In with the New
Now that the New 3DS is at hand, it's time to think about what we're actually going to play on the thing. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D seems great, and Monster Hunter Ultimate 4 is definitely more Monster Hunter, but what else are you going to do with this hunk of faster-processing plastic after you're done with Xenoblade Chronicles 3D? Fortunately for all of us, Nintendo doesn't have to go back to the drawing board to find ideas that would be perfect for its handheld system.
Tons of existing properties from Nintendo and beyond could make great use of the improved 3D effects and bolstered control scheme - not to mention a good number that would've been absolutely fine on the old 3DS as well. Nintendo execs, if you're reading, consider this our official wish list of awesome games to get working on post-haste for your shiny new console revision.
Metroid Prime Trilogy
Metroid Prime Trilogy has been a no-brainer port ever since 3DS hit the scene, but the upgraded specs and controls of New 3DS make it all the more obvious. Since Metroid Prime's combat uses a lock-on system, you wouldn't have to worry about being overly precise with the little C-Stick nub, and you'd have another set of shoulder buttons to work with so you'd rarely need to shift your grip. It could also offer a touchscreen-driven view option, for all those poor souls who are still hoping for Metroid Prime Hunters 2, as well as visor-swapping and map management.
Much like Xenoblade Chronicles, the Metroid Prime Trilogy would probably need to lose a little bit of texture resolution to function on 3DS, but rolling around in morph ball and dodging space pirates in buttery smooth 3D sounds like a fine trade-off. It would also be a great way for Retro Studios to get back into the groove of making Metroid games. Just saying.
Minecraft has released just about everywhere besides Nintendo 3DS at this point, which is a bit puzzling. Yeah, memory constraints would almost certainly make for less-expansive worlds than you see on its PC and console cousins, but that hasn't kept people from going gaga over the Pocket Edition on iOS and Android devices. And besides, why stick with just a Vita version when the 3DS could give you such an awesome new way to interact with the world?
Seriously, just imagine how cool it would feel to navigate around a mysterious cavern in full 3D - suddenly you hear a familiar hiss, and there's a creeper popping out of your screen. And as a step up from Vita, the top screen could be reserved for watching the game world, with inventory and crafting concerns neatly relegated to the touchscreen. Unfortunately, now that Microsoft owns Minecraft, it's not likely to release on any more non-Microsoft platforms than it already has. But still, we can dream.
Pikmin is one of Nintendo's most under-appreciated franchises, and you know if creator Shigeru Miyamoto wasn't so keen on the idea of little plant people marching around gigantic gardens it wouldn't have gotten this far. It's just been a little too niche to become one of Nintendo's flagship series, but porting the first game over to 3DS could introduce Pikmin to an entirely new generation of fans - fans who will then hopefully buy a Wii U and Pikmin 3.
The control scheme is just about sorted already - simply drop in the same touchscreen setup which was patched into Pikmin 3. And while the lush graphics wouldn't look quite so crisp on 3DS, the 3D effect could give you players a much better sense of the game world's mind-melting scale. It would also be a good chance for Nintendo to refine the strict time limits which made the original GameCube version too stressful for some - much the same way that sanding off a few rough edges in Majora's Mask 3D makes for a less stressful but equally intense experience.
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
Did you know that Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch was first released as a DS game? The Level-5/Studio Ghibli collaboration shipped on the handheld system in December 2010 exclusively in Japan. You're likely more familiar with the PS3 version, which released in Japan a little over a year later and throughout the rest of the world in early 2013, but issues with the game's physical Wizard's Companion book held the DS version back from international release.
Ni no Kuni didn't make much of a splash when it released overseas, but it's become abundantly clear that handhelds are now the last great refuge for JRPGs. So it makes almost too much sense to release an enhanced version of the original DS game on 3DS. Just imagine peering into that vibrant, Ghibli-blessed world on the 3D screen - you'd have to pick your jaw up before you could start playing. And yes, the resolution boost over DS should allow for a digital Wizard's Companion to work just fine.
