At long last, Nintendo will finally be releasing a new version of Pikmin in a couple of months. It’s about freaking time. Now Pikmin isn’t exactly the oldest or most ignored Nintendo franchises, but it was a series that seemed to me to be made for the Wii platform (and the remake of Pikmin 2 proved this). So I’m glad they decided to bring it back because this is easily one of my favorite newer franchises of Nintendo’s. Over the last few years Nintendo has brought back a lot of old franchises including Kid Icarus, Punch Out and heck even Fire Emblem finally seems to be getting its due. But this only got me thinking… what other franchises long forgotten should be brought back? This is what I came up with…
Donkey Kong wasn’t the only early 80s platformer that Nintendo developed, There was also Popeye. Licensed by Nintendo, the game was very much like Donkey Kong. At the top of the screen you have Olive throwing down Hearts and you have to run and get them while Brutus tries to get you. This is a long shot of a game to see return. Nintendo doesn’t need extra characters anymore, and I believe this remains the only thing Nintendo has ever licensed.1 Popeye could probably use the publicity though, and to be honest I think it’d be nice to return to the series.
How could this game NOT get remade for the WIi or Wii U? This game was made for the NES Light Gun. It was basically a western game where you went around and shot cowboys. Not much to it really, but this game could really easily have turned into something special. Imagine a full western shooter using the Wiimote, done by a Nintendo studio. This sort of game could easily put to rest the Nintendo only makes kiddy games image to rest.
The Mysterious Murasame Castle
This game was never released outside of Japan so is hard for me to tell fully what it was all about. But it looked like a zelda-clone with a more actiony feel. The player had either a katana or shurriken to kill stuff and had to go around and kill bosses in four towers in order to kill a giant alien boss. Again, this game is a more serious title that could help Nintendo’s image and would provide a different type of game for Nintendo.
I feel like part of the reason Nintendo never continued many of its NES games was because of the generic names that were associated. For instance, Soccer. But Pro Wrestling kind of falls into this as well. This was actually one of my favorite early wrestling games. These days, wrestling is ALWAYS WWE branded, but this game actually was a lot more fun because it wasn’t, because it allowed Nintendo to do what they wanted and make their own characters, and they did. There were characters with some real personality. Now this game actually did have some spiritual Successors with the Fire Pro Wrestling games which I believe started coming out on the Playstation which were designed by the original guy who came up with this one (clearly he left Nintendo at some point). However, I don’t see any reason for that to cause Nintendo not return to the series.
Where would any list like this be without Mother? Mother was also known as EarthBound in the United States where Nintendo brought Mother 2 over on the Super Nintendo and it sold terribly. Over the last decade, this game grew in popularity as people discovered it and discovered how awesome it was. Nintendo consoles generally are in need of RPGs, and a return of a Mother game to the system would be a system seller as fans of the series have been clamoring for a new game for years. I’ve seen reports from Japan that Mother 3 was actually not very good, maybe they just need to create a Mother 4 and bring it straight over.
StarTropics is also an RPG that has gained some popularity over the years. The problem is, we haven’t seen a new version of the game since the NES so even though it is a highly respected game, not many remember. Also the second game in the series was less desirable. Still, I think it is high time we see a new version of StarTropics.
We saw a 3D remake of the original Star Fox fairly recently, but before that, we hadn’t seen a true Star Fox since the N64. There was an action-adventure Star Fox for the Gamecube, and it was a fairly good game. But I think people would really enjoy a true Star Fox Space Fighter Sim to come back to the consoles. And this is another example of an adultish game as well.
The 1080 Snowboarding game was one of the premiere Snowboarding games of the N64 days and is one of the games that influenced others to make similar. However, when Nintendo finally followed it up with 1080 Avalanche on the Gamecube, it was a less than inspired game. I feel the time has come for the series to come back with a full 1080p experience. Maybe they could turn it into 1080 Skateboarding for a round or something. But if they do bring it back, they have to give it the care and talent it desrves.
Similar to 1080, Wave Race was an excellent game for the N64, however it also saw another excellent sequel on the Gamecube but then was cut off. I feel like one of the issues with both 1080 & Wave Race is that Nintendo only revisits games when they feel that they can do something new, and aren’t the type of firm who think that making ultra-realistic versions is something new. Still, this was another high quality game and it fills a gap missing no the Wii & Wii U and that is an ultra-realistic racing game. That it also came with stunt modes is a bonus. With improved graphics, and people starting to grow tired of Mario & Zelda all over the place it is time to return to something a little more realistic.
Sin & Punishment
I feel weird about this one because they have actually brought this one back recently, but all the same they need to return to it more. Again this is a on-rails shooter with an adult overtone. This is an under-developed game that fans clamor for and part of the reason it never does well is because people don’t realize it is out there. But the more titles they put out the more people will know. This one is screaming for a surge the way that Fire Emblem recently saw.
The music game craze has come and gone, but this one was always one of the highlights of the genre and only saw games on the GameCube. Considering the motion sensing of the Wii, I was surprised when they didn’t come out with a conga-less version of it for the controllers with a conga option on the Wii. I still think the series has some life to it, but think they should also release the originals on the Virtual Console leading up to a full blown new release.
I mentioned above that people are getting sick of the Mario games coming out, yet here I recommend a Wario game. True Wario is pretty much the same as Mario, but it is Mario with an edge and it is also a series that is not being overdone like others. The only thing Wario has been used for recently is Warioware type games which people are getting sick of and various party and sports games. I think it is time to have another full on action-platformer featuring Wario. Maybe they can do a Galaxy themed Wario.
This series isn’t actually a Nintendo series but a Monolith Soft, which Nintendo now has a majority share in. Monolith is currently making X which is a successor the XenoBlade and Xeno Saga series. One I am sure many will love. Baten Kaitos was one of the few bright spots of the Gamecube and while I don’t think that many will buy Wii Us for it considering how poorly that system did, I do think that it is another RPG that could overall help round out what is on Nintendo consoles.
Black Box Sports Games
Finally I want to mention Nintendo’s Black Box games. Pro Wrestling was actually one of them but I thought deserved more note than the rest. Most of the Black Box games were generically named games like Ice Hockey, Golf, Baseball, etc. Given that EA has recently come out saying they won’t be bringing many of their franchises, including their sports games, I think Nintendo should bring back some of their generic yet fun sports games. Actually I felt that Wii Sports was a game that felt very much like a black box game from the 80s. Why not kind of take what they started in Wii Sports, and make some more full fledged sequels on the Wii U with similar branding to the Black Box series. So come out with a Wii Sports: Ice Hockey, or a Wii Sports: Baseball. These would all be full fledged games, so for baseball not only do you bat, but you also pitch and field as well becoming a full on baseball game. They could sell them all at $40 a piece and make it seem like Nintendo is a good place for value which really shores up the family thing that they like to go after. This would also help fight the issue that people have that there isn’t a Wii Sports on the system.
I do think that overall, it is time for Nintendo to sit down and think up a brand new franchise. Their new franchises that they had in the DS & Wii days were the Wii Resort, Fit, and Brain Age. And while I like these titles, I would like them to come up with a good franchise that has its own real mascot. These games do a good job of feeling like generic games and doesn’t quite give you the new feeling that I think fans are clamoring for. I also think their new franchise needs to go into an area that they don’t have much of. Maybe a new Action game or RPG. I know one of their cancelled games from the Wii was Project H.A.M.M.E.R. and there were a lot of people actually excited for this hack-and-slash type game. Maybe they should finally put it out?