5 ways Nintendo franchises can shine under third-party developers
At this point in time, Nintendo is no stranger to mingling with third-party studios. They've even gone so far as to allow them to make new installments in the company's franchises, such as Koei Tecmo's Hyrule Warriors and Brace Yourself Games' Cadence of Hyrule.
Clearly, their crossovers have been massive since those games have had a positive reception and have sold well too. So, it makes sense for Nintendo to experiment further with different teams.
Given the amount of franchises that the Japanese publisher has and the sheer variety of experience many developers possess, the possibilities are endless. Let's take a look at some ideas.
These developers might just do justice to Nintendo's iconic IPs
1) A Fire Emblem game by XCOM developer Firaxis Games
Firaxis Games are known to be the makers of Civilization and XCOM, two of the most popular strategy games to date. They seem to fit the bill for a XCOM-esque Fire Emblem game.
Perhaps they could introduce character customization and loadouts like in the sci-fi strategy RPG series. Unique abilities for each Fire Emblem hero could further improve effectiveness on the field.
Though it would be hilarious to see a sword strike miss at 95% chance, wouldn't it?
2) A new Golden Sun RPG by Larian Studios
Larian Studios are renowned for the 2017 RPG Divinity: Original Sin 2 as well as their upcoming game, Baldur's Gate 3. So, they're definitely not going to fall short of handling a fantasy IP like Golden Sun. Nintendo's JRPG franchise has followed mostly traditional roots, but maybe Larian's expertise with Western RPGs can pave the way for a new way to play Golden Sun.
The elemental magic system of DOS2 could add further depth to the existing Golden Sun combat. The summons would be great to see in a DOS2 format. The studio has dabbled with turn-based combat, so regardless of them keeping it a party-based JRPG or reskinning it as Golden Sun: Original Sin, both sound good.
3) A Nioh-inspired Legend of Zelda game from Koei Tecmo
Koei Tecmo's action games are their bread and butter. Nioh and Nioh 2 in particular are regarded as some of their best works yet. What if they made a Legend of Zelda spin-off with similar combat and mechanics? The Zelda series has also mostly been action-adventure so it would be interesting to see how it is fit within an RPG framework.
They have already experimented in the respective direction with Stranger of Paradise, the latest Final Fantasy game and the results were better than expected - cheesy writing aside, that is. Facing off against Zelda bosses like the Koloktos from Skyward Sword HD with a gritty esthetic and brutal combat would certainly be a unique experience.
4) A brand new Eternal Darkness under Capcom
Capcom's Resident Evil Village's raving critic praise proved that the developers still have it in them to make great survival horror games. That is precisely what Nintendo's dormant Eternal Darkness IP needs at the moment. The cult classic game has not seen the light of day since the GameCube days.
A modern entry, perhaps returning to the roots of Resident Evil on a current engine such as RE Engine? With revamped combat, magic and sanity systems? Perhaps first-person gameplay? Absolutely yes. Add in Capcom's great character and sound design, and the future prospects for the series don't look too bleak. It is just up to Nintendo to grab the opportunity.
5) A new Donkey Kong Country in the vein of Ubisoft's Rayman Legends
Ubisoft outdid themselves with 2013's Rayman Legends which goes toe-to-toe against Nintendo's own platformers. Tight level design, spot-on platforming, fresh set-pieces, a gorgeous visual style and top notch soundtrack. The game had it all.
Now, imagine a new DKC game with a similar hand-drawn artstyle at 1080p 60 FPS? Nintendo's Retro Studios could face stiff competition if the French Assassin's Creed developer is up for it. Both games share a lot of similarities, so it can definitely work out.
Abu Amjad Khan