It’s 2012 now and the end times are drawing near, my dear enthusiasts. No, I\’m not talking about the Mayan calendar or anything like that. 2012 is the fated year that Nintendo is closing up shop on the Wii as it transitions over to it’s next console, the Wii U. The beginning of a new gaming generation is always a very exciting and nerve wracking experience. With a list of games and characters as beloved as the big N’s tend to be, times like this tend to inspire a lot of questions.
I, ever the optimist, have decided to compile a list (in no particular order) of 10 Nintendo published games that I feel would have a great synergy with the abilities offered by the new console. I wish I could have more in there. You may notice a lack of Mario, for example, which you might find baffling. In my defense, Mario games evolve in very unexpected ways and tend to be based around environmental concepts rather than new console features. so hopefully that offers some context on why I chose certain titles over others.
Then I also have provided a mini-list under most of the games that will be able to greatly utilize features which speak for themselves. Like downloadable content and online multiplayer. I have chosen to do this as a way of pointing out the games that would stand to benefit from these features a little more than the others. For example, high definition graphics would obviously benefit every game there is to some degree, so I limited its usage in this article to games where the added resolution would effect visual clarity in a way that prevents you from squinting your eyes to hard.
So I now present to you my little labor of love. Enjoy!
We all know that Pikmin 3 is finally going to hit shelves with the Wii U. Very possibly at launch, which would be quite lovely, yes? So lets get prepared and lay down some predictions.
Pikmin 2 introduced Louie who could take his own contingent of Pikmin out for a stroll. This allowed him and Olimar to spread out and cover more ground. Having the secondary screen keep track of one while you control the other would make multi-tasking really easy as you switch back and forth.
Selecting and aiming your Pikmin could also be simplified by the touch screen. Tap a colored Pikmin of your choice then slide your finger over to the target and bombs away! Lining them up in formation for tricky navigation would be useful when using the touch feature too.
Battalion Wars is game that was practically made for the Wii U. It’s worked great so far, but the enhancements provided by the tablet controller (amongst the Wii U’s other strengths) could easily make it the best entry.
In the past you could change your camera to a few different vantage points. One of these views was a birds eye top-down view that, with the Wii U, could be persistently displayed on the controller while the normal view from behind the the back remains on the TV. This way you could have the advantages of both camera angles simultaneously.
All troop/vehicle selections and commands would be a breeze with the touch screen. Perhaps you could select the icon of your choice and then tap a target on the screen, using the top-down view, to quickly command attacks and captures. Calling airstrikes and Naval attacks would be particularly satisfying, I reckon.
Speaking of the vehicles… Steering with the controller would definitely work rather naturally considering the shape and size of it. Whether we are talking about vehicles of the Army, Navy, or the Air Force… They all stand to benefit.
- Online Multiplayer
A nice little gem that will always hold on to its dedicated fans, but could really use some more interactivity, if you ask me. I thought that it’s output on the Wii missed some major motion controlling opportunities. That’s fine though because it\’ll get a second chance this next gen to use the controller in some more entertaining ways than routine button presses.
Buttons are soooo 1900’s.
The village is filled with plenty of activity that the touch screen could be utilized for. You can fish, casting your lure by sliding your finger along the screen. The faster the stronger. Then spin a virtual reel to capture your quarry. Catch bugs by waving the controller around like a butterfly net. Cut down trees with a sawing motion. There are tons of things I could throw out there, so I\’ll leave the rest to your imagination.
Any sort of writing would be obviously improved with the touch screen. Write letters on it to your online buddies. Keep a diary. Mark a calendar for important dates. Write signs. All sorts of stuff.
Anyone who plays these games know that you are very oftenly rearranging your home to adjust to new furniture. This could be very effectively streamlined on the Wii U. Put a nice top-down view on the inside of your home than drag and drop as you please with the touch screen
- Online multi-player
Fire Emblem is a series that has remained pretty static with minor changes over the years to tweak the strategy. The Wii U is poised to help with that, sure, but some of the presentational aspects could get a big boost as well.
I\’ve always played with the animations turned off to speed the game up. Any Fire Emblem veteran knows how long a battle can take. But perhaps a second screen could multitask by displaying the action while the primary one is already being used to make your next move.
The touch screen could make movement on the grid much more efficient than using a d-pad or analog stick. Selecting different units to see their movement range, stats, and so forth with a simple tap would be nice.
It could also display all your menus and stat windows right there to keep the other screen from getting cluttered. Maybe even offer a calculator to do some of the math that the game requires of you.
- Online/Local Multiplayer
I think we can all agree that we are primed and ready to be blown away by a new console Star Fox. The Gamecube offered two additions to the franchise, but one was an untraditional example and the other was just… Not very satisfying, was it? With it skipping the Wii entirely, the Wii U is bound to see our furry friends return.
Like the option on Starfox 64 3DS, motion controls could fly the arwing. More proficiently too, I might add, since you could have a stable view on the T.V. as you move the tablet about. You could also use the motions to signal loops, u-turns, tilting, and (dare I say?) you could even use them to do a barrel roll!
You could keep better track of your allies with a second screen. I\’d like to add some features there too. Like being able to give them some commands to fly in formation during all-range mode and target enemies for you via the touch screen. After all, why is it always you that needs to cover their backs?
