E3 2012: Before the Show – Nintendo franchises that missed the Wii (and should be on Wii U)

With Pikmin on its way, who’s next on the list?

The Nintendo Wii. Home to 3 main-line Mario games, 3 Metroid games, 2 Zelda games, 2 Kirby games, and a crapload of other titles. Yup, many of us will look back at all the awesome content the Wii had and how they all utilized the Wiimote in a unique fashion. Unfortunately, many of else will also look back and think to ourselves, “what happened?” The last quarter of the Wii’s lifespan was full of software droughts of not just third-party games, but first-party as well. Many of us wanted Nintendo to reboot older franchises onto the Wii. Unfortunately, we got none.

But the Wii is about to get replaced with the shiny new Wii U. And along with it will come Pikmin 3, the third entry of a franchise that started on the GameCube and never made it to Wii (with the exception of the NPC titles, but those aren’t true sequels). Pikmin 3 not only gives hope to the Pikmin franchise, but it also gives hope to other franchises that never made it to Wii. And that is what this blog is about. Below you’ll find 5 franchises that skipped the Wii, and why I think they’ll be great on Wii U.

1) Star Fox

Let’s rock and roll! The Star Fox series’ absence from the Wii was and always will be a mystery to Nintendo fans. Miyamoto had long hinted the return of the Star Fox franchise, going so far as to saying that the Wiimote would work great for controlling the Arwing. But of course, Star Fox Wii never came to be. But don’t be saddened, guys. It’s been rumored that the franchise is going to make a return with Retro Studios holding its reigns! Yup, Star Fox may be headed its way onto the Wii U, and sooner than you may have expected!

There are several reasons why I think Star Fox is a great fit for Wii U. First, the tablet controller would work great as a dashboard or communicator. Second, considering that the Wii U is supposedly going to feature a robust online system, we might actually be able to get our first taste of Star Fox with online play and online leaderboards (finally)! And third, it’s Star Fox. IN HD!!!

2) F-Zero

Unlike Star Fox, which had a game on the DS, F-Zero completely skipped the last console generation. Why? Who knows? The last F-Zero game was released almost a decade ago, and it didn’t even make it here to America! Where had Nintendo’s rival to Sony’s WipEout go? To the Wii U, perhaps? Maybe. Miyamoto has in the past discussed his feelings toward F-Zero on Wii, saying that it wouldn’t “surprise” anyone. But he did hint that he’d like to reboot the franchise… on next-gen hardware. Wii U?

The many reasons why I think Nintendo should reboot F-Zero on the Wii U are very similar to why I think Star Fox should get a reboot. The tablet controller, again, could act as a dashboard. The bright lights and high-speed blurs would look amazing in HD. And did I mention online? Yeah more online play, more leaderboards, more fun!

3) Wave Race

MAXIMUMMMMM POWWWWEEERRRRRRR!!! Wave Race on the N64 was amazing. Not only was it fun, but for the first time in history, video games got water physics “right”. The GameCube game was all right, though it seemed so bland and had terrible controls. After skipping over the Wii, we’ve found ourselves onto the Wii U (and no, the jet skis in Wii Sport Resort do not count). Will we get a new Wave Race for Wii U?

As of right now, there’s been no word on the future of the Wave Race franchise, so it’s very possible that the franchise is dead. However, I do hope that a new one will come out soon, for the very same reason as F-Zero: dashboard, online, and HD. Whether we’ll get it is anyone’s guess. Only Nintendo knows what’s next for the Wave Race franchise.

I don’t understand. It’s not like Nintendo’s facing competition in the jet ski racing genre. Why don’t they just make a new Wave Race?

4) 1080˚

Before SSX we had 1080˚, Nintendo’s very own snowboarding franchise. Unfortunately, 1080˚ suffered from a similar fate as Wave Race; the N64 version was amazing, the GameCube version was alright, and then we get nothing more. Like Wave Race, no one knows where the hell the franchise is, and whether or not Nintendo even cares anymore.

Now, I think we all know what I’m going to talk about here. Yes, 1080˚ would be amazing online. Yes, 1080˚ would be amazing in HD. As for the tablet controller though, I’m not sure how it would fit into the game. Maybe a new way to do tricks? Hmm? Sounds cool to me!

5) Ice Climber

I honestly don’t know why I want a new Ice Climber game so much. I hated the original. Yet I want a new one so bad. I think it’s time that Nintendo reboot the franchise. After all, Kid Icarus got a reboot, so why can’t Ice Climber?

As for what type of game Ice Climber HD could be… maybe an RPG? A pseudo-sequel to Mother 3? Both franchises have children in them, why not? Or maybe a survival horror game? Children and zombies are scary, right? Maybe like Eternal Darkness? Kids getting stuck in an asylum is scary too, right? Yeah I’m going crazy with this. I just want a new Ice Climber game Nintendo, only because I want to see what you guys can come up with.

And yes, I know. Ice Climber didn’t just miss the Wii. It pretty much missed everything else aside from its original Famicom/NES release. But oh well.

Well, that’s it guys. Check back next Friday for more stuff to think about before E3 comes around! See you guys then!

Oh, and tell me, which Nintendo franchise(s) would YOU like to see on Wii U?


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