For various reasons, publishers shelve their IPs and let them lie dormant for years.
When money is ready to be made to pique my interest, especially in this day and age, social media allows an open channel to discuss what consumers want to purchase with their hard-earned money. Square Enix has for years shattered any hope for a sequel to one of the best games of all time, Chrono Trigger.
I thought we’d see something more significant with the tease that Conker would return in Project Spark as an add-on under Conker‘s Big Reunion. Instead, I reflect on Conker’s last outing on the Nintendo 64, with Conker’s Bad Fur Day. When it launched, it was a huge shocker featuring a potty-mouthed squirrel on a hungover adventure to save his girlfriend, Berri. The game was reworked as Conker: Live & Reloaded with multiplayer, but it’s been roughly two decades since the original and is well overdue for a revival.
At the time, Banjo-Kazooie was criticized as a Super Mario 64 clone. Thankfully what this game did – it did well and has a very passionate fan base itching for a revival. The original title was launched in 1998, with a follow-up in 2000 and 2008. The series also spun off to handhelds, but it has its heart on consoles.
Nintendo eventually released the first Banjo-Kazooie on Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack, but I’m waiting for a proper sequel. Most recently, Banjo-Kazooie composer Grant Kirkhope revealed he believes there is no audience for a sequel, and that’s why we haven’t seen the duo since Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts.
It’s been 22 years since the original Onimushawas released on PlayStation 2. Capcom took famous figures from Japan’s rich history and wove a supernatural story with them. Featuring a satisfying hack-and-slash battle system with puzzle-solving to progress. The series had four main title entries and was last seen in 2006; and was a departure from the pre-rendered backgrounds, instead shifting to fully 3D environments allowing the player to control the camera. This title was the first also to have a co-op feature.
A few years ago, Capcom re-released Onimusha: Warlords but has since remained silent on whether or not we’d get the subsequent sequels as a remaster on consoles. Either way, the Onimusha series needs to make a comeback. In a world where FromSoftware’s Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and Ghost of Tsushima exist, consumers desire to return to Feudal Japan.
Imagine the incredible hack-and-slash combat of Devil May Cry paired with the fantastic puzzles from Resident Evil, and you’ll see why Onimusha needs to return in today’s gaming climate.
Mega Man Legends
Launching in the summer of 1998,Mega Man Legendswas a drastic departure from the blue bomber’s known adventures, being the first to be fully 3D and an action-adventure title. This wasn’t the Mega Man we knew; no, this was Mega Man Volnutt, a treasure hunter dealing with sky pirates. The shift in design was highly enjoyable, according to series creator Keiji Inafune, and would lead to a prequel and a sequel in 2000. A decade later, with a third entry announced for the Nintendo 3DS, everything was right in video games. The third entry was even prepped to have a downloadable prototype available for download in the eShop of the 3DS but was ultimately cancelled in 2011, citing a “lack of fan support for the title.”
However, if recent sales numbers are anything to go by, it seems people want more Mega Man.
This is on everybody’s list as a franchise that needs to return. The twentieth anniversary passed in 2015, and not a peep from Square Enix. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, there hasn’t been anything in 20 years since Chrono Cross was released, aside from that trademark “Chrono Break,” which was given up, and nothing became of it. The first game is one of the most important games ever created and is still a staple of any RPG fanatic’s list.
Back in the 90s, hearing Nintendo and Squaresoft were teaming up to produce Super Mario RPG, your initial reaction was high-pitched screaming. Two titans coming together like this is still a rarity now, especially back when the partnership delivered one of the most revered games on the SNES. It was the first time Mario and Bowser worked together to face a greater enemy. While Nintendo eventually went on and created more Mario RPGs with Paper Mario and Mario and Luigi, neither series could replicate the magic Super Mario RPG offered.
Last month, a proper remake was announced, and while that’s a wild announcement, the franchise itself hasn’t seen a new entry since Legend of the Seven Stars. If the remake does well and Nintendo is pleased with the results, I’m hoping they can figure out behind-the-scenes licensing and issues with Square so that we can see Geno and Mallow in a new adventure.
