Over the past decade and a half, Nintendo has given us brand new beloved franchises like Animal Crossing, Pikmin, Splatoon, and Xenoblade Chronicles. All of these games belong to franchises that I personally love and want to see continue bringing us amazing content in the future. But what about those franchises that we haven't heard from in forever?
This year, Star Fox Zero was released, with the last game in the Star Fox series being Star Fox Command. That was released ten years ago! Similarly, Masahiro Sakurai of Project Sora brought us Kid Icarus: Uprising in 2012, with the last game in the Kid Icarus series having been released in 1991. Both of these games were super hyped up at their announce purely due to fans not seeing a game from their respective series in years.
That sad thing is, the more new franchises that Nintendo introduces, the more the older franchises get swept under the rug. With E3 coming up, Nintendo unveiled that the only game they will be showing is The Legend of Zelda for Wii U. The idea is for the fans to be fully immersed in the gameplay. That's all grand and dandy, Nintendo, and The Legend of Zelda is one of the most beloved franchises ever, but I think this was a missed opportunity to give another "OMGWTFBBQ" moment like we saw with Kid Icarus: Uprising's announcement at E3 2010.
Here are some other Nintendo franchises that fans would go wild over for a revival.
I, personally, don't know much about StarTropics, but I know it has a very large fan base. The first game (of a whopping two) released in 1990 exclusively in North America (then was later released in Europe) for the original Nintendo Entertainment System. The story focuses around a guy named Mike Jones as he travels around several islands searching for his uncle, Dr. Jones, who was abducted by aliens.
The series went on to get a sequel in Zoda's Revenge: StarTropics II, which released in 1994. The series has remained untouched since then, only to be rereleased for the Virtual Console on Wii in 2008 and Wii U in 2014.
No one really knows why the series never took off after the second game, but many people compared the gameplay to the original The Legend of Zelda games. Nintendo could bring this franchise back with all-new gameplay. I could totally see them taking this in a platforming adventure direction with some similar connections to Super Mario Sunshine or Super Mario Galaxy, or maybe a more lighthearted dungeon crawler.
2. Mother / Earthbound
The Mother franchise (known as the Earthbound franchise in English) has been around since the Famicom days. The original Mother was rereleased in English for the first time in 2015 due to popular demand. The first game from the franchise that was localized to English was Earthbound (a.k.a. Mother 2) back in 1991, however, the game did not perform as well as intended. It wasn't until 1999 with the release of Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64 that Ness gained some popularity as one of the four unlockable characters.
Since then, the popularity of the Earthbound has exploded, having Ness in every installment of Super Smash Bros. after that. Disappointingly, when Mother 3 released in Japan in April 2006 for the Game Boy Advance, there were no signs for another localization. On top of that, the man behind the Mother series, Shigesato Itoi, dropped the bomb that there were no plans for a future installment for the Mother franchise.
Ten years later, here we are! With Mother 3 superstar, Lucas, making it into both Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS (as downloadable content), it's a wonder that the Mother franchise has not seen a new installment. We want Mother 4!
F-Zero is one of those 'you love it or you hate it' kind of franchises. Originally for the Super Nintendo, this action / racing game sent players around intense, death-defying racetracks in high-speed hover cars. The game was critically acclaimed in the early 1990s, and even received a sequel for the Nintendo 64, F-Zero X. On top of that, Captain Falcon, the main racer of the series, "showed us his moves" in Super Smash Bros. in 1999, being unlockable along side Ness, as previously stated.
The series went on to receive even more games on Game Boy Advance (F-Zero: Maximum Velocity and F-Zero: GP Legend) and GameCube (F-Zero GX). The series seemed to, after that, fall straight off of the radar. Many speculate that F-Zero isn't a priority anymore due to the huge success of the Mario Kart series. While this could be true, Mario Kart has a completely different feel- it's not as straightforward and feels less "grown up", for the lack of a better term. That said, I definitely fear for my life in Mario Kart 100% more with those blue shells flying around!
While we haven't seen any F-Zero in the recent years, Nintendo did pay homage to F-Zero in their Wii U launch title, Nintendoland. The game was okay and very much underperformed the likes of Wii Sports, but it still had charm. This got a lot of F-Zero fans reignited with the burning desire for a new game in the series. Don't let us down, Nintendo!
4. Ice Climber
Okay, hear me out. Ice Climber is one of my all-time favorite games for the original Nintendo Entertainment System (Yes, even over Super Mario Bros. and Metroid). It offered a lot of challenge, and I could literally sit there and play for hours trying to reach the top (because I wasn't very good at it). Man, was it a triumphant feeling when I finally got to the pterodactyl and took back my precious vegetable.
The original game is literally the only game in the Ice Climber franchise, and if it weren't for Super Smash Bros., I would have never even thought of this. The protagonists of Ice Climber, Popo and Nana, appear together (as the Ice Climbers) as playable fighters in both Super Smash Bros Melee and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. When Nintendo took Kid Icarus and gave Pit his own game after being absent for almost 20 years, why couldn't they do the same for the Ice Climbers?
Just imagine what they could do with the gameplay. I could almost see them go in the direction that they took with Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker and have 3D puzzle elements as you climb and break through ice, swing your mallet at enemies, and collect your veggies. Another cool element could be to have some levels where one control stick controls Popo and the other controls Nana, and you must use both to figure out puzzles, much like Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. I could go on and on, but the point is that Ice Climber legitimately has potential to bring something new to the table the we've never seen before in Nintendo games.
So there you have it! These four franchises are in dire need of revival, and I really hope that Nintendo will step back and take a look at releasing new titles in the future. They all have extremely devoted fan bases, and I know I'm not the only one anxiously awaiting the next game in one of these series. Oh well, maybe next E3!