What Happened To The Classics? | Where Are They Now? – Nintendo Edition


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F-Zero. Earthbound. Star Fox. Metroid. The list goes on and on. Over the years, many Nintendo fans have spoken out about why they love Nintendo. For some, Nintendo made up a huge percentage of their childhood. For others, it was just fun to kick back and whoop some butt in Super Smash Bros. Even though there were many bumps (N64CD, Power Glove, Vitality Sensor), Nintendo fans stayed loyal to the company. Why you ask? Well according to fans, Nintendo is home to some of the greatest IP’s, characters, and games ever created. However, that’s not the focus of this article. I’ve been wanting to ask a question that a lot of Nintendo fans have had on their chest for years now. That question is: Why does Nintendo seemingly abandon their IP’s for such a long time? Of course there will always be the Mario’s, Zelda’s, and Kirby’s of the world, but why does Nintendo stop making some of their other titles? Are they truly gone? During the course of this article, I’ll explore each of the games I mentioned in the beginning and hopefully find an answer to the cause of this situation.

F-Zero: Where Did You Speed Off To Now? 

 

“F-Zero (エフゼロ Efu Zero?) is a futuristic racing video game developed by Nintendo EAD and published by Nintendo for the Super Family Computer/SNES . The game was released in Japan on November 21, 1990, in North America on August 23, 1991,[cn 1] and in Europe on June 4, 1992. F-Zero is the first game of the F-Zero series and was one of the two launch titles for the SNES in Japan, but was accompanied by additional initial titles in North America and Europe. In late 2006, F-Zero became available for the Virtual Console service on the Wii and in early 2013 for the Wii U.” -Wikipedia

Presumably, it would be safe to say that the F-Zero series set the standard (to an extent) for other games in the same genre. The gameplay was something new and fresh in the years that games in the franchise were developed and I guess that’s why critics and fans of the games alike took such a warm welcome to the games. F-Zero received various awards and praise after selling 1 million copies but like the questions I’ve mentioned in the beginning, why has the series been inactive since 2004?

When asked a similar question in a recent interview with Game Kult, Miyamoto was actually puzzled as to why anyone would want another F-Zero game (specifically on the Wii U). Here’s what was said in the Q&A:

Game Kult: After a quick survey on Twitter, one of the games French gamers miss the most is F-Zero. Nobody really understands why Nintendo hasn’t made a new one since 2004. Is there a chance we can see it back on Wii U?

Miyamoto: [eyes open wide] I am really pleased to hear Twitter’s opinion, because since the first episode on SNES many games have been made but the series has evolved very little. I thought people had grown weary of it.

I’d like to say: Thank you very much and try to wait by playing Nintendo Land’s F-Zero mini-game.

I am also very curious and I’d like to ask those people: Why F-Zero? What do you want that we haven’t done before?

So Sakurai’s main question is Why. Well who wouldn’t love 1080p HD visuals on a powerful console with online 20-player action packed sweaty heart pounding gameplay? The fact that Sakurai actually said this bothers me a lot. It’s almost as if he’s being sort of cocky when he says “What do you want that we haven’t done before?”. There would be so much more opportunities to expand upon gameplay mechanics with this new, powerful machine -but my question still isn’t answered. What happened to this classic? Of course characters and courses from the F-Zero franchise have there fair share of appearances in games like the Super Smash Bros. franchise but unlike the next game I’ll be talking about, I guess we’ll just have to wait for the developers of this game to actually SAY that there won’t be another addition to the franchise. Until then, we just need to keep hoping.

Earthbound: On Another Planet? Or Just Never Coming Back? 

 

“EarthBound, known in Japan as Mother (マザー Mazā?), is a role-playing video game series created by Shigesato Itoi for Nintendo. The series started in 1989 with the Japan-only release of Mother (planned to be released in North America as “Earth Bound”) for the Family Computer, and was then followed up by a sequel, released in North America as EarthBound for the Super NES in 1995, and followed up again 12 years later with the Japan only release of Mother 3 for the Game Boy Advance in 2006. Itoi stated in an interview that the name “Mother” was greatly influenced by the John Lennon song “Mother“.[2]” -Wikipedia

Although Earthbound had some surprisingly poor sales figures this game lives on to be a fan-favorite mainly because of it’s sillyness and mockery towards the American culture as well as the RPG game genre. In the past years, I think Nintendo has realized that this has become a very popular game (even though it didn’t start off like that) resulting in various re-releases on Nintendo’s Virtual Console services. Some game critics even refer to this game as being one of the best RPG’s of the 90’s! A bold statement, but not one that’s hard to argue with in my opinion.

