Video: A look into failed Nintendo pitches including Kid Icarus from Retro Studios and Nintendo All-Stars Academy - Nintendo Everything

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Video: A look into failed Nintendo pitches including Kid Icarus from Retro Studios and Nintendo All-Stars Academy

Posted on October 22, 2017 by (@NE_Brian) in 3DS, General Nintendo, Videos

DidYouKnowGaming? and Unseen64 published a video today investigating a number of Nintendo-related pitches. Some were previously known, while others are entirely new.

One interesting pitch is tied to Retro Studios. In mid-2007 or so, following the end of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption’s development, a very small team within the company pitched a revival of Kid Icarus. It was supposedly led by Jason Behr, a veteran designer at Retro.

The pitch mainly consisted of a few documents, so it’s clear that it didn’t progress very far at all. Nintendo quickly denied the pitch due to Retro emphasizing the revival of Kid Icarus. This is in contrast to how Nintendo tends to develop games, in which the emphasis is placed on creating a core gameplay concept instead of outside aspects like the story.

Another interesting pitch was from Headstrong Games, who pitched Nintendo All-Stars Academy for 3DS. It would have come with features to create sprite art and lessons for drawing sprites from the likes of Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda. They also wanted to include a music studio that would have been a tribute of sorts to Mario Paint. Unfortunately, Nintendo just wasn’t interested in continuing with Art Academy at the time.

You can watch the full video on failed Nintendo pitches below.

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  • JasonBall

    I guess they changed their mind about Kid Icarus five years later when Sakurai wanted it. I see how it is. Tbh I really am not happy with Uprising, I wish they’d also given him the thumbs down.

    • R.Z.

      You peeps are crazy, KI: Uprising is hands down the best first party effort on 3DS, the only ambitious and risky game Nintendo did on that console (I’d be tempted to say gen, but there was Splatoon on WiiU).

      • GoldenTriforce

        Most ambitious game that gen was clearly X, though not really that risky.

      • Ninty Kad

        Well that’s be cause they wanted an idea for the gameplay, see if it’s fun, then if it is fun they go forward.

      • Aline Piroutek

        Best game of 3DS. Still is.

      • JasonBall

        Uprising is second party, and risky does not equal good.

        • R.Z.

          Sora was a bit of a special case, but I guess it can be counted as second party, I don’t know how much of it was owned by Nintendo for the short while it existed.

          Risky doesn’t equal good, true, but when it works out, like in the case of Uprising, it’s usually a step above the more consensual production, if only for its originality.
          Consensual and super safe is how I’d describe Nintendo’s effort in general on WiiU-3DS.

      • Zeebor

        I’d say Fire Emblem Awakening had alotta ambition put into it. It had to save Intelligent Systems.

        • ronin4life

          Awakening was risky for the devs as far as FE future was concerned, but the end product was nothing more or less than a great FE game.

          KI:U was and still is quite standout for what it is, with some of the best visuals on the system, and made use of nearly all 3DS features. Pretty impressive, and unlike FE:A sadly underated

      • Fred

        Sorry Uprising was good and AWFUL. The flight parts were fun, but the ground parts were so bad that it just wasn’t worth it

        • R.Z.

          The ground parts were even better than tne flight parts, the level design was cool and the weapon abilities introduced a lot of variety and replay value.
          Of course people unwilling to go out of their little comfort zone regarding controls can’t know that.

      • MagcargoMan

        The best first part effort wouldn’t have the worst controls.

        • R.Z.

          The controls were totally functional and even pretty great if one was willing to put the least bit effort in learning to use them …

          • MagcargoMan

            Oh look, it’s the “you just suck at them” excuse. I beat the game, buddy.

          • R.Z.

            Not that it means much on a game with an adjustable difficulty slider …

          • MagcargoMan

            Nice goalposting shifting. And I never played it on anything lower than 4.0. Most of the time I was playing around 4.5 to 5.

    • GoldenTriforce

      I thought Uprising was pretty fun. The dialogue is really where the game shined. Not going to say the gameplay on the ground was perfect, but it was still good. Would be better on the Switch though.

      • JasonBall

        Dialogue can’t be where a game gets its goodness from. Gameplay is the most important thing. It’s mediocre behind a mask of jokes to distract from it.

