If this is true, a whole new gateway has opened up for fans of numerous Nintendo franchises. VR could allow gamers to experience their favorite worlds unlike ever before by truly being in them inside virtual reality. We took a step back to look at Nintendo’s vast catalogue of IPs and determined a handful that would be amazing to experience in VR.
Super Mario Bros.
Undoubtedly, Mario will make some kind of appearance in the VR realm if Nintendo does go through with adding VR support to their ecosystem. But to what extent? Through VR, we could experience a whole new way to play Mario games, drawing on inspiration from recent 3D VR platformers like Lucky’s Tale. Or AR integration similar to that of Young Conker on the Microsoft HoloLens.
Additionally, they could go the New Super Mario Bros. 2. route and make the game just as much about collecting coins as it is about getting through the end of the level. Mario in VR truly does have potential to be something very special, if done right. As all fans have said at one point or another, Mario games can get repetitive, so this could be a way to change that.
Despite the fact that Star Fox Zero just released, fans and critics aren’t exactly jumping out of their seats with the new game. It’s not bad, but it’s not the game many wanted. Mainly because of the complex control scheme. While Nintendo should be praised for thinking outside of the box, sometimes it can come back to bite them. However, with VR, their intent could be fulfilled in a way the Wii U couldn’t do.
A VR Star Fox game could put you in the literal cockpit of the Arwing. Making you its true pilot, and not just the person controlling it from afar, or from another screen. You’ll be right there, having to make all the decisions you need to in order to survive. This could make the classic Star Fox dogfights even more intense and unique. Also, if multiple Airwings on screen at once were introduced, it would be much more a battle of skill than simply using the controls to try and win.
What could appear as arguably the oddest addition to this list, Kid Icarus could actually be a lot of fun in VR. Unlike Star Fox, where you fly in a ship, through Kid Icarus, you could fly via your very own wings. Also, in Kid Icarus Uprising, the latest iteration of the franchise for the 3DS, there were numerous sections where you had to descend to the world to fight your missions, and along the way, you had to battle numerous monsters sent by Medusa. This could be the essence of the VR title.
Using your bow, or other weapons depending on how deep they want to get, you would traverse the skies with the help of the Goddess Palutena and fight, get items, and then potentially land on the ground to fight other enemies. In a way, this would be a fun way to mix gameplay concepts from both Kid Icarus and The Legend of Zelda franchises.
Mario Kart and F-Zero
Though they are very different, the Mario Kart and F-Zero franchises would likely undergo similar overhauls to work in VR. Mario Kart could resemble VR Karts, while F-Zero could take an improved concept version of Radial G. As Nintendo’s racing titles, they could be huge on VR. You would once again be in the drivers’ seat as you race and fight your way through other competitors for victory.
But, where the VR would come in is that you would be witnessing the courses in first-person, thus only having limited viewing of the course ahead. Unlike the games where you had a third-person perspective and were able to predict what to do. With the twisting and turning, and potential spinouts, gamers will be forced to adapt to the new sensations and truly become master racers.
It’s no secret that Metroid is the franchise fans desperately want Nintendo to bring back in full force. It was because of this feeling that when Metroid Prime: Federation Force was announced, fans went on the warpath. With the potential for the NX to have VR, fans again have the hope that Metroid will return. This time though, with themselves as Samus Aran.
Through VR, we could see everything through her visor, and more so, our own arms could be the legendary arm cannon. Having to hold it out in front of us to fire when Metroid’s or Space Pirates come out to play. To that end, keeping our heads on a swivel as we traverse through the no doubt dark and creepy areas of the game is a feeling that would make the VR game something to truly behold.
Nintendo has never been one to follow suit with the rest of the industry. They want to make every game and console feel special. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. With VR potentially being the next wave of gaming innovation, it’s only a matter of time before Nintendo gets involved. So the only question is, “What games will come first for Nintendo’s VR?”
Honorable Mention: The Wii Sports Series
It goes without saying that the Wii Sports brand was one of the most popular things on the Nintendo Wii. In fact, part of the popularity was because of the original game being bundled with the console. Thus, when the sequels Wii Play and Wii Sports Resort came out, with new and numerous minigames to enjoy within, players swarmed to buy it.
If the NX is a VR system, Nintendo will no doubt want to transition gamers into playing with it. What better way than through simple mini-games meant to ease people into the process? Furthermore, if they pull a Wii Sports and allow the game to be bundled with the NX and potential VR hardware, it might just encourage fans to get involved even faster.
Article contributed by Todd Black. Todd is a freelance writer with other work appearing in outlets like Pop Geeks and Toon Zone.