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When Nintendo first revealed the Wii console, the minds of fans began racing with possibility. Swing a sword like Link! Aim and fire like Samus! And while the system definitely found its success and was able to turn some of the fans’ wishes into reality, some level of unfulfilled promise remained.
One under-utilized category of games was Nintendo’s "New Play Control" series, featuring titles such as Mario Power Tennis, Metroid Prime and its sequel, and Pikmin. These were all GameCube games with revamped control schemes that made them new-ish enough to bring in those who hadn’t played the originals or provide a challenge or change for players who had conquered the games the first time.
The "New Play Control" series never quite found its mark, with most of the titles becoming harder to find after only a few months at retail. But with a new console comes new possibilities.
What if Nintendo brought back the "New Play Control" series for the Wii U release?
I’m not talking about revamping Wii games…that’d be kind of pointless since the Wii U will play Wii games and use Wii controllers. Instead, I’d like to see some DS titles re-done with the Wii U’s tablet controller in mind.
Consider playing a high(er)-definition version of The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks while being able to draw the path of Link’s train on the tablet then switching to standard controls for combat. Or being able to tap the screen in your hand to note the location of the dungeon’s treasure chest on a map for quick reference during gameplay.
How about a multiplayer version of a puzzle title, such as one of the Professor Layton games? If Nintendo is going to announce support for two tablet controllers with the Wii U — as many are rumoring and/or hoping for at this week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the industry's largest trade show — players could search the streets of London together and even compete to see who could solve Layton’s trickier brain teasers first. And of course, seeing the excellent cutscenes on a bigger screen would be an added bonus.
Maybe Nintendo could even bring Pokémon to the living room in a similar fashion to what they initially tried to do with Pokémon Battle Revolution. I’m sure (at least, I sincerely hope) that a second Wii U tablet will cost less than a second 3DS. That’s another way the company can bring everyone together in the living room for some fun multiplayer action.
The possibilities are out there, and Nintendo once again has the fanboys and girls hoping for the next great thing in gaming. We’ll have to wait and see between E3 this week and the Wii U launch just how close the company can come to making our dreams a reality once again.
Any other classic DS titles you’d like to see converted in a "New Play Control" format?
Bryan is an avid Nintendo fan who still busts out the original Nintedno Entertainment System from time to time for some good old 8-bit nostalgia. He’s hoping that Nintendo will go back to the future this week and rebrand the Wii U as the "Revolution."