Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles The things I like about Nintendo seem to be the things people hate them for. They keep things simple, as one of the last practitioners of truly old-school game design. They also keep things colorful, as opposed to brown. They focus on fun, instead of testosterone. And they try to appeal to lots of people. Not just the hardcore gamer. Which is obviously the worst idea ever. Why would you even make video games for people other than 18-to-25-year-old males? What the f*ck is that, Nintendo? Stupid kiddie games. So a lot of the crap being thrown at Nintendo these days is the same silly crap that's been thrown at them for years. But the thing is...some of it's not. Nintendo has made some serious mistakes lately, one of the biggest being...they thought the Wii brand was still strong enough to carry them for another generation. It seems they thought wrong. It's just not 2008 anymore. No much how much Wii Party U wants it to be. This is a brand new game, for a brand new system...with a brand new problem, for Nintendo. This thing is called Wii Party U, and you play it mostly with Wii Remotes. Good luck explaining that to the casual Wii owners. That this isn't a Wii game. That it's for a new system, but hey, make sure you keep those Wii Remotes. Because the new Wii uses them, too. See what I mean? I don't even understand what I just said. So it's a confusing idea, on top of an old idea. Not old in that classic Nintendo way, like Mario and Zelda. That's timeless old. This is old, like...2010 old. Which just feels...outdated. A game released three years after its intended audience lost interest, and for a console that audience doesn't even know exists. Obviously, messaging has long been one of the Wii U's biggest problems. And we could talk about that all day, but beneath it all...there are games. In this case, Wii Party U...a follow-up to a good party game. And a good Wii game. Wii Party U feels like another good party game, but you know...it doesn't feel much like a Wii U game. It feels like a Wii game with some Wii U features tacked on. Which...sort of just tacks on more confusion. Why do I need a new system to play a Wii game? Nonetheless, Wii Party was fun, and so is Wii Party U. Get some friends together, and it's almost impossible not to enjoy yourselves with this game. And to its credit, there are some pretty brilliant moments with the GamePad, too. In fact, Wii Party U is at its best when its delivering some of that asymmetrical gameplay that makes the system unique. That comes in the GamePad Party section. It has some awesome minigames that use the controller brilliantly. This baseball game, in particular, is just fantastic. You have two players, one on each side of the GamePad, almost like a foosball table. And while one player pitches with the analog stick, the other bats with the A button. It's so simple, but it's just a blast to play. And it's the perfect example of the kind of crazy things you can only do on the Wii U. So there are moments when this Wii U game really shines. Ironically, those are the same times it's being a Wii U game and showing off Nintendo's asymmetrical gameplay concept. But for the most part, you don't even use the GamePad. In fact, for the board games, you play with Wii Remotes. It's like a new version of the same Wii Party from 2010. I'm having waggle deja vu. Waggle, vu...two...electric wag-a-loo. Fortunately, there is a ton of content here, but...it's usually the same story. Board games take a backseat to the more interesting GamePad minigames. Thankfully, there are lots of them, some of which are absolutely ridiculous. There's some great multiplayer stuff here. And playing with little versions of you and your friends? Still awesome. But the remote minigames? Mostly uninspired and are never as much fun. And sadly, you use those a lot more than the GamePad. I really liked the original Wii Party, and I guess on its own merits...I like Wii Party U, as well. It's just that...another a few hundred minigame collections on Nintendo systems, it's kinda tough to get excited about another one. No matter how good it might be. Wii Party U is actually pretty good, when it's being a Wii U game. But most of the time, it's stuck in the past. Instead of defining the Wii U as its own new experience, we're getting Wii Remote minigames. There's nothing more 2008 than that.