Nintendo guru Shigeru Miyamoto recently polled fans about what games they want on Wii U. The top result was a new Metroid game, which is a sentiment I can definitely agree with. However, Nintendo’s got a lot more to offer than just Metroid and there are a lot of other unused franchises and characters that have not yet graced Wii U. Read on to see the top five unannounced games I want to see on Wii U.
A Pokémon Game With Heavy Online Focus
I don’t care how I get, the inner child in me will always love Pokémon. Thanks to Wii U, Nintendo can finally create a Pokémon experience with beautiful HD graphics and stable online play. No, Game Freak’s never going to put a main series Pokémon game on a home console, so I’m not crossing my fingers for Generation VII, but there are plenty of other ways that they can take advantage of what Wii U has to offer.
Ideally, I’d love to see a Pokémon MMO hit Wii U, but Game Freak has been less than positive when discussing that possibility in the past. However, a Pokémon Stadium style game is a very real possibility. I’ve personally pumped a lot of hours into battle simulators like Pokémon Showdown, and if Nintendo provided an easy-to-use battle game that allows you to put together a competitive team without countless hours of breeding and EV training (yes, I’m one of those people), it would be a day one purchase for me.
Game Freak could also take Pokémon in a completely different direction on Wii U. After all, who saw Pokémon Snap coming back in 1999? As long as it feels like a rich Pokémon experience (sorry, Rumble U, not counting you) that shows off what Wii U can do graphically and lets me take full advantage of Nintendo’s free online services, I’m interested.
A 3D Donkey Kong
Some of my fondest gaming moments from the N64 came while playing Rare’s Donkey Kong 64, and I’ve never fully understood why Nintendo never went back to that style. Donkey Kong 64 received almost universally excellent critical scores and sold over 5 million copies, and the Donkey Kong series in general has seen a bit of a revival with Donkey Kong Country Returns on Wii and 3DS and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze on Wii U.
The influx of 2D Nintendo platformers in recent years has me yearning for the days when games like Mario and Donkey Kong were more open. There’s a sense of adventure that 2D games (or even linear 3D games like Super Mario 3D World) can’t quite give me. With the advancements in hardware and 3D game design that have occurred in the fifteen years since Donkey Kong 64 launched, Nintendo could refine that same sense of adventure that captivated me as an eight year old, once again keeping my hands glued to the controller as an adult.
Speaking of the controller, that’s another advantage offered by Wii U. Mini-games were prevalent in Donkey Kong 64, and the GamePad’s second screen offers plenty of opportunities to put a fresh new spin on that concept. Additionally, gyroscope controls could be used for some of the game’s weapons and instruments.
A Return to Form for Paper Mario
Paper Mario and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door were about as close to the concept “can’t put the controller down” as it gets for me. A big world with lots of diverse environments, a colorful cast of hilarious and memorable characters, hidden secrets around every corner, and clever level design made these games some of my favorite RPGs of all times. That’s not to say that Super Paper Mario and Sticker Star were bad, and a future title can certainly incorporate elements from them, but I want a Paper Mario on Wii U that goes back to the basics of what made the series great.
This means a simple, but still deep turn-based RPG experience with plenty of items, upgrades, and special attacks, along with diverse partners with their own strengths and weaknesses. It also means being set in a rich and interesting world with plenty of characters to interact with (looking at you, Sticker Star) and plenty of additional content besides the main quest. With that core foundation in place, Nintendo can build on top of it with unique new ideas and features. Super Paper Mario‘s view-changing mechanic was a fresh take, and Sticker Star had some really creative level design, so I’d love to see Nintendo continue to evolve their ideas, but I’m hoping the next Paper Mario sees a return to the classic formula at its core.
A Big, Beautiful 3D Metroid That Uses the GamePad Well
A new Metroid isn’t just the most popular answer; it’s also one of my personal top choices. With some hardware that can finally pump out HD graphics and a controller with a built in screen, Wii U is perfect for Metroid. While I think the Metroid Prime series proper has been wrapped up nicely and should be left as is, a first-person 3D Metroid in that style again would be great. Alternatively, Metroid could take cues from the development of the upcoming Star Fox Wii U in which the TV screen displays a third person view while the GamePad puts you inside Samus’ helmet.
Between gyroscope controls, touch controls, and a second screen, there’s a million and one different ways for Nintendo to show off what the GamePad can do with a new Metroid. I’d love to see Nintendo go nuts with ideas and features, but it’s important that none of them feel forced. It needs to be the kind of experience where I can’t imagine playing it without the GamePad, rather than the kind where I’m wondering if there’s a Pro Controller only option instead.
A Brand New IP From Retro Studios
Okay, so I’m cheating a little with this one. The final unannounced game I want to see isn’t so much a ‘game’ as it is a concept. Retro Studios has been one of Nintendo’s best development teams for over a decade now, with all of their games achieving critical acclaim and solid sales numbers. Up to this point, Retro’s specialty has been taking tired, old franchises (Metroid was originally planned to end after the third installment and the Donkey Kong Country brand hadn’t been used in fourteen years) and making them feel fresh and exciting again for a new generation, and they’ve been very successful at it. So why not let them try something entirely new for once?
“But Ben!” you cry, “How can Retro make a new IP if you also want a new Metroid?” That’s an excellent question, interested reader. First off, while I think Retro would do an excellent job if they returned to Metroid, Nintendo has other internal studios that could work on it. Secondly, Retro has been doing a lot of hiring in recent months and Nintendo General Manager Shigeru Miyamoto says he’s now at a place where he’s comfortable letting the studio tackle more than one game at a time. Hopefully he’s also comfortable enough to let them start from scratch.
That’s my top five, but we want to hear from you as well. Let us know what you’re looking forward to on Wii U, and what you hope to see announced in the future!