As promised, a demo for Ubisoft’s Rayman Legends has gone live on Nintendo’s eShop today, and it’s not alone. In a welcome turn of events, SEGA has released a demo for Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (read our review of the Xbox 360 version). The two new demos join the already available FIFA 13, which debuted last week.
Curiously, users have to search for the Rayman and FIFA demos, while an advertisement for the Sonic demo sits squarely on the eShop’s front page. Though it’s not much of a surprise, it’s still disappointing that Wii U demos – just like 3DS demos – have strict limits on the number of times they can be played.
The demo for Rayman Legends, which can be played a total of 30 times, includes three levels: Teensies in Trouble (use Murray on the GamePad to help Globox make it through safely), Toad Story (a traditional platforming stage) and Castle Rock (a race in which all of the action is synced to an awesome, Rayman-ized version of Ram Jam’s “Black Betty”). As good as the many Rayman Legends gameplay videos have looked, seeing the game run on Wii U is another matter entirely. This is one gorgeous piece of work – maybe (for now) the best-looking thing on the system. Look for the full game on February 26th in North America, March 1st in Europe.
In contrast to Rayman Origin’s fairly generous allotment of play sessions, the Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed demo is restricted to just 15 uses (though that’s still more than FIFA, which only allows 10). Two tracks are available, each for a specific event. The Panzer Dragoon-themed stage “Canyon Carnage” plays host to a standard kart race, while “Golden Gauntlet,” based on SEGA’s classic Golden Axe games, tasks players with completing a Boost Challenge before time runs out. All-Stars Racing Transformed certainly looks nice on Nintendo’s new system – particularly the water in “Canyon Carnage.” Check out a trailer for the Wii U version of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed below.
Three weeks after the launch of Wii U, it’s nice to finally have a few demos to play. That said, those trial limits are a pain – particularly for households with multiple gamers, and especially when, as with Sonic and FIFA, the limits come in on the low end of the spectrum. In a statement made to Eurogamer, Nintendo claims that the demo limits are determined by each game’s publisher.
“Each publisher has the opportunity to decide how long demos will stay on the eShop, and how many times consumers can play them before they expire.”
To be fair, limited trials aren’t the worst thing ever, and most players will probably have made a “gotta buy it” or “gonna pass” decision by the time they’ve played through the All-Stars Racing Transformed demo 15 times. That is the purpose of a playable demo, right? Still, it might be worth letting SEGA and Electronic Arts know that we’d prefer a few more chances to play through their demos. (While we’re at it, how about asking Nintendo to create a dedicated “Demos” section on the Wii U eShop?) After all, there are generally no such limits on the demos available from PSN and Xbox LIVE – and let’s hope they’re not implemented when Microsoft and Sony finally release their next-gen consoles.
Ranters, what do you think about the limits on Wii U demos? Have you downloaded the Rayman Legends demo yet? Leave your impressions of the game in the comments below.
Rayman Legends releases February 26, 2013, in North America, February 28 in the EMEA territories, and March first in the UK, exclusively for the Nintendo Wii U.
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is available now on Wii U, Xbox 360 and PS3. It releases December 18, 2012, for Vita and February 12, 2013, for 3DS.
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