There have been a lot of video game series that have cropped up throughout history. Some are noteworthy, while some aren’t and just keep going, even when they show signs of being slightly burned out and needing a rest.
Some game series, however get lost to the mists of time when they shouldn’t. There have been a lot of games that I love that have either not been too successful, or have just been forgotten about. Some die hard fans are always calling for revivals, and so I started thinking about which series of games I would like to see make a comeback. With the next generation not far off now, I feel that it would be a good thing if these classic game series were given new life on the upcoming consoles.
5) Dragon’s Lair
Now, my first choice may be an odd choice, but bear with me here. Dragon’s Lair, first released wayback in the mists of 1983 on LaserDisc (A lot of people won’t remember that!) and arcade, and has been ported to many other platforms and consoles ever since. Dragon’s Lair was more of an interactive film as opposed to a game, but it has won a lot of praise over time for its heroic character Dirk and for the humour in it. I also absolutely adore fantasy and swordplay and dragons, and I think that it would be a good piece for revival. The reason I state this is that we have many games today that are more experience-driven, such as Heavy Rain, which is also more of an interactive movie than a game. We now have that sort of technology to properly make experiences like that on a console, with peripherals such as Kinect for Xbox and Move for the PlayStation. Also, with technology becoming increasingly more advanced as we move towards the next generation of consoles, this can only serve to enhance such experiences. I think, if done right, a new Dragon’s Lair could be created for a whole new generation of fans to enjoy.
4) Crash Bandicoot
In 1996, Naughty Dog developed a rather charming and fun platform game for the Playstation called Crash Bandicoot. The premise was rather simple; you controlled a Bandicoot named Crash who travels across the three islands of the game to rescue his girlfriend Tawana from the evil Dr. Neo Cortex, who, after being ridiculed by fellow scientists, was looking to create an army of mutated beasts to conquer the world. (That escalated quickly, no?). In true platforming style, you had the ability to jump, spin and smash your way through levels. Whilst this may have been nothing groundbreaking, it was just pure old fashioned fun. The game spawned a few sequels and spin-offs, the last one being Crash Bandicoot: Nitro Kart 2, released in 2010. The current owners of the property are Activision, and I would urge them to think about bringing Crash back to consoles, as a good and fun platformer never goes amiss in anyone’s game collection.
This is an RPG series that is very close to my heart. Now, don’t get me wrong – I had played RPGs beforehand. By this time, I was already a lover of Zelda, Terranigma, Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger and indeed had even dabbled a tiny bit in Final Fantasy and The Elder Scrolls: Arena. But when Konami released this in the EU in 1997 for the Playstation, I just knew that I had to have it, and I didn’t even know why. It was, on the outside, a very generic- looking RPG. There was certainly no great fanfare made about its release. When I got it however, my status as a lover of RPGs was cemented. The story and characters were incredibly engaging, it had some really sad moments in it (Gremio, anyone?) and was just incredibly well done. To me, it remains one of the finest examples of a PlayStation RPG. I spent countless hours beating the game and replaying it. Then, I got my hands on Suikoden II when it was released, and again I was hooked. I have played almost every title in the series, including Suikoden: Tierkreis for the DS, and though they may have disbanded the Suikoden team, I do sincerely hope that they will consider a revival of the series at some point in the future.
2) Legacy of Kain
The first game in this series, Blood Omen, was originally developed by Silicon Knights and published by Crystal Dynamics. Released in 1997 in the EU, Blood Omen is an Action/RPG set in the bleak land of Nosgoth. It tells the story of a Nobleman named Kain, who is murdered and brought back as a vampire to exact revenge upon those who killed him. In hopes of restoring his lost humanity, he agrees to destroy the now-corrupt Circle of Nine—an oligarchy of immortal sorcerers sworn to guard the nine Pillars of Nosgoth, which preserve the health of the world. This game triggered off a bunch of sequels and titles, including the Soul Reaver series, where Kain switched to being the Antagonist, having claimed Nosgoth as his own. I had never seen fantasy as dark as this before, and I loved every minute of it. The stories were so intertwined and intricate that I had to follow each and every game. There have been rumblings of late from Kain’s owner Square-Enix about a new game in the series after a site called warfornosgoth.com was registered. They haven’t stated exactly what the game is, but they say it’s not like other games in the series, which makes me a little cautious. But, it would be good to see a proper new title in the Kain series someday, and hopefully taking us back to its Action and RPG roots.
I think that this game is probably number one on a lot of people’s lists for wanting to see a new game in the series. Shenmue is the brainchild of Yu Suzuki and developed by Sega. Released for the Sega Dreamcast exclusively, gameplay in Shenmue is diverse; while a great portion of the game is spent walking around the Japanese locations searching for things and talking to people, there are also a lot of mini games including bar fights, motorcycle chases, and full versions of Sega arcade games, so there is never a shortage of things to be done in the game world. It also has a dynamic and randomly generated weather system that changes every game day, a deep and involving storyline, and was generally praised by reviewers and fans alike. Shenmue II did equally well, gaining an additional release for the Xbox as well as Dreamcast. I personally was late to the Shenmue party, having never played them until a couple of years ago, and now I must admit to being a fan. They are very deep and engaging, have a lovely open world and sandbox quality, a great protagonist in Ryo, and are just wonderfully executed. There have been talks, whispers, and rumbles about a Shenmue III for a very long while now. Whilst nothing has come to fruition yet, I do think that a Shenmue III would be very well received indeed.