As you probably now know, Nintendo has confirmed that NFC (Near Field Communications) technology involving physical character figurines is becoming a major focus of the Wii U and 3DS systems. But while Nintendo’s keeping quiet about exactly what titles are going to be tied into the technology (at least until E3 rolls around this year), I’ve come up with a few interesting ideas about what types of games Nintendo might make involving this technology. So if you want to find out for yourself, keep reading!
When it comes to recent Mario platformers, many have said they’re becoming a bit too ‘stale’ and ‘conservative’, with many of the New Super Mario Bros games and other recent titles sharing things like the same look, the same style of music and the same game structure. But that’s not what it has to be like! Oh no, as people who’ve played the Wario Land series should know, that franchise has shown full well how you can revolutionise a simple series of 2D platformers in every single installment. And so here are five things from the Wario Land series that future Mario platformers should use as well.
But people might be wondering which ones I do want to see in the next game. So that’s the point of this article, a list of characters from every single series represented in Super Smash Bros that I really hope to see come the fourth installment. Here are the characters who I really do want to see included in the game.
As far as Mario characters go, there are a few characters I think would be interesting to see playable in Super Smash Bros 4. These are:
The first Mario character on my list, I think Waluigi is a great candidate for a playable character in Super Smash Bros 4.
Above: Waluigi could be an interesting new playable Mario character in Super Smash Bros 4.
The main reason for this is simply that he’s important enough that him being added would be fairly likely to happen, as well as different enough in design and abilities that he wouldn’t end up being a clone of anyone (unlike the likes of Princess Daisy or Rosalina, who could easily be based off Peach).
His origins in Mario spinoffs could give him some interesting attacks and abilities too. Like the ability to use the tennis racket his assist trophy form has, his weird water skiing type abilities from Mario Power Tennis and various others. Perhaps he could use explosives too, as a sort of reference to Waluigi’s Island from Mario Party 3?
All in all though, I think Waluigi is both a likely character to be made playable and a good choice for a new Mario series rep, so I hope he ends up as playable in Super Smash Bros 4.
Fawful is another character I want to see in Smash Bros 4 as a Mario rep. Why is this you may ask? Because frankly, the RPGs don’t get anywhere near enough representation in the series and Fawful is pretty much the most well known, popular character in any of them.
Above: Fawful + Super Smash Bros = awesome
Add to this his various abilities that could be adapted to special moves (he could use his headgear in his various specials and become Dark Fawful for his final smash), as well as his hilarious quotes and comments (it’d be pretty funny hearing him use phrases like ‘I have fury!’ as part of his taunts or the like), and you’ve got a character who I think could work quite well in the next Smash Bros title.
With the one minor catch that he shouldn’t be a clone of Mario. No, Paper Mario should be used to represent the Paper Mario series and the attacks/partners/pixls you can get in said series, and should take advantage of that for his attacks. Maybe he could use his hammer for one of his B attacks, summon the likes of Bow or Vivian to dodge attacks or use one of the various ‘flying’ partners like Parakerry or Lakilester as part of his Up B special. There’s plenty of possibilities here.
Above: Paper Mario’s abilities could make him a formidable fighter in the Super Smash Bros franchise.
Not to mention the neat music they could add to go with the character. Perhaps something like this could be his victory theme:
Above: Darn those victory themes are catchy.
We need a Paper Mario character in the Super Smash Bros series (or for that matter, any other series other than just the Paper Mario one), so Mario in his paper form could work well in that respect.
As far as Zelda characters go, I think Vaati would be a better choice than Ghirahim or one of the other ‘fifteen minutes of fame’ characters. Why?
Because for one thing, he’s as close to a secondary villain as the Zelda series will ever get. Appearing in three games (two of which he’s the main antagonist), Vaati is the only Zelda villain bar Ganon who’s ever appeared in multiple titles and managed to come up with different plans. So he’s more at least more interesting than any other non Ganon villain in the franchise, and hence more important to boot.
Above: Vaati is the second most important Zelda villain as of this time, hence should be in Smash Bros
As far as attacks and abilities go, he’s got plenty of possibilities there too. He can use things like tornadoes and wind powers as part of his special attacks, turn into his giant eye form from Four Swords/Four Swords Adventures for a final smash and likely has a whole bunch of other interesting characteristics that can help him fight differently to other characters in the game.
Above: Vaati’s Four Swords form could be part of his final smash
So Vaati seems like a great character for Super Smash Bros 4. He’s an important Zelda character who’s appeared more than once and actually has some relevance to the franchise, he’s got more personality than most of the ‘villains of the week’ that have appeared in games without Ganon and his abilities lend themselves perfectly to a Super Smash Bros 4 moveset. Here’s hoping he makes it in.
Does anyone NOT like Mewtwo? Thought not. He’s already an extremely likely character for Super Smash Bros 4 (due to his new gen 6 form/redesign and being cut from Brawl at the last minute), and I have to say I’m definitely hoping he gets in.
Above: Ideally with both his forms as options.
He’s a perfect representation of gen 1 alongside Pikachu and Jigglypuff, he was an interesting gameplay to play as back in Super Smash Bros Melee and he is by far and large one of the most popular Pokemon ever featured in the series. You don’t even need to design a moveset or abilities, since he was already a Smash Bros playable character.
So yes, Mewtwo so needs to be in Super Smash Bros 4.
The other Pokemon I want to see, I think Genesect is so much better a character choice than Zoroark that it’s just ridiculous.
Above: Genesect is the fan favourite of gen 5
I mean, for one thing, people LIKE Genesect. Sorry Game Freak, Zoroark was a complete failure as far as recreating the popularity of Mewtwo, Lucario or Deoxys goes and appealing to fans, and Genesect has currently turned out to be the true ensemble darkhorse of gen 5.
And you can’t exactly blame them for that. Genesect? An awesome genetically modified prehistoric bug Pokemon from ancient times, complete with a laser cannon on its back. Zoroark? Just a fox that can pretend to be other creatures. One is just so much cooler than the other, and I think even Nintendo themselves have realised that by now.
As for his abilities in Super Smash Bros 4, those won’t be too difficult to figure out. Genesect learns quite a few interesting attacks in the Pokemon video games, and I’m sure the likes of Techno Blast could be adapted to a special move fairly easily (perhaps give him a way to change the type of the move in Smash Bros as well, and have it do more damage to certain fighters depending on what type it is?)
Because of all this, I really do hope Genesect makes it into Super Smash Bros 4, since he’d be a perfect gen 5 playable Pokemon rep and would be popular with a whole ton of fans.
Kirby character wise, I have to admit there’s not really anyone I think’s needed for the next game. Bandana Dee/Waddle Dee would be okay (but hardly the most interesting character choice in the world), but the current line up of Kirby, Meta Knight and King Dedede works about as well it should do for representation.
Still, if Sakurai does want to add a Kirby character, he should go full out insane and add a ridiculous one. Forget the ‘safe bets’ like Waddle Dee, add someone who you’d think would never work in a fighting game and that looks absolutely ridiculous instead. Maglador? Sure! Nightmare? Go ahead! Yin Yarn? Might as well!
I’ll be happy regardless of what happens here, so Nintendo might as well go a bit nuts when it comes to another Kirby character.
Yes, I know people say Ridley is too big. But do you know what I say to this?
Above: Ridley is the next most logical Metroid character to be playable in the Smash Bros series.
Super Smash Bros is not ‘canon’. Characters don’t need to be the size they are in their original franchises, nor even at the same scale or using the same exact design. Don’t believe me? Just check out the pages on Zelda Wiki, Metroid Wiki, Bulbapedia and other sites dedicated to a Nintendo franchise and note how their Smash Bros pages note that the information included is non canon. Resizing Ridley is not the end of the world.
