Rayman Origins was an incredible game. I've gushed about the product before on TechnoBuffalo. It combined exceptional platforming design with brilliant humor and art. Rayman Origins was a gem.
Rayman Legends, based on the Wii U build I spent time with today, will likely follow in the same footsteps.
I played as Rayman while my partner in crime used the Wii U GamePad. Just like the trailer we all saw during Ubisoft's press conference, I was in charge of running and fighting while my partner touched, tapped and dragged the enemies and environment around me.
We worked cooperatively at first. I zipped from obstacle to obstacle while he doubled my point total and swiped the world to better suit my traversal.
Then he decided to turn evil. He ripped platforms from below me, dropped enemies before I could kill them and tilted the world so that I fell to my damn. The whole time? He was laughing. What a jerk.
The rep from Ubisoft explained that the parity we were experiencing between helping and hindering one another was what they intended when they designed it for play with the GamePad on the Wii U. In a way, the GamePad holder is more powerful than those with standard controllers, and that power dynamic leads to some friendly competition and annoyance.
Which, if you played the first game, is more than welcome in this series.
The play between me with the Pro Controller and him with the GamePad worked perfectly. The mechanics for me as Rayman, however, felt exactly like they did in Rayman Origins. That's not a complaint, but it's a point of note while looking at this game as a sequel. It feels the same as it did before.
The Wii U experience, though, is completely unique. And it made things fun.
As for the Wii U Pro Controller? It felt good. The control sticks, the triggers and the hold all felt fine. However, I will say that the location of the face buttons did not feel immediately comfortable to me. In fact, I would say that they took some getting used to.
For my time with the Pro Controller, Ubisoft had i plugged into the Wii U by way of cable. I assume the final product will be wireless (as none of the pictures to-date sport wires). With the wires, the whole thing was tugged down during play. Perhaps with the freedom to lift the controller up and sit back, I might have found the face buttons less irritating.