        • I do say, it could’ve been better. You ever play Metroid Prime Hunters for the DS? I think the game could easily control like that.

          • JasonBall

            I love/hate that game, yes. Though controls are one of my lowest sticking points on Uprising.

        • Aline Piroutek

          What I liked at most in Uprising was the gameplay. Well, I’m left-handed, I don’t know if this changes anything.

        • Matt Badham

          I disagree completely. Even without thr dialogue I thought the gameplay was fantastic in both air and on ground. The higher difficulties were intense and extremely fun to play and the online battles I had fun with for months. It’s definitely my favourite 3DS game, but I can understand why the game was not popular with everyone.

        • MagcargoMan

          And the jokes are mediocre too.

          • JasonBall

            EXACTLY

      • I just couldn’t figure out how to turn around and I got bored after I died enough
        Also the dialogue was really cheesy
        The only game that combined analog stick with touchscreen well was Severed

      • BlueMaxwell

        The “dialogue” was the most stupidest thing I ever herd in a video game
        “LOL LOOK, WE ARE DOING SOMETHING STUPID, AND WE ARE POINTING IT OUT LOUD!”
        “MACHINE-GUN-ROBOT GIRLFRIEND? LOL”
        “WOULDN’T IT BE NICE TO BE A GOLDFISH?”
        “LOL FOOD ON THE FLOOR GIVES ME HEALTH LOL”

        Jesus….

    • jimmy

      I think they were talking revival of his story as in reboot, telling of his origin, so it was shot down from there, or atleast thats how i see it

    • Hidden Flare

      The article mentions that it was shunt down cause of the fact they focused on it just being a revival. Sakurai had gameplay in mind before and even considered star fox. He went with Kid Icarus caise he had enough freedom to do whatever he wished with the gameplay.

    • MagcargoMan

      Wow… someone who actually agrees with me on Uprising. I remember seeing everyone praise that game when it first came out and I ended up getting it a few years later because I figured I might as well try something new. Sadly when I finally got to play it, I was met with boring flying sections and an awkward control scheme for land sections.

      What I really don’t like is how Sakurai basically threw away the identity of Kid Icarus. It’s supposed to inspired by Grecian mythology (albeit with a tonne of liberties) but instead it’s filled with random Subspace Army rejects for new Underworld enemy designs, space pirates, robotic aliens, purple space butlers, and all other sorts of weird stuff. I would have rathered a Kid Icarus game that felt more like a natural progression of the series.

      Also the much-praised writing is awful. The story is full of filler arcs (Aurum Invasion, Chaos Kin) that add nothing to it and despite being a game that doesn’t take itself seriously and breaks the fourth wall constantly it expects me to take the whole “Pit’s been trapped in a ring for three years while a brainwashed Palutena attacks the Earth” super seriously. As for the humour, it’s trying way too hard to be funny. It’s all either characters being over-the-top and hammy like Thanatos (cringeworthy) and Pyrrhon, meta-humour (and not even good meta-humour at that) and meme-bait (“Floor Ice Cream gives you health!”).

      • JasonBall

        Omg I love you. Don’t forget about the menus being confusing and the unnecessarily complicated weapon stuff, too.

        • MagcargoMan

          I also forgot to mention how easily it is to accidentally dodge instead of dash and how there’s a stamina mechanic for running despite the fact that you need to run pretty much all the damn time.

          • JasonBall

            Oh yes, true. Also, the difficulty wager system is silly and makes the game a breeze for those too lazy to get good.

  • they need to drown kid icarus in a bathtub

    it was never good

    • Ninty Kad

      Which one?

      plus if it make you feel good, it’s been a while since the made another one.

      • Addy

        I doubt it, Uprising pretty much killed the series despite not being bad but more… eh.

        • That game didn’t even have anything to kill! The last Kid Icarus before it was on the Game Boy! Decades ago!

          • Addy

            Of Myths and Monsters wasn’t even released in Japan up until the Virtual Console release some years back, so that’s probably saying something.