Besides, who else do you think would work as a Metroid rep in Super Smash Bros 4? We’ve already got Samus and Zero Suit Samus as one character, and all of the other major bosses or enemies in the franchise are even less humanoid than Ridley is. Or so unimportant no one cares about them except the most die hard Metroid fans.
Ridley just seems like a great character to include. He’s an iconic Nintendo villain with plenty of fans and popularity, he has a ton of possible attacks and abilities that could be used in game and he is literally the second most important character in the Metroid franchise. He should be made playable in Super Smash Bros 4 regardless of any necessary size changes.
Donkey Kong characters
King K Rool
Probably my favourite ever Donkey Kong character and Super Smash Bros 4 character request, King K Rool is quite literally the perfect character for this game. For one thing, he has a whole ton of abilities that could be used in Super Smash Bros 4, like some attacks:
B: Blunderbuss shot
B Side: Crown throw
B Up: Helicopter Pack
B Down: Either a barrel from the first game/lightning from the third one
A nice choice of final smashes. Like using the Blast O Matic on the stage like in the Donkey Kong 64 ending:
Above: You have to admit, it’d be cool to see it aimed at a Smash Bros 4 battlefield complete with the other characters still fighting there.
Or turning giant like in Jungle Climber’s final battle:
Above: Sort of like Giga Bowser, but bigger.
Between four and five different costumes that could be used instead of palette swaps:
Not pictured: K Rool in his King Krusha K. Rool boxing outfit
He’s also got an entirely different physique and design to most other characters (including Bowser and King Dedede), so whatever happens he likely wouldn’t end up as a clone or anything of the sort. That’s better than Dixie Kong, who is similar enough to Diddy in design that she could unfortunately be treated as a clone if Nintendo got lazy.
Finally, he fits perfectly into the story mode as a villain. Heck, this whole scene from the Subspace Emissary was desperately missing King K Rool and the Kremlings as the antagonists:
Above: Bowser didn’t fit this part at all. King K Rool would have worked perfectly.
Star Fox characters
I don’t think there needs to be any more Star Fox characters at this point in time. I’d be perfectly fine with some getting added though, more characters is never a bad thing.
Fire Emblem characters
No idea which new character I’d want to represent the Fire Emblem series, simply because I don’t have any interest in the series. Either way, a new character would be good here, and I wouldn’t mind which one ends up added so long as at least one gets in.
Not sure. I’d be fine regardless of whether a new Earthbound/Mother character gets added or not, and I’d be just as happy if no new characters from the series made in it. Either way works.
There are also two F-Zero characters I think would be interesting to see in Smash Bros 4. Namely…
Well, he’s made it into Super Smash Bros Melee and Brawl… just not as a playable character. Either way, I think Samurai Goroh might be an interesting choice of F-Zero character to have as Smash newcomer, he’s known Captain Falcon for years as a rival of sorts, seems handy enough with a sword and fighting and is the one of the most popular and well known characters in the F-Zero series itself.
Here’s hoping this time he gets upgraded from an assist trophy to a proper playable character.
It’s been said a few times already, but I agree entirely with the people who say they should use him as the means to ‘declone’ Ganondorf. Add him in, give him Ganon’s current moveset for people who actually like playing as this version and then give Ganondorf a new set of attacks that better reflects the Zelda series. Everyone wins, and it’s something I’d like to see.
No idea in this respect. Absolutely any other captain from the series could be adapted to Super Smash Bros, and I’d be fine with any of them.
As far as Wario characters go, I’d honestly be fine with pretty much anyone. From the WarioWare side of things, either Mona, Jimmy T, Ashley, Dr Crygor or 9 Volt would work well as playable characters in a Super Smash Bros game, and from the Wario Land side Captain Syrup could work well too.
Above: The WarioWare cast could be interesting to see.
And even then, that’s hardly the only characters I think could potentially work well. Take just about any series villain other than the Golden Diva, Black Jewel or Terrormisu and you’d have a character who could be adapted into a playable one fairly easily. Or do the same with just about any remotely humanoid individual from the WarioWare franchise and they’d do well too.
Above: Captain Syrup could be interesting as a character too.
So yes, I don’t mind what Wario characters get in, and I’d be quite happy with just about any of them.
Above: Adapt this music with a real orchestra and I’d be happy even without the characters. Just about anything Wario related would be nice.
He may technically also be a Mario character, but I think Kamek is an awesome possible character for Super Smash Bros due to his abilities, and far more likely to get in as a Yoshi rep than a Mario one.
Above: Does Kamek have what it takes to be a great Super Smash Bros character? I think so.
So why would he be a great character to see? Well for one thing, he’s a magician/wizard and could use magic as part of his attacks. He’s got short range spells to use as projectiles, his flying broomstick to use as part of an Up B attack and an awesome final smash in which he could use his powers to become Giant Kamek from Super Princess Peach.
And in the main story mode, he seems just perfect for part of the inevitable villain alliance. After all, he’s basically Bowser’s second or third in command in many Mario titles, so he’s already worked with him before and could easily do so again.
So Kamek would be great to see as part of Super Smash Bros 4, and would be a great choice for a second Yoshi character.
Well, is it even remotely debatable that we’ll get some Kid Icarus Uprising representation this time around? After all, it was the last game Sakurai made…
And so it seems logical to have Palutena included. She’s a well known Kid Icarus character who’s played a major role in every single game in the series, has plenty of support for her inclusion and I suppose could fairly easily be given an interesting moveset and abilities too.
So yeah, if anyone from Kid Icarus Uprising should be playable in Super Smash Bros 4, it should be her.
Above: A character from a series based around fighting should so be in Super Smash Bros
Another general Nintendo character I’d want to see in this game is Little Mac. Why? Well can you honestly think of anyone better suited?
I mean, he’s a boxer from a series based all around fighting. Hence you wouldn’t even need to look very far to come up with ways he could attack or anything else related to him. Attacks? Could be based around his various strikes from the Punch Out series. Arena? The boxing ring. Final smash? Giga Mac from Punch Out Wii:
Above: And his powered up form makes a perfect final smash transformation
Put simply, Little Mac is long overdue as a playable character in the Super Smash Bros series. He’s from a massively popular series that did really in the old days, he’s far better suited to fighting than various other Nintendo retro characters like the Duck Hunt Dog or Balloon Fighter, and I think he’d be a perfect character to include in general.
No, you’re not reading that wrong. I’m not against Miis in Super Smash Bros.
Why? Because honestly, I think the possibilities with them are nearly endless and that they could make the game more entertaining simply by being there. After all, you’ve all got characters from non video games you don’t like, right? Well if Miis are included, you can then make them in Mii form and get to beat them up in the most over the top way possible. That’s pretty damn cathartic, and it’d be great fun to try and blow up some jerkass from your favourite film or TV show.
Not to even get into the kind of entertainment value that comes out of putting real life individuals in a game based around fighting. I’m sure people on Youtube would absolutely LOVE the ability to have Miis in the game simply for comedy/machinima purposes.
And I guess if there’s a character you like from elsewhere (like James Bond, Batman, the Doctor from Doctor Who), Miis give you a sort of way to make them playable in Super Smash Bros. That’s got to count for something, right?
