Since the Nintendo Entertainment System releasing 1986, Nintendo has created 100’s of IPs which it has held under its belt since. Most popular of all are Mario Bros, Zelda, Donkey Kong, Metroid and Kirby, which are still series that are getting releases today. Although, Nintendo has had some really successful IP’s that it has fallen quiet on, with an outlook that seems to render these games ‘dead’. What ever happened to these titles? Let go and look into exactly that.
F-Zero was a futuristic racing game which stared on the Super Nintendo Entertainment system, with its first entry. Due to it’s success it was then proceeded with a Nintendo 64 entry, dubbed F-Zero X and finally a Gamecube entry called F-Zero GX. There were also other iterations of this game in F-Zero Grand Prix on the SNES Satellite expansion, and Maximum Velocity, GP Legend and Climax for the Gameboy Advanced. F-Zero was known for its anti-grav racing ships, with incredibly fast paced gameplay, and is even arguably considered as the key influence for PlayStations hit title Wipeout. So, what happened? Well simply put, Nintendo always created the F-Zero series with the support of a third-party developer, and they couldn’t get a developer to accept their pitch and take on the game after the Wii release. In fact, when Edge Magazine as Miyamoto about the future of F-Zero he stated: “I think at the time [F-Zero] was a really big surprise, a new thing, a product that made sense, but the Wii and DS lack the power to create that same impact”. In early 2011 Nintendo approached Burnout developers Criterion Games with a pitch to develop a new F-Zero game, which unfortunately was turned down, due to working on development of Need for Speed: Most Wanted. Nintendo haven’t entirely dropped F-Zero, it seems, and with the Switch’s power, I would be certain this might be a series the gaming giant returns to our hands.
Kid Icarus is a game that debuted on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987. IT was a platform adventure game that had you control Pit, an Angel influenced by Greek Messenger god Hermes. The game saw a positive reception, although this did not stop the game going entirely quiet of any new releases until the Nintendo 3DS, which introduced Kid Icarus: Uprising, the very first 3D rendition of Pit. Kid Icarus: Uprising did incredibly well, showcasing the new dual stick technology for the Nintendo 3DS at the time. So, what happened? Ultimately, the first hiatus that the game experienced was because it wasn’t considered as one of Nintendo’s best selling IP’s therefore resulting in the game being shelved to pave the way for bigger and better titles such as Mario, Donkey Kong and Zelda. Although when the game was pitched by Iwata in 2009, Nintendo loved the idea of reviving a cult classic as the flagship game on their new handheld device. Since then Nintendo has gone quiet once again with the beloved game, although with the success of Uprising, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see another entry join the Nintendo Switch roster of games. I don’t think this game is dead right now, but I do think, that like before there are other Nintendo IP’s that are taking precedence over this, such as Breath of the Wild 2 and Metroid Prime 4.
Advanced Wars is a beloved Nintendo turn-based strategy game that featured on the Gameboy advance. What people don’t generally know is that this series actually started long before its debut as Advanced Wars, featuring on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System as Famicom Wars, only released in Japan. Advanced Wars was the first title to be released over seas from Japan, therefore explaining why this isn’t widely known. Although for a series that has had 13 entries, with the latest being released in 2008, it sure has gone quiet. So, what happened? To be honest there isn’t any real answer out there. But the common perception of what happened to this game comes from it’s final releases. The latest Advanced Wars entry, Dual Strike, bombed both critically and in sales. Leaving a taste of dis-trust in Nintendo’s mouth. Nintendo then went on to evolve the game into Battalion Wars, for the Gamecube and Wii, but these ultimately bombed as well. The key development team behind the Advanced Wars games are still making games for Nintendo however, most recently, Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Paper Mario: The Origami King. So, there is a chance for the series to return, although it does appear that Nintendo have truly moved away from this series in its entirety.
The Earthbound Series (also known as Mother) is easily one of Nintendo’s most beloved and sought-after IP’s, yet the game has only featured 3 titles, which have been re-released on most Nintendo Consoles since its initial release. The game is about a young group of friends who go on an adventure to unravel a weird and perplex happening. The game features quirky funny dialog, with turn-based strategy gameplay. Although, unlike other RPGs, you do not use swords or guns, but instead use things like Baseball Bats and Yo-yos. To showcase how great this game is considered, generally most RPG gamers top 10’s feature this game. So, what happened? It’s simple, there isn’t an answer for this. Nintendo have never gone public as to why another game hasn’t been made for this series. I mean many other games have come since to fill the void such as with Oddity, which started as a Mother 4 Fan Game being made, and games such as Undertale that take a generalist style of Earthbound and creates a unique experience. But none ever hit the epic-ness of what this title brought to the table. At a guess, I would suggest that Earthbound is just a cult classic that Nintendo doesn’t want to touch as it sits on a unique pedestal in its current form. If they create a sequel, they risk ruining the entire experience. Also, to create a game that even compares to the original, with how highly it is perceived could come with its own problems.
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