The Destructoid staff sounds off
We’re a little more than a month off from the launch of the next Nintendo console. Given the last few years of great games but tepid sales with the Wii U, part of me thinks the success of this little device will make or break Nintendo as we know it. Many big 3rd party developers are pulling a bullshit wait-and-see approach, but in their absence, I think Nintendo is doing everything it can to make this a success, outside of selling it for $199. In its first year, the Switch will have Zelda, Mario, Mario Kart, Splatoon, Xenoblade; all of which are franchises with passionate followings. Beyond 2017, who the hell knows what’s in store for us.
Of course, every time Nintendo launches a new device, I can’t help but think about the classic games I’d like to see make a grand return. On the 3DS, we finally got a new Kid Icarus and, while the control set-up was debatable, I loved Pit’s triumphant return. On the Wii, we saw the return of the excellent Punch Out!! franchise.
Will we see another beloved series return on the Switch? Who the hell knows, but I wanted to know what the Destructoid staff thought, so I asked them to name a classic game they’d love to play a new entry in with the two stipulations: the franchise can’t have had a new entry in the last 10 years and it had to be exclusive to Nintendo systems.
For me, the biggest selling point about the Switch isn’t its portability. That’s a great feature and all, but I am completely obsessed with that controller. With the Joy Cons, I can’t help but think it’s the perfect machine for easy join-in/drop-out 2-player games. I love the concept behind it, like being at an arcade making you way through a game when suddenly the screen goes dark as a challenger approaches. There, they throw in a few quarters and it’s go time. Here, you simply take apart your controller and you’re ready to do battle.
Growing up, I loved heading down to the video rental house (it was a literal house… later a police station) and picking up its copy of Uniracers. Developed by Nintendo and the company that would one day become Rockstar Games, Uniracers was one of several competitive games my brother and I would spend our rainy Western Washington Saturday afternoons playing. Unlike the other games we frequented (Madden 95 and TMNT Tournament Fighters) where I would get frustrated by how often he beat me, I never let the agony of defeat get me down. I think it’s because for me it wasn’t just about coming in first place, but also seeing what types of tricks I could string together on the many jumps throughout each course. Plus, for just being pieces of equipment, the unicycles had personality, and personality goes a long way.
It’s a shame Pixar sued the DMA Design, forcing the end of Uniracers cartridge production because I don’t think enough people got a chance to sit side-by-side on the couch, pulling off mad tricks in one of my most enjoyed SNES games. With the Switch, I think it’s high time we gave them another shot.
I think we’re due for another StarTropics.
It somehow managed to do some things better than Zelda and offered up a perfect balance of puzzle and action. It’s a shame that the sequel didn’t do so well and essentially killed off the series, as a lot of things were working against it at the time (the weird title, its release at the end of the NES’ life cycle). If they can somehow bring back the physical edition “submerged letter” gimmick, even if it’s just for an Easter egg extra, even better.
Nintendo, ya done blew it. You had a system built around a controller that had motion controls, a gyroscope, a touch screen, and even a selfie cam. The damned gamepad had the perfect shape and design. You went an entire five years with this system before retiring it, and you didn’t even bother to use it to your immediate advantage. Mario’s great, yeah. Link is pretty cool. I think even Donkey Kong hung out for a bit. But where the fuck was your system seller? Your killer app? The Game to Rule Them All?
Where the hell was Pokemon Snap?
The Wii U was almost too perfect of a system to break out the Nintendo 64’s best game (fight me) for a modern update, and you went ahead and squandered it. For shame. Let’s right this very objective wrong and get the band back together for another safari adventure with everyone’s favorite Pokemon photo simulator on the Nintendo Switch. Imagine this game with the JoyCon controllers: While in Free Range Mode (what I’m officially calling it where you play with just the two separate JoyCon detached from the pad and controller base) you hold your hands up at the ready position to throw apples and Pester Balls at any unwilling photo-op participants. When you see a reluctant Raichu or an evasive Eevee, you hold down a button and flick your wrist toward the screen, simulating the motion of actually throwing shit at the pocket monster. When it’s dazed and relatively pissed off, you put both hands back up in front of you, hold down the trigger on each controller, and tap A to take a photo. It’s not a real replacement for the Wii U gamepad, but god damn it, it’s a start.
