In the coming week both Star Fox Zero and Star Fox Guard will arrive, both titles that'll not only aim to revive a franchise but also - in a manner of speaking - its controller. The Wii U GamePad has been one of Nintendo's most controversial controllers, in part because it's the pricey and mandatory inclusion with a system that - based on current momentum - could prove to be Nintendo's least successful home console in its history. Portrayed by some as a weight holding Wii U back, and others as an underappreciated device, it's divided opinion.
There's a sense of inevitability to the debate it's triggered around Star Fox Zero, too. There are two notable camps - those (including this writer) that feel the precise aiming makes the gameplay adjustment and practice worthwhile, and those that feel it merely unnecessarily complicates a perfectly good formula for the series. Finding the line between innovation, challenge and uncalled for complexity has been the long running challenge for the controller.
As the upcoming Star Fox titles are both - essentially - showcases for the GamePad, touted as such as far back as E3 2014, we want to get your pre-release thoughts on the controller. Are you a fan of it, a critic that benches it in favour of the Wii U Pro Controller, or somewhere in between? Let us know in the polls and comments below.
Which GamePad features do you rate most highly? (Choose up to 2) (6,098 votes)
NFC (amiibo) scanning4%
Asynchronous multiplayer with the screen16%
Usage of the touch /second screen in single player25%
Virtual Console support, notably for DS5%
The design / ergonomics6%
How would you rate the GamePad's impact on gameplay across the Wii U library? (3,109 votes)
I think it's had a very positive effect when used29%
It's been beneficial for the most part37%
Hm, it's hard to say17%
I think the GamePad's been generally negative for Wii U games9%
A bit of a disaster, as it's either irrelevant or makes games worse7%
Which games make best use of the GamePad? (Choose up to 5) (11,224 votes)
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD8%
Super Mario 3D World2%
Super Mario Maker16%
Xenoblade Chronicles X6%
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U1%
Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut2%
Wii Party U2%
Wii Sports Club1%
Wii Fit U1%
Game & Wario2%
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD4%
Need for Speed: Most Wanted U0%
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate1%
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker3%
The Wonderful 1013%
Art Academy SketchPad / Atelier3%
New Super Mario Bros. U1%
Kirby & The Rainbow Curse / Paintbrush3%
Mario Party 101%
Affordable Space Adventures3%
Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones0%
Spin the Bottle: Bumpie's Party0%
None at all1%
What's your overall view of the GamePad? (3,081 votes)
I love it, another fantastic Nintendo controller21%
I'm a fan, but I think the concept has been underutilised53%
I don't mind it, but it's not among my favourite controllers11%
Hm, I don't know1%
I'm not a big fan, but I also think it's been poorly used by developers7%
I generally try not to stand on it.
There are only 3 good thing about the gamepad to me. Off-tv play. Gyroscope controls for shooting. 2 screen multiplayer.
The rest has been largely pointless.
can't wait for the nx and it's take on the gamepad. i hope it takes it to the next level instead of just has some sort of meh iteration to have compatibility with wii u games.
I was so surprised to see how well the Gamepad was utilized in Deus Ex. I was expecting a third party like Square-Enix to just slap a minimap on there and be done with it.
As for the Gamepad itself, I generally find it useful. Even just having the map and inventory on there is fine by me. And off-tv play is of course also just great.
Makes Legend of Zelda quicker, also having a map at all times is helpful because I am an idiot
@Dakt I just keep it plugged in, because you are right.
I really like the Gamepad, and it was one of the main reasons I purchased a Wii U. I love Off-TV gameplay and 2-player multiplayer. I hope the NX expands on it and make it more portable and gives it better battery life.
But, and this is a big but, it is hardly ever utilised - and even Nintendo themselves are guilt of being super lazy about this. Some games can't even be controlled on a basic level via touch! The amount of times I've wished I could just turn the screen off and play via the TV is ridiculous... It has been severely under utilised and that hasn't helped sales of the Wii U.
I love the off screen play. I can play and watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse ant the same time. Not by choice mind you.
As indispensable as it is for games like Mario Maker, I'm suprised splatoon wasn't on the list. I have come to rely on it heavily. It doesnt do much in that game bur the info it gives is very valuable.
@Rafx Kids? My nephew loves that show so I do similar
@Dakt That sucks. Xenoblade Chronicles X I have played for 19 hours straight once so if I were in that situation I'd almost neevr play it.
Splatoon and Lego City Undercover wasn't even on the list!
I love off-tv play!! Other than that... It is somewhat not that great. The screen is bad for a gaming device, the battery life is poor...
The only game it was useful is Mario Maker, although it may work good with others (except VC I have very few Wii U games)
The fact that Splatoon is not on the "Which games make best use of the GamePad?" question shocks me.
Also, correct me if I'm wrong but I think WWHD and TPHD need to be together because it looks like they do the same to me.
I love the gamepad. I used to only use it when games required me to use it, but over time it became my controller of choice for all games I play on my Wii U (even NES games on the VC). I actually think it's really comfortable!
The way that it is used for maps and inventory alone makes it better to me than most controllers. But man, on top of that, it does some really cool things. Affordable Space Adventures and Super Mario Maker especially were unbelievably fun experiences that simply wouldn't work with a "normal" controller. The info and additional control that it brings to Splatoon is invaluable. I can't wait to check out Star Fox Zero...should be another really unique game that shows off what this thing can do!
My only real complaint about it is the range for off TV play. Such a cool feature (that many people seem to think is the best feature), but I barely use it. If I could bring this thing up to my bedroom and play...man...actually, it's probably for the best that I can't.
@vashthestampede Yup, the kid gets dibs on the tv. All the money I had spent on a nice entertainment set up in the before time is now relegated to toddler shows. Lol
But if you have never heard Paw Patrol on a sound system , I'm telling you its boss!
@Rafx Such is life. The song at the end of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse gets annoying after the 4th time lol
i acually like it.in xenoblade for example its perfect for all the probe managment on the map and stuff like that.also a verry easy and quik way to navigate things like youtube or other non game things.i hated it at first but after a while i realy started to like it.and it does not break so easy as one might think,mine fell a hunderd times already and still works fine.i think its not that bad of a controlor at all to be honest
I'm surprised Splatoon isn't on the list (for gamepad likes).
I'll say the gamepad is generally used well, and off-tv play is useful for me (not because of needing TV use, but for multi-tasking, it's nice to be able to load a game up easily and/or do things concurrently on the computer).
I love it most though when they find clever uses with asynchronous multiplayer gameplay (Nintendoland, Luigi's mansion and mario chase, the animal crossing game was fun too)
While it has it's positives, a negative is the gamepad's general bulk and weight. An example is for Splatoon, the gamepad use is fantastic, but the weight starts wearing on the wrists over time. The general bulk size makes it less comfortable than pro controller (which is a fantastic controller btw). A thing I highly dislike is being 'forced' to use the gamepad when it is not necessary. When I don't need off tv play, it seems like a waste of electricity (per screen and processing power of main system) when the screen is on (mirroring the tv) but I'm not looking at it (i.e. smash bros per second screen, or Lost Reavers per screen w/o ability to use pro; in which case, if there's no need for gyro scope or touch screen, it should naturally/standardly/defaultly be able to use a pro controller instead). This is largely the fault of Nintendo's for not making it automatic (to be able to use a pro controller in place of the gamepad, though it's possible that it's easy to implement?). Either way, that controller option (to use pro) should always be available unless the other gamepad features are needed (i.e. splatoon), if it's not, there should be an option to turn the gamepad off (either completely, or just the screen with a notice to the main system not to need to process the extra view) without turning off the whole system
I love the GamePad, but yeah, it could've been put to better use. Some games (or minigames) just used it for the sake of using it. Personally I don't mind if the game just uses it as a map or inventory function - which in and of itself is already quite helpful - instead of developers doing nothing or something overly forced with it. But I expected more from Nintendo I suppose. However, if rumors are true that NX has another screen-controller (with a screen no bigger than Vita's), it seems like a more controller-like form factor - as in less XL sized - is in the cards and could be cheaper too.
Theres no question about it...unless you hav'nt played Deus Ex on the wii U you got to say that this game gives the best secondary screen features in any game by a long shot
I would have rather had a stronger home system with a standard controller and a stronger handheld with better connectivity with the home system. The only feature I use is off tv play.
THIS! I love off-TV play, it blew my mind the first time I did it. However, the range is way too short. My front room is next to my bedroom and I can't sit in bed without losing signal - if I could, I would use it a hell of a lot more.
As it is, I very rarely use it as we have two TVs in our lounge so there's no problems when my girlfriend wants to watch her TV programmes. I do love it for map use, though. And VC games, especially GBA and SNES.
Sadly, the DS VC titles suck as they failed to give a decent selection of view modes. I'm really hoping they can update the software as even I could come up with better ways to display the screens...
Ummm my top rated feature was seriously the game-pad use as a TV remote.
