Let me first start this letter by saying that I have had a lot of fun starting to play Pikmin 3 and Super Mario Bros U. These are two game series that have been done a few times but continue to bring entertainment to the masses. In particular, I appreciate the fact that both series can make a combination of minor and major changes but still hold the great elements that we love to experience. If games like these are what we can expect out of the Wii U’s future, there is the possibility of some amazing things down the line.
Now my true full feelings…WHERE ARE THE GAMES? When the system first released, the only truly playable and enjoyable games were Batman: Arkham City, Super Mario Bros U and Nintendo Land. Zombie U was not an enjoyable and comparable game to the other major console players and third-party development was weak. Since its release last November, the system has seen one of the slowest opening years I have seen with a gaming console. There has been a lack of new, innovative Zelda, Mario and other franchise games. Third-party developers have continued to shy away from making games for the console, and some (like EA’s NCAA Football) have abandoned the system altogether.
If Nintendo is going to fail at attracting third-party developers and instead focus on their franchises, get some games out already! Rehashing Super Mario Bros U and making a New Super Luigi U may be enjoyable but it is still lacking in innovation. Looking to the past (and not re-releasing Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker) could be a way to accomplish this.
Let me give you some ideas of where you could score big…
The Legend of Zelda: I know that a new game is in development, but it felt like there was going to be a Zelda game sometime around the Wii U release or within the first year. Instead, we have to wait until 2014 and an undisclosed date. This is my favorite of all of the series you have produced and I can just hope that whatever new elements get added can be as enjoyable as the previous console games.
Super Smash Bros: This is another series that is just a given. The game has added elements that keep expanding its gameplay, but the online play is where the biggest focus needs to be played. If it were possible to play the adventure/story mode online, that would expand the gameplay in a major way. Online fighting/melee matches are also fun, but add the coop element to expand the concept. A few new fighters will also be nice, but think about ones that expand the gameplay and not just characters that are similar (i.e. Waluigi, Funky Kong, etc.).
Mario Kart: Yet another given…the portable systems have expanded this franchise a lot faster than the console versions, but a merging of the two lines of development could be amazing. Pulling elements from the short-lived Diddy Kong Racing, like flight and hovercrafts, would be interesting. A story element here could be interesting as well.
3D Super Mario: It was Super Mario 64 that did some amazing things for the franchise. While Sunshine took a step back, it would be easy to recreate the awesomeness that was the 64 version. Galaxy certainly felt much more like 64. It is unclear if the game this December will live up to this standard.
Metroid Prime: With no announcement about the release of another Metroid game, Prime 3 was the last Samus adventure that took advantage of a 1st-person shooter that could challenge the likes of Halo. The tablet could add new elements for item management, mapping and other characteristics of the game…just as long as the new element is not using the pad to scan everything.
Castlevania: I know this game took a detour toward Sony, but this was one of the most enjoyable NES games of all time. I do not care which protagonist would take the lead, as long as it recaptured the magic with the capabilities of the Wii U.
Mega Man: Please do not explore the Battle Network anymore. The X series was amazing and could be adapted in the way that Super Mario Bros U was. Just keep it a side-scroller.
Final Fantasy: I do not see a reason why Sony has to completely steal this away. Some of the best Final Fantasy games were on the NES and SNES. Final Fantasy 6 is the game that I have played the most out of any RPG ever. Messing with this Crystal Chronicles is unnecessary, unless it took more of the route of Tactics Advance.
Star Fox: How cool would it be to pilot Fox’s ship with the tablet? Why this was not even attempted with the regular Wii is something that still boggles my mind. This would quickly become one of the highest rated games on the system by name alone. There would be no need for an adventure game like Adventures…just an amazing space flight simulator with a battle mode.
Pokemon: The handheld versions of the game have been major hits. Console versions have failed to live up to the expectations. While Stadium gave a sense of the battle element of the game, it lacked the adventure, catching and leveling RPG elements. With the internet connectivity and graphic abilities, a console adventure RPG Pokemon game would be an amazing hit.
Super Mario RPG: If Final Fantasy is not going to happen with Nintendo, make this one happen. The SNES version was a smash hit and gave a new dimension to the Mario franchise.
TMNT: I know that there is a newer version of the cartoon out now and although I did enjoy the NES version, Turtles in Time was one of the best side-scrolling games of the 90s.
X-Men Legends: This was a third-party game that worked across platforms. It gives a chance for another action RPG to grace the system and bring a popular fantasy franchise to a system that needs more recognizability.
Fire Emblem: The characters from this franchise are recognizable because of Smash Bros, but it still has yet to grace the console.
Luigi’s Mansion: The Gamecube game was not particularly challenging, but it was more complex than I original envisioned. There is the newer version on the 3DS but not on a console.
Does this give you all something the start with? I know that comes off as a bit snarky but I have been very loyal and owned every major console system you have produced. I want to continue to support the Nintendo family but do not have the confidence in the poor production of games I have seen for the first 9 months of the Wii U.
~A concerned Nintendo fan
PS: After drafting this post, I read several articles on highly recognized blogs saying the same thing. Just sayin…