Alex Kidd

The runaway success of Nintendo’s Wii has granted many publishers and developers a bit more freedom to experiment with their software. With such a massive installed base of users, software houses can be a little bolder with their ideas because chances are even brave failures will shift a few copies. Here at NintendoLife we applaud fresh and original concepts, but we also like stuff from the past, too.

Hopefully the aforementioned success of the Wii will encourage developers to choose to update some classic franchises as well as bring out new IP. Sega has already tried to bring one of their series up to date in the shape of the disappointing Alien Syndrome (which was a puzzling choice as the original didn’t exactly set pulses racing), but a quick glance into the history books reveals many more worthy games that are just begging for a modern lick of paint.

Here’s ten franchises that we’d like to see reborn on the Wii:

Alex Kidd

Before Sonic, there was Alex Kidd. This rather unusual looking monkey boy was in fact royalty from a distant planet, but sadly it didn’t help him defeat Nintendo’s Mario when it came to commercial success. Alex nevertheless enjoyed a fine run of games on Sega’s underrated Master System (including an hilarious homage to Sega’s own Shinobi series) before appearing in an early Megadrive release, which sadly proved to be his last outing. Despite the cute visuals, entertaining gameplay and hugely endearing lead character, the franchise died a death as soon as a certain blue hedgehog came along and won the hearts of Sega fans worldwide. We still have a soft spot for Alex and would love to see him return in some kind of 3D platformer - plus, the motion sensitive Wiimote would be perfect for those all-important paper/scissors/stone matches.

Chance of success?

Unlikely. Sega has long since turned its back on poor old Alex, and it would be a massive change of heart for the company to bring him back. He didn’t really sell units back in his prime so it’s unlikely he’d manage it today…but then again, who would have thought Alien Syndrome would be updated?


Wonderboy is a series with a lineage so convoluted you need a professional genealogist to unravel it (to sum it up as quickly as possible, the games were developed by a company called Westone but Sega own the rights to the Wonderboy name). It also straddled a wide range of genres; the first title was a simplistic affair featuring a caveman hero (this concept would eventually evolve into Hudson’s Adventure Island franchise, but let’s not get too confusing here) but later releases dropped the lead character into the fantasy world of Monsterland, granting him RPG-style play mechanics in the process. The sublime Wonderboy in Monsterworld on the Megadrive arguably represents the finest hour of this fine range of videogames; a modern day take with Metroid-esque exploration would go down a treat.

Chance of success?

Several Wonderboy games were recently re-issued in Japan as part of the Sega Ages range on PS2, so it’s clear that there’s still a degree of interest in the character…but I wouldn’t hold your breath for a dedicated update, to be honest.

Kid Icarus

The NES was hardly short of fantastic platform titles and this represents one of the lesser-known classics. The setting, gameplay visuals and music were all practically perfect, and even today videogame historians are puzzled as to why a home console sequel never materialised (a Gameboy release saw the light of day in 1991). Obviously the concept screams ‘3D platformer’ but the aerial abilities of Pit (the lead character) could make for some interesting gameplay features.

Chance of success?

Pit is set to start in Super Smash Brothers Brawl, so the chances of a fully-fledged update are better than you might think. Shigeru Miyamoto has also hinted that a new instalment could be Wii-bound, so chances are very good indeed.

Burning Rangers

Back when the Sega Saturn was dying a slow and painful death it wasn’t easy being a fan of the company. However, occasionally they would repay your undying faith and the release of Burning Rangers was one such time. Coded by Sonic Team (before they went off the boil), the game puts you in the shoes of a futuristic fire-fighter. As you might imagine it’s your job to enter dangerous buildings and rescue trapped civilians whilst putting out nasty-type flames along the way. The Wii’s controls would be ideal for a next-gen update of this often ignored cult classic.

Chance of success?

Well, we’ve had NiGHTS after more than a decade of waiting…why not this too?

