Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Look at the Upcoming Wii U Retail Games

The next game for the Wii U is Splatoon, and it's scheduled to come out on May 29, 2015. It's a third person shooter with a unique twist. Instead of shooting bullets or lasers, players will be shooting paint and attempting to cover territory with it.

The characters are called Inklings and can change from humans into squid form. As opposed to most shooters that are all gritty and "mature" this will be family friendly game for all ages.

A decision that seemed to go along with being for all ages was to not include voice chat as is common for many games of the genre. The developers have cited the negative attitudes shown on the voice chat in online gaming. Critics of this decision have stated that they could simply allow people to be muted as in most online games. Personally, I don't feel like it is a necessary feature and the game will probably be fine without it.

The game's focus will be on online multiplayer, but there will be a single player campaign as well. There will also be local multiplayer for at least two people.

After Splatoon, it seems the next Wii U game with a solid release date is Mario Maker. This game obviously features the iconic character but is a unique concept in not only the franchise, but in Nintendo games in general. The game involves the player making their own 2D Mario levels than can be shared online.

The game features four different art styles from different games throughout Mario's history. Of course, one of them is the NES classic Super Mario Bros. It was released in September of 1985 and Mario Maker will come out this September to commemorate the 30th anniversary of that game.

Other art styles to be included are those from Super Mario Bros. 3, the NES game released in 1990 in the United States, and Super Mario World, the first Mario game for the Super Nintendo.

The final art style is that of the New Super Mario Bros. series, which has appeared on systems such as Wii, Wii U, DS, and 3DS.

Another game that will come out at some point in the fall is Yoshi's Woolly World. It is yet another 2D side-scrolling platformer. Yoshi is the latest in a long line of Nintendo mascots that have gotten a 2D platformer on the Wii U that includes Mario, Donkey Kong, and Kirby. However, this is the first Yoshi game on a home console since Yoshi's Story [N64] in 1997.

The game is being developed by Good-Feel studios, who made the similarly themed Wii game Kirby's Epic Yarn and Wario Land: Shake It! [Wii]. It is being produced by Takashi Tezuke, who directed classic games like The Legend of Zelda [NES], Super Mario Bros. 3 [NES], and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past [SNES] and has recently produced titles such as Animal Crossing [GCN] and New Super Mario Bros. U.

The game has attracted a small amount of criticism for a feature it announced in a recent Nintendo direct called "Mellow Mode". In this mode, Yoshi will be seemingly invincible and have wings. This has followed a recent trend of providing an easy way to beat levels such as in New Super Mario Bros. U or Super Mario 3D World. There will also be no time limits in the levels.

The game has been shown off in Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U. There is a level themed like Yoshi's Woolly World, even though that game has been out for several months.

There will also be three special Amiibos of Yoshi made out of a wool-like material and the game is confirmed to have Amiibo functionality.

The next major game for the Wii U will likely be Xenoblade Chronicles X. It's the spiritual successor to the critically acclaimed Wii game Xenoblade Chronicles from 2010. Both games are Nintendo exclusives developed by Monolith Soft. They are also both open world role-playing games.

 I have never played the first game, but I am highly anticipating the Wii U version. It definitely appears to be the most exciting Wii U game of 2015.

A new addition to the series is the ability to control mech suits called "Dolls". Besides that, the battle system is expected to similar to the first game.

The game is set in the year 2054 when two alien races do battle by Earth, wiping out a large portion of humanity.

It will release on April 29 in Japan, but needs to be translated for Western audiences. This could take at least a few months, so we could be looking at a fall or winter release date. Now that Nintendo has delayed the upcoming Zelda game, this is probably going to be the biggest title of the season for them. That is, unless Nintendo announces something huge at E3.

The other big game of the winter for Nintendo will be the as of yet untitled next installment in the Star Fox franchise.

Star Fox became huge with classic games on the SNES and N64, but hasn't had an original game published since 2006 with Star Fox Command on the Nintendo DS. Many of the recent Star Fox games have met with mixed responses from fans.

Not much is known about the game at this time, as we haven't been privy to any gameplay footage. It has been described as "episodic" which could mean we'd get multiple short episodes in the vein of Telltale Games. Or that could have simply been in reference to the plot.

The biggest third party game of 2015 for the Wii U will most likely be Devil's Third, developed by Valhalla Game Studios. The main designer is Tomonobu Itagaki, who created the Dead or Alive series and revived Ninja Gaiden.

Devil's Third will be a third person action game that combines shooting and hack-n-slash style melee combat.

It was originally supposed to be released on the PS3 and Xbox 360 by THQ before they were shut down. The game is now going to be a Wii U exclusive, one of the very few upcoming third party games for the system. It will also be one of the relatively few M-rated games on the console.

And finally, at some point in 2015 we will see the port of the long requested Fatal Frame: Oracle of the Sodden Raven, which has already been out in Japan for quite some time.

This is the fifth game in the Fatal Frame survival horror series. It started in 2001 on the PS2 and has been on the PS3, Xbox, Wii, and 3DS.

The Wii U will get a version of the upcoming Guitar Hero Live that is also headed for the PS4 and Xbox One as well as Lego Jurassic World. That's pretty much it for the Wii U as far as we know until 2016.

The biggest Nintendo title of 2016 was supposed to be their big gun for 2015, the next entry in the Legend of Zelda series. Many assumed it would come out this winter, but Nintendo recently released a video stating that a 2015 release was no longer a priority. This is not necessarily a big deal as Zelda games are often delayed.

A bit of gameplay footage was shown off of Link roaming around the world, but that was before the delay, so it's unknown if a lot has changed. The game is supposed to be "open-world" which has drawn comparisons with Skyrim.

The other big game of 2016 that we know of this crossover between Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei. Fire Emblem is a series of tactical RPGs that began in 1990 for the NES. The early games were only released in Japan, but the series gained popularity when two of its characters (Marth and Roy) appeared in Super Smash Bros. Melee for the Gamecube.

After that, there was an American Fire Emblem game released for the Gamecube and Wii. There hasn't been a home console Fire Emblem game since the Wii version in 2007. Fire Emblem: Awakening was released for the 3DS in 2012.

The Megami Tensei series has been around even longer, having started in 1987. The first entry was called Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei and was released in Japan only for the NES, or Famicon as it was known there.

It too eventually gained popularity in the West, partly due to the Persona spin-off series.

The crossover is titled Illusory Revelations #FE. It was originally announced years ago, and many fans thought it was dead. However, Nintendo shocked people by releasing a full blown trailer for the game in a recent Nintendo direct that defied a lot of gamers' expectations. Some were expecting something  more serious with less of a stereotypical anime feel. The game also takes place in modern day Japan, which was also a surprise. A lot of fans have stated that the game feels more like the Persona spin-off than the mainline Shin Megami Tensei series.

The game has been confirmed to be a turn based RPG.

What else could we see before the Wii U is done? Well, there are a few major Nintendo franchises that have not yet appeared on the console. The biggest might be Metroid.  A lot of Nintendo fans expect this to be announced for 2016.

Another franchise that would be a big hit is Animal Crossing. I would be very shocked if there was not some form of Animal Crossing game in development for the Wii U.

There also hasn't been an F-Zero game in awhile, and we have seen two F-Zero themed DLC tracks for Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U. So the HD assets are there to be used.

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