Nintendo announced a new Wii U bundle that includes the 32GB system, a Wii remote, a Wii Wheel, Mario Kart 8, and a download code for 1 of 4 games: Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD; Pikmin 3; New Super Mario Bros. U; and Wii Party U. The bundle will launch with a price of $329 on May 30th, the same day of Mario Kart 8’s release. This raises the question: is now the time to buy a Wii U?
Truthfully, there’s no simple answer to that question. For those who might be on the fence or for Nintendo fans who just haven’t made it to the game store, the short answer is a definite yes. The system normally retails for $299, but in this case buyers receive two games for less than half of their combined value. More importantly, new adopters of the system can enjoy a handful of great games not included in the deal. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze; Super Mario 3D World; Trine 2; and New Super Luigi U are all fantastic titles available for the console. I can’t speak for Wii Party U, but the 3 games included in the deal are phenomenal. Mario is a straightforward but challenging platformer, Wind Waker HD is a more polished version of the original, and Pikmin 3 is a lighthearted puzzle-exploration hybrid (and one of the best games on the console). Purchasers of Mario Kart 8 outside of the bundle will also receive a download code for 1 of the 4 games listed!
Mario Kart 8 is shaping up to be a fantastic title (expect a review from us shortly after release) as well. The multiplayer alone is worth hundreds of hours of play, and the new character roster is bigger than ever. Pair this with the upcoming Smash Bros. title and the existing Virtual Console selections, and you’ve got a solid library of diverse games. For the Nintendo fan who has yet to pick up the Wii U, this bundle is your best chance!
On the other hand, this bundle isn’t quite enough to satisfy a gamer who thirsts for experiences outside of Nintendo’s wheelhouse. The company thrives on whimsy, imaginative locales, and cartoon-y characters. While it’s hard to argue the skill with which Nintendo creates games with these elements, they struggle to capture a third party audience. Put simply, if you’re looking for a bunch of shooters or realistic action/adventure outings, you’ll be better off putting your money elsewhere. The Wii U has a handful of these titles, but it has nothing close to the cavalcade of epic titles offered by its competitors.
Bottom line, the Mario Kart 8 bundle is a great deal, but it won’t sway those who crave Call of Duty or Uncharted. If that isn’t you, there are plenty of fantastic titles on the console that will keep Nintendo fans engaged!