Everyone has that one game series you cherish and with each E3, you dream of hearing its name. Whether it be a new entry into the series, a HD ‘remake’ or even a subpar spin-off, if it is true to the source material, you would be thrilled. With the video game companies turning out more sequels than ever before, the legacy of some games seem endless, just as long as the game features the word ‘Duty’, ‘Creed’ or ‘Madden’ in the title.
Yes, as with most gamers, I am saddened by some of the great titles of yesteryear getting lost in the pile of rehashed series. So today I bring to you my short, personal list of video games I feel are deserving of some sort next-gen release.
Keep in mind, I’ve chosen games that as of yet have not been confirmed to have some sort of official release anytime in the future. Sure, games like The Last of Us and Grand Theft Auto are very deserving of a next-gen release, but unless game developers stop liking money, these releases are more or less a sure thing.
Before you say anything, yes I know that we received two ‘Silent Hill’ games during the previous generation, but I must argue that Homecoming and Downpour are anything but proper Silent Hill games. Lacking any connection to previous entries in the series (other than some Easter eggs), the games from the last generation just don’t measure up to the original four games. Without the expertly crafted storyline or polished gameplay from past titles developed by Team Silent, the newer titles only offer mediocre, barely survival horror games that swap the rich psychological horror from past games for cheap funhouse scares and uninteresting writing.
While the Silent Hill series should have ended with Silent Hill 3, it’s very clear Konami plans to keep the series going as long as they can. That being said, it seems the only hope for Silent Hill fans is for a proper sequel to be released, one with the original story and style in mind. As we have seen with the recent trailers of ‘The Evil Within’, survival horror isn’t dead yet. Perhaps Konami will use this generation to surprise fans with a Silent Hill that stays true to its ancestry, but don’t hold your breath.
Known for its colorful, catchy fast-paced music, and at the time of release, innovative visual style, Jet Set Radio is still one of the most unique and eye-catching games to have ever graced the Dreamcast. The arcade in-line skating game was both fun and challenging and featured the unique mechanic of having the player spray painting graffiti. The game even allows players to lay down their own custom tags all around a re-imagined Tokyo, complete with rival gangs just as colorful as the game itself.
While the game did receive a sequel during the original Xbox generation, and also had an HD release last gen, it has yet to receive a proper ‘next-gen’ release, and as we saw with the release of the HD version, the controls have not aged well. A fully developed current-day sequel could take advantage of the crisp, clean visuals that are possible today. I can only imagine how eye-popping Jet Set’s visuals could look given the full advantage of current console technology.
Goichi Suda or ‘Suda51’ has made some strange and interesting games over his career. Last generation saw such titles as Lollipop Chainsaw and No More Heroes, and fans of the developer all seem to still consider Killer7 to be his greatest work. Originally released on the Nintendo Gamecube, Killer7 took players into a cel-shaded first person shooter, filled with bizarre characters and off-the-wall storyline. The gameplay and action felt both fun and innovative, even in the oversaturated FPS genre. Since the original release, no sort of HD release or proper sequel has been discussed. When fans first got word of the ‘Killer is Dead’ title, a lot speculated of a connection with Killer7, which sadly was not the case.
Suda is currently working on the newly announced title ‘Lily Bergamo’ for the PlayStation 4. But perhaps after completion of that project, he will return to his roots. His wacky, insane roots.
Nothing gave gamers the mix of terror, nervousness, and psychotic satisfaction quite like Rockstar Games’ Manhunt title did. Tossing players into a cruel world with little to no defense against staggeringly uneven odds, Manhunt changed up the usual stealth game swapping military espionage for the purest of motivations: survival. Featuring a plethora of awfully painful tools to dispose of enemies with, Manhunt was a gritty, bloody, and controversial romp that gaming was desperately in need of. Riddled with bad press, overzealous censorship, and inattentive parents, Manhunt 2 was released a sloppy, disappointing mess. Full of unnecessary and outright intrusive censoring, the game’s development changed hands and was victim to delay after delay. Sadly, when the second entry did arrive, fans were left with a mediocre follow-up to the interesting, albeit gory, original entry.
Manhunt could make a blood-splattering entrance into next-gen if given the chance. I can only imagine how different the ratings would be taken with the recent pushing of the limits games have made since the second game has released. Throw in online co-op or even a well thought out competitive mode and you could be looking at something special.
‘Kick! Punch! It’s all in the mind!’ If you owned a PlayStation in the late ‘90s then you know these words. Sporting his orange beanie and baggy pants, PaRappa rhymed his way into gamers’ hearts with his original release in 1997. Featuring rhythm based gameplay and a funky and varied musical style, all set to colorful and visually unique graphics, PaRappa The Rapper became an instant classic. Returning to the PlayStation 2, PaRappa The Rapper 2 pitted PaRappa against a horde of evil noodles and crazed villains. Quiet since the PSP re-release, this series is due for a re-visit.
With Sony’s ‘4 the gamers’ campaign being used to launch the PlayStation 4, people can’t help but feel the hint of classic PlayStation titles in the back of their minds. A next-gen PaRappa would mean busting out the funky beats and rhymes, in high definition, not to mention it would give gamers a whole new reason to figure out ‘Why we stopped the car again’.
Back when Tim Shafer wasn’t busy making 3.3 million dollars on Kickstarter he made a little game by the name of Psychonauts; a bizarre and colorful action adventure platformer in which you play as a young fellow with psychic abilities. Attending a camp for gifted children, you learn the ropes of mastering the power of your mind, and jump into a few heads along the way. Its humor and charm won over gamers becoming a sort of ‘cult’ favorite. Unfortunately, the sales didn’t measure up to what the publisher was expecting.
Having recently been released on PC via Steam, fans have proven that an interest in a Psychonauts 2 is still very much alive. Perhaps after finishing up his new point-and-click adventure ‘Broken Age’, Shafer will fire up Kickstarter and get funding for another trip back to Whispering Rock Psychic Summer Camp. But with the development time they’ve shown with their current endeavor, it may come later rather than sooner
No other game has felt the fan out-cry quite a much as the Shenmue series. Featuring astounding visuals, an incredibly detailed world, and a level of freedom not seen before, Shenmue was truly an innovative game for its time and a benchmark for open world games in general. With its epic storyline ending in a cliff-hanger in Shenmue 2, fans have been waiting for closure to the story for over twelve years.
With disappointing sales for both the game and the Dreamcast console itself; combined with the massive budget of over 70 million dollars, a budget that held the world record for most expensive game for nearly ten years, the Shenmue series was officially put on ‘hold’ since the release of the second entry. Since then, creator Yu Suzuki, the legendary creator of arcade hits such as Hang-On and Afterburner, has left Sega, but still shows interest in finishing the Shenmue saga. Recently he commented in interviews that if given the chance, he would love to make another Shenmue game. One roadblock in this endeavor is the fact that Sega owns the copyright to the Shenmue name, not Suzuki. This problem has been met by fans with the massive #GiveYuTheShenmueLicense Twitter campaign, as well as the ‘Save Shenmue‘ movement.
This week at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco Suzuki will be presenting a ‘postmortem’ describing the challenges that came along with the development and release of Shenmue. Translated by the PS4 architect Mark Cerny, fans are hoping for some sort of announcement of the fabled Shenmue 3 to follow. Will it happen? Only time will tell. One thing is for sure, the series deserves to be continued.
So there you have it, just a few games from the past that deserve a next-gen release. Of course there are many, many others that I haven’t covered, so you tell us; What games do you think should be resurrected for next-gen? Let us know in the comments below.