The Year of Luigi: Reloaded
2013 in reality was without question the best year for 3DS. It seemed like every month saw a new big title release for the system, propelling it to solid sales numbers through the next few years. Games from major franchises that would see release on a Hybrid console instead include an HD Fire Emblem title, an HD Luigi’s Mansion title, an HD Animal Crossing title, an HD Mario & Luigi title, HD Pokémon Main Series titles and most notably, an HD The Legend of Zelda title. Also– including the games that would be easy to develop on the Hybrid console as they are on 3DS or Wii U– 2013 would be just as good for a Hybrid console as it was for the 3DS, and more.
With all the titles set up for both systems, Nintendo could release a new major exclusive game each and every month. It’s hard to believe that any system could pull that off in the modern gaming industry.
Nintendo “Hybrid” Games 2013:
- HD Fire Emblem title
- New title or IP from Nintendo SPD (Brain Age, Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball)
- HD Luigi’s Mansion title
- Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity
- Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini’s on the Move
- New Title or Port or IP from Monster Games
- New Super Luigi HD
- Game & Wario
- HD Animal Crossing title
- Pikmin 3
- HD Mario & Luigi title
- The Wonderful 101
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
- Wii Party U
- Pokémon X and Y
- Wii Sports Club
- Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games
- HD The Legend of Zelda title OR The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (developed in HD)
- New Title or IP from the 3D Super Mario developers
- New Title or IP from the Mario Party Developers
- NES Remix
The Year of Luigi 2: Retribution
2014 looks a little sparse at first glance. There aren’t as many games on the list as 2013, and a lot of them are games I personally don’t care for or are so small that they hardly merit notice. But then others are gigantic bombs. One of those bombs, however, as I noted in the previous section, was Mario Kart 8– a game not released in this alternative universe. And that’s what’s so interesting. What could it have been instead? F-Zero comes to mind, and I’m sure that thought would excite a lot of people.
It might be redundant for me to talk about the games cut once again, but I just find the ones from this year so interesting. For one, the studio behind Yoshi’s New Island– which I cut considering there would be a Yoshi’s game coming next year in Wooly World– is lead by a bunch of developers who worked on Yoshi’s Island DS, so it’s rather hard to figure out what else they would work on if New Island weren’t developed.
Perhaps more important to those of you that play Smash Bros., the 3DS version in this universe is non-existent, which means that there would have been more time for Sakurai to develop and add characters, modes and stages. This means that the Ice Climbers– a fan favorite cut due to Sakurai being unable to make them work for the 3DS version– would be in. How about that for a positive side effect? We take those.
Most of the rest of the games this year are fairly easy to follow, but as I noted in the disclaimer, one game that I decided to include but could see disagreement from is Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, which is a spin-off from a mini-game within Super Mario 3D World. Since technically the original game might not exist in this universe, I could have also excluded the dear Captain. But inevitably, I decided that the idea behind Captain Toad could still exist without his original appearance in 3D World, and went ahead with keeping it in.
Nintendo “Hybrid” Games of 2014:
- Wii Fit U
- Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
- Poké Transporter
- Pokémon Bank
- Steel Diver: Sub Wars
- New Title from the Yoshi’s New Island developers
- NES Remix 2
- New Title or IP from the Mario Kart/Nintendogs developers
- HD Kirby title
- Mario Golf: World Tour
- New Pushmo Title
- Tomodachi Life
- HD Chibi-Robo! title
- Hyrule Warriors
- Bayonetta 2
- Pokémon Art Academy
- Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Hybrid
- Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
- Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
The Year of Luigi 3: Retirement
2015, when all was said and done, was not the best year for Nintendo. Highly anticipated titles like Zelda for Wii U and Star Fox Zero, which were expected to come out by the end of the year, were eventually delayed into 2016– the prior recently delayed again into 2017.
In this alternate version of 2015, not much has really changed. The line-up for the home console has been improved with a Hybrid console, yes, but that likely wouldn’t be enough to make most Nintendo fans feel that the year wasn’t underwhelming.
To be fair, the games coming out from 3DS are interesting, and arguably immensely more interesting on an HD console– The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask HD and Codename S.T.E.A.M. being the most curious of the lot. Plus Splatoon and Super Mario Maker were still on the menu, so it couldn’t be all bad.
The Games-That-Don’t-Need-to-be-Made show kept rolling this year as well, albeit a little downsized. With a Dr. Mario game already on the Hybrid, Arika wouldn’t need to make Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure. Since it was such a small game, it’s possible that they’d still make it in this universe, or nothing at all, but I’d like to open the possibility that they’d be cool and make an HD Endless Ocean title like we all deserve.
The other notable game that wouldn’t get released in 2015 would be Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash. While Camelot Software Planning has had a long history of releasing multiple games in one or two years, their last 3 released like clockwork every 2 years. The barebones design of Ultra Smash supports the idea that maybe they should have waited another year before releasing it– something they likely didn’t do simply to give Wii U more games at the end of 2015. In this Universe, that’s not as much of a problem, and more importantly: this system already has Mario Tennis, meaning we’d probably get something else entirely in 2016.
The games I was most curious to look at, though, were Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival, and The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes. These three games, especially, felt forced into the development schedule, as if Nintendo– realizing that their two systems were going to be having a games drought, quickly pushed out spin-offs using the same engine as a previous entry on the same system and an extremely disappointing party game.
At the point that I finalized the list, however, Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival– as disappointing as it may be– ended up being the only game of the three to remain in the lineup. The reason being that in this universe, I felt that amiibo would still have wanted a game that makes use of them. On the other hand, my view of Tri Force Heroes and Happy Home Designer was that both were made to fill space on the bleak 3DS fall lineup, as well as satiating the taste-buds of fans looking forward to Wii U Animal Crossing and Zelda titles– of which I feel were originally in development before being delayed to be developed for NX.
In this universe, though, there is no need for NX. Hybrid is doing just fine because of its strong and consistent game lineup and more easily understood functionality. At least I can pretend… But that’s beside the point, since the real key here is that without NX to lengthen development times, there’s no need to fill a gap– or at least not as much of one. So instead, Tri Force Heroes and Happy Home Designer don’t happen. In the process, however, Nintendo’s 2016 for the Hybrid console ends up looking a whole lot better, but I’ll get to that tomorrow…
Nintendo “Hybrid” Games of 2015:
- Kirby and the Rainbow Curse
- The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask HD
- Pokémon Shuffle
- Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars
- Mario Party 10
- Code Name S.T.E.A.M.
- Fossil Fighters: Frontier
- Pokémon Rumble World
- New Title or IP from the Dr. Mario/Endless Ocean developers
- Super Mario Maker
- Yoshi’s Wooly World
- Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
- HD Chibi-Robo! Title
- Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival
- Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon
- Xenoblade Chronicles X
- Pokémon Picross