In an interview with Nikkei on February 2 2017, Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima revealed that the company are “studying” the prospect of adding VR functionality to the Nintendo Switch. This comes after a patent was filed June 2016, showing a head-mounted display which could hold the console.
So with the possibility that Nintendo may soon be taking its first steps into virtual reality, I’ve come up with a list of 10 Nintendo VR games I’d love to see.
WarioWare: Smooth Moves
WarioWare: Smooth Moves was the perfect showcase for the Wii’s motion controls back in the day, demonstrating both the versatility of the Wiimote and the party atmosphere this type of gaming could create. The game had you assume a variety of different positions using the controller, a concept that would be perfectly suited for Virtual Reality. Job Simulator proved that even the simplest of tasks are made exponentially more fun when carried out in VR, so the same could apply here. Add a touch of Wario’s trademark insanity and the results would be incredible. The signature art style would be glorious in VR and the added pressure of the time trial like mini-games would make this a great game to play with your friends crowded around you.
Real Time Strategy games are a blast in VR. Overseeing and managing a world from a God-like perspective is truly awesome. Doing all of this in the world of Pikmin, would be even better. Seeing how Nintendo would translate this beloved series to VR would be very interesting indeed. Using motion controls to drag and warp the world around the Pikmin and having the little creatures react as you lean and destroy obstacles around them would take the series to new heights.
Some of my best gaming experiences of all time have been with Mario Kart. Over the years, the graphics may have gotten better but the core gameplay has remained largely the same. There’s something so satisfying about the way the Karts control and there’s nothing like the feeling of firing off a shell into the back of an opponent. I still stand by the fact that driving games have done the most with Virtual Reality so far. The feeling of being inside the car and being able to judge the corners and look in the rear view mirrors is truly immersive. So combining the arcade gameplay of a Mario Kart with the unique perspective VR offers is a match made in heaven. Having an item appear in your HUD and leaning over to throw it from your racer, all the while drifting around a corner would be exhilarating. There’s not anything I want more in this world than a fully fledged Mario Kart VR game.
Okay let’s forget that 2016’s Star Fox Zero ever happened for a second and remember the series for what it once was. Star Fox is one of those Nintendo franchises that despite not being able to sell consoles, is beloved amongst fans nonetheless. This is mainly due to the series’ strong cast of anthropomorphic animal characters and action-packed on rails gameplay. Rez Infinite proved last year that on rails shooters work well in VR. The ability to aim using your head added an increased level of control previously impossible with a controller. So please Nintendo, show the series some love by creating the definitive Star Fox experience, made possible with this new way to play.
Nintendo’s main strength has always been bringing players together. Combining a board game with hilarious mini-games, Mario Party has been a staple in Nintendo’s line-up since 1998. While the price of entry for a Nintendo VR headset would perhaps be too high for couch co-op to work, online multiplayer has proved a viable option with existing hardware. Ubisoft’s Werewolves Within showed that given all parties are invested, multiplayer games can thrive on a VR platform. Another option would be to include asymmetric cooperative play into a regular Mario Party game. The player wearing the headset could play as Bowser, breathing fire at the other players who are playing on the TV using regular controllers. Last year’s Playroom VR championed this asymmetric style of gameplay, but I think it could take Nintendo’s expertise to truly perfect it.
Horror games have already proven themselves as a staple for VR gaming. While Luigi’s Mansion isn’t a horror games per-Se, it does exude a spooky atmosphere and contain plenty of jump scares. In a VR version of the game, you would play as Luigi and bring out your inner ghostbuster. Imagine the thrill of hoovering up ghosts using a motion controller as it vibrates and shakes, tasking you with finding the sweet-spot required to yank the spirits into the vacuum. Ultimately it would be the sound design and tension that would sell this title, and a shift to first person perspective would certainly add to the scare-factor.
The fast-paced racing of F-zero would be even more action packed when experienced in VR. The futuristic Sci-fi setting, coupled with being able to view the awesome vehicles from the inside, would make this title worth revisiting with Nintendo VR. Nintendo could even take a few cues from Thumper, which is best described as a rhythm-violence game. Thumper stands out because of its impossibly fast and intense gameplay. Doing something similar with F-zero and dialling the speed up to 11 would make it a unique racing experience. Provided Nintendo could make the game comfortable enough to play that is.
One of my favourite guilty gaming pleasures is Donkey Konga on Gamecube. From the funky jungle beats to the bongo peripheral the game came with, it was one hell of time. While VR wouldn’t add a whole lot to the formula, save maybe the need for an actual set of bongos to play with, it would certainly be a lot of fun. If the idea of banging away on a fully playable set of in-game bongos with your big fat gorilla hands doesn’t interest you, then you sir are dead inside.
Any excuse for a new Metroid game is always good enough for me. I have always had an affinity for the series and while the 2D games will always hold a special place in my heart, it’s Samus’ foray into 3D land which do it better for me. Incorporating the first person Metroidvania gameplay into VR would allow for more interactive puzzle solving and platforming sections. It would allow us to finally feel like the badass bounty hunter we all know and love. Couple this with the full range of accuracy head tracking offers and the ability to explore the environments around you, it could be the next logical step for the series.
If you had the choice, which Nintendo games would you like to see make the jump to Virtual Reality? Let me know in the comments.