Finally, for all the criticism of them being ‘unsuited’ for Smash Bros… well, they’re more suited to Super Smash Bros than they are for any other Nintendo franchise. No, what’s a real insult is putting them in a 2D Mario platformer like New Super Mario Bros U where they don’t belong in the slightest. Or having freaking Wuhu Island be the location of two whole race tracks in Mario Kart 7. At least Super Smash Bros is a crossover game where characters from different universes co-existing makes logical sense.
Above: Forget Smash Bros, THIS is a real insult to game canon.
Above: As is freaking Wuhu Island in Mario Kart. No sense whatsoever.
So yes, I do want Miis in Smash Bros 4.
Above: Everyone wants Mega Man in Super Smash Bros, myself included.
Finally, everyone’s favourite blue bomber so desperately needs to be in Super Smash Bros 4. He’s got a whole ton of attacks and abilities that be used as part of an interesting moveset, a level of popularity many of this list can only dream of and the potential to be part of the one of the best announcements in Super Smash Bros history.
There’s nothing much to be said. Mega Man needs to be in Super Smash Bros 4. To show Capcom the character is still extremely popular and should star in more games. To fulfil the dreams of the millions of Nintendo fans who want him in the Smash Bros series. To give the developers a nice excuse to put various elements, items, stages and music from the Mega Man series into Smash Bros 4.
Above: Exhibit A
Mega Man needs to be in Super Smash Bros 4, and I don’t think absolutely anyone will disagree with this.
Well, there’s who I want to see as playable in Super Smash Bros 4. Some are likely to be added due to their importance and popularity, others less so. But I think all have the potential to be interesting playable characters with unique abilities and to improve Smash Bros as a franchise, so I’m gonna keep hoping that at least half of them make it into Super Smash Bros 4.
Do you agree with my list? Are their any other characters I should have listed? Post in the comments below or at Nintendo 3DS Community and let me know who you think should be in Super Smash Bros 4!
If you’ve been reading Nintendo 3DS Daily for a while now, you may remember that I wrote an article about how the 3DS’s AR features were going ignored by Nintendo and how so few games seemed to make any real use of them. If you missed it the first time, you can read that article here:
But now that Mario Party 3DS and this whole ‘Photos Together with Super Mario’ thing have been announced, could it be the case that Nintendo are finally ready to actually do something with the feature. I think so, and I think that the way Mario Party is implementing this whole Augumented Reality business shows that Nintendo have quite a bit more confidence in it than they used to.
How is this? Well look at this Mario Party screen and tell me what’s different about the whole AR setup used:
That’s right! Actual moving characters and gameplay that seems like it’s based on button controls in an Augumented Reality generated scenario! Prior to this, all AR stuff in Nintendo games was pretty much non interactive. Oh sure, you could press buttons to shoot things or vaguely interact with the generated imagery, but every single game was basically done in First Person View with the 3DS itself being moved as your main control scheme.
This on the other hand seems to be different. Mario and Toad are moved with the control stick and buttons on this net surface completely independently of how you move the 3DS. Heck, it even seems like you’ll have to move the 3DS camera ‘around’ the virtual object to see them on the other side! It’s seeming proof that actual GAMES can work with AR functionality, stuff that’s more than a cross between Pokemon Snap and a theme park shooting gallery.
So it could well be indication Nintendo is going to use AR for ‘proper’ games as well as mere ‘app’ like experiences such as Face Raiders or Pokemon Dream Radar. Something allowing you to controls characters seperate from the camera like the above mini game could be the preclude to all kinds of neat things. Like making Super Smash Bros 4’s characters seemingly fight on your desk/bed/wherever like kid from the Nintendo 64’s game’s intro! Or heck, use it for better versions of real life toys or something. Can you imagine how cool it’d be to have a Lego game use this (or something like Minecraft)? You could end up building virtual block structures and interacting with them like in a game world! Complete with none of the mess or clearing up or awkwardness gained from the real thing! Other great possibilities that await with this type of AR usage include a strategy game similar to Pikmin (seriously, can you imagine if someone used either Pikmin or that old Army Men license for something based around Augumented Reality? Could be huge) and real life Pokemon/Yugioh/whatever style battles that appear to be taking place in front of you in ‘reality’! Just make both player’s consoles generate the same image through the camera and have what appear to be Pokemon Stadium style battles in your room/backyard/school! That could seriously make millions…
But even ignoring the possibilities, you know the other great thing that having AR mini games in Mario Party 3DS and working on stuff like this Mario camera app proves? That Nintendo haven’t given up on the feature like I’d feared. That Nintendo might plan on implementing it in more of their recent games and actually try using it for some of the ideas listed above. Either way, it seems my worries about Augumented Reality being abandoned may have been too premature and I’m very much interested in seeing what creative uses Nintendo can come up with for the technology!
Zelda and Luigi’s Mansion. Not exactly two series you see compared often, but with the style of the second Luigi’s Mansion game being very much like a Zelda title, it seems like sometimes the Legend of Zelda series should take quite a bit more inspiration from it. So what things should the next Zelda game mimic from Dark Moon? These:
1. The more complex puzzles.
Let’s face it, the recent puzzles in the Zelda series don’t feel like they fit into the game world very well. You’ve got the bog standard crate pushing and switches, various gimmicky elements which completely feel out of place in the medieval environment and a general reliance on cliches to the point the TV Tropes page for ‘stock video game puzzle’ literally says ‘as used in the Legend of Zelda’. But do you know what game does puzzles well?
Luigi’s Mansion 2/Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon.
Seriously, the types of puzzles you face in the likes of the Secret Mine or Treacherous Mansion are literally ten times more complex and ‘interesting’ than your standard Zelda puzzle ever was and actually feel like they fit the environment perfectly. Forget pushing boxes or standing on switches to open doors, these levels have you do things like activate machines in one room to affect the environment in another or bring objects through multiple sections of the level to do things like light them on fire or water plants in a different location. We need more ‘logical’ and less self contained puzzles like in this game in the next Zelda title. Make it feel like you’re doing interesting things with the objects around you when solving puzzles rather than being involved in a ‘game’.
2. The creepy atmosphere and tenseness.
Bcause if I see any one common complaint about the Zelda series, it’s that you really don’t feel… ‘scared’ by it any more. There’s no feeling of danger any more in the series with everything using ultra bright primary colours and fairly relaxing music. But Luigi’s Mansion 2 does this kind of ‘on edge’ atmosphere ridiculously well, and the music actually makes you feel like literally anything could happen. Heck, listen to this music from Haunted Towers and tell me it doesn’t make you feel at least a bit… wary:
Or this music from elsewhere:
Or this from the Secret Mine:
Similarly, the mansion design really makes you feel like you’re exploring a ‘real’ place despite some of the ridiculous obstacles you encounter. I can seriously see the likes of the Old Clockworks or Secret Mine in a Zelda or even Metroid style game. Heck, the final mansion (which I won’t show a picture of here) looks so ridiculously menacing from the outside that it seems like a perfect location for a Zelda dungeon.
So I really hope Nintendo’s in house Zelda team take some inspiration for the location design, atmosphere and music from Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon this time around.
3. The sheer amount of enemies and their variety/ferocity
Another thing the Zelda series should take from Dark Moon is how enemies used in the game. Indeed, if the modern Zelda franchise has any problems with enemies, it’s that you never fight enough of them at once for them to become a real threat. But Luigi’s Mansion 2 doesn’t make that mistake later in the game. In the secret missions for instance you fight between five and ten randomly generated enemies at once to clear out the ‘infestations’. That’s far more like the number of bad guys you should be up against in any standard Zelda dungeon room.