Unfortunately, the creator of this game has made the decision not to give the game a sequel. Itoi (game creator) actually candidly says “I’m not going to release a Mother 4; Mother is over now.” However, it’s not that Itoi doesn’t want to make any more games in this franchise, it’s just the fact that he wouldn’t mind being the player of games this time around. Iwata doesn’t necessarily deny the possibility  of another mother game when he says “I don’t believe there will be any new Mother games made using the same production system as before.”

So even if these words don’t confirm anything, it means that a sequel to the game isn’t impossible so keep your head up! Maybe there will be a sequel in the future. Try not to think about the other false rumors circulating about no sequel coming. There’s still hope!

Star Fox: Do A Barrel Roll! Please? One Last Time? 

 

“Star Fox (スターフォックス Sutā Fokkusu?), released as Starwing in Europe due to a game of the same name and subsequent trademark issues in that region, is the first game in the Star Fox series of video games, released on February 21, 1993 in Japan, on March 23, 1993 in North America, and on June 3, 1993 in Europe for the Super Famicom/Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It was the second three-dimensional Nintendo-developed game (behind 1992’s X, also developed by Nintendo EAD together with then Argonaut Software) and it included the Super FX chip, a coprocessor used to accelerate graphics display, which became Nintendo’s first game to use 3D polygon graphics. The complex display of three-dimensional models with polygons was still new and uncommon in console video games, and the game was much-hyped as a result.” -Wikipedia

Star Fox was definitely (and still is) a Nintendo game that will always be remembered for it’s action-packed gameplay, unique art style, and great music! Unlike the game previously mentioned, Star Fox was a very successful game and really showed that it could be one of Nintendo’s great franchises.

As mentioned before, a key part to the success of this series was the use of 3D polygons which was unusual to video games at the time. This gave the game more flavor and gave Nintendo a unique advantage against its competitors. For a game series such as this that has done so well, I’m sure many other Nintendo fans are also wondering: “What is Nintendo doing with this series?”. I mean yeah, we had Star Fox 64 3D but we need a new and innovative title that isn’t a remake of a classic. Where is Star Fox now?

Or maybe there is? Who knows…. Maybe this is a preview of a new Star Fox game coming soon! I have yet to hear of Nintendo releasing any more statements on these games being released so let’s keep an eye out.

Metroid: Come Back From K2L! 

 

“Samus Aran (Japanese: サムス・アラン Hepburn: Samusu Aran?) is a fictional character and the protagonist of the Metroid science fiction action game series by Nintendo.” -Wikipedia

Now I know a lot of people will disagree with this one but I’ll keep it short and sweet. Some of you may be wondering, wasn’t there a Metroid game a couple years ago? Yes, that’s true. But for this game specifically, I’d like to figure out not what happened to the franchise but where it’s going or where it is now.

A lot of retro fans are probably still in love with the new 3D shooter direction that Nintendo is taking, but I’m sure that they also miss the classic 2D side-scrolling platformer days too. Do you think Nintendo will make a game in tribute to this in the future? There’s already a game coming out soon called ReVen if you want to check it out (it pay tribute to the classic Metroid days). But hopefully we can see more games playing like the classics in the future. Simply for the fun of it!

Now I want to hear from you! Are there any games you want to be added to part 2? Let me know! What are your thoughts on the article? Thanks for reading :D

Information 

Escapist Magazine:

Wikipedia:

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Jelani Thompson is the Owner/Editor-In-Chief at Always Nintendo! He's very passionate about interviewing developers and bringing daily Wii U and 3DS news to the site's readers. When he's not busy saving the universe, he's most likely at his Grandma's house eating her delicious meals.