Pardon our geekboners, but holy f**k Mega Man 9! Instead of dragging our boyhood hero through any more tired Star Forces or Battle Networks, those understanding folks at Capcom are giving us the Mega Man game we’ve always wanted.
What took ya so long? And more importantly, why haven’t other games turned to their pixilated roots when MM9 is making it look so damned easy? Tecmo Bowl is about to rise to the occasion. Konami’s kept the retro flavor lasting long and hard with Contra 4 and every successive Castlevania handheld. Capcom? Good lord, recreations of Mega Man, Street Fighter, Bionic Commando, 1942 - you know what? For the purposes of this feature, Capcom gets a gold star!
Yet, we couldn’t help but figure that a few franchises, even if not altogether broken, could benefit by taking one more dip in the nostalgic quarry of yester-year. It doesn’t have to damage your next-gen canon, and imagine how many gamers could be coaxed out of retirement with an upgrade to a cherished franchise they hold dear. What we’ve done is average out the aggregated review scores of the latest games in a given franchise. The lower that tally, the more in need of classic re-visitation.
What we want:
To make up for: Metroid Prime 2: Echoes - 92 (Metacritic)
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption - 90 (Metacritic)
Let’s start by saying the Prime series has nothing to apologize for. All great games in their own right, but... each new title played exactly like the last one. Even if you’re not tired of the first-person exploits of Samus, Retro Studios (the trilogy’s developer) is. In addition to being slightly oxymoronic, a next-gen serving of ‘Troid is incredibly unlikely. Expect a new Prime on your Wii right around the time of a McCain presidency.
Samus’s latter day excursions prove that there are battles to be fought outside of dank and hollow dungeons. Samus needn’t be afraid to play outside, because once you open up motifs beyond blueish-green, the possibilities make the mouth water. Yes we threw “III” in there, but as long as it’s old skool, we don’t care where it takes place in the canon. Call it Metroid 57 and give Samus her own ketchup and see if the Hamiltons don’t stack up.
What we want:
To make up for: Ninja Gaiden II - 81 (Metacritic)
Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword - 83 (Metacritic)
Above: Okay, you can keep the blood
Listen closely internet: We’ve got nothing - NOTHING - against the updated Ninja Gaidens, nor Tomonobu Itagaki! All we want is an 8-bit resurrection of the NES trilogy, so if you’ll please put down your CAPS LOCK keys and step away from the internet, we’ll get on with this entry. Sorry you had to see that, but anything regarding either of this decade’s Ninja Gaidens remotely construed as negative tends to get our inboxes Triple Moon Kicked with angry emails from hotheaded fanbois.
Above: Make... happen... now...
If only they were that passionate about the original 8-bit trilogy, maybe we wouldn’t have had to suffer the wait between the NES to the Xbox for a legitimate update. There’s nothing quite like an 8-bit cutscene, and nobody did it better than Tecmo back in the day. Rock solid side-scrollers, all three of ‘em. Plus the original Ninja Gaidens were crammed full of exquisitely difficult, slice-and-dice brutality before it was its sole redeeming virtue. Oops! Oh well - BRING IT ON, INTERNET!
What we want:
To make up for: Mario Party DS - 72 (Metacritic)
Mario Kart Wii - 82 (Metacritic)
Okay, it may not be fair to compare the scores of non-platformer Mario offshoots, but it’s not like we’re getting a Galaxy sequel anytime soon. And more importantly, we’re on a mission! The original Super Mario Bros: bricks, green pipes, goombas... We get it - it’s classic! We’ve seen enough of that Mario for now. As a reader of our site, you are undoubtedly aware that Super Mario 2 was a reskin of a Japanese title known as Doki Doki Panic, so that’s why it looks a little bizarre next to the other titles in the series. But outside of a Birdo here and a Shyguy there, doesn’t it seem like Nintendo likes to pretend Mario 2 never happened?!
Above: We demand bigger vegetables!
To Nintendo’s credit, we never wanted to see a 3-D Mouser or Clawgrip, and the Advance game was a good start, but it’s time for them to dare to dream once again. Why allow SMB2 to remain the bastard child of history? Instead, why not throw a couple of developers behind an onion-pulling, potion-throwing, Arab-tastic resurrection? We’re talking an all new game: An 8-bit romp outside the Mushroom Kingdom - where enemies are thrown and coins are collected only for the purpose of gambling. And you have to admit, Wart is an undeniably badass super villain, and we’d maim loved ones for the chance to choke him to death with healthy roughage one mo’ again.
What we want:
To make up for: Shinobi (2002) - 71 (Metacritic)
Nightshade - 68 (Metacritic)
Above: Every ninja must defeat at least one helicopter in their lifetime. Otherwise, what’s the point?
We’d like to think even the youngest gamer has heard whispers of Shinobi greatness. Plenty of us in our late twenties grew up thinking Shinobi was synonym for ninja, but it’s been five years since Sega’s Shadow Master has put blade to throat. If the franchise is dead, we’re in complete denial. It was just one of the 2-D games resurrected during the last generation of consoles that didn’t take well to an extra dimension.
Yeah, they threw a girl into the last game, but before you misogynists decry that as the ultimate sacrilege... it gets worse. Check out the laughable FMV below from the Sega Saturn’s Shinboi Legends, apparently directed by Mos Def and Jack Black.
Preferably, we’d like our retrofitted model to contain the fastidious hack-and-slash of Shinobi III, with the pure outlandishness of Revenge of Shinobi. Why? Because ninjas are at their best when unrestrained and powered past all absurdity! And nothing suspends disbelief like a little sidescollage. Ninjas vs Godzilla? It could happen... because it did! And it needs to happen again, dammit.
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