Other parts in the game do this well too. For instance, there’s a point later in the game where King Boo opens a portal to another world and lets out a whole ton of ghosts that infest every room in the mansion. And honestly, I have to say I found this one section more difficult than pretty much any Zelda dungeon made in the last ten years. You’ve got enemies who’d never normally be in the same room teaming in great numbers, the very real chance of being horribly slaughtered when you make the slightest slip up and an incredibly ‘epic’ battle against a gigantic monster horde at the end that mixed every possible type of ghost together in one place. It’s difficult, it’s brutal, and quite honestly it’s the type of monster difficulty that should be far more common in the Zelda series.
Two Slammers, a weapon holding Greenie and a Mummy. This is the kind of variety Skyward Sword’s horde should have had.
We need to see more instances where enemies come in gigantic packs and team up on Link in the Legend of Zelda franchise. And we definitely need to see more times where different types of enemies come in the same room and cover each other’s weaknesses. Forget the Bokoblin horde from Skyward Sword, imagine how amazing it would be if you could end up in a battle where Darknuts, Stalfos, Moblins, Bokoblins and Iron Knuckles were in the same room! Just add in a few minor enemies coming from all sides, and you’d actually have a battle that lives up to the official art and backstory of the series.
Above: Kind of like this.
Additionally, I think the level of variety in basic enemies could be nice to see in the Zelda series too. I mean sure, Skyward Sword had Bokoblins with different designs and powers, but imagine if we had the variety seen in the Greenies in Luigi’s Mansion 2 in a Zelda game enemy. Where they’d grab and use different objects, armour and weapons to help them attack, use various disguises and other forms like knights and mummies or come up with tactics like going under the sandy floor rather than just walking slowly towards you and striking in an extremely telegraphed way. That would be the type of AI I’d love to see.
Finally, they should take inspiration from how the enemies in Luigi’s Mansion 2 behave. You know, where they actually attack regularly rather than constantly try to block your moves. It’s far better to have vicious enemies that suicidally charge into battle and fight to their last breath than cowards that constantly act defensive and like a puzzle sequence.
4. The Scarescraper should be in a future Zelda game (or at least something like it).
Seriously, can you imagine how awesome it’d be to have a multiplayer mode in the next Zelda game where you and three other Links have to take on an infinite sized dungeon with randomised floor plans and enemies? That would be one of the best things in gaming history, and would be a fantastic mix of Four Swords and the typical Zelda formula.
What’s more, it should have the same difficulty levels and harsh enemy combos as in Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon too. Imagine wandering through a creepy maze and not knowing whether that one type of enemy or boss you don’t like is lurking around the corner! Or walking into a room and realising that Iron Knuckles and Darknuts are in the same tiny area and you’ve got to take on a whole room full of them! Think Luigi’s Mansion’s ghosts are bad? Imagine having the entire enemy list of the Zelda franchise to deal with and the insane enemy team ups that could create!
Above: Just imagine something like this, with Zelda enemies in! Same danger level too!
The idea of having randomised bosses would work well into the Zelda series version too, especially if they had the kinds of attacks the Luigi’s Mansion 2 random ones had. You think a normal Darknut is bad? Try fighting a gigantic one that could set half the room on fire and move three times as quickly! The amount of evil boss types a Scarescraper like mode in a Zelda game could end up creating is ridiculous…
Really, this kind of multiplayer would fit in the Legend of Zelda series perfectly, and should definitely be considered for either the 3DS or Wii U game.
5. Some of the bosses should have the level of variety shown by the first Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon boss.
Really, the fact you had to use three different tactics to bring him down rather than just repeating the same old tricks multiple times makes this boss leaps and bounds above anything found in a modern Zelda game.
Above: Depressingly, this is a first boss. Compare it to Gohma from any Zelda game, and it’s definitely a more interesting and engaging fight.
They should stuff like this (and also like the Mr Freeze fight from Batman Arkham City where he learns your tricks after you use them once) for many of the bosses in the Zelda series. Figured out how to hurt Phantom Ganon by shooting arrows at him? Well he’s figured out how to avoid them now, so you need to find a new way to bring him down. Thought you knew how to beat the final boss already? Looks like he’s found a way around that, and even completely ignores your fishing rod now! Add in a few things in the environment you have to manipulate to your advantage (to do things like drop the ceiling on the boss or put out the lava pit or whatever), and the boss fights would be far more entertaining than the somewhat easy and stale ones from the likes of Twilight Princess or Skyward Sword.
6. The characterisation and ‘interesting’ things the enemies do
One of the neatest things about Dark Moon was how at certain points in the story you got to look inside various windows and cracks in the walls and observe the enemies going about their ‘normal’ activities on the other side. For instance, in the Secret Mine you got to see the Shrewd/Scornful Possessor trying to horribly murder some innocent creatures with bombs as it ran for its life. Or how in the Treacherous Mansion you got to see Toad running around scared as Boos and ghosts took over and King Boo trapped him inside a painting with dark magic.
That kind of thing would be fantastic to see a new Zelda game since it’d actually make you HATE Ganon. Or whoever the antagonist is, since you’d see them being evil jerks to innocent people around them. Imagine actually seeing Ganondorf freezing Zora’s Domain and the helpless reactions of the Zora Tribe as they got locked in ice. Or watching him order his troops to feed the Gorons to Volvagia as his dinner. That would truly make you see the evil deeds of the villain and his group, make you see them as bloodthirsty tyrants who actually need to be destroyed rather than just relying on ‘off screen villainy’. Even better if they spot you like in Luigi’s Mansion 2 and actually send soldiers out to have Link killed in response. Then you fought them, etc.
Above: I love how in Luigi’s Mansion 2 you actually see the ghosts and villains do things that show them as ‘evil’ or ‘playful’ or whatever.
The other scenes before encountering enemies would be nice to see too. Like how in Treacherous Mansion you see the Mummies waking up and punching their way out of their tombs before moaning and surrounding Link from all sides. Or how in the basement you see the Knight get up out the chair and ominous march towards Luigi with its pole weapon at the ready. That should be sort of like how the Redeads/Gibdos and Darknuts are introduced in a future Zelda game. Make them seen truly ‘ominous’.
Above: The mummies actually blast their way out the sarcophagus and stumble towards Luigi rather than just being in the open like say, Redeads.
Hell, the whole way the Mummies attack by coming out the ground is exactly how the Redeads should fight in a future Zelda game. Instead of having them predictably stand around, have them actually burst from the floor/walls/coffins in the room as you walk past. That’d scare the hell out of a lot of Zelda players.
All in all, there’s a lot of things Luigi’s Mansion 2 does well that I think the Zelda series could take inspiration from, and I hope some of these ideas end up in the next Zelda game in the franchise.
When it comes to the Wii U Game Pad and asymmetric multiplayer, it can be argued that not many series are really built for. Sure you’ve got the tech demo games like Nintendo Land or Game and Wario, the inevitable ‘1 vs 3 mini games’ in the Mario Party series or the Alone in the Dark style menu interface in ZombiU, but those are only a very small percentage of the games that will ever be made for the system. How will FPS, action adventure or fighting games make use of it other than for a map?
So here are five ways Super Smash Bros 4 could use the Wii U’s unique features for more than a glorified map or helper system.
5. Placing Stickers in the album/on trophy bases
Not exactly the most exciting use of the Game Pad in the world, but fighting games never were made for a touch screen controller in the first place and a nice simple idea is just right to start the list with.
So how it works is simple. Remember how in Super Smash Bros Brawl you collected stickers and could place them on trophy bases to increase your stats in the Subspace Emissary? Well with the Game Pad, it could be interesting to bring back and expand on the whole sticker concept.
