What's next for Nintendo's best?

Each of Nintendo's franchises is weighed down with sequels that deliver a teaspoon of new content amidst gallons of familiar fan service. This pandering ensures the devoted legions happily slam down money for the latest re-imagining of Link, Pikachu, Fox or Samus despite the overall similarity to the previous game. You love it, we love it, but after seeing crowning achievements like Twilight Princess and Prime 3, we can't help but wonder "what do you do next?"

Detailed over the next few pages are our hopes for four key Nintendo franchises. Each has special issues that need to be addressed if the next entry is to be as exciting as the last, so careful consideration went into each selection. The idea is even though Nintendo could simply rearrange Zelda's dungeons and items and pop out a new game in a couple of years, they should take the time to really wow us with a major shake-up. So, what batshit crazy ideas did we come up with? First up - the next Zelda game should take place in the future.

Yes, it's hard to swallow at first glance, but hear us out. Twilight Princess was the Zelda game, one that we'd been waiting to play since 2000, when a demo reel showcasing an adult Link and Ganondorf locked in battle ran in front of massive crowds. We got Wind Waker instead, an entry that couldn't have been further from that original footage. Three years later, Twilight Princess appeared, sold like crazy and saw more than a few 10/10 review scores. Now that we've finally seen, played and beaten our long-awaited "serious, realistic" Zelda, would another medieval setting be as exciting? We need a completely fresh look at the series, something even more drastic than Wind Waker's candy-coated islands.

Our suggestion? Take it to the future. For one installment, ditch the rustic towns and Ren Faire populace for a bustling cityscape that spans an entire solar system. Let's see Link with a lightsaber. Impa as the leader of Hyrule's cybernetic soldiers. Ganon as an armored villain on a quest to annihilate the sun and harness its explosive power to break back into the Golden Realm. This is a legend after all - no reason this timeless tale couldn't still be going on 500 years from now.


Above: This elaborate, overacted hoax set the internet ablaze a year ago. Some of it's a bit much, but it goes to show this idea is not going away

Now before your conservative fanboy alarms start going off, realize that we're fans too. We just want to see something totally unexpected and not another shuffled set of dungeons. We want to see re-envisioned versions of Link, Zelda, Kakariko Village, even Epona, seen above as a speedy vehicle that jets Link across the many planets he'll have to visit. Traveling to different worlds also opens up the design to any terrain imaginable, plus locales that Nintendo's best could dream up without the confines of Earth-like environments. The only things we'd want to see untouched are the Master Sword and the Triforce - they're ancient artifacts and should stay that way, regardless of how much time has passed.

But don't worry - we still don't want voice acting. Link should remain silent. Ganon might benefit from a booming, competent voice actor, but overall we'd prefer to keep the dialogue as straight text. However, let's see some cutscenes. Smash Bros. Brawl's cinemas were fantastic, so imagine what could be done with Zelda. We're not the only ones.

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  • purple_omlet - December 18, 2008 3:09 a.m.

    the star fox idea sounds like a great spin on the series. i would definitely play that. the Pokemon idea was pretty good too, but it would be harder to make than it first believed to be. the immense game space you'd need to have to create a world that Pokemon trainers can freely battle away in would take forever to program. and don't get me started on trainer cards, Pokemon locations, and numerous missions to fill in the null space of the game. also, would there be a story line? it would be a very strenuous build, but the end product would most likely be one of the best games ever. i would love to see a game like the zelda in the future, just not link. i'm sorry, i just see the zelda series staying in the middle ages. plus, why not create a whole new game that takes the basic idea of that games description? i think it would make for a pretty cool run and it wouldn't lose any fans of Zelda. i don't really care for metroid too much...
  • super-saint - December 18, 2008 4:35 a.m.

    i seriously think that nintendo could pull this off...and make a shitload of cash along the way. i would buy at least 2 of the games and at 50 bucks per game thats $100.
  • dMbeasy - December 24, 2008 6:48 p.m.

    Future Zelda: No. the idea of a furturistic Zelda is absolutely terible. So instead of completely futuristic, why not keep the medieval setting, but add in some cyber elements, like early versions of guns in place of crossbows, stuff like that. Metroid Dread: Probably not. I kinda like the idea of it, but I stilll think we should keep it at side-scrolling, semi-crap-yourself atmoshphere and everything. Maybe a BIT scarier, such as more fearsome monsters, and I like the destructible armour idea, but keep it like it is, and hell, why not go back to 2D while your at it? The last 2 ideas are however just absolutely epic. Star Fox needs to go back 64 style, and Pokemon, just way too true. Make it happen, Nintendo! And on that note, MAKE DK RELEVANT! Make another DKC, or whatever.
  • Krunch - January 7, 2009 9:29 a.m.

