Just one of the many reasons why geeks love to engage in heated forum flaming wars is the deep nostalgia we hold for our favorite gaming protagonists. As we lovingly (often frustratingly) guide our fragile friends through their digital worlds, we achieve serious feats, saving everything from castle bound princesses to entire civilizations. Memories are created, strong bonds are formed.
Understandably, when they disappear, it leaves us sad. Where do our beloved friends go? What kind of market dynamics have changed for development company bigwigs to axe them from the schedule?
Maybe, they just retired for a while? Strolling on a beach somewhere, sipping coconuts with the turquoise ocean lapping between their various extremities? This might just be true. Many have or (soon will) come out of retirement to make a comeback.
MegaMan (Mighty No. 9)
Legendary creator of MegaMan, Keiji Inafune, launched a Kickstarter campaign to make a new version of this ultimate retro classic of nostalgia joy. It should come as no surprise that the campaign hit its $900,000 in just 48 hours and went on to raise almost $4 million, shattering all expectations set by its stretch targets. The game should be available on all modern consoles. What? No! I’ve just got something in my eye, ok? STFU and pass the Kleenex. Geez.
Pokémon (Pokémon X&Y)
Some Trainers were starting to get worried there wouldn’t be any more to catch… The Pokémon games are worth a note here as much for their perseverance as for their comeback. Pokémon the world over are for life, even if they sometimes cash in on Christmas. They’ll always have a home inside Nintendo handheld consoles, too. The new 6th generation titles will be enjoyed in three dimensions on the Nintendo 3DS, a massive leap forward (graphically speaking) from Pokémon Black and White of many years ago.
Sonic (Sonic: Lost World)
Sonic is one hedgehog that retired for some time after the company holding his retirement fund went bust. The appropriately titled Sonic: Lost World on the Nintendo Wii U is an inspirational comeback from our spiky blue friend. Many of us spent too many hours engrossed in Sega Mega Drives and Game Gears in the original titles. More than just a cameo appearance for a change, Lost World is a nostalgia inducing comeback almost enough to make the Wii U a worthy purchase all by itself.
Mario (Super Mario Brothers U)
Okay, so this one’s not really too much of a comeback because our plumber amigos never really went anywhere. That said, you only have to take a glance at the Super Mario Brothers U box cover to see that Nintendo’s intention is to bring the game back to its original roots from the Gameboy and Nintendo Entertainment System. The classically inspired platform features brown bricks, golden coins, underwater environments and other nods in the direction of classic times gone past. One new feature though is interactivity with a controller that’s several orders of magnitude more powerful than the consoles that ran the original games…
Lara Croft (Tomb Raider *2013)
Can we ever really get enough Lara Croft? Uhhm, No. This is one mighty welcome comeback, especially with the new game offering a seemingly more mature look. Maybe it was inspired by superhero movies such as The Dark Knight proving that people want a more gritty experience? Either way, the Tomb Raider franchise brings great opportunities for epic gaming experiences minus any cheesy rubbish and the new title is a great trip down the memory lanes of the future. Wait, whut?
The Killer Instinct series were awesome fighting games. With a bias towards combo-based carnage, the late 90’s games were miles ahead of their time and absolute classics in your own right. Killer Instinct Gold on the Nintendo 64 was the last installment way back in ‘96. While it didn’t get much love from the critics, its awesome 64-hit combos were super satisfying to land (even if they were partially automated after a point). We were stoked to find that a comeback was to be made to take advantage of the visual feast produced by modern consoles now many generations beyond the old ’64.
Sora and Friends (Kingdom Hearts)
Kingdom Hearts was amongst the most creative (and successful) crossovers in gaming history. Let’s be honest, that means quite a lot considering the sheer volume of crossovers we’ve seen throughout our time glued to a TV screen. Kingdom Hearts was an instant classic with its Final Fantasy roots and its Disney antics. Sora, Donald and Goofy found a very comfortable resting spot in the hearts of all that took the time to get through the absurdly long opening sequence. Now, with Kingdom Hearts 1.5 having been released, rumors of 2.5 not far behind and a promise of a looooong awaited Kingdom Hearts III coming to this new generation of consoles it seems that Sora and his zany friends are here to stay.
All in all, if you are new to the gaming craze or if you’ve been with us since that first pong paddle it seems that the classic characters and worlds that we all love are setting up camp for the long haul. Enjoy your stay old friends, we’ve missed you.