The Wii U has been out for a bit now and every one has been enjoying the launch games. A launch game can only hold attention for so long before it’s time to wonder what’s over the horizon. Here’s a look at how some of Nintendo’s classics could work on the Wii U.
Now we know that some games are coming, like Pikmin 3, and some series are easy fits, the bells and whistles just scream for WarioWare, but some games could use some really interesting aspects of the Wii U GamePad. Join us as we put on our Nintendo developer hats and imagine how some games might utilize the Wii U GamePad for a fun experience. Now we can’t accurately predict if these ideas will get used, but if they do let it be know that we called it first.
With all due respect to the outstanding Prime series, we feel that a 2D Metroid would work best. Perhaps gamers could finally get their chance at a post-Metroid Fusion story. Now Nintendo Land proved that Wiimotion Plus controls work perfectly well in a 3rd person perspective Metroid but the GamePad could work just as well. The game could be a 2.5D Metroid controlled by the buttons on the GamePad, like a modern Super Metroid. The GamePad could also be useful for having a map screen. Everyone knows Metroid games need a map screen. The screen could even be designed to look like Samus’ visor, with info like energy levels and ammunition ammounts readily viewed. The visor display would be more than an aesthetic. Imagine coming to a room that needed to be scanned. Simply hold the GamePad up and look through Samus’ visor to scan objects. It could be like Metroid: Other M, except good. Another aspect that the GamePad would be perfect for is something the series has only hinted at. Metroid Prime 3 gave players a brief glimpse at the inside of Samus’ starship. With the Wii U GamePad we could finally have a chance to pilot it for real. This could be done with either the gyroscopic controls or, more fun, using the touch interface to incorporate the actual ship’s control panels and plotting the course as if we were sitting in Samus’ cozy chair.
Sticking with outer space, gamers have been clamoring for a new Star Fox for quite some time. We feel the time is right to make one. Sure Star Fox Adventures and Star Fox Command have their fans but we feel that sticking to the classic arcade style shooter is best. Controls could be handled fairly easily. After all, the GamePad has four shoulder buttons, four face buttons, and two analog sticks. That’s more than enough to control an Arwing. For fun’s sake though, lets add another control option. The gyro sensor in the GamePad could be used for controls. Tilt up to move up, tilt down to move down. Press a shoulder button to shoot and maybe the tricky maneuvers can be done by “buttons” on the touch screen. You could also use the second screen as a virtual cockpit view. Maybe Slippy has equipped a specialized laser cannon to the Arwing and you can look through the cockpit to aim it. A sort of spaceship sniper rifle. One other idea, what if we take the idea of Star Fox as a space fairing team one step further? Why not use the GamePad to control an Arwing but the touch screen could control the big guns, the Great Fox. Players could be in charge of the massive ship’s cannons, communications, and also docking bays. If you can’t get those guys off Falco’s back, you better check the pad and make sure he has an empty bay to move to for repairs. Nintendo doesn’t seem to be sure what direction to take the series so maybe a bit of asymmetric space ship simulation would be a possible direction.
The Legend of Zelda
A new Legend of Zelda could go one of two ways. Let’s call them the “Wind Waker route” or the “Twilight Princess route”. Now in the “Wind Waker route” the game would have the light cartoony aesthetic and, like Phantom Hourglass, Spirit Tracks, and Wind Waker, the game mechanics would take a huge shift. What if Link’s quest wasn’t for the Triforce but for parts of a magic map that transported him to different locations. Of course players would be holding that mystic map in their hands. Maybe Link has a new vehicle or animal to ride and you can chart how he gets there. Maybe Link just mystically teleports from location but you have to make sure its the right one on the map. The game’s story and main mechanic would all be a part of the map, and the map would be on the GamePad the entire time. Now in the “Twilight Princes route,” familiar mechanics get slight upgrades to improve the overall experience. This is where the GamePad would have the traditional Zelda inventory, map, and status screens. You could also use the other functions for items. Need to aim the bow? Point the GamePad to the screen. Need to throw a boomerang? Draw its path. Want to guide the beetle? Tilt the GamePad. Either route would lead to a solid gaming experience.
“Didn’t the Wii U launch with a Mario game?” Yes, yes it did. That was a traditional 2D “New” Mario game though. Here we’re talking about the Mario game everyone is REALLY waiting for. What will the new 3D Mario adventure play like on Wii U. Historically the 3D Mario games have utilized the hardware in their core mechanics. Super Mario 64 needed the analog stick. Super Mario Sunshine made solid use of the Gamecubes new shoulder buttons. Super Mario Galaxy had the Wii’s motion controls. So what will Super Mario Wii U use? Well, we’re thinking everything. Not to say it’ll be some jumbled mess of minigames, but rather certain levels will exploit certain parts of the Wii U GamePad. Think back to Super Mario Galaxy. Remember using the Wiimote to push Mario around in a bubble? Or to guide him riding a ball? Or riding a manta? Now imagine all those types of missions, but on the GamePad. Mario could find himself being rushed on a skateboard with quick flicks on the touch screen. Perhaps Mario will fall from a tall, tall mountain and tilting the GamePad will guide him to a safe spot and a star below. Sure the main game of hopping and bopping can be accomplished with the analog sticks and buttons, but the real treat will be finding the stars that need the extra functions.
Those are some of our ideas on how Nintendo’s games could work on Wii U. How do you think they could play?