    The Zelda game I'm a bit iffy on, the idea is interesting, but it will have to be done very well, and keep the components of the past Zeldas that made them successful. The Metroid game just sounds great, no complaints or anything to add here. Ive never really played Starfox games much, so im not to interested in this. The Pokemon game sounds great also. The in-game money could be used for appearance items for both the trainer and the pokemon, and include contests that show of the looks and power of your pokemon.
  • Trapped_In_Hiskool - January 7, 2009 3:42 p.m.

    I like the futuristic Zelda idea, and a Star Fox MMO would make people realize Nintendo isn't all kids games. I've always had the idea of making a pokemon game where you control a team of trainers, not just one, and they all had their own needs too. You'd need to buy food and stop traveling at night. Kinda like a Sims meet pokemon.
  • Taxtm - January 23, 2009 3:49 a.m.

    YES! Oh God, YES to all of these!!!!
  • thatdamnbrit - January 24, 2009 9:31 p.m.

    The metroid dread idea is excellent, I would buy it. I personally loved the creepy parts of corruption, like the part on elysia with the metroids.
  • triforcerpgfreek - January 30, 2009 4:47 a.m.

    twilight princess isn't the best zelda ocarina of time is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • RedOutlive10 - March 18, 2009 7:37 p.m.

    Futuristic Zelda? Maybe you guys from GamesRadar should read your own features mentioning the futuristic Street Fighter showing how sucky drastic changes can be.
  • GRwarrior - April 25, 2009 8:57 p.m.

    ok, gotta say that tey all would be great except for the fact that you wouldn't get to keep Epona in the future link
  • noofer7 - July 4, 2009 2 p.m.

    Looking back at this, a futuristic Zelda could actually be really awesome... These franchises definitely need to change. Is it just me, or are the recaptcha getting more complicated? Mine was "Sun. 3:10, 5:20 tarter."
  • Coolbeans69 - December 14, 2008 10:46 p.m.

    The first 2 don't slide with me, but the pokemon and starfox would be good
  • EvilCheerio - December 18, 2008 5:54 a.m.

    i agree with katwood and i think theres one game you would NEED to put in here if this list was made today. Animal crossing, Personally i offended as a gamer at the nerve of Nintendo. The first animal crossing was great, but the next two version are literally the same game with the corners removed (no collectible NES games for one :( ) This porting a game and calling it a new game behavior would insight riots in any other gaming genres.(well, except for sports games :))
  • buminyaface - December 18, 2008 6:06 p.m.

    the futuristic zelda would turn out like a mix between star wars and Jak 2/3, with a bit of backtracking but it would be cool
  • RaIdEn - December 19, 2008 3:03 a.m.

    i think they should make a version of zelda were your a pirate. i dont mean like in windwaker, i mean were your first sword is like a sabre or a rapier and the ship you were originaly on was destroyed by ganondorf or something. epona could be a sailboat!
  • CashWheel - December 19, 2008 1:56 p.m.

    I think it would also be cool if Nintendo took the time-traveling concept from Link to the Past to its extreme - have Link travel to futuristic Hyrule, to prehistoric worlds, etc.
  • LOUDcarBOMB - December 21, 2008 2:06 a.m.

    i think that zelda taking this step can be great or extremely a bad move. since that some players are looking forward to this and the game could possibly be a piece of crap. metroid also could use a bit more scare in its games. i think that metroid doesnt put the true scare in its scary bosses. star fox putting massive multiplayer in its game would be a hit (probably). also putting the perk system in the game as well as upgrading the perks (ex. ammo perk: upgrades for this perk can help you hold more ammo for weapon every time you upgrade this perk) just like killzone 2 multiplayer. also doing the rpg type gameplay for pokemon could be the best idea for this genre or the worst of its kind.
  • thatonekid1995 - December 24, 2008 3:08 a.m.

    I like the Zelda , Samus and star fox ones but seriously pokemon sux dont try to save it!
  • dMbeasy - December 24, 2008 6:51 p.m.

    @ thatonekid1995: one man (or woman's) opinion. And what do you mean, save it? Look at the sales! It's not the second best-selling series ever for nothing, not to mention one of the best.
  • HIGHLIGHT - December 30, 2008 3:29 a.m.

    The Zelda idea is the worst idea i have ever heard zelda is not a futuristic person he belongs back in the medieval days along with swords shields and magic. Canons would even be hard to bring into the Zelda games. Zelda needs to stay in the same time period to give the same effect. Plus zelda players are more of a setback kind who like to play games from the past. Most people who i know who play zelda play games like Fable and Lord of the Rings games not futuristic games. I mean one of the first zelda games was even called A Link to the PAST. No one would enjoy a futuristic zelda game it just is not a good idea.

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