@LeonBelmontX All they'd have to do is allow you to use the "stylus controls only" view on the TV while leaving the button controls "normal". It'd look sideways if you look down at the gamepad but it'd play fine on the TV. Not ideal if you ever have to touch the touch screen for something, but eh. I guess ideally, you could use that TV view while having the two screens side by side on the gamepad. I'd definitely buy some DS games on the VC if either of these was an option. I really don't understand how they can have so many options without any of them being good.
The GamePad isn't hefty at all. It's rather light for its size.
Q) Which GamePad features do you rate most highly?
A) I voted for Off-TV play and Usage of the touch /second screen in single player, although I happen to love each of the GamePad's features listed. That's not to say I don't think it could be better, but in terms of what it provides and how it feels in my hands, it is a controller I love to use.
Q) How would you rate the GamePad's impact on gameplay across the Wii U library?
A) I think it's had a very positive effect when used is what I voted for as I feel, whether it is through a small addition or a large addition, that the implementation of the GamePad has improved the experience of my games. Standard features of the GamePad such as Off-TV Play bring about a benefit to any game that doesn't have a specific use for them, and the unique usage of them within a certain games are always appreciated.
Q) Which games make best use of the GamePad?
A) Of the one's listed, I voted for The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, Nintendo Land, Pokken Tournament, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, and The Wonderful 101. There are however many other games I feel made great usage of the GamePad, both on the list and not on the list. For instance, I feel Project Zero: Maiden of Black Water, Splatoon, Nihilumbra, and Shantae and the Pirate's Curse made excellent usage of the GamePad, but these were not available options.
Of the votes I made though, I honestly feel The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD has my favourite usage of the GamePad, despite those features being small and optional. Those small and optional features such as accessing my inventory with the touch screen and aiming with the gyroscope greatly improved my experience, and made an already wonderful game even better. To me, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD's usage of the GamePad felt like a showcase of the natural progression of controllers.
Q) What's your overall view of the GamePad?
A) The top vote being 'I love it, another fantastic Nintendo controller' doesn't quite sum up my feelings on the Wii U's GamePad. It is in fact my favourite game controller of all time, and is the controller I have used to play through all my Wii U games. Unless one of my brothers are using it instead, for whatever reason, the GamePad is my go to controller even when there are other options for the game. It's my favourite controller to hold, being incredibly comfortable for me and at a pretty much perfect size for my hands to grip, as well as being filled with features I love using. Typing on the GamePad is wonderful compared to having to use a standard controller, and I've caught myself sometimes going through Miiverse more so than playing a game in a day. It has allowed for, what are in my opinion, significant improvements to games in it's smaller features and unique experiences when the GamePad is at the forefront of a game's focus.
I think it's a good idea that did pretty good with certain games, but it seemed nintendo didn't even really care for it. It's not heavy and it's easy to grip and play on...I use it all the time, and I love the off-tv play when it's used on most of the games, but I rarely ever use the TV and gamepad at the same time, as it becomes hard for me to do. Other than that, the controller that nintendo made that I really didn't care for (due to the grip design and the button layout) was the N64's, which I still never got used to till this day. I hate it when my hands sweat on that one and then it makes it more difficult to grip it. My favorite one that they did was the Gamecube's.
Other than that, I thought the Wii U was a good system for nintendo fans, but if certain people didn't like more of their IP's, then it wasn't a system for them. Hopefully the NX has a good looking and feeling controller and gets the support that nintendo needs to get them back into the game.
Missed out on Batman Arkham City Armoured Edition the best Batman game for me and Darksiders 2 both use the gamepad brilliant and must own games if you are looking too get use out of the gamepad.
I didn't vote in this poll because Splatoon wasn't in the options
I didn't bother voting in the game poll as there is no Splatoon.It's far and away my favourite use of the hefty beast.
Edit :@EarthboundBenjy We think alike haha
I like the gamepad, it feels as ergonomic as the 3DS XL, and the New 3DS XL. I think the concept was nice, I just think they should've included the extra capacity batter with the newer bundles after 2013.
I think they should have stuck with using a Pro Controller as the main and for games that absolutely required a second screen, they could/should have made it compatible with the 3DS.
I really prefer the gamepad over any other controller. Only difference I would make would be analog triggers and battery life and neither of those issues have really effected me, just me nitpicking. I will miss the gamepad when it's gone.
I'm kind of puzzled...what did people expect the controller to do? The DS was a terrific piece of hardware and Nintendo basically built a home console version of a DS. For some reason having a touch screen on a handheld works well but having a touch screen on your controller for a home console is bad?
The biggest issues with the WiiU for me were the name, price, and lack of support. The gamepad is way down the list.
Splatoon needs to be on the list, it's the first game I thought of 🤔
I really like my gamepad and have fun using it. i really love all that it can do.
"Which games make best use of the GamePad? (Choose up to 5)"
Why isn't Splatoon on the list?
Why isn't Splatoon an option on the list of games that make the best use if the Gamepad?
Also, Lego City. That game had some great Gamepad usage!
Wish I could have voted for Splatoon on the list of games!
I LOVE MY GAMEPAD!!!!!!
The gamepad not being HD is a let down and it would have been so much better if you could of used it to play games whilst the Wii U was streaming Netflix and whatnot.
@123akis Damn! Yes! It works super welll in Splatoon!
its a good, meaty controller. When playing games with the kids, they get the Wiimotes but Dad gets the WiiPad. It makes Super Mario Maker possible which alone justifies it. Sure, shame its not been utilised more but when the era of the Wii U is long gone, I will still have warm fuzzy feelings about it. I'm a proud Wii U owner.
It's definitely been underutilised. Perhaps not so much by Nintendo although certain big name titles like Smash Bros and the Mario games could have made better use besides being just a 2nd screen.
I've never used the off-TV play feature, although I knew I wouldn't have much use for it seeing as I don't have to share the TV I use to play. The big disappointment for me was the complete lack of range it offered. Once you left the room it just went dead. Perhaps in these modern houses with cardboard walls it works but with brick walls, you're limited to a single room. I was really looking forward to playing off the TV whilst sitting in another part of the house, offering me the freedom of a handheld. I hope if the NX has a similar handheld/off-TV feature this is fixed. Also, no HD screen on the GamePad really didn't make me want to play using just that screen, as it felt like you were missing out.
3% of haters so far probably don't have a Wii U. It reinvigorated my love for gaming.
I like the gamepad, but mostly for Off-TV play. If it is missing in the next round, I probably will just pick up a handheld and be just as happy.
@Krambo42 I agree on the range but I am lucky. My WiiU is in my family room in my basement which is exactly below my bedroom. So. I can take the WiiU controller in my room, turn it on and it works great. It will sometimes lose connection for a moment but always comes back. But it's all a trick in it being able to transmit through my floor, etc. It would be cool if they made some kind of extender for it.
It could definitely be used better if devs had actually wanted to develop for it, but at the same time I feel it's not as good or useful as the second screen on their portables and that the concept itself reeks of desperation.
In personal usage, I'll use it when I'm absolutely required to but I would rather use a pro controller as the Gamepad's awful battery life alone is enough to make me despise actually using it.
I think that the GamePad concept is pretty cool because my grandma always hogs the TV, and other wise I wouldn't be able to play that often.
P.S.: Why isn't Minecraft on the list?
I'm a fan of the gamepad and also a fan of these voting thingies.
I really don't like it, for 2 main reasons.
The first is that it creates this paradigm where I'm expected to look at two screens at the same time. Eyeballs don't work like that. And you can either pause the game, not look at the action to look at a menu, or you can look down at your lap, not look at the action to look at a menu. I've seen people complain that on-screen menus are too slow, but they have the benefit of stopping the action while you're doing it. In Arkham City, you would have to find a perch on top of a building to safely look at the menu, meanwhile you hear the criminals on the ground saying the same things over and over. Obnoxious. You also have times where the TV image has to say "look at the Gamepad." How is that useful? If you have to display that message, you could just be displaying the thing you want the player to look at in the first place.
The second thing is simply ergonomics. It's not heavy, but since it's only slightly larger than the state of Montana it is a bit unwieldy. Plus you have tiny vertical grips way at the bottom of the controller, but the analog sticks are way at the top on the other side. It's like the controller was designed for people with the hands of small children and the thumbs of Pumpkinhead.
Off TV is great for the OLD games. Problem is NOA has only released a small percentage of the Wii Virtual Console -which irritates me to no end.
Off TV sucks for retail games, who wants these shiny "somewhat" modern HD games for the first time from Nintendo to be small, blurry, low res and honestly, pretty dull and ugly looking on the very lacking screen of the Gamepad?? Not me.
Nintendo really dropped a deuce with this console, I'm very likely out for the next generation, no matter what they claim to offer with it. And that is after a lifetime of sticking with them each time. I just can not imagine that this company has much in common with the company that I had so much fun with it, combined with myself feeling less than enthusiastic. Once they take Zelda U away, that will be the last straw with me. Wii U has not entertained me and mos of my gaming time is playing older eShop games through the Wii channel; :/ lame.
