The Wii U may not be lighting up the charts with sales figures, but one thing cannot be denied: there are some awesome exclusives for just about everyone on the console. From Mario Kart 8 to Bayonetta 2 to Super Smash Bros. to Hyrule Warriors, the Wii U has a great variety of top-notch games that aren’t available anywhere else. Round the console out with a solid Indie scene, and the Wii U is a great system to own.
There is one genre that is quite absent from the console, however: war games. Sure, they may have overstayed their welcome thanks to yearly franchises, but let’s face it: these games translate to console sales and software sales. As much flack as a game like Call of Duty gets for being a yearly franchise, it’s consistently at the top of sales charts when it comes out. A game like Battlefield has a similar impact. While Call of Duty did make two stops on the Wii U, it seems like that franchise may not be back, and Battlefield never made an appearance on the Wii U at all. Is a game like that showing up on the Wii U a dying wish? Not really, especially when Nintendo owns the perfect IP for this style of game: Battalion Wars.
Battalion Wars is an off-shoot of the very successful game Advance Wars. While Advance Wars is a turn-based strategy game, Battalion Wars strips away the turn-based part of the game and does everything in real time. The game debuted on the GameCube, but the one I’m going to focus on is the Wii sequel Battalion Wars 2 because it introduced one key feature: online play.
The online play in the game was simple, but then again, so was the general online structure of the Wii. Basically, it worked like this: you had an entire fleet at your disposable, and tried to take over areas of the map (similar to a King of the Hill style). You could create more troops, and you had access to a variety of craft such as tanks, aircraft, and even ships. The icing on the cake was the fact that you could, at any point, control anything on the field from a grunt with a gun to the plane. It made for some awesome situations and some really crazy moments in the game.
There were drawbacks, however, the main one being that it was 1 v 1. You controlled an entire team, your opposition controlled the other team. It was a bit too hectic and chaotic most of the time, and you never really got to sit back and enjoy the game fully because you were always having to check other areas, switch characters rapidly, and defend your turf. The important thing, though, is that the base of the game is rock solid, and with some simple tweaks, it could easily be a huge hit on the Wii U.
My idea? Strip away the 1 v 1 aspect of the game, and make it more like Battlefield or MAG. Have huge teams of people facing off with each other, while still keeping the classes from Battalion Wars intact such as grunts and medics. Have all of your vehicles accessible to anyone, like in Battlefield. For the graphics, you don’t need some super realistic looking war game, just keep the charming visuals from the previous game and upgrade them to some gorgeous HD (this could also keep the game Rated T, which would increase the amount of potential buyers).
Also, the GamePad would be perfect for this style of game. Map layouts, weapon swaps on the fly, tank and plane controls which turns the GamePad into a cockpit of those (think Star Fox Wii U) would just be insane. No other console can do that, and it would really help the game stick out to even non-Wii U owners by using the GamePad in a way that makes it a perfect game for the Wii U.
While it may sound like I’m basically trying to turn Battalion Wars into Battlefield or MAG, that’s not the case. I want the Nintendo charm. I want unlockable Nintendo costumes for character customization. I want the bright and colorful graphics of the Battalion Wars series. I want the insane single player campaign filled with twists and turns, but never taking itself too serious. There’s no reason Nintendo needs to go all “hardcore” with the game, but Battalion Wars Wii U would be a can’t miss game and would fill a genre that needs some love on the console.
Do you think I’m onto something or am I just crazy? Leave me your thoughts on a Battalion Wars Wii U in the comments below.