- Online/Local Multiplayer
Metroid is a series that has gone through some pretty dramatic changes through it’s history. For this article I will pursue ideas that would advance the style and contents of Metroid: Other M, of which I think would have the most to benefit. Of course, however, there will be parts that would have worked in conjunction with it’s other play styles as well.
You could lift the tablet up to your eyes with the gyro activating the First Person View. Then you can look around the area in full 360 degrees with the tablet screen imitating her visor. Just imagine using the X-ray visor for instance. Targeting with her beams and missiles would carry over nicely as well.
Controlling Samus while in morph ball mode could be handled with motion controls. Tilt to roll. It would feel plenty natural while maintaining a necessary degree of precision.
Plus any weapon or armor feature that needs to be selected can be relegated to the touch screen. If the beams switch instead of stack like in the Prime game or visors switch like in the Primes as well as Super Metroid, this could really help.
F-Zero GX is gonna be a very tough act to follow even with the series skipping a whole gen (even the DS went neglected). It was high velocity arcade racing at it’s finest. Many still find it to be their favorite racing game to this very day and I am proud to count myself under their numbers.
Now, I\’m not gonna suggest steering with motion controls akin to the Excite games on Wii. I think the level of sensitivity required is just a little too much for insane kind of speed that the game has. Some limited motion controls could, however, enhance certain maneuvers. You could tilt, not to control the turn itself, but to enact the drag turn while the angle is still handled via analog stick. Or when catching air you could use motions to level yourself out before landing.
Did anyone else reading this feel that the multiplayer was way too difficult in GX because the split screen cut off too much visibility? I know it was a problem for me and my friends. But, now with the Wii U, we aren\’t limited to just the one screen anymore. Different players can race entirely on their controllers allowing some great local multiplayer fun. Either one lucky son-of-a-gun could get the TV, or maybe everyone would be forced to use the controller screen for the sake of fairness. Then the primary TV screen would become the secondary one featuring the map and such. Either way would be welcome to me.
- Online/Local Multiplayer
The (oc)cult classic Eternal Darkness is absolutely begging for a sequel. Will it ever happen? I\’m doubtful. But a man can dream and he can also speculate.
The targeting system could be improved upon with the touch screen. Perhaps the screen could show an image of the monster you are fighting and you could select which meaty portion to blow away by tapping where you want to aim.
Spells could be revitalized with some new methods on the touch screen to make them more interesting. While keeping certain spells allocated to buttons as short-cuts, you could also cast any spell at anytime by drawing out symbols. Or, to be less gimmicky I suppose, you could have touch screen buttons organized by category. Select a deity of choice and then a list of it’s associated majicks would pull up ready for casting.
And, of course, how could we ever talk about Eternal Darkness without mentioning the sanity meter? Just imagine the possibilities here. That second screen could cause all kinds of mischief. The whole game could leave the TV and go onto the tablet screen. It could go black itself as if the controller was turned off. Different visions could suddenly appear. Certain ones like the fly could return so that it looked like a bug was walking around on your controller’s screen. I\’ll stop here because the possibilities are so endless that I could write a whole article on it.
A new and interesting IP for Nintendo that was introduced on the Wii. Not your normal handle-gripping button-masher, Endless Ocean inspires serenity instead of pulsating action. The games have sold rather well thus far so I\’m willing to bet some money that it will find a place on Wii U store shelves near you.
It’s definitely another game that could benefit from a first person panoramic view. While swimming around, you could hold the tablet up and look around in any direction to catch a view without having to turn your whole body around. A camera could be taken well advantage of when utilizing this idea. As would aiming your tranquilizers at hostile marine life as well.
Endless Ocean features a lot of reading as you discover treasures, places, and fish. All the info on these could be handled expressly on the tablet’s screen. Navigating through the menu, tapping and scrolling would really smooth the process over.
- Online Multiplayer
Zelda mastermind, Eiji Aonuma, has announced that they plan to move forward with the motion controls established in Skyward Sword. So where does that leave me? I got 10 games to cover here and Zelda is such an important cornerstone to Nintendo that I\’d feel empty inside to pass over it. Thankfully, this is a purely speculative piece, so I don\’t feel too bad pretending that he never said anything of the sort.
The tablet could feasibly be used as Link’s shield. Instead of instantly blocking and reflecting the deku nuts back at the Deku Scrubs with a button press, you will need a little more skill in order to get a handle on it’s trajectory to block a specific body part. The same, of course, would apply to wielding the shield in sword fights and the like.
It would be useful for switching over to FPV as well when looking around or aiming a sub-weapon. It would be particularly useful for riding horseback so that you can have your normal 3rd person view on the T.V. while the tablet screen and the gyro lets you look around with the panoramic view. Just imagine how satisfying it would be to shoot down some Moblins with arrows in this manner.
Puzzles have almost always played an integral role in the series. Especially in Link’s 3D adventures. This dual/touch screen deal could certainly inspire some new idea’s in that vein. A very simple example being that you could have a treasure map on the tablet’s screen that has a pattern drawn on it that you need to replicate by pushing boxes around.
And that concludes the article. Thanks for reading! Hopefully this got your brains firing off with ideas of your own. What games do you want to see evolve with the Wii U? Leave us your comments below.