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The Wii U’s GamePad is more than a new controller. It’s a way for Nintendo to bring fresh gameplay possibilities to its classic titles. The only limit is imagination.
We asked a few developers how they would like to see the GamePad used in their favorite Nintendo games. Who knows? Maybe their ideas will pop up in the next Metroid or Zelda. I know for sure that a new Four Swords adventure is long overdue.
Ocarina of Time, F-Zero, and Pokémon
Steve Lycett, the executive producer on Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, shared three suggestions. One dealt with a key item in a highly regarded The Legend of Zelda game: “Lens of Truth, Ocarina of Time-style,” he said, “except you use the GamePad to look around your living room for hidden secrets and fairies. A whole window into another world.”
Another thought: “Thirty-player online F-Zero Wii U: Adjust your car setup anytime in the race, from top speed to acceleration — like you can in F-Zero X, but anytime you like. [It] should have five-player split-screen, too, just like All-Stars Racing Transformed.”
Finally, “Pass the Pokémon,” he said. “Tap the GamePad and 3DS together to send Pokémon into your Wii U — sort of like how many people can you get into a phone box, just with Pokémon.”
Zelda and Super Paper Mario
Edmund McMillen, the developer of Super Meat Boy and The Binding of Isaac, said, “I’d like them to make a full Zelda: Four Swords game with it.”
He added, “But I’d also like them to stop making new controllers and just focus on what matters: games.”
Robert Boyd, one of the developers at Zeboyd Games who worked on Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness — Episode 3, also wanted a new Zelda. He had an idea for Mario, too.
“A Super Paper Mario sequel where you have the 3D world on your TV and the 2D world on the GamePad,” he said. “Which world the game focuses on depends on whether you’re using the analog stick or the D-pad.
“Also, a Zelda sequel where they have the map and a touch-controlled item select screen on the GamePad at all times to reduce the amount of time wasted in menus.”
Metroid and Clubhouse Games
James Mielke, the PixelJunk producer at Q-Games, told us, “I haven’t had much time to put a lot of thought into how games might use the GamePad” — the Wii U launched last in Japan on Dec. 8, so he hasn’t had long to play around with it — “but I personally wouldn’t mind seeing the return of the Metroid Prime series. The combination of touchscreen as map/navigation and controller makes a lot of sense for a game like that. I’m sure developers will come up with more unique uses for it, though.”
Finally, Alex Neuse, the co-founder of Gaijin Games, the maker of the Bit.Trip series and Runner 2, said, “A couple of us at the office talked about it, and so far our favorite would be a new 2D Metroid in HD on the TV that’s way overdue to be made with the map for it on the GamePad” (emphasis his).
“Also, if we could ever require more than one GamePad at a time, playing something like Clubhouse Games with virtual hands that you can keep secret from your friends would be rad.”