Nintendo has long been very selective over their key franchises such as Mario and Zelda. Only in the last couple of three years has Nintendo actually trusted a company to take charge of their key independent properties. Sure, Grezzo was in charge of porting The
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D to the 3DS, and Team Ninja developer Metroid: Other M for the Wii, but will Nintendo ever trust other third parties with Mario or Zelda?
If you had the choice, what developer would you like to see helm the next Nintendo property.
I almost feel as if Nintendo should already be employing the fine folks over at WayForward. Their games coincided almost perfectly with the mantra that Nintendo follows. Despite the many licensed properties to their name (many of which as surprisingly good), WayForward was in charge of such awesome games as A Boy and His Blob on the Wii, and Shantae.
With the right amount of capital, I believe that WayForward would be a perfect fit to helm the Mario franchise, specifically in 2D. They have shown time and again that their sprite-work is on par with the best in the business, just imagine what they would be able to produce with a little extra backing from Nintendo.
Imagine a Mario world entirely in the vein of Mighty Flip Champs where something different is happening on each the bottom and the top screens of the 3DS or Wii U. The company has had so many interesting ideas in the short time they have been in existence, that I would love to give them a shot at Nintendo’s holiest of grails.
Aside from Nintendo, I’m not sure that there has been another company that has been able to create such a compelling 3D world as has Double Fine. Although there are only a handful of games to their name, Tim Schafer and his staff has yet to steer me wrong. From Psychonauts to Costume Quest, everything that Double Fine has put their hands on has pretty much been awesome.
This leads me to think that the studio would be perfect to take Mario in a new, quirky, direction that would help to bring in new and old Nintendo fans alike. As long as Nintendo would give the creative freedom necessary for a studio like Double Fine to thrive, just imagine the crazy ideas Tim Schafer and his team could come up with.
As a self proclaimed Miyamoto fan, Schafer would most likely jump at the opportunity to develop a game with Nintendo, and would probably do flips it that game was Mario. With Psychonauts being inspired by Mario 64, you would think that the Double Fine would probably already have a few ideas for some interesting Mario levels.
Bethesda Game Studios
Bethesda is the obvious choice here, right? Well yeah, but let me tell you why. Not only are the Elder Scroll games some of the best open world RPG games in the industry, unlike the most recent Zelda titles, Skyrim and Oblivion before it were some of the most engrossing experiences of this generation. Take the combat and puzzle mechanics of the Zelda franchise, and story mechanics and ability to immerse the player in an extremely engaging world from Bethesda, and you have yourself a killer combination.
It’s not that Nintendo doesn’t have the capability on their own to create a fantastic Zelda experience, but unlike Nintendo, Bethesda is willing to take chances and do things as unconventional as creating enough content to fill 200+ hours of gameplay, when the majority of your users only play 60-80 hours of the game.
Such a huge world could be challenging for any developer accomplish, but this is exactly what the people at Bethesda specialize in. Given the extensive lore of Zelda, who knows what magic could be created given the franchise to the right people.
Donkey Kong Country Returns is an example of a developer, Retro in this case, not catering to the faint of heart. The game is hard, no doubt. Donkey Kong has always been an example of a game franchise that has been tough to master. Enter Team Meat, with their agonizingly difficult style of gameplay, and you may have a match made in heaven.
Team Meat may only have one game to its name (with another on the way in Mew-Genics), but the pedigree of the said game is so high, and is so in line with what Donkey Kong is all about, that they would be a good fit to take the Kongs to the next level.
Sure, the difficulty spike may turn off many casual gamers, but the depth of the game could be amazing. You may throw your controller. You may even shout profanities in anger, but finally mastering that water level while finally collecting all the K-O-N-G tiles would be such a magical experience.
I don’t claim to be much or a racing game fan, I much prefer the arcadey characteristics of Diddy Kong Racing and Cruis’n USA to the more sim like Gran Turismo or Forza. This is why the Mario Kart series has always been right up my alley, not only because of its general ease of use, but also because of the depth to be found if the player wishes to dig deeper.
Codemasters has always had a reputation, even going so far back as Micro Machines on the NES, for being a company with a knack for creating great racing titles, so partnering up with Nintendo for a Mario Kart title would be a no brainer. Sure, it has been awhile since Codemasters has truly done anything as arcade-like as Micro Machines, but just imagining a hybrid between Colin McRae: DiRT and the Yoshi Valley course from Mario Kart 64 has my mouth salivating.
Pound for pound, the various Pokémon games are some of the best in the business when it comes to building an interesting, traditional JRPG style experience. Blow for blow, Atlus could stand with any of the big companies making any type of RPG, so it would seem to be a natural fit for them to create a game in the Pokémon franchise.
Of course the excellent Shin Magami Tensei games come to mind when thinking about Atlus, but they also had a hand in Contact and the Etrian Odyssey series on the Nintendo DS. Nothing thus far developed by Atlus really comes close the gameplay mechanics of the Pokémon series, but nearly all of their titles have such depth in storytelling that Pokémon fans have been craving as the series has matured.
Atlus is already pairing up with Nintendo (specifically Intelligent Systems) to create the Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem crossover for the Wii U, so why not a collaboration with Game Freak for a new Pokémon? In any case, if the partnership were to take place the gym leaders would probably be dressing a little more provocatively the next go around.
What would Nintendo games would you like to see handed over to another developer? Do you agree/disagree with my choices above?