Create Mode would’ve been a blast with touch screen support. However, Create Mode isn’t the real star of Minecraft Wii U.
Survival Mode is much more complicated and complex than Create Mode. You have to build your own tools in Survival mode and finds ways to stay alive by hunting animals for food and building your own shelters. You must eat in Survival mode to keep your health up and you can’t breath underwater for very long (unlike create mode where you can breath for an unlimited time). Minecraft’s Survival Mode basically turns Minecraft into a sim of sorts. You have no real goal here, other than survival.
The real challenge of Survival Mode is to see how long you can stay alive in the mode‘s often harsh environment. You’ll want to store some of your tools and things you create away, because if you die, you’ll lose whatever items are on you. There looked liked there was a way to turn the “lose items when you die” feature off, but I could never figure out how. It can be frustrating to lose all your items, but some planning before hand can make it a little less frustrating. I think the controls in Survival Mode are pretty good too. Though, I thought walking around in first person mode was a lot better than walking around in third person. Third person mode felt a little stiff. I was impressed by the jumping in Minecraft’s first person mode because its a lot better than what I’ve seen in other creation games like this. And while the game doesn’t use the touch screen much for Survival mode either, its great that you can play any of the modes directly on the gamepad if you want! I love off-tv play and playing Survival mode with it is fun.
Survival Mode, overall, can be a lot of fun. Although, it can also be a little boring at times. Since there’s no goal in Survival mode (or any of the modes), you can only play this mode or any of the others for so long before wanting to quit for awhile. I would recommend playing Minecraft in short bursts; you can save anywhere you want! Still, I enjoyed Survival mode more than the Create Mode and think that everyone should try it out. I wasn’t as impressed with the game’s multiplayer arena mode though.
A recent update added the ability to play in online Battle arenas. I tried this mode out and I thought it was alright. I suppose if you feel like beating people up online, you can do a lot worse but this battle arena mode seems a bit lacking compared to the main Minecraft modes. The battle arenas do look really great! Also: I know there is a way to play with friends in the regular Minecraft modes, but I never got to try that out. It is a shame because I’d like to see how Survival mode plays with multiple players. Though, I think Minecraft has a pretty good single player experience. You know what is also pretty good in this game? Minecraft Wii U Edition’s soundtrack!
Sound effect wise, Minecraft Wii U Edition is alright. Its really the music that shines in this game. I think the music in the Mario world, especially, is fantastic. But Minecraft really surprised me with how good its soundtrack is. Its amazing how each and every world has its own soundtrack and how often the music changes. I never got bored with the music in Minecraft and found most of it enjoyable. In fact, the word enjoyable sums up Minecraft Wii U edition pretty well.
Minecraft Wii U Edition is a much better game then I thought it would be. The game has great graphics, fun worlds to explore, a really good Survival mode, an excellent soundtrack, and even offers multiplayer for those who want it. Yes, the multiplayer could be better, but at least the game offers multiplayer fans the option of playing with their friends. I do think Create Mode could have been better too. I don’t get why none of these creation games use the touch screen for actually creating things! And I also think that Minecraft is more of a game that you play in short bursts than in long ones.
In the end, though, I’m very glad that Nintendo, Microsoft, and company brought Minecraft to the Wii U. The game is an excellent addition to the system’s library. If you haven’t gotten this game yet, I highly recommend that you do.
Thank you to Nintendo for providing a review copy of Minecraft Wii U Edition. The game is currently available on the eshop and at retail stores.
- Great graphics
- Fun Survival Mode
- Excellent soundtrack
- Off-TV Play
- No touch screen creation
- Not a good game for long gaming sessions
- Multiplayer could be better