Multiplayer Experiences That Need to Return

Kyle turns over some types of games we just haven’t seen in a while.

By Kyle England. Posted 05/15/2015 10:00 2 Comments     ShareThis

With the release of Splatoon at the end of this month, Nintendo is trying its hand at a genre it hasn’t touched in quite some time: the arcade shooter. When you think of shooters on Nintendo systems, you probably think of 007 Goldeneye or Timesplitters, two franchises that are long dormant. Nintendo has never even produced a first-party IP dedicated to competitive shooting until Splatoon. The resurgence of the genre on Nintendo hardware got me thinking about other multiplayer ideas that have been lacking in modern releases. Nintendo is still the go-to game maker for couch multiplayer, but what about those of us that crave more than Nintendo Land, Mario Kart, and Super Smash Bros. on occasion? Here are a few old ideas that Nintendo games might want to use for the future…

Mario Party (REAL Mario Party)

“B-b-but Mario Party 10 just came out in March!”

That’s true, but it was only an okay game. The continued emphasis on the car in Party Mode and turning classic mode into a watered down amiibo mode proves that the Mario Party franchise still needs some work. The car in Mario Party 9 and 10 was neat, it really was. It makes a party go by quicker, and leads to some interesting events. The boss battle games are cool! But at every turn, you’re still wondering where the magic went from the classic Mario Party games.

I love Mario Party, and always have. I’ve played ALL of them and know more about each game than anyone really ought to. Despite all the iterations, Mario Party 2 and Mario Party 3 still remain the most fun in the entire series to play today. Sprawling boards, interesting items, and good old-fashioned rivalry never go out of style. Nintendo made the mistake of turning Mario Party into an annual franchise for a while when it only needed to be released every 2-3 years, tops. Each new Mario Party game had to have a new gimmick it added to the gameplay– some neat, and others blah. The mini-games were always consistent, but the board metagame was what changed each time. I appreciate the fact that the car that was used in 9 and 10 was an attempt to reinvigorate the party mode, but it never needed to be reinvented! All the fluff just needed to be stripped away!

What should return to our living rooms is the full-fledged classic Mario Party– the one with branching boards, items, strange board events, and many different types of mini-games. This is your base game, and that’s where it stays. If we get something like this, Nintendo would only need to make one Mario Party per console. New boards, mini-games, and modes could be released as DLC in lieu of another numbered game. Classic Mario Party needs to return!

Four Swords Adventures / Tales of Symphonia / Multiplayer Adventures

Four Links, Legend of Zelda: Four Swords artwork

Whatever happened to multiplayer games that sent you on an adventure? Every multiplayer game is usually pick-up-and-play, which is fine for most purposes. But it seems that form of multiplayer gaming has come at the expense of games that required you and your buddies to sit down and work together on a real adventure with a story. This is different from a MMO game or something like Monster Hunter where you can quest together. I’m talking about an adventure that you and your friends see through together from beginning to end.

The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures seems like it was an experiment on this idea, one that Nintendo still hasn’t seen fit to replicate. True, you can play alone- but why bother? The fun with four players is something that can’t be found anywhere else. Sometimes you work with the other Links, and sometimes you’re embroiled in a bitter conflict. When Wii U was first revealed, Four Swords Adventures was one of the games that we thought would return. We’re still waiting.

If you’re looking for something purely cooperative, you can’t do any better than Tales of Symphonia for GameCube. The entire 80+ hour RPG could be enjoyed by up to four players at once if you saw fit. You can choose a character and stick with them, or swap around based on who’s currently in the party. You can get really invested in an adventure with your buds and make it a ritual or even to play the game, similar to tabletop RPG night. Will we see games that include multiplayer modes that are full fledged adventures again?

Racing Games that Aren’t Mario Kart

I love Mario Kart as much as the next cat, but I like to have options. Nintendo needs to step its game up in terms of the fun racers that are available for us to enjoy. Sonic & All-Stars Racing is a good Mario Kart alternative, but it’s only one. I look at my Gamecube library and I see a myriad of racing games like Kirby Air Ride, F-Zero GX, and Wave Race: Blue Storm. Wii had stuff like Excite Truck and ExciteBots. The N64 era was a golden age for racers with Diddy Kong Racing, Mickey’s Speedway, F-Zero X, Beetle Adventure Racing, Wave Race 64, and so many more.

What happened? Are racing games that don’t star Mario going out of style for Nintendo? When can we see more more racing games guys? I want to go fast without worrying about blue shells. I thought I was crazy for thinking there’s been too much Mario Kart lately. I was originally only going to grumble about the lack of a new F-Zero or Kirby Air Ride sequel. But seriously, go look up lists of all the racing games out for Wii U and 3DS and you’ll realize that barely anyone cares to make neat racing games on Nintendo systems these days.

Pokémon Stadium

It’s really a no-brainer. We have not had a way to see our Pokémon teams battle on the big screen since 2007’s Battle Revolution, which was two generations ago. Serperior, Greninja, Bisharp, and all the ‘mon from Gen. V and VI have never had battles displayed in full HD for great glory!

I’d like to see a return to the formula for the N64 stadium games rather than the paltry offering that Battle Revolution gave us. Pokémon battles, minigames, a League, and interactive features that interface with your 3DS game would be par for the course. Sure, even throw in a story mode like Colosseum if need be. I’m just tired of having to crowd around a tiny screen to watch battles! If a new Stadium game comes out, Nintendo can use it as the official game of the Pokémon VGC! Battles could be streamed online! The game could also take advantage of all the online features of the current generation, like pulling your guys straight from the bank. Game Freak, take a break from releasing a new Pokémon version every freakin’ year and make a game like this. It’ll pay off.

That’s all I can think of right now, but I’m sure there’s more. Are there any multiplayer experiences that you feel haven’t been adequately served in recent games? Did I accidentally forget some newer games that are just like those I listed above? Sound off in the comments if you want!

2 Responses to “Multiplayer Experiences That Need to Return”

  • 207 points
    Jon Stevens says...

    New IPs are great, but I would love to see some of these brought back.

    I’ve no idea why EA never went back and made a sequel for Beetle Adventure Racing either!

  • 784 points
    Marc Deschamps says...

    Great list, Kyle! I would love a new Wave Race and Pokemon Stadium. And, as far as I’m concerned, the Mario Party franchise was at its best on N64. The first one is still my favorite, though!

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