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Interview: Next Level Games Excited to Work on More Nintendo IPs

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Tells us it's tagged as "ones who can revive old Nintendo franchises"

Later today we'll publish an exclusive and extensive interview with key members of the Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon development team, both from Next Level Games and Nintendo. We talk about Next Level Games' history of Nintendo games, and in detail about the development, design and concept behind one of the year's finest games to date.

One suggestion we made to Next Level Games was that it was moving up in the Nintendo world, in terms of the IPs with which it's being entrusted. It produced two Mario Football/Soccer titles before being entrusted with the Wii reboot of Punch-Out!!. With Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, the studio picked up an even more iconic character, not to mention the sequel to the GameCube launch title that's somewhat a cult classic. Ken Yeeloy, Dark Moon's Producer, responded when we quizzed him about whether the studio felt like it was stepping up with each release.

Haha, it kind of feels like that! I think we’ve also been tagged in some circles as the ones who can revive old Nintendo franchises. I think we’ve solidified our studio’s ability to collaborate with Nintendo to create high quality games. I am certainly excited to see what IPs we get to work on next!

Next Level Games seems to be hitting a similar stride to Retro Studios, in that respect, successfully rebooting two franchises for new audiences. Unlike Retro, however, it's independent and isn't formally a Nintendo second-party studio, though Yeeloy admitted that "it actually feels like we already are", while stating that the company is held to the same standards as Nintendo's subsidiaries.

As Retro has worked on the Metroid and Donkey Kong Franchises, and with Next Level Games stepping up to revive Luigi's solo adventures, we asked what the studio would like to work on next, given the choice. Bryce Holliday, Dark Moon's Game Director, fielded that one.

Really, we are grateful to work on any Nintendo IP but if there are any wish-granting entities listening out there, we would love a chance to work on a Zelda or Mario game!

Considering its efforts with Punch-Out!! and Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, what franchise would you like to see Next Level Games work on? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to check back on Nintendo Life later today for the full, exclusive interview.

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User Comments (64)



JazzB1987 said:

I love Luigis Mansion 2 but please NEXT time you make a game dont include d*ck size comparing stuff like. "You collected this" and "it took you that much time =rank SILVER /GOLD." after each level....Thats for people that like ego boasting and trophies....
(hide that inside a Gallery so If I care about it I can look for it and If I dont I wont be bothered with this .....)

In LM2 I really missed the "inside a haunted mansion" feeling because everything was "small levels" and the ranking system after each level destroyed the immersion....

I also hate Bayonetta because of the XY MONSTERS KILLED, IT TOOK YOU XY MINUTES TO CLEAR THIS STAGE BLAH...... (other than that Bayonetta is a cool game)

Am I supposed to rush through a level or to enjoy the game and its design and art etc?



RevolverLink said:

How about we go halfway on the Zelda thing and let Next Level be the ones to revive StarTropics?

That's an IP that's always been ripe with potential.



sinalefa said:

I thought they were a second party already. I guess starfox or fzero should be their next assignment. Thanks for your last two games, i love them!



MrWalkieTalkie said:

RETRO Studios, 1-UP Studios, Next Level Games. I love how Nintendo works with development teams with names that make reference to old school gaming.



PixelatedPixie said:

I wonder if Nintendo were to offer to take them on as a second party developer whether or not they would accept?



Spoony_Tech said:

Please give them Star Fox if no one else is working on it. Sega should do F-Zero. Plus if no one else is working on a new Metroid they should give 2d Metroid a try. Just don't let Team Ninja anywhere near my Metroid!!



marck13 said:

Yes, I agree with x-mas_mii, Starfox would be a pretty good fit! Revive that IP!



King_Boo said:

For some reason, the first game that came to my mind for them was Wave Race, no idea why. Star Fox seems like the right next step, but since they are a Canadian developer, maybe they know snowboarding. Maybe they're the right team for 1080.



NintyMan said:

The first old IP that came to my mind was Ice Climber. I'm not surprised that Next Level Games is finding themselves going up the ladder like Retro Studios. All the games I've played from them were really good (Punch-Out!! and Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon) and I think they would be great for reviving another retro game like Ice Climber.



Nintenjoe64 said:

Give Next Level the Eternal Darkness franchise before Precursor completely butcher the memory of it! (or Project HAMMER and a sequel to Disaster!)



aaronsullivan said:

Looking at their previous games, Zelda seems up their ally, honestly. Maybe a new take on Four Swords?



TG1 said:

@RevolverLink You said, Star Tropics really deserves a modern day spin! The original is one of my favorite Nes games, and I'd love to see a new entry, or even a remake for 3DS or Wii U.



HeatBombastic said:

I absolutely loved Punch Out!! for the wii. I gotta pick up their other works personally rather than just borrowing it

I can't wait till their next game!



DarkCoolEdge said:

I think they would do a good job with any Nintendo IP. What about a portable 3D F-Zero? Done well could be amazing.



gojiguy said:

I would say F-Zero, but i'm not sure these are the guys to do it. Just might not be a good fit for them. But I think they could pull off a new StarFox, Murasame Castle, 1080, Wave Race, or Wario Land game quite well.



