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Mario Galaxy vs Mario 3D Land in the West vs Japan. Notice how not once do the Japanese sales figures measure up to the West? And, in terms of culture, Mario is big in Japan so it's more then just a mascot from a gaming series to them. To the west he isn't yet their sales are still complete crap compared to ours. So if you're going to base your argument off sales figures, least you could do is use the figures that actually matter.
Japanese sales have higher profit margins thanks to the fact that they don't need to pay localization costs and higher MSRP.
I'm not saying that Japanese sales aren't more important that sales in the West (they aren't), but direct sales figures comparisons aren't perfect in this industry.
Isn't F-Zero essentially its spiritual successor??
Not really, it a shooter where you ride a motorcycle in pseudo 3D. They could easily make it into a game that is a cross between GTA x Mad Max meets 80s Shirow post apocalyptic anime with robots. Considering what would happen and what Western critics of Nintendo seem to want of them, I think that would be the game for them.
Admittedly F-Zero was sort of supposed to have something to do with Mach Rider. But that's like Donkey Kong still having something to do with Yoshi Island. It's not even X(GB, not the new Monolith game) having something to d with Star Fox.