Nintendo is ubiquitous with platformers (there’s no getting around it) and they have most of the other genres covered, such as the RTS (Pikmen) and RPG (Mario & Luigi series). But there are a few genres which are under represented by Nintendo such as an old school point and click adventure or a top-down hack and slash in the vein of Diablo in which item management could be made a lot simpler on the Gamepad.
As I have said before a new IP carries a lot of risk, but a way to circumvent this is to reinvent an existing franchise into another genre. Metroid Prime was a huge success going from a side scrolling action/adventure into a first person action/adventure while still retaining the core elements in the series.
The most suggested idea I have seen is an Pokémon MMORPG which makes perfect sense and would remove the hassle of having to transfer Pokémon from one game to another. The reason I can’t see Nintendo doing this is because Pokémon has become a foundation for their handheld platform and helps shift units while also keeping their handheld systems relevant. Many people only buy the portable consoles to play Pokémon.
So which genre would you like to see Nintendo attempt next?
So the Wii U has two Mario Games, Pikmen 3, Game & Wario, Wind Waker HD, Wii Fit U/Wii Party U and the newly released Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and still things look bleak for the fledgling console. The good news is Nintendo games generally have low first week sales, but push copies over a longer period than other first party titles. The bad news is long term sales are not going to help the struggling device anytime soon.
It seems all hope rests on the upcoming Super Smash Brothers or the future Zelda title, but with so little information about this latest entry in the series, it clearly is not going to be released for another year at least and Mario Kart 8 will certainly push more units and its predecessor helped the 3DS take off but can lightning strike twice.
Nintendo could try developing a new IP but an original game comes with risks which I’m not sure Nintendo will take and although strong third party support is instrumental for a successful console, it seems most developers are waiting for Nintendo to generate a larger install base. Until this happens, it seems the Wii U will remain in limbo.
To end this article on a more positive note, I truly believe the Wii U will see a resurgence, but what do you think it will take?
Nintendo is working with Tecmo-Koei to have The Legend of Zelda made into a Hack and slash game and Retro reinvented Metroid as a First person shooter. What other Franchises could jump game styles and still retain their core ideas?
Maybe Fire Emblem could become a standard JRPG in the vein of Suikoden with its multitude of characters and would still have some strategic elements of the previous games. Hopefully the upcoming crossover with Shin Megami Tensei will go in this direction.
This is going to be interesting
Another possibility is Kid Icarus becoming a pure on-rails shooter. The flying segments of Kid Icarus: Uprising were really impressive and had exciting gameplay, but once Pit touched the ground the controls fell apart and it spoiled a great game.
If only the whole game was this
So which Franchise would you like to see dabble in another genre?
Isn’t it strange how a series which follows the same formula through multiple titles and is still one of Nintendo’s major accomplishments, this series is the Legend of Zelda. But now this blueprint is becoming a bit stale, Link always starts in a forest, then travels to death mountain (or its equivalent) and then finishes with the water temple. A major plot point happens and you have to clear a few more dungeons before you fight Ganon.
I think a darker and more mature take on the series would be welcome, wouldn’t it be interesting if the game opened with our hero fighting Ganon who defeats Link, then you have to go through the dungeons in any order (like A Link Between Worlds which was a breath of fresh air for the series) gaining new items and abilities as you go and then you fight Ganon again.
This is a more compelling take on the standard Zelda formula and with Eiji Aonuma changing the way we traditionally play Zelda, I am really looking forward to seeing how the WiiU game turns out.
This is a step in the right direction
So what would you like to see from future Zelda games, a mature title or a more light-hearted adventure?
I know Mario is extremely popular all over the world and Nintendo puts Mario on the box to sell games, but seriously with Super Mario 3D Land/World, New Super Mario Bros 2/U, Mario Kart 7/8 and Mario Tennis/Golf on this generation already, we have got to be reaching saturation point for the portly chap.
I don’t mind Mario being in Smash Bros. Because the game isn’t centered around him. Maybe Nintendo could broaden some of these ideas like Smash Kart instead of Mario Kart which is a more interesting idea than recycling the same characters again.
Another issue with so many games featuring the Italian plumber is the development teams time and resources being used to create these games when they could be working on another series. I would love Camelot to make another Golden Sun or have EAD make another Pikmin.
So do you think the Mario character is becoming worn out or would you like to see more of our Italian friend?
Given the Wii U is not doing so great and the 3DS is selling very well Nintendo could try a hybrid machine. This might not be such a bad idea, having a console you can place in a docking device at home which links into your T.V. and charges the unit. Then you could detach the console and take it with you on your travels. Sounds great, plus having a single platform means all of Nintendo’s production efforts can be focused on its software lineup and they can keep their innovative edge over the competitors. The console should keep the dual screen clamshell design of the 3DS so it is backwards compatible with Nintendo’s latest handheld.
However there are a few drawbacks to a console like this. Nintendo thrives on having two main revenue streams, home and portable. Having just the one main source of income means if it fails it will hit Nintendo harder than just the Wii U not selling great. Another issue I can see is size and weight because it’s a portable home console a hard drive will be necessary, and a good size one at that, if it has to store virtual console as well as downloadable versions of games on top of save and extra-content data. The console must also push graphical ability that is at least as good as the current generation machines.
A mix of these two machines…maybe?
I know this a pure speculation piece but I think Nintendo should go down this path, How about you?