Stay on target
In less than two weeks, we’ll learn so much more about the Nintendo Switch. After a live unveiling next Thursday full of details and games, Nintendo is letting folks gets their hands on its latest console, and Geek.com will be there! Rumors are flying fast and furious about just what will be revealed at the event, and one of the most recent, tantalizing suggestions is that Nintendo will finally bring Mother 3 to the West with a Switch port.
If you don’t know, Mother 3 is the sequel to EarthBound, known as Mother 2 in Japan. It’s the game Lucas came from before popping up in Smash Bros. Originally developed as an N64 game, Mother 3 eventually arrived on the GBA in 2006, but only in Japan. Since then, the small but ravenous EarthBound community has been clamoring for the game, to the point of making their own well-received but questionably legal fan translation in 2008.
So will Mother 3 at long last make its official American appearance at the Switch conference next week? It’s not too hard to believe. An EarthBound re-release seemed impossible until it showed up on the Wii U Virtual Console in 2013. A Mother 1 re-release seemed even less likely, as it was localized but never released in America, but in 2015 it made its surprise English debut as EarthBound Beginnings. Nintendo has even made fun of Mother 3 fans during E3 sketches. At least they’re admitting the game exists!
But why stop at Mother 3? Tons of great Nintendo game have never left Japan. Here are some we’d like to play on the Nintendo Switch.
As you may have seen during our Gifted and Talented Program, Devil World for the NES is basically Pac-Man… but you’re being terrorized by a blue devil in a little thong. As he physically shifts the maze around, you must adjust your movement plans on the fly. It’s a neat twist on the Pac-Man formula. Unfortunately, the religious imagery kept this one from coming to America. Here’s hoping the Switch is a lot more secular.
Doshin the Giant
Another vaguely religious game, Doshin the Giant is Nintendo’s take on the god game genre. But instead of controlling populations as some disembodied deity players become a friendly yellow giant who answers prayers, changes the land, and saves his followers from natural disasters up close and personal. Originally released on the Japan-only Nintendo 64DD accessory, the game was later ported to the GameCube in Japan and Europe. If the Switch offers GameCube Virtual Console games, Doshin the Giant would be a great, surprise pick.
Joy Mech Fight
Before Smash Bros. (but after Urban Champion) Nintendo dabbled in the fighting game genre with Joy Mech Fight. While other games were chasing Street Fighter’s focus on martial artists, Joy Mech Fight’s shockingly large 36-character roster is comprised of weird robots with floating heads and limbs. It’s like Mega Man meets Rayman but a fighting game. Originally released on the NES after the Super Nintendo had already hit its stride, Joy Mech Fight is currently only available on the Japanese and South Korean Virtual Console. Time to change that with the Switch.
Disaster: Day of Crisis
Monolith Soft is known for its epic role-playing games like the Xenogears, Xenosaga, and Xenoblade franchises. But the developer’s first game after being acquired by Nintendo is the pulpy, cheesy action game Disaster: Day of Crisis for the Wii. In this interactive Roland Emmerich movie, players control tough guy Ray Bryce saving the world from volcanoes, earthquakes, and nuclear-armed terrorists. This game isn’t great, but we still want to see it on the Switch because it premiered in America during E3 2006 but never actually came out here.
Who doesn’t love watching a bunch of Nintendo characters hang out? But in Captain Rainbow you won’t find Mario or Link or Pikachu. Instead, obscure Nintendo characters like Birdo and Lip and Takamaru have come to the mysterious Mimin Island to make their dreams come true. And as the Power Ranger-esque Captain Rainbow, you’ll help them. Given how thoroughly Japanese this game is, it’s not surprising it hasn’t come west. But if Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE can come out here anything is possible.
Star Fox 2
A SNES sequel to the original Star Fox was essentially finished before being cancelled in 1995 due to the upcoming N64. A lot of its ideas, from a bipedal Arwing chicken form to a nonlinear map, were incorporated into later Star Fox games. Still, it doesn’t feel right knowing there’s a complete Star Fox out there just waiting to be played. Nintendo could easily fix this mistake by releasing Star Fox 2 for the first time on the Switch.