Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild have made me want something that I very rarely want: sequels. Each game was absolutely fantastic with only a small handful of worthwhile competitors across gaming as a whole, but each also had some untapped potential. With the groundwork for control schemes, physics, and tons of assets already laid, developers working on sequels could hone in on improving the minor shortcomings of the previous games or completely realizing every ambitious idea they have.
Super Mario Odyssey‘s capture mechanic, for example, is one of the coolest things the series has done, and there is so much more that can be done with it. I want Super Mario Odyssey 2 and I want to fly around as a Boo in it. Meanwhile, shrines in Breath of the Wild were a lot of fun, but those larger dungeons felt repetitive and did not do the trick for me. A Breath of the Wild 2 (I, uh, can’t imagine it would be titled that.) set in a brand new environment with big, unique temples to complement shrines? Sign me up.
With past entries in each series, direct console sequels have been rare, and so has my need for them. Even Super Mario Sunshine and The Wind Waker, two of my favorite games of all time, completely explored the ideas behind them. Thus, they had me ready to move on to the next adventure. Perhaps my only two exceptions before now were Super Mario Galaxy and, to a lesser extent, Super Mario 3D Land. Luckily, I saw both realized in Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Super Mario 3D World. Having free rein to fully develop the mechanics behind their respective predecessors, each delivered some of my favorite gaming experiences ever.
Over on Zelda‘s end, and with 3D Zelda specifically, I have never craved a sequel. With each game, new ideas and concepts were always ready to step in, take the series somewhere new, and fully explore what they brought to the table.
Super Mario Odyssey was too easy. That is my only noteworthy complaint about what is my favorite 3D platformer. I understand why Nintendo chose to make the game as easy as they did, but the harder moons towards the end were the best. I would be all over a Super Mario Odyssey 2 that is less afraid to put difficult moons all over the place. Furthermore, there is so much potential for new captures, different environments, and more. We didn’t have much of a haunted house in Super Mario Odyssey, and as I mentioned earlier, Boos missed out. What about a souped-up Ruined Kingdom? I loved what I saw in Super Mario Odyssey, and it would be a treat to see where a sequel took us. Given that it has been over a year without DLC, I think there is a decent chance we see a follow-up. Besides, we really need a Delfino Plaza Kingdom.
Meanwhile, at the Switch’s launch, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild did so much right. My only real issues came with the main dungeon and the enemy variety. I would be over the moon for a new game that emphasized the same exploration and gameplay as Breath of the Wild but had more expansive dungeons to accentuate the fantastic shrines. Seeing something other than a million Bokoblins would be a welcome addition as well.
To keep things fresh, Breath of the Wild 2 could have a new landscape that goes all out with its villages and settlements–exploring the wilderness is fantastic, but I would similarly love to get to know a well-developed town. Given the post-apocalyptic setting, it made sense for Breath of the Wild’s disparaged communities to all remain low to the ground and out of the way. I feel that a lot of good could be done for both gameplay and story in a direct sequel set a bit down the line in an area that, in addition to a massive, untamed landscape, also hasn’t had development hindered by a century of evil.
While neither would have the same impact, Super Mario Odyssey 2 and Breath of the Wild 2 could be nearly perfect realizations of their predecessors’ visions. And even if they are not better games overall, sequels could still be absolutely incredible and worthwhile experiences if they were to capitalize on what little room for improvement they have. I am fully behind Nintendo taking another go at them both.
However, even if we do not get follow-ups, I am always going to be very appreciative of what we got in Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I was not happy with 3D Mario‘s direction before Odyssey, and none of the Zelda titles most-immediately preceding Breath of the Wild grabbed me how Wind Waker did. But the Switch games have corrected the course. Still–it is going to be a missed opportunity if this is all we ever see of Cappy and of Hyrule’s unrelenting wilds.
(But if we’re not getting Odyssey 2… I hear full-fledged remakes of Mario Sunshine are totally in style nowadays. Get someone on it; I don’t care who.)