Star Fox Zero releases at long last today. For the three of you that weren't aware that Nintendo's long dormant shooter series once again takes flight, well, I'm happy to make you a bit wider with that news. But seriously, Star Fox coming back is freaking huge. It was a Nintendo franchise many were championing to return. Nintendo has a plethora of other franchises that I'd like to see revived and if I had to select five to come back, these are the ones I'd choose.
5. Ice Climber
Had it not been for their inclusion in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Brawl, most people probably wouldn't be aware of who Popo and Nana are. The duo have one stand alone game under their belts
with an objective of scaling 32 mountain peaks to reclaim your stolen eggplants. Sounds simple enough but the trek was treacherous with everything from slip sliding ice physics to shade wearing polar bears standing in your way. Don't even get me started on Popo and Nana's weird arc jumps. Even so, I think Ice Climber could do quite well brought back in today's gaming world. Keep the basic premise of climbing a mountain to reach the end of a level in tact along with familiar and new foes. A new Ice Climber would make for a sweet co-op experience and the allowing players to make their own levels really opens up the possibilities for endless frozen fun.
4. Excite Series
Or Excitetruck, Excitebots, whatever. Put the word "Excite" in front of a noun and you've immediately got my attention. The last game in the Excite line, Excitebots Trick Racing was sent out to die when Nintendo didn't even bother to advertise the game. To make matters worse, the game never saw a release outside of America. No surprise, the Excite franchise has been left to collect dust ever since. Nintendo can use cars, scooters, unicycles and I'll be perfectly OK with any of them. Just as long as the Excite games come back and we can create courses, I'll be very excited about that.
3. Custom Robo
Spoiler alert, I love robots. Some of my favorite characters in various mediums are made of metal and are all the cooler for it. The first game to be released outside of Japan in the Custom Robo series was the GCN's Custom Robo Battle Revolution and it was simply titled Custom Robo. It was my first time playing the game and while the story was nothing to get jazzed about, I really liked the aspect of combining different parts to make your own robo and send it in to battle where you'll hopefully slaughter the opposition. Fighting in robos is cool. Fighting in customizable robos? Even cooler. The last game to give the series any buzz was the DS Custom Robo Arena, which was released back in 2006. We are in serious need of customizable destruction.
2. Balloon Fight
"Balloon" might sound like the most sissy thing to put in front of "Fight" but believe me; Balloon Fight is anything but. In the first Balloon Fight, you take control of an unnamed balloon fighter and clear stages by popping the balloons of the enemies. You can stay afloat with one balloon but you'll find that its a but more difficult to do so. You could take on the main game alone or with a friend, but having a buddy in the mix does mean you'll have to avoid collide with each other. Balloon Trip was a fun little mode where you fly through a sea of sky hazards, going for the top score. The follow game, Balloon Kid, kept much from the original game but still did quite a bit to change things up. The side scrolling levels were different from what you'd find in Balloon Fight and there were even bosses, something the first game didn't even have. Like Ice Climber, Balloon Fight really lends itself as an arcade style game and it baffles me why Nintendo has just sat on their hands with this series. No those Balloon Fight games with Tingle don't count. Balloon Fight is still one of my favorite NES games to go back to and I'd love to see it get a new lease on life.
Man, do I miss me some F-ZERO! The comic book style characters in all their cheesy glory and the futuristic setting. We have gone more than ten years without an F-ZERO game on both Nintendo consoles and handhelds. I need my insane speed fix! I want to zip around Mute City, Port Town, Red Canyon, Silence and other F-ZERO locals in glorious HD. The reason we haven't seen Captain Falcon, Pico and the rest of the gang in action? Shigeru Miyamoto doesn't want to make just another F-ZERO game. That hasn't stopped Nintendo from releasing New Super Mario Bros. titles and those are some of those most samey titles out there. Look, I don't care about some new way to race around the track. Give me uncomprehendable speeds, sick rock music and challenging course layouts and I'm good to go.