Dreams are a powerful thing, but they can also be incredibly painful. At the gates of every E3, the mind of every Nintendo fan is bursting with wild hopes of seeing a far-fetched and highly desired game materialize. Sometimes, it is an important franchise that has been gone for long and whose resurrection seems unlikely; and on other occasions it simply is a project that would make a lot of sense with the hardware the company currently holds. Regardless of what makes them a nearly impossible dream, the announcement of any of the following titles would make a lot of folks happy.
The history of the F-Zero property makes absolutely no sense. While most franchises would use an extremely successful entry as a launching pad towards more investment and new installments, Captain Falcon and his gang of outrageous intergalactic personalities simply vanished after F-Zero GX, which – by all means and effects – is one of the finest racing games ever. Nintendo fans loved it and even those outside the realm of the Big N’s influence still look positively towards a title that was as absurdly hardcore as a game that sends ships speeding through loops, corkscrews, and cylinders that hang above miles lava and other hazards can be.
Since then, it seems the company has created a weird aversion towards F-Zero. GX has been publicly criticized by Miyamoto himself, which shows a considerable diversion between what the fanbase thinks is ideal for the franchise and what Nintendo’s creative leader envisions as F-Zero’s truest and purest form. Therefore, not only is it questionable if a new installment in the series will ever show up, but there is also a huge question mark hovering over the exact form and shape of that hypothetical game. The only thing that could clear those doubts away is the game showing up for E3.
Some might say that, thanks to the existence of Luigi’s Mansion, the world’s most famous green plumber has gotten what he deserves: a franchise to call his own. However, as the perfect physical (at least in a virtual sense) definition of the adjective “overlooked”, the Nintendo haunted house adventure has gotten a meager two installments over an interval of fourteen years. Dark Moon, its latest release, came out only two years ago, but it was a game of such overwhelming charm and technical prowesses that it stands as one of the 3DS’ finest releases. Moreover, the game solidified Luigi’s Mansion as a property Nintendo is willing to revisit and keep it running for a long time.
While a handheld game was nice, Luigi’s Mansion could heavily benefit from the Wii U’s hardware and – in turn – it would add yet another great title to the console’s ever growing library of amazing first-party releases. As Nintendo Land displayed through its ghostly mini-game, the poltergeist-ridden dark rooms could serve as the flowering grounds for various Gamepad-related gameplay ideas, an area on which the Wii U is lacking terribly. With that kind of creativity, a third Luigi’s Mansion installment could – more than take advantage of the success and buzz generated by Dark Moon – learn from that game’s tiny mistakes and push the franchise to an elevated ground where only Nintendo’s strongest properties sit.
Differently from F-Zero, the void left by the main line of Mario RPGs is not due to its total absence; it exists thanks to the dubious quality or quirky nature of its latest releases. While the Mario and Luigi saga has kept on delivering a great high-quality share of Mushroom Kingdom role-playing goodness, the Paper Mario franchise has sunk in a flash. Super Paper Mario was very good, but as a sequel to The Thousand-Year Door – a true epic – its light-weight battle elements combined with its focus on platforming yielded a result that was far from what fans wanted. The main quality it retained from the GameCube and Nintendo 64 masterpieces that preceded was its stellar script, even if it was a bit too verbose.
Meanwhile, Sticker Star embraced a clever concept embedded in the franchise’s paper-made universe and proceeded to fail miserably, delivering one of the worst Nintendo games in recent memory. Consequently, people who have gone through Super Mario RPG, Paper Mario, and its amazing sequel are desperate for some Mario RPG goodness. The announcement of a game of that kind – even if dressed up in a new coat of paint or packed with unique elements that turn it into a monster that is not Paper Mario, but one that stays true to the series’ RPG roots – would be a dream come true.
Ever since the unknown Ness appeared as the ultimate secret character on 1999’s Super Smash Bros., the Mother series has transformed from an ugly duckling deeply admired by a few to a popularity phenomenon. Time and time again, true to its stubbornness, Nintendo of America had denied to give the property another shot on American soil even when faced with an ever-growing fanbase that found a way to experience Earthbound (known in Japan as Mother 2) through other means. The battle, and Nintendo’s incomprehensible refusal to make some money (rumored by some to have been caused by licensing problems with some of the title’s songs), ended when – in 2013 – the game hit the Virtual Console to big sales and warm critical reception.
