And thus our week of Wii U cogitation draws to a close. We’ve dreamed up our ideal Advance Wars, Fire Emblem, Kirby, WarioWare and Star Fox games, but we’re not done just yet! Now it’s time for the rest of our staff to get in on the action, so feast your eyes on our See You on Wii U round table. Let’s a-go!
If there is one game out there that I am looking forward to the most, it is without a shadow of a doubt, Half-Life 3. Now, developer Valve has never released a game on a Nintendo console. Seeing as how the company’s head and co-founder Gabe Newell, told Joystiq, “We’ve always loved Nintendo,” things are looking up. Half-Life 3 could be a big deal on Wii U, with help from the Wii U controller and also, Nintendo Network. Add in graphics that surpass the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions, and Nintendo will have an automatic smash hit.
For over two years, it has been known that Valve wants to work harder at scaring the player. What if the infamous G-Man were to pop up unexpectedly on the Wii U controller’s tablet screen, without appearing on the television? This scare tactic could also switch back-and-forth between the two screens, within the same dialogue. With the controller being held up, you could also snipe enemies with the signature crossbow or hit large targets with an RPG. In addition, the tablet can be a great organizer for maps and weaponry, of course.
The Nintendo Network could prove vital for a game, such as Half-Life 3, receiving frequent or semi-frequent updates in the form of patches and/or potential DLC. Valve’s Steam partnership with Sony was less than fruitful as the service was severely underused. If Nintendo is more willing to work with Valve, we could be seeing the superior console version of Half-Life 3. Half-Life 3, or any future Valve sequel with the number three, on Wii U would be fantastic and prove to longtime Nintendo fans that the Big N has big plans for them. Nintendo and Valve are my top two developers, respectively, and it is only a matter of time before these giants shake hands, if they have not done so already…
If I could somehow get my hands on that mind-control device Kefka used on Terra in Final Fantasy VI, I would certainly implant on the higher-ups at Nintendo and Monolith to force them into releasing a third installment in the Baten Kaitos series on Wii U. Now, it probably comes as no shock, if you’ve read any of my past articles, that I sort of have this huge, giant spot in my heart for JRPGs. As a fan of both the genre as well as Nintendo, one can only imagine my excitement when the RPG-starved Gamecube was graced with one its first true roleplaying epic, Baten Kaitos.
Baten Kaitos had so much going for it, but because its release was on a system not necessarily known for its abundant of RPGs, not many had a chance to experience its greatness. For starters, Baten Kaitos was a traditional JRPG in the sense that it saw a fluorescent-color haired, brash hero traversing grand locations with a band of unlikely comrades in tow in order to save the world. Yeah, cookie cutter, I know. However, where Baten Kaitos separated itself was in its unique card-based battling system. Essentially players collected cards throughout the game– weapon cards, item cards, attack cards, etc.– and would then construct decks to take into battle with them. Like many collectible card games, players would then randomly pull cards from their deck mid-fight, and strategize on-the-fly based upon the cards they drew. This ultimately emphasized very long sessions of tweaking your arsenal prior to battle in order to be fully prepared for any foe thrown your way.
I would love to see Baten Kaitos make a return on Wii U because the card aspect is ideal for a tablet. I picture the cards showing up on the tablet, complete with all their stats, being able to flip through them, zooming in and out via the stylus, as well as constructing the actual deck by dragging and dropping cards to the desired configuration. In battles, the cards would not need to be shown on the screen like they were in the previous games, which would essentially clear the display of clutter, allowing for a more cinematic experience each and every battle.
Outside of this, secret item locations could be found using the tablet almost as a metal detector. From there, I picture certain conversations taking place on the tablet. Heck, since Japanese developers are incorporating more and more western elements into their RPGs, I could even see dialogue choices popping up on the tablet, allowing you to manually select with your finger or the stylus which response you would like your character to say. Of course, taking advantage of the most obvious aspect of any RPG, the player’s inventory, we could see tremendous streamlined efforts in the ability to sort through all of your items, stats, party formation, etc., all via the touch screen and stylus.
Of course, utilizing the Nintendo Network, Baten Kaitos Wii U could incorporate a slew of multiplayer options. Cooperative and head-to-head battling, the capability to upload and share your decks with folks who could then review and rate them and of course downloadable content in the forms of new characters, cards, and missions. The possibilities are overwhelming and almost endless.
To me, Baten Kaitos on Wii U is an absolute no-brainer. And coming hot off the heels of Xenoblade‘s successful launch in North America and Europe, Monolith is living high on the hog. It would only make logical and financial sense to then follow up that RPG with another one of its caliber. So, what do you say, guys? Let’s make it happen!
