Not Every Sequel Needs A “Grand New Idea,” And That Includes F-Zero

Recently retired designer Takaya Imamura had a hand in many of Nintendo’s most beloved games and franchises during his 30-plus year career at the company, including the now-dormant sci-fi racing series F-Zero. It’s been more than 16 years since the last F-Zero game–2004’s F-Zero Climax–released on the Game Boy Advance, with little indication that Nintendo has any interest in dusting the series off. And if Imamura’s recent comments are anything to go by, the company seems to have a disappointingly rigid mentality when it comes to the prospect of a sequel.

Despite F-Zero’s long absence, Imamura recently told IGN that he believes the series “isn’t dead,” although it would be difficult to revive without some kind of “grand idea” to set it apart from previous installments. This view in itself is not surprising; this has long been Nintendo’s prevailing philosophy when designing a new entry in one of its series, and it’s a view that designer and producer Shigeru Miyamoto has similarly expressed in the past.

However, a sequel doesn’t always need a “grand idea” to justify its existence. Given how long it’s been dormant at this point, a straightforward follow-up to F-Zero GX–the series’ last console installment–or even a remaster of that game would be enough of a novelty to generate interest. It would be one matter if Nintendo had been regularly pumping out F-Zero games over the past 16 years, and franchise fatigue was beginning to set in, but the series hasn’t seen a new entry in almost two decades now. After such a long absence, any new F-Zero game will feel fresh, even if it doesn’t introduce new gameplay elements or mechanics. Simply seeing the series with modern HD visuals or being able to race online against other players would be exciting enough draws in their own right to justify a new release.

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Author: Kevin Knezevic