You’d now not only manually stick the stickers on the trophy base, but also choose where to place them in the album. It’s nothing fancy, but being able to arrange them (maybe even on Nintendo themed backgrounds) like you can the trophies would be a nice little time waster.
4. Mini games; like the credits shooting or coin launcher
Mini games are another good use for this. The credits scene has always played out as a Star Fox inspired space shoot em up, so why not have you tap the names and logos on the Game Pad touch screen to shoot them rather than moving a cursor around and pressing a button? It’d be a nice way to modernise the mode, and it’d also let you shoot fast enough that hitting most or all of the names could actually be possible (and something the game could reward you for).
The other mini games where this could come in handy are the trophy lottery machine and the coin launcher, which could have the input method replaced by the touch screen on the Game Pad. Perhaps the launcher could even work like some of the mini games in Super Mario 64 DS where you actually pull back a catapult or pinball launcher to fire and aim it with a stylus?
Again, it’s nothing overly fancy or new to the Super Smash Bros formula, but we don’t need anything gimmicky or different in a new game, just for Sakurai and co to refine the formula and use the Wii U’s features where appropriate.
3. Touch Screen Stage Builder
Admit it, everyone saw the Stage Builder in Brawl and thought it would work well as a touch screen app, right? Heck, people find placing the blocks with a mouse and cursor or a touch screen so much easier that nowadays people tend to use the PC based Stage Studio instead of the actual in game interface.
Above: This is perfect for a touch screen interface.
So why not turn this into a touch screen based stage builder like the ones in the Mario vs Donkey Kong series? You could physically draw in the ground (and have it generate blocks and slopes based on your outline), you could drag and drop objects like spinning wheels, spikes and moving platforms, set the range for things like platforms with the touch screen and do everything far more easily than you ever could with an old fashioned analogue stick controlled cursor.
If Nintendo makes this something you use the Game Pad touch screen for, it’d be ten times better than the one in Brawl.
2. Playable Bosses like Master Hand
Well, as people have found through hacking, boss characters like Master Hand, Ridley and even Tabuu have a full range of attacks you can use via different button combos. Here’s someone playing as one:
So why not turn the idea into an actual mode, where anywhere between 1 and 4 players use normal characters and the fifth player uses one of the game’s bosses and tries to KO all of them?
Not only would it be a neat way to bring asymmetric gameplay into the fairly stale Boss Battles mode, but it’d also mean people can play as their favourite boss characters and get to use those characters which would be impossible to use in normal battles (like say, Master Hand, Andross, Marx, etc).
Above: Marx would be implausible as a playable character, but not as a playable boss in this sort of mode.
And when you consider that none of the bosses have enough moves to be controlled with a normal controller or with a typical control scheme (most bosses don’t have grab or throw attacks, they can’t use shields, they can’t use specific air, ground or smash attacks, etc), this would make them easy to use without having to somehow map an unorthodox attack list to a standard controller.
1. Murphy (Rayman Legends) style assist mode
Finally, here’s a use for the Game Pad that could actually work in normal battles. You see, in Rayman Legends, player 5 controls a strange character called Murphy who can indirectly interact with characters and the environment by doing things like setting off traps, opening doors, etc. Sort of like a more powerful/useful version of New Super Mario Bros U’s Assist Mode.
Above: Murphy interacts with the environment to help or hinder other characters in Rayman Legends.
But they’d be more interesting than your standard assist characters. Instead of having just one generic helper, you’d have three or four possible ones to choose from, each based on an existing series (characters would be like Tippi, the helpers like Navi or Fi from the Zelda series, certain Pokemon that levitate, etc) with some differences in abilities but much the same ‘attacks’.
Now obviously they wouldn’t be able to attack directly or have a percentage meter, but instead they’d be able to do things like generates blocks or forcefields, move items, collect stickers or trophies that appear or generally use things to fall onto the battlefield to screw up the other players. They’d also not be invincible and have a health bar, so there’d still be quite a bit of risk involved when playing as one of them.
I think this option would really help advertise the Wii U Game Pad and asymmetric gameplay, and would prove that assist modes don’t have to be lame stuff like opening doors or making blocks appear in mid air. It’d also prove they could be probably integrated into the gameplay in a way that isn’t so artificial.
So those are some ways I think Super Smash Bros 4 could take advantage of the Wii U Game Pad and integrate asymmetric multiplayer into the whole experience. They’re not massively noticeable changes (and things like the assist mode would be options you could disable if you wanted more traditional fighting), but I do think they’d improve the game significantly.
As many have criticised, New Super Mario Bros 2 doesn’t contain much in the way of new ideas. And with it reusing the same old Super Mario Bros 3 inspired world themes done in every Mario game in the last twenty of so years, people have been wondering why Nintendo can’t just come up with something new, something that’s not just ‘grass/desert/water/forest/ice/mountain/sky/dark land’ for the millionth time. One blogger even had people send him non stop ideas for Mario world themes for the last few weeks!
So in keeping with the times, here are ten ideas for worlds that could be used in future 2D Mario games. And if someone from Nintendo is reading this, use all of them, we need more variety in Mario game settings.
1. Horror World/Ghost themed world
It’s a theme that’s always been present in the Mario series, but outside of a few of the 3D titles (Super Mario 64, Super Mario Galaxy 1 and Super Mario Galaxy 2), we’ve never really had a whole world dedicated to horror elements and ghost houses.
Now, some people might wonder why such an item would even be needed or work in a 2D series. Doesn’t Castlevania already exist? Aren’t ghost houses just a bunch of random gimmicky puzzles to solve and something that should be kept to a minimum in the Mario series?
The answer on both counts is no. What types of levels could you do in a ‘horror’ related setting? Well truth be told, a lot of things. You could easily go and make the world actually ‘horror’ themed and make it look like something out a survival horror game, like Dead Air in Super Mario Fusion (or Raccoon City in Mushroom Kingdom Fusion):
The Mario series has always seemed to have a lack of non skeleton/non ghost undead, hasn’t it?
But that’s one of a billion possible opportunities. How about an outside graveyard level like in Super Mario Land 2 or Ghosts and Goblins?
Other Mario spinoffs give us a lot of possibilities too. Heck, look at all the things Wario Land 4 managed to include in the horror theme. There was a creepy abandoned village with axe wielding ghosts (Crescent Moon Village), an Arabian Nights themed town (Arabian Night) and even a haunted hotel with a maze of doors and passageways and a somewhat art deco feel to it.
Not to mention Donkey Kong Country 2 and Haunted Hall, a mine cart stage set in an abandoned library with Kackle trying to kill you. That stage was absolutely awesome, as was its Donkey Kong 64 equivalent in Creepy Castle’s mine cart section.
Really, the possibilities for a world with that theme go on and on. Remember Horror Land in Mario Party 2? That was pretty much a great kid friendly version of a standard horror movie setting complete with catchy music.
And the list continues. How about looking at some things Castlevania does? There’s always the classic possibility of a haunted castle to explore complete with traps, animate suits of armour and swinging maces. Or a creepy chapel like that in oh so many Castlevania games (and Banjo Kazooie). Heck, the tower could even be a clocktower complete with spinning cogs and gears to traverse as you reach the top! Oh, and throw Luigi’s Mansion in there for good measure.
It’s not even like age ratings and ‘kid friendlyness’ could be used as an excuse for why such a setting would be a bad idea, Wario Land 4, Donkey Kong Country 2 and 64 and most others on the list were all rated E/3+ by the age rating boards.
2. Toy Land
A gimmick so common to 2D platformers it’s actually kind of surprising the Mario series has so rarely tried to use the theme. Basically, a land based around toys could open a whole lot of different possibilities for 2D Mario levels, such as:
Killer toys as enemies. Like dolls and action figures, jack in the boxes and various others.