This needs to be done. After three handheld-only titles, Golden Sun needs to make the jump to home consoles. Why? Well, first of all, I think a Wii U instalment would work wonders in helping to establish Golden Sun as a more mainstream franchise. It’s not as intimidating or complex as other JRPGs out there on the market, and with its bright and colourful art style, I think it could be instrumental in helping Nintendo’s casual audience make the jump to more advanced titles. Personally, I’d be perfectly happy just like to see the world of Weyard realised in full HD graphics. I wouldn’t want it to lose its unique cartoonish style– that’s part of its charm, after all– but imagine if it managed to rival, or even better, the beautiful cell-shaded animation of Valkyria Chronicles on PlayStation 3. After ten years of tiny sprites, that’s definitely something I’d like to see.
Of course, it’s not all about pretty graphics. Despite having established itself as a handheld title, I also think Golden Sun would be ideally suited to Wii U in terms of gameplay as well. Just like Golden Sun: Dark Dawn (albeit in reverse), the map and all of the battle commands could be moved to the touchscreen on the controller, leaving all the more room on the TV for all its glorious cell-shaded artwork. You could also use the touchscreen to manage your Psynergy powers, and you could flick your Djinn from the controller to the TV screen too when you wanted to summon them. If a Wii U Golden Sun also employed a similar encyclopaedia system to Dark Dawn, all that information could show up on the touchscreen as well without ever breaking the flow of the story.
So far so predictable though. What I’d really like to see a Wii U Golden Sun build on are the Djinn. These are small monsters that all belong to a certain element, and characters can summon them in battle to help aid their party. But call upon, say, four earth Djinn, and you can summon Judgment, a Final Fantasy-esque summon that’s infinitely more powerful than four individual Djinn. But each Djinn you use has a detrimental effect on the summoner, and each Djinn also takes a certain amount of time to recharge or cool down once they’re summoned before they can be used again, making each battle a constant balance of managing your ever-changing stats with taking down your opponent.
As for how a Wii U Golden Sun could improve the Djinn system, I’d like to see a levelling mechanic brought in, similar to something like Pokémon. You could manage each one’s moves, stats and values on the touchscreen, and just like the game’s many, many character classes, there would be an even greater degree of skill trees and ability paths to take when training your Djinn. You wouldn’t have to battle them or anything– they’d just level up depending on how often you summoned them– but this would add a greater level of depth and strategy for those who wanted it, but still be user-friendly enough not to scare off new players. This is something which the previous games have always managed to get just right in the past, and while there’s always room in the world for more accessible JRPGs, I’d love to see it take a more serious stance as well, catering for both types of player. Here’s to hoping it’ll happen one day!
I’m actually quite surprised that no one has mentioned Mario Kart yet. While the series isn’t exactly renowned for its creativity (not to say that it’s bad, of course, but when the addition of gliders is your biggest new feature– some seven installments into the franchise, no less– it’s safe to say that you’re a little on the conservative side), it could really benefit from Wii U’s unique controller.
Like Mario Kart Wii before it, I can see a Wii U installment of the series (likely named Mario Kart 8 after the recent 3DS version) offering a number of different control methods for players to choose from. The default scheme would be just what you’d expect from the game, with the control stick and the face buttons used to steer your kart and fire items, but fans of the Wii Wheel accessory (the only true way to play Mario Kart Wii) could utilize the tablet’s gyroscope to mimic its functionality, rotating the controller as if it were a steering wheel. This would be the perfect way to appease both casual and more traditional fans of the series without splintering the control scheme between too many different devices (something the Wii version certainly suffered from), putting all players on equal ground right out of the gate.
If Nintendo is feeling particularly creative, it could even look back to Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and allow for co-op racing. One player could steer the kart using the Wii remote and Nunchuck combination (or even the aforementioned Wii Wheel), while the other could use the tablet controller to fire items, swiping their hand across the touch screen and in the direction of the opponent they wish to hit. Not only would this incorporate the controller’s other unique features (which would otherwise go unused), but it would also be a clever workaround to the console’s inability to support more than one tablet (if that is indeed still the case).
And with Wii U’s allegedly-improved online capabilities, which will likely allow for voice chat (either through a headset or the tablet’s microphone) as well as downloadable racers, Mario Kart 8 has the potential to become the best entry in the series. Of course, it’s a little too early to get hyped for it considering how recently we got Mario Kart 7, but there’s no doubt in my mind that we’ll see something special for the series’ Wii U debut, and it’s all thanks to that fancy new controller. Bring it on, Nintendo.
Well, those are our Wii U ideas. What about yours? What you’d like to see on Wii U, and more importantly, how you’d like Wii U’s controller to be used in future games? Let us know in the comments below!