Nintendo's second half of 2008 is looking pretty barren for new releases at the moment, but that's sure to change. Nintendo US boss Reggie Fils-Aime has said that Wii-owners can expect "a big game for the holiday" and we're sure that game and more will be revealed at E3 in July. With that in mind we've put together the Top 10: Nintendo games we'd love to see on Wii. Sure, we won't get them all this year, but there's no harm in thinking ahead.
10. Donkey Kong
Let's admit it, Donkey Kong 64 wasn't nearly as good as it could have been. Rare delivered a great looking Nintendo 64 game that featured some great platforming gameplay, but there was far too much collecting and at points the difficulty spikes were hard to take. Since DK64 we've had some less than spectacular releases, including the awful Donkey Kong Jet Race on the Wii. With Mario Galaxy being the only true 3D platformer of note in recent years, there's plenty of room for another classic Nintendo series to make a comeback. We just hope we don't have to collect as much stuff.
Pikmin might not have the AAA status of the likes of Mario, Zelda and Metroid, but its two GameCube games proved to be among the best on the console. Pikmin's simple RTS gameplay seems like a great fit for the Wii Remote and the Wii's improved online service should allow for some online multiplayer. The key to making a great Wii Pikmin will be how the controls are worked into the gameplay and what new elements they bring to the table. It's been a while since Pikmin 2, but fans will want more than a straightforward follow-up.
Why is it that so many great Nintendo franchises from the Nintendo 64 era have gone downhill? 1080 set a new benchmark for snowboarding on its release for the Nintendo 64, yet its GameCube entry proved to be little more than a mildly entertaining arcade-focussed snowboarding game. It felt rushed and didn't come near to reaching the greatness of the N64 original. On the Wii we want a deep trick system, online play, online leaderboards and Mii support.
Pilotwings has to make a comeback. The fact that it was last seen on the Nintendo 64 is a crying shame, and it's one of the classic Nintendo series that we'd love to see on Wii. The Wii's motion control would be a perfect fit for the often serene gameplay and the little console packs more than enough graphical grunt to give us spectacular views. As a game for casuals it's perfect, with exploration and light challenges being the focus, but for hardcore gamers Nintendo could include plenty of tricky flight challenges to get stuck into.
6. Wave Race
Much like 1080, we weren't huge fans of the Wave Race GameCube sequel. The visuals didn't blow us away and it all felt like we'd been there before - largely because most of the courses were copies or redesigned versions from the N64 game. Still it boasted impressive water effects and we're eager to get more water-based action on the Wii. Motion controls seem to be a perfect fit and with the inclusion of online racing and leaderboards, stunt and time trial junkies could find their previous past times taking a back seat for quite some time.
Kirby's a tricky one. While we'd love to see him make a comeback on the Wii, the game type could be anything. For the sake of the game not being a disaster we're inclined to want Nintendo to play it safe, creating something like Super Monkey Ball, but with a little more variety. Perhaps even a rolling-based adventure game. What we don't want is a Wii follow-up to the Power Paintbrush DS game. While it worked great on the DS, the Wii Remote isn't quite as great for drawing lines as the DS stylus is.
4. Luigi's Mansion
Released as a launch title for the GameCube, Luigi's Mansion could never stand up to the might of a proper Mario title, but that didn't prevent it from being one of the most entertaining GameCube games we played. On the Wii we'd hope for some proper Ghostbusters-style ghost zapping action, with the game perhaps coming with a ghost catcher peripheral. This game might not be high on everyone's list, but it single-handily made the GameCube worth owning from the beginning. We'd love to see what Nintendo could do with the idea on the Wii.
F-Zero on the GameCube still ranks as one of the best high-speed racers ever made, but the series has been lying dormant for years. SEGA's Amusement Vision managed to create a stunning looking GameCube game, so building on the same engine, tweaked to take advantage of the Wii's extra horsepower, should be enough for a solid looking Wii game. Online play is essential, as is a tight control scheme. Nintendo is keen to get everyone playing on the Wii, but F-Zero might be better left in the hands of hardcore racing fans. Tilt controls in such a fast game is surely asking for disaster.
2. Animal Crossing
This is coming. It's just a case of when. On the Wii we want it to be a whole lot more than the GameCube game with motion controls though. We want full customisation options, taking things beyond what we saw in MySims - we're thinking custom art on everything. If you've got friends online they should be able to live in your village, either permanently or in a holiday home of their design. We might be moving a little too far from the original game design, but how about cars to drive about in, and perhaps a large city to go to where you can meet others and shop for the latest must have Animal Crossing gadgets and toys?
The N64's Lylat Wars, as it was known in Europe, was one of the best games of the late 90s. It came in a giant cardboard box and was bundled with a Rumble Pack. The graphics were amazing, the on rails shooting intense. Suffice it to say we loved it. Since then, however, the StarFox franchise hasn't really floated our boat. StarFox Adventures on the GameCube took the series in a completely different direction, and was criticised by many fans as a result. StarFox: Assault, also on the GameCube, suffered from dodgy controls. And while the DS's StarFox: Command was a solid effort, it hasn't satisfied our home console StarFox hunger. We reckon the series is as ripe for a Wii update as any franchise hidden deep within the confines of Nintendo Japan HQ, and Fox and Falco's triumphant appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl has whetted our appetite even more. We reckon that the Wii Remote would fit perfectly with the flying combat, but of course, you'll be able to play with the classic controller if you fancy going old school. So get it done Nintendo. We'll love you forever if you do. Just don't ruin it with rubbish on-foot missions. Please.
You've read our wish-list. Time to tell us what you think. What classic Nintendo franchises would you like to see on the Wii?