You can also play with the JoyCon attached to the screen, or with the regular gamepad controller. It’s not as fun, but I guess it’s an option.
Look, I know Breath of the Wild is gonna be dope. Super Mario Odyssey looks a bit strange, but I have no doubt they’ll pull it off. I have no interest in seventeen different Fire Emblem and Dragon Quest games, so that’s a wash. But honestly, I’m not entirely sold on the announced software for the Switch. Announce a new Pokemon Snap game, however, and I’m all yours again, Nintendo.
Make me a Switch Hitter.
When my parents first bought me an N64, I didn’t have any games for it so we had to rent quite often. But given the only place we could rent from was Hollywood Video (since my parents often owed Blockbuster a good chunk, haha), and since we’d only get to go rent things on Saturdays, I didn’t usually have the best selection of games to choose from. I may never have gotten to play famous games like Super Mario 64, but I’ve never regretted exploring the rental selection. I played so many unique, unpopular games that I would absolutely love to see again on a new Nintendo console. Iggy’s Wreckin’ Balls, Space Station Silicon Valley, and my absolute favorite, the Snowboard Kids series.
Published by Atlus, and developed by Racdym, Snowboard Kids was this awesome Mario Kart-style racer but with snowboards…and kids. It had this dope mechanic where you had to pull off tricks in order to get any items, and every time you’d finish a lap the kid would hop into this super cute lift gate that brought you back to the starting point. It got a sequel with a big story feature a few years later, and a terrible DS sequel seven years later (which I’m not counting because how dare they), but it’s been dormant since 2006. I’d love to see it again. And hear that fly soundtrack again.
I am one of the five people left in the world who remember the Monolith Soft series Baten Kaitos. You might have noticed.
I bought the first game on a whim, simply because the box art looked cool to my 14-year-old self. What I found was a game that would become my favorite JRPG of all time. With its gorgeous world of floating islands, its card-based battle system that relied on quick thinking and an eye for numbers, its fantastic music and its plot involving one of the biggest twists in video game history, Baten Kaitos had it all. I loved it so much that when its prequel wasn’t released in Europe, it became the first and still only game I’ve ever imported.
That was 11 years ago.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the Xenoblade series as well. If Baten Kaitos is my favorite JRPG, the Xenoblade Chronicles is a close second. Xenoblade Chronicles X wasn’t as good but still provided an awesome world for me to get lost in. And while I’m not sold on the new character design, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 might very well be my most anticipated game right now. Nevertheless, Baten Kaitos will always hold a special place in my heart. After 11 years, I want to go back to the world of floating islands, people with wings, card-punk technology, and magical puppets who speak with two voices at once.
Back in the day, Baten Kaitos was not a Nintendo property. Even today, Bandai Namco owns the rights to it. But with Monolith Soft receiving a prominent spot at Nintendo, and Baten Kaitos music making it into Super Smash Bros. 4, the faithful still cling to hope.
Cast light upon the darkened earth. Save those lost in despair. Oh mighty Nintendo Switch; guide us as we journey through the darkest pit of night.
Mention the SNES to someone, and the game most likely to come to their mind first will probably be Super Mario World. If we’re being honest, that’s true for me, too. But after Super Mario World? It’s Metal Warriors. Despite being published by Konami and being so heavily indebted to both the visual style of ’80s mecha anime and the gameplay of titles like Assault Suits Valken (aka Cybernator), the big surprise for me was to find out the thing was actually developed by Lucasarts.
And what they made was a revelation. Not quite as twitchy and hectic as other mech shmup-platformers of the time, Metal Warriors was practically sim-like in its respect for different classes of giant robot and the ability to get out of the mech and do things on foot. I imagine some future Switch-based reboot would be a 3D sim in the vein of Mechassault or even Front Mission Evolved, but I think the time is right for that style of game again.
