With the new generation now in full swing, there’s an abundance of great titles from years gone by that are just crying out for sequels.
Some of the luckier franchises make regular, glorious returns to the spotlight; Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid, GTA and Resident Evil to name but a few. But what you’ll see below, is a list of ten great gaming IPs that aren’t the biggest in the business, but are still well and truly deserving of current-gen follow-ups.
10: Fear Effect
In 1999, Eidos brought us the fantastic Fear Effect. The story followed three outlaws: Hana, Deke and Glas, attempting to retrieve the missing daughter of a wealthy businessman. Set in future China, Fear Effect had elements of both action and horror with sexually charged overtones, making it one the last memorable games on the PlayStation.
With such a bonkers plot, a sequel would be welcome; promising a perfect mix of high-octane action, visceral combat and steamy scenes that’d make your eyes pop. Hopefully, Square Enix Europe (who now own the licence) will find it in their hearts to get another Fear Effect on our shelves.
“Don’t be silly… I’d only be able to hide one gun if I were naked” – Hana Tsu-Vachel to Rain Qin in Fear Effect 2: Double Helix
9: The Darkness
Based on the comic of the same name, 2K Games’ ‘The Darkness’ series, puts you in the shoes of Jackie Estacado – an ex-hit man for the New York Mafia. On the eve of his 21st Birthday, a botched assassination attempt results in Jackie hiding in a bathroom where he’s possessed by the titular Darkness.
What ensues across the two games is a tale of love, woe, revenge and insane demonic action with a cliff-hanger that’ll leave you on the edge of your seat. Anybody who’s played the games will most likely be gagging to see what happens next. Lord knows there’s plenty of source material to draw from. Come on 2K Games! Get on this!
“I remember the night of my 21st birthday, That was the first time I died” – Jackie Estacado in The Darkness
Developed during a time when fighters were being churned out left, right and centre, Darkstalkers was one of the very few to stand out from the rest. Taking place in an alternate/gothic Earth, characters based on monsters of legend duked it out to find out who would rule the night, and eventually stop an alien overlord from ruling the planet with an army of robots.
Crazy plot aside, it was one of the more successful and fluid fighters of its time and with Capcom at the helm it was no wonder why. With something of a lack of fighters on current gen consoles, now’s a great time to bring this bad-boy back into the fray.
“I am the one who rules evil and darkness” – Demitri in Darkstalkers 3
7: Turok: Dinosaur Hunter
Anyone lucky enough to own an N64 on release day surely picked up this little gem. Turok (another comic book adaption) follows a Native American warrior fighting to stop the evil ‘Campaigner’ from conquering the universe with an ancient and powerful weapon.
It was a hugely fun experience, patrolling The Lost Land, fighting Dinosaurs and Aliens wielding all kinds of crazy weapons. One of the few games at the time that let you use a bow and arrow in first person making the ‘hunt’ feel all the more authentic. I can only imagine how beautiful it would look using todays tech, with deep, dark jungles and plethora of savage inhabitants. There simply aren’t enough good dinosaur games out there these days.
“I… am Turok!” – Turok (obviously) in Turok: Dinosaur Hunter
Riding high off the hype of GTA, Rockstar brought us Bully in 2006. You play as James ‘Jimmy’ Hopkins, a school student at Bullworth Academy. The story follows Jimmy’s efforts to rise through the ranks of the school system whilst trying to stop the bullying that plagues Bullworth. Bully really was a treat, mixing GTA’s open world nature with a tongue in cheek take on school life, that on paper, really shouldn’t have worked. The fact that there has been only one is criminal! Less GTAs and more of this please, Rockstar!
“Ah, Dodgeball! How I love the sound of boys crying in the morning!” – Mr. Burton in Bully
The original Shenmue (released in 2000) was years ahead of its time, boasting a degree of interactivity and freedom the likes of which we’d never seen before. In fact, the experience was so unique, that the game was given its own genre by its creator, dubbed ‘FREE’ or ‘Full Reactive Eyes Entertainment.’
Boasting a day and night system, real-time weather effects, fully voiced non-player characters with their own daily schedules, vending machines, playable arcade machines, the list goes on! To top it off, the game also featured a rich and engrossing narrative, telling the tale of Ryo Hazuki’s hunt for his father’s killer, Lan Di. A sequel has been long talked about and hopefully will soon see the light of day.
“Get up! I will allow you to die like a warrior…” – Lan Di in Shenmue
Holy crap these games were good! In a stroke of pure genius, Capcom took the same tank control system made popular in the Resident Evil series, and swapped out the S.T.A.R.S ‘Samurai Edge’ for an actual katana. The result was awesome.
The series used real actors’ likenesses to portray their heroes as they battled the demonic Genma led by Nobunaga Oda through the Japanese Sengoku Period. Epic story: Check. Crazy sword fights: Check. Wildly popular: Check. So why the hell has no one tried to make another? With the amount of Resi remakes and sequels popping up at the moment, why shouldn’t this incredible IP get one? Cutting down hordes of demons in feudal Japan using the Raizan, all rendered in wonderful ‘current gen’ HD? Yes please. Come on Capcom, make it happen!
“Face me, demon!” – Samanosuke Akechi in Onimusha: Warlords
3: Rival Schools
Way back in 1998, a fighter by the name of Rival Schools was dominating the arcade scene. The game went with a more ‘SNK’ approach to it’s controls, with just the four face buttons being used for punches and kicks. But the team-up attacks used by your two combatants were fun, unique and added a brilliant dynamic to an already exhilarating fighter.
The plot follows a group of students from various different schools, in their fight against some sort of hidden, elite school, for… um… reasons. It’s not entirely clear, or important for that matter. But another Rival Schools packed with charming characters, slick gameplay and tons of extras would be a welcome addition to the fighters currently on offer.
“There’s only one rule to fighting: the strong will win” – Batsu Ichimonji in Rival Schools: United by Fate
2: Viewtiful Joe
Avid moviegoer and regular guy, Joe is thrown into ‘Movieland’ following the kidnapping of his girlfriend. There he meets Captain Blue, who helps him realise his potential and transform into ‘Viewtiful Joe’. This beautiful mix of side scrolling 2D action and 3D cell-shaded graphics made Viewtiful a cult hit with gamers worldwide.
With a zany plot, movie-esque action, and a slick control system, Viewtiful Joe is a pleasurable assault on the senses. I’d gladly have my eyeballs explode once more just to see a sequel, and with the mighty Hideki Kamiya at the helm, I’d expect nothing less.
“Henshin a-go-go, baby!.” – Viewtiful Joe
1: Asura’s Wrath
Asura’s Wrath. A game you hear us talk about a lot here at Level-Clear, but that’s not without damn good reason. Unfortunately this gem flew under the radar at the time, with most gamers engrossed in the triple-A likes of Halo and Call of Duty.
But Asura really was one of a kind, with nothing else on the market quite like it. With gameplay based heavily on well-implemented QTE’s, the narrative followed Asura, a Demigod affiliated with the mantra of Wrath, on a quest to save his daughter. The tale is presented with fantastic visuals and a beautiful soundtrack that really captures the emotions that Asura’s story brings to the table. Those that have played the game through tend to either love or hate it, but it’s earned itself enough of a cult following to warrant Capcom taking a chance on a sequel.
If only for the sake of continuing one of the most emotionally powerful stories in the history of gaming, a sequel to Asura’s Wrath would be an unquestionable day-one purchase for fans of the original, and chance to introduce an astonishing IP to anyone new to the franchise.
“I pray to no one, nor will I be prayed to! But, above all else, I will never forgive you for making my daughter cry!” – Asura to Chakravartin, The Creator