Or the cameo might do next to nothing. "Most people can't identify Ness from a flying basket of grapes," Toner says of the EarthBound character's appearance in the Super Smash Bros. games. Still, consider how many people had even heard of Ice Climber before Super Smash Bros. Melee. Most gamers now at least know the name, even if they're not exactly clamoring for a sequel.

If a sequel or cameo isn't possible, you can always hope that a re-release will generate some support. With the Nintendo Revolution's planned virtual console allowing backwards compatibility across generations, all your favorite forgotten Nintendo games might soon be a legal download away. And once gamers get tired of replaying Super Mario Bros. 3, it's possible they'll turn their attention to some of those neglected originals.

But if and when you do get that re-release, be prepared for a damaging hit to your nostalgia-laced memories.When Clu Clu Land was released for the Game Boy Advance under the NES Classic label, many thought Nintendo was already scraping the bottom of its historic barrel. "Different? Yes. Classic? Debatable. Fun? More like clunky and frustrating," quipped the IGN review.

This brings up the distinct possibility - which fans might be loathe to entertain - that some of these games were forgotten because they just weren't that good. Or at least not as good as the rest of Nintendo's catalog. "Kid Icarus probably didn't make it because of the design: linear levels (either horizontal or vertical) followed by a Zelda-like dungeon," Metroid fan Monnens said. "While there's certainly a lot that can be done with this layout, there just wasn't that mechanic of backtracking you see in the later Mario games."

Some games that seemed great, even revolutionary, when they first came out might not seem as fresh in light of twenty years of progress. Shafer thinks classics like Punch-Out might be hard-pressed to get any attention in today's marketplace. "With the newer and picky gamers and game reviewersout there, you would have to push the 3D elements, graphics, sound, music, play control, and fun factor to please all of them."

And why should Nintendo bother with all of that, when they can slap Mario's face onto a new version of Dance Dance Revolution and sell a million copies without breaking a sweat? There will always be Nintendo faithful around, ready to snap up the latest sacred offerings of the holy trinity. As long as this doesn't change, it seems unlikely that Nintendo will spend the time and energy necessary to revive that many old, forgotten series.

But man, wouldn't you love to see a new version of that flying game? With the parachute jumping and rings and stuff? That game was awesome.

Kyle Orland is a videogame freelancer. He writes about the world of videogame journalism on his weblog, Video Game Media Watch.

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