5 Games That Deserve Modern Sequels
The past few years have proven that the only thing bigger than an original video game is its sequel. The sequel acts as reward to the ravenous fans who bought, played, and enjoyed a game enough to warrant a follow-up. However on the rare occasion when the planets align and the moon shines a bright red in the night sky, we are given great, original games that end up impressing both critics and gamers. Unfortunately, these promising new IP’s disappear as soon as they arrived leaving a cult following of fans behind. Many of these games, although sometimes spawning sequels, never got the chance to develop further while other games continue to crank out a new entry each year. So, here are 5 such games that deserve a second chance at glory in the new-console era.
Conker’s Bad Fur Day
The UK based Rare is most famous for their early partnership with Nintendo, releasing excellent, (mostly) family friendly games from the NES up to the Nintendo 64 without fail. However, near the end of the 64’s lifespan, Rare decided to take a gamble with one of their lesser known franchises. Originally appearing in Diddy Kong Racing, Conker the Squirrel got his own spin-off game called Conker’s Pocket Tales for the Game Boy Color. A follow up for the N64 called Twelve Tales: Conker 64 was in development, but was scrapped in favor of creating a more mature game with dark humor, albeit while still using the cute and cuddly world of Conker. Conker’s Bad Fur Day found the series’ titular squirrel waking up after a heavy night of drinking who just wants to go home and rest. However, the evil Panther King needs Conker to… be the replacement for a broken table leg so that his milk won’t spill. As is expected, Conker winds meeting a crazy cast of characters including an opera singing pile of poo, brass balled boilers, and more. The game was dirty, crude, and most importantly hilariously unexpected. Unfortunately it, nor its Xbox remake Conker: Live and Reloaded sold well enough to guarantee a sequel anytime soon.
How to Bring It Back:
When Bad Fur Day was released, it was still more or less a shock to see a Mature rating for a game exclusively on a Nintendo console. However, Mature rated games all but dominate today’s market so it should be a no brainer to bring Conker back for at least one more game, right? A sequel was in the works at one point, but the project can likely be considered cancelled as most of the Rare staff from the Nintendo era have moved on to bigger and better things. However if by some chance a new Conker game does come out , then let’s hope that nothing is changed in terms of the game’s platforming gameplay, pop culture references, and lovably crass humor. Oh, and online multiplayer? Yes, please.
The Neverhood Series
Creating a genuinely charming and funny world for a game can be tough, especially when your game is made entirely out of clay. Created by Doug TenNapel (Earthworm Jim), The Neverhood tasks players with controlling Klaymen, a human/robot/alien who wakes up in a lonely room and goes out to save the world. Not much is explained in the game’s beginning as dialogue is scarce (which is strange for a point-and-click adventure game). You must simply have to figure out what to do and where to go on your own. Thankfully, this allows you to take in the game’s rich and distinct areas while you tap your toes to the amazing soundtrack (As well as allows you to figure out puzzles for yourself, rather than spending your time pestering NPCs for clues). However, just because there’s little interaction with others doesn’t mean the game doesn’t have a rich backstory. One area of the game has a single, dead-end hallwaylasting for 38 screens (Each screen with several pages to read) with texts relating to the creation of the Neverhood and the people who came before you. Reading the Bible-esque epic isn’t mandatory, yet it comes highly recommended. The Neverhood managed to spawn one sequel, a platformer called Skullmonkeys, for the Playstation.
How to Bring It Back:
Few gamers nowadays have the patience to play a point-and-click adventure game, so how could a modern sequel to The Neverhood work? Another platformer in the vein of Skullmonkeys could possibly work as an XBLA/PSN downloadable game. But with a world as vast as The Neverhood’s, why rehash old ideas? A city-building/god simulator in the vein of Sim City or Civilization would be neat to see, watching groups of clay men building an entire clay city that you have to defend from invaders. Or how about a turn-based RPG that plays like a Final Fantasy title?
Jet Grind Radio/Jet Set Radio Future
There are a few reasons why hardcore gamers keep their Dreamcast hooked up at all times. Jet Grind Radio (Or Jet Set Radio) is one of them. For the unfortunate few who haven’t played it, Jet Grind Radio involves a Japanese street gang known as the GGs who skate around the different districts of Tokyo-to, tagging areas around town with graffiti. However, the other local gangs aren’t too happy with the GGs taking over their turf and the cops are cracking down hard on all the gangs. Each mission involves you racing against the clock, your rivals, and the cops to spray target areas while picking up new pieces of graffiti to use along the way. Your gang starts out with only three members, but you will be periodically challenged by new members who will join you after beating them in a race or copying their moves. If you get bored with the game’s default graffiti choices, or if you aspire to be the next Banksy, you can use the game’s graffiti editor to create your own unique tags. The game also boasts amazing cel-shaded visuals that bring the city and its characters to life as well as an amazing soundtrack filled with J-Pop, dance, rock, and hip-hop. The Xbox sequel, Jet Set Radio Future, plays very much like the original with several tweaks to the gameplay such as simply holding down a button to spray a tag rather than inputting commands.
