One thing is certain this gaming generation: Sony and Nintendo are delivering first-party exclusives beyond anyone’s wildest expectations. In 2017, Nintendo released Game of the Year Winner The Legend of Zelda and the remarkable Super Mario Odyssey. God of War was released to critical acclaim and is well on its way to set records for Sony. Both companies have a very different approach when it comes to first-party titles. While Nintendo focuses on lighthearted games that are hardly ever taken too seriously, Sony has built its brand on mature, story-driven epics – with Nintendo-esque titles like Ratchet & Clank and Knack tossed in for good measure. So if Sony can deliver the occasional whimsical game, then why can’t Nintendo deliver a mature epic of its own? Better yet, what if Nintendo took a few of its existing IP’s game them created them with an eye for an older audience? Here are five Nintendo franchises that could potential rival Sony’s mature first-party titles.
While Star Fox has plummeted in quality over the years, the pedigree of the franchise is still largely remembered in good light. Nintendo can go back to the basics and focus on the story of Fox McCloud – a renegade pilot who knows no meaning of the word “limits”. Perhaps a telling of his origin as a young fox…man that was expelled from the academy and battled his way back up the ranks to prove himself. The game can take an Uncharted approach to humor and focus on third-person storytelling with kickass dog fighting capping off some levels. Nintendo could easily make a Warhawk-like online multiplayer component to go along with the rich single player experience. Maybe even add a Battle Royale Mode complete with mechs, tanks, and Arwing battles. Star Fox could again be a pillar franchise for Nintendo.
The most obvious franchise to potentially take on a more mature vibe, Metroid Prime could take its stellar FPS and exploration mechanics and craft a experience that is absolutely dripping with atmosphere. Two ways I would love to see this go down: a more reserved, isolated space-horror title similar to Alien: Isolation, or a more intense body-horror like Dead Space. Completely separating Metroid from Nintendo’s family-friendly batch of first-party titles could be a bold move that fans of the series would surely respond to.
Good ol’ Mike Jones. Good ol’…forgotten Mike Jones. If there was ever a Nintendo series ready for a comeback it would be Startropics. While many would be quick to dismiss the tale of a would-be boy adventurer searching for his missing uncle to be a derivative of The Legend of Zelda, Startropics (and its sequel) was a charming game that caught me surprise as a young gamer. Mike Jones is the closest thing Nintendo is ever going to get to a Nathan Drake-like character. You can still retain the off-beat sense of humor and an insane plot that involves an alien race but the overall tone would be a modern-day fantasy epic. And seriously, I DARE Nintendo to make Mike’s signature yo-yo as badass as Kratos’ Blades of Chaos.
The Greek myth brought to life of the NES (sort of…I still don’t know why Pit is fighting Medusa; that was Perseus!) has a bizarre past. While it’s true that Pit made a semi-ish comeback with a title for the 3DS in 2012, the star of Kid Icarus has seen more action on the Smash Bros. scene than in a game of his own. Transitioning Pit into a more mature narrative and taking a God of War/Horizon Zero Dawn approach to combat would be a refreshing take on this classic Nintendo franchise. The title could focus on the ranged combat ala Aloy’, but also throw in a healthy amount of melee options for good measure. Plus given the mythology the series is inspired from, Kid Icarus can explore a wealth of mature themes and plot points.
Mother is no stranger to adult themes. From missing persons and paranormal activity and psychic abilities to people being held captives in caves and an antagonist that wishes to doom all of reality to a horror of infinite darkness, Mother could easier transition to a dark RPG. Giygas’ character alone is worth taking this innocent looking series and running with its creepy undertones. It could legit be the RPG to rival the Persona series.
So what do you think? Are there any existing Nintendo IP that would would like to see get a mature reboot? Let us know in the comments below.