E3 2011: Battle Mii (Wii U) Hands-On Preview

By Lauren Alessandra on June 15, 2011, 5:27PM EDT
Wii U

So far we've talked about the functionality of the new Wii U controller as a map (Chase Mii), as a cool extension of the music/rhythm genre (Shield Pose), and as a tablet (Measure Up). With Battle Mii, things are different yet again, as it introduces you to a Metroid-esque two vs one shoot 'em up which shows how the Wii U remote can work effectively as both a screen and as a functional controller.

Battle Mii uses two Wii remotes, combined with nunchucks and one Wii U remote. Those using the Wii remotes share a split-screen view while the person on the Wii U controller views everything on the Wii U's screen much like Chase Mii. Players on both types of controllers have access to rapid fire weapons, a power charge attack, and grenades. However, the Wii U player flies in a spiffy space ship, while the other players have to travel on foot dressed up in armour.

As far as the space ship is concerned, the controls are much similar to flying games on systems that use dual analog sticks. Players are able to move about with one of the circle pads and control their height using the other. Guns are then used by pressing on the Wii U's trigger buttons. The Wii U controller allows for quite a different style of play though, as the screen really comes into play. Where players using the Wii Remotes have to make do with using the TV screen for their viewpoint, using the Wii U controller allows you to directly look wherever you want, just by physically looking in that direction "“ you don't need the TV screen at all.

Other differences between players using the Wii Remotes and the person using the Wii U controller is that the space ship has six blocks of health, while those on foot carry three blocks of health. Despite only being a tech demo, it was pretty well balanced "“ especially as it's a two vs one scenario.

One of the mean things about Battle Mii is that both people using the space ship and those on foot have to share power ups and health boosts. Say a player is getting a bit too close to a health boost, another player could just destroy it making the enemy very vulnerable. But even if one of the guys running around died, they could still be a nuisance to the player who was controlling the ship in the sky

This tech demo didn't really show off the graphical capabilities of Wii U, instead, it focused on gameplay. The environment was very simplistic in design much like other Wii Sports games. It was built like a grid with platforms of different sizes throughout and tons of places to hide. To reach the power ups, players can either climb up the platforms using ramps or warp up by stepping onto warp platforms or just shoot them down.

Battle Mii showed just how the Wii U controller can be used to good effect. The Wii Remote controls were pretty standard, a little clunky at best. But the person controlling the ship was in for a real treat. It's the kind of experience that will see people arguing over who gets to use the Wii U controller, as not many people will want to be the standard guys.

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