With the Nintendo Switch debuting in just a couple days, it’s time we look back one last time on the Wii U. And what better way to celebrate the console than looking at its obvious missed potential for awesome games that could, and should, have been.
7. New “Wars” Game
Before its renaissance in recent years, Fire Emblem wasn’t Nintendo’s only turn-based tactics series. Dating back to the Famicom in Japan and comprised of games like Battalion Wars and more recognizably, Advance Wars, the Wars games are yet another disappointing example of Nintendo shelving a historic series in favour of more popular ones.
The Wii U could have been a fitting return for a new installment while Fire Emblem dominates the 3DS, and similarly the second screen is an optimal fit for tactical gameplay. But nah, let’s get another few Fire Emblem games instead.
6. Animal Crossing Wii U
Nintendo had a nice tradition going there with the Animal Crossing series, releasing it on all their new systems and handhelds since the GameCube. But then the Wii U came along and destroyed what could have been a beautiful lineage. Who could blame them for not wanting to bring the series to the system though? Sure the Wii U’s second screen is incredibly useful for item management, creative minigames, and as a drawing tol, but it’s not like these all have a place in Animal Crossing right?
5. F-Zero Wii U
Real talk, I haven’t even played an F-Zero game. But it’s been so long since the last installment in the futuristic high-speed racing series (13 years now), can you really blame me? Nintendo keeps dragging Captain Falcon to duke it out in Smash Bros. every few years when all he wants to do is race. Even more baffling is Nintendo’s continued support of the Fast Racing Neo series, which is practically F-Zero in everything but name. Just throw Captain Falcon in there and have them race around Mute City and we’d have the return of a long awaited fan-favourite series.
4. Pokemon Snap 2
The original Pokemon Snap on Nintendo 64 was a fun safari journey that had players discovering and snapping photos of their favourite pocket monsters in the wild. It was a nice way of interacting and exploring the Poke-World outside of the mainline series that still hasn’t been returned to since. Hmm, if only Nintendo put out a system with a controller that could perfectly replicate the feeling of a camera… Just imagine holding up a tablet in the real world to view Pokemon through a screen and take pictures of them in all their majesty. Oh well, I guess the technology just isn’t there yet.
3. Okami 2
Okami is a game where you draw, Nintendo you literally gave us a drawing pad for a controller, C’MON!
2. The Amiibo Game
By this point it’s obvious that the Amiibo were a huge success and are definitely here to stay. The NFC chip reader required for Amiibo support is an integral part of Nintendo’s controllers as seen with its return on the Switch and its Joy-Cons. Honestly, it is pretty cool to have official figurines of all the iconic Nintendo characters. The only problem being Nintendo still hasn’t come up with a super good way to actually tie them in to their games. Sure the occasionally power-up or costume is okay, but why haven’t we seen an entire game centered around the collectibles?
Skylanders figured out the whole toys-to-life thing years ago and now they’re rolling in cash from every 10-year old in the world. And it would be pretty novel to play a game utilizing the powers of different Nintendo icons. Jumping up to a high platform with Mario, blasting open a door with Samus, and then fighting an enemy with Link. Or… something, I haven’t actually played Skylanders so I have no idea how it works. Just give me something fun to do with these Amiibos!
1. Metroid Prime 4
It’s been 10 years since the last GOOD Metroid game, and despite Nintendo’s apparent attempt to utterly destroy the Metroid name with Federation Force, fans like me still haven’t given up hope. The Wii U gamepad could have been perfect for Metroid Prime’s signature scanning ability, or benefit the explorative nature of the games with a readily available map. Nintendo utterly missed the potential of the Wii U and the gamepad, and now the Switch has a lot to live up to. Maybe some of these games will even return on Nintendo’s new platform… but so far I’m just betting on more Fire Emblem.