Jet Set Radio HD
Somehow Sega passed over Nintendo 3DS when it released its HD remake of Jet Set Radio, the cult classic Dreamcast roller skating game. No matter, though - all will be forgiven if it rectifies that mistake posthaste. Seriously, Jet Set Radio would be a perfect fit for 3DS - timed challenges are great for on-the-go play, and it could definitely handle the processing load. But why would you play it over the already great Vita version?
The most obvious reason is that it would just be super cool to blaze through Tokyo-to at high speed on a 3D display. Imagine getting a downhill grind on a nice long straightaway, watching the city soar from the horizon into your periphery as pedestrians scramble out of the way But beyond that, it would control great on a Circle Pad, and you could even use the touch-screen for a much more precise take on those notoriously tough graffiti challenges. Just say it out loud: 'Jet Set Radio 3D'. Doesn't it sound right?
Kid Icarus: Uprising
Whoa, whoa, wait a minute. Kid Icarus: Uprising is already a 3DS title! Isn't it kind of obvious to say that a 3DS game could, in fact, make a great 3DS game? Fair point. But it would make an even better New 3DS game. And it's largely because of one small, nubby, pencil-eraser-shaped addition: the C-Stick. Kid Icarus: Uprising was plenty well-received when it released in 2012, but it suffered from one nearly universal complaint: trying to control the high-speed shooting/brawling action with a Circle Pad and touchscreen was awkward at best, and carpal-tunnel inducing at worst.
Patching in a new control scheme that uses the C-Stick instead of the lower screen could change all that. Yes, Nintendo could've used the Circle Pad Pro all along instead of just making it an option for left-handed players. But now that tons of players natively have a second analog input to play with (and a 3D display they might actually leave turned on), it's time to go back and make Uprising's controls live up to the concept.
Wario Land: Shake It!
Almost by happenstance, Wario has grown from a one-off caricature of Nintendo's mascot into the star of his own subseries of games.Wario Land is his oldest solo franchise, and the flatulent one's most animated adventures is in Wario Land: Shake It. The colorful, dynamic world has a great look on the Wii, so it's a shame many missed out on its odd sense of humor while favoring the more mainstream New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
But perhaps Shake It is underrated because the Wii game was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Wario Land series had only been on portables up to that release, so the franchise might have been hurt by the transition, meaning it could reclaim its place as a handheld gem via some port work. The New 3DS should have no trouble making the intricate line art pop, meaning all the long hard hours of the animators won't have been wasted on a small percentage of the Wii's audience.
Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Star Battle
After some early ports of Street Fighter and Tekken, the 3DS's fighting landscape has become a barren wasteland. However, the release of Super Smash Bros. for 3DS reminds fans that the handheld can still be home to addictively fun melees, particularly if it takes advantage of a fan-service heavy crossover. That sets the stage for an anime-heavy tussle that needs to hop over from the Wii, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom.
The crossover was originally planned as a Japan-only release--given that most of Tatsunoko's characters are virtual unknowns in the west--but Capcom localized the game following vocal demands from fans. Tatsunoko vs. Capcom wasn't a massive seller on Wii, but maybe it was just aimed at the wrong audience. That hardcore fighting fans on 3DS are energized post Smash, and the New 3DS should be able to handle the fast-paced action. This fighter deserves to be played by more than the small cross section of hardcore fighting fans that are also Wii owners.
A Boy and His Blob
WayForward is a developer that often toils away in obscurity, making 2D throwbacks that are neck deep in affection for the 8- and 16-bit era of gaming. The team has gained some notoriety working on Capcom's DuckTales remake along with some other licensed games that are far better than they deserve to be, but those can't hold a candle to WayForward's sterling work on the Wii. Nintendo's waggle-heavy console is home to the team's remake of NES classic A Boy And His Blob, which deserves to be reborn once again on the 3DS.
In an age of polygons and purposefully retro pixels, A Boy And His Blob sidestepped both, instead going with hand-drawn visuals that support the overall warmth of the minimalist adventure. The platforming action demands logic and quick reflexes, tasking players with finding different combinations of the blob's abilities to get them to the end of the stage. It's an adorable game that would make a smart addition to the 3DS eShop, giving handheld players a chance to make a squishy new friend.