For the Poll, the Gamepad use category was missing Splattoon for some reason, a NintendoLife mistake I imagine). I would have picked that game as my top Gampad use. I like the simple tap warp of and use of the map.
I'm not a fan. It's too big and heavy for my liking, and it feels awkward to hold. However, some games make great use of it, such as Splatoon (that should have been on the list). In other games such as Zelda and Xenoblade, it is very handy to have a map or inventory on the GamePad screen.
Personally, I would have preferred the screen to be a similar size to the 3DS touch screen, and then make the GamePad smaller and lighter. Plus, a longer battery life would have been great.
I was going through Chronicles of Teddy the other day, thinking just how awkward it should be to play that game on PS4 or PC. The map displayed on the second screen is such an important addition that I shivered just to think of having to press "select" every time I wanted to see where I was (which, in that game, was all the time).
Basically, I love the gamepad. I don't want gimmicks for the second screen, either - I just love it as a handy map/inventory for immediate access, as well as how the gyroscope was used in games such as WInd Waker and Lego City Undercover. I hope the NX continues the tradition.
Aside from reading amiibo figures, the only feature that I love from the gamepad is Off-TV Play. It was Nintendo's version of streaming from one place to another.
Hopefully Nintendo puts an emphasis on that feature and creates some kind of hybrid between Off-TV Play, Remote Play, handheld capabilities, and controller functions on the NX handheld.
The gamepad enhances all of the games that use it and doesn't effect them if it doesn't use it. The Wii remote reduces the quality of all games that shouldn't have motion controlls.
Xenoblade had by far some of the best usage. I think the poll results are largely based on bias of what people play. It's unfortunate because people are unwilling to buy games that are not Nintendo and some of those non Nintendo games had THE BEST gamepad utilization. Case in point: Xenoblade, Deus Ex, and Monster Hunter 3. These games were excellent and Nintendo should take a hint on how to use the gamepad from companies such as Monolith. The only suggestion I would make to monolith is have the equip menu navigable on the gamepad also, and maybe during fights have the skill panel available there in addition to by button presses.
Love the game pad it's a shame people don't understand it
The usage of the Gamepad is largely meh to me. I feel like only Mario Maker really benefited from it and without it, SMM would be a pain. I also love shooting with it, especially at Splatoon (btw where's that in the second-to-last question!?). I also love off-tv play from time to time (mostly Mario Maker).
Overall, I like the concept but it's a bit too big for my liking. Still hope Nintendo expands on its concept with NX or at least makes it compatible with NX.
@Dakt I got the bigger battery makes a huge difference but it should have been standard
I love using the gamepad, but it was definitely under utilized in games.
The big problem with the gamepad I have is if it breaks, you gotta send it to Nintendo for repair, or order a new one from them, you can't simply just go to a store and buy a new one. To me, this is a huge problem of the gamepad, and is really a big pain in the butt.
@cfgk24 lol I'm not voting until @ThomasBW84 adds in those options.
Off screen play is wonderful. It has helped during many periods of illness and recovery. I hope on the NX it will be supported more. Shame more wasn't done with it but to me it's been wonderful.
@garthvader FYI - Nintendo wholly owns Monolith, Monolith is Nintendo. They just happen to be the part of it that knows how to make graphically beautiful games with voice acting and story. But they are still Nintendo.
The gamepad is absolutely unrivaled when used properly.
But it wasn't perfect. The size wasn't a major issue- it did allow for a large screen, but I think a more normal sized controller with a screen would have been better.
Also, while I appreciate games that made it a focus (Wonderful 101, Rayman Legends, Star Fox Zero) in hindsight I think it's best relegated to auxiliary functions like maps, inventory management and secondary data (Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, Zelda Twilight Princess HD, Xenoblade Chronicles X).
The screen is definitely a feature that needs to stay- much like a second screen is a staple of their handhelds. They just need to learn from Wii U as far as which functions it should be used for. Main focus sounded great at first, but it didn't work out as well as I thought it would.
@rjejr Well yes I know this, but they were acquired by Nintendo. Monolith did not come from Nintendo. My first experience with Monolith was in with Xenogears on PS1 which was not Monolith Soft at the time but eventually members moved on to start Monolith Soft. They have always been amazing developers. And they continue to be one of Nintendos greatest assets. I wish Nintendo would take a hint from them because they are some of the more creative developers and they seem to understand how to make games that most of the hardcore crowd who moved on to ps4 and xboxone would want.
I wish it fit better in my hands. When playing games like Twilight Princess I just prop it up (so I can swap quickly or use the map) and just use the pro controller. I gladly sacrifice gyroscope for comfort!
@johnodaz Arkham City is one of my favourite uses of the game pad. Evidence scanner, comms device, use of other items. It was like your own gadget.
If a game uses it in a unique way, I love it. However, I usually just stick with the Pro Controller.
For me, it's all about Off-TV Play, as I prefer the GamePad's screen to my TV. That said, I'd be just as happy with a high-res handheld.
Was surprised not to see Splatoon on the list. Without the gamepad you'd be screwed. One of the best uses of it besides XCX and ZombiU
I hate the fact Mario kart 8 doesn't use the gamepad screen as a second player screen! It's seriously would've been far better for local multiplayer. I do love the gamepad sure it's a bit bigger than my Xbone and ps4 controllers but I never really take them out, plus the massive range of extra features such as off screen play, far make up for it! I've loved the Wii U and all the current consoles controllers for that matter! They've all Seriously improved from last gen apart from the xbone (which had better shoulder and triggers but isn't as comfortable as my 360 one) hopefully the NX controller is more like the gamepad than a ps4/Xbone controller!
@DeltaPeng "Splatoon" of course...it's the most relevant use of the gamepad
@Dakt "ZombiU I felt it was shoehorned in and the game would be better without stopping gameplay momentum for scanning"
If you feel that is the case, then you don't understand why they put that in the game in the first place: it's simply real-time searching to create immersion because in real life it would also take time. And the same applies for nearly every other GamePad related function in the game.
It also creates more tension because of you being able to see the zombies coming at you while you're doing this, so to me it definitely adds to the horror experience.
So, if interpreted the right way, you'd see it as a pro, not a con.
Lego city undercover needed to be on that list. My second complaint is you can only have one and i think that has hurt this controller the most. I also do not like the fact that you cannot easily replace it. Joysticks wear out and screens can break.
Er....Lego City Undercover? Splatoon?
I think Splatoon makes use of the Gamepad so deftly and intuitively that it's easy to forget the Gamepad isn't just a standard gaming setup. Which may explain how it somehow ended up being omitted from the list.
Super Jumps, Ink Strikes, team member locations, real-time ink status on the map, beacons - and of course - meaningfully implemented motion controls. Splatoon would be half the game it is if these things weren't present.
This is a good poll, but I haven't voted in games section (yet) on account of that.
I love the GamePad. Love it. Only problem in my house is when we're all playing, as that results in a row over who gets to use it.
I love gamepad and it's my favorite controller ever. Love the off tv play, especially for VC snes and gba games. Ergonomic is great, best of all controllers I ever had. Yea, even better then PS and Xbox ones..
I love the GamePad too much and I would like for the NX Controller to take a note or two from it. I will admit that the controller itself became underutilized, though.
One of my favorite things about the Gamepad is how there is little processing going on in the Gamepad itself, so the system never gets too hot for your fingers, hands, or lap like all of my other electronics do. That's why the Wii U is my go-to for web browsing.
Also, I would have voted Splatoon had it been an option.
Wii U Pro Controller is the only controller I use for this system.
I think Art Academy is the best thing they've done with the gamepad. Encourages people to do art and is the best justification for the touchscreen using a stylus. Simply allows more precise art then you can do with the kind of touch screen on a iPhone/Vita etc. Art Academy should have been built into the system and miiverse, and allowed you to design your own wallpapers/themes etc to share.
Game wise Mario Maker makes the best use of it. Just so much simpler then if you had to use traditional controls to choose and position elements. Shame they didn't come up with it for the system's launch as it would have probably lead the way for 3rd parties to release RPG makers and Sonic Makers etc etc.
Mario Paint, Jet Set Radio and any game/app that lends itself to art and design or even music creation could have worked well with it.
I've not seen enough of Star Fox to know if it works like this, but always imagined that the gamepad could have given you a range of extra controls from inside the arwing. If you were hit you could have also had to put out fires on the gamepad and had your view obscured by smoke or nano monsters burrowing in which affects your normal ability to fly etc.
Also always thought that there should have been a Zelda/Kid Icarus or other fantasy game where you could use a wii remote in one hand as a sword and have the gamepad with a special cradle (like the Wii wheel) to make it so you can hold it in one hand like a shield. Can imagine using it like a mirror shield to reflect and aim laser beams or fire or as a view to fight a like medusa monster so your character on the TV has to face away from your enemy.
