Innovative games we’d like to see on Wii U: Part 2

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Following up on part one of this feature, (which you should read if you haven’t done so), I listed three games of which I believed had the potential to bare the Wii U’s innovation and the potential for games (and new concepts entirely) to utilise its capabilities efficiently, as well as providing spectacular experiences and new perspectives on those titles as well. Now, I’ve written up part two and like the previous article, have particularized on three more games and given an in-depth analysis of why I think these games could be what they could be if revamped for a Wii U appearance. Take another good, long read.

Trauma Center – The Trauma Center series has become known as quite a cult hit since it first saw the light back in 2004, and it’s really no surprise either. It’s one of the best medical-themed games that has ever made it successfully, and the experience is intensified by the fact that the games themselves are quite authentic compared to live operating-room practices. It’s a constantly challenging call for a skilled combination of dexterity, thinking ability and the capacity to keep a level head under immense pressure – all the necessary attributes of a real-life surgeon. The series also doesn’t do half a bad job at creating intrepid storylines and dialogue, as well as focusing equally well on the entire well-versed team of medical professionals. But as to why this game needs a new sequel to find its way to the Wii U? I kid you not when I say that the control possibilities for this game on such a console are profoundly immense. Trauma Center is one of the few games I’ve seen display a proper diversity in gameplay, from the multiplicity of the surgery itself to the game’s diagnostics and everything in between. This is something the GamePad could take full advantage of to its capacity with a little ingenuity, seeing as a combination of different control schemes are required to get the best of this medical marvel.

As I said before, the surgical implements of Trauma Center are best suited to different methods of input: slicing and suturing require the careful manual precision that is provided by the touchscreen and stylus, while tools like surgical lasers and drills are best manipulated using the GamePad’s analogue sticks and buttons to guide you through on the big screen. There could even be a use of the combined control features of the GamePad, such as both motion controls and the touchscreen for the notion of more explorative surgery – for example, while operating on a patient using the smaller screen, tilting the GamePad would let you see the area you’re operating on from different angles, depending on the direction and the degree of the tilt. This could provide for more challenging surgical scenarios – possibly having to stitch an organ in a particular place from a certain angle or use this ability to explore and search the part of the body exposed for a certain foreign object. Another possibility for combined control schemes for the GamePad is using both motion control capabilities and the analogue triggers/buttons – for example, utilising it as a make-shift defibrillator of sorts by pressing the analogue triggers upwards to charge it up and thrusting the GamePad downwards to virtually apply pressure to the patient’s chest, in which case the controller would vibrate using its rumble feature. Realistic, isn’t it?
Another option for proficient use of the GamePad in a Trauma Center game would be in the gameplay aspects of diagnosis. Holding the controller up overlapping the TV screen could prove very useful for things like X-ray scanning a patient for fractures and such – and better yet, if you need to compare two different scans (which you probably would need to do), you can just analyse one scan on the GamePad and compare it with another on the TV screen – simple and intuitive.
Now, something that is probably the most fundamentally interesting prospect for a Trauma Center game on the Wii U would be multiplayer, which could wholly transform the concept of co-operative surgery for the game. It could go either asymmetrical or it could take advantage of the Wii U’s ability to support two GamePads. With asymmetrical gameplay, you could imagine someone role-playing as a nurse with the GamePad, passing instruments over at the tap of a stylus to a Wiimote-wielding surgeon, who could be zapping tumours, draining cytoplasm, severing cysts and the like; alternatively, with two players each using a GamePad you could also envision some equalised surgery elements, where both players would be intricately working through a particular operation together to save the patient against the race of time. The multiplayer possibilities for a game like this are numerous and essentially another great way to take advantage of the commendable traits of Wii U alongside its single-player utilities.

Ace Combat – The Ace Combat series is, as anyone else would be able to decipher, a flight simulation game and a pretty good one at that. Mostly known for their arcade-like controls and intense battles, they combine an engaging balance of seamless flight tactics and intrepid aerial combat, which has proven to be a very challenging experience in these games, all within a fairly interesting storyline. The last game in the series we saw launched last October, Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, added a host of new modes, features and gameplay elements which were generally well-received (outside the repetitive and overly-scripted storyline of the game), and these are things I believe the Wii U can capitalise on, as well as refreshing the entire series for gamers.

