Let’s face it: not every video game is going to be the next big thing. On one hand, you can change the game with a game like Sonic the Hedgehog, and Super Mario Bros., the former being one of the most divisive series of the 2010’s, but still popular nonetheless, or you can make a game that will be reviled and mocked for all time, such as 2013’s Ride to Hell: Retribution, or 2018’s The Quiet Man.
However, there are certain franchises that either:
- Only had one game, had a lot of stock put in it, and hasn’t been heard from since,
- Put out a few games, and then just disappeared off the map, or
- The studios ended up shutting down.
No matter the reasoning, any game that showed a bit of potential deserves a new entry, or at the very least, a reboot. Here are 16 such franchises that would benefit from such a revival.
Developed by: Clover Studio, Mobile & Game Studio
Published by: CAPCOM
Systems: PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3, Wii, PlayStation 4, XBOX One, Microsoft Windows (via Steam), Nintendo Switch
Last Game in Series: Ōkamiden, 2010
While the original PlayStation 2 release was a commercial failure, it has, however, found a substantial cult following over the years, causing the game to be re-released on Seventh, as well as Eighth Generation consoles. While the game ended up spawning a sequel, unfortunately, it had none of the original names behind it, even though it was a good game. Even though that it’s extremely unlikely to happen, it would be nice to see the old gang make a new Okami game, to satisfy the fandom that the original game has.
Developed by: Meteorise
Published by: Marvelous (JP)/PCube (USA, PlayStation Vita)/Marvelous Europe (WW, Microsoft Windows)
Systems: PlayStation Vita, Microsoft Windows
Last Game in Series: Valkyrie Drive Bhikkhuni, 2015
Man, this game would NEVER fit in with Sony’s policies these days, now would it?
In mid 2015, Kenichiro Takaki, of Senran Kagura fame, or infamy, if you perfer, unveiled a brand-new project of his, Valkyrie Drive. The project was to be divided into 3 mediums: Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid, which was an anime, Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkuni, which was a video game, and Valkyrie Drive: Siren, which was a Japan-only mobile game. While it sounds simple on paper, in execution, it wasn’t all that simple. Siren went offline after only 8 months, and the Bhikkuni‘s original US release was regulated to the PlayStation Vita, which was deader than a dead horse by the time it released. The anime, Mermaid, was by far the most successful, but that’s not saying much, since BD/DVD sales were extremely low, because it appealed to an extremely niche audience.
If Takaki plans on going back to the Valkyrie Drive anytime soon, don’t split of the mediums. Just do it like Senran Kagura does it: release a new game every few years, and have a new tie-in anime every sometimes. It even helps that Takaki has (allegedly) said that Valkyrie Drive isn’t over yet, and he plans on making a long-running series. We won’t hold him to that, but it’s something to hold on to, for the fanbase. We aren’t big, but we’re here.
Bleach: Heat the Soul
Developed by: 8ing
Published by: Konami
Systems: PlayStation Portable
Last Game in Series: Bleach: Heat the Soul 7, 2010
And speaking of fandoms that are still there…
When the Bleach anime abruptly ended in 2012, the fandom went into overdrive, and are still waiting for the anime’s return to this day. However, while we did get some Bleach games here and there, us peons on the West never got the longest-running video game series based on Bleach!
Heat the Soul was the longest-running series of Bleach games in Japan, but, despite the sheer number of them, 7 in total, not a single one of them made it to the United States, despite Bleach’s popularity. Each game covers significant parts of the Bleach timeline, with the Seventh one covering Hueco Mundo to the Fake Karakura Town Arc. While it’s highly unlikely that they’ll release a PSP game in 2019, a reboot called: Heat the Soul: Burner or something like that for the PlayStation 4, or the PS Vita. (People still own those, right?) Could surely shake up the Bleach fandom once more.
Developed by: Ape, HAL Laboratory, Brownie Brown
Published by: Nintendo
Systems: Nintendo Entertainment System, Super NES, Game Boy Advance, Wii U, 3DS
Last Game in Series: Earthbound Beginnings, 2015
Earthbound, or Mother, if you’re a purist, has had a very strange history. Released in the US in 1995, when Nintendo was beginning to phase out the SNES, Nintendo spent $2 million on advertising, specifically with foul-smelling scratch-n-sniff cards saying ‘this game stinks’. Shows a lot of confidence in marketing, doesn’t it? Well, for better or worse, it worked, since barely anyone bought the game. It got hit with a double-whammy, as it was put on the SNES, which at that point, was slowly being phased out for the Nintendo 64. It’s a shame, because Earthbound, which was actually Mother 2 (it’s a whole weird thing, don’t ask) in its native Japan, was actually really good!