Anyway that's enough of my creative thoughts for now lol. It's just a shame that for the most part the gamepad's use in games has been for maps and item management which although are made better on the Wii U, are actually the least fun parts of games and not really a great selling point.
Why in the world is Splatoon not on here? Literally the best controller usage on the system hands down...
I absolutely love the Wii U GamePad. From the moment I held it for the first time at a demo station, it became my favorite controller.
I wish it was utilized in more games, but the games that do take advantage of it (Batman Arkham City, Zombi U, Super Mario Maker, Splatoon, and others) are a joy to play.
Still wish we could have gotten something like L. A. Noire where the GamePad is your notebook or GTA V where it's your phone.
Splatoon, Art Academy, and Pikmin 3 are by far the best uses of the gamepad. Why the heck isn't Splatoon on that list!?
When it comes to controller tech and new features, the Gamepad is the only noticeable step forward we took in nearly 20 years, except maybe for the switch to wireless. So yeah, it's definitely a great controller.
It could have used a slightly smaller screen, which would have reduced the size, weight, and increased the pixel density and maybe the battery life. But overall, the design isn't bad. The Gamepad being too heavy is kind of a joke. It isn't much heavier than these gigantic phablets so many people are carrying everywhere around. The screen isn't that bad either, although the colors and contrast can be way different from what you see on your TV, which will make it really obvious. But each TV being different, this is an issue specific to the Wii U.
And if you are struggling with the battery life, try turning off rumble and set backlight one notch lower. It can easily give you one more hour.
The real let down is the range. But here again, people are dumb and superficial, many would not have accepted the Wii U having an external antenna, and Nintendo knew that. This could have offered the larger bandwidth needed for AV streaming. Hopefully, the NX will have something new to offer in this department?
I'm glad to see so many votes for ZombiU, as it is a 3rd party launch title and they made the effort to offer an excellent multi player asymmetrical mode.
I'm also glad to see so many votes for Nintendo Land, it often is underestimated.
It's surprising to see little votes for Pikmin3 however. The game made good use of the GP and still allowed you to play with a Wiimote.
I liked the gamepad , but my only complaint is the battery. It should have been a larger size.
Personally for me the gamepad has been just a burden or annoyance in games it's forced upon you, otherwise I always use pro controller or Wii controllers.
For one thing the gamepad has been amazing though and that is web browsing, that should have totally been in the poll.
It was mentioned by various others, but where is Splatoon?
Motion controls aren't necessary, but they work really well especially with chargers. And having the map on the gamepad is really useful along with being able to super jump quickly using it.
If the GamePad had analogue triggers it could have been my best controller of all time. I'm not even kidding.
I love the GamePad; I'm not just a fan, I'm probably its biggest fan. It's really comfortable (it was way larger than I thought when I first held it in my hands, though) and it's a small but great help in many games such as Splatoon and Wind Waker HD. The GamePad is the ultimate tool for do-it-yourself games such as Mario Maker. Off-TV play is also a great feature; in fact, I only play Smash Bros on the GamePad. Sure the game looks great on TV but I'm not a graphics guy at all and I don't mind looking at a low-res screen at all. And no, the GamePad is not heavy. I can see why people might think it's bulky, but it's NOT heavy.
The GamePad IS underutilized, though. I wish it was used more in games because it has so much potential. I'm sure the NX home console will have a screen on its controller (a smaller one). I'll be so happy if that was the case!
Eh, I'm not really a fan of the GamePad. None of its features appeal to me all that much. It's big and bulky and I find it feels awkward to move around in games that have motion control. I generally have a difficult time keeping track of multiple things at once, so I really dislike games that require you to periodically glance down at the GamePad or tap on screen. It breaks the immersion I feel in a game and it does leave me confused and scrambling to figure out what's going on once my eyes are back on the TV. The only thing I like about the GamePad is the off-TV play, but I live by myself and therefore don't have to share the TV with anyone, so its actual utility is negligible.
I borrowed Splatoon from a girl I work with a couple weeks ago and while it is a good game, I ultimately couldn't get past having to use the GamePad. I know that the motion controls can be turned off but it still felt a little unwieldy. But the super jump requiring the touch screen makes it impossible to play without it. It's truly a shame as I'd love to continue playing but whenever I did play, I just kept wishing that I could use my Pro Controller. I use my Pro Controller as much as I can and I love it but I am very hesitant to play anything that requires the GamePad. The only game that I found uses the GamePad in a manner that I find appealing is Mario Maker, but I am not a creative person in the slightest, so level creation isn't something that I do often. The vast majority of the time, I just play other people's levels with the Pro Controller. I'm a bit wary of the upcoming Star Fox game because of the GamePad integration, but I am open minded enough to give it the time of day just to see if I like it enough to place my reservations about the GamePad aside.
I do, however, understand that just because I don't like the GamePad doesn't mean that it shouldn't exist. There are tons of people who love the GamePad and I can certainly understand why. I love when Nintendo takes risks and does something unique and don't want them to stop making truly memorable gameplay experiences. I love my Wii U and will argue to the death its right to exist. The GamePad just isn't my cup of tea but I'm happy that so many others enjoy it.
I wouldn't say Splatoon has the best GamePad usage, but I will say that without the screen (and to a degree motion controls), Splatoon is pretty much useless. That's one of the reasons why I think the NX home console will have a screen on its controller. We want this franchise to continue, right?
Oh, and Lego City Undercover also has some pretty great GamePad usage! One of the best on the Wii U.
The gamepad is why Nintendo does not have 3rd party support from the major companies. It is also why I went to a PS4 after having a Wii U it just was bad. Nintendo is lost. My brother had a Nintendo, Snes and I have a 64, GC, Wii, Wii U. I wonder if they will ever be the major video game company again?
I love the idea of it, but I think it's too bulky. Also, the analog sticks are awful. A less bulky GamePad with a higher resolution screen and better analog sticks would be ideal for me.
They did not sell the gamepad "concept" well, but it's a fantastic controller otherwise. The only controllers I like better are the pro controller and the gamecube controller. (I guess the PS3 controller is good too.)
@ThomasBW84 Splatoon is definitely #3 for gamepad usage! It's so weird when you watch gameplay of Splatoon because you usually can't see the gamepad.
I plaid Xenoblade Chronicles X, Mario Maker and Twilight Princess on it. I really enjoy the regular controller that came with the console. The only thing I disliked was this 32 GB space on the console.
Even though I quite like the controller I think it was not a good idea.
First of all it kinda makes an underpowered console quite expensive for what it is. Second, it wasnt really put to good use too much. How many games really make use of it? I understand it was the only way to go for nintendo to introduce it. If the pro controller was the standard, nobody would have bought an expensive alternative that doesnt really do a lot.
They needed to have Call of Duty Black Ops 2 on this list. I have spent countless hours playing local multilpayer with my brother in that game. I play off screen on the gamepad, while he plays on the TV. Typically against bots or in zombie mode.
I love the game pad people who don't tend to be people that have never even used it and just decided they don't like the look of it
I never understood all the gamepad hate. It has its weaknesses and yes it is under utilized...but its my favorite Nintendo controller of all time.
I couldn't see Splatoon in the list, so consider this a vote for Splatoon as a game that uses it well. With the gyroscope aiming and the map for fast-travel to your comrades via touch, it's subtle improvements but I wouldn't want to be without them.
As a married man I can say that Off-Screen play using the Gamepad is a flippin' godsend!! Haha
Yeah...that's my situation too with off tv play. I love it so much since I can do that while the wife or kids watch thier shows.
I like the controller, i always did play off tv. If Nintendo is still using the idea with the NX then maybe they can make it better. The things i would suggest is improve the resolution, improve the distance the gamepad can be from the console, and yes make it optional for people who don't want it
"Star Fox aims to show what it can do"
Would be great it Ntneod would let us see what the Gamepad and Starfox could do by way of a wide release demo, instead of going the stupid limited exclusive route of only a few Gamestop stores. Not even every Gamestop store, just a few. And it's only for 3 hours.
With all the talk of the SFZ learning curve using the Gamepad I think they really need to get the demo into homes. Pokken has a home demo, also in Target, so it's possible to have a AA retail title. I thikn that level we've all seen over adnover again witht he big tower in the middl ewould have any spoilrs at this point.
SF Guard should have a demo as well. I've played a lot of tower defense games in my life but until I saw Alex's vid I really wasn't interested at all. I'm still not interested in playing sol, but watching my kids play could be fun for everyone. And since it's sold for $15 on the eShop it might help give it some exposure.
But putting a demo in about 100 Gamestops for 3 hours is not the way to market unusual or new control method games.
Want to promote the Gamepad, promote it in all stores, always.
Overall, I've liked the Gamepad quite a bit. It's comfortable, and the second screen is extremely useful. From two-screen split-screen in CoD, to an always open map/inventory with touch controls, to off-TV play, it's gotten to the point that I miss it when I play something without it. It's just so convenient. I hope the NX has something like it.