I remember how much I enjoyed the first game and how it reminded me of The Legend of Zelda. At the time, and being an early title for the PlayStation 2, it showcased many great ideas and improved on most of them in the sequel, Dark Cloud 2. The world-building mechanic and the weapon-based levelling system were some of the better ones I’ve played through. The thirst meter, though; please stay gone. The series vanished back in 2003 and hasn’t been since being sorely missed since then.
Kids of the era all had at least one title in the Jet Moto series; some lost a friend or two because of it. This was also the first game I remember being laden with advertisements ranging from Doritos to Slim Jims. Sixteen years later, I remember the mornings I spent with my neighbours playing Jet Moto 2 for hours.
A third-person sandbox game in a recreated London? The Getaway took advantage of the PS2 hardware and looked damned good for its time. The title was also meant to be more realistic and less like GTA. I remember the difficulty being an issue, but it was still a blast. The sequel, Black Monday, was released the following year to average reviews and had been sitting on a shelf waiting to return.
However, one property Capcom owns is seemingly overdue for its own remake – Dino Crisis. Dinosaurs are returning, especially when Capcom is concerned with Exoprimal features players facing off against an invading force of various dinosaurs.
Capcom has the perfect opportunity to fine-tune the script of Dino Crisis and rein it in for a new audience. Still, Capcom doesn’t seem keen on revitalizing one of its most-requested series to return.
Breath of Fire
I’m not counting Breath of Fire 6 as a good game, given it launched only in Japan on mobile devices in 2016. No, the last proper entry was on PlayStation 2 with Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter.
Throughout the series, players encounter a diverse cast of characters, engage in turn-based battles, explore vast worlds, and unravel intricate storylines. Breath of Fire is known for its charming visuals, memorable music, and deep character development. While the series has experienced periods of hiatus, it continues to be cherished by RPG enthusiasts for its rich lore and immersive gameplay.
Breath of Fire launched in 1993, and the first game introduces players to the protagonist, Ryu, who possesses the power to transform into various dragons. The game follows Ryu’s journey to save the world from the evil Dark Dragon Clan.
The second entry is set 500 years after the first game’s events; players control a new protagonist named Ryu Bateson. This installment delves into the conflict between the Light and Dark Dragons and explores themes of faith and identity.
The subsequent entries featured a separate continuity, and another was set thousands of years in the future, so you could, outside of the first two games, the stories could be seen as standalone experiences.
Donkey Kong Country
Donkey KongCountry was glued into my Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The sequels also left a wild impression on me, and the beautiful platforming series has been stagnant for some time now.
Sure, Nintendo released Donkey Kong CountryTropical Freeze for the Switch, but there hasn’t been a new entry in the series in over a decade. Rare worked on several games in the series before Retro Studios revived the franchise with Donkey Kong Returns.
The studio has been working on Metroid Prime 4 for several years, and I would eventually like to believe we’ll see a follow-up for Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, and Dixie Kong.
The original arcade game follows the adventures of the titular hero, Rygar, a legendary warrior on a quest to defeat the evil being known as Ligar and rescue Princess Harmonia. With a powerful weapon called the “Diskarmor,” a shield attached to a chain, Rygar battles through various mythical realms filled with monsters and obstacles.
On PlayStation and then PlayStation 2, Rygar and Rygar: The Legendary Adventure would bring the series to another level. Released for the PlayStation 2, this game reimagines the original arcade title. Players control Rygar as he battles through a visually stunning and expansive world to rescue the land of Argus from the evil King Ligar. The game features hack-and-slash combat, platforming challenges, and epic boss battles.
While the Rygar series hasn’t seen many entries beyond these releases, the original arcade game and its subsequent adaptations left a mark on the action-adventure genre. Rygar’s distinctive weapon, the Diskarmor, and its combination of platforming, exploration, and combat elements have made it a memorable and beloved series for classic gaming fans.
