5 Announcements Nintendo Must/Should Make in 2014There's no escaping the fact that Nintendo is in dire straits. Their Wii U console is drastically underperforming and even their 3DS handheld, which has found success with titles like Pokemon X and Y and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, isn't hitting projections. Needless to say, 2014 is a big year for Nintendo, not just because sales are down, but also because this could be the year that they turn things around. While there is no easy answer to righting the ship for Nintendo, announcing new and exciting games is certainly a good start. And if Nintendo is ready to turn things around they hopefully have some big game reveals planned for this year. Here are the 5 games we think Nintendo must reveal in 2014.
The Legend of Zelda for Wii UThis one's a no-brainer. Nintendo has been teasing an HD Zelda for several years now, even detailing some proposed revolutionary features for the title, but they have yet to announce anything official. Zelda is a showstopper when it comes to Nintendo franchises — it gets the fans excited and, as A Link Between Worlds has shown, it moves hardware. We don't want a Zelda tease either, like at the Wii U unveiling. We want a full trailer, a demo, and hopefully a release date. We understand great games take time, but the days of slowly teasing Zelda titles (read: Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword) are gone.
MetroidNot far behind Zelda in terms of big Nintendo franchises is Metroid. We've heard some rumors about a Metroid title for Wii U, potentially in development at Retro Studios, but not much has been said about the next Samus Aran adventure. Metroid is not only important to Nintendo as a flagship franchise, it's typically a series that adapts to its platform. Obviously, we want to see Metroid in HD, but this is also an opportunity to leverage the Wii U gamepad in fun and creative ways. Even something as simple as using the gamepad as a scanning device would make us happy. With the right approach, Metroid on Wii U could, in several ways, be a system seller.
PokemonForget Pokemon Rumble U or any console ports, it's time for a mainline Pokemon game on the Wii U. Granted, it doesn't have to be a Pokemon battling title like X and Y, just something that leverages the property well is practically a must. An obvious candidate for the Wii U is Pokemon Snap, a title that most Nintendo fans remember fondly. It was simple but addictive, and it too would suit the Wii U gamepad perfectly. We're aware that Game Freak's Junichi Masuda said a mainline Pokemon game was not in the Wii U's future, but, as we've already mentioned, it's time to pull out all the stops — and Pokemon is huge no matter the title or the platform.
Star FoxStar Fox is a bit of a long shot as far as we are concerned, but it's a franchise that is, in our opinion, equally as important to Nintendo's success as Zelda, Metroid, or Mario. It's a franchise that will improve thanks to better graphics and more intuitive controls, and, frankly, the fact that it missed the Wii was a huge disappointment. What's even worse is that the last genuine Star Fox — meaning space battles, "Do a barrel roll"… the whole nine — was Star Fox: Assault back in 2005. Fox is a fan-favorite character, but he gets pushed to the background more often than we like. It's time for Nintendo to give Mr. McCloud his due.
A Killer New IPThis one is a little nebulous, but for good reason. Nintendo hasn't dropped a killer new IP in some time, and when they have tried, they have mostly failed. It says a lot that gamers can count all of Nintendo's huge properties on two hands, and with each of these games taking several years to develop there must to be some games built specifically to fill in those gaps. Obviously third party support would be a huge help in that regard, but that situation only seems to be getting worse. These are the folks who created Mario, Zelda, Metroid — all those properties we have previously highlighted as important pillars of any Nintendo console's success — so what's to say they can't dream up a new one? Now is the time for Nintendo to be proactive, and the first step is coming up with new ideas.
The PlanObviously E3 2014 is going to be ground zero for a lot of these game unveils (provided Nintendo makes them), but that is only one part of the equation. Here's how we'd like to see the next year under Nintendo go:
- Super Smash Bros. Wii U is holding gamers over in the spring and selling like gangbusters.
- Nintendo announces two big fall releases (Zelda & New IP) for Wii U at E3.
- They also tease an early March release (Metroid or Pokemon) and a pre-Summer release (Star Fox) to keep fans plenty busy.