Also, I was going to vote for Splatoon under the "Which games make best use of the GamePad?" question, but it wasn't there. Because Splatoon is largely based on controlling territory, a clear and readily available map is a necessity, and the Gamepad is a perfect fit, allowing for a map that's always displayed and easy to read, even at a glance, without cluttering up the TV screen. The combination of motion controls with a traditional button layout works really well, too. I tried the Wii Remote while playing local multiplayer once, and it was terrible.
If ZombiU, Nintendo Land and Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director is the best examples you can give in the gamepads defence, then you can see why it has failed.
It seems from what I have read that Starfox has been let down by its controls. It's Nintendo's fault for not letting go and admitting defeat and just sticking to 'off TV play' for the gamepad.
The Gamepad should enhance gameplay or allow off TV play, but it does none of these successfully.
Maybe we will see some Wii U
games re-released for the NX with a normal controller.
Example, Kirby Wii U.
It's stopped me from getting a Wii U. It's confusing. It's huge. There are way too many controllers for the system. My N3DS does the job.
Star Fox Zero's name could be changed to:
"The Game if You Weren't Sold Out on The Gamepad After Splatoon"
I thought that at first, but it actually fits VERY nice in your hand
The off-TV is really awesome, especially on the virtual console games. I've spent many hours with my headphones plugged into that thing during football seasons. I'm surprised Pikmin 3 got less than 1% of votes; in my opinion that was the best use of the GamePad in any Wii U game. The touch screen made managing your Pikmin so easy.
@wallkick03 it does, you're right about that. I don't like that the system requires and supports only 1 of them. Also supports wii motes. GameCube controllers. Pro controller. Classic controller. That all is ridiculous.
The best part of the GamePad for me is the Internet Browser. Second being off TV play.
The GP should have been an optional devise now that it's 4 years in and we have hindsight; clearly no one cares to/has any idea how to properly utilize it in game.
When the biggest positive for the dang thing is off TV play, clearly the original over all vision of the pad was a little too ambitious for the market demand.
I love the GamePad. The motion controls for Splatoon, touch for Super Mario Maker, the map in Pikmin 3, and many more make great use of its special features. The buttons and sticks are great for regular games (WAY better than the crappy wiimote, on par with the GameCube controller imo). And I don't see how it holds anything back, except that friends have to use wiimotes instead of the GamePad, and that can often be an unfair disadvantage.
The Gamepad is my favorite standard controller hands down.
Ergonomically, it fits perfectly in my hands and has a nice weight without being too heavy. It is the only controller where having parallel analog sticks don't bother me (I hate Sony controllers for that reason). I love that it has gyro controls for games I'm traditionally bad at like shooters; so having a different control scheme in Splatoon has given me more interest in a genre I normally ignore. I love the touchscreen for inventory/map/info management and off TV play. I've finished more games because can just pick it up and take it to bed, then shut the system down before falling asleep. I love games that split the gameplay so that each player can have a screen. I'm that person that sometimes loses my place when playing split screen. So the gamepad makes it easier to play with friends since I prefer local multiplayer to online. Since I use the karaoke feature on the JPN WiiU I love the fact that you can use it to read lyrics and make choices. It is also my preferred input for taiko games. Screen resolution and speaker quality are very good considering its a pack in controller. I wear glasses so I'm glad the screen size is what it is. The buttons are responsive and don't feel spongy and as usually Nintendo makes great analog sticks with acceptable dead zone limits. I'm also a heavy amiibo user and appreciate that I don't have to have an extra device to scan them in.
My only complaints are battery life, lack of dual gamepad utilization, lag on some multiplayer and I do hope for a more responsive screen. I hope that Nintendo improves the gamepad rather than scrapping it. I've never had an issue with games that don't always use all of its features as not every game NEEDS them; and for the times a dev is lazy that is not the fault of the hardware. But the WiiU is on its library alone only follows the gamecube as my favorite system. But with BC and VC? Best system I've ever owed. If Nintendo had built a 3ds player I would have likely sold my xbone (gotta keep the ps4 for the yakuza series and I have a PC) because between those two systems that is about 80% of my gaming time. After that it is PC gaming with the x86 twins in the back. I honestly feel the gamepad contributes to that heavily as I loathe the Pro controller. Parallel analog sticks are not my friend on that controller.
EDIT: I hate posting on my phone. Makes me look like English is my third language. sigh. Cleaned up my post a bit.
The Wii U GamePad has awesome features. It's just a bit too bulky, and it was a dumb decision to put the ancient tech of a resistive touch screen on it.
I'm hoping that the NX controller will be a "regular" shaped pad with evolved features from the Wii U GamePad.
The Gamepad is a textbook example of a great idea, killed by sloppy execution. The idea of having instant info, maps, and functions on the controller, freeing up HUD clutter on the game screen. Not to mention all the potential of asymmetrical gameplay is genius. But instead of doing anything interesting with this concept. Nintendo decided it would rather bog down the device by giving it too many unnecessary features IR port, external port, sensor bar, camera, 6 in. screen, seriously they could've cut, or reduce half of this stuff and the Gamepad would've been a much cheaper, not to mention much better controller. Not only that, but it's also needlessly large. The general public saw it as some sort of weird tablet add-on for their regular Wii. People already have an iPad and a Wii, so why would they want a tablet-esque device that does less than a tablet?
If Nintendo had just stuck with the screen concept, shrunk the size, and cut out most of the superfluous crap, the Gamepad would've been far more attractive.
I think it's ergonomically HORRIBLE, but functionally pretty cool.
I'm fine with it, usually I just use the Pro controller...but when it came to games like Pikmin 3 or the Zelda remakes (I only played Wind Waker, but I'm sure TP would be the same anyways)...GamePad is a must. Just wished Devs would do more than just a map with it, though.
My personal list of Pros and Cons for the GamePad:
Pros: Off-TV play is a wonderful option to have, It's well-built and has a nice, big screen and Using the GamePad as a second screen for multiplayer.
Cons: The battery life is absolutely pathetic, The inability to totally deactivate the GamePad when you want to use another controller can be a major nuisance and A VAST majority of games hardly even utilize its special features
Overall, I like the GamePad, I really do. But there have been major flaws and under-utilization with it.
Where is Splatoon on the list of games!?!?!?
@123akis Splatoon is the best way to use the gamepad! The touch screen and the motion control put a fresh wind to shooter game. A 10/10 game.
@TromboneGamer Splatoon is the best way to use the gamepad! The touch screen and the motion control put a fresh wind to shooter game. A 10/10 game.
Seriously though, if the NX tries another little joke like the gamepad, I'm outta here
No Star Fox?
Nintendo site not mentioning one of the best selling exclusives/new ip (Splatoon), which actually is one of the best uses for overall worthless gamepad.
I guess they don't care.
Off TV play is my favorite feature. I don't like using the gamepad for motion controls or holding it up to the screen. I got through fatal frame but mostly because I love horror games. I use the gamepad to play GBA games on what I feel is a giant gameboy.
Off screen play is the main thing I do with the Wii U, mainly since I'm more of a portable gamer anyway and I like playing games while watching TV or whatever. As much as the games do look better on the TV, I still think the screen is good enough from what I've played and I've never had any issues.
Most people like the gamepad.
Nothing's changed since launch then except the minority of haters that we've been listening to for years now trying to drive the conversation
It had a lot of promise but was tragically un-utilized. I'm actually surprised that people still think it's "hefty". Pretty sure it's lighter than my N3DSXL
Why isn't Splatoon on the list? It's one of the best uses for the controller so far.
My choices were:
Affordable Space Adventure
Super Mario Maker
Map on gamepad was a fun feature in Deus Ex too. Overall gamepad has been too underused unfortunately. I´m glad it gets more use with the release of Star Fox next week.
Mario Tennis Ultra Smash also has good use of the gamepad in two player mode (opposite view of the TV). I picked up the game for 22 euros and that's about what it is worth if you care for local multiplayer.
@Dakt Well, for a lot of people it did and since Ubisoft meant for it to be interpreted EXACTLY as I explained, you can't speak of it being shoe-horned into it, since it's not tacked on just for the sake of it.
Ubisoft actually gave implementing the GamePad into a game a really good try. And the PS4 version wasn't anything to write home about at all, since it missed quite a few things in exchange for bog standard controls and slightly upgraded graphics and an arguably better viewing angle because of a different screen ratio.
It all reminded me very much of Resident Evil 4 when that got ported to Playstation. In both cases by no means a clear winner...
So, in the end it is all a taste/opinion thing. You think it sucked, I think it was a nice touch. We're never going to be in agreement here, but at the very least we should emphasize the distinction of it not being a fact that it was bad, shoehorned or whatever other label you want to slap on it...
Yeah, to me, the Wii U Gamepad will have the same experience as the Wiimote. Even though the Wiimote proved its worth with Skyward Sword and the benefits of Motion Plus, people wanted to move on from it due to how much it was only used for Waggle® even though most games after Skyward Sword began to use Motion Plus in a beneficial way. They aren't very popular games, however.
