If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my lifelong obsession with Nintendo games, it’s that Nintendo is a company that does things how and when it wants to. I can’t count the number of times I’ve watched an E3 presentation or Nintendo Direct thinking, “This has got to be the year that they finally announce…” only to set myself up for disappointment.

It may not always make sense, but sometimes Nintendo’s best characters and series are inexplicably shelved for years, or even decades, without a mention. The only upside is that when Nintendo finally dusts one of these dormant series off, the impact and gratification are usually much, much greater.

With a brand new console right around the corner and Nintendo’s full development force behind it, along with the pledged support of many second and third parties, we very well may see some beloved, latent characters from Nintendo’s past find their way back into the spotlight. Our team put together a list of inactive franchises that we think are long overdue for an epic comeback. These are Nintendo Wire’s favorite dormant Nintendo exclusives:

Elite Beat Agents

elite beat agents

So you’re trying to juggle your babysitting gig with your budding, teenage romance and everything suddenly spirals out of control… Don’t worry. Or maybe you’re an adorable miniature pug that suddenly finds yourself stranded 400 miles from home… Relax. Agents are… GO!!

By belting out solos and cutting perfectly synchronized rugs, the Elite Beat Agents effortlessly help these and many other unfortunate souls with their common (?), everyday (?) problems. EBA’s single entry on DS was one of the most irreverent and hilarious rhythm games of all time, and while its most devoted fans will naturally have already imported its two Japanese counterparts, Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! 1 and 2, we think it’s high time this amazing secret service found its way West again.

Golden Sun

by Jaxson Tapp

jaxson tappWhen you look back to the great many RPGs that came to the Game Boy Advance and ask what the greatest Game Boy Advance RPG was, most people are going to tell you that Mother 3 takes the top spot, hands down. There was, however, another RPG released on the GBA years before Mother 3 that is also quite deserving of the top spot. Golden Sun was a beautifully-crafted and well-told story that spanned two games on the GBA that later warranted a third sequel, released on the Nintendo DS in 2010. Six years later, it’s high time to revisit the world of Weyard, especially given that the third game, Dark Dawn, ended in a rather shocking cliffhanger. The incredible world of Golden Sun shone far too bright to be snubbed out so soon, the world needs to be reintroduced to the magic of Adepts, psynergy and Djinn as soon as possible. With no sign of a fourth game on the horizon, one can only hope that one of the greatest RPG series to be released on Nintendo consoles will make its triumphant return someday soon.

Punch-Out!!

by Logan Plant

logan plant

Ever wanted to play out a Rocky movie in a video game? Well, that’s exactly what the Punch-Out!! games feel like. You play as Little Mac, the underdog boxer trying to make a name for himself in the big, mean world of professional boxing. While this may sound like a sports game on the outside, dive in a little deeper and you’ll find that Punch Out!! is actually a series filled with carefully crafted puzzles. See a big glowing spot on your opponent’s belly? Punch it. But first, you have to remember the dodge pattern of left-left-down-right-punch if you want to land a hit. Each fight presents a new challenge, as you have to learn the new patterns and tendencies of each fighter you must take down as you travel down the road to the championship.

Metroid

by Matthew Weidner

matthew weidner
Calling Metroid a dormant franchise might sound odd considering Federation Force’s release just a few short months ago, but let’s be honest: That abomination barely classifies as a spin off, resembling very few qualities that traditionally define the series. A return to Metroid’s classic 2-D side-scrolling roots would go a long way in regaining the trust of the Nintendo faithful after the experimental failures of both Other M’s nonsensical narrative and Federation Force’s action heavy emphasis on cooperative multiplayer. It’s not hard to imagine a new first-person entry in the Prime series either. An open-world Metroid title inspired by Breath of the Wild’s scale of exploration and Dark Souls’ sense of dread and loneliness would perfectly complement series themes established since the days of the NES.

F-Zero

by Ricky Berg

ricky berg
It’s been 13 years since the last entry in Nintendo’s high-speed, intergalactic racing series. Kept in our hearts by Captain Falcon’s memetic presence in Smash Bros., F-Zero has had a whole ensemble of interestingly-designed racers and vehicles that just don’t get the attention they deserve. The SNES original may have only had four pilots, but by 2003 that had been multiplied to over 40 spacefaring selections. Even with the minimal opportunities they’ve had to make their personalities known, the fact they have those personalities and motivations in a game that could simply be “cars go fast” says something about this world.

f-zero gx

And what a world it is, with track designs that say to hell with gravity and have players spinning along tube-like structures, darting through halfpipes, drifting dangerously through curves and making massive jumps. Be it the earliest game’s Mode 7 visuals or the still-holds-up-today models of F-Zero GX on the GameCube, it’s criminal we haven’t seen a full, HD F-Zero when it’s arguably one of the games that could really highlight those visuals and effects. This sense of speed and scale is strengthened by the ability to spin your car about and force others into an early retirement by ramming them, making any passing car not just an opponent, but an obstacle to consider. Of course, this is all tied to a vehicle vitality meter that you can tap into yourself to gain more speed once the first lap is over.

Who knows when it could come around for the final lap, but it’s about time for Nintendo to respec and respect its super-charged future and give it the “Boost Power!” it deserves.

Leave a Comment

Written by Brittin Shauers

Brittin literally grew up with Link, Mario and Samus. These three characters and their worlds collectively capture everything that he loves about video games.

Brittin Shauers