With the recent announcement of Nintendo’s new console, the Wii U, many of us have already formulated our own opinions. Some may be enamored to get their hands on Nintendo’s newest innovator, seeing the many new features such as augmented reality, dual screen connectivity and a touch screen as the pinnacle of video game immersion. Others might look at it as a streamlined version of the Gamecube + Gameboy Advance + Connector Cable gimmick that Nintendo tried in the early 2000s as well as a blatant excuse to make a million game titles starting with the letter “U” (which I think I’ve demonstrated pretty well). Whether you’re happy at the new possibilities or trying to scratch the casual out of your skull, we can at least admit that the thing has potential beyond giving us a great view of a golf ball.
Below are a few examples of what games are absolutely perfect for the Wii U. Sure, a lot of the ideas will never come to pass and are just one man’s wishful thinking, but just in case Nintendo is reading Elder-Geek (which I’m sure they are) I’ve unleashed the creative juices.
Animal Crossing Universe
I know it sounds like a lackluster beginning, but the new controller could be the fresh start that Animal Crossing has needed since its release on the Gamecube. With the 1080p HD capabilities and Xbox 360 comparable graphics, we might finally see our favorite Nintendo life sim evolve out of the lackluster N64 graphics it has supported for so long. Let’s be honest, they have the technology to give Animal Crossing the look of a hand-drawn cartoon and they have proved it possible with the anime of the same name. We get it, you think your blocky textures are charming, but we’re in the high def age now and the cheap visual needs an overhaul and the cartoon look suits AC to a tee.
However, we all know what the most troublesome thing about playing Animal Crossing is: the clunky inventory maintenance. The whole process could be streamlined with the implementation of a sub menu on the controller with touch screen. No more lost bugs for me!
Additionally, the idle perks of the game could also be improved. Maybe with more power we could see the ability to personalize your house better – possibly develop and implement floor plans. Maybe we could use the controllers screen overlay to x-ray where fossils are buried rather than the usual “X marks the spot” ruitine. The touch screen could add functionality to clothing and flag plans and if any game can benefit from the “play on controller” function it’s Animal Crossing. There is just no way to justify hogging the TV while you try to win the fishing tournament.
Professor Layton and the Underground Watchtower
The matchstick solving detective could make his first console debut on the Wii U. Layton’s sleuthing and mind tricks would transfer easily to the the many controller tricks we saw in the demo reel at E3. The controller overlays, dual screen integration, augmented reality, gyroscopic technology, cameras with 360 degree sensitivity, and an enabled touch screen… just thinking about all the puzzles a person could conceive with these tricks makes my head hurt.
I doubt anyone would mind a refresher on the gameplay as well. With the extra power behind Layton, we could see the development of Zack and Wiki style puzzle elements. Imagine working out the step-by-step process of navigating a particular London street while using environmental cues and solving real time puzzles to get to your destination. The two styles were practically born to co-mingle.
Add Professor Layton’s trademark hand-drawn cut scenes to a HD display and you’ve got one of the best point and click puzzle adventures a home console has ever seen. Fingers crossed that we’ll see our favorite detective take on a dual screens of a different variety.
Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles Unite
Let me clarify this, I am not referring to the lackluster DS and Wii sequels for this original Gamecube franchise. What I want to see is a return to the roots of the original game release in 2003.
FF:CC was one of the first games to use similar technology to what the Wii U supports. Back in the day we had to collect four friends with Gameboy Advances and link cables to embark on a Diablo-esque adventure. In the original game your inventory and attack selections were displayed on your controller screen which freed up HUD room on your screen for four player to take on classic Final Fantasy enemies in style.
Nintendo’s being fairly hush hush with whether or not you will be able to attach multiple controllers to one console, so we have to imagine this one working over the internet. But the thought of flicking firagas from my controller with three others to power up magical attacks with heated battle unfolding on my television gets my moogle’s pom a’tingling.
The framework is already there, too. A simple lobby system a-la Monster Hunter Tri seems an all to easy conversion. After meeting up with your buddies you could embark on some Tonberry slaying madness. It would essentially be Monster Hunter from Square Enix and, done right, an obvious seller.
The Wii U’s interface might be just what the doctor ordered to rejuvenate this old franchise.
Luigi’s Mansion U
Yeah, we’ve already seeing Luigi’s Mansion 2 on the 3DS but just think how great the game would translate to the Wii U. In the first game, we used our Game Boy Horror to ping rooms and reveal clues on how to capture and reveal ghosts. Well now we can use our controllers. Just think of Luigi entering in a new room and using the Wii U controller’s screen overlay to scope out the scene and ping conspicuous items. It would basically be Fatal Frame meets Nintendo. It practically writes itself.
Additionally, the controllers motion setting would make ghost catching much smoother. In the previous title, you pulled back on the analog stick to reel in your ghost; with the Wii U, you could jerk on the whole controller. Think of Folklore’s folk capturing system. It was the main thing that the game did right, and we could get that same frantic fishing experience along with our very own call Mario button.
In the shield defender rhythm game demoed at E3, the user had to move 36o degrees to block oncoming cannon fire. All I can think of is that same technology allowing a ghost to actually sneak up behind you. A quick prompt and frantic turn would have a ghost closing in from the opposite side of the room and add so much needed surprise to the overlay tame ghost hunting franchise.
Pokemon Snap Ultimate
This is it. This is what I first thought when Nintendo’s newest console was demoed. It’s been twelve years since the original Pokemon Snap came out and it’s a travesty that the franchise died with only one title to its name. But the Wii U’s controller/screen overlay practically begs to be used here.
The game would ride on the same rail-based mechanics from the first Pokemon Snap, but instead of looking around with the analog stick you would actually be using the controller as your camera. Even the aforementioned Luigi’s Mansion 360 degree coverage could make an appearance. You could even flick bait out with the touch display!
Also, with the power that will exist on the Wii U, maybe we could get some actual photography grading. Instead of Oak simply telling us we’re great cause we captured a jumping Electabuzz, we could get graded on our use of the rule of thirds, lighting, and actual design techniques like depth, repetition, and contrast. If we have games coming out now that teach you to play guitar why can’t we have some that teach you to take a proper picture?
And the Pokemon catalog is massive now! The original game got panned on its short length. The sheer volume of existing Pokemon could lead to a game of incredible length, and if a proper photo grading system was implement we could be talking about endless replay value.
A fully HD realized Pokemon Snap game would exemplify every new feature the Wii U has to offer.
With so little known about the Wii U, it’s hard to say exactly what we will see from the system. Will we have another Armageddon of shovel-ware, or will we actually see a renaissance of third-parties latching on a Nintendo system? Will we see a controller that changes the way we perceive games as we know it, or will we have another useless add-on that we would much rather substitute a regular controller for? The things that we all must cling to is that there is potential in the product. Nintendo has never been a champion in realizing its own potential, but there’s always the chance that this might be the time they truly wow us with something Unheard of.
Do you have any great ideas for a Nintendo title? Let us know in the comments section!