As such, the poor Gamepad will endure the same fate. Everyone will be like "move on" even though it has all these cool features. I can agree that, had it had GOOD uses of it, people would not be upset over it "adding onto" the price tag of the main package. Cause I imagine many enjoyed waggling for many years, despite their "hatred" for it, and I imagine not many thought it was wasted at all.
However, should that second screen controller peripheral on the NX prove to be true, I hope Nintendo tries to make games that incorporate individual screen multiplayer much better. Say, they put Black Ops III on it and do split-screen, have BOTH screens do 60fps and lower the graphics if need be. If the NX is going beyond the PS4, then the graphics would simply be lowered to PS3 standards for two-player split-screen.
That was my only complaint about the gamepad was the split-screen turning most games, especially Hyrule Warriors, to gloop. Graphically speaking, they turn into PS2 games at times and more horsepower would result in better performance. So, I hope the NX is more powerful so that its downgrade with the two-player experience is only minor and it still retains 60fps. THAT would be doing something revolutionary, as even PC struggles.
@Notshane - pls mind the swears
The underlying idea and potential of the GamePad was/is great, but very few games have ever realised that potential fully. Super Mario Maker and Art Academy: Atelier were two of the better examples of using the GamePad effectively. Star Fox is really not going to be one of the games that shows of the GamePad particularly well.
The GamePad didn't fail; Nintendo failed the GamePad.
@Dakt hours more well worth it 😉 It does weigh a bit more but you soon get used to it
I love off TV Play & VC gaming aspect... (But even in some VC games you get forced to use the GamePad, ie Zelda OoT with rumble only on on GamePad, not the Pro controller )
I hate been forced to use it by some games, when for long gaming sessions the Wii U Pro Controller is more comfortable.
Games aside, the web browser -which I'm using right now- works amazing as well. Youtube on the tv while browsing other stuff on the touch screen.
Overall, I love the possibilities, and some games used them to great effect. The gamepad and it being a dedicated games machine is what makes Wii U more then just a lesser pc. Gyro aiming is underused though.
Too bad, because if given the right care, games like sniper elite could've felt like they were made for this system. Third person view on the tv, scope view on the gamepad, gyro aiming... Also, two screen local co-op, all the dlc,... But they wasted every chance to really improve the game.
Its easy for me.
If the gamepad would have been a handheld , with their own processing power , It would have been fantastic.
I hope we can use the next handheld like that.
The art like the gamepad has been at the Wii U involved , is simply out of place. Reducing the power of the console is wastet power
Just as there was only maybe 5+ games out there that actually use it.
I use the off - tv play regularly , but the touch function I could do without any problems.
I own for my Xbox One the Elite Controller and making it easy to enjoy and feels good to play with it. The buttons on the back are worth more than any gimmick of nintendo.
The Elite Controller I would no longer hergebe because it makes the game so much more enjoyable. Even the normal controller I do not use because they are so much worse.
@ThomasBW84 Why is not Maiden of Black Water on the list? I think it makes the best use of the GamePad this far. It's like having a real camera obscura in your hands. It really gives a meaning to the camera-tablet. Applications for drawing and designing, Super Mario Maker included, highly benefit from the touch screen.
Sadly, most games have used the GamePad as a gimmick (e.g., Super Mario 3D World). In that sense, the GamePad has made most games worse, to the point that some games have ignored it completely, like Retro Studios' Tropical Freeze.
The GamePad is not comfortable for long sessions, that's why people having a pro controller use it whenever is possible. OFF-TV is fine if you have family but games look much better on the TV anyway. Sometimes I use the GamePad for browsing, but only because I don't have a tablet. The GamePad is also responsible for awkward game design. Is it necessary for playing a Star Fox game? Not really, but if the developers make enemies appear from the sides of the ship and the player needs to accurately aim at those enemies, then the GamePad becomes an artificial necessity. At the end of the day, players want to have a great controller that adapts to themselves, rather than they adapting to a particular controller.
Poor battery life and the additional inputs it provides hardly being used in most games tends to make me think negatively of it. It should have been an accessory, not the standard controller.
I love the gamepad. That's a big part of why i got a Wii U. Great controller
As soon as I first played it with some friends and I was like "OK, so you have to press these buttons and tilt it like this and keep switching between the two screens and... wait come back..." I had a feeling it was going to be a disaster. Particularly odd considering Nintendo's whole philosophy of the previous gen was about simplicity and accessibility, so they were like "OK, let's now make the most baffling, confusing controller ever".
To be fair there have been a couple of neat ideas. The three Pac-Man Vs style games in Nintendo Land (Mario Chase, etc.) are fantastic, but that's like its one great concept. I think Nintendo pinned everything on that.
Its usage has mostly seemed contrived at worst, tenuous at best and often just makes things needlessly convoluted. It seems to be a solution desperately looking for a problem. It certainly offers little to justify the extra cost and horrendous battery life.
Waving it in front of your face/using it as a viewfinder, etc. is clunky, annoying and (despite what some people seem to think) unimmersive (now I've just had a horrible flashback to those bits in the Wonderful 101...) And even if I (like many seem to have) desperately tried to convince myself that I've ever cared about map position or screen clutter, I don't even believe that's an advantage. Having to look away from the screen to another screen instead of just looking at the screen I was already looking at isn't really making a whole lot of difference. If anything it's less convenient. A lot of that stuff is good to have in your peripheral vision while playing.
I don't hate the GamePad by any means, but it all just seems a bit of a mess, I much prefer using the simpler, more elegant Pro controller.
I think Madden NFL 13 should've been on the list. My favourite game to use the gamepad for.
I quite like the Wii-U game pad, I like being able to play games when the TV isn't on and the amiibo support is very good. However I hate to nit-pick but I wish the battery lasts longer than a couple of hours and I wish Nintendo would allow you to buy spare batteries and chargers from their own site like they do in Japan.
just here to say, only 3% votes for Rayman Legends using the Gamepad the best is awful. It is the BEST use of the Wii U. I don't know how people even found 5 games that used it better. It'd be like telling me they found 5 games on Vita better than Persona 4 Golden, I don't believe them.
A overly large controller that Nintendo themselves couldn't really be bothered to use properly! Nintendo land was a tech demo for what the controller could do and no only now have Nintendo stated to use its features with games like Splatoon and now starfox.
If the nx has a gimmick all I ask is for Nintendo to utilise that gimmick instead of ignoring it!!
It was never going to revolutionize gameplay anyway, and it's too late now. My only true beef with the GamePad (heavily subjective, I know), aside from how un-ergonomic the design is, is how inconsistently it's used. My TV has a problem in that any audio delivered through HDMI is delayed by a noticeable amount. The GamePad's sound output and some decent speakers nullify this problem (nevermind that the wii U should've had optical audio out to begin with...) but some games output sound while some don't, and then some only do in Off-TV Play mode. You'd at least think you'd be able to use the GamePad as a dedicated sound device when using a Pro Controller, but nope. Just a useless "second" controller, still.
If Nintendo ever had any sort of idea about how to make the most of it, they rarely if ever, let the players know.
So this article tells me that the people who like and own the Wii U, generally like the gamepad. Like me.
Unfortunately it's the people who didn't buy a Wii U are the people you're going to have to convince about the NX gimmick pad.
Which is a lot of people.
I think the gamepad is excellent but it has a couple major flaws. The range in which it works was extremely disappointing upon getting it. I also think it was a mistake not to allow it to function as a tablet, Android is free and the computing parts for it to be able to run an independent OS would have been cheap to include. Those two things alone would have greatly increased the marketability of the Wii U.
The gamepad would have been a great optional controller. I understand that for a lot of people, they have to share their TV, so the gamepad allows them to continue when otherwise they'd have to stop. For a lot of other people however, they don't need to give up that TV screen, so the off-screen play is not needed. There's not really much else to the gamepad IMO, so for a fair chunk of people it's not really needed at all, and it's added a heck of a lot onto the price of the console.
Most of my gaming is done with the pro controller, which I feel is by FAR the best controller Nintendo have ever made. If they'd just used analog triggers it might be my favourite controller ever.
It's a complex issue and I'm not surprised people found items missing from the polls that should have been there.
Mostly, I wish it was as nice feeling to hold in the hand as the pro controller rather than making it flat to a fault. Also, if it's going to be big and lay in your lap the ZL and ZR shouldn't be so easy to trigger. It looks uncomfortable which is almost a bigger "sin" than the feel itself.
The concept is solid. The convincing was not. If the Wii U could have (impossibly) introduced this controller with a much higher performance to power that GamePad as a second screen and the aforementioned ergonomic issues were dealt with, I think the fate of Wii U could have been different.
Side note: The pro controller should have had the gyro and motion sensors.
Otherwise, I've loved the type of gaming it brought. Dozens of hours with my family on Nintendo Land started it off right for us... just not for most and not for Nintendo.
