Brace yourselves, this isn’t just a few minor rumours about stuff no one cares about, this is an absolute ton of possibly ground breaking information about games in the Pokemon, Donkey Kong and Zelda series among others. But is any of this plausible? Here’s my analysis of the rumours and thoughts on each:
– Nintendo’s core first party line up for E3 will be the next 3D Mario game that will be out by Holiday 2013, a next Zelda adventure for the Nintendo 3DS, a double dose of Kirby with the return of Tilt ‘n Tumble for Wii U and Kirby’s Pop Up Pannick for Nintendo 3DS, a new HD Yoshi’s Island game, Donkey Kong Land Returns for Nintendo 3DS, new Fatal Frame for Wii U, the new Retro Studios title which may or may not make Holiday 2013 and two new IPs.
First up, we’ve got some rumoured Wii U and 3DS games. All of which would be fantastic if real, so let me deal with them one by one.
Kirby’s Pop Up Panic (Pannick?) seems plausible enough. The series has always liked cartoony and somewhat gimmicky art styles, and it’s always had at least one or two games on every Nintendo made handheld console. I wouldn’t be surprised if this game was completely genuine.
They don’t give any details away about Zelda 3DS, so I can’t even comment on it or whether it’s plausible. Still, the existance of such a game was guaranteed a long, long time back, and it seems likely that such a game might be revealed at E3 next year.
The big surprise however is Donkey Kong Land Returns. Indeed, I think I predicted a game like this a few months or even a year back, where I said bringing back the Donkey Kong Land series on 3DS would be make sense. But yes, I’m very excited by the possibility of such a game, it seems stupid to just ignore such a massive success as Donkey Kong Country Returns and Retro definitely seems capable of making a good 3DS sequel to it.
However, the question is… what would a Donkey Kong Land Returns even entail? The original Donkey Kong Land series was a bit of a strange mixture of new games, ports and inbetween titles with no logic holding them together. The first was an entirely new game with new areas, new bosses and new (somewhat parodic) storyline:
Above: Big Ape City, the setting of the arcade Donkey Kong game.
The second was an eight bit port of Donkey Kong Country 2 complete with chiptune versions of the game’s songs and mostly identical levels and boss fights:
And Donkey Kong Land 3 was… well, something. No one quite knows what it was meant to be, the game feels like a sort of spiritual successor to Donkey Kong Land 3, or perhaps an old school reimagining complete with different levels and the same bosses.
Above: They completely ruined Bleak…
On the bright side, it had a lot of ‘hilariously’ named levels like Red Wharf, Total Rekoil and Miller Instinct
So what would a Donkey Kong Land Returns even be? A sort of 3DS port of the Wii game? A reimagining of it in Donkey Kong Land 3 style? A new game with the same characters and settings as the original?
Or would it just be like Mario 3D Land where the Land means absolutely nothing and a more accurate title might well be Mario Galaxy 0.5 edition? Either way, it’s exciting stuff if true.
Above: Has nothing to do with Super Mario Land
And honestly, I think there’s an okay chance it might be. Okay, the rumours are definitely very questionable in accuracy, but it only seems sane Nintendo would ask Retro to work on another Donkey Kong game after the success of the last one. After all, why call it Returns if Donkey Kong isn’t really ‘returning’?
Finally, there’s the talk of those Wii U games. A Yoshi game for Wii U seems plausible enough, there’s already debug menu evidence of a Yoshi game in development, and a 3D Mario game has already been guaranteed by Iwata (in that he says he won’t talk about it yet). Given how the original Wii’s lifespan went… do you know what big game came out in 2007, one year after the Wii’s release? Super Mario Galaxy. So a new 3D Mario game coming for the Wii U next year is basically a given. No really, I’d even bet everything on it, since Nintendo never tries to have a Christmas without a big name home console title coming out.
Generally though, nothing here seems too unbelievable to the point it’s not plausible. Doesn’t prove the rumour is true (since many of these titles are games that damn near anyone could have predicted), but it’s food for thought.
