Sony and Microsoft both have next gen consoles on the way. Soon. This much we know for sure. As for whether or not they will be show stoppers and garner enough support to take whatever momentum the Wii U has gained in the last few months remains to be seen. Nintendo can control their own destiny with a good showing at E3 and beyond. What should Nintendo bring to the table? Read on to hear my thoughts.
What do you think Nintendo should show off at E3?
Smash Bros. Wii U/3DS
This is a no brainer. Not only is the Smash Bros. series one of the most popular IPs that Nintendo controls, but it will mark the first time that the series ventures to a Nintendo handheld. If what Masahiro Sakurai has said about the game is true, the two games will interact in some hopefully unique and interesting ways.
The only mistakes that need to be corrected from Brawl in my mind are ensuring that Internet play works flawlessly, and that there are still secrets to the game before it ships. While the Smash Bros. Dojo was great for keeping the hype train rolling for the game prelaunch, when I finally got my hands on the game I could help but feel that Nintendo blew their load with all the information given. While still enjoyable, there wasn’t much new content left to discover.
The Legend of Zelda Wii U content
Be it with a few screenshots or perhaps a gameplay video, I think it will be important to not only show off the Windwaker HD at E3, but also something of the new Zelda adventure title this year. Obviously the game is a long way away from completion ( I think we would be lucky to receive the game in 2014), but Nintendo needs to show of the game in some capacity to push potential Wii U customers of the fence.
At this point, I think it is safe to say that The Legend Zelda series has been on a steady state of decline, at least commercially. The best selling Zelda title to date is still Ocarina of Time at 7.6 million followed by none other than Twilight Princess at 7.14 million surprisingly. Since the 2006 hybrid GC/Wii title, the series has seen 5 titles bearing The Legend of Zelda moniker, with only Link’s Crossbow Training breaking the 4.5 million mark.
To break that mold, I think Nintendo really needs to be aggressive in their attempts to mix up the Zelda franchise. They need not look further than what was done with Mario in the excellent Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2. Nintendo EAD Tokyo was able to keep the essence of the Mario franchise intact, while still creating enough new concepts to keep things fresh. All of the skills learned in the prior Mario games still applied with Galaxy, but there was still many new concepts to learn as well.
I would wager that a vast majority of fans buy Nintendo consoles solely for playing the top Nintendo content, so the sooner Nintendo shows their hand with The Legend of Zelda Wii U the better. I can’t wait to see what Nintendo show’s off at E3!
Alter the conventional thinking of Super Mario/Mario Kart
The Wii U is something entirely new. With the new tech, original and radically different gaming experiences are possible. I don’t think it will be enough for Nintendo to slap an eight after the next Mario Kart add a few new characters and tracks, and call it a day.
For the next iterations of the Mario Kart and Super Mario to truly take advantage of the new tech available with the Wii U, Nintendo needs to challenge themselves to create something outside the box. Imagine a bullet bill type power-up that takes control of your kart, leaving you able move the Gamepad around in real space firing at your opponents. How about puzzles requiring precise stylus controls on the Gamepad for Super Mario?
Soon enough we will see what Nintendo has in store for us, and hopefully they are truly forward-looking.
New Metroid title
Metroid has long been the redheaded step child of the Nintendo line up. Just look at the way the company handled the Metroid Prime 3: Corruption launch. There was effectively zero marketing leading up to the launch of the game, with the only attempt to spread the word being the Metroid Prime 3 Preview Channel.
With that said, I think it only fair that if Nintendo is going to treat Metroid as a second class citizen, then they should give the franchise to one of their lesser know studios. Since 2002, everything Metroid (aside from the handheld projects) has been handled by Retro Studios. While the dev house has done a fantastic job with the franchise, it’s plain to see that it is time for them to move on to bigger and better things.
So who should take the reins of the franchise? For me, I think the folks over at Grezzo would be the best fit. Who the heck is Grezzo you ask. Remember the Ocarina of Time 3D ? They were behind bringing the title to 3DS in 2011. As it has been two years since the title, I think it is high time to see exactly what the company is working on.
If you still think I’m crazy, just keep in mind that CEO and President Koichi Ishii worked on the early Mana and Final Fantasy games during his time with Square-Enix. The man has some pedigree behind him, so giving his company something more than just a remake should be a no brainer for Nintendo.
New project from Retro Studios
For all we know Retro could very well be working on another Metroidi title, and I would actually be fine with that. My dream, however, would be for them to be working on something entirely new. The studio should be given the chance to work on a new IP that they could call their own. With the great work done with Metroid over the years, Nintendo almost owes them the chance to flex their creative muscle.
In a perfect world, that would be the case. In the real world, where new IP is dangerous, and established franchises (especially from Nintendo) continue to be safe bets, I don’t think it entirely impossible that Retro is working on either Star Fox or a Donkey Kong title. Either of the two franchises would be a good fit for the studio really, and at this point I just can’t wait to see what they are working on!
What are your thoughts? What does Nintendo need to bring to E3 to blow the lid of the show?