Worlds based around toy based abstract themes, like the Topaz Passage in Wario Land 4. Remember how neat the Big Board was as a level, with you hitting dice blocks to make various events happen and a cursor move along a row of icons at the bottom of the screen? Or how in Doodle Woods enemies would be drawn in from the background?
If you really need some examples of the kinds of neat ideas you could get in a toy based level, have a look at some of the classics. Like Toyland from Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse, a game fondly remembered to the point of getting a 3DS sequel and a level based on it in Mushroom Kingdom Fusion.
Or the aforementioned Big Board level. Annoying as it was, it was a very clever gimmick used very well for some unique level design possibilities:
There’s also a lot of room with touch screen involving gimmicks and tricks involving the 3D effect. Imagine having a level (maybe a cannon in the style of New Super Mario Bros 2) where you had to draw platforms on the screen in the style of Kirby Power Paintbrush or something similar.
And it’s also the perfect place to put a level based on the yarn theme from Kirby’s Epic Yarn. It isn’t enough to sustain a whole world in my opinion (I think Epic Yarn kind of explored most possibilities involving that theme), but it’s definitely an idea worth looking at for a single level or two.
3. Music World/Band Land
Yes, the idea was already used in a great way in the original Rayman game, but you have to admit the theme seems like a perfect fit for the Mario series, right? The Rayman level was fantastic:
And in a series like Mario which can be as surreal and over the top as it wants, the theme is a perfect fit. Hell, it was already done to an extent in Mario Kart 7 with Music Park/Melody Motorway:
Not to mention that it helps with something important, namely coming up with gimmicks for the actual platforming. Yes all the ideas on the list would be interesting, but you have to admit a music level is one of the ones which opens up a lot of 2D gameplay possibilities with different instruments acting as different types of platforms. Like drums and percussion instruments as springboards and falling platforms, music notes as obstacles or things to ride and keyboards to dart across in time with the music.
And given the reference to Koopa Symphonies in Super Mario World, you could even have Ludwig von Koopa fought in the world castle and music used as part of the boss battle theme.
4. A Factory (like in certain other platformers)
Yes, the idea of a factory level has been done to death in near enough every single platformer not called Mario…
But that’s not really a reason against the Mario series using the theme as well. After all, even more games have grass, desert and ice themed worlds, but the Mario series still seems to use them in every single game. And you can come up with a whole lot of level ideas based around a factory/industrial setting.
There’s the obvious conveyor belt and giant smasher filled version found in most games (especially Donkey Kong Country Returns and Wario Land 4).
You can mix it with a clock tower like the Munitions Factory from Castlevania Bloodlines…
Or even mix in ice themes like 40 Below Fridge from Wario Land 4:
Did I mention that that’s just the tip of the iceberg? How about a few levels where you’re climbing around outside the factory as well as going through the various rooms? That comes up pretty rarely in video game portrayals of the area, with the possible exception of Grunty Industries in Banjo Tooie. You could have underwater pipelines as part of the area like those in Donkey Kong Country 3, or include a nature vs technology theme and have a broken down factory taken over by plants and wildlife.
Not to mention all the interesting things you could do with Mega Mario in such a setting. Imagine how pleasant it’d feel to be smashing apart pieces of machinery and robots while striding through a factory hall as a fifty foot giant!
It also opens up a lot of boss possibilities involving machines. And giant oil drums. And giant mutant jack in the box creatures like a certain enemy in Donkey Kong 64…
Really, isn’t that proof enough the Mario series needs an industrial/technological world?
5. Isle Delfino/Proper Beach Themed World
Because while the inevitable water levels in New Super Mario Bros seem a bit old hat now due to their unoriginal designs and recycling of the same old gimmicks (tides, killer fish, floating barrels, bridges), there’s still an awful lot you can do to make an otherwise dull water world more interesting.
Look to Super Mario Land 2 for a good example of this. The first level was a standard old ‘under the sea’ themed level (albeit with boxing glove wearing sharks!), but the others all did a twist on the idea. The secret level was an island and had nearly no water whatsoever, the second main level was a submarine which was only half flooded and the final one actually took place inside a whale.
Again, the possibilities for this type of world are endless. Isle Delfino could be an area which you explore, haven’t seen that place in 2D much. Pirate ships could be littered around to jump on and explore in (similar to Donkey Kong Country 2 and Wario Land). And heck, maybe even take advantage of the fact not every single ‘tropical island’/ocean/beach themed level has to take place right by the sea or underwater. Look at Super Mario Sunshine, it had a very limited scope but still managed areas set in a hotel, amusement park and treetop village. Why not do something like that in a future game’s water themed world?
Nothing stops a ‘water’ themed world having generally non water themed levels like this one.
6. Jungle World/Jungle Japes
Okay, this is taking a leaf out of Donkey Kong Country’s book, but is that really a bad thing? It’s not like Donkey Kong Country itself has ever run out of things to do with the jungle theme, since the first game, 64, Returns and most spinoffs all used it and managed to keep it fresh with new ideas and gimmicks.
As for what Mario could do with it, well there are two directions I think they could go with a jungle world:
A: Flat out make it a crossover with the Donkey Kong Country series. Have barrel cannons to transport you around, vines to swing on, Kremlings and Zingers as enemies and a DK and Diddy cameo appearance. Maybe even a mine cart ride and K Rool as a boss to round it all off.
Because hey, if people were mad Wario wasn’t in New Super Mario Bros 2 because of the gold theme, I assume they’d be just as mad if a jungle world didn’t reference everyone’s favourite jungle themed series.
The other way they could go about it would to be competely differentiate the setting from Donkey Kong Country and add a lot of stuff that only works in the Mario universe. Shy Guys mulling around in semi aztec styled ruins, cartoony looking wildlife to jump on/use as platforms and maybe an Indiana Jones style boulder chase in an ancient temple. That kind of stuff.
Either way, they could do a lot with this setting, and it’d at least be more intriguing than just another boring forest world.
7. Feudal Japan
Admittedly, some people might be a bit skeptical of this world concept, since there seems to be an assumption that anything too ‘Japanese’ like won’t sell in countries other than Japan for whatever reason.
But as a single world theme, I see nothing wrong with the concept. Goemon was an entire series based around this concept and did perfectly fine, and Wario Land Shake It had Mt Bighill (yes really) and Bamboozle Village to represent the theme of a feudal Japanese village:
Besides, who can really argue with the idea of a world where ninjas and samurai are enemies? You could even include the Ninji enemies from Super Mario Bros 2 and Paper Mario and have them throw Shurikens.
Really, the theme has a lot of possibilities for a 2D platformer level archtype, and I’m surprised the Mario series hasn’t attempted a level like this earlier.
8. Military War Zone
More interestingly, this doesn’t even have to be confined to part of Bowser’s World, but could easily stand as a world theme on its own. Bob-ombs, cannons, maybe some barbed wire and landmines and Koopa themed soldiers, you name it. It’s not a completely alien idea, Mario Party 1 had the board Wario’s Battle Canyon which was much like this:
And it’d provide a perfect way to have airship and tank levels outside of Dark Land. Maybe it turns out you’re going through a kingdom which is under seige by the Koopa Kingdom or was even completely conquered by force. Obviously the enemies couldn’t be using guns for both moral and gameplay reasons, but there’s a lot you could do with Koopa controlled planes and tanks, various explosives and maybe some Mario Galaxy level ‘future’ space weaponry.
