5 underrated Nintendo franchises that need reboots just like Advance Wars
Advance Wars: Re-Boot Camp could be an exciting precedent.
Nintendo may be best-known for blockbuster franchises like Mario and Zelda, but the publisher also has a slew of hidden gems and lesser-known series that remain widely beloved.
Unfortunately, many such games don’t get the same treatment as the biggest Nintendo series do in terms of reboots and rereleases on more modern platforms. Advance Wars was an enjoyable strategy game for Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS that seemed doomed to be forgotten once Fire Emblem became Nintendo’s main strategy game franchise.
But Advance Wars got a second chance at E3 2021, one that could pave the way for plenty of other franchise revivals in the future.
During Nintendo’s E3 2021 Direct, the company announced Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp, a full 3D remake of the classic GBA games. It will introduce a whole new generation of gamers to the series. But the interesting thing here is that Nintendo isn’t doing it alone. Nintendo is handing off the franchise to WayForward, the developer behind Shantae and River City Girls.
If Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp proves to be successful, Nintendo could embrace a new strategy that would allow them to cater to some of its other ignored franchises.
A lot of developer passion and fan demand exists still exists for forgotten Nintendo franchises, even if Nintendo won’t continue to support them. These four deserve another shot at relevancy with new games on the popular Nintendo Switch.
5 & 4. Wave Race or 1080 Snowboarding
If Nintendo backs a sports game nowadays, it likely features Mario in some capacity. That said, for a period in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Nintendo created some great, more realistic extreme sports titles. Wave Race and 1080 Snowbarding rise to the top of the list as they were both simple yet immensely satisfying titles that pushed the limits of the hardware they were on.
Sports games like this could be relatively low-stakes lifts for indie developers looking to make a name for themselves. While extreme sports games were out of style for a while, they’re starting to become more popular again thanks to games like Steep, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2, OlliOlli World, and Wave Break. As such, now is the perfect time to partner with a smaller team, like Carve Snowboarding’s Chuhai Labs, to revive Wave Race or 1080 Snowboarding.
3. Golden Sun
Ever since 2010’s Golden Sun: Dark Dawn (which ended on a cliffhanger), no game has managed to fill the same void as the Golden Sun RPG series. Camelot, the developer behind the project, has solely worked on sports games like Mario Golf: Super Rush for some time, so Nintendo doesn’t seem interested in having them dedicate themselves to a massive RPG.
Unlike the other games on this list, there aren’t as many direct clones of Golden Sun out there. Still, many RPGs draw inspiration from its beautiful visuals and intense battles. There are RPG developers out there like Bravely Default 2’s Claytechworks, Octopath Traveler’s Acquire, or Fantasian’s Mistwalker that would more than be up to the task if Nintendo wants to dust off this old franchise.
Earthbound, and all three games in the Mother series, are charming with their quirky RPG gameplay, memorable settings that merge weird fantastical elements with an otherwise normal and relatable world with startling satirical humor. Countless indie games nowadays are inspired by Earthbound, with the most famous example being Undertale from Toby Fox.
As such, if Nintendo and series mastermind Shigesato Itoi ever wanted to make another one, there would be no shortage of indie developers that would throw themselves at this opportunity if Nintendo wanted to continue this series.
Other than Earthbound, F-Zero is the long-dormant Nintendo series that fans might want back to most. There’s a lot of demand for a new F-Zero, which is why leaks for it seem to always gain traction. That said, Nintendo doesn’t currently seem that interested in making a new one for themselves. It’s a gigantic missed opportunity for Nintendo, and yet another franchise they should consider reviving.
Like with Earthbound, lots of F-Zero inspired indie games like Fast RMX and Redout exist, and some fans are even remaking it in the Nintendo’s game-creation tool Game Builder Garage. If Nintendo’s strategy with Advance Wars Re-Boot Camp 1+2 proves to be a success, at the very least F-Zero should be the next franchise that they mimic this approach with.
Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp will be released on December 3, 2021.