Off TV play is brilliant and the only reason I've managed to play so many WiiU games. Nowadays by Xbox is a glorified DVD player.
I love the gamepad so much that I hardly ever use the tv and find it way preferable to my Vita or iPad air. I mostly play SNES and GBA games (wtb more) but what I really, really want from the NX gamepad is to be able to play the whole range of console and handheld titles like Pokemon etc.
I've really enjoyed the gameplay, but one problem I've noticed is that my little sister was having trouble holding it up after a few rounds of Nintendo Land. Still I consider it's size a good thing personally, the bulk feels good to hold.
The only Wii U features I can commend are the asynchronous multiplayer and off-TV play. Everything else to me seems unnecessary and purely supplementary vs. essential. Then again, I am a traditionalist. I'd rather play a game with a your typical analog controller reserving motion for games like light-gun shooters and the Wii U sport games where they actually work well.
I've owned my Wii U for a few months, and I absolutely love the Gamepad. I love off-tv play, especially when playing GBA games off of the VC (it's like a giant GBA). While I agree that the controller is a bit bulky, I've never experienced any discomfort with it. I am going to get a pro controller soon, but that's only to have an extra controller around for a friend, or for games that don't benefit from the Gamepad.
The only problem is that it's underutilized and hasn't yet reached its full potential; at this point, it's possible that this may never really happen either. :/
Star Fox aims to show what it can do? Ba dum tss. (wait, do you even aim with the GamePad in that game?)
Off-TV play is by far the best use for the GamePad so I hope that's the entire purpose of the NX's "handheld component" / second screen. I only selected Mario Maker for games that have utilized the GamePad to its full potential. Why wasn't Splatoon an option? I like maps.
My favourite game that makes great use of the gamepad is Lego city undercover.
Why is this game not on the list?
The gamepad has always been best used as an HUD/inventory/map as far as I am concerned. Motion controls are lame and Amiibo has been useless. Keep it as a map or use it in other maker style games.
I had hoped they would have done multi-controller support as they talked about early on. Imagine Madden with multiple controllers where you could call your play on the game-pad!
Where the hell is Splatoon in that list of games to utilise the controller? Gyro aiming is the best thing about the controller and Splatoon is not even being mentioned... Smh
Off-TV play has been amazing.
I don't stand on it cos that would break it 😂
It seems like not many people have played Xenoblade Chronicles X. It's one of the most impressive uses of the Gamepad.
My least favorite controller ever. It feels so cheap and looks like a fisher price bablet. I LOVE the Pro Controller though.
Would much rather have an upgraded Gamecube controller, let's put it that way.
The biggest mistake Nintendo made with the GamePad is lack of multiplayer support. With only one gamepad the console feels half baked, but if there was support for multiple GamePads the possibilities and the allure of the console would have been immense. Granted, the tech needed to create such a console might have been expensive, but just imagine the multiplayer possibilities when each player has his or her own private screen!
I never use my wii u gamepad except for Splatoon.
It's always my pro-controller (even though I think the pro controller is the worst of the current gen controllers).
I've liked it in a few games, but overall I think it has a habit of leading to creative dead-ends. It's sort of the exact opposite of the Wii Remote.
Game pad is great for players with huge hands like me I absolutely love it!
The GamePad, due to the asynchronous possibilities and it's mandatory inclusion with the system allowing games to actually be able to count on a player having it (unlike every other optional specialty controller in history), represented the greatest expansion of new game design possibilities resulting from a controller (if not a hardware feature in general) since the introduction of the analog stick.
It really is a shame its potential was not fully exploited as there are very few games out there where you couldn't look at them and instantly come up with several ways of how those games wouldn't be better using a GamePad.
In general, I enjoy the Gamepad, but it has a really glaring flaw that only occurs under certain circumstances, but rendered it inoperable for me.
I play it in a college dorm that has high-speed wi-fi in it. Unfortunately, for some reason this wi-fi interferes with the form of wi-fi the Gamepad uses to communicate with the Wii U, resulting in a constant disconnect except for brief blips on the radar. If I take it home it works, but this is an issue even Nintendo hasn't been able to fix for me. Sadly this ruined Splatoon for me, which I really enjoyed up until that point. It also ruined a few other games like Hyrule Warriors and Super Mario Maker.
I enjoyed its functionality while it worked, but the sad thing is that while I have found plenty of people with the same or similar issues online, there is no fix I have found, and it never seems to be that big of an issue. I would hope that if Nintendo tries this again with the NX that they fix this problem, but I unfortunately doubt it concerns them enough.
Remember all those lame commercials where they show you products that usually doesn't do what the commercial promise they do and always end with this tag line "and it's not available at store shelves." I know now why the Wii U Game Pad wasn't as unique as Nintendo's other controllers, those could actually be bought at store shelves, not the Wii U Game Pad, that thing you need to buy the console to get it and if it ever happen to be broke or something, suck for you, you had to buy another Wii U console to get a new one.
@Lilith93 Yeah, it is really good in Xenoblade. I wish made use of the probes a little more, though. Playing the Witcher 3 it really feels like I'm taking a huge step back from Xenoblade because I don't have a map in my hands. I think a second screen is nearly essential for open world games.
This cannot be right? The GamePad is fantastic for this game!
Also, where is Splatoon on this list?
It's my favorite controller of all time going back to joysticks on the atari. I just got a PS4 and the puny controller is really bugging me.
I don't have huge hands either. I do all my web browsing/social media on it except for when I have to upload or print something.
Using a keyboard and mouse seems so archaic now.
I'm a fan of the gamepad, and wish more games utilized it.
"based on current momentum - could prove to be Nintendo's least successful home console in its history."
This isn't even in dispute. The Wii U will do the worst hardware numbers by a country mile.
I like the gamepad, sure there are some refinements that could be made but I hope the NX uses an evolution of it. Also, when you were mentioning games that used the gamepad well, you made no mention of Super Mario Maker. That's the game that's made the best use of it.
I love the gamepad, the only downside is when developers do not properly support or utilize it, though really, having a mirrored screen at least makes off-screen play easy. I hope that the gamepad will work with the NX, as a second controller maybe, and that Nintendo continues the two-screen setup, and maybe just improves the screen resolution and weight of controller, while making it capable of being a portable system too because why not hope for the moon at this point
Well, I use off-tv play most of the time since I think that's handy. And games look good on the screen. But overall I think the controller is to big and to heavy (and very expensive. And if it breaks you can't even buy a new one at the shops, you need to call Nintendo). Frankly I never asked for a tablet-like contoller, nobody did. Its not original in anyway, the market is flooded with tablets. I much rather had a improved Wiimote, or just a good, traditional controller (like the awesome Gamecube-controller)!
Using a lot of shortcuts on the touchscreen in game like Unepic was very handy !
The battery life is pathetic, the range before it loses connection is ridiculously short (would so love to play VC games in bed) and the screen resolution is rubbish. But...somehow I enjoy using it and I think it's great concept. It's odd that it feels comfortable in my hands yet I found the Xbox controllers always too big, clunky and uncomfortable and it's great to be able to play old SNES games while my wife watches her terrible programs. When it's been properly utilised with games like SMM, XCX and Star Fox it's really enhanced the gameplay and feels totally natural. And I love the motion controls in Splatoon.
And why wasn't Splatoon on the list?
Although I applaud Ninty for evolving and trying to implement new ideas and concepts, sometimes I wish they could just find their segment of the gaming landscape, then stick with it, expand it and be successful. Constantly changing can confuse their target audience. Sony on the other hand has found a winning formula, (which they kind've stole from Nintendo) exploited it and are amazingly successful, even without being that innovative.
If Nintendo can only find that happy medium, then we would all be rather happy.
Design/ergonomics at #1 for sure. The most comfortable and smartly-designed controller after the DualShock (not including that piece of crap that comes with the PS4 of course)
The gamepad is a great controller. What's not so great about the Wii U is the amount of games. It's almost the end of April 2016 and there is still no major releases other than pokken.
Sorry, the controller for me its a very wrong move, the benefits are far lower that the disadvantages (mainly cost) its a gimmick. In most 3ds games the 2nd screen is very poorly used, mainly manage your inventory, map, etc, but at least its close to upper screen so it is more "ergonomic" to the eyes
Love touch menus! Monster hunter! Zombi u!
Hate motion control crap! Project zero!, starfox! etc.
By far the best strength of the gamepad is it was a 2-handed motion controller that sits on your lap, emphasising the x-axis. Why there wasn't a motion control pilotwings game at launch I will never know.
Splatoon and Lego City should be on this list. Both had amazing uses of the Gamepad.
Colour me in with the "Why isn't splatoon on the list?" crowd
for the games it's good for, it's fine (Mario Maker, etc)
but for the games I play (Mario Kart, Smash Brothers, DKC TF) I don't want that bulky thing in my hands...I'd rather use wiimote/nunchuck or pro controller...
