Why Star Fox 2 On the SNES Mini Classic Edition is HUGE

Star Fox 2 is coming to the SNES Mini Classic Edition, but is it a sign of something more from Nintendo?

Last week saw Nintendo confirming the release of the SNES Mini Classic Edition, the successor to last year's NES Mini Classic Edition. Though the announcement itself was hardly shocking, it did include a very interesting surprise: among its 21 classic SNES games, the SNES Mini Classic Edition would include the never-before-released Star Fox 2. And while this may just seem like a neat feature at first glance, Star Fox 2's inclusion could be a sign of something much bigger: Nintendo is finally bringing its beloved franchises back to the forefront.

Granted, there's a number of reasons that Nintendo would plug the unreleased sequel to Star Fox into the SNES Classic. It could simply be a cheap way of selling more consoles -- though this seems unnecessary considering how surprisingly well the NES Mini Classic Edition sold and the SNES Classic's already-stellar lineup of games. Maybe Nintendo is looking for a simple cash grab by releasing an older, nearly-finished game. But if that were the case, wouldn't it just release Star Fox 2 as a Switch port or virtual console title?

No, this is something else entirely.

This is Nintendo reminding us that it still cares and has plans for the Star Fox franchise -- which may be a necessity considering the middling reviews, abysmal controls, and poor estimated sales of 2016's Star Fox Zero. But there's more to it than just the Star Fox games. The SNES Mini Classic Edition release of Star Fox 2 is the next in a series of signs showing that Nintendo is finally listening to fans about its most prized franchises.

As you might have noticed during this year's E3 conference, Nintendo seemed to be making a special point of letting us know that the kinds of games that fans have been begging for (sidescrolling Metroid, Metroid Prime sequel, Pokemon on consoles) are in the works -- even in spite of the conspicuous lack of details or gameplay from the latter two. Heck, the Pokemon game didn't even get a title. On top of that, we even have a (sort of) new Star Fox game to remind us that the franchise still exists. 

Taking all of these games into consideration, it appears as though Nintendo is making a new commitment to providing fans with the franchises (Metroid, Star Fox) and types of games (console Pokemon, a Metroid that actually has Samus in it) that have been absent for too long. It's almost as though the big N is trying to make a point of saying, "Hey, we know you love these franchises. We're on it."

If this truly is the case, then it's a sign of good things to come. Fans have been clamoring for the likes of an F-Zero sequel, localized Mother 3, a new Wario Land, etc. for years now. (Okay, that last one might just be me.) And if Nintendo is going to start capitalizing on that demand for forgotten franchises, then that's going to create a lot of great games for fans and a lot of money for Nintendo -- both of which sound great.

Sure, it is possible Nintendo is simply gauging the remaining interest in the Star Fox series after Star Fox Zero's unsuccessful launch. Maybe Star Fox 2 on the SNES Mini Classic Edition really is just a minor -- but admittedly decent -- cash grab. But more than anything, it could also be a sign of what's to come, and that's the revival of the games and franchises that fans have been clamoring for. 

Do you think Star Fox 2's inclusion is meant to just be a novel selling point? Is it a sign of better things to come? How badly do you, too, want another Wario Land? Let us know in the comments section.

[Header image courtesy of Star Fox wiki]

Published Jul. 5th 2017

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