Three Wii U Games That Should Have Been

What if the Wii U had some better games? A community writer explores the question.

With the massive success of the Nintendo Switch, everyone is quickly forgetting the beleaguered Wii U, which is sort of sad considering how much Nintendo loved the console. Its limited catalog had a palpable amount of love poured into each game, from the crossover hit Hyrule Warriors to Mario Kart 8 to the biggest Super Smash Bros. ever. Even though many of the best Wii U games are being ported to the Switch, there’s a tinge of sadness in it. 

But even the best franchises didn’t take full advantage of the Wii U’s double-screen capabilities. The notable exception is ZombiU, which became two different games during multiplayer: player one played a horror survival FPS on the TV while player two played a strategy game on the tablet. 

But I’ve been thinking lately of what could have happened if more developers dug into this mechanic. What games could we have seen? Here are a few ideas. 

Zelda Wii U

It’s true that Breath of the Wild was developed (and released) as a Wii U game, but it doesn’t utilize the dual screen capability at all. 

However, the Twilight Princess remaster offers a glimpse into what could have been. The map and item screens, traditionally relegated to the pause screen, are accessible in real time on the Wii U controller. 

Nintendo is nothing if not inventive, so you can only imagine what they could have done with a game that had that mechanic from the start of development. Item switching has always been an important part of Zelda games, but doing so in real time could create a fast-paced combat system that would be truly one of a kind. 

Metroid Prime 4

How many times did Nintendo tease a Metroid game for Wii U? And while the fourth entry to the Prime series is coming to the Switch this year (maybe), having that second screen could have augmented the game. 

Metroid has always had a large exploration component. The Prime games had hundreds of scannable items that had no real purpose besides in-game world building -- not to mention information about enemies and mechanisms. 

While putting the scan visor in the controller would likely make for a clunky gameplay experience, having a readily accessible database outside of the pause menu would be a valuable asset. 

Ditto the map. The maps in the Prime games are complex labyrinths, but the HUD mini map is almost indecipherable. Putting the map on the second screen would remove a lot of the headache. 

Madden Wii U

True, the Wii U didn’t have much third-party support. Most developers weren’t sold on the console, and Nintendo didn’t do much to convince them. 

But imagine a multiplayer football game where one player acts as a coach while the others run the plays. You have the perfect recipe for family video game night. What dad wouldn’t love to play that game with his kids?

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Despite Nintendo’s best efforts, two screens aren’t better than one. But with a little more imagination, the Wii U could have had some incredibly intuitive games. 

What about you? What games would you like to have seen for the Wii U? Drop a line in the comments. 

Published Apr. 2nd 2018

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