While I haven’t gotten into Koei Tecmo and Omega Force’s traditional Warriors (or Musou) games, such as Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors, I did enjoy the Legend of Zelda-inspired Hyrule Warriors and its sequel Age of Calamity (AoC). It’s the combination of the huge amount of content, differing challenges, over-the-top action, and, if I’m honest, degree of fan-service that I find appealing with these Warriors-style spin-offs.
Nintendo have seemingly noticed that there’s an audience as well, with the aforementioned Zelda spin-offs as well as Fire Emblem Warriors and its sequel Three Hopes, but I think they can go further.
So here are my top five ideas for Nintendo franchises that should have a Warriors-style spin-off.
The previous Warriors spin-offs have been inspired by fantasy and historical settings, so I think that a sci-fi inspired game could be an interesting take. Furthermore, Metroid is experiencing somewhat of a renaissance right now, with the success of Metroid Dread, and ‘Metroid Warriors’ could be a great way of bridging the gap between Dread and Prime 4, much like AoC did for the two Breath of the Wild games.
Metroid also has a wide variety of enemies to pull from, and huge bosses that could provide some of the bigger battles. In addition, Metroid Warriors could utilise the Metroidvania aspect of the franchise, with larger levels, and enemies/areas that you can only defeat/access once you’ve acquired the right equipment.
This could be a celebration of the Metroid series, like the original Hyrule Warriors, where you could play as multiple versions of Samus from across the franchise (such as the Fusion Suit, Zero Suit or even Dark Samus) or other characters such as Ridley or the Chozo.
Or it could be a semi-canon game like AoC, although this might require more storytelling acrobatics to explain why you can play as different characters in a traditionally lonely franchise. Or perhaps we could embrace the ‘Metroid-ness’ completely and have you play as only Samus, but with lots of upgrades and changes of suits?
Whatever’s decided, I just hope it takes less time to make than Metroid Dread.
“It’s a me”, begins the cry, as the short, plump plumber leaps into the air. The Goombas and Koopa Troopers look up in horror as they realise that they are soon to become mere stains on the landscape. A small, two-eyed flower bounces up from a Question Block, only to be grabbed by a white-gloved hand.
“Mario”, the plumber finishes, activating the Fire Flower and plummeting towards the ground in the midst of an inferno. The air begins to smell of mushroom and turtle soup, as the man’s moustache twitches up in a smile.
Hishashi Koinuma, Koei Tecmo’s president, has stated that he thinks ‘Mario would be [his] pick’ for another Warriors spin-off (thanks Nintendo Life) and I think he might be onto something. It would be a different, more slapstick version of a traditional Warriors game, but there are definitely enough enemies, characters and special moves to reach the bonkers-ness required of a Musou title.
Maybe, rather than a special-move metre, there could be power-ups jumping through the levels and hidden in Question Blocks, which have to be collected to activate your ultimate move? We could also have a set of levels where you can play as the villain, such as Bowser, Kamek, and even Waluigi, and finally defeat the Moustachioed Menace.
I mean, heck, Mario’s done everything else, so why not a full on war epic?
Much like with Mario, a Kirby Warriors game would offer a more slapstick and cartoony style of gameplay, as well as a vast amount of enemy and hero variety. However, I also think that we should utilise Kirby’s appetite for destruction, with the ability to copy enemy movesets, like in the main games. This might make Kirby a bit over-powered compared to the other characters you could play as (Waddle Dee, anyone?) but if they can give Link the Master Sword, I don’t think this will be too much of a problem.
And much like Metroid, Kirby is enjoying a bit of a renaissance, with the launch of Forgotten Lands. This also brought the jump to 3D, which could be capitalised on.
I’m not going to lie, my experience of Kirby is predominately from Super Smash Bros. so if anyone else has some ideas for what Kirby Warriors should include, let me know!
But that nicely segues me onto my next spin-off…
Super Smash Bros.
What’s the easiest, and most obvious answer to my desire for stupidly big battles, and terrifying amounts of fan-service? Crossing everything over. And while Fortnite is trying its best, I think that Super Smash Bros. is still the best cross-over video game around. And it’s a Nintendo franchise, which fits my remit.
But who wouldn’t want to see Link fighting Inklings, Samus shooting down Charizards, and Captain Falcon falcon-punching hundreds of kart-driving Yoshis? Now that the Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC has finally come to an end, and with Sakurai deserving a break before the next iteration, why not pass the baton over to Koei Tecmo and double down on the fan-service and ridiculousness?
Allow third-party characters in, and I will never ask for anything again as long as I can have Kingdom Hearts’ Sora fighting the entire cast of Sonic. Or bring back The Subspace Emissary and have an epic, Avengers: Endgame-style final battle for the fate of the gaming universe.
Legends Arceus has proven that Pokémon can work with a more mature style of storytelling, with mentions of death, conflict, and real stakes and scale. It also showed that Pokémon has the lore for a historical-type game.
As for the era we should explore? It’s got to be the War of Kalos.
Now the only question is how far should it be taken? Should we have the ability to play as every single one of the over-900 Pokémon at the expense of individual complexity? Or should we have a selection of 20-30 like in the Hyrule Warriors games? To be honest, as long as I can play as Aegislash, Chandelure, and Lechonk, then I don’t mind what other options we have.
We could change moves, rather than weapons, and then there are the huge variety of gimmicks that you could choose from, such as Mega Evolution, Z-Moves and Dynamaxing, which would up the over-the-top-ness to a ridiculous degree.
So, for my favourite Warriors-inspired spin-off, I choose Pokémon.
And that’s all! Do you agree with my choices? What else would you like to see? Let us know in the comments, and thank you for stopping by Nintendo Link.