Best of ND 2013: Top Ten: Forgotten Nintendo Franchises That Need Sequels

You don’t need an ocarina for this trip to the past!

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 12/24/2013 15:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

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10) Game & Watch

Last Title: Game & Watch Gallery 4 (Game Boy Advance, 2002)

Game & Watch is tricky to categorize as a franchise when it’s really more of a video game platform (Game & Watch was Nintendo’s first line of gaming handhelds). Still, Game & Watch games did feature an overarching play style and look, so it gets to settle in nicely at number ten on this list. Game & Watch titles featured snappy, precision gameplay that focused on simple pattern recognition and reflex testing. Some of the more popular Game & Watches had players repositioning manholes for pedestrians to walk over, juggling balls, and flipping food. Nintendo has revisited this franchise a few times over the years, with the most notable leap forward being the Game & Watch Gallery series. The Game & Watch Gallery titles featured remixes of classic Game & Watch games, and even offered fans the opportunity to play with modern graphics and characters from Super Mario games. While fun, there have been no new releases from the series since 2002.

Revamping Game & Watch for today would be challenging, but not impossible. Mr. Game & Watch has long since become the face of the series due to the Super Smash Bros. games, so Nintendo should remove the Super Mario veneer that the Gallery games had. It will help distinguish the franchise as its own entity and not a Mario offshoot. From there, Nintendo could mimic Pac Man Championship DX with pulsating, neon graphics and a thumping, 8-bit soundtrack. The simple gameplay of the older titles doesn’t need to be tossed out; just come up with new takes on classics like Fire and Octopus, speed them up, add online leaderboards, and watch fans go wild. Some Game & Watch games were recently re-released as two DS compilations available from the Club Nintendo rewards catalogue and offered individually via DSiWare, so the franchise has enough visibility that fan interest could be easily stoked, if done right.

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