Saturday, October 27, 2012

Why Nintendo's All I Need: Racing

I. Love. Nintendo. They’ve always been good to me and I’ve always been good to them. If Microsoft and Sony ceased to exist and I was only left with Nintendo I’d still be a happy gamer. That’s not to say Sony and Microsoft have nothing for me, I’d be missing out on tons of  fantastic games if I only played Nintendo exclusives. But Nintendo has such a large variety of games it’d be difficult to find a type of game they don’t offer.

Which begs the question, does Nintendo have a series for every genre? It seems like each of their IPs was tailor made to cover a certain genre. Think about it (Mario-Platformer, Zelda-Action-adventure, Pokemon-RPG, F-Zero-Racing, Smash Bros.-Fighting, Animal Crossing-Social-sim etc.) Each IP is Nintendo's take on that genre.

In this on-going feature I will be taking a look at each genre and seeing what Nintendo has to offer. This means Nintendo first-party and second-party titles, as well as third-party exclusives. Basically, games you’ll only find on Nintendo’s consoles. This also means I won’t mention games you can find elsewhere. So lets get started, first up:


Dry Bones tearing it up on Maple Treeway.  Mario Kart Wii (2008)

Mario Kart
I think you knew this one was coming. Why? Because chances are when you think of racing games Mario Kart is one of the first things to pop into your head. I don't wanna say its the best racing series out there, but its probably the most popular. I don't thing its a stretch to say the multiplayer in the Mario Kart series is the most fun (and upsetting) of the entire racing genre. You know what Mario Kart is, you know whether you love it or not, its one of Nintendo's best selling IPs and it isn't going anywhere.

The Captain gettin' awfully close to the speed of sound.  F-Zero GX (2003)


For those who like a little more speed and challenge in their racing Nintendo has F-Zero. The inspiration for Sony's WipeOut series, F-Zero was the first extreme speed racer to hit it big (originating on the SNES). Surprisingly, Nintendo only made the first two F-Zero games and then contracted the rest to other developers, including Sega. But that doesn't mean the quality of the series was shot. In fact many fans, myself included, enjoy Sega's F-Zero GX the most. To this day I have never played a racing game so brutally difficult as F-Zero GX; it's definitely not for players with little patience. It's also worth noting that Nintendo hasn't put out an F-Zero game on their home console since the Gamecube; but with the series making several appearances in the Smash Bros. series and the soon to come Nintendoland, Nintendo has definitely not forgotten about the Blue Falcon.

What a good lookin' title screen.  1080° Avalanche (2003)

1080° Snowboarding
There are three big snowboarding series in the gaming industry: SSX, Amped, and Nintendo's own 1080°. Sure there's only two games in the series, one for the N64 and one for the Gamecube, but man were they fun. The closest thing we get now is the snowboarding portion of Wii Fit. However, there's a solid number of fans who still remember and love the series. Nintendo could easily bring back 1080° and plenty of gamers would eat it right up.

Those wave physics were actually revolutionary for their time.  Waverace 64 (1996)

Here's a series suffering the same fate as 1080°. It originated on the Game Boy, hit it huge with the N64, and hit a dead end after the Gamecube, with the nearest equivalent being the jet-ski portion of Wii Sports Resort. But also like 1080°, this series has plenty of fans just waiting for its return. Games involving jet skis are few and far between, and (if I may) if Nintendo rebooted this series it would make quite a... splash.

Excitebike (1984)
Excite Series
This series is a little complicated. The first game, Excitebike, came out for the NES and is one of the most well-known games from that generation. The second, Excitebike 64, was made by a third-party developer and was received even better than the first. The third, Excite Truck, was made by a different third-party developer, Monster Games, for the Wii. From then on Monster Games has made a few more games in the series, including Excitebike: World Rally for WiiWare. Nintendo then gave Monster Games rights to work on the next game in the Pilotwings series, and created Pilotwings Resort. Nintendo also put out a  3D remake of the original Excitebike for the 3DS (put together by yet another third-party developer). With Monster Games working on the Pilotwings series, they may no longer be working the Excite series, so its just unclear where this series is going to go in the future. But one thing's for sure, it's not leaving anytime soon.

Please remember this feature covers Nintendo exclusives only and not third-party games found on other platforms, so if you notice a certain series missing from this list that may be why (otherwise, please let me know).

Words by Ritchie Carpenter

No comments:

Post a Comment