So I know I talk about this a lot…but that’s because I can’t wait for the Wii U.Since we know what the launch window titles are, and none of them see to be classic Nintendo franchises other than Mario, I think its time to start discussing how those games that we love so much from past Nintendo consoles could be refreshed thanks to the use of Wii U Gamepad and even working in tandem with the Wii Remote (normal or motion plus).
1) Metroid Prime 4: Double the Screens to Double the Fun!
When people talk about Metroid today, it usually involves mentioning how awesome Metroid Prime is and for good reason. The Metroid Prime trilogy was revolutionary, and not just for successfully turning the classic Metroid formula into a 3D, first-person, adventure game, but also for putting the perspective into the helmet and adding meaningful gameplay mechanics for it, particularly things like scanning which makes a world so much bigger and real. Even games like Halo seem to be adopting a more Metroid Prime feel and my interest level went from “I don’t care” to “Holy cow I can’t wait!”
Anyways, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, so how could Metroid Prime be improved by the Wii U. Well I have two thoughts about how, one way being the practical way and the other being the way I would want it. Both viable and can greatly enhance the experience, but one would probably annoy more gamers even if it does a better job at making the game better.
So the practical way would be use the controls similar the original GCN Metroid Prime games, but maybe make it more in the style of a traditional FPS game since the game pad has dual analogue sticks and visor and beam switching could be put onto the touch screen. One of the many things that made Metroid Prime worked was the immersion. Even in the first game, just seeing the rain drops on your visor was enough to make you feel like you were really in the helmet. It was so good that the only thing I found grating was the break in this first-person action for cutscenes and pausing the action for scans. As I mentioned before, scanning made the world feel more real and not only did it provide backstory and descriptions, but scanning also revealed weaknesses of enemies.
So what scanning was transformed into a real time mechanic? You don’t even have to switch visors, since you could just hold a button on the touch screen or controller to scan. This time though, the information will show up on the game pad, and perhaps show a detailed layout of the creature you are fighting to easily point out weaknesses. Accompanying that could also be new visor options to allow for more functions than just seeing in different spectrum. In Metroid Prime 2′s multiplayer, hacking was special attack that would disable suit function for another player. What if that was applied to enemies and bosses in the single player game as well? You could be fighting a shielded enemy and the only way to disable it would be to lock on with the hacking visor or button, then the bottom screen would show a simple minigame that you would have to do while still dodging and shooting. It would make the action a lot more intense and provide an actual offensive capability to one of the visor functions. You could also use it on doors and terminals a la Zombie U, with enemies attacking you while you’re doing a more complicated hack.
That function could also be used to control Samus’ ship. In Metroid Prime 3, commanding the ship to perform bombing raids or lift objects was a cool new idea, but was really underutilized. You could tell that it was suppose to be more used in the final game and maybe now, the Wii U can present a way to do that and more. The ship visor could be used to make the bottom screen turn into a first person view of the ship, basically giving you control of Samus and her ship to defeat bosses and enemies in unison. You could control the ship using the motion controls of the game pad and some well placed buttons to fire missiles, drop the grapple beam, or land.
Now the way I would want it but would probably annoy most other gamers, is to have the gamepad propped up and you still control the game via wii remote and nunchuck. It not only helps with the immersion, but more precise aiming means that bosses can be made with smaller weakpoints and different parts of the body. The propped up game pad would still be there to feed me real time information I could still press buttons on it using the hand that is holding the nunchuck. Hopefully, if a Metroid Prime 4 is ever made, then both options can be made available.
2) Kid Icarus: Control Your Flight Path
While Masahiro Sakurai doesn’t want to make another Kid Icarus game for a while, I got to imagine that somebody does and this time, using the technology of the Wii U. So one of the great things about the game on the 3DS, was how they managed to make a Star Fox like rail shooter for air battles, and a unique action game for land battles. One thing they explained early in the game though is that the goddess Palutena was not only granting the angel Pit flight, but also controlling his flight path making the whole experience similar to Disneyland’s Star Tours than actual flight.
So I get that basically making Pit in all-range mode would take away a lot of the game’s challenge, seeing as enemies are planned and part of the replay value is knowing when they’ll show up to maximize your score. But still, games that offer true 3D flight are pretty rare but so satisfying to play (Star Wars Rogue Squadron, Sky Crawlers, etc). Also the original idea for the Kid Icarus game was just a game that had both land and air gameplay, so why not let players have that?
I have a couple of ideas of how this could be done. The first is that the battles become more open and objective based, rather than linear gameplay, the 5 minute time limit is dropped, and while the fight on land is pretty straightforward and can be done in a very similar way that the 3DS game does, but with the game pad, you could also draw a flight path on the touch screen and can even change or add it on the fly, but once Pit is in the air he’s on autopilot while enemies attack’s are more screen based than environment based.
Of course, I think that technically could be done on the 3DS as well, so why on the Wii U? Maybe have some two player action where one person is holding a Pro Controller or a Wiimote and Nunchuck could control Pit while the game pad player could be Palutena and have to plan his flight paths out carefully, which is an idea I sort of discussed in an earlier article. But can you imagine what the couch would be like with two people playing a Kid Icarus game with one player yelling “get me out of here!” and another player going like “uh….okay here you go.” Then, a minute later “Why did you fly into more enemies!?!” Fun times.
3) The Legend of Zelda: Tingle’s Return
Speaking of two player action, The Legend of Zelda Wind Waker had this neat little feature where a player could hook up a GBA to the GCN and allow a second player to play as Tingle to aid Link by dropping bombs and detecting secrets. Well, maybe its time to bring that back, but this time with some touch screen action.
So let’s assume that the next Zelda game uses the motion plus controls of Skyward Sword. So then what could Tingle or a similar type character could do. Well of course they’ll be able to drop bombs and find secrets, but I was thinking with a large touch screen it could be possible to have the game pad player turn into a good Shadow Link, who may not have the items and other powers of the real Link, but using swipes on the touch screen could mimic the motion controls of the Motion Plus. Maybe they could even make Shadow Zelda to fire arrows like how Nintendoland is using the gamepad.
Actually, it doesn’t even have to be Tingle, we could very much have the first ever fully Nintendo made Zelda co-op game, though I don’t object to another Four Swords.
So that’s all I can think of at the moment and now I would like to know what your thought are. How could the Wii U change games like Star Fox, F-Zero, Fire Emblem, etc.