BLOG – Reviving Old Nintendo Franchises on Wii U

Keeping The Past Alive –

Recently, Reggie from Nintendo stated that they are considering reviving old franchises to the help the struggling Wii U. So we thought we would compile a list of neglected games that Nintendo might want to consider.

Star Tropics:

Fight this octopus with a yo-yo
Fight this octopus with a yo-yo

I jokingly mentioned Star Tropics in my non-serious E3 2013 Predictions article. But why not bring this game back to life? Seeing hero Mike, the submarine, and a tropical island in a 3D setting could be just what the series needs to make a full comeback. The touch screen could also be used for puzzle solving or even yo-yo attacking. Like Kid Icarus, Star Tropics has not been seen since the 8-bit era but Pit has made a pretty nice comeback for himself with a new 3D game, an enhanced re-release of his original adventure, and a coveted cameo in Nintendo’s premier fighter.

Ice Climbers:

Co-op goodness
Co-op goodness

It is a little sad because the Ice Climbers are probably only known for their dual-appearance in Smash Bros. But younger gamers might not ever experience this original vertical climber on NES. But with Wii U in mind, this original co-op title could easily translate into a 4-player adventure with almost a Zelda Four Swords approach. Speaking of Zelda Four Swords…

The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures:

More co-op goodness
More co-op goodness

Link’s first multiplayer experience came bundled with the re-release of LttP on GBA. Players could connect system link cables to experience a brand new multiplayer adventure. Later, this multiplayer concept was taken to the next level on Gamecube through the use of a GC-to-GBA link cable. Unfortunately, this game never received the recognition it deserved due to the higher demand for hardware and same-sofa restrictions. The GBA version of Four Swords was even made available on the 3DS eShop but still limited players to local wireless play only. So let’s make a true online multiplayer Zelda, using the touchpad as a second screen. It worked with the GC-to-GBA functionality so this gameplay element is a natural fit for touchpad play. However, Nintendo doesn’t really believe in online play so do not hold your breath for this one though.

Balloon Fight:

Busting Balloons all over your face
Busting Balloons all over your face

Even though there is a spiritual successor to the Balloon Fight on Wii U in NintendoLand, it isn’t a full blown game. This Joust clone could even be a perfect fit if Nintendo ever decided to make mobile games. Like Ice Climbers, Balloon Fight is co-op greatness waiting to happen.

Earthbound (Mother):

Why won't Nintendo let us play this game?
Why won’t Nintendo let us play this game?

After years of constant begging, Nintendo finally caved in and said that Earthbound will be made available on the Nintendo eShop/Virtual Console sometime in 2013. Why Nintendo has neglected this franchise for so long is perhaps the greatest Nintendo mystery since the SNES era. Really, Nintendo? Come on. Seeing Ness in Smash Bros is only fueling the fire. Let’s see a new game in the series already.


It's the end of the world and we know it...
It’s the end of the world and we know it…

This forgotten Zelda-like adventure was originally on NES and then an enhanced port eventually made its way onto the GBC. However, Crystalis was originally developed and published by SNK but Nintendo published the GBC version. Even though this is not a direct Nintendo owned property, the Wii U could probably benefit from having an RPG on their RPG-starved system. Or at least add the GBC version on the 3DS eShop Virtual Console.

Mario Bros.:

Smash Bros in the making...?
Smash Bros in the making…?

No, I am not talking about a new New Super Mario Bros game. I am talking about the original battle mode Mario Bros title. The homebrew game Super Mario War proved that four player Mario battles on a set screen can be highly entertaining. In a way, Mario Bros was really the first Smash Bros if you think about it. Sure, there was the optional Single-Pak link option found in all the Mario ports on GBA and the forgotten Mario Clash on the Virtual Boy, but let’s get a new downloadable Vs. Mario Bros title with online play and matchmaking.


Go fast in your hovercraft
Go fast in your hovercraft

There has been an F-Zero game on almost every Nintendo system since the SNES; it was even a launch title for the GBA. The GC version was known for its insanely high difficulty but beautiful cutscenes; dedicated gamers could even take their memory cards and to the Arcade version to unlock additional content. But why has this series been pushed aside for so long? Mario Kart is great but F-Zero still has an opportunity to shine. But with the announced magnetic tracks in the upcoming Mario Kart 8, it is probably going to be a while before we see a new F-Zero.

Star Fox:

Just let Slippy die so he will shut up
Just let Slippy die so he will shut up

Unfortunately, Star Fox hasn’t exactly been a high caliber series since the fantastic N64 release (and 3DS re-release). The GC and DS games sucked out all confidence by trying to force gameplay elements where they didn’t belong; Fox getting out of the Arwing and fighting Kremlings in hand-to-hand combat!? Let’s put Fox and the rest of the team back where they belong, in the Arwing flying through space and doing barrel rolls. In the meantime, after you work through Fox’s daddy issues of the original games, you might want to search for the unreleased version of Star Fox 2 on SNES. Nintendo’s decision to not release this title on the Virtual Console is another missed opportunity. It is pretty much complete and already translated.

F-1 Race:

You could actually play this if you linked 4-gbs
You could actually play this if you linked 4-gbs

Did you know Nintendo has another racer besides Mario Kart, F-Zero, and Wave Race? F-1 Race was a very unique game for its time. Why? Because it was one of the very few original GB games to actually support four-players simultaneously. If Nintendo wanted to take on Gran Turismo or Forza, rebuilding F-1 would be the way to do it.

Sin & Punishment:

Play this game
Play this game

Like Crystalis, Sin & Punishment was developed by another 3rd party developer, in this case Treasure. However, Nintendo published Star Successor, the Wii sleeper hit. It is a shame that this Wii title didn’t receive the sales and recognition that it fully deserved. Although it is unlikely we will see a sequel anytime soon, at least Nintendo made the unreleased N64 version available on the Wii Virtual Console.


Other considerations:

Dr. Mario


Duck Hunt


Wave Race

Custom Robo


Franchises that should remain dead:

Clu Clu Land

Donkey Kong Jr. Math

Brain Age




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