Nintendo has been on something of a crossover campaign as of late. From pure Nintendo efforts like Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam to the more adventurous third party titles like Tokyo Mirage Sessions # FE, Hyrule Warriors, Mario & Sonic at the Olympics, Fire Emblem Warriors and now Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, Nintendo is becoming more and more liberal with its IP. So in celebration of this month’s release of the aforementioned Mario and Rabbids crossover (which, incidentally, looks surprisingly brilliant) we got thinking – can we come up with any more ideas for potentially great Nintendo crossovers?
So here’s what we got – check out our five new crossover ideas we want to see on Switch after the break, and be sure to let us know your ideas down in the comments!
1. The LEGOend of Zelda
I’ve spent an obnoxiously large amount of time playing LEGO City Undercover in the last few weeks after having never actually managed to finish the game when I got it for the WiiU four years ago. Its open world may not be as rich as that of The Witcher 3 or Breath of the Wild but it never fails to make me smile. In fact I’ve spent most of my time just exploring the city and enjoying how ridiculous its residents are. (Side note: where else can you make every NPC in the game wear an inflatable crocodile suit? Nowhere else, that’s where.)
And while converting Hyrule into a bunch of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene would take away some of the beauty found in Link’s homeland, the simplicity that comes with this could be a great introduction into the world of Zelda for younger players. And for a series that has so much history, just imagine a collectable focussed adventure with the humour of the LEGO Movie and LEGO Batman Movie. Everything would indeed be awesome.
(By the way, if you haven’t played LEGO City Undercover, it’s out now on Switch and is basically the mission based exploration of GTA with the style and feel of the LEGO Movie.)
2. Paper Professor Layton
The good old Professah may have already had a shot at a crossover with 2012’s sublime Professor Layton vs Ace Attorney but I think he deserves another chance to take a trip away from London, especially now that the daughter has taken on his mystery-solving responsibilities. And what better way to capture attention than by flattening the Professor and his companions and making them fight various fantastical and ridiculous enemies?
I think an RPG-Detective crossover could work brilliantly (and could give us Europeans a taste of Layton’s London Life!) – one of the chapters in the second Paper Mario game was literally a murder mystery set on a train. Give us that sort of interesting mystery and couple it with Paper Mario’s sublime battle system (I’m ignoring anything post-2008) and you could have a gem of a game.
Plus, just imagine how Luke would sound as a piece of paper.
3. Skylanders: Nintendo Stars Unite
If I have one complaint about Amiibo (besides the woeful, classic Nintendo stock shortages) it would be that we haven’t yet had a killer game for them – that title which would make you go out to the actual shops to pick up a new figure to try something new in your game. Skylanders has proven that you can create a true adventure game with a respectable story and genuine heart (Kaos and his Deadly Shark Bath of Doomsharks ftw) while giving the player total freedom to swap out the character they’re playing as.
But imagine if, rather than swapping out a poorly aged Spyro for Generic Humanoid Bird Number 3, you were switching Wario for Samus Aran, Or Chibi-Robo for some of those cute lil’ Pikmin. Granted, we’ve already had DK and Bowser in a Skylanders game, but a journey that took you through Hyrule, Mute City, The Mushroom Kingdom, PNF-404, Zebes and more besides would be incredible. Plus if we’re going to keep the Skylanders branding we could always keep Flynn (voiced wonderfully by Patrick Warburton) to ferry us between these different lands in a sky ship. Flynn’s great!
4. Mass-rio Effect
What if one of these days Bowser’s constant kidnapping hi-jinks actually ended in disaster? Suppose he succeeded in kidnapping Princess Peach and after a tragic miscalculation the cage used to dangle her precariously over a lake of molten lava broke loose and we ended up with peach fritters? I imagine Mario would be pretty mad – maybe mad enough to give up on his cartoon pipes and stompy feet to go after the Koopa King with something more potent. Perhaps – whisper it – a gun.
You could take the game in the direction of Mass Effect and combine some third person shoot-em-up action with role playing elements like dialogue options and upgrades. And if we wanted to introduce some romance to the space adventure maybe we could finally get the one true pairing of Mario and Rosalina. Peach would be out of the picture, after all… The cake was always a lie.
5. No Man’s Star Fox
If you were one of the many people excited for the much hyped No Man’s Sky on PS4, there’s good chance you were one of the 80% of people sorely disappointed with the lack of stuff to actually do in the game. The main issue was in a way part of what made the game great – there was no overarching structure to the game. So why not introduce Fox McCloud to the Gek, Korvax and Vy’keen, re-invent the Star Fox universe in a manner similar to Hyrule in Breath of the Wild and come up with a great space opera style story?
The story wouldn’t need to constrain the player too much – by all means let the player go off and do whatever they want (a la Breath of the Wild) – but adding a big quest (one a bit less mysterious than that in No Man’s Sky) could give players a real reason to go and mine tons of rocks from a randomly generated planet. And hey, maybe such a big switch up would help us forget Star Fox Zero.
Editor’s Bonus – LittleMario Planet Maker
Back in 2015, Super Mario Maker for the Wii U was essentially a wet dream for many Mario fans. Finally Nintendo released an official Super Mario level creator. Check out our review, you’ll see what I mean. This was fantastic and all, but it still felt that there could have been more freedom with the editing tools. I mean come on, at least let us make slopes. Compared to fan made games and mods such as Super Mario 63 and Reggie Level Editor, Super Mario Maker is a bit watered down.
One creative crossover I would absolutely love is Super Mario Maker x LittleBig Planet. If you’ve never played LittleBig Planet, it’s a Playstation exclusive franchise about a little rag doll character, called Sackboy, who is up to different adventures in Craftworld. The main emphasis though is the extraordinary level creation kit. There’s completely customisable switches, foregrounds and backgrounds (even more layers in LBP3), triggerable events, logic creation, and so much more.
Could you imagine if Super Mario Maker had that much freedom with it’s level creation? Sure, LBPs creation tools may seem a bit intimidating, but I’m sure a crossover could come up with a middle ground. Additionally, LittleBig Planet already has a cast of kooky characters, so seeing the world of Craftworld clash with the Mushroom Kingdom would be a sight to see… ad play… and, most importantly, create. If the Switch ever gets a Mario Maker sequel, please be a LBP crossover!
Give me a call Nintendo. You know you want to.