Leading up to E3, the gaming world was alight with all sorts of rumours regarding possible first-party launch titles. We already knew of titles such as Pikmin 3 and New Super Mario Bros. U, but there was much speculation regarding a much anticipated Star Fox or Metroid announcement. When Nintendo delivered neither of the latter two (or relatively exciting new releases) at their E3 conference, it left gamers questioning the company’s supposed new stance of attempting to capture the “core market”.
In the aftermath of what was a lackluster E3, Nintendo should look at rebooting dead, yet beloved franchises from the NES/SNES era – a move that would surely send the popularity of its next-generation console skyrocketing. It’s already done so in the form of Kid Icarus: Uprising, due to its main character Pit finding a resurgence of popularity in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. It simply needs to set itself apart from its competitors in Microsoft and Sony, and rebooting classic games that diehard fans have been waiting so long for would be a perfect way to do so.
The Wii U’s new tagline sums this one up in a nutshell – “together, better.” Ice Climber, originally released in 1985 on the NES, is unique in the fact that whilst it can be played solo, its appeal is found in co-op play. One player controls the male character Popo, and the other the female Nana. The premise of the game is simple – break the ice blocks above you with your mallet, dodge (or beat down) the enemies and get to the top. Similar to Pit, the Ice Climbers featured in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and deserve the same treatment. A reboot on the Wii U possesses huge potential to innovate using the tablet controller – its co-operative premise could see developers allow players to interact together in ways we haven’t seen before.
Spawned 25 years ago in 1987, the Mega Man series still retains nothing short of a cult following. Over 29 million copies have been sold since its inception, and has seen several spin-offs released in recent times, such as Mega Man ZX Advent and Mega Man Star Force 3 on the Nintendo DS. Yes, I’m aware that this is a franchise owned and developed by Capcom – but a genuine, Wii U exclusive Mega Man title would send the gaming world into a frenzy. It’s undoubtedly one of the most enjoyably challenging games ever produced, and the Wii U’s new technology would allow the inventory and item system to be seamlessly streamlined.
There’s something about Ness and his three counterparts that set EarthBound apart in an era dominated by role-playing games. Perhaps it’s the customization given to players at the very start of the game – you can change the names of characters to suit your preference, and even tell the game your favourite food. It’s through the small things that EarthBound really allows players to connect and form an attachment to the ‘Chosen Four’ protagonists – something the majority of modern-day games fail to do. Again, Earthbound slots perfectly into Nintendo’s mantra “together, better” and the Wii U system is the perfect platform for a reboot of the series. The battling system could easily be allocated to the Wii U GamePad, where the touchscreen would serve as a welcome addition to combat. For the first time gamers could see Ness and co. battling it out on their TV screen, in full 3D animation, while the battle is being controlled from their two hands across the room, with no obstruction on the TV.
Nintendo need something special to reignite interest in the Wii U after their uninspiring E3 presentation, and classic, yet reinvigorating reboots would set the company aside from the rest. That’s not to say the aforementioned three titles are the only games worth mentioning, lest I forget titles such as Mach Rider and Startropics, which would provide for truly unique gameplay. Whilst the chances of the games being rebooted are slim to none, one can only dream of a world where Mega Man is given a full-fledged storyline and world to follow, or where players can explore the world of EarthBound in 3D.
By Jake Galouzis - Bio