When it comes to buying new video games, one of the biggest decisions is which format you’re going to get it on. Sometimes, it might be that you’ve only got one console – at which point the decision is simple – but sometimes you look at all of those different versions and there’s a couple of questions that run through your mind. Which is the better version? Is there even any difference between them all? Should I get the same version all my friends are getting? Is there even any reason to do that?
When it came to Rayman Legends, there was obviously a lot to consider regarding the different consoles – especially the Wii U. The game was developed as an exclusive to the Nintendo console, so there are obviously going to be some aspects that work better on it, but does that mean that everyone should rush out and buy Rayman Legends on the Wii U? We decided to break down five of the reasons why the Wii U version of the latest Rayman outing should be the one you go for.
1. Five Players Instead of Just Four:
The Wii U is the only current generation console (you read that right, I still refuse to call it a next-generation console) that supports up to five players instead of the usual four. You can get four of your friends around, hand them a Wiimote each, keep the GamePad for yourself, and enjoy the game without anyone feeling left out. With this configuration your four friends can enjoy the game in the standard way, running around, jumping and grabbing Lums, while you’re overseeing everything on the Wii U’s GamePad as Murphy, grabbing items for them, turning Lums purple in an attempt to get more and more points.
When it comes to games as colourful and appealing as Rayman Legends, there’s a definite vibe of “the more, the merrier” and with the Wii U’s ability to take on five players instead of four, then the Wii U should absolutely be the version of choice – especially if you’re a family of five, or you’re just that popular.
2. Miiverse Community:
One aspect that the Wii U adds to any game is that ability to talk to people all across the world in game-specific forum-style communities. These may feel like a gimmick when you load them up for the first time, but if you actually take the time to get yourself involved in them, you may find them to be both entertaining and useful. There are a number of times that I’ve gotten involved in discussions about the game, as well as posted a few challenge times that I thought were particularly impressive. Maybe it’s the community spirit of Nintendo on the whole, but people do actually seem to get involved with each other, creating fun little inter-community challenges for others to take part in, complete with adding pictures as proof – all taken from the game itself.
The fact that this is built straight into the game, without having to go through the console’s browser, is another impressive aspect. No matter where you are in the game, you can bring up the Miiverse community, post something new, comment on other people’s posts and generally just get involved. Of course, this might not be for everyone; some people may prefer to let their own game be just for them, and not share it with the world. But if it’s something that you may want to do, the Wii U version of the game – at the moment – is the only one that does it with such finesse.
3. Murfy Levels are Slightly Better:
I’m not a huge fan of the Murfy levels in Rayman Legends. If you’re playing in single player on the Wii U you don’t even get to control the main character, having to deal with Murphy alone and simply helping the A.I. character through the level. With the big screen on the Wii U’s GamePad, though, things aren’t always that bad, allowing you to cut through ropes, move platforms and direct the other character with relative ease. It feels much more intuitive than the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of Rayman Legends, where Murfy will just hover around areas of the screen that can be manipulated, and you only have to hold down a single button. The Wii U version is actually the more tactical – and often challenging – version available.
While the Murfy levels are difficult to fully enjoy unless you’ve got at least one other person, having played Rayman Legends on both Xbox 360 and the Wii U, I can honestly say that I would rather play them on the GamePad than a more traditional controller.
4. Unlocks are Easily Seen on the Second Screen:
Rayman Legends is one of those games where you’ll unlock a hell of a lot of stuff through your time with it. In each and every play-session that you engage in, you can almost guarantee that you’ll unlock a couple of new characters, plenty of new creatures and perhaps a dozen or so lucky scratch cards. In the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions, you’re constantly pressing the back button to see what you’ve just been given, but with the Wii U version of the game – providing you’re playing with the bulk of the action taking place on the TV and not on the GamePad – you can simply glance down and see exactly what you’ve just unlocked. No messing about, just click on the item and you’re taken straight to the place you need to be in order to use it.
The lucky scratch cards are much better on the Wii U GamePad’s touch screen too – as you would probably expect. On the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of Rayman Legends, you have to use the left and right analog sticks to move a set of hands around the screen to scratch the card. With the Wii U version, you just use your finger, which is much more intuitive.
5. Off-Screen play:
Last, but absolutely not least, is the Wii U’s ability to play the game in its entirety without even turning the TV on. The off-screen play feature is meant to be used for those times when the main TV is otherwise occupied, but I’ve used it more than once to play Rayman Legends as if it’s a handheld game. Just sitting on the sofa, headphones on, engrossed on the Wii U’s 6.1 inch screen was heaven for hours at a time. Sure, if I wanted to I could turn the TV on and play it like every other console game, but having the choice there is part of the joy.
The Wii U might not be a next-generation console in a lot of people’s minds, but if the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita manage to work together to do the same thing that the Wii U has been doing for a while now, then there’ll no longer be any doubt in peoples’ minds that Nintendo made a step into the next-generation, even if they didn’t make a full leap. The off-screen play works like a charm, and is almost a reason to get the game on the Wii U in itself. Although, admittedly, that’s probably only going to be a selling point for all those people who find themselves having to turn their games off all the time because someone else wants to use the TV.
At the end of the day, which version of the game you want to buy is totally down to you. Nobody should be able to take that choice away from you, and listening to people say that “X version of the game is the best” should be taken with a pinch of salt. However, we hope that these reasons have at least given you enough information to make an informed decision, if it’s done that, then it’s worked.
If you have an opinion on which version is best, then feel free to comment below – there’s bound to be an interesting discussion to be had.