Podcasting, Gaming, and Whatever strikes me at the time.

Soapbox

Top 5 games that need a sequel!

Sometimes, we just don’t get enough. Sometimes, we get too much. So while people may complain about series that need to end, I decided to look at the other side of the coin. Here are some games that I feel need to continue in some way shape or form. Now, I won’t be including any recent releases, mostly because it’s still possible in a lot of those cases (shovel knight, the last of us, and so on) that they may in fact get a follow up at some point. The games on my list, in no real order, are unlikely to get a real sequel or follow-up.

 

Ico/ Shadow of colossus

ICO-Shadow-of-Colossus-Collection-Logo-630px-50p-630x352

Now, I know that this series is in theory continuing with The last guardian. I say in theory because there is still no release date, it may or may not be canceled, and it may or may not have been moved onto the PS4. But, lets pretend that we don’t know about the last guardian, or we never get the last guardian. That last one shouldn’t be too hard.

Now I have reviewed ICO, and while I wasn’t its biggest fan, I did understand what made the game the cult classic many people said it was. While I haven’t beaten Shadow of Colossus, as I play it I also understand the love for that game as well. SOC is a ton of fun to play with a very iconic and unique mechanic, and its very easy to get absorbed into the world, thanks largely to the mystery of it and the sheer size of it. But, both games leave a lot to be desired from a explanation perspective. While some would argue that the ending indicates that ICO is a sequel to SOC, developers of the game have said that there isn’t any real connection between the two. But there are a lot of similarities between the two that are too great to ignore. So, I would like a game to both explain the world around both games and even connect them. I say would… because I’m not sure I should. In these games in particular, it’s all about the mystery behind them, and the fact that the few things explains are purposely left vague, which allows the player to reflect and take away from it what they want. Explaining it feels wrong, and would take away part of the games wonder. It’s the kind of follow-up I want, even when I know I shouldn’t. Still, for all I know, the last guardian will do all these things. Wonder if we will ever see it.

 

Prey

prey

Anyone even remember Prey? I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t. This game started development as far back in 1995, before being released on the Xbox 360 in 2006 by Human Head studios. It wasn’t the greatest game, but it was well received at the time of its release. In it, you play as Tommy, a Cherokee man who’s trying to convince his girlfriend to leave the reservation they live on, and is then abducted by aliens, and their ship, known as the Sphere. While it does sound silly, and it is, there is a great deal of character in the game, it looked amazing for the time, and it is really well put together, with unique and inventive game play sections and a great story, even if the multiplayer was lacking. It was a game I really got into when I first got my 360, and truthfully its a game I still love. It did tease a sequel at the end, but as we are in 2014, 8 years later, and there has been very little news on the that home front.

 

 

Now, the few people who do still care are quick to point out that there is a sequel in theory being developed. Much like Last Guardian, Prey 2 supposedly exists, but it’s also stuck in development limbo, with even less to show for it then the Last Guardian has. Supposedly, a sequel would take us into deep space playing a human bounty hunter as he tracks down alien bounties. I’m curious how that would tie into the original game, if it even can, I’m not sure, but it looks like it would do exactly what I would want it to do, open up the world on Prey and explore it. Maybe give us an origin for Sphere? Sadly, the only real evidence these days that says the game is still on the way is on the Xbox 360 itself, where it is still listed in the coming soon section of the store, well that and scattered fan sites. Unlike the ICO/SOC example, I do really hope this one eventually sees the light of day, as the world of Prey really needs to be explored. Plus, being a bounty hunter is always awesome.

 

 

Chrono Trigger/ Cross

chrono_trigger_logo_jpg_jpgcopy

 

 

Square and Enix are sitting on a treasure trove of great RPG games that should get a follow-up, but probably never will, and that’s just separately, there is also the sheer amount of games they have since coming together that warrant follow ups in some way shape or form. But I can’t think of any greater want by fans then a follow-up for Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross. To date, there are only 3 games in the series,( one of which, Radical Dreamers, was released only in japan as a visual novel) countless remakes, but so far… nothing else. We are constantly being told that if we support the game by buying it again and again, they will consider making a sequel. But I think at this point we need to be honest with ourselves. Square is never gonna follow this series up, and that makes me sad.

 

To be fair to Square, the fact there are two games that involve time travel/ dimension hopping that are both excellent is a god send in of itself. Time travel is a story hook that is so easy to screw up. Just ask Sonic. But Square was able to do it, and then ignore it. Fans have pleaded for it, and even made games themselves, but so far, nothing from the big Square. This is a series that could really use a follow-up, and do I even need to explain why? The things you can do with time travel and alternate dimensions write themselves and while campy it would be, it would still be a blast. Plus, it would be an excellent excuse for Square Enix to go back to a more traditional style of game play, something that I think is needed after the recent string of Final Fantasy games. I think there is still money in this franchise, but how to get Square to see the same is beyond me.