One considerable sin has yet to be addressed, though: the fact neither Mother nor Mother 3 have ever been released outside Japan. There are many ways Nintendo could achieve that: the games could be released on the Virtual Console after localization efforts, remastered editions could be sold physically for the Nintendo 3DS, or – better yet – a big package containing the marvelous trilogy either in an updated or preserved state could be produced. It is a highly far-fetched scenario, but it is hard not to imagine the success of Earthbound’s re-release has made some people inside Nintendo scratch their heads and wonder if such projects would be financially viable.
12 thoughts on “E3 2015 Predictions: Dream A Dream Edition”
The first three console Mario RPGs are some of the finest games Nintendo has ever made, it’s a shame they don’t get the same credit as the Mario platformers or Zelda (the latter of which I feel gets too much hype sometimes, considering how people are so quick to give every new entry a perfect score…and then pretend like they didn’t a month later *Cough! Twilight Princess! Cough! Skyward Sword!*). I would love a brand new Mario RPG of some kind. I liked how with the first three (SMRPG, Paper Mario, Superstar Saga), they each had their own identity. I’d love a new Paper Mario as well, but it would be great to see the Mario RPG do something different. Or just get Square to help with Mario RPG 2. Talk about a sequel that should have been (I’m tired of Final Fantasy anyway, let Square make something people actually want).
As for Luigi’s Mansion, I certainly wouldn’t be against that. But I also don’t want Luigi to be stuck in Luigi’s Mansion sequels if he gets more games of his own. Mario is always branching out and doing new things, why not Luigi as well?
One more thing, if I’m not mistaken, Shigesato Itoi actually owns the creative rights to Mother, doesn’t he? I remember him saying he has no plans to make Mother 4, but didn’t rule it out entirely if he came up with a good setup. I could be wrong, but I believe this is a rare instance where the creator has the say-so if a new entry is made. However, there is no reason why Nintendo can’t re-release the old entries (unless the licensing issues are true).
I have heard the same thing. It is his property. I am not sure how the licensing for the releasing of the trilogy would work.
Yeah, it is a shame Nintendo totally removed all the characteristics that made Paper Mario games so great from the franchise. It makes it feel like the last Paper Mario game was TTYD. Sticker Star was awful!
And Luigi certainly deserves more series, but Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a must!
I’d like a new Mario RPG. Super Mario RPG and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door are both amazing games. In fact, the former was the very first JRPG I ever played in my life and is what got me interested in the genre. Paper Mario was pretty good, though I think its sequel surpassed it. Super Paper Mario was alright, but I didn’t like it quite as much as its turn-based prequels – even though it did have some clever ideas.
What I found interesting in hindsight about the Mother series is that despite how much ambition those games had, the only one I really liked was Earthbound – the sole installment that made it out of Japan. The original Mother hasn’t aged well and the random encounter rate was ridiculous. Meanwhile, Mother 3 lost me with its pathos-heavy plot. Despite this, I think it would be nice if the latter got an official Western release. Funnily enough, with the Ace Attorney series, it’s the other way around – the only game that wasn’t localized, dubbed Prosecutor’s Path by fans, is my favorite installment.
Entertaining thoughts about giving the fan-made Mother 4 a shot?
I found out about is just yesterday, but I am guessing Nintendo/Itoi might shoot it down before it comes out. If they don’t I might give it a try to see what is there.
Personally, I like the Paper Mario games (the first two, obviously) more than Super Mario RPG, but I would not mind watching Nintendo do a more traditional Mushroom Kingdom RPG. Super Paper Mario was cool too, but as a Paper Mario game it was certainly not what I wanted.
If it was based on a Square property, there would be a 100% chance of it getting shot down. Also, I think I remember someone on the Mother 4 development team saying that in the event of receiving a C&D order, they would rework the game so that it would be completely original, so one way or another, it’s getting released.
Yeah, Super Paper Mario was good, but, unlike its prequels, it never really ascended past the level of being merely “sort of neat.”
Oh, I was not aware of that Mother 4 detail. That’s cool then!
I completely agree on the Super Paper Mario remark.
I can see perhaps one of these franchises being on the cards, realistically, for release in the next year or so. I’ve never been a fan of the Mario RPGs, Earthbound is good but (I’m sorry to say) I think out of the question, but F-Zero is a realistic option I’d be interested in. Still I have to admit, Star Fox trumps them all for me, I’m very excited to see what happens with that 😀
I also think an Earthbound re-release is very farfetched. I will be very happy if we get F-Zero or a Mario RPG.
Well blow me, I was wrong! Earthbound Beginnings! Now do we expect something more to come at E3 proper? I still say no…but I’m a lot less sure now than I was yesterday 😛
Oh well, my crystal ball may not be broken after all. Now where is my Mother 3 localization, Nintendo!?
That game deserved an official release in English.