Advance Wars. What the fuck, Nintendo? CJ stipulated we can only pick series that haven’t had an entrant in 10 years and Advance Wars: Days of Ruin hit DS in 2008, but fuck you, too, CJ! Delete this if you care more about rules than righteousness.
We live in a world where we have crazy destructible terrain and physics simulation, and yet Blast Corps hasn’t been a thing since the Nintendo 64 days. It’s a game where you have to clear a path for a truck with nuclear missiles or whatever on because it can’t stop or whatever and if it crashes into a building the world dies or whatever. So you get in vehicles as basic as Car, as fun as Missle-Launching Motorcycle, and as incredibly stupidly fun as a tumbling robot with one arm called THUNDERFIST.
Oh, and when you finish the main story, you get to go to the moon and other planets and jump around in low gravity or pretend you’re playing Pac-Man. BRING BACK BLAST CORPS.
Since Zack stole my thunder with Blast Corps, I’ll go with the next best option: Pokémon Stadium! Snap is cool and all, but god damn was the Stadium series so cool as a kid. I remember playing it almost every morning before school. In fact, one day I was doing super well on one of the last trainers in the game, and freaking school was about to start. So I secretly left the N64 on and turned the TV off before going to school so I could continue when I got back. I still remember turning on the TV and seeing my Clefable standing there waiting for the next command.
Sun and Moon are super popular amongst just about everyone, likely due to its new take on series staples and bringing some of the original 151 back to the forefront, so now is a perfect time. Hell, I’d be fine with a Pokémon Stadium on the Switch solely consisting of mini-games! Both Stadium games had incredible mini-games, whether you were counting Jigglypuffs or licking up food as Lickitung. Man, I like this idea way better. Get some friends, bust out the Joy-Cons, and boot up the Pokémon Stadium mini-game collection.
I had to really dive back into my memory banks to see what kind of games I haven’t seen in ages. I made mention of Blast Corps during discussions and Advance Wars is my one true pick to rule them all. But if I wanted to represent something that has not been raised yet in order to achieve the maximum amount of justice one can rain from above, I had to go deeper for another glorious choice.
First, Capcom’s Versus series of fighting games has a tendency to remind me of classic games I’ve played that haven’t gotten much love. And thinking of my time on Arthur reminded me that I love playing Super Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts back in the day. Really, we live in a day where difficulty is such an appreciated point of design, even if perhaps old school difficulty could sometimes be cheap.
But I dove a little too hard into my memories and one classic tune got stuck in my head.
Sunset Riders isn’t a terribly unique game. But it represents Konami back in its heyday when cowboys would run across a charging stampede. This was Konami back when ninjas could pilot giant robots or fight badass native American bosses.
Ok, old school Konami might be gone, so let’s settle on Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts.
Many years ago, a doomed a game was released for Nintendo consoles, starring a character that most would only learn about through the Super Smash Bros. series. The game’s cute, intentionally low-fi look, sincere observations about the basics of human nature, and farcical takes at many topics often too taboo for discussion in mixed company (sex, death, religion, bodily functions, etc) left the uninitiated confused and unconvinced. Was it a kids game? An adult comedy game? Some weird Japanese “art game”? Or was it just shovelware disguised as something more? Those questions and more are what kept the game in question from selling in the first place, but they are also what could help it to find it’s audience today.
No, I’m not talking about Earthbound, but I very well could be, and often times am. This time, I’m talking about Cubivore, developed by Intelligent Systems (Advance Wars, WarioWare, Fire Emblem, Paper Mario, Super Metroid), published by Nintendo in the Japan, and by Atlus in the USA. Not only is this hidden gem a sure win with the Nintendo faithful, but it would also play extremely well with the Minecraft crowd, as it shares a similar look and clunky-but-wild feel. In fact, the first time I saw Minecraft back in 2010, I said: “This is like Cubivore, but bigger and worse.” While Minecraft has grown to become a much better game since then, that doesn’t diminish Cubivore‘s current selling power. All it would take is a little cleaning up and expansion of scope to make it a hit.
These are our choices, let us know below which classic Nintendo games would you like new life breathed into them on the Nintendo Switch?