There are many amazing series that have fallen off the face of the earth and died from neglect. I like to think that they’re being held hostage in their corporations’ dark and damp basements, crying out to be revived and renewed. Unfortunately, we’ve all felt the sting of a favorite franchise that’s left to rot.
The truth, however, is that we might never see them again, aside from (hopefully) a digital marketplace re-release. After giving the topic much thought, we’ve compiled a list of favorite franchises that would shine modern consoles. New series entries would be ideal, but, hell, we’d even take HD remakes at this point.
Developers, stop leaving money on the table and make this happen.
Who are you guys? We’re Star Fox!
Star Fox 64 became an instant classic when it arrived on the Nintendo 64 in 1997 thanks to flashy graphics, amazing level design, and fast-paced vehicular combat. It’s powered by the same formula that Nintendo used to construct the SNES original: Players choose between different branching paths that directly reflect the game’s multiple difficulty levels.
The game occasionally changes from a rail shooter to one that allows players to take full control of their Arwings (fighter jets) in a full 360-degree space (which leads to exhilarating dog fights where you maneuver your aircraft to avoid enemies and help teammates). Star Fox 64 received a spiritual sequel in the form of Star Fox Adventure on the Nintendo GameCube, which was nothing more than a subpar, last-ditch attempt to attract loyal Star Fox fans.
A Wii U reboot with improved graphics and controls could add an open world flying like Pilot Wings, or increase the scope of missions similar to the Ace Combat series. The Gamepad could function as a command center or as your jet’s cockpit from which you could fire bombs or deploy flares.
I’ll be honest: I’d take Shenmue in any form, be it a script, comic, or novel. But, a game would be great right? After Shenmue 2‘s abrupt cliffhanger, gamers were left anticipating a proper sequel.
It’s been 11 years since the last Shenmue, and although there were sequel talks, it’s safe to say we’ll probably never see one. Shenmue‘s FREE (Full Reactive Eyes Entertainment) style is responsible for revolutionizing the sandbox genre by allowing players to explore an incredibly detailed Japanese town, encounter dozen of characters, learn new abilities, play darts or old SEGA arcade games, work a job, or hone martial arts. And on the topic of fighting, Shenmue’s combat runs on Virtua Fighter‘s engine series, so it’s deep, complex, and rewarding.
Ryo Hazuki recently appeared in Sonic & SEGA All Star Racing, which some believed was SEGA’s method of gauging player interest in the character/franchise. If that’s the case, SEGA should give us Shenmue and Shenmue II in a HD remastered form to properly measure interest.
Skies of Arcadia
2000′s Skies of Arcadia took RPGs to soaring heights (pun intended) with its bravado, especially during a time when Square-Enix (formerly Squaresoft) dominated the genre. Skies of Arcadia proved a challenging RPG that mixed airships, pirates, and weapons of mass destruction into a tight-knit adventure. The game garnered critical acclaim, but due to the Dreamcast‘s decline few experienced this gem.
In 2003, Skies of Arcadia received an updated GameCube port with added content; in 2012 Vyse (Skies of Arcadia‘s protagonist) competed with other SEGA character in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. We haven’t heard a murmur from SEGA about a proper revival, but there’s enough lore for a completely new game within the Skies of Arcadia universe.
Ecco the Dolphin
Just in case you haven’t noticed, this X-List list has been dominated by SEGA games. With a plethora of great licenses it’s sad to say that SEGA is probably one of the most wasteful companies in the gaming industry. Ecco the Dolphin is a forgotten 1992 gem that’s much more than a game about a dolphin. Deeply rooted in science-fiction, Ecco the Dolphin featured Atlantans, aliens, and time travel. The original Genesis classic is a massive challenging game, where fast reflexes and problem solving skills reign supreme.
Ecco the Dolphin would greatly benefit from a modern-gen revival as the available technology could render a beautiful and detailed underwater world. The ocean is a beautiful, scary, and majestic place that needs to be explored.
Breath of Fire
Capcom’s famed RPG series has laid dormant for over a decade with its last entry being 2002′s Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter. Since its original SNES release, Breath of Fire has given gamers control of Ryu, a young adventurer who morphs into different dragons. What makes this series standout from other RPG franchises is its creative battle system and apocalyptic themes. Shifting into a dragon wasn’t just for show it was a gameplay element used to take out the nastiest enemies in the game.
Breath of Fire‘s received countless awards for its amazing soundtracks, and its art design has also garnered much attention. With Capcoms lack of RPGs, the next-gen would be a great time to introduce a new entry.
There you have it: five franchises that would make a huge splash if they were announced for current- or next-generation consoles. But don’t hold your breath — we will probably never see any sequels or next-gen remakes. So what series would you like to see revived? Feel free to share in the comments section below.