Guaranteed to infuriate you when they never get announced or your money back.
When it comes to E3 predictions, logic is a good thing to focus on. Logically, Nintendo’s show this year should contain a few surprises. Logically, most of 2015’s lineup has already been announced. Logically, anything that’s show-stopping is a year or more out. But that doesn’t mean we can’t dream. So, I took it upon myself to come up five game ideas that I’d love to see happen, even if the chances for most of them are slim to none and slim is out in the back with a knife through his back.
Grand Theft F-Zero
Last year, I wrote about my dream F-Zero game, where you control Captain Falcon in Mute City, taking on bounty hunter missions while cruising around and racing in the Blue Falcon. My desire for this ridiculous concept hasn’t let up. I want to see F-Zero come back in a big, bad way, and those Mario Kart 8 tracks, while amazing, just aren’t enough. I doubt this game will ever happen, but just find a western developer (if only Radical and Pandemic weren’t shrunken/closed) and hand them the reins to this concept. Maybe this is a game Retro Studios or Next Level Games could be working on, or maybe there’s some form of this project developing in the same portion of EAD that spawned Splatoon.
New Super Mario 64
I was reminded of how much I adore Super Mario 64 when it came out on Wii U Virtual Console earlier in the year. To this day, the Nintendo 64 launch game is an absolute masterpiece. While I do love the Galaxy games, I feel like part of Mario 64’s magic was lost in the evolution. Galaxy’s stages were mostly linear, whereas the levels in Mario 64 were brilliant little worlds that you could explore and sequence break to your heart’s content. I want to see 3D Marios get back to that, and while it seems like we will have to wait until the NX for the next great 3D Mario game, I don’t see why we can’t have a New Super Mario 64, bringing the 3D series back in the same way that New Super Mario Bros. revived side-scrolling Mario games.
I do think that, even if a chunk of EAD Tokyo is focused on the next great 3D Mario game, that studio produces New Super Mario 64. 1UP Studio, formerly known as Brownie Brown, could be a potential co-developer for such a project. That team helped out with Super Mario 3D Land, 3D World, and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. However, they also aren’t that big of a studio. My guess is that, if this far-flung dream turns out to be reality, New Super Mario 64 is a 3DS game.
Since Miyamoto made the comments last E3 about how he sees a future for Metroid in both traditional and "Prime style," I’ve grappled with what I’d prefer to see. The Prime series is really immaculate; even the oft-maligned second game is amazing in its own right. However, Super Metroid (and to a lesser extent Zero Mission and Fusion) is spectacular, and I want to see more games just like that. While indie developers are helping out with that a lot (Thanks Axiom Verge! Please come to Wii U someday), I would love to see Samus strap on her 2D Varia Suit and side-scroll her way through some Metroid-infested world.
If that were to happen, make it a stereoscopic 3D-enhanced game similar in style to The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. We know Next Level Games worked on a Metroid prototype. They have 3DS experience thanks to Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. We know they’ve been working on something for about two years. Please, for the love of all that is Chozo, make that game be a Metroid game.
If Next Level isn’t working on this fantastical project, then maybe Team Ninja will get another stab at a 2D/3D hybrid on Wii U? Maybe Retro Studios is truly coming back to fix the ship they righted once before all those years ago?
Nintendo Sports Mix
The name I came up for this idea is stupid. I’m not even going to try to defend it. I trust that if this game is floating around over in Japan, the powers that be come up with a bunch better name that doesn’t call to mind the mediocre Square Enix-developed Mario Sports Mix.
I recently wrote about how I think Wii Sports will make a comeback at this E3. I guess to be more specific, I think that the director of Wii Sports, Takayuki Shimamura, is working on a new game. He hasn’t worked on anything major since 2012, after all. Maybe Shimamura is working to make the Smash Bros. or arcade sports games.
As some of you might know, one of my all-time favorite game genres is the hyper-specific “goofy arcade soccer game.” I don’t really enjoy FIFA much; I just love stuff like Sega Soccer Slam and Mario Strikers. To me, Acme All-Stars, the Tiny Toon Adventures sports compilation on the Genesis, is the preeminent sports game of all time. While Strikers certainly scratched that itch, it’s been quite a long time since the last game. Imagine if Shimamura and the team at EAD (maybe with some help from Camelot?) worked on something that combined multiple Nintendo universes into a collection of deeper sports games. Make it four sports, paying a little homage to Mario Sports Mix, but make those sports soccer, tennis, golf, and baseball. This game could even be ripe for a free-to-play design where, much like Wii Sports Club, you can buy the games piecemeal or even rent them for a night.
Imagine, if you will, a brief lull during the Nintendo Digital Event. Open to a body of water as the camera slowly pans to a tropical island. This music kicks in as the peaceful village of Coralcola is shown in beautiful cel-shaded 3D. Then, things get dark, as ridiculous-looking Uncharted gameplay is shown as twentysomething Mike Jones throws a yo-yo at fantastical enemies.
I could barely keep a straight face while I wrote that, but wouldn’t that be ridiculously awesome? That might be the perfect project for Retro Studios, but maybe the Pandora’s Tower developer Ganbarion could take a stab at bringing back the StarTropics series for a new age. Or most likely not, as the team at Ganbarion probably doesn’t know what StarTropics is because it never came out in Japan. I hope I’m wrong, but man, there is no chance in hell StarTropics ever come back.