My thought process while watching Nintendo show off the upcoming Mario Kart 8 went a little something like this: “Oh wow, the karts hover and go around giant loops like F-Zero now? I wonder when they’re going to get around to a new F-Zero, it’s been a while.”
As if IGN was reading my brain at the time, they directly asked Shigeru Miyamoto what the status was on the futuristic racer and frankly, the news isn’t great. Here’s what he said:
“I certainly understand that people want a new F-Zero game. I think where I struggle is that I don’t really have a good idea for what’s new that we could bring to F-Zero that would really turn it into a great game again. Certainly I can see how people looking at Mario Kart 8 could see, through the anti-gravity, a connection to F-Zero. But I don’t know, at this point, what direction we could go in with a new F-Zero.”
Okay, I get they have limited resources internally with how many games they can make at a time. Sure, fine. What I guess I don’t understand is why can’t they ping one of their other studios like HAL Labs, EAD, Retro, or even partner with Sega again? There are options and good ones even that I feel Nintendo is overlooking.
I also have to call into question his statement of not having any good ideas for the franchise. The major one I can think of at this point is the fact that this title will now be in HD as their previous systems couldn’t handle that. The High Definition aspect alone should be good enough to push ahead on a new title. Add in new tracks and few new racers along with the fan favorites and BAM, good to go. Online seems to be a bit stronger on the WiiU so that could also be another major aspect. I mean, look at Mario, especially the “New” franchise they’ve recently put out. Those games have new levels, 1 or 2 new powers ups, but essentially, it’s still a side scrolling Mario game. Isn’t that what we’re talking about here with F-Zero? Why can’t we apply that formula to some of their other less used franchises? Mario Kart remains fundamentally the same as well outside of some new tracks. Essentially, it’s the same game we’ve been getting since the SNES. I don’t understand why this mentality can’t be applied to F-Zero as well. It doesn’t need a giant overhaul or massive updates to make fans happy. Makes you wonder if Nintendo is even interested in the franchise right now.
Ultimately, I find Nintendo’s strategy baffling sometimes. I guess I just don’t understand why HD versions of Star Fox or F-Zero can’t be made with a few tweaks or additions. If Nintendo wants to make a splash and regain some attention, that would be a good place to start in my opinion.