Last week, I was pretty confident in my deduction that Retro was reviving this old franchise, but it turns out I somehow managed to miss and entire half of the original information article. Oops. Part of what I missed reveals that the game will have AI, which means enemies and bosses are more than likely. As much as I’d like to take Captain Falcon out to punch in some gangster skulls, I don’t think F-Zero will get such a drastic change… Probably ever.
So now I’ve completely rethought my stance and come up with another thought. We know it isn’t Donkey Kong Country Returns 2. As explained last week, it’s a first-party IP, meaning it isn’t a new Retro creation, and it’s nothing second-party, like Pokémon or Kirby. Lastly, though I deduced it in my last article, we have absolute confirmation that it isn’t Zelda.
There are a few franchises Retro could be working on: Metroid, Mother, Yoshi, StarFox, and Donkey Kong. Just because Returns 2 is out of the question doesn’t mean a 3D Donkey Kong game akin to Donkey Kong 64 is impossible. The information given now is much less constant than before, but I do my best to determine the outcome. So here’s what else we know:
These are the six facts, and each of the franchises listed fits pretty well. Determining which fits best is the tricky part, and though blocking off opinion is possible, it’s impossible you’ll prevent leaks through the seal. Regardless, I’m going to try. I’ve decided that discussing various merits and giving it an overall likelihood out of 10 is the most accurate system, as it would seem, so that’s what I’ll be doing. Each one is highly stylized, though one could argue that Yoshi’s Island takes the cake, so I’ll be leaving that out for the most part.
Remember, my ratings are mine. The important part are the merits each game has in context of the facts we currently know. Please do think about it and give your own opinions and ratings in the comments.
First up is StarFox. People have wanted a real revival for a long time, and it’s certainly a heavy-hitter. 3D geometry with 2D maps is a perfect fit for the progression system of StarFox 64, and could easily be worked into the new game. Weather effects are easy to imagine, given the various planets, and cutscenes, though not a staple, could be worked in. There’s really very little going against it here. I’m giving StarFox a 7.5/10
Metroid is my next point of discussion. Past entries in the franchise have proven these to be common elements in the series, so there’s really nothing to argue there. What I think hinders Metroid is how much time Retro has already had with the series and how recently the last game was released. Unless a return to form is in order and a completely new 2D Metroid is created (which does fit with the facts), I don’t think we’re getting something involving Samus. I’m giving Metroid a 5/10
Mother is up next, and once again, fits all the conditions very well, particularly the fan demand point. What it doesn’t have is cutscenes. Now, they’re possible, but they’d likely keep cutscenes going the way they’ve always been: text-only. The problem with Mother is how much it’s got going against it. First of all, despite Iwata’s recent acknowledgement that the West houses a ton of Mother fans, which may be a sly hint at something, they wouldn’t seed it off to a Western developer after the franchise has been so strongly rooted in the Japanese stereotypes of America. It’s also safe to assume that given Itoi’s departure form the series, our hopes for a sequel are dead. Maybe it’s a remake of EarthBound? Probably not… Despite how perfectly it fits a few of the criteria Mother gets a 3.5/10.
A successor to Donkey Kong 64 is also in the cards. We know Donkey Kong fits everything listed above, except possibly cutscenes. But we saw those work in Country Returns, so there’s no reason it couldn’t happen again. The only thing I think cripples its chances is the fact that they just developed a DK game, and are likely not going to be working on the same series, if it isn’t Country Returns 2. I’m going with a 5/10 here.
Lastly is Yoshi’s Island, a series very strong in style. While I think a watercolor background would be more likely, 3D models are also possible, and a hand-painted map system also fits Yoshi’s Island like a glove. Fan demand, however, is pretty light. But ultimately, I think reception would be very positive. Much like StarFox, Yoshi’s Island has little going against it, besides its general lack of cutscenes, but again, short cutscenes are still cutscenes, and it could work. I’m giving it a 6.5/10.
So as you can see, I think StarFox is most likely, largely due to how vocal the demand for another sequel is. The others trickle behind, not none are really too out of the question. All of them, I think, are more likely than anything else listed here. But perhaps I’m leaving too much out. Maybe Retro’s going to surprise us. Super Mario RPG 2, anyone?