Nintendo have once again changed the way we play games with the Wii U with its new controller, the GamePad. I’m now filled with a nostalgia – I remember the excitement leading up to and after the Wii’s release, when the internet was rampant with speculation of the possibilities of the Wii Remote.
Similarly, the GamePad has tons of potential to introduce new gameplay, and revolutionise the game franchises we already know and love. So, here are five games that would be perfect for the Wii U!
The “assymetric gameplay” that Nintendo are now pushing with the Wii U actually isn’t as new as you might think. Pac-Man Vs. was a GameCube game directed by Shigeru Miyamoto himself. The game supported up to four players; up to three of these players would play as the ghosts, while the other would use a Game Boy Advance and a link cable to control Pac-Man.
The ghost players were only given a small radius of the maze while Pac-Man had the full map on the GBA screen, meaning that they could not always anticipate where exactly Pac-Man was, and he could appear to chase and chomp them down at any moment. This type of gameplay is similar to that of the Luigi’s Ghost Mansion mini-game in Nintendo Land, but it would be great to see a fleshed-out Pac-Man Vs.-style title, even as an eShop release.
While the Okami series began its life on the PS2, it later proved to have a strong bond with Nintendo. The pointer controls perfectly complimented the Wii port of the original Okami, and the sequel, Okamiden, was a DS-exclusive. But that’s not the only reason a new Okami game would be great on Wii U. Amaterasu’s (and Chibiterasu’s) powers and combat techniques relied on drawing. While the PS2 managed to incorporate this with analogue controls, it felt so much better drawing with the Wii Remote and DS stylus – as it also would on the Wii U GamePad!
When you activate your ink powers, the screen could pause and transition to your Wii U screen. From there, you could use the touch screen to draw lines to slash enemies, draw bombs to blow up walls and draw the sun to bring light to the beautiful Japanese landscapes. Just thinking about Okami‘s lush worlds in HD makes me drool, too. Make it happen, Capcom.
Unfortunately, the incredibly fun Katamari series still hasn’t yet found a home on a Nintendo console. When Katamari Damacy released, it was new and obscure, and as the first game in the series no one could predict it to become the successful franchise it is today. It could only be released on the PS2 to be safe, and it’s likely that a GameCube release was considered too risky. Later, the Wii released, but Wii Remotes don’t have dual analogue sticks, which is crucial to Katamari’s controls.
But wait, what’s that on the GamePad? Two sticks and a touch screen? The Wii U could be the perfect welcome from Katamari to Nintendo fans, and its Japanese insanity would fit in perfectly among Nintendo’s own franchises. The GamePad’s touch screen could be used just as it was for Touch My Katamari on Vita – to stretch the Katamari with a quick motion with your thumbs. Perhaps an alternate control method could utilise the GamePad’s motion controls to roll your ball of destruction, too!
Four Swords Adventures
Like Pac-Man Vs., Four Swords Adventures also supported the use of GBAs as controllers. This competitive co-op gem had players delving back and forth from their TV to their Game Boy Advance screens as they visited specific areas. Wii U games currently only support the use of one GamePad at a time, but Nintendo have stated that in the future, users can use multiple GamePads for multiplayer. I think you know where I’m going with this: the Four Swords series would be perfect for the GamePad! And you wouldn’t even need to worry about buying any pesky link cables.
Having the freedom to go into a house or cave on your GamePad screen while your buddy explores the world on the TV screen would offer so much freedom and work so much better than a split-screen game. Of course, the GamePad’s potential doesn’t end there. The Legend of Zelda series is renowned for its inclusion of clever puzzles, and the GamePad’s touch screen and tilt sensitivity could contribute greatly to these. A dungeon map would also be handy in your, erm, hands, and could support Phantom Hourglass‘ idea of scribbling notes onto the map.
It boggles my mind how Nintendo still have not released a sequel to this fantastic game. 13 years since the release of the N64 gem and not a word uttered on the continuation of the series, but now seems to be a better time than ever with the new GamePad. The game tasks you to snap photos of wild Pokémon in first-person while riding an on-rails vehicle. Seeing wild Pokémon in different environments was a pure joy, and extremely fun.
The GamePad could be the camera. While your character is riding through an area, you could hold the GamePad and aim to take photos on the TV screen, with the GamePad’s screen being a magnifier. You could use the trigger buttons to take the photo, like on a real camera!
The original game only featured the original 151, but imagine what Nintendo could now do with 649 of the critters and HD graphics! While a new Pokémon Snap would be the ideal game for this concept, it could be extended to other games with similar photography gameplay, such as Beyond Good & Evil, Dead Rising, and Fatal Frame. It would be amazing to have a GamePad Pokédex in your hands too, even if it isn’t in a Wii U Pokémon Snap game.
The amount of potential for both the Wii U and the GamePad is incredibly exciting, and undoubtedly offers endless possibilities. Which gaming franchise would you like to see appear on the system, and how?