Nintendo 4/8

Nintendo has been in the gaming industry for quite some time now. Of the big three among themselves, Playstation and Xbox, Nintendo has been around the longest. This longevity has allowed Nintendo to experiment a lot with its consoles and gaming franchises. Mario and a bunch of Nintendo's other franchises didn’t simply stay a 2D platformer. New games and series were made from spinning off popular characters into different genres, which just gave Nintendo more ideas and titles to play around with. However, some franchises have remained dormant or just haven’t gotten much attention lately. Here are a few Nintendo titles that I would love to see worthy follow-ups to on the Switch.

‘Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door’

Lately, when I think about what games I consider to be some of the best of all time, it’s hard to choose. There are so many great games out there with their own quirks. But no matter how many new games I play, though, “Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door” will always hold a special place among my most cherished games. The game was a simple turn-based RPG of sorts set in the Mario universe, but there was so much that made it memorable. The story was vast and enthralling, the characters were eccentric and loveable and the explorable areas in the game felt like rich little dioramas with so many hidden treasures.

One aspect that made “Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door” so compelling and great were the partners players found. In almost every new area that players would go into, there would be a new companion to join flattened Mario on his adventure. Each of the companions would join your band of misfits, adding in unique combat powers that could be used during battles and during exploration too, revealing new areas of maps. Even if they just remastered the game and put it on the Switch, I’d be content. But I would still love a direct sequel to this title. Specifically, one that retains a lot of the art direction, gameplay, music and partner system as this one. The Wii sequel “Super Paper Mario” was fun but didn’t impact me as much as Thousand-Year Door did. There have been other additional sequels in the Paper Mario franchise, but to me, they have not held up to this one’s grandeur. I do highly recommend to anyone that owns a GameCube to pick this fantastic title up.

‘Kirby Air Ride’

Another spin-off title from Nintendo’s main franchises, “Kirby Air Ride,” was a break from the pink puff’s usual 2D ventures. “Kirby Air Ride” was, in essence, a kart racer with three different modes of play. There was the standard races players could participate in with up to four players zooming around a track, with time trials also being an option of play. Then there was Top Ride, which was essentially like normal racing but with a top-down view of a minimap players raced on. And finally there was the City Trial, my favorite mode. In City Trial, players would venture through a large city collecting items, vehicles and power-ups all leading up to a random minigame once players’ time in the city was up. Random events could also happen in the city, like a giant bird coming to attack players or meteors crashing down.

A sequel could see all three modes return with maybe a fourth added in. This new mode could be a battle mode where players are specifically tasked with taking each other down. Or perhaps an online option could be added. More maps could be added to the regular racing mode, and new rides would be great as well. The city mode could be utilized in so many ways. A bigger city with new areas to explore and more random events would be much welcomed. If Nintendo won’t make another “Kirby Air Ride,” then I at least want Kirby in the next Mario Kart game. With a gun.

 

‘Chibi-Robo!’

I’ve realized now that I’ve chosen many GameCube games to have sequels on Switch. I will not apologize as I have no other ideas, and the GameCube was great regardless of what anyone says about it. “Chibi-Robo” is the hardest game to explain to someone who hasn’t played it. Players take control of a miniature robot who was bought by a family as an entertainment/housekeeping device. It’s like if Google made a mini butler that could talk and a middle-class family bought it and the player is the robot. If I’ve completely lost readers by now, I understand. Keep reading, however, if you feel sorry that this brings me joy.

The game itself played sort of like an open world. Players would explore the house they were subjugated into and find all sorts of common and also weird things to do. Players could pick up trash and clean up the floor, but also help a doll find his self-worth and play chicken in toy cars with an army man. This game was all sorts of strange. It mixed the mundane with the insane. Isn’t that life, though? Existential questions aside, I would be giddy to see a proper sequel to this title. There have been other games that starred Chibi-Robo but not one with the same gameplay and narrative as this one. This is also a title that I would even be happy to see as a remaster on the Switch if there wasn’t a sequel. The Chibi-Robo franchise isn’t too popular unfortunately, so any chances of something coming out in the future are pretty bleak.

