It’s not every day that Nintendo announces that it is adding a new team to its family. But earlier today the Japanese tech giant unveiled that it has purchased a 100% stake in Next Level Games. NLG is a Canadian studio best known for its work on Luigi’s Mansion 3.
However, Next Level Games have also worked on several other Nintendo titles over the years. Back in 2009, it was responsible for both ‘Punch-Out!’ reboots. Equally, in 2013 it released Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. Some of its earlier games include NHL Hitz Pro and Mario Strikers Charged. Given that NLG hadn’t developed a none Nintendo game since 2011, this move seems sensible enough.
More Luigi’s Mansion to come?
The acquisition itself appears to have been relatively straightforward. Nintendo states that it has purchased a complete share in the Vancouver based developer. The final details will be finalized on March 1 pending satisfaction of all relevant parties.
Nintendo’s handling of its now signature Mario spin-off series has been a mixed bag. The original Luigi’s Mansion was released in 2001 but didn’t receive a sequel until 2013. Although it has aged very well over the years, the original was not received well at launch.
One reason for the initial backlash was that not everyone was happy regarding its development. Despite being a spin-off, Luigi’s Mansion was marketed as the premiere GameCube launch title. A more traditional mainstream Super Mario game wouldn’t come until a year later in Sunshine.
However, those days are officially numbered. With both Dark Moon and Luigi’s Mansion 3 releasing in the 2010s, Nintendo is all in on everyone’s favourite green plumber. The acquisition of Next Level Games supports that idea too. Although it is possible that Nintendo will instead have its new addition work on a brand-new series instead.
Do you enjoy been scared out of your wits? Do you want to struggle to sleep? Do you want to jump out of your skin at every flickering shadow? Nope, me neither. That’s why for this Halloween I’ve created a list of video games that are not full on horror but have sprinkles of terror throughout. These titles can literally be anything that have alarming moments, but are not seen as horror games.
There’s nothing wrong with liking horror but if your a big o’l scaredy-cat like me, you want to play something that has elements of dread but not so much that you start barricading your windows. Enjoy!
Starting with the king of the scaredy-cats we have this GameCube classic. Luigi’s Mansion is still a cracking outing for the youngest Mario brother. A short entry on this list with the game easily beatable in under 8 hours, yet those few hours are spent well. A more lighter take on ghosts see’s Luigi investigate a mysterious mansion that he won in a contest he never entered. Inside we scour the building looking for his older brother coming across colorful ghoulish residents as they try to capture him. Whether it’s the humorous personalities of the mansions inhabitants or simply hearing Luigi humming to the background music. There is plenty here that brings a smile.
Rapture is a place no one ever thought they wound visit, but what a visit it was. After barely escaping a plane crash unscathed, you find yourself on a journey to the bottom of the ocean to find a dystopia; Rapture. Unknown as to why you have been brought here, you wander the city with only a voice from a radio called Atlas. This game has the right balance of pacing, action and tension that tells a terrific story over its 20 hour or so length. A defining game for the Playstation 3, the city of Rapture not only has a creepy, eerie presence but to look at it’s a marvel.
Samus Aran’s leap into the third dimension is a stunning, atmospheric adventure that breathed new life into the Metroid series. The first entry in the trilogy still stands out as its strongest because never have you felt more cut-off from the universe. Exploring a desolate planet, Samus squares off against some formidable foes as she pursuits Space Pirates in an attempt to stop their biological experiments. One of the most highly rated games of all time, This first person-adventure is seen by some as perfection. Now available on the Wii U eShop as part of the trilogy bundle, If you haven’t delved into this franchise this is the essential starter.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
Sequel to one of the greatest video games of all time. Majora’s Mask takes on a more frightening and sinister tone. Mask’s as per the title play a huge part of what makes this game both so special and so freaky. Taking Link into the darker world of Terminia, you meet a vast array of wonderfully weird characters that constantly keep you on your toes. Facing off against the mischievous Skull Kid you try to save the world in a mere 3 days before the impending moon destroys all life. With a recent release on the 3DS, there is no better time to jump into this great. Just don’t look up.
The Last of Us
Naughty Dog’s masterpiece has had every praise thrown its way. With numerous game of the year awards, the story of Joel and Ellie is a unique encounter that is worth revisiting time and time again. The relationship between the pair is at the heart of this story, however to form this they have endevour through some treacherous times. These scares comes mainly from try to avoid spore infected humans at every corner. Just make sure you don’t run into a bloater. Yuck.