The best thing you can have in an aerial action-oriented game is a well-defined control system that can efficiently combine flying and combat into one unified task, and this is something I think the GamePad has the potential to provide – if utilised efficiently. One of the strong points of the controller is its latent ability to combine motion controls and button-mashing into aspects of gameplay, and I’d like to see this taken advantage of in a probable Ace Combat game on Wii U. To control the plane (or helicopter, maybe), you could tilt the GamePad to move left or right and press the analogue sticks either upwards or downwards to rise or descend. To do a roll, a quick press of the analogue sticks from left to right (or vice versa) would do the trick and aerial assaults could be done using the D-pad and A, B, X and Y buttons (allocated for different attacks). Things like radars, statistics, etc., as well as an overhead grid-view of the battle ground and the position of other planes, targets, destinations, etc. would be displayed on the GamePad’s screen. Incoming attacks could also be displayed on the overhead map (the position of incoming missiles, for instance – just like a real fighter-jet’s radar) accompanied with a beep through its speakers to notify the player, and the controller’s rumble feature could be used to simulate the player taking damage (from attacks, crashing, etc.).
However, to activate Close-Range Assault (as seen in Assault Horizon) while in battle, the player could hold up their GamePad overlapping the game on the TV screen to aim and target cross-hairs would appear on-screen to target the enemy air plane or ground target. When the cross-hairs “lock” onto the target, the GamePad would beep through its speakers to notify the player to launch an attack at that moment. Incorporations like this would prove very intuitive and swift to players, as well as immersing them even deeper into the game – a rejuvenated experience on the Wii U, not to mention it taking a striking advantage of the console’s HD graphics.

Dungeons and Dragons I must be kidding you, right? No. I’m not kidding at all. There’s no excuse not to have heard of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) at least once in your life (even if you’re as young as me), but let’s just go over its background. Dungeons and Dragons is, fundamentally, the iconic mother of the RPG genre. First published in 1974, the table-top board game was a bigger concept derived from miniature war-games back in the time. Each player was assigned a specific character (with a chosen species, individual constitutions, skills, powers, etc.) to play and was to embark on imaginary adventures within a fantasy setting. A player was also assigned as the Dungeon Master (DM), who served as the game’s referee and story-teller, and decided how the entire game was to play out; basically, they were in control. Other players were to form a party with their characters and solve dilemmas, tasks and other such obstacles while interacting with the game’s setting and each other.

Now, the concept of a seemingly complex game like this being taken advantage of as a (primarily multiplayer) video-game is mainly based on the one very simple idea behind D&D; you have the dungeon master and you have the adventurers. When I thought of the Wii U, it sort of struck me how the idea of a player using the GamePad while playing with others using inferior methods of control (Wiimotes and Pro Controllers), is essentially that player being the game master – directly traversing to the idea of a player being the DM in D&D. The concept of the entire game is actually a very simple mash-up really, more so than other games. At the beginning of the game, players would create characters (or choose a pre-made character) of different constituents, e.g. their race (human, elf, undead, imp, etc.) as well as their class (warrior, sorcerer, archer, slayer, etc.) and their special strengths/skills would be based on their race and/or class (healing etc.) Some races would be better suited to certain classes than others and your race/class would determine what you can or cannot wield, wear, perform, etc. Just like any other RPG.

So basically, these characters would be controlled by players’ using Wiimotes to venture through the game’s dungeons, while the player using the GamePad would be in charge of them. Using the GamePad, the DM’s role would be to set monsters, traps, puzzles, hidden keys and the likes thereof in the area, as well as numerous other challenges to keep the hapless adventurers from progressing through the dungeon safely. The adventurers would then have to work together to solve the dungeon, by effectively using all off their combined skills they’ve allocated to their adventures in tandem to solve the numerous puzzles/obstacles the DM has placed upon them, until they are able to progress through all the dungeons in the campaign. Players can save and continue from where they left off. New items, pieces and challenges for the DM could be available via DLC packs and D&D-branded figures used via Near Field Communication (NFC), as well as pre-set dungeons, areas and even entire campaigns. The game could even come with the option to design your own pre-set dungeons, giving you the ability to craft a full campaign of your own, which you could then share online for others to download as well.
As with the original form of Dungeons & Dragons, intense creativity and a cunning mind would be needed to play the part of the Dungeon Master. If done well, it could be another game pioneering the convenience of asymmetrical gaming on the Wii U, as well as being a fulfilling and challenging experience for fans of the original D&D and newcomers to the concept. Best of all, it’d be a great way to pay homage to one of the most iconic games in the history of… well, gamesI suppose.

What are your opinions on the Wii U and its prospects for gameplay, in particular with the games articulated on above? Let us know in the comments section below. 

– Farida Y

This is the bio under which all legacy articles are published (as in the 12,000-odd, before we moved to the new Website and platform). This is not a member of the DDNet Team. Please see the article's text for byline attribution.

  • Yeah, once again Wizards of the Coast could have a real party with the Wii U. I don't see it happening, sadly 🙁 This is the same company that failed (in spectacular fashion) to come up with a simple portal so that players could play Dungeons & Dragons online 🙁

    But perhaps a non-branded RPG could do it? Fingers crossed!

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