Some possible levels could involve crossing the Mario equivalent to no man’s land, going through various vehicle fleets (airships, tanks, etc), maybe even going inside other vehicles like airships and planes. Perhaps battling through a ruined Toad village could be part of it, with totally wrecked shells of Toad Houses littered through a war torn landscape. Maybe instead of just going in and getting an item you have to defeat the enemies on guard duty first due to the helpful Toad either having fled or been killed.
War may be a terrible thing, but it still makes for an interesting video game setting.
9. Outer Space
Yes Super Mario Galaxy may be over with, but it doesn’t stop the fact that a space theme in a video game world can open up a whole ton of different possibilities.
You can mess around with gravity in all kinds of unique ways, something which is much easier to program for a 2D platformer than a 3D one. Imagine playing a New Super Mario Bros level with Mario Galaxy style planets and gravity, or sections where you went upside down or walked along the walls. You could have a level that’s a homage to VVVVVV, complete with controllable gravity changes and switching between the ceiling and floor to avoid obstacles. You could have levels involving rockets and shoot em up style gameplay ala Super Mario Land’s Sky Pop or the inside Nova sections from Kirby Super Star.
Heck, even less controllable rocket rides through space like in Yoshi’s Island DS would be a distinct possibility and would be an interesting game mechanic for a level or two.
If Nintendo ever needs more proof you can do a lot with a space theme, keep in mind how many games have used it:
Those are just some games with often noticeable space settings, yet each and every one has come up with its own take on the setting with different locations, gameplay mechanics and gimmicks. Mario could take a leaf out of the book of any of those and end up with a more interesting world theme than just ‘ice land or desert land for the millionth time’.
10. Non Medieval Level Settings in General
Especially when it comes to castle levels, because it seems for whatever reason every single ‘castle’ from at least Super Mario Bros 3 onwards has been the standard medieval European style castle from every other piece of fantasy fiction in the last 50 years.
But how about varying it up a little? Interesting things didn’t only happen in Europe in the middle ages, and basing a few levels on fictional counterparts of areas from elsewhere could lend the levels a rather unique style few games mimic.
How about an Indian style palace or something, akin to the Tiger Temple from Mushroom Kingdom Fusion or Maharajah from Quackshot?
Or another Arabian style level like much of Super Mario Bros 2 and Arabian Night from Wario Land 4?
There are quite a few other possibilities here too. How about a level based on the kind of stuff a fictional version of Australia or Spain or even Russia might have?
Expand the Mushroom World a bit and come up with new locales, and maybe even themed castles, towers and ghosts houses too. We don’t need every world to be somewhat generic fantasy/video game styled with traditional castles, towers and ghost houses.
So there you have it, ten new world ideas Nintendo could use in the next 2D Mario game. Will they bother? Probably not, they seem to be shocked by the mere concept of a level taking place at night or with a sunset in the background, let alone moving on from Super Mario Bros 3 and letting its cliched world themes finally die off.
Would you like to see some of the ideas mentioned above in the next 2D Mario game?
As a series, Pokemon doesn’t really seem to move on that much. Ever since the days of Red and Blue back in the 90s, the formula’s been the same old ‘eight gyms then elite four then bonus content’ thing, the number of moves or Pokemon you can have has always been four and six respectively and the series hasn’t seem to have evolved that much over time. But with Black and White slowly sprucing up the aging series formula and making the gameplay more entertaining, here are some things they should do when the sixth generation comes around:
1. Seperate HMs and their in battle and out of battle uses
Because while the current system makes sense to some degree because of gameplay reasons, it really makes the games much more annoying than they should be. Not being able to delete HM moves? Good idea in stopping players getting stuck, but it simultaneously stops them getting rid of a useless move once the next puzzle’s out the way. Forcing players to have them as part of a Pokemon’s moveset? Means players either have to rely on ‘HM Slaves’ and have only half a team or fill their best Pokemon’s limited movesets with useless moves.
Wouldn’t it be better if you could use HMs outside battle without wasting a move slot?
The answer to this would be to have the option to teach a Pokemon a move like Strength or Surf for out of battle use, but not require it to be part of their moveset in battle. Hence you’d never forget the move or get stuck because it becomes merely a menu option when traversing the ‘field’. Of course, there’d still be a way to teach these moves so they could be used in battle if the player wanted, but they’d act like normal moves do and could be replaced as easily as any other.
Other ‘field’ usable moves like Teleport, Dig and Rock Smash could be used the same way.
2. Make the region a lot larger and with more choice in how you progress
So instead of just having eight gyms and the elite four, you have more of a choice. The region would be about three or four times larger than any of the others in the series, and you’d have about 20 or so different towns to go to instead of about 10.
What all regions put together looks like. Imagine a game where you could explore a single area as large as this and choose where to go in any order..
But this doesn’t mean the game would necessarily be ridiculously long or that it’d take forever to reach the Pokemon league. No, it’d be more like the anime series where there were multiple sets of gyms you could challenge and where eight was merely the number of badges you needed to challenge the elite four, not the total number attainable in the region. You wouldn’t be railroaded into a linear path that takes you past every possible point of interest in the area, you’d have the choice of where to go, what missions to complete and what badges to earn.
From the anime, but imagine if we got to choose what set of badges to go after!
To make this fairer, the levels of opponent Pokemon wouldn’t be preset. So there’d be no area that necessarily has tougher Pokemon or more challenging trainer battles, it’d change depending on what order you visit the different towns and landmarks. Hence before you’ve got any badges, all the Pokemon you face would be between level 2 and level 10, and after each badge all the Pokemon and trainers in parts of the world not yet visited would get stronger. But for the ones you already encountered? They don’t change, the game sets the levels of wild Pokemon in stone after you visit a route for the first time.
Presumably the levels and evolution status of Pokemon used by gym leaders would set in a similar way. So the first gym you visit would have the weakest Pokemon, the final gym the strongest.
Also just like the anime series there’d be various optional towns and areas with no gyms or badges, maybe with their own problems to solve. Like the Sevi Islands in Fire Red and Leaf Green I suppose.
There would also be less of a fixed storyline. Sure the evil team would cause trouble, maybe attack the league near the end of the game and have a hideout to attack, but they wouldn’t just mess around with the same areas every time. Instead, whenever you went a city they could potentially take over at the right point in the game, they’d have set up shop there and have to be driven out.
With this major change, every game of Pokemon could be played completely differently and the replay value would be increased at least tenfold. And the world the games are set in would feel much more real with more places to go and more choices in general, right?
3. Allow for movement in more than four directions
Really now, even SNES games gave you more choice in what directions to walk in than any Pokemon games do, and it seems almost pathetic you’re still limited to four basic directions on the D Pad.
Similarly, it’d be pretty neat if enemy trainers could also approach you diagonally, or see your character approaching from any direction like in more realistic stealth like games.
Just give us a control scheme that works better than those in games made ten or twenty years ago and it’s all good.
Well, those are the things I’d change in the Pokemon series for the inevitable 3DS versions/sixth generation. There were going to be more things listed, but Pokemon Black and White seemingly fixed most of the main gameplay problems with the series (like the TMs being one use only and battles taking too long), so it’s really only the stuff mentioned that needs to be improved anyway.
Do you agree the ideas above would improve the Pokemon series? If not, what things would you change instead?
With the rise in the number of 2D platformers with a multiplayer option (New Super Mario Bros Wii, Donkey Kong Country Returns and Kirby’s Return to Dreamland being key examples), I personally think now would be a good time to revisit this idea.
