Wednesday, January 13, 2016

10 PlayStation Franchises I'd Like to See Revisited

The PlayStation is home to a great many awesome franchises, and since the very first PlayStation, the brand has accumulated a wealth of exclusive first-party series. Sony as a publisher is not afraid by any stretch of the imagination to take a risk on new IP, and while that is no doubt incredible and worthy of praise, there are a lot of classic franchises in the PlayStation's past that need attending to, as well. From platformer classics to arcade racers, this list of ten PlayStation franchises is full of the ones that I'd love to see Sony return to. Note: The franchises on this list are ones that Sony (for all I know) has rights to, so no Crash Bandicoot or Spyro the Dragon, for instance.

PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale


The idea of a PlayStation crossover akin to Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. seemed like a brilliant way to receive millions upon millions of sales. After all, if any publisher outside of Nintendo has enough big franchises to put into an all-star fighter it's Sony. However, the execution of PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale left a lot to be desired from most players. The need to perform all-star moves on opponents to score points made the actual fighting seem lacking in comparison. The PlayStation brand also has a sizable amount of characters and franchises to draw from, so the character selection in the finished product didn't excite too much. With a sequel, I'd love to see a new developer at the helm, trying to better understand what makes Super Smash Bros. so successful, even if it's a blatant copy or something more akin to Power Stone, a 3D brawler.

Jak and Daxter


With this next franchise, I don't really mind if Naughty Dog doesn't have a hand in this. After all, the studio turned a lighthearted 3D platforming series into a gritty, tryhard platforming series, so I don't really have as much trust in them as other fans do. In a perfect world, Jak and Daxter would receive the same type of reboot treatment as Ratchet & Clank's upcoming film and game releasing in April. The PlayStation brand already has a third-person shooter/platformer hybrid, so why follow the Jak II route? Instead, a new developer could put their spin on the 3D platformer with colorful worlds, characters who aren't eye-rolling-ly extreme and gritty like Jak II and on, the same humor the series is known for, and huge worlds to explore. Less like Jak II, Jak III, and The Lost Frontier, and more like the original Jak and Daxter.

Wipeout


Nintendo's F-Zero is on indefinite hiatus, and has been for over a decade now. Now, Sony's Wipeout has also careened off course and is in hibernation as well. While there have been similar futuristic racing games from indie developers, nothing comes close for the PlayStation brand than the lightning fast, weapons-filled fun of the Wipeout series. The original developer of the series is no more, but hopefully that doesn't mean that no other developer is able to take control of this blistering fast racing franchise. Just imagine how astonishing a PlayStation 4 Wipeout title would look. The series was already amazing to look at and play on the PS3 and Vita, but can you possibly fathom how the upgrade to the PS4 would be? Make it so, Sony!

Sly Cooper


The last time we visited the world of Sly Cooper it was on the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation Vita with Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. That game ended on a cliffhanger, and I'd definitely like to see the conclusion to it. Much like Ratchet & Clank, Sly Cooper and his merry band of thieves are receiving their own full feature film, though with a much altered art style. Whether the cliffhanger from Thieves in Time will be resolved or not is unknown. It does make sense for a game tie-in to release around the time of the movie, again like Ratchet & Clank. Whatever happens, Sly Cooper deserves another chance to shine, and the PlayStation 4 can never have too many 3D platformers, a genre sorely lacking in gaming these days.

Ape Escape


Ape Escape was a cult classic series on the original PlayStation, PlayStation 2, and PSP. On the PS3 it received a PS Move-enabled title that was more of tease of what could have been than a real game that fans of the franchise wanted. Ape Escape as a series generally has players roaming around levels, searching for monkeys, and using a variety of tactics to catch them, whether stealthily sneaking up behind them or chasing them down and nabbing them with a net. After a decade of waiting for a successor to the series, Ape Escape fans like myself are chomping at the bit for a new sequel that plays like the traditional games. Until then, I guess we can just catch monkeys in gorgeous HD in our dreams.

MediEvil


Like some franchises on this list, Sony hasn't completely forgotten about these games, as Sir Daniel Fortesque, leading skeleton in the MediEvil franchise, had an appearance in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. However, since his last starring role in 2005 in the re-imagining of the original game for the PSP, MediEvil: Resurrection, Sir Daniel hasn't had much to get excited about, nor his fans. MediEvil might have been resurrected on the PSP, but since then, the series has stayed dead and buried. The series was known for its quirky humor, ghastly enemies, clever puzzles, and hack-and-slash combat. It'd be quite the treat to see Sony revive this classic PlayStation series, as it was one of the first that allowed the PlayStation brand to make its mark on gaming.

ModNation Racers


Essentially combining the intense arcade racing action of the Mario Kart series with the customization and creation aspects of the LittleBigPlanet series, ModNation Racers allowed players to craft their own racers, vehicles, and tracks. While the tools aren't as sophisticated or as convoluted as LittleBigPlanet's, ModNation Racers did offer a multitude of creative tools to let players make some truly wondrous creations. The actual racing was top notch and balanced, not having the same item spam that more recent Mario Karts have been known for. Sony's great selling console is in desperate need of an excellent cartoon-y mascot racer, and ModNation Racers is the perfect series to take the checkered flag.

Resistance


I'm one of those outsiders who considers Resistance to be Sony's superior first-person shooter, over Killzone. While journalists and bloggers were quick to label Killzone as the Halo-killer and whatnot, Insomniac's Resistance series gave me more enjoyment than before, something I'm obviously in the minority on. Regardless, the lore of the Resistance series, its level design, and even its multiplayer enthused me more with each entry, save for the Vita versions of both Resistance and Killzone, which was the only time I thought Killzone was easily the better of the two games at the time (to be fair, Killzone: Mercenary IS one of my favorite FPS of all time). I'd love for either Insomniac or another developer in Sony's control to give Resistance another chance. This might be a fool's wish, however, as both Resistance 3 and the Vita's Burning Skies did little sales-wise to give much in the way of encouragement.

Puppeteer 


This PS3 game had the misfortune of releasing during the same time period as the PS4's launch, making it grossly overlooked by pretty much everyone but a small few. Those of us who got to play Puppeteer found a charming, spirited platforming adventure that played out like a theatre production. Sure, the story oftentimes got in the way of the gameplay, but that's always something that could be fixed with a sequel. Heck, I'd even be satisfied with a remaster, giving this under-appreciated PS3 game a second chance in the sun. Whatever the case may be as to how Puppeteer is once again put on PlayStation, I hope it's given some attention this time around.

Wild Arms


This final PlayStation franchise pick that hasn't seen the light of day in a while is a science-fiction RPG series that takes place in the Wild West, Wild Arms. The signature ARMs are powerful weapons that carry a stigma to them, reminding the people of Filgaia of mysterious and ancient technology of war. Wild Arms has since seen six entries since its debut in 1996. The most recent entry is the PlayStation Portable Wild Arms XF, which was an atypical game in the series, being a tactical RPG rather than a turn-based one. It would be wonderful to see Wild Arms return to the PlayStation with a new title. The combination of sci-fi and the Wild West is a clever one, and it would further boost the PS4's increasing lineup of JRPGs.

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