Retro Studios is the best friend of the hard core Nintendo enthusiastic. A western developer owned by Nintendo, Retro is renowned for spicing up the Japanese publisher's first party franchises. With the legendary Metroid Prime series and a successful reboot of Donkey Kong Country under their belt, a new release from the company is certainly something to look forward to. While it has already been reported that Retro is working on a "fantastic project" for the Wii U, there is almost no concrete information on what this game is. What we do have is a healthy number of rumors floating around, and I have used these as a basis to make some educated guesses on the game's identity.

A 2D Metroid game

Let's face it; Retro Studio making a new 2D Metroid game would be a dream come true for many a Nintendo fan. Retro has already proven their chops at making great 2D games with Donkey Kong Country: Returns, and great Metroid games. All of this seems to point towards them being the perfect developer to return Metroid to traditional 2D gameplay.

A 2D Metroid reboot is just what the series needs after the mixed bag that was Metroid: Other M. Unfortunately, Nintendo hasn't yet dropped any hints at being interested in making one. The 3D Prime games have dominated the series identity for a decade, and Other M might have dampened Nintendo's enthusiasm for Metroid.

Final Verdict: Possible, if Nintendo knows what their fans want.

Another Metroid Prime Game

Though Metroid Prime 3: Corruption brought to conclusion the venerable Metroid Prime trilogy, it's highly unlikely that gamers' have seen the last of the first-person adventure sub-series. As much as I'd like to see Retro Studios try something new, I can't deny that a Wii U Metroid Prime would make financial sense. A new Prime game announcement would ignite a blaze of excitement; just what Nintendo needs to drive Wii U sales. It would further excite hard core gamers, who are perhaps not currently wholly enthusiastic for Nintendo's current lineup.

Final Verdict: Possible

A Star Fox Reboot

There really hasn't been much excitement surrounding Star Fox for some time. The series has been relegated to handhelds since 2005 and the last universally acclaimed game in the series was Star Fox 64. Retro already has a track record for saving Nintendo's waning franchises, and if anyone can rescue Star Fox, it's them. With that said, I don't think there's much chance of us seeing a Retro made Star Fox game anytime soon.

When it comes to Nintendo's first party properties, Star Fox has always been a few tiers lower than Mario and Zelda. Because of this, I can't help but feel Nintendo would want Retro tackling one of their more popular properties for their first next-gen game. Nintendo needs system sellers for the Wii U, and Star Fox, with its anthropomorphic characters and mixed track record, doesn't seem like the kind of brand that would move consoles in this day and age.

Final Verdict: Unlikely

Donkey Kong Country: Returns Sequel

With Donkey Kong Country: Returns, Retro rebooted a classic series and made Donkey Kong relevant again for the first time in years. A sequel to this critically reclaimed and financially successful game certainly isn't a long shot. It might, however,  be a little too soon for one right now, and I have a feeling Nintendo would want Retro working on something new and exciting for their Wii U debut.

Final Verdict: Somewhat Possible

A Legend of Zelda game

While still widely beloved by millions of gamers, there have been some concerns recently that the esteemed Zelda series is losing some of its legendary luster. Handing the series over to Retro Studios would go a long way towards reinvigorating the series with fresh game design. Nintendo already has a history of entrusting Zelda other companies; such as with Capcom's amazing handheld Zelda games (and the Philips Cd-I's less than amazing take on the series).

While Zelda's creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, has said in the past that Zelda could be a good fit for Retro Studios, he has more recently said that the developer is currently busy working on something else. Miyamoto saying flat-out that Retro isn't working on Zelda, seems to kill the chances of their next game being one.

Final Verdict: Unlikely, (For now at least).

Some sort of Mario game

After Retro Studio's success with other Nintendo series, it isn't out of the question that the developer could one day make a Mario game. However, I don't see Nintendo handing the reigns to their mascot series to a third party developer just yet. Nintendo also already has a major Mario game launching with the Wii U, making the chances of Retro working on one even more remote.

Final Verdict: A very big "Maybe"


Now that you've read my musings, what do you think/hope Retro is working on?