Time is the master of all, giving and taking when it pleases. There is no stopping it and we have come to except this. If you think I am being deep about life, well you are very wrong. I am talking about video games and franchises that were taken away from us with no sign of them ever returning. Currently a few older franchises are seeing a resurgence it spin offs and remasters but there are still a few out there that we believe deserve a second chance. Here our own top games that we think need a second coming…
When this topic was brought up between us, I originally struggled in thinking of a franchise that I would love to be re-born. There are many that have ended and even though I really enjoyed my time with them, I do not think they should be continued. However, there was one game series that I loved during my college years and that was Katamari. If you are not in the loop, the Katamati series sees you playing as the Prince of the Cosmos rolling items up in a ball creating planets because you father has accidentally destroyed them. Simple premise but very addictive gameplay.
I spent hours on We Love Katamari on my PS2 during my college years and to this day I blame this game for my poor grades. It could also be the drinking but either way, hours were lost. I do not regret those hours as I the game was so much fun! Since then there has been a few other releases of the series but nothing has matched the joy I had with the original. Maybe it is due to the original creator leaving the project or that the newer releases have all been pretty much remakes of the classic PS2 titles. The last console iteration of the series came out on the PS Vita at launch which was 6 years ago! It was not perfect and did not capture the magic of the original but it fed the itch.
There was a rumor a year ago when a new trademark was found for a new Katamari game but nothing has come out of this. I would love to see a new Katamari game on this current generation. It would look, play and sound great!
So when I suggested this little article I only had one title in mind, once it got approved I had more but I decided eventually to go with my gut on this one and it’s the mighty Darkstalkers series!. As these articles go on over the weeks my apparent fanboyism with fighting games comes further to light, the genre has seen somewhat of a resurgence the past few years but sadly there are still some bright gems lost in the mine of the late 90’s to mid 2000’s, none shinier or more light absorbing that Darkstalkers!.
For those who aren’t familiar with the series you’ve either just recently gotten into fighters, skipped the series or missed any Capcom Vs game meaning you’ve missed the glory that is the Morrigan Sprite (Will explain later!). Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors a.k.a Vampire: The Night Warriors in Japan released in arcades in 1994 then later in 1996 on the PsOne. It’s a One on One fighting game where the cast is all based on “Creatures of the night”, Vampire?, Check, Succubus?, Check, Mummy, Check, Sasquatch?, Chickety Check!.
It’s original outing on the PsOne is where the game first gripped me, after not initially being sold on Street Fighter Alpha beyond it’s graphics, Darkstalkers stuck it’s fangs into my neck from the get go!. It still to this day has some of the most impressive sprite work from Capcom, The best freaky stages around, fantastic roster and as the series went on, some of the best systems around!.
The series received 3 main titles, each adding more tweaks which really helped Darkstalkers etch it’s way into Fighting history, Ex Moves, no breaks between rounds & blistering action has kept this title firmly loved by fighting fans all over. Though some would dispute this with me I would consider Darkstalkers to be the first “Anime” fighting game, ignoring the weak Dragon Ball games from SNES & Mega Drive (Apart from Hyper Dimension, that game was tremendous) predating Guilty Gear 1 and being arguably better in my opinion until Guilty Gear hit it’s stride with XX.
The series saw a brief revival in 2013 with the PSN/XBLA release Darkstalkers Resurrection packing Darkstalkers 2 and 3 together and adding online play. This was in response to many asking Capcom for a new Darkstalkers title, the last original one being released in arcades in 1997 and receiving a port in 2000 for the PSP. Capcom used this port to gauge interest in the new series, the release sadly wasn’t deemed profitable by Capcom & wasn’t openly received by fans due to it being rehashed and over priced.
That was the last time Darkstalkers saw even a glimmer of it’s coffin opening. The roster has been picked out for various Vs & Cross over games but the hope for a new Darkstalkers is at an all time low. I personally think it would be an ideal time for Capcom to bring the big dog back and capitalize on the expanding “Anime Fighting Game” niche and the main genre interest due to e-Sports. Go on Capcom, gain some goodwill back, pull a Castlevania and bring the Vampire back one more time!.
I’m going to tread the line for this article, instead of picking a series going for a brand I guess. The one in question is EA Sports BIG, an arcade sports game based brand that seemed to have all but died since the start of the previous generation – the lackluster Fifa Street 3 was the nail in the coffin on X360 & Ps3. Before that though there was plenty of goodness on Ps2, Xbox & Gamecube. Almost every major sport was covered, but I’ll just pick a few games to touch on here – Shox, Freekstyle & Def Jam Vendetta as these are the ones I played the most. Shox was one of the best, an arcade rally game thats up there with the likes of Sega Rally for pure arcade racing fun – still looks great today when I fire it up. Freekstyle kept things off road but switched out the cars for motocross. A little frisky at times with its handling, but it kept the OTT theme synonymous with the brand in its tricks & outrageous courses. Def Jam Vendetta was a curious one though. It was OTT in its theme, rappers wrestling, but took the AKI Corporations wrestling engine as its base for gameplay. This meant it actually had some simulation underpinnings once you got past the arcade features bolted on. There was just too many of these games that generation to mention. I haven’t mentioned SSX, NFL Street, NBA Jam, Sled Storm, Fifa Street etc that took the fight to Midway in the arcade sports arena and offered folk plenty of fun. EA would be wise to revisit the brand at some point and put the fun back into their games. There was something about the OTT presentation of the games alongside the arcade based gameplay that EA hasn’t really been able to replicate since. The bump in capabilities of consoles since those days would no doubt allow the developers to turn the outrageousness up to 11 whilst keeping the gameplay smooth. All work & no play is EA today, time to bring back EA Sports BIG and have some fun.
Dead series that we would like rekindled ….. Why?, why do you do this to me guys?!!! *sigh* But I digress. Aside from the guys bringing back the trauma of the many, many, many games of yesteryear that died before their time while others lived on (I wont mention names), This was actually a thought provoking topic that I discussed with a few people. Some of the names that came up were Shemnue (excluded now for clear reasons), Sonic Adventure Battle, Xenosaga and .Hack – to name a few. I have to admit I would love to play sequels to all of those any day of the week, though I can not pick any of them. As it was pointed out, at this moment they’re not quite “dead” so I thought and thought of some of my favorite titles to pass, with names like Guardians crusade and Shadow madness coming to mind but sadly far from a series. Then there are also others like Jade Cocoon, Dark Cloud/Chronicle and Breath of Fire. It’s at this point you (the reader) should now be thinking far too many games need sequels and died too soon. So in my despair and longing to find my Ps2 out the attic, I pondered about simply just listing all the titles I had discussed with friends and family as honorable mentions of “not quite dead/sequels”, and that is when I saw sat on the end of the shelf …… Shadow Hearts. Now I wouldn’t say its the best on the list here due to the reason I believe the series died in the first place *cough* new world *cough* but I had truly expected to see more from the series, or a reboot at some point. Even the cringe of new world had its own level of charm *queue flash backs to the bus stop saber and pop up pirate/ninja for the fans* Not only that but I adored the worlds and settings, not to mention battle systems and designs, sadly going into it in detail would likely easily triple the length of this article. Still I would recommend trying one of them to any RPG fan (perhaps not starting with 3) and if this urge to now play them doesn’t let up before I have some free time, look out for a article on one or more of them in greater detail.
Until then let us know, do you agree with any of these? Think we missed any? Drop a comment were always open and happy for any discussion or even debate, keep it friendly when replying to us or any other readers we respect your opinions we only ask you respect others. 🙂
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Mad Scientist with a passion for gaming!