Nintendo’s E3 surprised many, with the announcements of Metroid Prime 4 and a new mainline Pokémon game scheduled to hit the Switch at some point next year. Fans have been asking (not very politely) for Metroid Prime 4 for a long time. Metroid skipped the Wii U altogether and for many, the last couple of releases haven’t been good enough. All we saw of Metroid Prime 4 was a logo, but this was enough. Nintendo fans the world over are excited for the new game. What was more surprising than the announcement of Metroid Prime 4, however, was that Retro Studios are not developing it. Just what are they up to over there?
Since the release of the spectacular Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze way back in February 2014, the venerated studio hasn’t released a game. It’s about time they released a new title and it’s about time they turned their magic fingers to another classic Nintendo series. Retro worked wonders with both Donkey Kong and Metroid, breathing new life into stagnating franchises that hadn’t been at the top of their game for years. I’d like to see Retro deliver something just as memorable for Kid Icarus. For years, Kid Icarus was left on the shop floor over at Nintendo until they decided to let Sakurai work on a new 3DS sequel. Kid Icarus: Uprising was an excellent game, but we’ve been left without a follow-up now for over five years.
Sakurai’s vision of Kid Icarus was bold, exciting and fresh, mixing the likes of Sin & Punishment together with Zelda and even Super Smash Bros. Uprising was a frenetic, hilarious game that gave the world a super-smart difficulty system that has since been used again in the latest iteration of Sakurai’s very own Super Smash Bros. The single-player was the star of the show, but there was a fun multi-player mode too, that made the most out of all the weapons and power-ups you found in the game. I’ve been wishing that a sequel would come out for the last few years. Instead of taking valuable Smash Bros. development time away from Sakurai, Nintendo should let Retro have a stab at this famous old franchise.
A straight follow-up to Uprising would be ace by itself, building on the weapons. bonkers stages and super slick gameplay of the 3DS title. The thrills of flying, shooting and slicing through enemy thick skies in glorious 1080p on Nintendo’s Hybrid system would be outstanding. It could make great use of the Joy-Con’s motion controls on land and in the skies and if you gather up to eight Switch’s together in handheld mode, you could play the awesome multiplayer on wherever you go. A bigger, shinier Kid Icarus: Uprising 2 would be an incredible thing on the Switch. I’d like to think that Retro Studios could shake things up a little more than that, however.
A new, fully 2D Kid Icarus, with gorgeous hand-drawn sprites and hand-painted backgrounds could go down very well. It would act as more of a throwback to the original Kid Icarus, but this could add more to the nostalgia factor surrounding the series and do for the series what Rayman Origins did for that old limbless wonder. Whatever form a Kid Icarus takes under Retro Studios’ direction, I’m sure it will be a wonderful experience. If they weren’t to develop a new Kid Icarus, I’d love to see them tackle Star Fox or F-Zero for the Switch. Retro is an extremely talented studio and they deserve to have a game out on the Switch sooner, rather than later.