Monday, March 26, 2012

The Top Five Nintendo NES Games that Deserve the Kid Icarus Treatment

So hey, Kid Icarus: Uprising was just released and it’s kind of a big deal. Nintendo fans the world over are rejoicing in victory because this once dead franchise has finally come back to life and you know what, it’s actually really good. They’ve managed to take the relatively simple and undeveloped world of the original Kid Icarus and has turned it into something epic and fun. I haven’t played it yet but it got reviews and apparently has about 40+ hours of content. That’s insane. Hopefully it’ll catch on and this franchise will live again.

"Sorry to keep you waiting for 20 years."
So, in keeping with tradition, let’s talk about other NES games by Nintendo that could potentially make a comeback into something epic. Nintendo has a very strong wealth of a backlog of franchises and very rarely utilizes all of them. They like to stick to the tried and true like Mario, Zelda, Pokémon, Kirby, etc. which is fine, those are all great franchises but sometimes it’s nice to see some of the classics get revived. Punch-Out!! For the Wii was a great return to form for the long dormant franchise but unfortunately wasn’t as well received by consumers as Nintendo would have hoped. Hopefully Kid Icarus can change that and Nintendo will try with another franchise. So let’s take a look at the five I’d like to see the most.

 5. Joy Mech Fight

It's like Ballz 3D but with adorable robots.
If you’ve never heard of this one, don’t feel bad, it was only released in Japan. Joy Mech Fight follows the exploits of two rival scientists and their robot companions as they beat the ever loving crap out of each other. While the premise might sound strikingly similar to Mega Man, it isn’t because Joy Mech Fight is a fighting game all about cute and colorful robots. Why would this game be worth bringing back? Well, other than the fact that the US never got it, outside of Smash Bros., Nintendo doesn’t have a fighting game series under it’s belt (Urban Champion sure as hell does not count) and if they brought Joy Mech Fight back, it could be more of a traditional fighter rather than a party game. The original was fought on the same sort of single plain as most fighting games like Street Fighter and Killer Instinct but since it was on the NES, it wasn’t nearly as complicated. Bringing it back now could give Nintendo an opportunity to not only recapture a dead franchise but also stack some claim in a gaming genre they haven’t really tried before.

4. Mach Rider

I'm a cowboy on my steel horse I ride...
This one was rumored a while ago but was so obviously fake it was unbelievable, still, it’s something I’d like to see. Mach Rider is an incredibly simple premise for a game; you play as a bounty hunter of sorts who is out to save the world from an evil organization that has taken it over. The only thing is, it’s a motorcycle game similar to Road Rash, the only difference is you can shoot stuff. This likely wouldn’t fly in this day and age, it’s too simplistic. So I think the way to do it would be to make it a sort of Grand Theft Auto style game where you can go around on foot, taking out enemies and what not with traditional weapons but also have plenty of motorcycle racing segments to keep it close to the original. It’s an interesting concept that could be expanded on if Nintendo would allow it.

3. Balloon Fight/Kid

The Tingle game doesn't count.
Balloon Fight is a fun game but it’s such an arcade game that there really is nothing to it. It’s just Joust with balloons. You pop enemy balloons and move on to the next level and rinse and repeat. They improved the concept with the Gameboy sequel, Balloon Kid, which actually turned it into a sidescroller with the same balloon gimmick as the original. I think this is the way to go. They wouldn’t even have to drastically change the formula. 2-D sidescrollers are making a huge comeback with games like NEW Super Mario Bros., Rayman Origins and Kirby’s Return to Dream Land that I feel a market for it is already there, they’d just have to capitalize on it and market it well. Make the game a direct sequel or even if necessary, a direct remake to Balloon Kid where you take the role of Alice again as you float through mysterious lands, bursting bad guys balloons and saving your little brother. There’s untapped potential in this highly overlooked Gameboy classic.

2. Startropics

Yes, this again.
I’ve mentioned Startropics on every single list about rebooting franchises so I really don’t need to talk about it at great lengths anymore. Make it like 3D Zelda games but in the same setting as the Startropics games with the same weapons and characters and bam, franchise is back. I don’t need to talk anymore.

1. Ice Climbers

We need you both, Popo and Nana.
Kid Icarus: Uprising came about because Pit was in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and everybody, including Sakurai himself, loved him and wanted to see the franchise return. The Ice Climbers, from an equally dead NES franchise, appeared in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Brawl and nothing became of it. The Ice Climbers deserve a resurrection and I know exactly how it should go down. I’m sure exactly one of you out there have played the game The Adventures of Cookie and Cream but the whole premise of that games was that two players played simultaneously in a split-screen fashion and have to help each other out to reach the goal. The game is strictly multiplayer and cannot be played otherwise. The two characters open doors and hit switches to help the other one complete their objective and it’s an all-around neat platformer and a fun concept. The Ice Climbers could be exactly like that. The whole gimmick of the Ice Climbers in Smash is that there’s two of them and people know them as a duo, so incorporate that into the gameplay. Make a platforming, adventure game that’s co-op and requires both characters to complete missions and objectives and reach the top of mountains or whatever other creative locals they decide to throw into the mix. It doesn’t have to be only multiplayer, you could have a computer controlled second player, but I think having both characters at the same time are a must. How many multiplayer platforming games exist in this day and age that require both characters to beat a game? Very few, although Epic Mickey 2 is looking to be exactly the kind of thing I think an Ice Climbers game could be. They deserve a comeback. They had just as much of an impact on Smash Bros. as Pit and he got a new game. So why can’t these two?

So there you have it. The five NES games I want to get the Kid Icarus treatment. Now, I only did Nintendo and I’m sure there’s plenty of others out there that deserve it too even from other companies so let me know in the comments below.

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