Lets Nintendo Switch imagine what a Nintendo themed theme park might be like!
Towards the end of 2016 Nintendo revealed it had linked up with entertainment giant Universal to create a bespoke theme park experience based around all things Nintendo . The reported three sites will be located in Osaka, Florida and Los Angeles.
Nintendo fans will be salivating at what could be dreamt up by the likes of Shigeru Miyamoto and his fellow imagineers in Japan. The thought of iconic games like Mario or Zelda taking place in the real world will create hug buzz for the parks.
It is a perfect choice for a theme by Universal, as Nintendo already has a built up following and characters people recognise. Much like Disney do. They're products are also ready made family friendly and perfect for children, even if they don't know their Bowser's from their Pikmin yet.
Mario and Luigi are global characters with a marketable image who will be able to generate money as soon as it starts. I can already picture the Italian plumbers as giant mascots waddling around taking pictures with children, similar to Mickey and Minnie mouse.
Nintendo has an advantage over other gaming rivals, in that the products, i.e games, are popular with adults as well as children. Therefore their theme park might avoid the typical dread felt by parents everywhere when faced with visiting Legoland or Disney World.
Here is what Nintendo say themselves about the venture
-Nintendo-themed areas are coming to Universal Studios Japan, Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood.
- These will be expansive, immersive and interactive. They will be highly themed and authentic environments filled with multiple attractions, shops and restaurants.
- Guests will feel as if they are playing inside their favorite games – this time in real life.
- There will be something for everyone – regardless of their age or gaming experience level.
- Planning and creative work on these areas is well underway; they will open separately over the next several years.
While we are excited, the lack of information is making us at Lets Nintendo Switch itching for a sense of what a Nintendo theme park would possibly look like.
We have taken it upon ourselves therefore to break down a theme park into typical features and fill in what we think Nintendo could or should do with them!
A Nintendo Hotel
An important staple of any theme park is accommodation. It gives the parents a rest from running around with their kids. They won't want to sit down though if the Hotel came with an extensive country club including Mario golf! An eighteen hole golf course with Nintendo themed traps such as enlarged mushrooms and clusters of Deku trees!
If golf is not your speed then perhaps you could try out the Mario tennis courts with their comical surfaces as seen on the N64 game, which have incredible bounce or speed.
The hotel would dominate the landscape because it will be based on Hyrule Castle from the Zelda series. Customers would not have to worry about Ganondorf terrorising them however, as they are waited on to meet their every need.
Getting Around The Park
Every theme park needs a way of getting customers around and considering the proposed size of these new Nintendo parks a train may be in order. We would love to see the train styled in the fashion of the F-Zero racing series and give people a inkling of what it would be like to take place in the high speed races from the games.
Perhaps the train could even roll past fields and farms that would be based on Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing. Bush gardens in Florida takes advantage of animals in it's park and Nintendo could do the same.
Old School Arcade Fun
Not everything can be extravagant rides, there will always be room for a an arcade area filled with simple party games. Nintendo are spoilt for choice with ideas for this area. Zelda alone could provide bowling with Bombchus, Slingshot galleries and Archery games.
For the parents you could include a nostalgic Duck Hunt themed shooting stool and a chance to win a Mario soft toy!
Arcade computer games would be easily catered for by Nintendo as people could have a chance to play some of the classics from their history. F-zero racing consoles with seats and wheels could be only a small part of the fun.
The Haunted House
What would a park be without a traditional Haunted house. This one would be a bit different as the customers slowly roll around following the story of Ash Ketchum attempting to catch some Ghost Pokemon.
Imagine trundling around the corner on a rickety ride before being confronted by a Ghastly, Haunter or worse, Gengar!
Fun In the Water
Many theme parks include an element of water and this could be the perfect opportunity to introduce Donkey Kong into the action. A classic log flume ride could certainly be enhanced if a giant cartoon gorilla was narrowly missing you with giant barrel throws, no?
Donkey Kong was part of the first ever Mario game and will be a great nostalgia trip for the adults and an exciting journey for the kids.
Keep Rolling, Rolling, Rolling, Rolling
The centrepiece of any good theme park is the roller-coasters. Nintendo's will undoubtedly be no different, and they are spoilt for choice to decide what to offer their fans. Obviously the main attraction will be a Mario themed ride. Bowser will probably have taken Princess Peach in another failed attempt to get hitched, and the ride could take a adrenaline pumping journey through the lava soaked Bowser castle. Geysers of flame and those ‘crashing boulders with faces’ could almost hitting the carriages.
Another option could be a more classic Mario affair. The coaster could zip through green fields and skies more reminiscent of the 2D platformers. The carriage would travel through pipes much like the Italian plumber would do in the game. The rails would be surrounded by the classic Mushroom power ups, paratroopers and rogue shells.
Elsewhere in the Nintendo repertoire there could be a coaster based on the much loved series Starfox. There is definitely a place for Fox Mcloud to brief before you are shot off in a stylised Arwing on a white knuckle ride.
Last But Not Least
While all these rides would be more than enough, there is one thing we would love to see included. Mario Kart is a staple of most Nintendo's fans the world over and if Universal or Nintendo could somehow recreate a kart race on some level it would be a dream come true.
While firing shells or giant bullets might be a stretch in the real world, the main game is based on go carting so shouldn't be too hard to recreate. Mario Kart would be an amazing opportunity to get the sense of the games coming to life, especially if the track travels through various landscapes that we are familiar with.
Nintendo and Universal will no doubt have a different image of the perfect park than us. It will probably include many more shops, stalls and toilet provisions (yawn), but with such a rich history and stories to draw on it would take a spectacular cock up to not make these parks a success. So if you are listening Shigeru, we are waiting, dazzle us please! Make your dreams a reality we can explore!