‘WarioWare, Inc.’

Technically this is a GameCube game too, but it’s the last one, so remain calm. WarioWare isn’t some big name franchise that Nintendo sells like hot cakes. Nor is it a masterpiece by really any means either. But I’ll be darned if they aren’t fun games to play. The WarioWare titles are a compilation of mini games that take advantage of a system’s hardware in incorporating new styles of play. The minigames range from playing golf to picking someone’s nose. It’s very fitting that a character like Wario would headline this franchise. He’s a very odd character, and his personality fits with many of the mini games. There’s also some nonsensical meta story about him making mini games to get rich quick, but I never really played for what loose story was involved.

The franchise had humble roots on the GameBoy and GameCube and then had more sequels on the DS and Wii. With the DS and Wii sequels, the games took advantage of each hardware’s capabilities. The DS title had a lot of mini games that involved the touchscreen, and the Wii had mini games that used the Wii remote motion sensors. I could easily see another title come to the Switch. With the Joy-Con HD rumble feature, a lot could be accomplished. I liken it to “1-2-Switch” and how there was a game where the rumble simulated little metal balls in a small box. The wackiness awaits with many possibilities if a new WarioWare game would be made.

‘Kid Icarus: Uprising’

Kid Icarus isn’t too well known as a Nintendo franchise unless people play Super Smash Bros. or picked up the standalone 3DS game released in 2012. If these two categories were a Venn diagram, I’d be smack dab in the middle. I picked up the 3DS title as one of my first games for the handheld system. I didn’t know what to expect from it, but I’m glad I played it. “Kid Icarus: Uprising” is another break from a series that usually has 2D platforming games. Uprising had on-rails shooting sections where players controlled Pit in the air, then third-person sections on the ground giving players free reign of him. The story was partially inspired by Greek mythology, sending players on an epic quest to defeat evil.

What made this title struggle was the controls. The original 3DS had no second circle pad, making it complicated in the third-person sections moving around in an open space. It took some getting used to, but it wasn’t ideal. I still think there’s a great game in this franchise though. The controls would be okay on the Switch since it already has two control sticks. I think the story could benefit from leaning more into the mythological realm but also blending what’s already been established by past games as well. The loot system in the 3DS game could also be reconfigured a bit, and it would be addicting. I would like to see Pit soar to new heights if he ever got a new game on the Switch.

‘Wii Sports’

One thing I think the Switch is sorely lacking is a fun, casual game for anyone to get into. Sure, there’s Mario Kart and there will eventually be Animal Crossing, but bringing back something that was almost universally loved would be great. “Wii Sports” was launched with the Wii console back in 2006. It started a revolution basically. Everyone and their grandmother had a Wii. And since “Wii Sports” was bundled with the console, everyone got an opportunity to experience it. There was “Wii Sports Resort” that was later launched on the Wii, but I want a game like these on the Switch.

The Wii Sports games really showed off the Wii’s capabilities as a console. Nintendo tried this on the Switch with “1-2-Switch,” but it didn’t work as well. “1-2-Switch” wasn’t bundled with the console for starters, forcing people to buy it separately if they wanted to try it. Plus it wasn’t as universally fun as “Wii Sports.” Bowling and baseball are things that almost everyone can enjoy. Milking a cow services only a very select amount of people. Who asked for this? Still, I would love the addition of more sports, exploring the island in “Wii Sports Resort” and maybe even a pilot mode for the island as a call back to “Pilotwings Resort” on the 3DS. At the very least, giving people this title on the Switch will make them aware of the little-used Mii Maker software on the console.

A true sequel to any of these titles would be amazing. But of course let’s not forgot about some of Nintendo’s other franchises that deserve some more love: Earthbound, Star Fox, F-Zero, Pikmin, Punch-Out and Custom Robo. Nintendo has a wealth of different franchises to choose from to make new games. I understand that relying on Mario and Zelda gets better sales and is a safer bet. But making sequels to fan-favorite franchises would secure a more diverse lineup of titles and genres. I’ll still buy pretty much whatever Nintendo puts out going forward, but I still hope they’re considering smaller titles to make sequels to.

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