HD Remasters on the Wii U: Nintendo’s Unexplored Territory
Nintendo will be entering the brave world of HD later this year with the release of the Wii U and whether you like it or not, Nintendo is going to release HD remasters of classic games for the launch and probably at least for the first year afterward. We’ve seen ports happen for every Nintendo console since day one, the NES had arcade ports, the Super Nintendo had NES ports and the Wii U will no doubt see ports from the previous consoles.
However, this isn’t something to be feared. Nintendo have never simply up the resolution of a game and slap on a ‘HD Collection’ name, no, most ports are at least treated with some respect and given new features which lend themselves to the new console. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D are Super Mario 64 DS are perhaps the best examples of this in recent memory. Nintendo added new features, characters and ideas to these games years later. They also go in and adjust and fix a lot of things in games, glitches and problems people had with games that can now be rectified.
We think Nintendo’s going to do exactly the same here with the Wii U. But what games do you choose? We’ve put a list together of what we think would work, why and how likely it is to happen.
So what should titles should be given the HD and Wii U treatment? We’ve put together a list of what we think would work and why:
The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker
We’ll just get the most obvious one out of the way, seeing as the 3DS got Ocarina of Time it makes sense that The Wind Waker should come to the Wii U. Wind Waker art style was controversial when it was released but over the years fans have mellowed and can now see the design for what it is and that is beautiful and timeless. The game could be displayed in HD and in Widescreen and given a fresh interface on the tablet controller, leaving the main screen to show off the cartoon graphics in all their high definition glory.
But it tablet integration could go one further with Phantom Hourglass like controls for controller the boat being used for a ‘cruise control’ method of navigating the sea. Normal controls will still be needed for rest of the ship’s controls.
Then there is the Tingle Tuner. In the original you could unlock this item in game, plug in a Game Boy Advance into the Gamecube with the link cable (ah memories) and then Tingle would appear on your screen and then your little brother could bother you with Tingle bombs an a onbscreen map. It was a nice addition game to the game could be expanded with the tablet controller or even a Nintendo 3DS console.
The game’s closing stages as well could also be fleshed out as they were originally intended to be or at least fixed. True story: I gave up on Wind Waker at the ridiculously stupid fetch quest at the end and only finished it before Twilight Princess came out.
Likeliness of happening: High
We’d all love a new F-Zero game but with the way Nintendo approach it’s ‘B’ Tier franchise like Starfox, Advance Wars and F-Zero we might just have to settle for a remake for now. Now don’t get upset, by ‘B’ Tier we’re referring to the way Nintendo seem to treat some franchises. F-Zero GX was developed by Sega’s Amusement Vision and Nintendo and was one of the best looking and performing games even years after it came out. The game ran at a full 60 frames per second barely dipping any lower but still managed to look spectaculay awesome.
The high speed and frantic gameplay is a double edged sword though, it can be a hard game at times and that alienated a lot of people from the game. Since F-Zero GX came out, the futuristic racing game genre has been dominated by the equally beautiful WipEout series on Playstation platforms. It could be time for Nintendo to take back the crown.
The best additions that could be bought to the Wii U version of F-Zero GX is undoubtably online. With the extra processing and graphical power, why couldn’t you have 30 racers on the track at once?
Likeliness of happening: Middle of the road
Rogue Squadron Collection / Pod Racer
Star Wars games have always been of variying quality, however there was a time when Star Wars games were done right and were done right for a while. The Rogue Squadron and eventually Leader games also had the distinct honour of being some of the best looking games on the GameCube, even games that came out years later still weren’t able to push what those games were pushing. The Nintendo 64 version original along with the Episode 1 themed Battle for Naboo also pushed that particular console to the limit and made great use of the expansion pack.
Imagine all of the Rogue Squadron games (or at least the good space fighting parts) pulled together into one big super collection of missions. The Wii U controller could be used for something as boring as an advanced HUD but could be used to commanding squad mates or alternative camera angles to see attackers from behind.
While Pod Racing recently got another go on the Kinect, no one really wants that. A Star Wars Episode I: Racer on the Wii U could be great looking not only redone with new graphics but also Pod controls done on the tablet screen just like in the movie. Along with dual analogs, triggers and gryoscopes an intersting control scheme that would fully immerse you in podracing could be done. Much better than waving your hands to drive.
Chances of happening: Basically none.
People have been clamoring for Pokemon Snap to make a comeback in some form. A remake, a new version or possibly something new involving AR. The 3DS and Wii U are both great platforms that could see a return to Pokemon Snap. But this is one where we don’t want a remake or a simple HD version.
The game is quite short, it’s on rails and all the Pokemon locations are predeterminted meaning you can only do so good, its all very dated . Instead lets get the give the game another chance not only in HD but lets use the Wii U pad a faux-viewfinder, lining up that perfect shot. Have it in a brand new world, walking around trying to snap that perfect Pokemon Snap.
Chances of happening: Pokemon on Wii U? Definitely, Pokemon Snap? Probably not.
When we reached out to our community for their thoughts on what they would like to see on the Wii U, we got a lot of the common suspects. Mario Kart Double Dash, Twilight Princess, Pikmin and Metroid Prime to name just few. The problem with these titles is that Nintendo is more likely to just make a new Mario Kart, Twilight Princess is still only a few years old and will be fully backwards compatible, Pikmin 3 is on the way and Metroid Prime already got a ‘Collection’, albiet not in HD. We think Nintendo is only going to remake unique games or games from their secondary tier of games franchises. The 3DS launch is a great example of this with Pilotwings, Starfox getting another lease on life, Ocarina of Time obviously being the exception to this rule.
There will be ports, there’s nothing we can do about it. We hope publishers won’t spit out HD collections and remakes and that they put thought into it.
However what we’d really like is all brand new games, which at launch probably isn’t going to happen.