Top 10 Wii 2 (Project Café) Games We’re Dying For
When the Wii 2 (aka Project Café) launches next year, it will likely be met with long lines, hardware shortages, a new franchise or two, and the promise of hotly anticipated sequels.
Yes, this is the routine of every Nintendo console, and it's why we love these game machines so darn much. While nothing official has been announced, rumors suggest that the new console will come equipped with a controller that features a large touch screen. For the purpose of this article, we're going to assume that rumor is correct.
Without further delay, here are the top 10 Wii games we're dying to play!
10. Luigi’s Mansion
I’m not going to lie: the original Luigi’s Mansion was a flawed beast. It was also quite creative. Nearly 10 years have passed since the game’s release, and it still ranks as one of the most unique action/adventures ever made.
On Wii 2, an altered control scheme would be in order, but that’s an easy fix. The challenge would be making the game spooky in a lighthearted, family-friendly environment. Maybe Big Boo needs an upgrade, or Nintendo needs to design a whole new cast of creepy enemies.
With a touch screen controller, Nintendo could apply a whole new host of gameplay mechanics as well as puzzles and extra touches that pop out and say “boo!” (for example, a Big Boo who disappears on the TV screen whenever Luigi looks at him could then reappear, suddenly and unexpectedly, on the player's controller screen.)
9. Advance Wars and/or Fire Emblem
This one goes without saying. In addition to being two of the most compelling Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS franchises available, Advance Wars and Fire Emblem were practically built for a touch screen.
On Wii 2, these games wouldn’t have to change much, but they would need to become more dynamic. If you could control your entire army with a six-inch touch screen (and have the action play out on your 52-inch flat screen), the experience would be nothing short of a spectacular event.
8. Wave Race
After the depressing Blue Storm flopped on GameCube, Nintendo let go of this once promising franchise. Now is the time for a revival.
First and foremost, Nintendo needs to return to what made the original Wave Race such a success: impeccable water physics. Without them, the game is just another stunt racer.
If nothing else, Wii 2 will be as powerful as PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Assuming it’s even more powerful than those machines (and it should be), there would be no limit to what could be accomplished with a new Wave Race.
7. Star Fox
When most gamers think of a Wii Star Fox, they immediately think of motion flight controls. When they think of a DS Star Fox, touch screen controls come to mind. In both cases, you get a so-so experience that isn’t quite on par with the series’ best iterations.
On Wii 2, Star Fox could be developed not just for motion or touch screen play, but also for dual-screen brilliance. Nintendo could take full advantage of the controller screen and implement a cockpit command center that allows the player to perform actions and execute moves that were impossible before. This would add a new level of depth to the franchise and create a Star Fox that would finally bring the series back to its former glory.
Between Kirby’s Epic Yarn and Kirby Canvas Curse, Nintendo’s puffy pink hero has had an incredible decade. What’s the key to his success? Innovation.
On the Nintendo DS, Kirby featured impressive touch screen gameplay. On the Wii, the series contained a collection of levels unlike any other. If Nintendo were to simply combine these two elements, you would have a game that every Kirby fan would want to play. And if Nintendo took the series in a whole new direction (as it did on both the Wii and the DS), gamers all over the world would be impressed.
Not unlike the illusive Super Mario 64 2, Pikmin 3 is a Nintendo anomaly. By all accounts, it should already be in our collection. After all, the first Pikmin was released mere days after the launch of the GameCube in 2001. Pikmin 2 followed a couple years later.
With the Wii fast approaching its fifth birthday (hard to believe, isn’t it?), there's no point in releasing a new Pikmin on the aging console. Truth be told, the original Wii might not even be the right platform.
While the motion-controlled port of Pikmin 1 proved compelling, the prospects of Project Café are far more so. What could be more intuitive than sliding your finger across a screen? Nothing--assuming the controller is as innovative as the rumors suggest.
Apple is big on multi-touch devices, and if Nintendo brings a similar degree of innovation to the Wii 2 controller, players could potentially use their individual fingers to simultaneously guide different groups of Pikmin. Needless to say, the result would be phenomenal.
Nobody knows what a touch screen Metroid would be like. Would it be anything like Metroid Prime Hunters? More importantly, should it be anything like that game? Probably not.
