I have Nintendo on the brain, so I apologize for what may appear to be an overindulgence of the topic. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up something I’d actually like to see from Nintendo instead of just spilling out a bunch of grievances and then sobbing quietly in my pillow. Though Satoru Iwata has stated that licensing characters on a limited basis is something the company would consider, I think there’s a huge missed opportunity here to reinvigorate the Nintendo fan base ( both old and new) with a little third party developer help. Clearly, the recent “mild” failure on the part of the company has to be blamed in part on the lack of major third party support, and not enough new content from their own IPs on their new console.


IF (big “if,” no?) Nintendo would allow third party developers to have a crack at breathing new life and ideas into stagnant franchises, it might just be enough to jumpstart interest in what has to be the most disappointing console entry for them to date. I can understand the reluctance on their part to do this. Let’s face it, though, there isn’t exactly a plethora of options to choose from to garner interest from those that have given up on Nintendo (or are close to doing so). I’ve come up with a few ideas on what I’d like to see done with some old favorites, and what the best fit at developer for these beloved franchises might be. Purists, stop reading here, because you may get upset. Think of the children.




I finally dabbled in the first person shooter versions of the game. They were pretty good, but I wasn’t nearly as enthralled as I was so many years ago. It’s not that the game went away from its 2D side-scrolling roots. Nor was it the fact that it wasn’t as graphically impressive as other games made in their respective generations. There was just nothing that grabbed me about it. I didn’t even finish Other M, and never felt compelled to do so. Let’s face it, no one thinks about FPS games when you bring up Nintendo. One developer, however, is quickly becoming a heavy hitter in this arena. So what makes Turtle Rock a good fit for Metroid? Glad you asked.


Turtle Rock has made impressive entries on its résumé with the Left 4 Dead series. Evolve is shaping up to be a day one purchase for me. The Metroid universe is rife with enemy types and environments that could potentially be downright creepy if done right. I’m not saying that survival horror is the way to go regarding this franchise, but I think Turtle Rock could turn up the intensity level up quite a few notches if given a go at it. Something else to consider is the multi-player aspects sorely missing from the previous entries in the series. This is one developer who can not only get it right, but could revolutionize the series, bringing it into the competitive gaming culture that drives sales. It could potentially do for Nintendo what Halo did for Xbox.



Star Fox


Seriously, was I the only one bummed out by the fact that this series was pretty much abandoned for the Wii? What the heck, Nintendo? It’s not like you can afford to disregard your marquee franchises in these troubled times. Especially when you consider the fact that anthropomorphized combatants are the best kind in all of gaming (this is a fact only in the sense that this is my blog and I’ll say what I want). Since you clearly are willing to drop the ball on this one, I’ll do you the favor of making a stellar recommendation of someone who might actually make the game (and make it great). Obviously, the right choice here would be Rare. Their track record speaks for itself with these types of games, and their familiarity with the franchise and Nintendo would be the perfect fit. Sadly, Microsoft would poo-poo all over this idea, as they have Rare firmly under thumb. However, what I would like to see most is a developer that could take this series in a new direction. Just Add Water may just be the team for the job.


Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath is a great example of what this squad can do with an action-adventure game. While it doesn’t feature the aerial combat found in the Star Fox brand, the stylish environments and wildly entertaining game play would certainly be a natural fit. They are more than capable of creating a more enjoyable experience with the ground missions (something Rare and Namco were criticized for), while adding a different brand of humor and dialogue. If they can figure out a way to make the aerial combat work, Just Add Water may be the saving grace for this franchise, and could end up being the recipe for renewed interest in these games.



Super Mario Bros.


Nintendo is taking a hard-line stance on this one; no Super Mario game will ever be made by another developer. Got it. There is one other alternative, though. How about we get another Super Mario RPG? It wouldn’t compete with the regularly scheduled released Mario platformers, and fans of the long forgotten Mario genre can be satisfied all at the same time. It’s a win-win scenario. The trick is finding a developer that can be creative enough to make a compelling and humorous game without feeling like a re-hash of the original. Sorry Square Enix, this means you’re out. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure they are more than capable of handling it, but the whole idea of this is to inject new life into these games. With that in mind, I would genuinely like to see what Tim Schafer and his team at Double Fine could do with this.


Schafer is a brilliant writer, and has done tremendous jobs with Grim Fandango (a highly underappreciated masterpiece), Psychonauts, and Stacking. While Double Fine isn’t exactly a household name for RPG fans, I have no doubt that this team’s creative approach to making games makes this a match made in heaven. The original game utilized a great deal of humor, which is right in their wheelhouse. Furthermore, forging a relationship with a team known for making Indie style games could potentially be inviting to other similar developers. This could mean more interest from 3rd party Indie developers, and might bolster the Nintendo eShop library with a solid list of downloadable games that aren’t merely old favorites. Come on Nintendo, pick up the phone.



