E3 2011: Shield Pose (Wii U) Hands-On

By Lauren Alessandra on June 15, 2011, 3:08PM EDT
Wii U

Nintendo were showing off numerous technical demos to highlight the capabilities of the new Wii U console, and one of them was a game called Shield Pose "“ a game to showcase how the music/rhythm genre can be applied to this new tech. Before now, pirates have been known to be undeniably ruthless. They wield swords and shoot cannons making sure their enemies are done for. So, when Wii U's Shield Pose came around, you could've imagined the surprise when the pirates began shooting plungers. Not only that, they shoot them in an organized rhythmic pattern. But aside from their inaccurate portrayal of pirates, Shield Pose still manages to be an addictive tech demo as well as a good representation of some of the things players can expect from the Wii U.

The objective is simple, you must protect your beloved pirate ship from the other pirate ships floating around the sea. In a "˜Simon Says' fashion, the pirate of the center ship will shout out directions and then the minions will fire plungers at you. It is up to the player to follow the directions and catch each of the soaring plungers. However, if the player is out of rhythm, it could mean missing a plunger or two.

There are four directions in total; center, over, right, and left. Using the Wii U remote almost as a sniper, the player needs to move to a location corresponding to the center pirate's commands. To the right and left of the center pirate are other pirate ships, but if the player needs to look 'over', they need to bring the Wii U controller up over their head and locate the moon.

In this sense, the Wii U controller acts as an extension of the player's television screen. Players can look all the way around using their Wii U remote screen and see that the world in which they are playing in carries all the way around their room. With Shield Pose, if players were to look behind themselves, they could see the back of the ship which they were standing on and could also see that the night sky and the ocean carry on much further "“ it's quite astonishing.

After catching a plunger or two the player then needs to shake off the plunger from their screen. They need to bring the Wii U remote down while still staying with the rhythm of the song. As time goes on, the rhythm will become faster and faster, and you have to move the Wii U controller in time with the directional shouts. Also, the pirate will start shouting two or more commands at once expecting you to go from center to over in one take.

This concept was pretty simple, but it's a concept that could easily be extended. You have so much scope to play with. The most impressive part about the tech demo was the amount of the world you could see with just the Wii U remote screen. It really showed some of the Wii U's capabilities for creating unique experiences that we haven't even come close to seeing so far on existing platforms.

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