Legacy of Kain
The Legacy of Kain series always felt ahead of its time when it launched in 1996. I remember the ads and playing the series as a kid, but it wasn’t a series my friends cared for, and the internet was in its infancy, so finding a place to discuss the series was almost impossible. Legacy of Kain’s main character is a vampire who thirsts for power. In the first game, Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, he gets murdered and resurrected as a vampire by a necromancer. Kain is not too pleased about his new undead status and seeks revenge against those who wronged him.
As the series progresses, Kain becomes a complex character. He’s torn between his desire for power and his sense of justice.
The series spawned several sequels, but the series has been on ice since 2003’s Legacy of Kain: Defiance.
To this day, Red Faction is still among the best sandbox games to hit consoles. It’s a shame the series never found a broad audience despite having neat ideas and technology behind them.
The games take place on Mars in the future, where the mining corporation called Ultor is corrupt and treats its workers like garbage.
You step into the shoes of badass freedom fighters, like Parker in Red Faction or Alec Mason in Red Faction: Guerrilla. These guys work against the corporation’s nonsense to stop at nothing to free Mars from Ultor’s iron grip.
What sets this series apart is the mind-blowing Geo-Mod technology developed for Guerilla and Armageddon. You can blow holes in walls, bring down entire buildings, and reshape the terrain to your advantage.
At one point, it feels like Sony positioned Sly Cooper to be the next big star for PlayStation. After all, critics always well-received the series, and I always found them excellent platformers.
The series began at Sucker Punch, known for the Infamous series and Ghost of Tsushima, and while it seems unlikely that they’ll return to the series, Sony has an impressive stable of developers to choose from for a fifth game.
Sly comes from a long line of master thieves and is determined to carry on the family tradition. With the help of his trusty gang, Bentley, the brainiac turtle and Murray, the brawny hippo, Sly embarks on thrilling heists to steal precious treasures from various baddies worldwide.
Each game in the series takes you to different locations, from bustling cities to exotic locales, all beautifully brought to life with a vibrant and cartoony art style. You’ll explore intricate environments, solve puzzles, and use stealthy platforming to outwit the enemies and nab the loot.
What sets Sly Cooper apart is its blend of stealth, platforming, and humour. Sly is about sneaking around, using his acrobatic skills and gadgets to avoid detection. You’ll pull off incredible rooftop jumps, swing from hooks, and silently take down guards while they’re none the wiser. It’s all about finesse and timing, my friend.
Camelot is one of the most impressive developers on this list. They worked on not only Shining Force but also Golden Sun.
Golden Sun is an epic RPG series that takes you on a thrilling journey through the world of Weyard. The series centers around pursuing immense elemental power and the struggle to prevent the world’s demise.
In the first game, Golden Sun, you play as a group of young adepts, powerful individuals capable of manipulating elemental Psynergy magic. They are on a quest to protect the Elemental Stars, mystical artifacts capable of unleashing unimaginable power. However, an evil group called the Proxians seeks to release the devastating power of the Elemental Stars and wreak havoc on Weyard. It’s a race against time as the young heroes must prevent this catastrophe while facing formidable foes and uncovering the truth about their destiny.
Golden Sun: The Lost Age, the second installment, continues the adventure from the perspective of a new group of characters. Their goal is to find and claim the remaining Elemental Stars and complete the story left unfinished in the first game. Along the way, they’ll encounter challenging puzzles, navigate treacherous dungeons, and summon mighty creatures known as Djinn to aid them in battles.
The series’ signature gameplay mechanic is the Djinn System, which allows characters to harness the power of elemental Djinn to enhance their abilities, unleash devastating attacks, and even transform into powerful classes with unique skills.
A sequel eventually arrived on the Nintendo DS but wasn’t as well received as its predecessors. Set 30 years later, Golden Sun: Dark Dawn featured the children of the original cast, including Matthew, the son of Isaac and Jenna. This time though, the heroes face a cataclysmic event in the Grave Eclipse that would lead to countless deaths across the continent.