Nintendo needs a major tentpole title to kick off the Wii U's launch, and I have a feeling that it'll take something more than just Wii U Sports or infusing Miis into New Super Mario Bros. to draw in the core crowds. It's easy to make the case why the company needs a new Metroid adventure and a new Star Fox shooter, but how would you pitch one game that brings in both franchises? Rumor has it that Retro Studios (of Metroid Prime and Donkey Kong Country Returns fame) fame is or was working on a Metroid / Star Fox crossover title for the Wii U that brings Fox McCloud and Samus Aran together for a common cause. Take this with massive piles of salt as it's unconfirmed, but the idea is so crazily wonderful that I had to share it. Paul Gale Network has the story.
The story begins as you control Fox McCloud and the Star Fox team on deep space mission in your Arwing, flying through a Meteos-like stage. As you enter a light speed warp, there’s a collision with an orange ship (Samus’) and the game continues with you now plummeting to a planet as Samus in her craft. You’re in mild control of her ship, using the Wii U controller to look around and touch screen press the lit up buttons to prepare for impact (while the TV stays locked on what you see out of the cockpit). You’re now on land, as a “yet again” stripped down Samus Aran with the most basic of weapon abilities, in first person perspective, traversing through this unknown planet.
The game switches off between intense Arwing space and planetary battles as Fox makes his way to the planet that Samus crashed on and a Metroid Prime-like experience of gameplay as Samus on this planet, gradually uncovering its mysteries, leveling up, etc. The Star Fox stages represent what the series is best known for, including the chatter and coming to the aid of the rest of your team, all range mode battles, and on rails stages. The Metroid part of the game puts you alone, void of human or any talking character contact, and like the Prime series, sees you gaining upgrades, battling bosses, and in this case, repairing your ship.
PGN points out that this idea may not be in development and perhaps never left the pitch stage. That's a convenient way to dodge backing up any of this with evidence, but Kotaku points out that PGN has nailed a few long-shot rumors that turned out to be real. Even if this isn't a real game in the works, perhaps the Internet can make it happen through collective optimism. As for the idea itself, mixing Nintendo's two space-based bounty hunting franchises seems like a no-brainer of an idea. I trust Retro Studios to bring new ideas to the experience as it pays tribute to the solid underpinnings of each series and includes the appropriate nods to nostalgia. Best of all, since the storyline involves Andross attempting to harness the power of the Metroids for his own evil uses, I want to see the moment where he loses control of the parasites and he's forced to come crawling to the Star Fox team for help. There's plenty of potential in this crossover idea. Let's see if any of it comes to fruition.