 

Eternal Darkness

ED_Logo

Now this was the BOMB back in the Gamecube days. Actually, I would be content with just a HD remake of this gem. If your unaware of it, Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem, was a survival horror game that tapped into a Cthulhu like mythos, with a ton of great ways to mess with you via the insanity meter, which tricked you into thinking all kinds of things have gone wrong, like some really bad creepy pasta game story happening IN REAL LIFE!

The game was a stand out title on the Gamecube launch, mostly because everything else was standard Nintendo fare, and this M rated gem. But beyond that it was also really good, and as mentioned, decently scary. The story was well done too, with a very nice, thick and tense atmosphere. The only real downside to this game was the tank like controls of Resident Evil’s past, but that’s forgivable to some extent, as it was the style at the time. It did tease a follow-up at the games ending, but the series unfortunately never continued past that point, due in part to Silicon Knights being sued by Epic games in 2007, and filing for bankruptcy in 2014. Unless Nintendo plans to do something with ED soon, their rights to the trademark are done, and this once promising series may just disappear off the map, lost forever in the twisting nether.
Sadly, seeing as the former president of Silicon Knights, Denis Dyack, has tried and failed twice to get kickstarter funding for a sequel, its unlikely we will ever see a follow-up to this series. While it is a shame, the numbers don’t lie. Kickstarter has funded some really stupid things, like potato salad, but the general public just has no interest in a follow-up, disappointing though it may be.

 

 

Star Wars: knights of the old republic

 

Looking-Back-a-Decade-Later-Star-Wars-Knights-of-the-Old-Republic

Now, here is a series that never got the fair shake it deserved. Oh wait, it did. 126 game awards, including many best XBox game awards. Both KOTR 1 and 2 are considered RPG classics in this modern age, even though the 2nd one was rushed and ultimately felt lopsided. While there is of course the MMO, it only relates to this series as far as I’m aware by being in the same timeline, the Old Republic. So, it’s before the movies, but after the games, by 300 years or so. There had been plans for KOTR 3, but it was cancelled, largely for unknown reasons. I don’t think I have to explain why this series needs a comeback, because I assume most of you have played one or the other. It’s an amazing game, with an excellent story that easily accepts player input and changes, excellent RPG game play, iconic Star Wars locations and races, and a wicked soundtrack. OK, they took most of that soundtrack from the movies, but I still count it. But there are plenty of other reasons as well, depending on what your into. For me, its Revan and the Exile, the two lead characters of KOTR 1 and 2, respectfully.

The story of Revan and the Exile were never finished. Revan and the plot twist behind him/her was well told, and at the time, very shocking, even bringing up the ethical debate of erasing someone’s mind.   But beyond that, the game just kind of ends, and while we learn in KOTR 2 that Revan just kind of disappeared, we never do learn what happened to him/her. I have heard there is a book while doing some research, but that’s kind of making assumptions about a general version of Revan, such as he is a male, and ends up a Jedi, and marries Bastilla. It might be a good read, but it’s not the same as controlling Revan’s actions. While it would have been tough to follow-up Revan at all, The Exile’s story also does an excellent job. The exile themselves is a mystery, a black hole in the force, and while the truly interesting characters in KOTR 2 are it’s villains, being a strange anomaly that both the Sith and the Jedi both fear and respect is an awesome feeling. The game story does start out slow, but the exile arguably has the more unique story, which is probably for the best, as they were not going to top Revan without being  unique. The universe can still be explored, but we were not just there to explore the Star Wars universe. We wanted to know more about Revan and the Exile, but the ending we got is certainly not what we wanted.

 

 

There are of course plenty of other series that need a follow-up of some kind, but these are the few that I think really deserve it. Let me know in the comments or on twitter if you can think of any other series that could use a follow-up!


Devil May Cry: Or, why a new design can be a silly thing to hate.

Recently, I got my hands on the new Devil May Cry game.  The only things I really knew going in was it didn’t sell as well as expected, was made by Ninja Theory, and was a reboot sporting a new Dante design. That people hated. Oh did they hate it.

 

devil-may-cry-5-wallpaper-games-picture-dmc-hd-wallpaper

It’s the most common phrase that I hear in regards to this game. “They changed the way Dante looks!” “He’s an emo crack addict now!” Things like that.  It seemed to be the only thing people really had to comment on. I didn’t get a chance to play it when it was released, but it wasn’t out of disinterest… I just got distracted by something else. I’m prone to do that from time to time.  But I sat down to play it just recently, and honestly, I think it might be the best one of the series.  For a lot of different reasons, ranging from the game play being perfect for DMC, the visual design is a high point with one of the most visually striking boss battles I’ve ever played and Dante actually has a character outside of being cool. So, did people really miss a gem of a game because of a silly little redesign? The answer seems to be yes, and I think that’s rather… misguided.

