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Wii U games to the rescue!

Hands-on with four brilliant titles that could turn the cynics into believers

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3. Assassin's Creed 3

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Over three years in production, with a development team the size of a small army and millions of dollars of investment, it's quite clear that Assassin's Creed 3 is going to be a very special prospect on every format - but the Wii U version offers a unique proposition.

In the latest demo we managed to sample the threequel's impressive naval battles, which are genuinely enhanced by a Wii U GamePad map highlighting the position of enemy ships and the line of sight of your deadly cannons.

In action, the giant vessels feel satisfyingly sluggish to wrestle around the waves, with sail modes split across full and half for quicker turning. When the cannons start firing this portion of the AC3 campaign becomes a simply stunning spectacle, with fire, wood and water erupting in a ballet of war.

The production value here is second-to-none, and Ubisoft Montreal's game of the year contender looks just as good on Wii U as it does on current-gen rivals.


New Super Mario Bros. U

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We'll be honest; from afar New Super Mario Bros. U's GamePad co-op controls looked gimmicky. Fortunately they've been executed so well that they'll almost certainly ensure this is the best multiplayer Mario game yet. Well, the best platforming one anyway.

The Wii U instalment features the classic gameplay you'd expect, albeit glossed in HD goodness with a stronger emphasis on physics objects. This time a second player - probably one who's rubbish at Mario - can join in by placing temporary platforms platforms using the touch screen, saving Mario from an imminent death of creating short cuts to coins and power-ups.

Just like LittleBigPlanet Vita, the responsiveness of your touch screen interactions are so smooth it feels like you're reaching into the screen and directly manipulating the world. As Nintendo's pointed out previously, the co-op platform placement also kicks the world of speed runs into a whole new dimension - for the fastest level times you're going to need to find a friend.

Mario U doesn't look destined for success just because of the touch screen though. The Wii original allowed four players to compete simultaneously but on new hardware the feature really shines. Hi-def graphics ensure the screen can zoom all the way out to show the maximum amount of action on screen, while number-crunching amounts of platforms, enemies and coins ensure the chaos never dips.

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