Isaiah Taylor | Staff Writer
Since the beginning of Nintendo’s reign as one of the leading video game franchises, titles such as Super Mario, Pokemon and The Legend of Zelda have been the cornerstones for Nintendo, playing a vital role in the prestige amassed over the years. Fans worldwide are all celebrating significant anniversaries this year.
One of the biggest anniversaries on Nintendo’s list to celebrate in 2021 is The Legend of Zelda. The original NES title was released in 1986, and since then, the series has only gotten more prominent as the years progressed.
“Each Zelda title is a huge release to the fanbase and has always brought such unique concepts and gameplay with every game released,” said Janee’ Hoover, a third-year Hampton University business major from Detroit.
The latest Legend of Zelda game to be given a reboot is the Nintendo Wii installment of Skyward Sword. Dropping on July 16, it has been more than 11 years since the initial release in 2011. The game also supports button-only controls, owing to the Switch Lite’s absence of removable hand controllers.
“I was completely blown away, seeing Skyward Sword on the switch. All of those same emotions from playing this game in my childhood came flooding back in full force,” said Vincent Thomas, a fourth-year HU graphic design major from New York. “Nintendo is going crazy this year, and I’m 100% here for it.”
In addition to The Legend of Zelda, Nintendo is also focused on getting the most from each and every new retro game reboot going forward. Next to Zelda, Pokémon is the most extensive series celebrating a milestone in 2021. Primarily, the plans for this will be orchestrated by the Pokémon Company and Game Freak.
During the Pokémon anniversary live stream, the Pokémon Company announced the release of reboots for Pokémon Diamond and Pearl coming in November 2021 and titled Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. The company also announced that it is releasing a new Pokémon game unlike any other, called Pokémon Arceus. Pokémon Arceus will be an open-world, non-linear game that will combat the previous mold of all the other games released in the past.
“I love my switch, but now I feel like I’m truly getting my money’s worth with these new Pokémon games,” said Jonathan Lowe, a third-year HU marketing major from Atlanta. “I literally cannot wait until these games drop this year. So much nostalgia.”
Last but not least, the Super Mario franchise is a worldly renowned platformer adventure game released in arcades in 1983 before being ported to the SNES and NES. Not only is it one of the most iconic and influential arcade titles of its time, but it’s still vastly popular today with hundreds of games that have captivated fans for decades. It introduced so many beloved characters that have grown alongside Nintendo.
With the anniversary being celebrated year-round, Nintendo launched Super Mario Bros. 35, a free online battle game available to Nintendo Switch Online subscribers, along with an exclusive Game & Watch Super Mario Bros. handheld console. When the games were announced on the 35th anniversary of Nintendo Direct, the company said all of these would be removed from sale on March 31 indefinitely. This makes them potential prized collector items.
“I’ve been a Mario fan ever since I could remember,” said Brooke Marshton, first-year HU liberal arts major from Bowie, Maryland. “All of these Nintendo releases are just adding to the everlasting love I have for Nintendo. I can’t wait to play!”