And weíre back for round two! This time I will be focusing on franchises that never made it beyond the Super Nintendo. Whether they started on the NES / other platforms, or were brand spanking new IPs, they had their moment on the spotlight and were quickly retired.
I already gave context for these lists in my 8-bit NES franchises that could use a retro revival top ten, so I wonít rehash that all over again. The short version is that some franchises deserved a longer life than they received, and these are some of those franchises.
My ground rules again:
1. All of these franchises, as far as I can determine, have never had a new console game post-SNES-era on any platform, nor have they had a new handheld game post-Game Boy-era. At least, not in the West.
2. Franchises that have seen ports and remakes on various platforms over the years are ok for the list.
I always like to see racing games with a twist, and Uniracers definitely had a few twists... literally. Uniracers is one of the earlier games in the ďstunt racerĒ genre, where pulling off various stunts will get you extra speed or points (depending on the mode.) Unfortunately, Pixar sued developer DMA Design because uh... Pixar thinks they invented the idea of a digital unicycle? And they won, because theyíre Pixar. So I really doubt that we will ever see this one come back. What a shame.
Zombies Ate My Neighbors
Zombies Ate My Neighbors is a two player co-op game where you run around a typical suburban town trying to survive a zombie outbreak. And you also fight giant babies, among many other things. This game did zombies before zombies were cool, and it was a bunch of slapstick fun. Iím sort of half surprised that it never made a comeback when twin-stick shooters started getting huge, as it could have easily been turned into a pretty sweet twin-stick shooter.
If you own a Wii U, you canít look at that sexy touch screen controller and not think ďMario PaintĒ. Yep, Mario Paint is pure sex! Sure, you can already draw some neat pictures in Miiverse, but a new Mario Paint could take things to the next level, and allow for art, sound, and animation to come together in one glorious package. If Nintendo could work it smoothly into Miiverse, all the better. In fact, itís probably safe to say that a new Mario Paint would need Miiverse integration; anything less would not be acceptable.
Illusion of Gaia / Terranigma / Soul Blazer
Iím going to be honest here; Iíve never played any of these games. From what I have heard, itís not even a clear cut ďfranchiseĒ per se, but three loosely connected games that all take place in the same world. Iíve also heard that these are three very good games, so it amazes me that I never really heard much about them back in the days. I should probably go ahead and try to play these games first before calling for new ones, but whatever the case, Iím always interested in revivals of classic RPG series, and these seem like some of the best candidates.
Demonís Crest is the third spin-off that stars Firebrand the demon from the Ghostsín Goblins series, and it is generally considered the best of the three. Itís a bit of Ghostsín Goblins, Castlevania, and Mega Man X combined, and no part of that is a bad thing. Unfortunately, the spin-off series died on the Super Nintendo, and Firebrand has not had the chance to star in his own game again ever since. I say bring it on.
Super Mario RPG
Whether or not you believe that this game qualifies for my list has a lot to do with whether you believe that the Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi series are part of the same lineage as Super Mario RPG. Personally, Iíve never felt a pressing need to revisit Super Mario RPG, because both Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi are doing some pretty amazing things, and how many Mario RPG series do we really need? But I can definitely see the potential. If nothing else we would get to see our buddies Mallow and Geno again, and that wouldnít be a bad thing.
Turrican is another franchise that I was introduced to through one of our retro game clubs when we played Super Turrican on the Super Nintendo, and I quickly became a fan. Admittedly, I never finished the game, because I lose patience nowadays with games that have a limited amount of lives and make you start over from the beginning if you run out. I guess Iím just not that hardcore anymore. Nonetheless, itís an awesome action / adventure / shooter series with some minor Metroid-like elements, and Iíd love to see what could be done with a revival.
Ahhhhhhhh ActRaiser, we all remember this game, right? And not so much the inferior sequel. One part action / platformer, one part sim, it was a pretty unique combination at the time, and it didnít hurt that it pulled off both parts pretty darn well. In a world where platformers with a twist are all of the rage, I could definitely see an ActRaiser revival finding a market. ActRaiser was a pretty ambitious concept back then, but it died off quickly possibly due to the inferior sequel, and it deserves to get another shot.
Although it is probably the original NES Battletoads game that most people have the fondest (or not so fondest) memories of, the Super Nintendo sequel wasnít half bad either. If you didnít get very far into these games, you might think that Battletoads is just another beat-em-up franchise; however, they both contained a wide variety of gameplay in addition to the beat-em-up segments, including several vehicle-based stages. And they were just plain silly fun, with a bunch of exaggerated cartoonish animations for your various attacks. There was also a Battletoads / Double Dragon crossover game at some point, and with Double Dragon recently getting a revival with Double Dragon Neon, why not Battletoads?
Kirby's Dream Course
There are three kinds of people in this world; those who love Kirbyís Dream Course, those who have never played it but would love it if they did, and those who love being wrong all the time. Kirbyís Dream Course is loosely based off of golf, but only loosely; Kirby must eliminate all of the enemies on an isometric course before working his way into the hole in as few turns as possible, and there are a bunch of well-known Kirby power-ups to utilize along the way, from spikes to a wheel to a UFO. It was also one of my absolute favorite games on the Super Nintendo, and Iíve desperately been wishing for a sequel ever since. Alas, it has remained a standalone title all of these years. All that one can do is hope...
The unfortunate fact is that I lent my copy of Kirby's Dream Course to a friend a few years back and haven't talked to him much since. I guess I need to just bite the bullet and get a copy of it on VC.