As instructed by the Quick Start Guide, I needed to charge the Wii U GamePad. It said in the guide that it would take 2.5 hours. While I waited for it to charge, I unwrapped my Wii U, the power cord, the sensor bar, the HDMI cable, the stands for the console, and the GamePad charging station and stand. I took my time setting it up, and enjoyed some late night TV (Saturday Night Live). I got my Wii U at midnight and I was running out of energy. Since the GamePad wasn't charged fully, I just ended up going to bed at 2 AM. Ignoring the charging time I'd say I spent about an hour on unpacking, reading, and connecting cords for the next day.
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The next day, a large chuck of time, about an hour, was spent downloading an update and waiting for it to install. Once that was done, I proceeded to transfer my data from my Wii to my Wii U. It wasn't complicated but it took a good 45 minutes. Setting the date and time, TV remote feature, and internet connection was a breeze. I doubt that I'll be using my GamePad as a remote control, but I thought that feature was pretty neat and it was the first thing that made me smile. I had to create a new Mii for my Wii U. It was pretty cool that I was able to take a picture of myself with the camera on the GamePad which helped in creating my Mii. I added my beard and tweaked a few things before finally finishing. I'd say I spent about 3.5 hours total on setting up the software on the Wii U. (Netflix need to update which took about four minutes.)
After working out and having dinner, I finally got the chance to put in "NintendoLand". After 20 minutes of game play, I noticed the battery light on the GamePad was flashing. I checked the manual and when it's flashing it means that it's about to die so I turned off the game and threw it on the charger. I played "The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest" - Archery mode. It was fun and challenging at the same time. I'm definitely looking forward to playing more of that mini game and the other mini games that are available.
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At the time of this review, set up and installation time has been greater than actual play time. The "NintendoLand" mini games that I've played thus far continue to be a combination of fun and challenging, bordering frustration. There are some elements that have made me smile, while others leave me scratching my head. So far, I'm enjoying the little nuances that Nintendo has attempted to make this console feel like the next gen of gaming, but I don't know if the Wii U totally feels like a true next gen console. I'd definitely recommend the system to hardcore Nintendo fans, but my Wii sat unused a lot and I feel that the Wii U might do the same. I will reserve my full judgment of the system until later on in its lifetime; it feels way too early to praise or condemn it fully. My hope is that Nintendo releases an HD Zelda, Metroid, or Mario Galaxy game fairly quickly - something that is fun to play, has a great story line, and ultimately demonstrates the power of this new console.