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Nintendo's greatest comebacks

From F-Zero X to Pikmin 3, Nintendo like to keep us waiting

Why did it seem like we'd been waiting longer for Pikmin 3 than for any other Nintendo game. Probably because Miyamoto started talking about the next game in his sweet strategy series back in 2007 when he suggested that his creatures would be perfect for Wii. Six years and a new console later and Pikmin 3 has arrived.

Yet, we've had to wait for longer for some Nintendo heroes to return. It's amazing that games such as Call Of Duty and Assassin's Creed are released every year but a five year wait between 3D Mario games is considered normal.

In fact, that's where we'll start as we chart Nintendo's greatest comebacks.

5 Years: Super Mario Galaxy

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It used to be the case that Nintendo fans would only get one main Mario platformer per generation. So we had Super Mario World for SNES in 1992 (UK date) which was followed up five years later by Super Mario 64 on N64 and then we had to wait five years for Super Mario Sunshine.

Mario 64 was an incredible transformation. Suddenly we had a feeling of freedom as we bounced around outside Peach's Castle going Wahoo. Once inside, you would get to know every corner of the castle as if it were your own home in an experience unlike any other.

It was so hard to top Mario 64 and Nintendo tried by sending Mario and Peach off for an island retreat in Super Mario Sunshine. It was another excellent 3D Mario platformer but one that couldn't match the impact of Mario 64.

We'd have to wait another five years for Nintendo to finally come up with a game that was better than Mario 64. The mindblowing Super Mario Galaxy. Sending Mario into space seemed like a (triple) leap too far but these galaxies were packed with incredible ideas and your journey was accompanied by stunning orchestral music.

Thankfully we didn't have to wait quite as long for a sequel...

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  1. stealth1497 Tuesday 30th Jul 2013 at 16:38

    I still don't understand the complaints about Kid Icarus' control scheme...but a good article never the less of course!

  2. Dpad Lad Tuesday 30th Jul 2013 at 16:47

    'New super Mario bros' was revolutionary... Now the series is getting dull.

  3. Ollie Raiden Tuesday 30th Jul 2013 at 16:49

    I don't think it's exactly fair to list Mario twice just because one is 2D and one is 3D. There was an 8 year gap between Link's Awakening and the Oracle games yet Zelda's only listed once. If you're going to count all the Zelda games as one entity it's only fair to extend that to Mario, or vice versa.

  4. TheNUKEnukeM Tuesday 30th Jul 2013 at 16:54

    Really good article but I have a query
    I am quite young so I don't know that much about older SNES era games but everytime I sit down and play a F-Zero game I am just a bit like.... This isn't all that good.
    Like I like the idea of racing at a thousand miles per hour .... but.... yeah, Maybe it has aged badly if you weren't there back in the day, but that didnt stop me from enjoying like Super Mario Bros and Link to the past and Super Metroid.
    I am not sure, I don't like racing games that much which could be it, but I still like Mario Kart and some of the Need for speeds.
    I just dont see whats so good about it and in the last year ONM have been dying for a Wii U one and it just seems a bit obscure.

  5. Legendary Tuesday 30th Jul 2013 at 18:06

    This article misses out on the F-Zero games from the gameboy advance, I think the last F-zero game in Europe was on the Gameboy advance F-Zero GP Legend if correct. The next game was in Japan only I read.

  6. Legendary Tuesday 30th Jul 2013 at 18:12

    See the Super Smash Bros. Brawl article reminds of the time in the magazine I read. " I bet £5 Krystal is a playable character. I never saw that £5? ha ha

  7. Rayqauzay Tuesday 30th Jul 2013 at 18:34

    They should have an F-zero game on the 3ds, heck even remake F-zero X. Metroid hasn't had a game in a long time as well (unless you count the trilogy).

  8. Loopydoodle Tuesday 30th Jul 2013 at 19:25

    I liked Pilotwings resort, but I think that the game was too similar to the flying stages in Wii Sports Resort so I felt like I had already done most of the game before the title screen loaded up, I think had the dogfight mode been included then it would be a different story. I'd really like to see Wii Sports U, hopefully after 4 years they may have found the tennis balls ;)

  9. TheVelvetRoom Tuesday 30th Jul 2013 at 20:13

    Sadly nobody at Nintendo seems interested in making a new Starfox, F-Zero or even Metroid game anymore. I think we're getting a bit oversaturated with Mario and Zelda games nowadays, so visiting their other properties again is a move I'd support.

