Feature

10 Nintendo Crossovers We'd Like To See

by Brian Shea on Jan 16, 2015 at 11:18 AM

When Nintendo announced Hyrule Warriors, it was met with a healthy dose of skepticism. The idea was one that most fans would never dream of, and seemed out of character for Nintendo to license out one of its biggest properties to another developer.

The biggest surprise of all, however, is that Hyrule Warriors actually works. The frenetic action of the Dynasty Warriors combined with a non-canonical Zelda story to satisfy fans of both franchises.

But what if Nintendo took this idea and branched out to other developers with some of its most well-known series? Plenty of seriously awesome crossovers are just waiting to be made. While these are likely never happen, we can dream, right? Check out some of the crossovers we think could work and chime in with some you’d like to see.

Pokémon/Elder Scrolls

Much like the Elder Scrolls series, the Pokémon series rewards exploration in unique ways. Imagine how well the exploration components of the Elder Scrolls series would work with the idea of searching out rare Pokémon. You could even apply it to the exact story of Pokémon Red/Blue and it would be perfect, with special hidden sidequests designed around finding the Legendary Birds, or the eventual encounter with Mewtwo.

The city set-up found in Pokémon would also translate well to the Elder Scrolls series, as players could embark with their Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle with the hopes of defeating the various gym leaders and eventually making their way to the Elite Four.

Obviously, the combat would need to be revamped to include the ability to use Pokéballs to catch the Pokémon you encounter across the map and then summon them for battle, but once that’s tweaked, it’s just a matter of applying the rest of the Pokémon structure to the Elder Scrolls formula. 

Zelda/Final Fantasy

Massive boss battles, the constant struggle between good and evil, the heavy fantasy elements; all of these elements are shared between Final Fantasy and The Legend of Zelda. Two of the most beloved series in the industry could come together to produce one amazing game. In Hyrule Fantasy (Name Not Final), players would assume control of Link as he leads his party of colorful characters against Ganondorf and his evil forces. 

I’m envisioning the combat more along the lines of the turn-based Final Fantasy games like X, but the idea would work well with any of the entries. The party system would work particularly well within the Zelda series, as it could bring all of the colorful characters appearing in Hyrule Warriors over into the RPG style of play. Want to go well-balanced? Set your active party as Zelda, Link, and Tingle. How about an all-out physical assault? You’d want to stick with Darunia, Impa, and Sheik. 

There is such a colorful cast of characters – all with unique movesets – that players could experiment with which party works best for their style of play. The Zelda series also has enough different enemies that the high number of encounters – both random and scripted – would continue to feel fresh through the duration of what would assuredly be a lengthy adventure.

Kirby/LittleBigPlanet

Kirby is already a series steeped in stellar platforming, so combining it with the LittleBigPlanet franchise might seem a bit superfluous at first. When you start thinking about all of the customization options available in LittleBigPlanet, you can only imagine how cool it would be to see Kirby decked out by players.

Add to that the level design and community features that made LittleBigPlanet such a well-liked game, and it could be a homerun for the dedicated Nintendo community. We’ll get a taste of this concept later this year with Mario Maker, but imagine the customization at the level we see in LittleBigPlanet, but fully integrated into a full-on Kirby game.

The Kirby/LittleBigPlanet crossover could even be marketed as Kirby’s Epic Yarn 2, as it would continue the family-friendliness and accessibility of that title, while bringing in a similar art style of what is seen in Yoshi’s Woolly World. There are so many reasons that a Kirby crossover with LittleBigPlanet would work – aside from the fact that LittleBigPlanet is a Sony-exclusive franchise. Oh well.

Star Fox/Super R-Type

We’re already getting a new Star Fox game for Wii U at some point this year, but it would be interesting to see how the series could do as a side-scrolling space shooter. Super R-Type on SNES was one of the better games in that genre, and by implementing the team-based play of Star Fox, the combination could prove to be something special.

Not unlike how Strider received the graphical upgrade through Double Helix’s 2014 release, Star Fox’s side-scrolling game could also bring modern graphics to the genre to provide the retro feel without the retro look.

There could even be a Landmaster level or two to diversify the gameplay during the campaign. Bring the entire package together with cooperative and competitive multiplayer, as well as the trademark group chatter and the many moves of the Arwing, and Nintendo could have a pretty awesome companion release to its full Wii U game this year. 

Metroid/Dead Space

The last main entry in the Metroid series was the divisive Other M on the Wii, which was developed by Team Ninja. Now that Samus is long overdue for a new adventure, why not give the series over to Visceral Games and see what the team behind the action horror series Dead Space can do with it using the more powerful Wii U?

The best part of this idea is that Visceral could take the desolate feeling presented in past Metroid games and expand on it to new levels. Thanks to the more mature tone that Visceral would bring, it could also become one of the most character-driven entries in the Metroid series to date.

