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6 Nintendo IPs long overdue for a comeback

Nintendo's future should be about revisiting the past.

When most people think of Nintendo, some IPs specifically come to mind. Mario, Zelda, Super Smash Bros, and Splatoon are perhaps Nintendo’s most popular titles; yet there are many others that haven’t seen the spotlight in forever.

The Nintendo Direct during E3 highlighted some of those semi-forgotten franchises, and it reminded me that the NES, GameCube, and 3DS all had games that could benefit from being reintroduced to the general public. Below is a list of Nintendo IPs that should make a resurgence on Switch.

Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem

Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem is one of the most influential horror video games ever made. It’s what made me a fan of the genre 19 years ago, and I haven’t played anything like it since. Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem seems like your typical survival horror game on the surface, but that would be a misconception.

For starters, Eternal Darkness introduced the sanity meter, a feature adopted by many games since. Being spotted by enemies causes the meter to deplete. This makes the various characters start to hallucinate. One instance can have the room fill with ammo. When you go to attack, your inventory might not have any bullets. Another instance has a photorealistic bug crawl across the screen. Sanity effects can cause your TV to adjust its volume automatically, and the scariest event is when the game tricks players into thinking they deleted their save file.

Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem revolutionized the genre with innovative gameplay and storytelling. A new installment can push the genre further today. 

Wave Race

When you think of Switch, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe comes to mind. It’s a flagship title for the console, but besides that, the racing genre is almost nonexistent on Switch. Wave Race is a series that desperately needs to make a comeback. 

Wave Race: Blue Storm contained fantastic water physics and visuals. Another aspect of the racing that made this game stand out from that pack was the slalom style: instead of a typical start to finish racing, Wave Race: Blue Storm requires players to weave through obstacles to win. The Wave Race franchise deserves another chance because it’s unlike other racing games on the market. 

Custom Robo

You’d be forgiven for not knowing about the Custom Robo franchise. Custom Robo is an action RPG series that tasks players with fighting against other robots in structures called holosseums. The series is mostly exclusive to Japan, except for the installments on GameCube and DS. With RPG elements, intuitive action, and robots that you enhance to take down opponents, Custom Robo is the type of game that screams mainstream. It’s an underrated franchise that deserved more love on GameCube.

I spent all of Summer 2004 playing the game with friends and have craved more since then. With the Switch’s portability, Custom Robo is the perfect game for the console. An extensive sci-fi storyline with fantastic 1-on-1 battles is the type of game that would sell countless units. It’s a series that would thrive if more people had access to it. 

Star Fox

It’s been five years since Star Fox Zero, and I’m still disappointed. Platinum Games usually knocks it out of the park, but the overreliance on motion controls made Fox’s last outing a huge misfire. There’s so much potential with the Star Fox brand, especially since the franchise has diverse installments.

While fans are probably hoping for a new game akin to Star Fox 64, a new Star Fox Adventures-style game would be the best bet. Switch owners love Zelda, and Rare’s final outing with the iconic fox was the best Zelda-inspired game in years. Fox has been confined to Super Smash Bros for most of his career, and I want the iconic squad of characters to be treated with the respect they deserve. 

Ice Climbers

If you’ve played Super Smash Bros Melee and beyond, you know who the Ice Climbers are. Popo and Nana are two Inuit children who continuously try and ascend levels to collect fruit. Their inclusion in Super Smash Bros. is weird because their game isn’t combat-oriented in the slightest. Sure, you can use their mallet to hit enemies, but the main draw is climbing.

With how well-known these characters are now, it’s shocking that Nintendo hasn’t decided to reboot Ice Climbers into a full-blown platforming adventure game. The idea of exploring vibrant mountains and encountering a whole new set of characters is exciting. We know about the Ice Climbers, but now is the right time to meet them in their own game.

F-Zero

Let’s talk about F-Zero. We haven’t seen a new installment since the sensational F-Zero GX on GameCube. Similar to other games on this list, we mainly see Captain Falcon in the Super Smash Bros franchise. F-Zero deserves a comeback, but there could be some variations to a new installment. Instead of a racing game, an open-world action game akin to Grand Theft Auto seems like a great fit for the series.

Not many people realize that F-Zero is a racing series since Captain Falcon is famous for his speed, punches, and kicks. A reimagining that includes the iconic racing mixed with Captain Falcon’s combat moves would be a match made in gaming heaven.

These are the Nintendo IPs I think need to make a comeback. Sure, the catalog on Switch is already impressive; the problem is that the company continuously forgets about other popular franchises and standalone experiences that fans adore. There’s no reason why we can’t have these forgotten series get another chance.

What are your favorite Nintendo IPs that need another installment? Be sure to let me know in the comments below.

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Andrew Gonzalez

I'm Andrew! I love video games and mainly play on my Xbox Series X, but also dabble with PlayStation 5 and Switch. When I'm not playing video games, I'm hanging out with friends, watching movies, rocking out, or debating which Taylor Swift song is the best. I'm a bit of a mixed bag.
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