Five Dormant Nintendo Series We’d Love to See Return
The Switch has proven to be hugely successful, and it’s already seen numerous fantastic titles with many more on the way. But while we can count on Nintendo’s heavy hitters, what about some of the forgotten franchises we haven’t heard from in a while? We’re not counting standalone games or series that shifted directions, so no matter how much I’d like to see an Eternal Darkness sequel or a proper Paper Mario, those don’t count for this article.
With that said, here are five dormant series we’d love to see return.
Technically you could consider Chibi-Robo! in more of a Paper Mario style situation, where the series’ direction has changed rather than falling dormant, but even though the last game came out in 2015, the Chibi-Robo! series might be dead. Chibi-Robo! started with a GameCube game in 2005 about a small robot completing helpful tasks to make people happy. The next two games continued in this fashion, but the fourth, Chibi-Robo! Photo Finder, shifted to emphasis to make use of the 3DS’s camera by making the player take photos of household objects. The developers followed this dubious entry with Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash, which abandoned its premise completely to become a side-scrolling platformer. To make matters worse, Nintendo admitted Zip Lash might be Chibi-Robo’s last chance, so this is one series that really needs another chance.
In 2001, Camelot released a turn-based JRPG for the Game Boy Advance called Golden Sun. A year later, it received a sequel called Golden Sun: The Lost Age. These games were both highly praised and are still beloved by many JRPG fans. Then, after a long hiatus, a third entry called Golden Sun: Dark Dawn was released for the DS in 2010. Dark Dawn isn’t viewed as highly as the previous entries due to dated gameplay and a lackluster story, but worst of all, it ended on a cliffhanger with no sequel in sight. Eight years have passed and we’re coming up on the ninth. Can we have Golden Sun 4 now?
Atlus’s story-driven surgery simulation visual novel series Trauma Center began in 2005 with Trauma Center: Under the Knife. It won fans over for both its storytelling and its excellent use of the Nintendo DS’s touchscreen. The series continued with entries for both the Wii and the DS, ending with Trauma Team for the Wii in 2010. And… it was well-received. Fans loved Trauma Team. Unlike some of the other series on this list, there’s no clear reason for why the Trauma Center series went dormant, but aside from a Wii U re-release of Trauma Team in 2015, we haven’t heard from the series in almost nine years.
Now let’s move on to some older series. Intelligent Systems developed the turn-based tactical game Famicom Wars in 1988, and it spawned a series that gained perhaps its peak popularity under the title Advance Wars. Advance Wars for the Game Boy Advance was the first to be released in the west, where it found a new audience that fell in love with its gameplay. The series released new entries steadily up until Advance Wars: Days of Ruin for the DS in 2008. Despite a darker tone, it saw a positive reception… but despite both Intelligent Systems and Nintendo expressing interest in returning to the series, it’s now been a decade since the last Advance Wars game. It seems like they might not know how to have Advance Wars and Fire Emblem co-exist, but that’s a bit like telling Paper Mario fans the Mario & Luigi series is all we need.
Finally, the series you probably all expected to see on this list, F-Zero. What in the world happened to F-Zero? While its roots don’t stretch back quite as far as the Wars games, the first F-Zero was released for the SNES in 1990. The series has seen sporadic releases, but for a time it seemed like this high-speed racing series was poised to become one of Nintendo’s mainstays, but after the Japan-exclusive release of F-Zero Climax for the Game Boy Advance in 2004, the series just disappeared. In 2015, Shigeru Miyamoto suggested they might be able to return to the franchise if they developed a new type of controller perfect for F-Zero… so let’s hope they’ve dropped that idea and have realized the Nintendo Switch interface would be just fine.
These are just a few of the dormant franchises we’d love to see return on the Nintendo Switch (or at all). Which long-lost Nintendo series are you waiting to hear news from?