Sweetest Day is a cherished American holiday that has been bringing young love together for centuries. It’s roots spread deep within our society, reflecting the needs to thank those whom we share our closest companionship with. In fact, I think it was Ralph Waldo Emerson who once — wait, it’s a Hallmark holiday? Crap. No wonder Animal Crossing: Sweetest Day was such a cheap and unenjoyable event.
The minigame, much like the other four that Nintendo had on hand at its Nintendland Wii U booth, seemed like a poor imitation of a real experience. Even though I hate Valentine’s Day, I know it came first and some people like it. Sweetest Day is a tech demo dressed up in candy, flowers, and giant inflatable animal heads. Like the sales Holiday that shares its name, it feels like it belongs in the throwaway section of the card rack. Or in this case, iOS.
For one, the characters move incredibly slow on the screen. Minigames played by more than one person need to be responsive and fast, and Sweetest Day — which asked us to run around an Animal Crossing themed town collecting candy pieces within a time limit — wasn’t nearly fast enough.
The same could be said with The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest, or as I called it: FPS Zelda. This particular minigame had a group of players travel through a dungeon fighting off enemies by swinging the WiiMotes a la Skyward Sword. Except, of course, they couldn’t do much else. The Gamepad user viewed the screen from a first-person perspective and fired a arrows from a bow. Again, the controller kept losing calibration and the characters on the screen moved slowly.
The Luigi’s Mansion minigame was almost overly simple — it was essentially Pacman Vs. It wasn’t bad, just didn’t really showcase why we needed that technology of the Gamepad. Donkey Kong’s Crash Course was a straight up iOS-style game sidescrolling buggy game. I’d expect it to be a 99-cent iPad game rather than a highlighted event.
The idea of Nintendoland is great: a theme park based on classic Nintendo properties. The execution leaves much to be enjoyed. There’s still a few months to go before it releases, and the remaining 6 or so minigames will be announced by then. But ugh… it better be a pack-in, because I doubt I’d pay full price for it.