  10. Space Arena Tuesday 30th Jul 2013 at 20:35

    I wonder what franchise we've seen recently would not appear on the Wii U. Hmm... I have a feeling that Metroid, Star-Fox, F-Zero and Paper Mario won't appear on the Wii U :( . Though I really hope we get a paper mario game. It's one of my favorite franchises. And I even like Super Paper Mario and sticker star as much as the first two games. :)

  11. K-tet Tuesday 30th Jul 2013 at 20:48

    To be honest, while we have waited a long time for some of these games to make their 'great' comebacks, it goes without saying that there are more of us that felt we were waiting longer for Galaxy because Sunshine was a step back from Super Mario 64. We wanted that sequel that would take it up to the next level, and Sunshine failed to deliver that following on from Super Mario 64. With that in mind, we've been waiting 10 years for that next great 3D Mario (if we take Super Mario 64 to have been released in 1996).

    But, the formula remains mostly the same, met with great acclaim, especially when the hardware evolves. Mind you, we were waiting four years for the 4th Gen Pokémon games after 3rd Gen delivered a lacklustre (upon retrospect) showing. The battle engine and tweaks to the 4th Gen put into perspective what the 3rd Gen brought to the table.

    Who knows? Maybe we'll have a few more comebacks during this generation.

    Edit: Arguably, you could say we've been waiting even longer for a Balloon Fight-style reboot. While it's strictly a Nintendo Land minigame, the Balloon Trip game in that pays perfect homage to both the original Balloon Fight and the equally-fun Balloon Kid, which was released back in 1990, so that's what, 22 years? Just a thought.

  12. LilYaz001 Tuesday 30th Jul 2013 at 21:49

    Super Mario Galaxy :)

  13. LBDNytetrayn Tuesday 30th Jul 2013 at 22:31

    It kind of throws things into perspective when you see Capcom not releasing a Mega Man game for a couple of years, after releasing over 50 of them over the course of 25 years...

    I don't think it's exactly fair to list Mario twice just because one is 2D and one is 3D. There was an 8 year gap between Link's Awakening and the Oracle games yet Zelda's only listed once. If you're going to count all the Zelda games as one entity it's only fair to extend that to Mario, or vice versa.

    I agree with this, more in the notion of 2D Zeldas separate from 3D. I prefer the former for the most part, and it's been quite a wait-- and I'm not counting the DS games, either. ;P

  14. Time-Bomb Tuesday 30th Jul 2013 at 23:24

    Too many Nintendo games need to make a comeback! Star Fox and F-Zero are the obvious pair. Although at least F-Zero has had a few highly rated games. Star Fox had Lylat Wars and then every other game pretty much sucked! Star Fox is in desperate need of a comeback! And what a comeback it could be! I'd love to see a HD prequel to Lylat Wars where you play as James McCloud and the original Star Fox team. It'd be interesting if they incorporated some twists on the classic tale of betrayal and tragedy that James McCloud faced!

    (Just leave out the strategy crap and don't put too many 'on foot' sections!)

  15. RSE III Tuesday 30th Jul 2013 at 23:28

    Luigi's Mansion got a sequel because it has a bit of a cult status.

  16. Joshua Hardin Tuesday 30th Jul 2013 at 23:33

    Save Pit for last. Thought he wasn't on the list.

  17. RSE III Tuesday 30th Jul 2013 at 23:38

    While it's strictly a Nintendo Land minigame, the Balloon Trip game in that pays perfect homage to both the original Balloon Fight and the equally-fun Balloon Kid, which was released back in 1990, so that's what, 22 years? Just a thought.

    Maybe Balloon Fight should have a reboot/sequel, to be released on the eShop.

  18. liveswired Wednesday 31st Jul 2013 at 00:21

    'New super Mario bros' was revolutionary... Now the series is getting dull.

    It's only getting dull because Nintendo are refusing to break the formula set by New Super Mario Bros DS. Nintendo need to get creative - New Super Mario Bros 2 3DS is incredibly bland and quite frankly - a poor platform game.

  19. imbusydoctorwho Wednesday 31st Jul 2013 at 11:48

    Nintendo just need to stop bringing out so many Mario games,and start focusing on the rich library backlog of franchises that need a reboot.

  20. gavolu Wednesday 31st Jul 2013 at 11:56

    There's something bugging me......... ''Link's Awakening'' wasn't a Gameboy colour game untill 1998 in the form of ''Link's Awakening DX'' Yet you said it was a GBC game

  21. zelda-legend93 Wednesday 31st Jul 2013 at 14:53

    A decent article, although I hardly see Galaxy 2 as a 'comeback' for the series.

    They should have an F-zero game on the 3ds, heck even remake F-zero X. Metroid hasn't had a game in a long time as well (unless you count the trilogy).

    I think that you're forgetting about Other M on the Wii.

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