Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Top Ten Long Lost Nintendo Franchises I Want to Return on the "NX"

The "NX": Nintendo's next system... or is it systems? Is it a console/handheld hybrid or two different devices? It's hard to know for sure. Nintendo is as tight-lipped as ever, and as seal-proof leak-wise as possible. That being said, it doesn't hurt to think about those franchises of yesteryear form Nintendo that deserve another chance in the spotlight with this new beginning of Nintendo. These ten franchises are some of my favorites that haven't gotten their fair share of spotlight in the recent past.

10) Wario Land

Perfect for a handheld, Wario Land has generally been a portable franchise anyway, with only two non-portable entries: the Virtual Boy game (I can't walk around and play the system, after all) and the excellent Wario Land: Shake It!/The Shake Dimension on Wii. Lately, Wario's been all about micro and mini-games instead of full fledged adventures, so I'd love to see the garlic-chomping antihero back in action with a Wario Land 4 or Shake It!-like platformer.

9) The "Wars" series

This if a twofer, actually. Not only has the Advance Wars franchise been MIA for a handheld generation, but the Battalion Wars series has been AWOL for a generation as well. The two are as different as different can be despite being under the same "Wars" branding and moniker. While Advance Wars features overhead tactical gameplay that pits strategic minds against one another, Battalion Wars is all about being on the frontlines themselves in real time combat, switching being troops to win the battle. Both could use another chance to shine ASAP.

8) Eternal Darkness

Silicon Knights is a mere shell of its former self, a company with great prospects to it who had worked with Nintendo on Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem for the GameCube. The game had a way with messing with the minds of players with its sanity effects. Things like muting the volume or pretending to erase your memory card were used sparingly to great effect. It's time for a new chapter in this IP. Nintendo needs more than its usual collection of colorful characters to win the West over, so I think having a dark game like a new Eternal Darkness would help. Heck, I'm not even concerned about Nintendo winning anyone over-- I just want a new Eternal Darkness!

7) Excite series

Whether you know it as Excite Truck, ExciteBots (most underrated arcade racer on the Wii, maybe in all of last gen), or its most common form as Excitebike, the Excite series thrills with its epic races whether it's in a motocross arena, the wide open expanses of the country, or a rugged race course. You'll notice that there are more than their fair share of racing titles on this list. I'd love for Nintendo to come out of the gate with something more than Mario Kart this generation. The Excite series is but one series that could shape up the racing genre on the NX platform or batch of platforms.

6) Golden Sun

An epic RPG series other than Xenoblade, which seems to have a one-every-generation appearance, is definitely needed on the NX. While I'm sure on the handheld side that third parties will deliver enough role-playing content to last a good while, it's time for Nintendo to get back into the swing of things (sword-swinging, that is) with a new entry in the fantastic Golden Sun series. While the initial two Game Boy Advance entries were excellent, the DS entry, Dark Dawn, wasn't as stellar. Still, as a singer named after a dinner platter once sang, "Two out of three ain't bad." If Camelot isn't comfortable with delivering an HD RPG on a home console (the company's first HD game, Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash, was utterly lacking content), then Golden Sun is perfect for a handheld.

5) Wave Race

After seeing last week Rare's awesome showing of some water physics for their upcoming Xbox One and Windows 10 release, Sea of Thieves, as well as viewing some footage of Kinect Sports Rivals' jet skiing, I'm more than ready to have Nintendo return to the ocean, lake, and river waves with Wave Race. The water physics of the original Nintendo 64 hit as well as the launch title for the GameCube, Wave Race: Blue Storm, wowed on release and are still impressive to this day. Just imagine a new Wave Race in HD with silky smooth waves on some courses and choppy, dangerous waves on others. I'm drooling enough that you could ride a jet ski in the puddle I'm making!

4) Diddy Kong Racing

I told you I'd be mentioning a lot of racing franchises on this list, so I hope I'm not overdoing it too much. However, this franchise is one I hold near and dear to my heart. It's Diddy Kong Racing, and the original from Rare is what I consider the best of the mascot kart racing genre. Knowing that Rare was hard at work on Donkey Kong Racing for the GameCube before being purchased by Microsoft hurts to this day. I'd love to see a return to Timber Island or anywhere else as long as the game has an awesome story-based adventure mode.

3) Metroid* (*in its traditional form)

While the discontent and sheer overreaction from Metroid fans over the announcement of Metroid Prime: Federation Force was embarrassing to me as a fan myself, let's get down to brass tacks-- we're still waiting on a traditional Metroid game starring Samus Aran. This is what I mean when I mention Metroid on this list: a game where you explore desolate worlds, acquiring new weapons and abilities to progress through the game. Federation Force isn't that, and while I'm definitely holding interest for that game, I would be lying if I said I wouldn't want a more traditional adventure starring Ms. Aran.

2) Startropics

I can only imagine what a Western developer like Retro Studios, for instance, would do with an adventure game like Startropics. We last saw the series with Zoda's Revenge, and that was way back on the NES. It's a game series so underexposed that it never received a Japanese release! Regardless, having a different take on the action-adventure genre than Zelda would be something really cool, whether it's the sense of exploration, the atypical weaponry involved, the different perspective a different developer other than the Zelda team would give to such a game. Ah, a boy can dream...

1) F-Zero

When the Wii U was announced, I dreamed of a new F-Zero. After all, after F-Zero GX's amazing gameplay and high speeds, it seemed that the next step for the series was an HD outfitting. This, as we all know, never came. However, I still hold hope that the blistering, lightning fast speeds of the F-Zero franchise, and its 30 craft racers will return to the forefront one of these days. Whether it's a handheld version or a console (the latter is preferred), the thought of a new F-Zero leaves me yearning for an announcement.

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