          • Right, so even that game was just Japan-only. The rest of the world would not see another game, until Uprising. I don’t think anybody thought it would revive itself in such huge way, becoming popular culture, selling 1 million+ copies, and being featured prominently in Smash Bros. I personally don’t know if they could ever pull that stunt again, at least in terms of story.

        • GoldenTriforce

          Uprising sold pretty well. Nintendo is just weird with making games sometimes. As seen in this video.

          • GoldenTriforce

            I at least know up to date official Japanese numbers from https://sites.google.com/site/gamedatalibrary/ are at 354k for the game.

            As of 2013, world wide sales are about 1.2 million, which for a linear 3DS game is probably pretty profitable for Nintendo, but these are not recent numbers.

        • Hidden Flare

          They didn’t really kill it. But when you have Sakurai take care of it it’s hard to have him do it again that fast… Unless you’re smash.

          • Addy

            I’d prefer if the Kid Icarus series was not milked to oblivion, the Mario and Zelda franchises’ got that covered.

          • Hidden Flare

            At the very least it can be like xenoblsde that currently has a good big game every gen. Or donkey kong country.

    • Aline Piroutek

      I liked the last title. But me isn’t everyone.

      • i’m glad you liked it and i hope they put out a new game just for you

    • jimmy

      You just suck at it

  • Blanco8x8

    Kid Icarus Uprising is still the greatest, most original, and ambitious game on the 3DS.

  • Tlink7

    I never liked Pit and now I like him even less because he replaced Snake’s codecs in Smash ;-;

    • CaptainPleb

      You can blame Konami for that.

    • Ninty Kad

      Don’t blame Kid Icarus for that

      • Tlink7

        I know, I know, but I am only human so it has affected my standing on the angel boi a little bit xD

    • Palutena’s Guidances are funnier and not overacted, though they’re hardly informative. Snake was gone regardless.

      • BlueMaxwell

        “LOL SO RUNDUM AND REFCURSES!!” isn’t funny
        Kid Icarus Uprising in general wasn’t a funny game

      • MagcargoMan

        They weren’t even funny, because they had the same still of humour from Uprising, which wasn’t funny. Palutena’s Guidance sucked compared to Snake’s Codecs. And on the same subject matter, the Star Fox conversions in Smash 4 sucked compared to the Brawl ones.

        • BlueMaxwell

          I blame Star Fox Zero on that part

  • Morian

    The revival of Metroid makes sense. The revival of Kid Icarus on the other hand…no.
    Why? Metroid was popular in the NES days, but no one cared about Kid Icarus back in the 80’s.

    Also the game is awful. Bad control, bad script (oh my, so cringey!), bad voice acting, uugh. Sakurai is the new Sakamoto for me.

    Uprising only exists because of Smash. Nintendo focused on the character of Pit, and let Sakurai do whatever he wants with his “creativity”.

    • Hidden Flare

      Kid Icarus was popular, likely notbas big as most series as today but it definitely was. It’s mentioned quite a bit at that time, being in a cartoon with other video game characters (captain n), and appearing in Nintendos history like in melee.

      Your opinion is subjective. The control was flawed, yes, but functional. The script was one of the best as it had me laughing though I do wish they gave pit a break (also you want something dated, try using cringe in that context ten years from now).

      While Sakurai thought of kid Icuras from smash, he was chosen because Sakurai wanted a series to use for his game idea and this series fit

  • Roto Prime

    HOLD the koopa shell……….your telling me I could have gotten a SNES Star Fox on Nintendo 3DS with 3D and 60 FPS…………[email protected]#%$&%&%+=*_=”/:/:-=-==-*-=!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Snackster1001

    I’m glad we got uprising instead of a traditional kid icarus game, it overall is more fun to play in my opinion than the traditional 2d sidescrolling gameplay. Just wish we would get more from the franchise after uprising 🙁

  • Imparcial

    Why didn’t they cancel Star Fox Zero ?

    • MagcargoMan

      Because it was Miyamoto’s project.

  • Max

    I had no idea Miyamoto knew about Plok let alone thought it ranked up with Mario and Sonic. Visually it does look like a cheap Yoshi’s Island but I remember liking it.

  • ToonAddict1

    Sucks that the Nintendo All-Stars Academy pitch didn’t go through, as I probably would have downloaded that game on Day 1.