After a half-year wait, Terraria is now also available on the 3DS's big brother system. The handheld release suffered from some annoying issues, mostly related to hardware limitations, so does the Wii U version fare any better?
For those who weren't really interested in the game up until this point, Terraria is a 2D sandbox game in which you explore a randomly-generated world, collect materials and items, fight bosses and generally just look around for stuff to find and do. In this sense it's quite comparable to Minecraft, with the key difference being that it's a side-scroller.
You start off with practically nothing but some simple tools, but through an crafting system you can slowly become stronger and stronger, gaining better tools, armour, weapons and even being able to construct buildings. If you're planning to venture deep into the game's world you'd be wise to take advantage of all of these, because there are some pretty strong enemies lurking about.
If you strive to do everything there is to do, prepare to spend quite a lot of time in this game. A lot of the bosses require you to meet very specific conditions before you can even encounter them, and likewise, a lot of the friendly NPCs you can use to your advantage will not appear unless you meet their requirements.
Like the 3DS version before it, this version of the game is based on an older version of the original PC game, although this time it's a little more recent. While the 3DS version was based on version 1.2, this version, like all other non-3DS versions, is based on 220.127.116.11, adding about eight month's worth of changes and additions.
It is perhaps a little odd that this port is based on a two-year-old edition of the game despite the PC version still receiving regular updates - however, just like the 3DS version, there are also some additional extras exclusive to the non-PC versions of the game, such as some new types of enemies and equipment - some of which might appease players.
Naturally, since the 3DS has a touch screen, all of the related advantages come into play here as well, allowing you to look at your inventory and map on the Wii U GamePad without cluttering your TV screen. The game is theoretically also playable on just the GamePad, but you'll have to deal with a much smaller field of vision, as well as menus blocking your view. We'd recommend just using the TV if you can.
Some of the 3DS version's biggest issues were related mostly to the hardware, and thankfully, the Wii U version does a great job of fixing all of these. Most importantly, online multiplayer is available this time, allowing you to cooperate with (or fight against) up to 7 other players. This is of course a huge feature and drastically improves the experience, unless you're dead-set on going it alone for whatever reason. The 3DS version also did not exactly run very smooth when played on a regular 3DS instead of a New 3DS; naturally, this problem is non-existent here, as it runs completely fine on the more powerful Wii U.
As you may have expected, the Wii U version of the game is quite the improvement over the 3DS release, featuring more content, more features and better overall performance. If you have both a 3DS and Wii U and were patient enough to wait and see how this version turned out, then let it be known that this is definately the better release. If you're looking for a compelling sandbox-style game with tons to do and optional online co-op, look no further - you've found it.