Love them or hate them, Musou games are here to stay. The 1 vs. 1000 genre has been around for a long time due to the famous Dynasty Warriors series, but it’s recently had new life breathed into it via some creative crossovers with Nintendo franchises. Hyrule Warriors and Fire Emblem Warriors were not necessarily critical darlings, but gamers found enjoyment out of the ludicrous amounts of fan service that these games offered. With its loving implementation of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s mechanics and enrichment of its world, the upcoming Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity has a lot of promise. If it turns out as well as we hope, it could potentially open up the doors for more creative Warriors crossovers with Nintendo properties. Here are just some of the possibilities we would like to see.
If there is any world from a Nintendo franchise that could be well served by a Warriors game, it would be Xenoblade Chronicles. The vast and beautiful world of the Xenoblade series, where entire civilizations live on the back of gigantic creatures, is a prime setting for a Warriors game. Taking the time to explore some of the events that players have only heard secondhand throughout the series, a Xenoblade Warriors game could expand upon the lore of these unknown periods in much the same way that Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is for Breath of the Wild and what Torna – The Golden Country is for Xenoblade Chronicles 2.
In addition to providing new lore for Xenoblade fans, the game could also make use of the series’s strong environments. Battles taking place on the heights of tall cliffs could contrast fights happening on levels far down below and let the player freely traverse the environment to switch between the different combat zones. With the entire series at its disposal, a Xenoblade Warriors could offer a great cast of playable protagonists, including even the Skells from Xenoblade Chronicles X. Through a variety of characters or great use of Xenoblade’s huge vertical environments, a potential Xenoblade Warriors game could showcase the scale of the Xenoblade world in great style.
Samus Aran generally tends to be a calm and methodical fighter. She out-strategizes and outmaneuvers her opponents to ensure that she always emerges victorious against deadly foes. However, Metroid in a Warriors setting could ratchet Samus’ abilities up to 11 for a more frenetic experience. It’s easy to picture using a super-sized Morph Ball barreling through fields of deadly aliens or powering up her cannons for some huge, satisfying beam attacks.
Given the setting of the Metroid series, a Metroid Warriors game could even have the potential to take the fight into space. Whether it’s amplifying Samus’s weapons and abilities to unreasonable heights or exploring the various planets and space locations of the series, a Metroid Warriors game could be a great chance for both the fans and Samus herself to exact cathartic revenge on the pesky aliens. Likewise, it could provide opportunities to play as famous antagonists like Ripley, SA-X, and… maybe even Mother Brain?!
The single-player offerings in both Splatoon games have focused on small but cleverly designed stages that make use of the unique weapons and traversal options the player has. However, whether it’s through the single-player or multiplayer offerings, the Splatoon series places a fair emphasis on frequently reloading your paint ammunition. However, a Splatoon Warriors game could let that mechanic slip. With a much leaner requirement on reloading paint, a Splatoon Warriors title could let players go wild with the creative assortment of weapons the series has built up.
The variety of powerful special attacks could be used more frequently than Splatoon typically allows, and seeing these weapons paint over much bigger play areas would up the scale of your moves considerably. Considering that the lore of the series is based on the long-standing feud between the Squidlings and Octolings, a Splatoon Warriors game that lets both sides be playable could expand the overall narrative. On top of this, the games have barely scratched the surface of the fascinating high-rise city setting they take place in. Being able to traverse a large open map of Splatoon’s city, full of verticality and the ability to jump between rooftops to engage in paint battles, could be a blast.
In some ways, we already know what the framework for a Donkey Kong Warriors game could look like. The chaos of the multiplayer modes present in Donkey Kong 64 were the first indicator that playing as the Kongs in a third-person shooter scenario could both work and be fun to play. With a range of Donkey Kong family members to choose from and plenty of hilarious fruit-based weapons to use, a Donkey Kong Warriors game could give players a chance to use Nintendo’s favorite apes in more action-heavy situations. Implementing the unique skills of each Kong could lead to some tag-team mechanics such as using Diddy Kong to let the player’s chosen Kong fly with jetpacks, or Lanky Kong as a partner could add range to your attacks.
Series staples such as vines and barrels could offer ways to use platforming during battles to move around or trigger unique special attacks from the air. And if the developer wanted to add some true reverence for the series, perhaps we could even build our own tower defense-like construction sites to fling barrels at hordes of enemies that try to climb towards the player. Donkey Kong as a Warriors game could simultaneously be the zaniest Warriors crossover with a Nintendo series while also staying the truest to what has come before.
Of all the games on this list, Super Mario may be the biggest stretch for a Warriors title, but it’s not impossible. Let’s imagine that one day, Bowser became fed up with his failed attempts to capture Princess Peach for good and instead decided to launch an all-out attack on the Mushroom Kingdom. With a variety of potential maps from across the series, a Super Mario Warriors title could launch waves of classic Super Mario enemies at the plumber and force him to use every trick in the book. We all know that jumping on heads is the core of Super Mario combat, and that could still be implemented in some fashion, such as using a power-up to turn Mario into a giant.
However, for regular 1 vs. 1000 combat against a mixture of tried and true enemies, Mario could kick, punch, and spin his way to victory or perhaps even use the creative guns introduced in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. With an arsenal of weapons and melee attacks, as well as game-changing power-ups like the Super Star or Catsuit that could be doled out, Mario would have all manner of tools to take down Bowser’s army.
Of course, different characters would have different play styles and modes of attack, like Princess Peach using her umbrella, Luigi using his vacuum, or Yoshi being able to eat enemies for long-range attacks. Imagining a level where Mario and crew are stopping a raid on Princess Peach’s castle with all of the potential gameplay possibilities listed above sounds like it could be a fun new adventure.
Which Nintendo property would you want to see as a Warriors game?