If you haven’t played Trine 2 yet, it’s not too late to give it a shot. This still gorgeous-looking puzzle-platformer is an enjoyable romp through a fantastical world worth experiencing alone or with friends. In fact, if you own a Wii U, now might actually be the perfect time to dive in with its platform-exclusive Director’s Cut. For $20, you’ll get the original game, plus the Goblin Menace DLC, with the added benefits that the system inherently provides.
For instance, aspects of this game were originally designed with mouse control in mind, such as the wizard’s ability to magically move objects in the world. On the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, you manage this with a cursor controlled by the right analog stick. While this method works fine for the most part (and can also be done on the Wii U), there are times where cursor speed and accuracy get in the way of playing the game as originally intended. With the touchscreen on the Wii U GamePad, this is no longer an issue. Simply use your finger to handle any mouse-like functions and you’re golden.
Having played Trine 2 on the Xbox 360 in the past, the GamePad has a clear edge over a standard dual analog controller in this regard. With that said, my favorite way to play the game was actually with the Wii Remote and Nunchuck. To me, the combination of analog stick character movement and Wii Remote cursor control felt perfect for this style of game. Unfortunately, you can’t choose this method of control unless you’re engaging in local co-op. Not giving solo players the option to choose either method feels like a missed opportunity.
Another Wii U-exclusive benefit is Off-TV Play support, which allows you to experience all of the action on the GamePad without a TV. In this mode, the game retains its fantastic looks and rock-solid framerate. The only downside is that some of the ye olde English text can be difficult to read, though this never gets in the way of forward progress. I’ll generally prefer to play on the big screen, but the ability to free up the television for something else while keeping the game going is definitely nice to have.
While this package does a great job of matching or surpassing its previous ports in most aspects, the online experience is hampered somewhat by a distinct lack of communication options. If you want to send a text-based message to the stranger(s) you’re playing with, you’ll have to go to the Miiverse and add them as a friend after the game has already started. By the time you’ve completed this process, minutes have passed and you’ve been left in the dust.
There’s also no way to communicate with other online players via voice chat. Nintendo opted to not support in-game voice chat on a system level, which leaves developers to implement it themselves on a game-by-game basis. Unfortunately, Frozenbyte chose to not build voice chat in this time around. Without a viable means of communication, coordinating your efforts to solve a complex puzzle can prove needlessly difficult.
Until Nintendo addresses these issues on a system level, online communication in almost every Wii U game will likely be a problem. Trine 2: Director’s Cut is an unfortunate victim of this reality. Chat flubs aside, the overall experience of playing online is fairly positive. Opening up your game for online players or joining someone else’s game is a breeze, and lag never factored into any of my sessions. I prefer to experience the game alone, but online with friends or strangers is still a viable way to play.
All things considered,Trine 2: Director’s Cut is almost the definitive home console release. Having access to the Wii U GamePad and the Wii Remote plus Nunchuck combo as control options puts it ahead of the pack, but the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC versions have it beat if adventuring online with your friends is a high priority. In either case, it’s a trade-off you shouldn’t have to make, but one that could be worth making in order to expand your Wii U collection with a quality title.