Monday, December 5, 2011

The Top Six Nintendo Games That Should Get 3DS Remakes

If there’s one company in the gaming world that has always been in favor of remakes, it’s Nintendo. It feels like Nintendo is always remaking or porting it’s classic games onto newer consoles and handhelds. The Super Mario Advance games, Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, The Metroid Prime Trilogy and of course the most recent efforts, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and Star Fox 64 3D. For better or worse, Nintendo has a way with getting away with remakes. Maybe it’s because their games are just that timeless. Or maybe it’s the fact that they seem to go the extra mile when remaking their games, including better graphics, new features and just all around upgrading what is likely already a great game.

Also, they made the Water Temple suck less, so there's that.
Just like the DS before it, the 3DS is looking to be a great home for remakes of older Nintendo games, specifically from the Nintendo 64 era. Just look at Ocarina of Time. It’s one of the most beloved and important games in gaming history and Nintendo went back and updated it for a new market and guess what? It may actually be even better now. Only Nintendo could take what many consider to be the best game ever made and actually improve it.

So what am I counting down today? Well, I’m taking a look at six Nintendo games I want remade for the 3DS. I was originally going to make it ten but after going over the list, I felt many of them were either a bit of a stretch or I just didn’t really see a purpose for them to remade, so I changed it to six. Without any more delay, let’s get started.

6. Mario Party 2 & 3

Actually, I just want to see them dress as pirates again.
Hey look, the first entry on the list and I’m already cheating. Okay, yes, maybe it’s unfair to put two games here, but honestly, I couldn’t pick which one I wanted more. I like Mario Party 2 as a game but I think Mario Party 3 has more to offer in terms of modes and gameplay. Either way, I’d love to see either of these games be remade. The general gaming public might be sick of Mario Party games by now, mostly due to oversaturation and the steady decline in quality, but it’s hard to deny how great the series used to be. Sure, the first game destroyed controllers and palms but by Mario Party 2, Nintendo and Hudson really got their act together and created what is in my opinion, one of the best multiplayer games ever made. The boards are great, the mini-games are almost all fun, the items are great, everything about it is a blast. The same could also be said about Mario Party 3, though I don’t think the boards are as good, they did add a host of great new items as well as continuing making great mini-games. It also added the Duel Boards which are a fun little change of pace from the normal party game fare. While there’s nothing specifically about these games that beg to be in 3D, a graphical update wouldn’t hurt and it would be great if the pacing of the game was a little more on-par with the current Mario Party games, both games are incredibly slow, especially 2. The main thing that these games could use that a remake could give them is online. Mario Party is a game that simply must be played with other people and while Mario Party DS showed that Mario Party on a handheld could work, it was a missed opportunity by not having online. A Mario Party for the 3DS could remedy that and what better way to do it than with either of the two best games in the franchise.

5. F-Zero X

Still three places better than I'd be doing.
While the title might lead you to believe it’s the worst report card you’ve ever received, F-Zero X was actually the second installment in the futuristic racing series, F-Zero and boy did it take things to a new level. The tracks were bigger and crazier, they added 26 new characters and had every single one of them be on the track at once. Yeah, the first F-Zero had four racers on track at once, F-Zero X had 30! But most importantly of all, the speed was higher. This was a fast game with in-game speeds reaching up to 1500 km/h. It was a nice alternative to the Mario Kart series. See, if you were a Nintendo fan and wanted a racing game that wasn’t quite as random as Mario Kart, you could always turn to F-Zero. But as I mentioned in my last list, the F-Zero hasn’t had a new entry in a while but that could all be fixed by remaking F-Zero X, the same way they remade Star Fox 64 3D. They could introduce the series to a whole new generation of gamers as well as get veteran gamers to play a game they might have overlooked when it was first released. I’m sure F-Zero X sold well, I know a lot of people have played it, but it doesn’t seem to be talked about as much as the original or F-Zero GX. While it isn’t as good as GX in my opinion, it’s still a fun game and an excellent choice for a remake for the 3DS. Like I said, it could be an alternative to Mario Kart 7. Also, much like Mario Party, it could be greatly improved with the addition of online. Imagine playing online against 29 other people? Man that would sweet although maybe a little farfetched for Nintendo. Still, F-Zero needs some love, so Nintendo, give it the Star Fox treatment and remake this N64 classic.

