Fanatical Five | 5 Things We Want to See From Wii U in 2015

As we near the end of 2014, we can see that it has been a great year for the Wii U.

Sales may not be on par with the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, but they have picked up. The games have been arguably the best of the generation so far, and Nintendo is starting to turn a profit on what was once a money destroying black hole shaped like a console. In the past twelve months Nintendo has released Super Mario 3D World, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Mario Kart 8, Hyrule Warriors, Bayonetta 2, Super Smash Bros., and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker for the Wii U. The online play in their latest outings have offered a much better experience than anything Nintendo has ever offered before, and the first serious forays into Wii U DLC have been immaculate.

It’s a great time to be a Wii U owner. However, many worry that with titles like Mario, Donkey Kong, Mario Kart, and Smash behind it, the Wii U may struggle to provide worthwhile new titles. Well that’s just wrong. 2015 is shaping up to be an even better year for the little console that could. There shouldn’t be any major retail droughts and there’s more than a few highly anticipated titles in the works. Here’s five things to look forward to in 2015:

Second Party and Spin-off Announcements.

Hyrule Warriors.
You didn’t see Hyrule Warriors coming, and you didn’t see it being this good. Look forward to more crazy pairings to come.

Third parties don’t want to release their IPs on the Wii U because it’s just not profitable in their eyes. Nevertheless, many developers would love to get their hands on the rights to make a game based on Nintendo franchises like Mario, Zelda, Star Fox, F-Zero, and so on. Previously, that would have been a fever dream, but thanks to the adversity facing the Wii U, the door to the amazing has been opened. Koei Tecmo got their hands on Zelda, so it’s only a matter of time until someone can get their hands on other franchises. We’d sure love another Mario RPG, Who wouldn’t want to see Captain Falcon and F-Zero in the hands of Platinum Games? It’s all within the realm of possibility now.

Adversity has not only opened the doors to other companies playing with the Nintendo greats, but it has given the other guys a chance to shine. Nintendo said they’re planning to make small spin-off games that reuse existing assets. The recent Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker has shown us this method of development can provide a high quality game in a short time frame. Fans want a Bowser game, so maybe he’ll finally get his shot to be the main character.

While there aren’t any current crossover games that we know are scheduled, it’s hard to imagine Nintendo publicly stating their new strategies and not announcing a new second party collaboration or spin-off at some point in 2015.

Star Fox Wii U

Star Fox Wii U
Never give up, trust your instincts! Miyamoto and Nintendo EAD working on the new Star Fox? Sounds like greatness to us.

It’s been the better part of a decade since Star Fox has had a new game of his own. It’s been ever longer since there’s been a new Star Fox title that was truly great. 1997’s Star Fox 64 was the high point of the franchise. From there it went downhill with Rare and Namco developing successive entries, each failing to measure up to the last. The new Wii U Star Fox is being developed by Nintendo EAD, a good sign considering an EAD group was responsible for Star fox 64.

We know that Miyamoto claims Project Giant Robot and Project Guard are tied to the latest iteration’s side missions that experiment with new game play mechanics, while the main missions will focus on the classic shooter game play. Arwings, Landmasters, and the new helicopter-like aircraft will make an appearance. The game pad will provide a view from the cockpit while the screen has the classic third person perspective. Aside from that, all we know is that Miyamoto claims it will be released in 2015, before the latest Zelda.

Devil’s Third

Deal with it.
Deal with it.

Oh, I can hear it now. The fury of keyboard warriors eager to tell us how bad Devil’s Third will be: “Devil’s Third looked rough at E3! Look at the clipping! Look at those textures! It was trapped in development hell for years! It’s not going to sell! How dare you put this above Star Fox!”

Devil’s Third is a violent game that’s different than most of what the Wii U has to offer. The developers have a pedigree of intense, action-packed games and head developer Tomonobu Itagaki has a bit of an attitude. Nintendo had to step in to save the game from cancellation. It could be Bayonetta 2 all over again. That’s not a bad thing; far from it, in fact.

There’s been plenty of time to add polish to Devil’s Third and, according to Itagaki, that’s exactly what Valhalla Game Studios has been doing. The game play mixes FPS with the character action genre and looks to provide a unique feel to game play. The multiplayer seems ambitious, certainly different, and will possibly be the largest test of the Wii U‘s online capabilities.

The game will likely be a bust and sell horribly, but that doesn’t mean Devil’s Third can’t be extremely fun or an important benchmark for the Nintendo‘s online.

Xenoblade Chronicles X

Xenoblade Chronicles X
Forget Texas, everything’s bigger in Xenoblade Chronicles X.

If you follow The Game Fanatics, you know we think Nintendo is grooming Xenoblade into a recognizable franchise that can stand with the likes of Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, and the others. Despite Nintendo‘s horrendous handling of the original Xenoblade Chronicles, many of those that played it have heralded it as the greatest JRPG in recent memory. Some might even say it was the game of the generation.

The Wii U has alienated Nintendo from almost all third party support and they can only lean on the old guard for so long. Xenoblade Chronicles X provides a lot of things Nintendo lacks without third party support, not the least of which is a JRPG with some real star power behind it. Xenoblade Chronicles X is going to be our first taste of an open world JRPG, and Monolith Soft is striving to make it a big deal. Bigger seems to be the theme here. The map is bigger, the enemies are bigger, and with online play being announced recently the multiplayer content just grew bigger as well.

Zelda Wii U

Zelda Wii U
Our first glimpse of the open world Zelda we’ve always wanted.

You knew it was coming.

The Wii U Zelda is easily the largest the franchise has seen up to this point. It’s borrowing strong mechanics and aesthetics from successful games and bending them to suit the Nintendo style and tap the Wii U‘s hardware to the fullest. A large open world, nonlinear approaches, horse mechanics similar to Shadow of the Colossus, Bullet (Arrow) Time, Parachutes, etc. The cell shaded style allows for beauty without the need for photo-realism, and a massive, living world.

People may bash the world for being “empty” or having some rough textures, but it was an off-screen preview for a reason. The game has seen additional development time since its brief unveiling and Miyamoto pointed out that the final product will feature even plant and insect life that changes with area. Maybe seasons will make an appearance too? Nintendo always puts its muscle behind its flagship IPs, so expect them to pull out all of the stops.

With The Legend of Zelda‘s true Wii U debut returning to the freedom found in the original, a world larger than anything seen in the entire series so far, and the possibility of online teased, it’s easy to see why anything Zelda related is the most anticipated Wii U news/release in 2015.

Honorable Mentions

 

 

 

 

 

That’s our list. It was pretty hard to narrow it down to just five things to be hyped about. We feel dirty for relegating Mario Maker, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, Yoshi’s Woolly World, and Splattoon to honorable mentions, but what can you do? Do you agree with us, or do you think we should have our list making privileges revoked? Let us hear about it in the comments section.

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