There was a time when Mario Kart wasn’t the only racing title Nintendo had on the market. F-Zero was a fast-paced, action-packed alternative. Captain Falcon and his fellow racers inhabited an edgy world filled with attitude, but the Big N clearly didn’t see the merit in having two racing series.
The release of Fast RMX on Switch, which is essentially F-Zero in everything but name, is a sign that Nintendo isn’t too interested in bringing back the fan favorite franchise. The next time we see Captain Falcon will likely be in the next Smash Bros. game, throwing punches instead of taking boost pads.
Starting on the SNES and popping up here and there on several different Nintendo systems up through the release of the 3DS, Pilot Wings is a fun way to explore an open world in a variety of vehicles. The gameplay never changes in dramatic ways, but flying through winds in everything from a prop plane to a jetpack is always a relaxing way to spend an afternoon.
But the series was never as fully fledged as other games in Nintendo’s catalog, so it’s unlikely that the Switch will be able to get the series airborne again, especially after being grounded for so long.
Even if the Switch becomes the best-selling console in the history of video games, the Earthbound series is still going to remain stagnant. Mother 3 still hasn’t been localized, despite Earthbound/Mother 2 coming to both the Wii U and New 3DS virtual consoles.
Maybe we’ll see a port of Mother 3 make its way to the Switch, but with creator Shigesato Itoi refusing to return to the series to craft a fourth game, unless Nintendo takes it upon themselves to bring the quirky JRPG series into the modern age of gaming, we’ll have to make do with the three games we already have.
Nintendo is largely responsible for filling out its own catalog on its systems. They have at least one title to fill every genre, with Fire Emblem covering the RTS side of things. This leaves little room for Advanced Wars to breathe.
The series saw a lot of success on the GBA and DS, but the return of Fire Emblem into the public consciousness means that Advanced Wars isn’t needed. Nintendo is clearly putting everything they have into Fire Emblem — a new entry in the series is confirmed for a 2018 release. At least we can still boot up our Wii Us and play Advanced Wars on the virtual console.
Custom Robo was a fantastic action game that made it fun to build out your own robo and leap into the arena to duke it out with other bots. The deep customization plays out in real-time on the battlefield as you wield unique items and try to outsmart and out power your opponents.
It has been 10 years since we last saw the series, dousing any hopes we had of seeing a sequel on shiny new hardware, showing us just how shiny customized robots can look. The Switch would be a great contender for a new Custom Robo game, perfectly suited to the quick battles and deep customization. But don’t hold your breath for this one.
The most recent Steel Diver games haven’t really registered on the radar of Nintendo fans. The gameplay is typically rather slow and deliberate. As far as Nintendo franchises go, it certainly isn’t the most action-packed, and with the large amount of indie support the Switch has, there is no shortage of quirky games.
Steel Diver likely won’t return because it simply isn’t needed. Nintendo has a lot of big titles in the works and will be reinventing some of its biggest franchises in ways similar to how Breath of the Wild has reinvented The Legend of Zelda.
This colorful platformer isn’t particularly challenging, but it does feature a beautiful underwater world, goofy aquatic characters, and a nice sense of progression that ramps up the difficulty. But Nintendo has a lot of platforming series currently in rotation. Yoshi and Kirby are great for the less skilled, Mario is for everyone, and Donkey Kong offers a tough as nails challenge in exchange for bananas.
Starfy just doesn’t have the name recognition to make a new self-titled game starring (no pun intended) (Editor’s note: liar) the durable little starfish worthwhile. Maybe he’ll return as a support trophy in the next Smash Bros., but don’t expect him to swim onto the Switch.
First seen on the Nintendo DS, Brain Age included a set of fun minigames for players to work through, each one testing their intelligence in unique ways. The series got four entries, with the last one being on the 3DS in 2012.
Each puzzle the game launched at players was thought-provoking, fun and full of humor. The series also made great use of the DS’ touch screen, utilizing it for nearly all of the game’s puzzles. It’s already been five years since we last saw the series, and there hasn’t been mention of a return for the brain-teasing title.
When Nintendo has dabbled in creating deep, feature-rich RPGs, they usually hit it out of the park. Golden Sun is the perfect example of this. It tells an epic story, features plenty of deep strategy, and presents players with a breathtaking world.
But like many of Nintendo’s less popular series, it has a stable following but nothing large enough to propel it to success. We’ll miss Isaac and all of his adventures, but hopefully we’ll get a lot of other great RPGs on the Switch to make up for its absence.
Punch Out!! is still a big series for Nintendo, but revisiting it seems to be more than a little difficult. With Arms releasing on Switch this year and launching a new boxing series for Nintendo, it’s looking more and more likely that Little Mac will not get a chance to step back into the ring.
The last Punch Out!! game released for Wii in 2009, doing little more to the series than giving it new coat of paint. The addition of motion controls was fun but it didn’t change the core gameplay. Arms is an evolution of the Punch Out!! series and simultaneously launches a new IP for Nintendo, so the company doesn’t need to bring Punch Out!! back for another round.