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The Five Epic Spin-Offs We Want from Nintendo IPs

Because we can never get enough.

By Caleb ShermanPublished 3 years ago 5 min read

Nintendo is no stranger to placing their characters in bizarre situations. From golf to board games, tennis to go-karts, and soccer to an all-or-nothing brawl, Mario and friends have found themselves in uncountable spin-offs. But the Mario brand isn't the only IP to broaden its horizons, though it does have the broadest. Indeed, Link and other Hyrule natives have taken to hack-and-slash combat a la Dynasty Warriors; the Star Fox crew have taken to the skies in full on tactical combat; and space marines from the Metroid universe had the pleasure of going on four person space co-op missions. So, why not Nintendo? Why not expand into some other new frontiers?

1. We have Mario Maker, and it's great. Everyone loves to build new extremely difficult gut-wrenching Mario levels, or complex calculators, I don't judge. But Mario is a has-been, people have been modding Mario levels since the early 2000s, it's time to design something more dangerous than 13 Bowsers all spraying fire at you at the same time. It's time for The Legend of Zelda: Hammer of Dungeons.

It's not a great name, but it's a great game, and from what I understand it has been experimented with a bit with the Link's Awakening remake. But not to this degree. We need a new game that let's us design full 2D Legend of Zelda dungeons in the vein of Classic Legend of Zelda, A Link to the Past, and the Oracles collection-or, you know, any other 3rd 2D Zelda game, but I really like the Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages. Giving players the opportunity not just to build complex dungeons with their own puzzles and item combinations. But potentially entire chains of dungeons, leading up to climactic multi-boss battles. I mean, it's an idea.

2. If we're going to talk about The Legend of Zelda, then we can't forget that Hyrule is still a wasteland after Breath of the Wild. I know it to be an unrealistic dream, but after I fired that final arrow of light through Ganon, I thought, "Yes! This is it, I get to help Link and Zelda rebuild the towns in Hyrule." Nope, just a long credits roll.

After that, I knew it was time. It is time for a city management game with some 3rd person resource collecting adventures to help rebuild Hyrule. Place guard houses on the outskirts of towns to help defend against the remains of Ganon's hoards, hire Goron crews to clean up the mess of Guardian husks scattered about, and manage the population of your very own Hylian lands. With an in-depth 4X resource management system, and expansive research tree, backed by one of Nintendo's largest IPs, there's no way this game could fail. In fact, it would likely rise up to rival other games in its genre, and similar genres.

3. Pokémon is an interesting game franchise as it develops, and as usual it's no stranger to spin-offs, with games like the Mystery Dungeon and Pokémon Ranger series maintaining their popularity years after release, and Pokémon puzzle games creeping around every corner of your game library. But maybe it's time for a different sort of puzzle. One of economy, sustainability, and love. That's right, it's time to talk Harvest Mon. No? Pokémon Valley? Too close for comfort? How about Pokémon Farming Simulator 2022? PokéRancher? That's the one.

We already spend hundreds of hours breeding Pokémon to be spectacular beasts, and the Pokémon games spend extensive time reminding us that battling isn't all Pokémon are good for, but how much do we really get to experience the other side of things? I certainly didn't breed 200 Wooloo last winter for their wool producing abilities. The dozens of special Pikachu I caught aren't helping to sustain the region's power supply. I think it's time we start growing Oddish and Tropius for their produce, put a few Cherrim trees in the corner of a vacant plot of land for some seasonal harvests, and shout "I choose you!" to the Digletts and Squirtles who make all our gardening ventures possible. Who knows, along the way maybe some familiar faces could move into our town, and we might even get to woo them. Arceus knows the Pokémon universe is filled to overflowing with Pokébachelors and Pokébachelorettes.

4. If Pokémon needs a spin-off for the sake of having a good spin-off, Star Fox needs a spin-off to bring back a once-failed formula with a new twist. Star Fox is known for its space-based combat. Heck, it's in the name. Yet there's one Star Fox game that gets a lot of flack, for some good reason. Star Fox Adventures needs to come back, but with some adaptations to a superior genre.

Star Fox RPG, hit the sci-fi epic theme music. Drop the single planet playstyle of the original Star Fox Adventure, and instead toss Fox into a Kingdom Hearts style universe, where travel from planet to planet is preceded by an on-rails shooter segment, with upgradeable ships. Meanwhile, Fox on land has access to various blasters and a melee weapon or two.

A laser whip would be nice, and some kind of sword, although a lightsaber might be too on the nose. Then give Fox a level up tree, along the lines of Skyrim, or even a Blizzard RPG. Realistically, this could be set in an expanded Lylat system, but not star Fox (heh, that's pretty great) as the main character. Instead focusing on a new recruit to the Star Fox crew, who regularly receives assistance from other Star Fox members, and even some planetary assistance. Imagine adventuring in the Mushroom Kingdom, blasting Goombas and Koopas with a pistol, and throwing down with an Andross manipulated Bowser himself. Okay, so I'm talking about a Nintendo owned Kingdom Hearts. But that's not a bad thing. Can't be.

5. If all of the best ideas have come before this one, then this one is the one the gaming community needs, but not the one it deserves. Let me ask my readers a question, do you like coffee? Of course you do, the world runs on it. Well, do you like Mario? Surely, you're reading this article. So, I present to you, Mario & Luigi in Café Mario.

That's right, a business simulator starring Mario and Luigi, Italians who are taking to an art of their home land, and plan to create the first and best coffee house in the Mushroom Kingdom. Now Princess Peach, she's a tea lady, but Mario is convinced that with his younger brother's help he can assemble the ultimate cup of coffee to woo the princess, and finally earn that cake. Play as Mario or Luigi, or even in a co-op adventure, to brew the perfect pot everyday, serve the denizens of the Mushroom Kingdom, and make connections across the land to obtain the best equipment and beans. The Mushroom Kingdom isn't home to exceptional coffee beans, but a conversation with Daisy of Sarasaland, or Cranky Kong over in Donkey Kong Country, could yield profitable ventures. Hey, I'm all set to brew and accrue.

Those are the five spin-offs I think the gaming community needs from Nintendo right now, but I'm always excited to see what Nintendo will do themselves. The universe holds many possibilities. Maybe a space colony survival sim in the Metroid Franchise. Maybe an equipment shop owner on the outskirts of Castlevania could become adventurous. Limitless possibilities gamers, play, and dream, well.


About the Creator

Caleb Sherman streamer (Amnesia Duck), retro game enthusiast (don't ask me about Ataris though), lucky husband, and author.

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    Caleb ShermanWritten by Caleb Sherman

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