It is no secret that Nintendo’s new home console, the Wii U, is suffering from poor sales and dragging down the overall profits of the entertainment giants. One of the main complaints for the console (although not the only one), is that the game library is extremely sparse, with only 23 launch titles (and a third of them being ports from other consoles). But Nintendo has a rich history and a gargantuan library of games to dip into for inspiration. We’re not sure if they still have the rights to these franchises, but here are just some of the games we feel would help make Nintendo great again.
S.C.A.T. Special Cybernetic Attack Team: 1990
Set in the year 2029, the game followers the Special Cybernetic Attack Team, the Earth’s last line of defense against an invading force of aliens. The evil Vile Marmort has managed to set up a conduit between New York City and the alien space station, a gadget known as an “Astrotube.” You can play as either Arnold or Sigourney, both of which can fly on a jet pack, fire a gun and control a couple of weapons that orbit the players like satellites. Post-Apocalyptic games have always been popular, but it is only recently that they are unforgivingly bland in their gray and brown environments, S.C.A.T. would be a psychedelic,truly futuristic twist on the genre.
King’s Knight: 1989
Rescuing a kidnapped Princess may not be the most original of ideas, but the free-roaming capabilities of modern games could mean that King’s Knight could be an awesome sandbox. Instead of customizing a single character, the game could allow you to skip between four, each with their own strengths and weaknesses; the Knight, Ray Jack, the Wizard, Kaliva, the monster, Barusa or the thief, Toby. Having the option to play individual missions as each player would give you some serious re-play potential, and by using the Wii U Controller, you could keep track of the other three characters you aren’t currently playing as and potentially skip between them.
Captain Skyhawk: 1990
Another alien invasion, this one coming from the sky. Playing as a nameless pilot, you have to take down alien spacecraft with the comparatively archaic weaponry of bullets and bombs. Trying to take out a more advanced race with a standard fighter-jet would require skill and thoughtfulness…also, upgrading your plane with alien technology would be an awesome addition, the blueprints for your vehicle laid out on the touchscreen at your fingertips.
A story both strange and engaging in equal measure, Crystalis is set a full century after a thermonuclear war has all but destroyed our society. Science has been replaced with magic and a floating tower looks over the world; preventing humanity from reawakening the destructive power it once wielded. But with Emperor Draygon looking to combine the weapons of old with the magic of new, two pre-war scientists are awoken from cryosleep to defend the tower and the remnants of humanity. With weird monsters to battle, elements to conquer and a freaky environment, we see this as a first-person adventure with an atmosphere as tense as BioShock’s.
Following a nameless wanderer, Faxanadu is the story of humans, elves and dwarfs living in harmony, until a being known as “The Evil One” crawls from a meteorite and infects the dwarf populace, turning them into bloodthirsty monsters. Before he dies, the dwarf king swallows his own sword, killing himself and stopping the weapon falling into the wrong hands. The game has great potential for moral choices…slay the aggressive dwarfs or attempt to cure them?
Hudson Hawk: 1991
Based on a movie starring Bruce Willis, Hudson Hawk is a cat burglar who has his eyes on three Da Vinci masterpieces. The original game saw you try to avoid alarms and attack dogs, and all Hawk could do to defend himself was punch his foes or throw a ball at them. We’d personally take out the quirky idea that a rhino is roaming the halls of the Vatican and make this a straight up heist game. Acquiring the blue prints and personalizing your plan would be great, and we’d keep this a weapons free game to really crank up the tension.
No doubt inspired by the 1986, Transformers the Movie, Abadox is the story of planet eating organism. But whereas Unicron simply ate planets for subsistence, the bad-guy in Abadox, Parasitis, takes on the planet’s form one it has eaten it, taking it over like a virus. The galactic military try and attack the being and are also consumed…so is a princess…the only bastion of hope left is Second Lieutenant Nazal, who actually enters the giant’s body to try and defeat it from the inside out. A mix up of FPS action and piloting futuristic vehicles could make this an action packed, creepy, gore-fest.
Joe and Mac: 1991
Although the storyline of our two cavemen, Joe and Mac, rescuing sexy cave-ladies from a rival tribe is far too chauvinistic to win over modern audiences, the colorful and fun gameplay, with a range of weapons and abilities could make this the best comedy remake since Conkers: Bad Fur Day.
The Adventures of Bayou Billy: 1988
Once again, our protagonist, Billy West, must save a damsel in distress, namely his girlfriend, Annabell Lane, from an evil mob-boss known as Godfather Gordon. What made this game different was that it was both a side-scrolling beat-em-up and a shooter game. Giving Billy the chance to hone both his fighting and shooting skills could turn the Wii U controller into a light-gun for certain missions, adding a little variation to the game play.
The Ultimate Stuntman: 1990
A clear rip-off of a number of popular games before it, The Ultimate Stuntman had the side-scrolling action of Contra as well as the climbing stages which were near identical to Crazy Climber. But the game offered so much, and that variety would be welcome today. Not only was the Stuntman a brawler and shooter, he also controlled a range of vehicles, including hang-gliders and dune buggies. Add to this sniping and bomb disposal, and you have a truly rounded gaming experience. Again, the narrative of rescuing his love interest, Jenny Aykroyd is a little stale, and the bad guy’s name needs a rethink (Dr. Evil…honestly), but a fun action game with all of these mechanics could really play wonderfully on the Wii U and utilize the different aspects of the console.