First though, here’s a quick history lesson. You see, Nintendo have been working on trying to implement multiplayer in the 3D Mario platformers for a rather long time. Indeed, right back in the 90s there was a plan to make a ‘Super Mario 64 2′ on the 64DD, and that was supposed to feature multiple playable characters and at least two player co-op as well. While no real screens seemed to surface of the game (Nintendo only mentioned the features planned when confirming the game was cancelled), this was what people imagined it would work like:
This April Fool's Day joke illustrates what people imagined Mario 64 2's co-op to be
They then tried again those years later in Super Mario 64 DS (remember it was called Super Mario 64 x 4 at one point after all). Yet alas, while we got cool screens like the one showing all four playable heroes flying around with the wing cap at once, the game itself was a strictly single player affair outside of a boring, limited multiplayer mode.
Isn't this what Mario fans once dreamed of?
But since then, Nintendo has never even tried to bring co-op into the 3D Mario games (outside the 2nd person being able to move a cursor around in the Mario Galaxy series). However, here’s why I think a 3D Mario platformer with such a feature should be released on the 3DS at some point in the future.
1. The 3DS is the first handheld with new 3D Mario games, and it avoids camera issues
The first point being what makes such a game feasible (Super Mario 3D Land was the first ‘new’ handheld 3D Mario game after all), the second being what makes it possible.
So why is the camera such a problem usually? Well, let me explain. In a platformer which has co-op multiplayer, or any such game with the feature in general, you need to be able to keep all players on screen at the same time. In a 2D game, this usually works by having the camera generally follow the player in the lead (or player 1 if such a designation exists) while sort of zooming out the camera to show everyone up to a certain point. Then, if you’re too far away you’re either killed or warped to the group/first player. Think of how New Super Mario Bros Wii, Super Smash Bros Brawl’s Subspace Emissary or Donkey Kong Country Returns does it.
With Skyward Sword only selling about 3 million copies and the recent slew of internet articles about how Zelda is going downhill, it seems like an increasing amount of people want the series to go back to like how it was in the NES days. But that’s a mistake. What worked then doesn’t work now, and the sales figures for the individual games in the series has honestly given me a much better idea about how the Legend of Zelda franchise could be popular once more.
1. Style should be realistic
This doesn’t mean I hate the toon style of The Wind Waker or the hybrid style of Skyward Sword, but just that sales wise a realistic style makes much more sense. Those games with it sell greatly (Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess are top of the overall worldwide sales lists for the series), those without sell worse.
Personally, I think this comes down to a few things. The more realistic, gritty style is more popular in the west in general (note how the best selling fantasy games/RPGs/action adventures are those with such an art style), it tends to cause an explosion of hype online which gets the Zelda fan community interested (note how much more popular the trailers for Twilight Princess were compared to Skyward Sword) and it generally brings back memories of Ocarina of Time.
Keep in mind that this was probably the most well received game trailers ever released for the series:
Just hear that crowd when the game was announced. People were jumping from their seats and the internet hype train was about to explode with excitement. There’s just something about a more realistic or just darker style which interests people, and Nintendo should just accept that by now.
Oh, and Nintendo, if you’re doing this to attempt to make the series popular in Japan. Don’t bother. People outside of Japan don’t generally like ‘cute’ for a franchise like this one, and as much as I hate to say it, America is basically the biggest market for the series. It’s not that popular in Japan, and honestly, various trends over there have made it irrelevant. Don’t bother.
2. This type of game should be the very next game after Skyward Sword
In release order, obviously. That way, you don’t accidentally further kill off the series by releasing what turns out to be a poorly selling game straight after a previous one. People don’t like to be sold multiple games they don’t like in a row, and ignoring this and trying to be creative as often ended as many series as you can count. By Nintendo not considering this in the past, they literally killed off Donkey Kong’s sales for about two generations in a row (every game from 64 to Returns bar the ports has failed at retail). Not to mention the Wario series, which went from World to Master of Disguise to Shake Dimension and has literally lost more than half its audience.
Don’t rush out games either, that pretty much killed half the series Activision owned.
But yes, you want a massively high selling Zelda game out on either 3DS or Wii U in a few years time. And it really needs to win back the crowd.
3. Have a decent overworld
Ocarina was closest, but the games from Wind Waker onwards have all failed in this regard in some way or another. Wind Waker had a mainly empty ocean (yes I know there were technically islands in each square, it’s just that about half only had either reefs or rocky stacks with nothing to really do), Twilight Princess had too little content for a vast world and the sky in Skyward Sword seems empty and overall quite dull. Oh, and let’s not even mention Spirit Tracks…
For this game, there should be no gimmicks. That’s not to say sailing or flight couldn’t be used to expand the world a bit and as additional extras you can unlock later in the game, but the basic world should be entirely interconnected, filled with content and geographically varied in the same way a real country is.
There should be multiple towns and villages. Sure there’d be a castle town/market with side quests, shops, Hyrule Castle and other such things, but there’d also be a Kakariko Village type area or three with their own assortment of things to do and their own unique characters.
And the sky and sea wouldn’t be empty, nor as large as in Skyward Sword. When you find a boat you get to explore a few islands with their own dungeons and side quests. Maybe even a town on some remote island. When you learn some method of flight, you then get to explore the sky and higher mountains with their own secrets and perhaps more towns, mini games and dungeons to explore. An ideal overworld should tastefully mix in the transport mechanics from the past few games but actually have enough content that no one ‘realm’ is boring to traverse.
Enemies should play a bigger part in making the world interesting as well. Pirates would roam the seas, Bokoblin and Moblin troops march across the plains and through the forests and Guays and flying monsters would attack anyone in mid flight. For a more interesting experience, the types of enemies you face on the overworld would change as you progress through the story, with the early game having weaker ones and later game having the villain’s tougher troops sent out to take down Link. Perhaps bring back the system from Ocarina where clearing out a region would get rid of the monsters there for good too.
Similarly, night would also change the creatures you found wandering about. Remember how at night in OoT you had Stalchildren come out the ground and attack when in the past? Well similar to that, the overworld should have monsters like Stalfos and maybe Redeads and such like attack at night in larger numbers and have even the towns filled with the forces of evil when the sun goes down. Have it so the shops and houses (bar maybe Link’s own) are locked/bolted shut at night and you’ve made the world so much more interesting. Can you survive the night with no NPCs, Ganon’s (or whoever the bad guy is) soldiers roaming Hyrule looking for Link and random monsters trying to ambush you even in the middle of Castle Town or Kakariko Village?
Optional things like side quests could be improved too. Why not have whole bonus dungeons with bonus bosses like in RPGs? You know, with really nice rewards found for beating them like a double magic meter or greater strength or an infinity plus one sword? That’d then let Nintendo provide a dangerous gauntlet filled with tough monsters for those that can handle it while letting those that can’t have a game they can still finish.
Secrets should also be packed into every corner. Every rock, island and floating landmass should have at least some rupees or a significant bonus gauntlet to find, a cave of ordeals like location should exit and fishing should return as well.
Bringing back the day and night system would be good too, with the change that it should only stop when in dungeons. That way, people can’t play chicken and just stay in their friendly village for hours on end (admit it, a lot of people who played Ocarina or Wind Waker did this, didn’t they?) and those that did would find themselves surrounded by enemies very quickly. Have it so side quests can only be undertaken at certain times of the day like in Majora’s Mask and the world would be so much better and more life like in general.
Oh, and more variety in areas. Why were there only three provinces in Skyward Sword anyway? I mean, it was nice how you had to return to each one twice and how each had at least two dungeons in them, but a truly great Zelda game needs about 15 or 20 seperate areas with that amount of content in each.