Five Forgotten Franchises Nintendo Should Really Bring Back Properly
It’s not been the best of times for Nintendo. Despite the companies best efforts its Nintendo Wii U console continues to suffer from prolonged periods of game drought. It’s odd that Nintendo should ever have a problem finding non-Mario games to fill the release schedule with mind; there are so many top tier game franchises that Nintendo has simply forgotten about over the years (Or mistreated into a silent coma). With this in mind, I’ve taken a look back over Nintendo’s vast catalogue and asked the question – which franchises should Nintendo consider bringing back in from the cold?
Last Series Release: F-Zero Climax (Gameboy Advance, 2004)
What Happened: Nintendo stopped answering the phone. They stopped responding to text messages and when they saw F-Zero walking down the road; Nintendo crossed the street. No one really knows why Nintendo went so cold on the F-Zero franchise although I’d hazard a guess that the failed Japanese anime (Which spawned two Gameboy Advance games) may have put Nintendo off the franchise indefinitely.
Any Hope: It’s not like Nintendo has completely forgotten about F-Zero. An F-Zero track appeared in Mario Kart 8 as well as an F-Zero kart. Captain Falcon continues to exist in the Smash Bros. Games and occasionally the games name does pass the lips of Nintendo employed people in interviews. There was some excitement when it was revealed that Nintendo had been shopping the franchise to Burnout developer Criterion back in 2011 – but they were too busy with the Need for Speed franchise to take up the call.
What Would We Want: A sequel to the Gamecube’s F-Zero GX would be lovely. A handheld game is a distant second – but at this stage I suspect fans would take anything they could get.
Advance Wars Series
Last Series Release: Advance Wars: Days of Ruin (Nintendo DS 2008)
What Happened: After Battalion Wars failed to light up the show; Nintendo started to go cold on it’s Advance War franchise. Which is really odd because Days of Ruin was a fantastic little game that added online and was seemingly taking the series in a new direction. But nope, the franchise saw weak sales for that title and so Nintendo shelved it.
Any Hope: Given the critical and sales success of the series on the whole, I’m surprised Nintendo didn’t try it’s luck at releasing a game for the Wii U (Which arguably would have been a perfect leap up from the handhelds.) Sadly the Wii U is a mess and the 3DS is edging closer and closer to the end of it’s life cycle. I wouldn’t put a bet on it happening at this stage.
What Would We Want: Just the good old Advance Wars in a new coat of paint and we’d be good to go. Oh and resolution to that huge cliff-hanger that we never got an answer too!
Last Series Release: Metroid Other M (Nintendo Wii 2010)
What Happened: Team Ninja’s Metroid Other M happened. A game so frustratingly mediocre that Nintendo lost all confidence in the franchise and stuck it back on the shelf.
Any Hope: There is a Metroid game on the horizon – Metroid Prime: Federation Force – but it’s a Metroid game by loose association. Nintendo is attempting to re-tweak the Metroid Prime name as a co-op shooter for the Nintendo 3DS. A nice idea for sure but the game is light on Samus; instead bringing in generic Federation guys to be the face of the game. Is it really that hard to put Samus in a game where she’s fighting space pirates?
What Would We Want: Opinions seem to be split. Some fans want a return to the 2D roots of the series – dropping the 3D altogether. Others want Metroid Prime like exploration-fests. The fact that there’s no real easy answer here that would make all fans happy.
Last Series Release: Warioware D.I,Y (Nintendo DS 2010)
What Happened: Nintendo kind of moved onto other Wario projects – 2013’s Game & Wario the result. In fairness that wasn’t a bad game by any stretch – but it certainly wasn’t a Warioware title. The mini-games were more showcases for the Nintendo Wii U’s unique abilities and fairly limited in re-playability.
Any Hope: Everything’s gone quiet for Wario in recent times and Nintendo kind of stole the series thunder when it launched the NES Remix series a few years back. I’d suspect because of this it’s unlikely the series will be resurfacing any time soon.
What Would We Want: Just a new collection of mini-games would suffice. The series had a quirky sense of humour that made the brief 5-second game segments charming.
Golden Sun Series
Last Series Release: Golden Sun: Dark Dawn (Nintendo DS 2010)
What Happened: Not technically a Nintendo property but one held by Camelot – Nintendo just does the publishing of the series. Camelot rotate their time between Mario Sports titles and Golden Sun, except for recent times when they forgot to go back and revive Golden Sun – meaning the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Wii U have gone without.
Any Hope: Not likely. Nintendo’s been having a hard time keeping the Wii U alive as it is. If they have a choice between asking Camelot to make a Mario game (That might sell well) versus a (niche) RPG like Golden Sun – I don’t think there’s much of a choice. It wouldn’t surprise me if a Golden Sun game ends up as one of Nintendo’s mobile phone titles somewhere down the line – Japanese developers like Square-Enix are all over that craze at the minute.
What Would We Want: A continuation of the Golden Sun story would be nice. A home console version would be lovely but given that Golden Sun has existed exclusively as a handheld property up to now it’s hard to see Nintendo committing to such an ambitious leap.