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.