So there you have five nontraditional horror games to keep you going over the Halloween. What do you think are the the best nontraditional games to play this season? Leave us a comment below to tell us why and Happy Halloween.
Nintendo and Universal have announced that they are working together to create attractions at Universal Studios theme parks based on Nintendo games and there is plenty of speculation to be had on what could come out of this. Sadly, I have accepted the fact that the King Kong/Donkey Kong grudge match of my dreams isn’t going to be made a reality. However, I do have seven more practical attractions that we’ll likely see manifest out of this partnership.
7) R.O.B.’s Arcade
Obviously, there has to be at least one arcade involved in a collection of Nintendo attractions and there would be no better figurehead than the Robotic Operating Buddy that helped sell the NES. The entire arcade could have a unifying theme of old-school technology tying all of the cabinets together, possibly with a large, animatronic R.O.B. in the center of it all. Granted, an arcade doesn’t really need to be made into an attraction in and of itself, but do you really think Universal Studios is going to cut corners on this? The only question, ironically enough, is what specific games they would host at any Nintendo arcades. There are plenty of classics like Donkey Kong and Balloon Fight, but Nintendo has been out of the arcade market for a long time and there are only so many old arcade machines they can drudge up. Then again, if they bring a few cabinets of Pokken Tournament to the park, that alone would draw in customers.
6) Animal Crossing Village
Won’t anyone think of the children? Any theme park has to have an area or two dedicated to small children and Animal Crossing would be a perfect addition for the Nintendo section. There’s no need to worry about any grander attractions, but plenty of possibilities for colorful and diverse play areas that would be perfect for kids. Sure, most gamers won’t care much for it unless they have kids of their own, but Universal does have a wider audience to consider than just you and me.
5) F-Zero Roller Coaster
There is going to be at least one roller coaster involved. This is a fact of life. What better choice for a high-speed thrill ride than the series all about high-speed thrills? Imagine blazing through three rounds of a twisting course of dives and turns while the theme to Mute City booms over the speakers. I rest my case.
I’ll get to more straightforward Mario attractions later, but a haunted mansion based on Luigi’s Mansion is too perfect to pass up. Along with all of the usual trappings, there’s also room for goofy elements to the attraction given the more jovial tone of the games. Humorous props and even an interactive ghost hunt could quickly make it into an unforgettable experience. At the very least, it would have to pop up once a year for the Halloween Horror Nights.
3) Lon Lon Milk Bar
Apparently, one of the new features at a lot of Universal attractions is themed drinks. Well, Nintendo certainly has no shortage of options for just that and a Legend of Zelda-styled cafe could be the nexus for it all. The Zelda series has enough potions to base actual drinks off of that it’s already a long-running joke on the internet that Link is secretly an alcoholic. On top of various colorful potions that brewers would have plenty of creative freedom to work with, there’s also the Lon Lon Milk and Chateau Romani for kids and adults respectively. Beyond that, there are plenty of in-game items from other games that could easily be made into real drinks. Celadon City Lemonade, Brewster’s Choice Coffee, Super Star Soda, Palutena’s Divine Wine, Yoshi’s Fruit Punch, Pikmin’s Cream Soda; the possibilities are endless.
2) Metroid Adventure
Universal Studios is well-known for its immersive and exciting rides like their ones based on Jaws, Spider-man, and Harry Potter. Mario and Zelda are the obvious picks for such an attraction, but Metroid could have the greatest potential of them all. Combine the dark, claustrophobic corridors with the horrific, colossal monsters that the series is known for and the ride practically builds itself. They could make it an interactive shooting gallery or opt to keep the tone serious and frightening. Even if most of it ends up being CGI, it wouldn’t be that distracting for anyone used to playing the games.
1) The Mushroom Kingdom
There absolutely has to be a Mario attraction, but what kind should they settle on with all of the possibilities available. Should it be a tour ride similar to the Metroid one I suggested above? Should they build a real-life Mario Kart race track? A recreation of Peach’s castle? The answer is all of the above. Several of the major attractions at Universal parks have sprawling areas that go above and beyond the attractions themselves and recreate a slice of the worlds that they bring to life. The Harry Potter and Simpsons attractions are prime examples of just how in-depth they will go with shops, restaurants, and other props that make you feel like you’ve stepped into another world. Of course, I don’t expect a complete recreation of the Mushroom Kingdom given the limited space that they’ll be able to allow it, but putting together just the right elements will be all they need. If there’s one attraction that needs to come out of this deal, this is it.
What do you think of the suggested Nintendo attractions listed above? What kinds of attractions would you like to see take form out of the partnership between Nintendo and Universal? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.