Following the news of Paper Mario being dug up from the archives of the Nintendo 64 and brought to the Nintendo DS, it got the team at Nintendic thinking about what other potential classics could and should make the transition to the portable platform. So head inside for a quick selection of titles that would be ideally suited to the dual-screen system…
Nintendo has already seen massive success with its Nintendo 64 archive of hits being resurrected on the Nintendo DS platform. Right from the system’s launch there was Super Mario 64 DS, which has sold over a million copies in Japan alone and proved to be a roaring success in all Western territories. Following that Rare saw huge sales figures with its Diddy Kong Racing port as well, with it becoming a multi-million selling title without even seeing a Japanese release yet! And, of course, it now appears, if rumours are to be believed about an article appearing in Japanese publication CoroCoro Comics, as if Nintendo is about to resurrect the very first Intelligent Systems-developed Paper Mario, following the success of Alpha Dream’s Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time. But considering the vast array of classics available on the Nintendo 64, and how the Nintendo DS is pretty much comparable to that console in terms of sheer horse-power, it is quite shocking that Nintendo has not been quicker off the mark with the resurrection of more 64-bit games. After all, it was pretty sharp when it came to bringing old Super Nintendo games to the Game Boy Advance.
Below is a sample of just five great games that Nintendic feels would be perfectly suited to being dragged into the present:
International Superstar Soccer ’98 (Konami)
Long before the Pro Evolution Soccer series began to grow in stature, Konami’s Major A internal team had a string of successes beginning on the Super Nintendo and stretching to the Nintendo 64 with the International Superstar Soccer games, which were loosely based on their arcade football creations. For many, the pinnacle of this particular series of sports titles was International Superstar Soccer ’98, which offered up fast-paced, extremely fluid action, plenty of impressive skill, impressive visuals and by far the most enjoyable football experience at the time, blowing any other efforts completely out of the water. Considering Konami has failed twice to successfully bring over the Pro Evolution Soccer franchise to the DS so far, perhaps the best route to take would be translating this true classic to the format, complete with touch-screen on-the-fly tactical changes and online gameplay.
Perfect Dark (Rare)
Ever since UK outfit Rare was sold by Nintendo to Microsoft, it was thought that support from the Twycross-based team would be non-existent and the quality First-Person Shooters from the developer would forever languish in the past, untouched. Thankfully, though, Microsoft seems more than willing to let Rare develop on Nintendo portable systems due to them not competing directly with the Xbox series of consoles. Now, whilst the idea of GoldenEye 007 being resurrected would require MGM, Nintendo, Rare, Microsoft and Activision to all agree to particular terms, the possibility of Perfect Dark, GoldenEye’s spiritual successor after Rare lost the Bond license to Electronic Arts back in the day, seems to have far stronger potential, especially given how Rare has stated it had a test version of the game up and running when the DS was first released anyway. Considering how Nintendo has shown the FPS genre works well on DS with Metroid Prime Hunters, and Renegade Kid have took that a few steps further with Dementium: The Ward, just imagine the fun that could be had with a revamped Perfect Dark, complete with touch-screen character movement, head-to-head death-matches via Wi-Fi play and that trademark Rareware style and finesse!
Ogre Battle 64 (Atlus)
The strategy role-playing genre has already been proven as being a perfect fit for the DS, with the likes of Luminous Arc on the market now and Final Fantasy Tactics A2, Disgaea: Hour of Darkness and a remake of the original NES Fire Emblem all on the horizon. But why not delve into the past for a bit of beloved Ogre Battle fun? With an epic storyline and gorgeous soundtrack already in place, adding in an updated gameplay mechanic to allow character selection with the simplest of taps on the touch-screen would mean what was previously a Nintendo 64 classic could become one of the must-have SRPG experiences for the portable platform. Considering how Square Enix now holds the rights to the series following the demise of developer Quest, and how the company is pumping so many new games onto the system, the chances of a comeback are surely quite strong.
Resident Evil 2 (Capcom)
There is a big question mark hanging over the Nintendo DS as to whether or not a true horror experience can seriously be achieved on a portable format. Whilst Resident Evil: Deadly Silence was only moderately successful in achieving this, Renegade Kid’s Dementium: The Ward proved what a frightening experience can indeed be achieved, especially when the player has ear-phones in and the sound cranked up. Back when the Nintendo 64 was around, many were shocked that Capcom was able to squeeze everything from the Resident Evil 2 PSone game into the cartridge-based system’s game media format, which was far lower in size than that of the PSone’s CD-ROMs. The company even managed to include all of the gruesome video clips from the survival horror title! However, today, with the higher capacity DS media cards now available, this would bode no problem at all and the much improved video codecs would ensure the Full Motion Video sequences would lose none of their impact and shock factor. This could be the most terrifying Nintendo DS game by far in the absence of anything from Konami’s Silent Hill team.
Mischief Makers (Square Enix)
This Treasure-developed side-scrolling action game comes from the same school as Gunstar Heroes and Dynamite Headdy, except being from the clever folk over at Japanese developer Treasure it has that little something extra to make it so special, as well as being packed full of charm. Sadly the thrilling title, which seemed to move at breakneck speed for the majority of the adventure and required extreme concentration and lightning quick reactions throughout, was criminally overlooked when launched on the Nintendo 64, making it a perfect candidate to be revived to gain the glory it so rightly deserves. Treasure has only just brought Bangai-O kicking and screaming from the past to the Nintendo DS, so now would be the ideal time to strike up that past relationship with Enix (now ‘Square Enix, obviously) and give the wider audience found on the dual-screen system a chance to sample this piece of platforming action goodness.
But that is not all, since this is by no means the extent of classics from the Nintendo 64 range that should be translated to the Nintendo DS. There are definitely several other major games that could equally be worthy of striking it lucky on the portable platform. How about Rare’s other hits, such as Blast Corps, Banjo Kazooie and Jet Force Gemini? Or maybe even Konami’s Hybrid Heaven? Body Harvest and Space Station Silicon Valley from DMA Design (now known as Rockstar) are contenders as well. But the question is, what do you, the reader think? Be sure to share your thoughts on what games, if any, you would like to see make the transition by posting in the comments section below…