Late last year, the Wii U had arrived in full force, bringing a wide variety of games to longtime Nintendo fans or newcomers to initiate them into their next generation console. I am one of the few Co-Optimus staff members to dive headfirst into the launch lineup, so to test the co-op capabilities of the Wii U first hand, I chose Scribblenauts Unlimited as my first co-op adventure. Being an immensely popular series in Nintendo’s legendary arsenal of games, it’s no wonder that Unlimited earned its place as a solid Wii U launch title.
I’ve played every Scribblenauts title to date, from Nintendo DS to iOS, and I can safely say that Scribblenauts Unlimited is definitely the very best game of the series thus far. Developer 5th Cell has once again brought forth another brilliant title worthy of a franchise that started as a humble handheld title. Drawing me in right off the bat, the HD graphics of Unlimited blew me away and showcased what the Wii U hardware was really capable of. While the game actually features a story never seen before, it isn’t what this game is truly about: creating outrageously fantastic things from your imagination. Using the Wii U GamePad, players control Maxwell and use the touchscreen/stylus to access a number of handy features added into this sequel.
First, the magic Notepad, the source of Maxwell’s Scribblenaut powers and your one-way ticket to imagination overload, allows you to create practically anything you want. Ever dreamt up a piece of giant zombie bacon with wings? That’s just the start of the ridiculous things you can come up with. This is the staple component to any Scribblenauts game, with Unlimited adding new words and adjectives to the already enormous amount provided in games past. In addition, Nintendo gave 5th Cell permission to add in some of their top video game franchises, such as Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda, into Unlimited. It’s more than just Nintendo nostalgia talking when I say that giving Maxwell the Master Sword to wield, all while riding a Yoshi and powered up with a Starman makes anything that much more enjoyable. Other additions that fine tuned the gameplay are: the Magic Backpack that holds anything you’ve created inside it for easy spawning access, a “fast travel” system to access any unlocked area instantaneously, and Starite Vision, which allows you to see where all Starite and Starite Shards are located within a level. 5th Cell knew exactly how to save player time when it came to traversing and accessing their surprisingly broad game, previously being a quite linear experience in past titles.
Finally, the most worthwhile addition made to Unlimited comes in the form of the Object Creator feature. With it, players can create anything they want to make and add practically any sort of configuration to their objects that they wish. Even with the vast amounts of these objects and beings players are able to spawn throughout the game, having the ability to mold and shape anything imaginable pushes the boundaries of creation freedom within Unlimited to new heights. For example: I had the opportunity to create Billy the Robot, Co-Optimus’ official mascot, by taking the base of a robot, adding some red coloration, yellow eyes, nerdy behaviors, and putting a black video game controller in his hand. Now, I’ve made my own object that can be shared via my account online. The Object Editor store is also a great tie-in feature to this mode that allows anyone in the world have access to my personal creations once placed in my storefront.
My own version of Billy can be found on my online Scribblenauts Unlimited storefront now!
With all the great features Unlimited has that gamers have come to look forward to in a Scribblenauts sequel, there’s one major aspect we’ve been practically left out to dry on. The reason you all are reading this review is because you want to know how the co-op component of the game works, right? The thing is: it would have almost been better to not include the co-op element in this game at all.