2010 marked the 25th Anniversary of Super Mario Bros., the game that saved the home console video game industry. Nintendo marked the occasion by releasing a “limited edition” Super Mario All-Stars for the Wii which either pissed you off or made you very happy. Or both. Either way, the game sold more than 2.5 million copies, giving new meaning to the word “limited.”
2011 marks the 25th Anniversay of The Legend of Zelda; while Link isn’t getting a special edition compilation (that we know of), the anniversary of the game is being marked in a big way. There are concerts planned, CD’s up for grab and at least four Legend of Zelda games being released this year (Links Awakening DX, Ocarina of Time 3D, Four Swords DSiWare, Skyward Sword). Square Enix is also getting in on the anniversary fever and re-releasing two versions of the first three Dragon Quest games for the Wii (only in Japan…for now). Sega is going a different route to celebrate Sonic the Hedgehog’s 20th anniversary and creating an all new game, the increasingly good looking Sonic Generations.
As the medium of video games ages, we will no doubt see more and more of these anniversary celebrations of the games and series we all love. Shockingly, there are some big milestones happening this year that are being ignored; some for Nintendo games that have spawned successful franchises, while others that were the greatest games of their time. Let’s start with the most recent anniversary…
It was in 2001 that gamers first had their chance to guide Captain Olimar around a foreign planet trying to put together his ship with the help of plant/animal hybrid creatures. 10 years and two games later, Pikmin remains the blue print on how to do RTS on a console. The game only got better with its New Play Control! version, showing developers that the Wiimote can be as precise as a computer mouse.
Nintendo has been teasing Pikmin 3 for a few years, and with news that the game has moved to the Wii U, we shouldn’t expect to see a 2011 release of the game in time for its anniversary. Nintendo could make up for that by releasing NPC! Pikmin 2 in the US, but we all know they’re not going to do that.
15 years after Pokemon first debuted on the Game Boy, the series has become the second best selling of all time, and will probably surpass Mario within ten years time. Nintendo hasn’t announced anything to celebrate 15 years of printing money, but Poke-fans aren’t completely left in the dark. Pokemon Black/White was released earlier this year and I’ve been told it’s the best in the series. There is also a 3DS sequel to Pokemon Rumble on tap for this year in Japan, and it will no doubt come to the US as well.
If Nintendo really did want to celebrate Pokemon’s anniversary, they could re-release the original games on 3DS VC. Even better if they allow you to import your Pokemon from those games to Black/White.
I believe this comic sums it up perfectly….
There are a couple of ways Nintendo could make up for this, with the most obvious one being to release Metroid 2 on the 3DS VC on the anniversary of Metroid’s original release. It would also be great if Nintendo would put out a CD of all the great, great Metroid music we’ve seen over the years. It certainly would make a better Platinum Gift through Club Nintendo than a bunch of pins.
It’s sad that Kid Icarus never became the series it could have been. After its release on the NES and a quickly forgotten sequel on the Game Boy, the series went silent with most people assured it would never return. But thanks to an appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Pit is the Nintendo character people most want to see return. And he will in Kid Icarus: Uprising, which after its most recent e3 trailer, looks like it’ll be the best game for the 3DS
Some may find this entry odd, but I believe there is no other forgotten NES game that deserves to be remembered as much as Pro Wrestling. If you’re too young to remember, I’ll sum it up for you: this game perfected professional wrestling on the NES. With its simple two button layout, Nintendo’s Pro Wrestling successfully brought the popular “sport” to home consoles, something even the licensed WWF games couldn’t do (Wrestlemania for the NES was abysmal.)
While there is nothing on the horizon for this series, and it’s very unlikely Nintendo will ever revisit it, it would be nice to see the original receive the 3D treatment. It certainly deserves it more than Urban Champion.
Really? Donkey Kong! We’re going to forget celebrating Donkey Kong!?!?! Donkey Kong was the game that made Nintendo a player in the video game industry. It’s still one of the greatest platformers ever; and every time I play it I yearn for a second coming of single screen platformers.