Star Tropics


The first entry in the series was exceptional. While the second game wasn’t great, it was still pretty fun. My question is why haven’t we seen a new Star Tropics title since 1994? This is yet another opportunity to blow the dust off of a forgotten franchise in an effort to renew interest in a soon to be forgotten console (ok, I’ll pull the knife out if you turn back around). Since this game doesn’t have the rabid fan base that some other Nintendo franchises have, there’s a lot more room to play with and tweak the storyline and game play a bit. A reboot wouldn’t spawn a riot. Speaking of reboots, the developer I have in mind has proven to be outstanding at it very recently. You may have heard of a little studio called Crystal Dynamics.


My reason for thinking this would be the best match is based largely on the studio’s ability to create vivid landscapes and retool plotlines. Star Tropics took place mostly in tropical island settings (hence the name) which I feel Crystal Dynamics is more than capable of handling. They’re also quite capable with action-adventure games containing RPG elements. Their work with the Legacy of Cain series, on top of the latest Tomb Raider, is proof of that. When you consider the fact that they’re a subsidiary of Square Enix, it’s easy to imagine that there’d be some degree of comfort if Nintendo went in this direction. Not only would a next-gen reboot be enticing to an older fan like myself, it would mean potentially new fans wouldn’t feel “left out” if they never played the original NES titles via the Virtual Console.



The Legend of Zelda


***MASSIVE, GARGANTUAN, “PLEASE PUT DOWN YOUR KEYBOARD AND BACK AWAY FROM YOUR MONITOR” DISCLAIMER! I am in no way saying that The Legend of Zelda needs a facelift. I am merely stating that a new developer might bring a fresh approach to the game and maybe, just maybe, create a new experience that could be very enjoyable. This is an opinion. Now that your blood pressure is back to normal and that vein in your forehead has recessed back into place, you may continue reading.***


This franchise is one of the best in the gaming world. The Legend of Zelda has that rabid fan base I mentioned earlier (hence my disclaimer, which will still surely not be enough for some), and for very good reason; when all else about Nintendo seems hopeless, this is the one shining example of a franchise that gives gamers reason to believe Nintendo has a chance. Nothing else comes close. Mario may be the face of the franchise, but LoZ is definitely its soul. The original game still holds a very special place in my childhood memories, and I can’t say that about too many other games. Heck, I’ve mentioned it in a few other blogs. It’s safe to say this game was the reason I’ve purchased my last two Nintendo consoles.


So why would I mention this game as a candidate for third party development? Simply put, there are no sacred cows (unless you’re Hindu, in which case this does not apply to you). In fact, I think another developer could actually do some good. While this series has certainly not lost its luster over the years, bringing different ideas and concepts to any long lasting franchise isn’t necessarily a bad thing (unless you’re talking about motion controls). When thinking of which developer I might like to see take on such a monumental task (because believe me, heads will roll if it’s not a high quality game), one stood out as having enough credibility, creativity, and talent to take the plunge. As a matter of fact, I could not possibly see any other developer pulling this off successfully. Yeah, I’m a little high on Bethesda, but for good reason.


Unless you’ve lived in a cave for the last decade and a half, you have most certainly at least heard of their games. If you’ve never played them, get on Steam, go to your local videogame store, or log onto Amazon and pick up an Elder Scrolls title or even Fallout 3. You’re welcome in advance. The worlds are immersive, the stories go beyond the main plot, and it’s easy to sink hundreds of hours of your life into these games. Now imagine being able to spend that much meaningful time in Hyrule. Oh, I see I’ve got your attention now. Good, because this is just the tip of the iceberg when considering the potential game that could come from this union.  


We all know about the Hyrule Historia, even if you’ve never read it. Those familiar with the Elder Scrolls games know about the massive amount of historical literature strewn all over the games. Have you put two and two together yet? Imagine this: Bethesda and Nintendo finally come together and put together the broken pieces of the Hyrule mythos in the form of discoverable tomes and relics. If you’re going to sit there and tell me (or in this case your computer monitor) that this wouldn’t cause you to throw whatever you have in your wallet at this game I’d call you a liar. An open world LoZ game with a plethora of side quests and characters to interact with is one thing. The idiomatic icing on the cake would have to be finally having some questions answered.


Now I’m aware that third person combat isn’t Bethesda’s strong suit, but I think that’s a fixable problem. If they were to adapt the tried and true battle system of the LoZ games, this wouldn’t be much of a problem. Certainly not when you consider the sheer scope of the experience a game of this size could bring. Maybe I’m alone in thinking this. Maybe LoZ fans will burn effigies of my avatar (coincidentally Ganon, so win-win for them) in protest of my radical blasphemy. So be it. I have never in my life waited in line outside a store for anything. For a Bethesda developed LoZ, I’d freeze my tail off here in Alaska just to make sure I got a copy. I can dream, right?


It’s sad that I’ve almost certainly bought my last Nintendo console. Unless something comes along that I just simply can’t miss out on, I think I’m going to pass on getting the Wii U. While these suggestions may not be the solution to all Nintendo’s problems, it certainly wouldn’t be a bad place to start. I grew up with Nintendo. I have no intentions of ever getting rid of my older systems. But it may be time to move on from them in the future. Here’s to hoping that isn’t the case.



So do you think I’m way off in thinking any of this would make sense? Am I the only one that even considers the possibility of any of these happening something that would breathe life into a fading company? Where did I miss the mark? Sound off below with your comments. I’d like to know what you think.