 

Now, before we get into it, the reason behind the design as best I can find, is that Capcom asked Ninja Theory to give the character a makeover.  I found  this quote, from Would you kindly.com:

“Jones says that while new Dante is a “radical departure”, there is a reason in the reboot’s story for it. “Part of the ethos of a reboot or retelling of an origin story is to go back and find out why certain totems of a franchise exist. We want to tell those elements of the story. …We want to update and mature the tone of Devil May Cry.”

“It’s about Dante being cool and making you feel cool when you’re playing it, and so the combat and the style system and everything is integral to that,” Ninja Theory’s creative director Tameem Antoniades told 1UP. “But, you know, what was cool 12 years ago – I think that was when the first game came out – isn’t cool any more. If Dante, dressed as he was, walked into any bar outside of Tokyo, he’d get laughed out.

Now I know Dante is classic in his original design. Messing with it is somehow like messing with Mario’s overalls… regardless of how many jobs and costumes Mario has, it’s part of his look. But the design itself seems to have some cultural influence to it.   Dante was originally designed by Hideki Kamiya sometime around 2000-2001. Now, I’m no fashion expert, but nearest I can compare, Dante’s clothing choices would be classified under  Visual kei, one of many prominent Japanese fashion styles,  which was created in the mid -1980’s by Japanese musicians consisting of striking makeup, unusual hair styles and flamboyant costumes, not unlike glam rock or glam metal. Go Google it and see for yourself. Yes Dante’s look is way more subdued than anything that Google image search will give you, but it’s still not something that could be worn anywhere outside of Japan without getting some glances. The point I’m making is that fashion changes what’s cool and what isn’t at almost lightning speed, and it differs from region to region on top of that, so I can understand the idea of the quote, that Dante would look too out of place in this new world. In anywhere but Japan, and maybe Germany, Dante does not fit in, and at least from a fashion sense, is probably no longer “cool”. So when Ninja Theory is asked to give Dante a makeover, they do so in a way that is culturally significant to them. The new design makes him look a British punk rocker that is at home with drugs and booze as he is kicking faces in at some mosh pit, grungy and dirty, a stark contrast to the pretty boy version we are used to.  Knowing that Ninja Theory, the company behind the game, is a British developer, you can see where their design comes from, looking more like a hooligan than a Japanese glam rocker. So it’s really just another design that’s inspired by location and the culture that surrounds the developer. I’m not saying one looks bad, or one looks better than the other. I’m saying it’s a silly reason to avoid the game entirely. It’s like choosing not to hang out with someone based on the clothes they wear or the music they like. It certainly isn’t to everyone’s taste, fashion rarely is, but from a design perspective, I feel the new look fits better in this game, and the original look fits better in the original games. Really, the game play is still awesome, and the visual design outside of Dante is so damn impressive to look at, why are we complaining about Dante looking a little different? It just seems we are missing the point.

Some would argue that you shouldn’t change a character basic design, and while I can understand that, I find it funny that no one bats an eye when Nintendo did the same thing years ago.

 

250px-Metroid_Fusion_box

Metroid Fusion was released in 2002, and while I love that game, it did do the exact same thing people were vocal about in DMC. It gave Samus a new, sleek design, not too far removed from her zero suit, which really seemed to do nothing more than highlight her gender. Yes, it had effects in the game and the story, but I’m talking strictly from a visual perspective. In fact, if it wasn’t for the helmet, nothing about this design would say to me that this Samus, and not some new character trying to take her place. Now, 2002 was a long time ago admittedly, but I can’t recall news magazines or websites saying people were upset about the new design, or people saying they wouldn’t play the game because of the new look, nor can I find any evidence to say that was the case. It just seemed to be a redesign that no one cared about. I only bring it up to showcase how silly it is. If the game play is up to the standards, and the game visually holds its own, why skip over it? There is no reason to harp on the characters design. You can make fun of them; you can hate them or like them however you want, but to dodge the game entirely? It seem’s like a little much to me.

 

If you have not checked out the new DMC game, go check it out. If you have Playstation plus it’s free for the month of February, and if not, it’s very cheap to buy. Fans of the genre, and previous DMC games, will feel right at home.  Is Dante different? Incredibly so, but it doesn’t change how fun the game actually is.

 

If you’re interested, the whole article the quote came from  can be read here http://www.wouldyoukindly.com/capcom-devil-may-cry-reboots-dante-design-has-a-reason-could-have-been-worse/