Dynamite Duke

Ok, so this is a bit of a fanciful choice, but hear us out. Dynamite Duke was largely ignored when it was released in arcades in the early ‘90s, but it performed well enough to be granted a Megadrive conversion. It plays like Taito classic Operation Wolf, but in this game you can actually see (and move) your on-screen avatar. As well as blowing up bad guys with your Uzi, you can duck and dodge projectiles and throw punches and uppercuts. At the time it felt revolutionary, and to be honest it amazes us just how playable it is even by today’s standards. A Wii update would be perfect – you could aim and shoot the with Wiimote and throw punches with the Nunchuk.

Chance of success?

As much as it pains us to admit it, practically nil. Although developer Seibu Kaihatsu (famed for the Raiden series) is still hanging in there, the original game isn’t really well known enough to warrant any next-gen makeover. However, someone could still take the core concept and produce a similar product. And if anyone does, we want 10% of the profits, ok?


Series producer Koji 'IGA' Igarashi has stated that he doesn’t think Castlevania would work on the Wii, but we have to disagree. Imagine how much fun you could have cracking the famous Belmont whip with the Wiimote. Castlevania is a series that seems perfectly at home on Nintendo hardware so we sincerely hope IGA reconsiders his somewhat harsh stance on the Wii, as the console arguably represents Konami’s best chance of making the series work in 3D.

Chance of success?

The fact that the Castlevania series is still going strong means that the chances of a Wii version are high.


One of the first SNES games to really show off the potential of the machine’s Mode 7 graphics, Pilotwings possessed surprising depth for a 16-bit title. The N64 version was even better, and defying expectations by shunning the usual ‘death and destruction’ route for more involving, skill-based gameplay challenges. Strangely, Nintendo choice not to revisit the franchise on the GameCube, and we’ve so far heard nothing about a possible Wii release.

Chance of success?

Seeing as it’s one of Nintendo’s most admired franchises you’d think that the chances of an update were relatively high. Maybe Nintendo will announce something this year?


Another early SNES release, this strange mixture of platforming action and God Simulation turned heads back in the early ‘90s thanks to its sumptuous visuals, breathtaking music and innovative gameplay. A disappointing sequel appeared some time later that jettisoned the God Sim portion of the game (much to the despair of fans), but since then we’ve seen nothing of this potentially blockbusting series.

Chance of success?

The game was recently ported to Java-based mobile phones so it’s clear that SquareEnix still have some degree of faith in its popularity.


Arguably one of Capcom’s finest titles, Strider was a massive arcade smash hit back in the days when coin-ops ruled the gaming world. A superb Megadrive conversion duly followed, but Capcom then made the bizarre move of allowing shovelware developer US Gold to produce what many people regard today as an unofficial sequel for the Megadrive and Master System. The proper follow up didn’t appear until the middle of the ‘90s and was a stunning 2.5D affair that utilized the Playstation arcade hardware. A perfect home conversion predictably followed, but aside from some cameos in various titles, nothing else has been heard from the purple-clad ninja.

Chance of success?

Capcom has a habit of trawling through its back catalogue for inspiration (take the recently announced Bionic Commando, for example) so there’s a chance that Strider may grace our TV screens again…although chances are Capcom would probably pick either the PS3 or 360 as the platform of choice.

Punch Out

Wii Sports has already proven that boxing with the Wiimote and Nunchuk is a lot of fun, so hopefully Nintendo will see fit to give us a proper update to this fantastic pugilistic series. The NES version is rightly regarded as something of a classic and the SNES sequel brought undeniable improvements, but it’s all been a bit quiet since then. Does the Punch Out! name carry the necessary cache to shift units in today’s market? Possibly not, but we’d at least like to see Nintendo try.

Chance of success?

Nintendo hasn’t shown any real interest in the series for over a decade, aside from a Virtual Console release and some cameos in Wario Ware games, but you never know.