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Can the Wii U benefit from HD remakes?

by on July 28, 2014
 

In the aftermath of Nintendo’s E3 showing, it is clear that the company is in the process of delivering on its most popular franchises, with Super Smash Bros, the new Zelda games and even the recently-successful Mario Kart 8. At long last, Nintendo fans may finally get what they have been hoping for since the Wii U launched. However, another fairly recent release from the past year also gives fans a reason to whisper and discuss what else Nintendo may have in store, but have been too tight-lipped to say anything: creating HD remakes of popular titles.

With the success of Wind Waker HD, one has to wonder if Nintendo intends to build on the success by picking more classic games, revamping their graphics and controls to fit their console that is in dire need for a larger games library. This also creates an opportunity for new generations to experience the games that their older siblings or even their parents grew up playing. Though remakes for classic Nintendo games for the 3DS have been fairly successful as well, would revamping old games be worth the potential expense or even get more people willing to buy a Wii U?

I would say “yes,” but it does heavily depend on the games. Not only would you have to consider which of the titles are the most requested or popular, but also the age of the game. For example, the Ocarina of Time remake for the 3DS got a serious face lift in terms of visuals, but who knows how much longer it would have taken or how much it would have cost to remake it for a console system like the Wii U (not to mention incorporating Wii U controls). It’s not impossible, but still much more expensive than it could have been if it hadn’t been created for the 3DS first.

The games that would be easier to remake would ones from the Gamecube generation. Exclusive games such as Animal Crossing, No More Heroes, and Super Mario Galaxy would probably be the most well received if they were remade for the Wii U. But by all accounts, Nintendo fans aren’t looking for a remake of something that came out within the last decade.

In fact, when talking about remakes, most of the requested titles are from the Nintendo 64 era, with the most prominent request being an HD remake of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. With Skull Kid inclusion as an assist trophy in Super Smash Bros, there is a good chance that his appearance could mean that a HD remake for this iconic game is on the horizon.

Though there was no mention at E3 in regards to these rumors, the silence has only lit a fire among fans, from incredible fan trailers to petitions on Change.org, and bringing up the game in almost every forum related to the topic of Nintendo remakes. It’s safe to say that if Nintendo agreed to make this a reality, it would likely be one of the hottest sells that the Wii U has seen.

Another remake rumored to be in the works in 2013 was a revival of Super Mario 64. According to WiiUdaily.com, the game would be reworked to include multiplayer having both Mario and Luigi working side-by-side and traveling to the game’s numerous worlds. An interesting concept but sadly nothing ever came of these rumors. Other titles prime for re-release include Banjo-Kazooie, Jet Force Gemini, Paper Mario, F-Zero X, PilotWings, and other Nintendo classics, even though it would still be uncertain if such remakes would use the Wii U’s controls properly.

13_02_03_pokemonsnap03One HD suggestion however, while not as widely received as a Majora’s Mask remake, would make excellent use of the Wii U hardware: Pokemon Snap. While the original clearly shows its age since many new Pokemon have come out since 1999, a sequel including new generations, new environments, and maybe even a few new tweaks on the camera controls alongside secrets to unlock would make for a wonderful retread of a classic game that would appeal to both old and new Pokemon fans.

With the Virtual Console and new Wii U controller adapters for old systems, Nintendo clearly wants to give folks who buy their latest console access to games from previous generations. However, since the Wii U continues to wait on its biggest sellers in an attempt to save it, perhaps remaking old titles to fit the new console specs could just be the shot in the arm that the Wii U needs in order to encourage customers to buy the console.

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