Nintendowe Pit

Nintendo We Volume 7: Kid Icarus: Redemption

Ever since the launch of the Wii U, one genre of gaming that I’ve always though would work particularly well on the system is real-time strategy; the main reason being is because a game like that would make extremely good use of the Wii U GamePad, since a lot of what real-time strategy involves is pointing, clicking and lassoing, which the GamePad would have no issues with whatsoever. The only games that Nintendo have released falling under the genre of real-time strategy however, are the three games making up the Pikmin trilogy, and although with the series, Nintendo have presented players with an extremely unique and interesting take on the genre, to me, they’ve never had the same basis in replay value as many other games to have popularised this style of play, such as Warcraft, Command & Conquer and Age of Empires; which is were my idea for the next volume of Nintendo We comes in.

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One of the more obscure series conceived by Nintendo has been Kid Icarus. First created by the late great Gunpei Yokoi, along with Satoru Okada, Hirokazu Tanaka and Yoshi Sakamoto, the original game was released for the NES back in 1986, but was never expanded on to any great extent for a number of years, until the main character Pit appeared as a playable character in Super Smash Bros Brawl, and then eventually starred in a new game three years later upon the release of Kid Icarus: Uprising for the 3DS. What I personally find interesting about Kid Icarus is that whilst it is one of the least prolific series created by Nintendo, it went through a very drastic transition from the first game to the second, further emphasizing Nintendo’s willingness to take even their lesser popular series’ in new directions; indeed, Kid Icarus: Uprising was in fact originally envisioned as a Star Fox game. Its because the series has only ever had two games attached to it, and because they have never truly had a single stable gameplay premise (especially not one that has caught on at the same level as many other Nintendo franchises), that I believe the series can afford to go through another drastic transition; in my opinion, for the better.

The developer that I would like to see Nintendo collaborate with concerning this effort would be Tim Schafer, and his team at Double Fine productions. The reason I believe why this would work famously is twofold; the first being that it would work to deliver and maintain innovation within Nintendo, since Tim Schafer is in my opinion one of the greatest creative minds within the industry, and the second being that Tim Schafer has created a number of critically astute games throughout his time in the business, such as Grim Fandango and Day of the Tentacle, but has not found commercial success on the level that many of his games thoroughly deserve in my own personal opinion. And so, with Nintendo’s resources and Shafer’s artistic drive, I believe their collaboration would mutually benefit one another.

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The best game I’ve ever played designed by Tim Schafer is Brütal Legend; a heavy metal themed open world action-adventure real-time strategy game, which combines the best elements of all of these genres, and rolls it into one incredibly enjoyable gaming experience. It’s this exact style of play that I would encompass into a new Kid Icarus game on the Wii U; and action-adventure open world game, which I think would work well on the system, coupled with the element of real-time strategy, which I believe would work more fluently than on any other home console to have been put out to retail.

As for the story of the game, I believe that there are a multitude of possibilities in which the franchise could be taken. For example, Pit could go against the law of Angel Land and fall out of favour with his superior, Lady Palutena. This could compel Palutena to banish Pit to Earth, where he must prove his loyalty and fight for his redemption; hence the title. The real-time strategy element could come into play in the form of Pit having to unite the forces of good on Earth against the forces of evil, or simply the forces of Heaven against forces of Hell. However, the former idea would most probably sit better with Nintendo, since they tend to take a somewhat shaky stance regarding any obvious religious references in their games. Indeed, it was the most likely reason why they refused to port The Binding of Isaac to the 3DS when the idea was proposed.

However, I think if Tim Schafer were working on the project, he would be to conceive a particularly interesting story either way. I also think he’d have less to worry about, since unlike most other Nintendo protagonists, Pit has actually been given a voice and a personality, and that would provide Schafer with a better level of insight into the character, making it easier for him to develop on. Indeed, it’s for that same reason why I’m not 100% convinced that the planned Legend of Zelda series for NetFlix is an entirely good idea. The Super Mario Bros live-action film with Bob Hoskins as Mario suffered drastically for the same reason (among others) in my opinion.

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But I digress. I believe that the development of a new Kid Icarus game with Tim Schafer at the helm would make for a game that could potentially help bring the obscure series into true prominence, and Nintendo that much closer to once again being considered a pioneer in video gaming innovation. It would also provide the catalyst needed for Tim Schafer to advance even further in the industry as he deserves, and perhaps establish Double Fine as a stable third party developer; something that Nintendo are in desperate need of in order to gather momentum with the Wii U.