Despite it’s commercial failure, Earthbound found a cult following, citing that the game wasn’t just some simple kids game. It was intelligent, thought-provoking, and above all else, captivating. And after years of fan outcry, 2013 saw the release of Earthbound on the Wii U virtual console, to massive critical acclaim, and 2015 saw the first game in the series, Earthbound Beginnings, also released on Wii U’s Virtual Console. While 2006’s Mother 3 hasn’t come stateside, fans have taken to translating it on their own.
While it’s legacy is impressive, it doesn’t change the fact that Earthbound hasn’t had a game in about 13 years, barring their inclusion in the Super Smash Bros. games, we can only hope something comes to the Nintendo Switch.
Developed by: BioWare, Edge of Reality, Demiurge Studios, Straight Right
Published by: Microsoft Studios, Electronic Arts
Systems: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Wii U, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
Last Game in Series: Mass Effect: Andromeda, 2017
I know I’m beating a dead horse, but to reiterate: Mass Effect: Andromeda was a dumpster fire. The demo was laughed off the internet for characters having no facial expressions, glitchy controls, and laughable animations. The main game wasn’t much better, as while it tried to fix the problems people noted in the demo, every time an update tried to fix one problem, it ended up creating about a hundred more. Ultimately, it ended up being a giant mess. While it seems unlikely now, let’s pretend that Andromeda never happened, and try and envision a new Mass Effect, possibly under a new label. It’s unlikely, but we can dream.
Developed by: CAPCOM Production Studio 4, Clover Studio
Published by: CAPCOM
Systems: Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS
Last Game in series: Viewtiful Joe: Double Trouble, 2006
Man, it really stings to a fan of this franchise…
Originally released in 2003 for the Nintendo GameCube, Viewtiful Joe was a play on the Action Hero type story. The main character, Joe, gets dragged into a world known as ‘Movieland’ to save his girlfriend Silvia, all while fighting multiple bosses along the way. The series then spawned a sequel, only this time, Joe AND Silvia were playable, and featured a tag-out system where both of them had their own unique capabilities.
While it did get a spinoff anime (which, by the way, the dub for it has NOT aged well, and Season 2 is lost to time) and a game on the Nintendo DS, the main series was always meant to be a trilogy, and unfortunately, since the release of Double Trouble, nary a peep has been heard from the franchise. Though this isn’t the fault of the developers, however, because Clover Studios went under in 2007 after merely 3 years of operation.
While director Hideki Kamiya has certainly moved on, forming a new company, Platinum Games, in the process, he still loves to tease the fans that everyone’s Henshin hero could eventually return to form. And it’s not like CAPCOM’s forgotten about Joe, either, because he was in 2010’s Marvel vs. CAPCOM 3: A Fate of Two Worlds. So, maybe, just maybe, there’s a sliver of hope.
Developed by: Nintendo EAD
Published by: Nintendo
Systems: SNES, Nintendo 64(DD), Nintendo GameCube, GameBoy Advance
Last Game in Series: F-Zero Climax, 2004
Possibly the biggest, and most frustrating, on this list, F-Zero used to be a staple of Nintendo consoles, as well as racing games as a whole. It had games on the SNES, Nintendo 64, even the GameCube! Hell, it even had a 51-episode anime, which, let’s be honest, we all remember for that FALCON PUNCH.
So what happened? Well, to be honest, they peaked. After F-Zero GX hit the scene, there were only two more F-Zero games to be released, and only one of them would leave its home country. It’s not like they were missing much, seeing as how the games had regressed from 3D craziness back to 2D mediocrity. While Captain Falcon does show up in Super Smash Bros., the fact that he’ll get another game is looking more and more bleak by the day.
And that’s my list! Which game franchise do you want to return? Make sure to follow this blog for weekly anime reviews, and occasional movie and video game reviews!
Stay Twisted, everyone!