Nintendo's Wii U is expected to launch later this year. Though the console's release likely won't happen until after E3 2012, Nintendo has stated that it will be revealing information about it throughout the year. Gamers are eagerly looking forward to seeing what the Big N has in store. but the company has done a good job of being secretive and cryptic as usual. With a major reveal expected sometime in the next few months, we're also hoping that Nintendo will announce some hot first-party titles. Here are 10 games that Nintendo should announce, or at the very least tease, this year for the Wii U.
One series that's been consistently good over the years is Donkey Kong. Even Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, which incorporated a gimmicky bongo peripheral, was really solid. And if Donkey Kong Country Returns is any indication, there's still a lot of life left in this series. Nintendo needs to draw in its old school fans with a game that will really hark back to the retro days of gaming, and Donkey Kong would most certainly be a good choice. That said, as much as most of us really love a good Donkey Kong side-scroller, you can definitely make a case for a new 3D platformer in the series. I know I'd be perfectly fine with Nintendo going that route.
It's no secret that Wario is one of the funniest characters in the Mario universe. He's also a lot cooler than everyone's favorite plumber, and his side-scrolling adventures have always been vastly different than anything Nintendo does with the Mario series. Wario Land: Shake It! was a truly wonderful 2D platformer that had plenty of retro charm and offered an excellent anime visual style. A direct follow-up would certainly be welcome among fans of the series. And because we don't see enough of Wario, I'd like to think it's time for a new greed-induced treasure-hunting adventure, come the Wii U's launch.
People have loved Mario Golf for years despite the fact that it is essentially a golf sim with pretty realistic gameplay mechanics. What makes Mario Golf stand out, though, is its collection of characters from around the Mushroom Kingdom and wacky courses that you usually discover later in the game. Yes, Mario Golf is indeed a golf series, but it's not just any golf series. The games truly attempt to stand out, and they succeed, inviting all types of players to get in on the fun. We didn't see an original Mario Golf game for the Wii, so let's hope the series gets some new life on the Wii U.
The Metroid series is great, and while I personally loved Other M, there were a number of gamers who found plenty of glaring flaws to gripe about. The game's story came under the most scrutiny. So maybe Nintendo should try again, focus less on the plot, and still deliver some quality third-person adventuring across lush sci-fi environments. Even though it skipped the Nintendo 64, I truly believe Metroid needs to be on every Nintendo console. Give us a memorable game for the Wii U, Nintendo. We're ready to take on the role of the world's hottest bounty hunter once more.
It's no secret that I'm GameZone's resident Kirby fanatic, but there's a reason for that: The platforming in the Kirby games is really awesome. Though the games aren't incredibly difficult, the running and jumping gameplay is excellent and engaging. Additionally, the level design is amazingly clever, and Kirby's Copy Abilities are absolutely remarkable. I think announcing a new Kirby title for the Wii U early on would be great, especially if Nintendo and developer HAL Laboratory can successfully follow up the impressive Kirby's Return to Dream Land.
Super Smash Bros.
Nintendo really struck gold with the Super Smash Bros. series. Simply put, the concept of mixing up characters from the many different Nintendo franchises and letting them pummel each other was ingenious. And whether you're still playing the first game in the series, its GameCube sequel, or the current iteration on the Wii like I am, there's no denying that when Super Smash Bros. lands on the Wii U, it will be a huge draw for adopters of the console. Let's just hope it's a little more balanced.
As long as we've got Kirby and Smash Bros., two series that were brought to us by HAL, why not give us Earthbound, too, Nintendo? What makes this series stand out from most ordinary RPGs is its unique style. Baseball bats, hippies, and angry paintings replace the magic wands, mages, and dragons we see in practically every single RPG ever made, and it's that distinct sense of offbeat style that really makes Earthbound stand out. Imagine the pop Nintendo would get from the crowd if it announced, finally, a successor to the Earthbound series.
Of course, if the Big N still doesn't want to give us Earthbound, I think we'll gladly take a new Paper Mario game. Featuring its own spin on the RPG formula, Paper Mario is known to deliver a meaningful experience carved in the world of the Mushroom Kingdom. This series is often hilarious, and it features such compelling and rewarding gameplay that it's hard to put down. I have to point out, though, that as much as I loved Super Paper Mario, I think I would want a new turn-based Mario RPG as opposed to an action-RPG / platformer like we saw on the Wii.
The Legendary Starfy
Though Japan is certainly much more familiar with The Legendary Starfy than we are over here in North America, there's no denying that the series is a fun aquatic romp. A lot of people aren't fans of underwater levels in games, and it's hard to blame them. That said, for a game that featured such heavy emphasis on marine gameplay, The Legendary Starfy for the Nintendo DS was a stellar gaming experience that featured several outstanding platformer tropes. If Starfy made his home console debut on the Wii U, it would definitely be an adventure to watch out for.
It's been 32 years (OK fine I'm exaggerating) since we got a brand new Star Fox game, and I think that warrants a new entry in the franchise. Sure, we got Star Fox 64 3D just last year, but I think we can all agree that it's time for the series to return to home consoles. Nintendo could incorporate some cool Wii U tablet controller functionality, and the company could give us what we wanted with Star Fox 64 3D but didn't get: a solid online multiplayer component. A lot of us want a new Star Fox, and what better way to deliver than on the Wii U. Star Fox as a Wii U launch title? I think we can all dig that!