@DeltaPeng You can turn off the Wii U screen in the home menu. It will be turned on again if you touch any button on it. You can play Smash this way without the GamePad being turned on, but the Lost Reavers BETA forces you to use the GamePad, so it's mostly Bandai Namco's fault they didn't give the option to use the Pro Controller.
@Ryu_Niiyama They should be there especially when games like Smash for Wii U are on it. Seriously. Except for -:amiibo:-, there's really no use of it (unless you want to make photos with trophies, but noone bothers with it).
I can say this much: it is absolutely horrible for all the Mario games besides "Maker." I can't tell you how many times I've died in 3D World and New U from somehow accidentally hitting one of the shoulder buttons and ground-pounding into a pit.
Also, I really don't feel like it was as integral and amazing for Splatoon as people let on. They could very easily not have it for the sequel and it would be fine. All it did was basically tell you if you were winning or losing at any given time. That could be displayed to the player in other ways.
@Joshua179 "Why did it turn its self on when I turned my system on using the pro controller or wii remote?"
This is the worst thing about the GamePad. The GamePad is the only home console controller that it's always on stand-by mode, that's why it turns on when you turn on the Wii U manually or with the pro controller or a Wii Remote. This is an extremely terrible design idea, worsen by its small battery and its WiFi technology which drains the battery life very quickly. It could be patched but Nintendo does not want to. So even if you are not using the GamePad, it's always on stand-by mode, constantly looking for a Wii U signal in the air.
I'm late to this party, but I might as well throw my opinion into the ring cause I have nothing better to do:
First, when I saw Nintendo's plan for the gamepad in 2011 or so, they totally sold me on it. I loved the idea. I loved having the same concept as the DS but in home console form. Even after the botched reveal, and bad press, I still really wanted this thing. My first thought for the system was Star Fox, using a cockpit view on the gamepad. It's too bad the whole game kind of suffers from rendering two screens at the same time because of the lack of power under the hood. Still though, I'm a big fan of Star Fox and I can't wait to play it this weekend.
When Nintendo Land came out and I was genuinely excited. I loved how this brought asynchronous play into the fold. I really enjoyed playing Nintendo Land whenever I had company over.
Zombi U came out, and again, I felt the same excitement. I didn't care for the game for other reasons, but I loved how they handled using the gamepad.
After that though, third parties and more worryingly, Nintendo themselves, just flat out couldn't figure out what to do with the thing.
Now, not everything was bad. I enjoyed Pikmin's use as an overall map that froze time so you could plan ahead. I liked Wii Fit U, Splatoon, Kirby Paintbrush and arguably the best use went to Super Mario Maker.
But for every Mario Maker, there was a Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze. For every Splatoon, there was a Mario Kart 8. For every Kirby, there was a Super Mario 3D World.
A lot of these laughable gamepad efforts are what broke the illusion I had when I first bought they system. Mario 3D World let you blow into the mic. Mario Kart couldn't even do the most basic function and let you use two screens in multiplayer cause the system couldn't handle it (the reason why Star Fox looks the way it does, and needed so much extra time tweaking). What we got instead was a giant horn button. Are you kidding me?? And Donkey Kong was the most damning cause it flat out did nothing with it at the absolute worst time when the gamepad was being called into question as the Wii U faltered.
Obviously I'm a big fan of Nintendo, but the Wii U really upended my Nintendo gaming world. Did Nintendo really not have a plan for it after Nintendo Land? Were they simply banking on third parties to figure it out, like Zombi U did? What were the talks like when the third parties abandoned the system, and Nintendo had to figure out what to do with it?
Overall, I'm really disappointed in the big N. I'm disappointed that we got such a mixed bag of experiences. Most were good games sure, but we could have gotten the same game without the gamepad. Donkey Kong did nothing with it. Mario Kart did nothing with it. New Super Mario Bros did nothing with it. Smash Bros. did nothing with it. 3D World did nothing with it. Captain Toad, was completely shoehorned into the concept, and would have gotten by with just a regular controller. The list goes on.
Most of the time, it just ended up being an inventory screen, map or used off-tv play (arguably the best of the 3). As handy as that is, when I look back at Nintendo Land, it just isn't what was promised. Being a big fan of Nintendo, I am very shaken with how poorly this went, and I'm waiting very anxiously for what NX will bring. Even if the NX reveal knocks it out of the park, how can we trust Nintendo again?
I just don't know. I need to really think about if I want an NX. I just don't know how soon I can trust Nintendo again, after such a botched effort.
@Parkour_LMan To turn off the screen on the GamePad menu does not make its battery life last much longer. On the GamePad, the high speed WiFi is what drains the battery quickly, and you can't turn that off. Also, the battery itself is very small. You can't even completely turn the GamePad off because it's always on stand-by mode, looking for a Wii U signal.
@Utena-mobile "It's always my pro-controller (even though I think the pro controller is the worst of the current gen controllers)." I have the three of them and I totally agree.
@Parkour_LMan Huh, I'll have to try the Home menu as a means to turn off the WiiU gamepad screen (it sounds like it may turn off the entire controller). I'd have to say it would still have been best to have a physical button / switch or way to turn off the screen on the spot (and if touch controls aren't used, still be able to use the gamepad buttons) so that even games that require the gamepad can still use the controller (and not the screen if it's unnecessary (i.e. off tv-play if you're using the main tv).
This is def handy to know though that the gamepad can be turned off after the system is on, as for a game like Smash, once the gamepad is off there are the other controller options
@DeltaPeng I explained how that works on my last posts, read them if you want to know.
Personally I like the gamepad. I wouldn't go so far to call it my favorite controller... well it could've been if the battery life was a lot better... but despite its big size it's actually quite comfortable, the screen adds extra utility to the games that use it, and off screen gameplay is my favorite feature and I have used it A LOT this generation. Even the motion controls in the gamepad are great, way better than Wii's motion controls that's for sure. motion control aiming in the Zelda rereleases and Splatoon... awesome. I haven't tried Star Fox yet but I'm willing to bet the motion controls work well in it. Overall I like the gamepad a lot. But it sadly went underutilized and never reached its full potential.
My main issue with the controller is how heavy it is. It works fine as well as a tablet you hold from behind, or a two handed controller, but the overall weight makes it uncomfortable to handle if want to make a quick swipe at things. Other than that, it's alright.
That list is missing most of my favorite gamepad experiences.
@Project_Dolphin But if you would be even funnier to see a Zelda game designed by all Zelda fans.
Splatoon is the best use of the Gamepad, easily. Why not include it?
My praise is for the gamepad, I'm not even sure what it looks like on the TV as I've only played in the pad!
Yet I don't feel like I've missed out on the full potential at all!
Only downside is other people didn't see the potential as it's not first choice for AAA games, which lead to it not having any new installments later on. Which effects me as if more units sold, then the VC would be bursting with all those games we want!
NX streaming game service is the way forward, it's going to be a beast if it has that!
My praise is for the gamepad, I'm not even sure what it looks like on the TV as I've only played in the pad!
Yet I don't feel like I've missed out on the full potential at all!
Only downside is other people didn't see the potential as it's not first choice for AAA games, which lead to it not having any new installments later on. Which effects me as if more units sold, then the VC would be bursting with all those games we want!
NX streaming game service is the way forward, it's going to be a beast if it has that!
Yes, I definitely agree, the controller compatibility is nuts, and it would be cool to see multiple gamepads in use would be awesome.
I'm split on the Gamepad.
Personally I've had a lot of use out of it because of Off TV Play and I find it very comfortable to use even with the extra capacity battery added. Until MS and Sony added their own inferior but still serviceable streaming options it meant Wii U getting a lot of use in my house including for third-party games.
Objectively though, I think it was a bad call. It added to the machines cost and put people off the machine while adding very little in gameplay terms. It also wasn't entirely successful as an Off TV device because some games need the screen for other uses. Personally I'd have been happy to see it as an optional extra allowing streaming of the machines entire library onto a higher-res screen with much better battery life (Nintendo wouldn't have to worry as much about cost if it was being sold separately). In the end it was a confusing morass of compromised and half-ideas that felt like innovation for the sake of being seen to innovate.
Watching Netflix and BBC iplayer in bed is another great benefit. It should have been an optional extra even tho I think it's a great bit of kit.
@gb_nes_gamer its the closest too being Batman itself using the gamepad.
Off TV play is where it shines. I think the ergonomics suck though, tbh.
If the thing could hold a charge longer than 3 and a half hours, I might use it more. Otherwise, the only good thing is the off-TV play, which is a godsend. Being able to play any full Wii or Wii U game on the gamepad while someone watches TV or plays another console is a huge development, and it's a shame that the next console likely won't include the feature. The rest of the features of the gamepad are alright, and the ergonomics are alright, but the weight is just too much. It's so heavy, and awkward for motion controlling. If Splatoon were compatible with the pro controller like it should be, then I wouldn't even have to take the gamepad off its charging cradle.
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