Surely most players can imagine using a touch screen or a motion controller to direct Samus’ morph ball. However, that’s not what we want. Nintendo needs to re-claim the franchise (adios, Team Ninja!) and reinvent it.
But don’t just “remake” the series, Nintendo. Surprise us in a way that is groundbreaking, breathtaking, and completely unexpected. That would be a Metroid game everyone would want to play.
3. Donkey Kong Country
Who knew the series still had a kick to it? Nintendo, that’s who. The company wisely restarted the franchise last November with the release of Donkey Kong Country Returns. Now it’s time for some Wii 2 magic.
More significantly, the series needs to return to 3D. I know it sucked the first time around, but we have to blame Rare for that one--that company was so busy focusing on diversifying its portfolio that it lost sight of what made the DKC franchise a success. With Rare out of the picture, Nintendo can assign its best developers to the series and produce the ultimate 3D Donkey Kong.
As far as Wii 2 is concerned, it will be interesting to see how the franchise plays on two screens, especially if one of them is touchable. But should this sequel include touchable gameplay elements? That’s hard to say. We’ve all seen what can happen when developers toss in motion control elements just for marketing purposes. We don’t want similar results with Project Café.
Of course, it would suck if Nintendo released another familiar 2D sequel just because it was the safe and easy thing to do.
2. The Legend of Zelda
The ultimate no-brainer sequel. Zelda fans are a diehard bunch, and while the series has never been and probably never will be as big as Mario, the franchise is still enormously popular. Just look at the anticipation for the 3DS port of the Ocarina of Time. That game is going to be huge.
On Project Café, there's no better way to maximize use of the new controller than to create two entirely different camera views/gameplay styles: third-person 3D (on your TV) and 2D top-down (on your controller).
This could be accomplished two ways. First, the whole game could be playable as either a 2D or 3D adventure, which would be absolutely amazing. Conversely, Nintendo could allow players to switch between the two gameplay perspectives, showing the one you’re controlling on the big screen and the one you’re not on the controller screen.
As an alternative to those two concepts, Nintendo could develop a traditional, Ocarina of Time-style sequel and make the entire game playable on the TV or on the controller much like a handheld, without need of the console itself. Obviously, this would require a download feature (along with a sizable hard drive for the controller, a strong battery, and a powerful graphics processor). Whether or not Nintendo wants to move in this direction is uncertain. But if I had to choose, I’d go with the other options--being able to play a new Zelda from either a 2D or 3D perspectives would be incredible.
1. Super Mario 64
The first Mario had a sequel. Mario World and Mario Galaxy did, as well. Yet one of the most beloved games in the series, Mario 64, is still without a true and direct sequel. It’s time for that to change.
On Wii 2, Mario could be opened up to a world of new possibilities. I’ll use some classic Mario 64 levels as an example. In Tall, Tall Mountain, Mario had to climb (you’ll never guess) a giant mountain. Just for kicks, Nintendo could remake that level for the next Mario (a la the remakes in Mario Galaxy) and add an underground path deep inside the mountain. Once inside, Mario could drop down onto the screen on your controller. Meanwhile, the TV would present another view of the level.
While this wouldn't be a revolutionary use of the console, it is one of the many ways Nintendo could show off their new features.
If, however, Nintendo wants to be truly innovative, they need to rethink how Mario games are controlled. To be clear, I am not a fan of fixing what isn’t broken. But if Nintendo hadn’t taken a chance with Mario 64, where would we be today? Playing Crash Bandicoot and wondering when the next Spyro the Dragon will be released?
From the moment the Wii was unveiled, I've wondered what a Mario game would be like with true motion controls. My curiosity piqued when the Balance Board was announced: “Could this be used for Mario? And if so, how? There’s brilliance hidden in this board … I just know it!”
That's what I thought. As it turned out, Nintendo was more dedicated to innovation through brilliant level design (as seen in Mario Galaxy 1 and 2) than anything else. New control styles are not always on their minds.
But that has to change. Now that a touch screen of all things is being thrown into the world of console gaming, Nintendo can't waste any more time bringing mechanical innovation to the Mario series. The company needs to step up and produce a sequel that cleverly uses every single new feature that the Wii 2 has to offer.
Louis Bedigian has been writing about games and entertainment since 1999. He joined GameZone in 2001 and has worked for Radish Creative Group as a videographer, editor and production assistant. He is also a staff writer at Benzinga.com, The Trading Idea Network.