– There was a pitch at Retro Studios for a new Metroid game that I have no idea if was scrapped or if it was made into a full game. I do know the pitch was an FPA like the Prime games and it took in between Other M and Fusion. It was suppose to deal with an entire planet that in a conflict between the good guys and the Space Pirates caused a fracture in time that allowed half of the dead planet to come back to life including the dead Chozoo colony. It was suppose to deal with the mystery of the Chozoo, Samus upbringing and that the Chozoo were more war like than imagined. It was also suppose to feature Wii Motion Plus control along with two player co-op with the new Chozoo partner on the gamepad, allowing more crazy exploration and puzzle solving. Being isolated, together was the theme. Multiplayer is also planned. Besides working on that internal next-gen engine for Wii U and a smaller team for Donkey Kong Land Returns, we know that some of the pitches included an entirely new IP based around the GamePad, a revival of Raven Blade and a reboot of Mach Rider.
This Metroid game idea sounds fantastic, although I doubt it’s real. The rest sounds neat too, although I have reason to suspect the plausibility. I mean Mach Rider, really?
Then again… didn’t a Mach Rider revival come up a few months back?
Yep, Mach Rider Unchained or whatever it was called. Didn’t buy into it then, not buying into it now.
– Mainline 3DS Pokemon game needs roughly two more years before it’s released. Uses a full 3D engine and will have a story dealing with a world wide crisis. A new Pokemon type will be introduced (has not been done since Gold and Silver) and while not as many new Pokemon as in past gens older Pokemon will get new abilities and forms. Will maximize the Nintendo 3DS use of 3D, StreetPass and online connectivity. The first NFC game for Wii U will be a next gen Battrio game coming out in all regions.
A new Pokemon game with actual new types and 3D engine + graphics? That sounds like one of the coolest things ever, and the exact revolution the series needs to stay relevant nowadays. Heck, I’d love to see new types for other reasons too, because it would completely and utterly smash the current metagame to pieces and give the competitive scene a long needed complete overhaul.
As for the story being about a worldwide crisis… that’s an interesting idea given how regionalised the plots of the other games have been. Indeed, it actually seems sort of plausible given that the series has recently moved away from just basing the regions on parts of Japan and is now introducing areas based on other real world countries and locations to the mix. And with the US seemingly thinking of themselves as world police and the US based setting of Unova, I can sort of see a story about a worldwide crisis being plausible if the next region is based off Washington DC or something.
So is all this Pokemon stuff plausible? I think much of it is. 3D graphics and engine being the next step seems logical considering how Pokemon Black and White and their sequels have implemented various 3D effects and things, and with how the latest Pokemon Mystery Dungeon game on 3DS has switched to 3D models and a 3D environment.
If Mystery Dungeon switched to 3D models, then why couldn’t the main Pokemon series do the same?
I already explained the world crisis stuff, and that could be sort of plausible given the current direction of the series. And new abilities and forms for older Pokemon and the game using 3DS features like StreetPass is basically a given, every new Pokemon game has implemented the major new features of its console and given older Pokemon new moves, abilities, forms and evolutions.
That really only leaves the idea of new types being unlikely. Is it as unlikely any more given that nothing has been changed in the last three generations? Not sure, maybe Game Freak have decided it’s time for a change and really did want to revolutionise everything again. That wouldn’t surprise me.
The rest of the article is very interesting with a lot of rumours involving third parties and their games, as well as the next consoles from Sony and Microsoft, but that’s kind of outside the subject matter this site is focused on.
So do the rumours seem to be genuine? I’m not sure. Some stuff seems plausible enough, if only because it’s common sense (like a 3D Mario game coming soon or a Pokemon game using 3DS features like StreetPass), some stuff seems like something Nintendo would do (like a 3DS Kirby game and a Donkey Kong Land Returns) and not a whole lot seems completely outside the realm of possibility, so I’d say the rumour is currently just unconfirmed rather than outright false.
What do you think about this? Is Nintendo really working on a new Donkey Kong Land and Yoshi’s Island game for Wii U, with a 3D Mario game being the big holiday 2013 release? Or are these rumours as wrong as most others posted in recent months?