Nintendo's Future Lies in Past Favorites
New games announced by Nintendo link to previous hits on the old SNES console, like "Yoshi's Island."
What's old is new again — and that suits Nintendo just fine.
The video game company, which has released a number of games based on such big franchises as Mario and Pokemon, has just announced a trio of returning old-school favorites for its game systems this fall. "The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past" and "Yoshi's Island" will be getting sequels on the Nintendo 3DS, while "Earthbound," a role-playing adventure that's been a fan favorite for years, will arrive on the Virtual Console service for the Wii U.
The original "Yoshi's Island" was first released for the Super Nintendo in 1995 under the surname "Super Mario World 2." In the game, players control Yoshi, the loyal dinosaur pet of main hero Mario, as he guides a baby Mario to safety through a series of perilous stages. However, Yoshi must be careful, for if Mario gets knocked off his back for too long, enemies can easily grab him, resulting in the loss of a life.
The original release was critically acclaimed, mainly because of its innovative gameplay and unique hand-drawn art style. The sequel will feature a similar setup, with Yoshi's egg-throwing capabilities making a return and a beautiful art style that takes advantage of the 3DS' display.
"The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past," which was originally released for the Super Nintendo in 1991, is considered by fans to be one of the best entries in the long-running series. In the original, players had to rescue Princess Zelda, who was being held captive by the evil Ganon.
The new "Zelda" game for 3DS will take place in the same universe, but feature an all new storyline, as well as a beautiful art style that takes advantage of the handheld's 3D format. Story details haven't been revealed yet, but we should know more soon.
"Earthbound," a game that debuted on the SNES back in 1995, is an unconventional role-playing adventure. Rather than playing as armored soldiers or magical wizards, you instead control the fate of Ness, a schoolboy who possesses psychic capabilities. [See also: Nintendo's 'Year of Luigi,' Brings New Games for Mario's Brother]
After a meteor crashes in his city, Ness heads off to investigate, only to run into a mysterious alien named Buzz Buzz and a trio of additional children, each with special capabilities. The game received unanimous praise from fans and critics alike, and has since become a highly sought collector's item on eBay. The Wii U edition of the game will be very similar to the original release, but should also include off-TV play on the system's GamePad controller, as well as the ability to save your progress
Each of these games has garnered a huge following since its initial releases, so the current releases should fare quite well for the company. And with the Electronic Entertainment Expo taking place in June, Nintendo may have a few other surprises to follow as well. (Here's hoping for a return of "StarFox"!)