This dark, action-packed adventure would certainly not be meant for kids, but it could very well open up the series and make it a more attractive title for adults – something the Wii U could use more of.

Super Smash Bros./DOTA

The all-star cast of the Super Smash Bros. series would perfectly fit into a MOBA, and the iconic nature of the characters could propel the viewership of the competitions of the genre even higher than the amazing feats already seen.

The Smash Bros. cast would fill the roles of Heroes in the MOBA, but there is also no shortage of minion-like characters in the Mario franchise alone. When you branch out into all the characters found in modes like Smash Run, there are enough minions to populate the matches and add diversity to the bouts. 

The movesets could also translate perfectly to the MOBA genre, as each character in Super Smash Bros. already has four special moves, as well as an ultimate Final Smash. The Wii U GamePad touchscreen could also help with some of the issues with translating the genre to a console, making it all the more desirable.

Pikmin/Starcraft

Pikmin already carries with it the RTS genre, but with the undeniably deep mechanics found in Starcraft, the experience could become a reason for many hardcore strategists to pick up a Wii U.

While a campaign starring Olimar with more depth than has been seen would be great, the true fun of this crossover would come through in competitive multiplayer. Pitting armies of Pikmin against each other would lead to some truly epic battles.

Of course, managing resources and constructing bases would become a major portion of the experience. The enhanced gameplay and new depth would keep the Pikmin series in the same genre, but it would feel like a completely new franchise altogether. 

Donkey Kong/God of War

Whether you’re talking about his platforming prowess in Donkey Kong Country or his brawling ability in Super Smash Bros., Donkey Kong is just built for close combat. The brutal rampage of Kratos probably shouldn’t be replicated in a game starring Donkey Kong, but the core mechanics, particularly the quick-time events could make for interesting gameplay.

The application of the Donkey Kong license would also significantly lighten the tone of the story, as Donkey Kong’s whimsical adventures have become more kid-friendly as the years have gone on. It would also be interesting to see how the boss battles play out, and if it could finally deliver a climactic return of King K. Rool from the original Donkey Kong Country games.

Much like the Kirby/LIttleBigPlanet crossover, it’ll never happen thanks to God of War being a Sony property, but the idea of having Donkey Kong leading up a new action brawler is almost too good of an idea to pass up.

Mario/Saints Row

From RPGs and racing to soccer and the Olympics, Mario has done almost everything under the sun. One thing he hasn’t done, however, is star in a true open-world adventure. The Saints Row formula, with superpowers and crazy vehicles already in place, could prove to be the perfect template to use for an open-world game set in the Mushroom Kingdom.

Mario could run, fly, or kart his way around the Mushroom Kingdom while players decide whether they want to help Toad with a mission or go around terrorizing Goombas in the alleyways of Peach’s Castle. There could also be special unlockable vehicles like the Koopa Clown Car, or even Bowser’s vaunted airships.

The Mushroom Kingdom doesn’t have guns at this point, but with several projectile-based power-ups at Mario’s disposal, in addition to the F.L.U.D.D. from Super Mario Sunshine, these could lead an interesting arsenal of “weaponry” from Mario and his crew.

F-Zero/Mirror’s Edge

F-Zero is another Nintendo franchise sorely in need of a modern take. The games to this point have been racing, but with Super Smash Bros. thrusting Captain Falcon into the spotlight, it’s pretty inarguable that he is more iconic than the franchise he came from.

Even without his trusty Blue Falcon, Captain Falcon is as speedy as characters come. By handing the IP over to DICE for an entry, Nintendo could help deliver a character-centric game in the F-Zero series with a decidedly Mirror’s Edge twist.

Captain Falcon is extremely agile, and having him able to parkour his way through a stage while being able to hold his own in hand-to-hand combat would make for an interesting take. With DICE’s pedigree in vehicle combat from the Battlefield franchise, the developer could also add in some high-speed vehicular encounters.

Bonus: Zelda/Shadow of Mordor

Prior to the release of Shadow of Mordor, I thought I’d want to see a Zelda game with Assassin’s Creed mechanics. Following my playthrough of 2014’s excellent Shadow of Mordor, however, I think it would be a better overall fit for what the Zelda series is all about.

Bringing the same emphasis on stealth and close-range combat that Assassin’s Creed does, Shadow of Mordor also carries with it the innovative Nemesis system. Think of working your way across Hyrule, taking out Generals in Ganon’s army one-by-one, and watching how that affects the ladder of power among his ranks. It also wouldn’t be too farfetched to assume that there would be some in-fighting among the officers in Ganon’s army much like there was in Sauron’s army in Mordor – after all, Ganondorf is the king of thieves.

Bring the whole experience together with a strong story consistent with the lore found in the Zelda series, and Monolith could give Wii U owners just enough to make them forgive the developer for not releasing the awesome Shadow of Mordor on Wii U.