Nintendo Team-Up

There are endless possibilities for Nintendo’s announced intention to license its properties to more developers!

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 02/11/2014 09:00 6 Comments     ShareThis

When Satoru Iwata outlined Nintendo’s plans to begin licensing its characters and franchises to more developers, my mind started racing thinking about the different possibilities. We’ve already gotten a bit of a preview of this with the announcement of Hyrule Warriors by Tecmo Koei and Shin Megami X Fire Emblem by Atlus, so playing off of those examples, let’s think about what else might be coming our way in the future. I’ve put together some dream team combinations of developers and franchises; let’s hope they actually happen!

Star Fox by Treasure

Anyone who played either of the Sin & Punishment games knows just how intense developer Treasure’s shooters can be. While the stories in Treasure’s titles can be a bit on the… zany side, the gameplay itself never disappoints. Letting it go nuts with Star Fox seems like a perfect match, as the series has always been at its best when the screen is littered with enemies and explosions. With a more focused, Star Fox-centered narrative in tow, this could be the pinnacle of Treasure’s offerings to date. Just no thigh high white boots for Fox, please; that was scary enough in Star Successor.

Metroid by Bethesda

While a return to first-person for the Metroid series would be more than welcome, it would be amazing to see Bethesda setting up shop behind Samus’s HUD. A Metroid game taking cues from the Elder Scrolls and Fallout titles has a lot of potential to push the series farther than ever. A grittier romp through Samus’s universe would be a nice change of pace from Other M‘s polarizing third-person adventure.

BONUS: Metroid by Konami

Hey, why not? The company that created the Metroidvania subgenre of platformers would be perfect to helm Samus’s return to 2D! Koji Igarashi has surely dreamt of what he’d do with the franchise he so lovingly imitated. so I see no reason for Nintendo not to let him take a crack at Metroid for real!

Golden Sun by Square Enix

While I was a fraction of an inch from attaching Fire Emblem to Square, I think that the company behind Final Fantasy could do wonders with Nintendo’s underutilized RPG series. The blistering production values Square is known for would bring Golden Sun to life like never before. Adapt the series’ play mechanics to a game as pretty as Final Fantasy XIII, and I can’t wait to see what this pairing might yield. Heck, mix in a couple FF characters, or even do a straight crossover, and this is a powder keg waiting to explode!

Kid Icarus by Platinum Games

The high thrills and kinetic action of Kid Icarus: Uprising would fit developer Platinum like a glove. Its mixture of melee combat, aerial shooting, and huge personalities would only be pushed to 11 under Platinum’s guidance, especially if Hideki Kamiya was attached to the project. The resurrection of the Kid Icarus franchise was too wonderful to let slip to the back burner; in the hands of a quality developer like Platinum, Pit could walk on the sun if he wanted, let alone fly close to it. Bonus points if Platinum makes Dark Pit an even bigger part of the single-player experience.

Zelda by Capcom

I’m just going to say it; Capcom can make a Zelda game as engaging as Nintendo itself. I think that argument can be made with Oracle of Ages and Seasons alone, but it’s really cemented by the wonderful work the company did with The Minish Cap. While Capcom has yet to do a 3D iteration of Zelda, I think the time is now, and on Wii U. I’m excited by Hyrule Warriors, but I see no reason why there can’t be more than one marquee Zelda adventure developed at the same time. If there’s any company that can be trusted with Zelda, it’s Capcom.

6 Responses to “Nintendo Team-Up”

  • 42 points
    Gaviin says...

    Metroid by Bethesda? Yeah, if you want a buggy mess of a game. Plus I’m not sold on their story-telling ability. Skyrim, while having a ton of side quests and content, was just awful in terms of the main storyline. It was incredibly simple and shallow.

    I’d much rather have a strong main storyline with fewer things to do “on the side”, and I feel that Bethesda approaches their games in the opposite way (at least for the Elder Scrolls games).

    In short, bring Retro back for Metroid. :)

  • 222 points
    PanurgeJr says...

    I’d rearrange things a bit. I’d give Kid Icarus to Treasure, and Zelda to Platinum. I’d love to see what Link can do under Kamiya’s guidance, and Platinum was born from Clover, and they showed with Okami they can do the Zelda formula.

  • 75 points
    Hbomb says...

    I’d love to see Zen do some Nintendo-themed pinball tables.

  • 0 points

    Truth being told – the real advantages of these relationships wouldn’t really be apparent until at least a few years down the road.

    As much as the idea of giving the most golden of eggs away – often we receive products that are intent on crafting their own image, rather than maintaining or respecting Nintendo’s (re: Metroid: Other M). The real benefits of these potential partnerships isn’t until at least five or six years down the road. Not only until they’ve crafted their first title in the whichever respective series – but until they’ve crafted their second. When they bring all the lessons learned home – and start refining their vision. Even giving each game iteration three years is unlikely in Nintendo’s case – not impossible – but unlikely. So, we’re waiting at least half a decade to see if anything comes from this.

    And this isn’t breaking news. Nintendo’s done this before. Starting with the original Donkey Kong. They’ve got two decades of loaning out their properties under their belt – the problem as I see it is, these properties aren’t really being utilized if all they’re doing is re-skinning an already existing game-play format.

    With this latest Zelda offering, you could just as easily replace the Zelda idol with that of Ma Chao or Monkey D. Luffy and it would all be the same. That’s not what attracted me to these titles to begin with. Taking part in the Zelda world is supposed to feel like opening that treasure chest – you never know what’s inside, but past experiences have taught you to be excited.

    It’s not the same when you see Zelda in Super Smash Bros. and Soul Calibur and this game and that game and before you know it, you’re browsing through the “Zelda: Pac-Man Stylz” titles in the five dollar bin at the local VG boutique. Zelda’s supposed to be special.

    And Nintendo’s supposed to be getting people to develop games for the Wii-U. I’m seeing a more and more hands-off approach concerning some of the bigger developers, not keen on the overall sales numbers, or the prospects of having to make every one of their games do less stuff on the Wii-U platform. It’s not saying that the Wii-U is sunk, or that Nintendo can’t woo 3rd party support, but the overall prospects of how the Wii-U is doing is effecting developer’s expectations and desires. And even if they would want to go all in on a property with Nintendo – the game-play formula would most likely be a one-off, seeing as the sequel might not make it until very late in the Wii-U’s life-span, and would more likely be a launch title for the next generation system.

    So, facing a development idiom that requires a complete re-education in how to make your controller work (thank you, Wii-U), heavy over-sight from the right-holding company (Nintendo being Nintendo), working for a platform that has failed to garner buzz or move units, and working with technology that is almost a decade old . . .

    It’ll be interesting to see who bites at this.

    • 1294 points
      Robert Marrujo says...

      I would just like to point out that Metroid creator Yoshio Sakamoto himself was the mastermind behind Samus’s polarizing characterization and the game’s controversial controller setup. Nintendo kind of messed it up themselves with that one. I hear you, though I think that the best case scenario is seeing Nintendo work on the AAA experiences we’re used to from it, while letting other studios branch its franchises in different directions. So, let Retro do its thing with Metroid, for example, but maybe Bethesda fleshes out the bounty hunter world that Metroid Prime Hunters established (or something like that). If done well, I think that Nintendo’s IPs are versatile and interesting enough to withstand different interpretations, which (hopefully) means more and fun games for all of us.

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