How to Bring It Back:
A new installment in the series has been rumored for a while, though fans shouldn’t get their hopes up yet. Although, perhaps a sequel hasn’t been made because SEGA was just waiting for the right opportunity to do so. Now that SEGA and Nintendo are working together, the Jet Set series could find a new home on both the 3DS and the upcoming Wii U. Imagine being able to precisely create new tags using a touch screen and then seeing your images pop to life in 3D. Or, how about using the Wii U controller as a “spray can” where you shake the controller up and down and then draw your graffiti in real time! Hopefully, SEGA realizes that this cult classic still has quite a bit of life left in it.
And speaking of the Dreamcast, here’s Capcom’s often overlooked gem Power Stone. While being no stranger to the world of fighting games, Capcom decided to forego their tradition of pitting players on a 2D plane and expanded the playing field to full 3D arenas. The game, which came out roughly the same time as the similar Super Smash Bros., features several various ethnic stereotypes as they fight their way across the world to obtain the mystical Power Stone. Combat pits two characters in one of several unique arenas that each have their own geography, interactive items, and hazards. As fights progress, swords, guns, bombs and other usable items will appear in order to help even the odds, as well as the Power Stone that, when all three are collected by a player, will transform him/her into an extremely powerful being for a short time. These battles can get pretty hectic, and end up being more so in the sequel Power Stone 2. Adding several new characters and the ability to create new weapons, the sequel also includes 4-player battles on huge, dynamic stages that change throughout the match. At one point, everyone will be engaged in battle. A minute later, everyone is forced to make a mad dash to escape a giant, rolling boulder. Had the series continued (Especially on a console that hadn’t gone the way of the dodo) it would have no doubt given the Super Smash Bros. series a run for its money.
How to Bring It Back:
Power Stone’s gameplay was solid for its time but it could use a few updates. While the first two games had very unique levels, there weren’t very many. The ideal sequel would fix this by doubling the amount of levels or at least giving each character their own, specific level. A simple level editor could expand the number of arenas of further and could possibly be shared online with other players. Add a larger roster and more crazy weapons to use and Power Stone 3 could become a smash-hit.
Heading back into the world of Rare, we find ourselves with the toughest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle rip-offs in the gaming world. Anybody familiar with the Battletoads series knows that the games can be punishingly hard yet extremely satisfying. Those without lightning-quick reflexes and nerves of steel need not apply. The games involve battling you way through hordes of enemies in order to face off against the evil Dark Queen. Interestingly enough, the hard part isn’t fighting enemies, but rather the levels that task you with avoiding obstacles while driving a blazing fast jet bike or navigating a maze of snakes used as platforms. There are actually quite a few Battletoads sequels, including an arcade title and a crossover title with the Double Dragon series. However, the ‘toads are nothing more than a memory of the classic days of gaming where lives were rare, checkpoints were rarer, and anything and everything could destroy you.
How to Bring It Back:
Today’s generation of younger gamers will probably never be able to experience a new Battletoads , which is a shame. Last year’s Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game proved that sidescrolling beat-‘em-ups with couch co-op can still be fun and challenging. So, how about making a brand new Battletoads that mixes the shiny new look of modern titles with classic “old-school” gameplay and difficulty? How about reinventing Battletoads as a 3D action game along the lines of God of War or Devil May Cry? Imagine leveling up one of the three toads, each with their own special powers and combos. And let’s not forget the toads’ strange ability to morph their bodies into drills, ram horns, wrecking balls, etc. Oh, and of course there would be 3D jet bike levels. What would Battletoads be without jet bikes?
There are so many games that haven’t gotten their due as these only scratch the surface. Fans everywhere are awaiting closure to the Shenmue saga or a new chapter in the Chrono series. With classic games like River City Ransom, Burger Time, and X-Com having sequels coming out years after they were originally released, there is still hope that one day the sequel to that special game you loved will eventually hit store shelves. What games would you kill for to see a sequel for? Are there classic games that are so great that they don’t even need a sequel? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!