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Review: Minecraft – Wii U

Minecraft, what started as a small project from a single developer transformed into one of the most popular games of the decade. Minecraft became a huge hit on PC and was ported to several consoles later. A lot of gamers fell in love with the freedom of creation and couldn’t stop playing it. Nintendo gamers however, were left behind, without a Minecraft on a Nintendo console, a lot of Nintendo players missed out on the fun. Now, years after the original release, Minecraft finally released on Nintendo’s Wii U.

What is Minecraft

For those who’ve been living under a rock the last couple of years, we’ll explain the concept of Minecraft. It was the first truly popular builder that released on PC and a lot of games tried to copy it but never brought the same magic. At first sight, Minecraft looks like an easy to play and rather short game. The goal of the game is to survive or create in a pixelated world. Minecraft comes with two major modes, Survival and Creative. In Survival mode, you’ll take control over a faceless and nameless hero, referred to as Steve by fans.

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This character has to survive as long as possible in the giant open world of Minecraft. In Survival mode you’ll need to feed yourself and fight against several monsters while exploring caves in search for the right materials. With these materials you can build stuff to protect yourself, varying from weapons and gear to houses and settlements. Survival mode offers a true man VS nature setting and really is as addictive as many gamers probably told you.

In the Creative mode, every challenge is stripped away. There’s no health bar or food bar you need to check every minute. You can just freely fly over the map and start creating whatever you want to create. Everything you need is provided to you with a handy toolbox. It’s amazing to see what gamers managed to create in the other versions of the game. We saw entire Lord of the Rings castles, Game of Thrones walls and Kanto Pokémon regions. There’s a lot to create as long as you can image it. This mode won’t please everybody since you’ll need a lot of imagination and perseverance to create the concept of your dreams. If you give it some time however, we’re sure a lot of you will enjoy this ultimate creator for sure.

The Wii U port

It’s no surprise that these two modes are ported to the Wii U version and both modes are done rather nicely. The drawing distance isn’t too short and the frame rate is just fine. The world in Creative world is a bit smaller, consisting out of 864×864 blocks but it never feels too small or too limited. The world might be smaller than the PC version and other console versions but we ensure you; you’ll be able to create whatever you want, even in this Wii U version.

 

It’s finally here

 

As far as the controls go, the Gamepad really feels like the way you should control the game. The controls do exactly what they are supposed to do and without spending a lot of time with the game, you’ll be able to control the character or blocks exactly the way you want them to. It’s a shame however that your inventory and other menus aren’t adapted to the Gamepad. Meaning you can’t use your touchscreen to interact with your inventory or menus, that’s a shame really. Enabling Wii U owners to navigate with their touchscreen would have made the game so much easier. It’s not a game-breaker but it’s a missed opportunity if you ask us.

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Besides the controls, there isn’t much new to discover in the Wii U version. Mojang confirmed some Nintendo exclusive DLC-packs for the future but these aren’t released yet. We’re really curious what does packs will offer but we would liked to have a small Nintendo exclusive DLC right from the start. Some Mario skins wouldn’t be that hard to achieve, right?

Invite a friend

If you want to play the game with a friend, that’s still possible in the Wii U version. Playing in co-op is without a doubt one of the best modes in Minecraft. Going on an adventure together can offer a lot more fun than just trying to reach everything on your own. If you play together, it’s important to set a general goal of what you like to reach as a team. Without your own goals, the game is rather pointless. Do you want to clear dungeons or want to build the biggest house Minecraft has ever seen? It’s important to pick your goal and adjust your way of playing to your set goal. With a friend, this only gets better. Since you’re working as a team, you’ll reach your goals a little faster and venturing together is just a lot more fun of course!

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Conclusion 

Mojang did a great job with their Wii U port of the popular Minecraft but it comes with some flaws. The lack of touch controls is a shame and the smaller world in the Creative mode might hold some players back. Besides these small points of improvement, the port is done really well and the game really feels at home on the console. If you haven’t played the game before, it’s worth getting for sure. If you’re already playing it on a different platform, it’s not worth getting it on Wii U again… Yet.

8/10

Got interested in games since I could read. Started with Nintendo but evolved into an all-round gamer. I love all kind of games; triple A games to Indie. If the vibe is right, I'll enjoy playing it.