Sanqet said:

I would love a star tropics game but I don't think it is a game enough people remember



WebHead said:

I have to say Next level Games has really stepped up their game in the last few years. I wouldn't mind seeing them try Zelda, but I would start them off with either a remake or a new Four Swords Zelda.



Morph said:

First off I think nintendo should make them a fully fledged in house team, they have proven their worth by now

Secondly I've really enjoyed their work so far punch out and luigis mansion are just as good as anything retro have put out, so id entrust them with a new 3d zelda for 3ds,



Xilef said:

Would love to see them or Monster Games make a new Wave Race or 1080.



DrMonk said:

Yeah, Wave Race is a good example, and their take on StarFox could be interesting. I'd be happy with them doing another Mario Strikers as I loved those games. Also, there'd be nothing wrong with a Luigi's Mansion U!!



GraveLordXD said:

@Sanqet it wouldn't matter if enough people remember star tropics it's a great game with lots of potential and very unique there's not to many games like it. I can see it being a huge blockbuster if done right



hYdeks said:

Seems like Retro and Next Level are the two companies that can bring Nintendo franchises into the new age. I hope they do either F-zero or Star Fox, we need to see a new game in both franchises.



Captain_Toad said:

Ice Climbers, Mach Rider, joy mecha fight and other long lost nintendo franchises I can't think on the top of my head please.



sketchturner said:

Seems to me that Next Level only makes top-notch games when working with Nintendo. They are responsible for such MEGA-duds as:
Ghost Recon [Wii version]
Spider-Man:Friend or Foe
Captain America:Super Soldier
Transformers:Cybertron Adventures



seronja said:

here is what i could trust them to make: wario land, wario world, mole mania, ice climbers, baloon fight, wave race, 1080 snowboarding & remakes... great job on punch-out!! & luigi's mansion: dark moon! hope to see what's next from them =)



Prof_Elvin_Gadd said:

Luigi's Mansion 2 was great. I'll look forward to whatever they have brewing next! There are so many games they could do, not even counting an original IP from them (which would be great); Star Fox, F-Zero, Star Tropics (Mike Jones!), Wave Race, 1080... The list goes on!



Melkaticox said:

@iphys ...How would that even work?

I'm quite worried about Next Level Games. Thing is, they're not a first party developer of Nintendo, they don't even have an exclusivity deal with Nintendo or anything!
IMHO, Nintendo should buy them. And WayForward. And Yacht Club Games. And Platinum Games. And Atlus. And SEGA.



MasterGraveheart said:

Wario Land?
A Doki Doki no Panic-style Mario game?
Eternal Darkness?
Geist? (Maybe not...)
We'll see!



WinterWarm said:


Remember that article about how Nintendo isn't hitting it's market goals?

I don't think they have enough money to just up and buy 4+ companies.



LeVideoGamer said:

Quite a few people have already said it, but I'd love a new StarTropics game. If not that, then Ice Climber. Even if they were smaller eShop games or HD reboots of the originals, that would be great.



ompgsag said:

How was the Wii version of Punch-Out a reboot? Do you understand what a reboot is? The game played exactly like its predecessors, especially the NES entry. A reboot is something like Shinobi PS2 or Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. I think the word you're looking for is "revival".



WaveBoy said:

StarTropics, StarTropics, STARTROPICS! Along with a 3DS punch-Out!! sequal and most importantly a new Doki Doki Panic/SMB2....Then again, 'GoodFeel' would be a far more appropriate developer.



ant said:

waiting for another next level mario strikers game. enjoyed the others



Epicnessofme99 said:

Wow I didn't know they worked on Punch-Out for Wii, I loved that game and Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon as well, I think Nintendo should make them second party, after all they've made some high quality games.



Araknie said:

No, new Zeldas and Marios are always in the works, do something like Endless Ocean 3 on the Wii U, something that got little spotlight, come on stop licking Nintendos feet and start proposing something like that, or some idea that comes from your mind.

Look at Monolith: they wanted to do a megadistaser game DONE; they wanted to do a massive JRPG DONE; they wanted to do a massive fighter with strategic elements DONE.

They ask and try, i'm sick of these companies asking to do Marios and Zeldas. Nintendo wants creative staff, not copycats.



AJWolfTill said:

In all honesty I think that the Nintendo Land Balloon Trip Breeze is the ultimate incarnation of Balloon Fighter, I really don't think there is any further untapped potential. I likewise feel that Ice Climbers couldn't be taken further than a Nintendo Land attraction.



Sanqet said:

@LDXD yes your right I forgot Nintendo have already brought an old franchise back in kid Icarus uprising and made it a hit so there no reason why it can't happen again



Pupito said:

Star Fox is the logical progression here. Either that or F-Zero. Honestly I'd love to see them take on Chibi Robo for 3DS.

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