The Wii U is off to an above average start here in the United States, selling 400,000 units in its launch week, with more expected over the holiday season. And while the launch line-up may not be the greatest, there are some very good games available for the system, including first-party games like New Super Mario Bros. U and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge, as well as various third-party releases.
That said, Nintendo has its work cut out for it in 2013. We already know about a couple of big titles that are coming our way, including The Wonderful 101, Pikmin 3 and Platinum Games' forthcoming sequel Bayonetta 2, as well as the possible release of a new Super Smash Bros. game. But Nintendo shouldn't rest on just those games – there's room to bring back plenty of franchises.
And yes, there are obvious favorites that can be mentioned right off the bat, such as a new Super Mario Galaxy title (in HD!) and a Metroid Prime game. But what about those franchises that deserve a chance to come back, ones that did well for a while there and simply faded from the gaming scene?
With that, we've got a few suggestions for franchises that Nintendo could bring back for the next gaming year. It doesn't even matter if they make a release by Christmas-time, what matters is that Nintendo considers them for a comeback. So let's fire off our ideas…and if you've got some of your own, feel free to throw 'em our way!
It's been ages since we've seen a moderately good Brain Age game, filled with the kind of puzzles that could tax our brains for a while before moderately grading our performance and, at the same time, helping us improve our smarts. The last big title in the series, Big Brain Academy, wasn't too bad, but with the new Wii U system and the GamePad touch-screen, there's room to expand further with the series. Imagine playing through games that require the use of both the TV and the controller, or even activities that let you compete against others – one moderating the mini-games with the GamePad, while others scramble with their Wii remotes. And, yes, we need to have the obligatory host of the series, Dr. Kawashima, cheering us on.
It's been a while since we've seen Advance Wars make any movement. Sure, there was the engaging Battalion Wars over on the Nintendo Wii, but we're talking about the good ol' fashioned strategic approach that made the handheld versions work so well. With that, we propose a return to form for the Wars series, one that makes proper use of not only the touch screen for squad management, but also online play, where players can challenge one another in battle and reap the rewards that follow, including new vehicle types. With HDMI support to boot, Nintendo could easily up the ante in the visual department, including bigger battlefields.
Mario & Luigi RPG
The Mario and Luigi role-playing series has been nothing short of significant, especially the latest DS effort, Bowser's Inside Story, which actually had you fighting inside your mortal enemy (and even playing as Bowser at times). We feel that, since the last game came out back in 2009, there's no better time for this series to make a comeback on the Wii U. You can set up special attacks by pressing functions on the GamePad, or work together with friends in local co-op (provided they can deal with using Wii Remote controllers). Nintendo might even consider online play for those who wish to travel along with friends that aren't local.
When Nintendo revitalized this series for the Wii a couple of years back, it had no idea just how magical it would end up being. With wonderfully animated characters, simple controls (with various options, including old-school Wii Remote functionality), a two player versus mode that actually wasn't half bad and, of course, plenty of knock-out blows, it was unbeatable. So, naturally, we'd love to see another one for the Wii U, one that features two-player support for both the GamePad and TV (with full displays for each boxer, so you can't see what they're up to), along with more competitors, unlockable goodies for your boxer, and, hey, maybe even Mike Tyson. If he can appear in something like WWE 13, he can easily make a comeback in the boxing ring.
Yes, we're asking for this series to come back, and why not? When F-Zero GX came out for the GameCube several years ago (under the watchful development of Sega's AM2 team), it produced a remarkable achievement that many current gen racers haven't been able to match. A Wii U version would be ideal, not only for the split-screen racer options, but also for online support, track creation (remember F-Zero 64 DD?) and driver customization. For that matter, we'd also enjoy numerous control options, including real-time steering with the GamePad and Wii Remote support. This would easily cross the finish line with flying colors.
Now, when we suggest StarFox, we mean the CLASSIC style of StarFox play. None of this on-foot stuff like StarFox Assault had on the GameCube, but rather flying around in a ship and doing some massive damage. This reboot could easily include a stellar single player campaign (complete with all of Fox's co-pilots – yes, Slippy, too), along with a multiplayer mode with the same competitive edge as the original StarFox 64. We'd buy it in a heartbeat.
Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
Finally, while we're doing some dreaming here, Nintendo could easily scrounge up several of the former Factor 5 team members and recreate the Star Wars magic of Rogue Squadron, one of the best flying action games in the series to date. The original N64 release was a blast, but it was with Rogue Leader that the development team truly hit its stride, with gorgeous visuals, fitting recreations of the film's epic space battles (how about that trench run?!) and so much more. This game could easily come back, and with some online multiplayer to boot. Who wants to tear things up with a team of TIE Fighters? We do!
Get our official strategy guide for New Super Mario Bros. U!