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

StarTropics Art

3) StarTropics

Last Title: Zoda’s Revenge: StarTropics II (NES, 1990)

A lot of readers might be scratching their heads and wondering what StarTropics even is. Don’t feel alone, as this is one of the more obscure titles in Nintendo’s history. Debuting on NES, StarTropics starred Mike Jones, a Seattle teen who was a huge baseball fan. Mike’s uncle, Dr. Jones, was abducted by aliens from his home on C-Island, and it was up to the young nephew to find and rescue him. Both StarTropics games shared elements from The Legend of Zelda, including that game’s overhead perspective and light RPG elements. Unlike Zelda, however, Mike’s adventures featured shifting gameplay. Initially, stages began with Mike talking to non-playable characters in order to solve puzzles, then traveling underground or into caves for combat and jumping action. Gameplay takes place from an overhead, third-person perspective for the duration, but shifts closer to Mike in the second half of each level as he starts knocking heads with enemies. The combat is simple but rewarding, and there are various weapons to attain in these segments. StarTropics is a special franchise, with amusing characters, potent gameplay, and unique settings.

A return trip to C-Island is long overdue. Bring the setting back firmly to modern times (Zoda’s Revenge featured time traveling) and everyman lead character Mike, as both would be a nice departure from Nintendo’s usual games. While the actual play mechanics would probably feel different in a sequel, so long as the spirit of the series is maintained, a new StarTropics might finally find the audience it deserves. One feature from StarTropics that’s fondly remembered is a piece of paper that came packaged within each copy of the game. Once submerged in water, this piece of paper revealed a hidden message that helped solve a puzzle in the game. That sort of quirky, outside the box creativity would be more than welcome in a new sequel; perhaps some sort of unique use of the GamePad’s NFC capabilities could facilitate similar results. However Nintendo does it, StarTropics is a franchise too good to remain languishing on Wii’s Virtual Console.

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