4. Super Metroid

Destroying Mother Brain...IN 3D!
The only game not to be for the Nintendo 64 on this list, Super Metroid is one of the most commonly referred to games when people talk about games that deserve a remake and with good reason. Super Metroid is considered by many to be the best entry in the Metroid series so it only makes sense to rerelease it on a newer console. There hasn’t been a traditional, sidescrolling style Metroid game since Zero Mission in 2004 and I think it’s about time we fixed that. Sure, Metroid Prime might be great and I loved Metroid: Other M, but 2D is where Metroid really shines and there’s no better example of that than Super Metroid. The atmosphere, the bosses, the upgrades, the inclusion of a map for the first time, everything about Super Metroid is timeless and a remake could easily bring the series back to it’s roots where it belongs. Plus, seeing it with some slick new graphics in 3D would be awesome though I wouldn’t mind if it still used sprites as the sprite work in that game is top notch. Honestly, I can’t really think of much to say other than Super Metroid should be remade and it would be awesome. The only thing I can really think of is that I would want Nintendo to leave out the whole “hint” system they’re adopting more and more often these days. While that’s all well and good for games like Mario and Donkey Kong, the Metroid series has always been about figuring out where to go based on subtle clues and acquiring new weapons, so adding a hint system would diminish a lot of what Super Metroid is all about. Even if it is only optional, I think it shouldn’t be included at all. Novice gamers should experience the game the way it was meant to be experienced; in a vast sea of loneliness, confusion and eventually, likely after hours of searching, realization. 

3. Donkey Kong 64

Shooting Kremlings in the butt is not why I love this game.
Can’t wait to hear everybody tell me I placed this one too high! I just love Donkey Kong 64, alright? Okay, yes, it isn’t perfect. There’s too much useless stuff to collect, having to perform certain tasks as every character is tedious and not being able to just switch characters on the fly is annoying, I know that. But regardless of it’s flaws, Donkey Kong 64 is one of my favorite Nintendo 64 games and one of my favorite games period. It’s just so big and expansive; it sucks you in and makes you want to see everything the game has to offer. All the characters felt unique and like they had purpose of being there (Even if two of them had no reason to exist) and they were a joy to play as. Upgrading your moves and weapons felt good and using them to take out a tough enemy felt even better. The bosses were fun and exciting, even if they reused the same bosses a few too many times and the final showdown with King K. Rool was so cool. I love this game. Okay, yes, maybe Donkey Kong didn’t quite make the leap to 3D as well as either Mario or Link. Maybe Rare got too carried away with making you collect things and maybe Banjo-Kazooie is the better game but I don’t care. This is a great game and I’ve wanted to see it remade ever since Super Mario 64 DS showed that handheld remakes of N64 platformers could work. This game could would look so good in 3D. It’s one of the best looking Nintendo 64 games already and with improved graphics, it would look stunning. The 3D could potentially enhance the platforming sections or even the shooting sections and maybe they could even improve some of it’s flaws such as being able to switch characters on the fly via touch screen or just make the game brighter (it’s really dark sometimes.) Donkey Kong 64 is a great game that deserves a second chance to find an audience and show what a great game it is and what an even better game it can be and I wish Nintendo and Rare would make it happen but it’s likely not even in the cards right now. But then again, they did remake Diddy Kong Racing…

2. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

He may be the worst, but Deku Link was my favorite.
Yeah, you all knew this one would be on here and really, why shouldn’t it be? Ocarina of Time 3D works so well and recaptures everything there is to love about that game and in my opinion, there’s even more to love about Majora’s Mask. It’s just as good, if not better, than Ocarina of Time and deserves the same kind of treatment. Majora’s Mask managed to take Zelda in a direction it never really went before; a world that was dark and mean. The danger in Majora’s Mask felt very real and the atmosphere it created was very uneasy and tense. Not to mention, the inclusion of mask transformations made for a very unique adventure with very unique play styles, even compared to Ocarina of Time. Although that unfortunately tends to be the reason most people don’t consider it to be as good as Ocarina of Time. People found it too different. It wasn’t like OoT or any Zelda game so far and even though it was met with very high praise and it’s definitely a beloved game, it’s not one of the most beloved Zelda games. Which is why it needs a remake, because it should be. Majora’s Mask is a great game with a great world and a great set of new abilities and it’s a perfect candidate for a remake for the 3DS. Just upgrade the graphics the same way they did with Ocarina of Time, make the save feature not terrible and there ya go, a whole new generation can be introduced to this incredibly fun, if not bizarre, entry in the Zelda franchise. Of all the games on this list, this one is the most likely to get remade. It’s the most widely requested and Nintendo has mentioned that they might actually do it. However, Miyamoto himself as stated that he’d rather do a remake of A Link to the Past for the 3DS, so it might not be as likely as I’d like to think. But come on Nintendo, you know you want to bring this gem to the current market. I mean, imagine the moon in 3D! Actually, don’t imagine that.

1. Pokémon Snap

Imagine this in 3D. D'awwwww.
Bet you didn’t see this one coming. Or maybe you did, I don’t know. Anyway, ever since Pokémon first took the world by storm in 1998 (’96 if you’re in Japan), it has been one of Nintendo’s three best selling franchises and for good reason; the games are great! So naturally, Nintendo, being Nintendo, couldn’t just let the popularity of the franchise go untapped, so they decided to make spin-offs. Lots and lots of spin-offs. There have been so many Pokémon spin-offs over the years, they’re close to reaching Mario status. Well, okay, maybe not that many but pretty close. These spin-offs tend to range from pretty good (Stadium, Pinball) to complete garbage (Channel, Dash) but there’s one in particular that has always been the very best like none of the other’s ever was. In fact, it was the very first Pokémon spin-off.  Of course, I’m talking about Pokémon Snap, the game where you take pictures of Pokémon. While an on-rails shooter game where you take pictures might not sound too exciting on paper, the pay-off was one of the most unforgettable games on the entire Nintendo 64. Seeing the different Pokémon in their natural environment was a real treat and a nice change compared to the static nature of the sprites in the Gameboy games. The creatures all felt very alive and very animalistic, like they should. It was also pretty neat how you could affect some of the things they did, such as waking up sleeping Snorlax’s, abuse poor Magikarp into evolving into Gyarados and saving Jigglypuff from a bunch of angry Koffing, all of which gave you more points and affected things in the stage. However, for as great as Snap was, it had quite a few flaws. The first of which is it’s length. This is a really short game, like, two hours short and there’s almost no replayabilty, all you can really do after you beat it is try to get a high score and since the days of Atari, who really cares about scores anymore? The game also didn’t feature very many Pokémon, only 64 (get it?) of the original 151. That’s pathetic, especially considering the console could handle it, it’s not like all of them are ever on screen at the same time. Now, a remake could potentially fix this. Okay, sure, it wouldn’t be a remake if they added all 649 Pokémon, but the least they could do is add a new area or two where you can see the rest of the original 151. I mean, Raichu isn’t even in the game and he evolves from the franchises’ mascot. That’s pretty inexcusable. The 3D could also add some depth to the picture, like making the distance between the background and foreground be more noticeable and I’m sure they could do all kinds of cheap tricks with the way the Pokémon move and interact. Even the 3DS Gyroscopic gimmick could come in to play and make you feel like you’re actually working a camera. You’d look silly but it’d be cool. While I’d certainly rather see a new Pokémon Snap, one with all the Pokémon, I’d settle for a remake because this game really is a fantastic piece of work and seems like the perfect fit for the 3Ds

So there you have it, the six games I want to see remade for the 3DS. Now, let me just make this clear right now before you all yell at me; I don’t want Nintendo to only make remakes, in fact, I’d much prefer they make new games but I see no harm in remakes, especially when they’re as good as Ocarina of Time and Star Fox. Besides, Nintendo isn’t giving up valuable development time to focus on remakes, we already know that they’re working on a new Zelda game for the 3DS, they’ve said it themselves! So don’t think I want remakes more than new games, cause I don’t, I just am totally okay with updated versions of classic games. So feel free to agree or disagree and let me know what you’d like to see remade in the comments.

And tune in next week when I’ll take a look at the NES games I want to receive the 3D Classic makeover.

Yes, StarTropics is going to be on that list.

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