Thursday, June 9, 2016

Top Five Desired Xbox IP Revivals for E3 2016

E3 2016 is less than a week away, and many publishers have already unofficially started the event by posting their E3 trailers for various games. However, Microsoft and Sony remain tight-lipped for the most part-- not revealing what they plan to reveal at the big show next week. For every Halo and Gears, there are a multitude of Xbox franchises that remain dormant. This list of five wanted franchise revivals for E3 2016 might just be wishful thinking, but they're the ones that I'd love to see a return to by Microsoft and its developing partners.

5) Project Gotham Racing

Formerly a Sega property and known as Metropolis Street Racer on the Dreamcast, Microsoft got around to owning the franchise, thus changing its name to Project Gotham Racing when it launched on the Xbox. After Bizarre Creations, the developer for the series, was purchased by Activision, the Project Gotham Racing franchise has been put on hiatus. With a much more arcade-centered focus than Microsoft's other racing property, Forza, it seems to me that the series could and should make a return, as both could coexist. That's why I'd love to see the arcade styling of Project Gotham Racing return to Xbox with an announced revival at this year's E3.

4) Kameo

The Legend of Zelda-like Kameo: Elements of Power was a wonderful launch title for the Xbox 360 which had a history of development across Nintendo's GameCube as well as the original Xbox before finally launching on the 360. The game allowed Kameo to transform into various creatures, each with elemental abilities used to beat down enemies and solve puzzles. A sequel was intended and in the planning stages, and judging by the discovered artwork, it was aiming for a more realistic direction. Here's hoping Microsoft and Rare have Kameo return in a big way this E3.

3) Battletoads

Whether it's the Xbox boss Phil Spencer wearing a Battletoads T-shirt or the appearance of the Battletoads via cross-marketing in Killer Instinct or the Xbox version of Shovel Knight, the not-so-subtle hinting and coy eye winking towards a new Battletoads make the series's return not a question of if but more a question of when. The use of Rare's storied IP by Microsoft has been flawed at best, so it would be nice to finally see the Xbox brand take advantage of some of the fan-favorite franchises that are held hostage by Microsoft. Seeing Battletoads in a revival this E3 (finally) would go a long way in starting to effectively use Rare's franchises and put them to good use.

2) Perfect Dark

While it was a sales success when it released at the Xbox 360's launch and the multiplayer was quite addicting, Perfect Dark Zero was not a well received by fans successor to the original Perfect Dark. Basically everything that made the Nintendo 64 original so well regarded by fans was ignored by the developers with Perfect Dark Zero. Fans like myself want a return to the N64 original, nixing the American Joanna Dark and insulting plot, while bringing back all that goodness that the 2000 debut of Perfect Dark brought to us. Perfect Dark is a more objective-based campaign than Halo, so it wouldn't really have to compete with Microsoft's marquis series. Instead, it would simply coexist.

1) Banjo-Kazooie

With Yooka-Layle by former Rare Golden Age staffers in development, it seems like the itch for a Banjo-Kazooie-like game has been scratched. However, what about for those of us who want to see Rare's bear and bird duo given a new chance to shine? After the wonderful but not-quite-what-fans-were-looking-for Nuts & Bolts, it's about time that Rare and Microsoft give Banjo and Kazooie a new, more traditional platforming adventure for fans to enjoy. It would fill a hole in the Xbox's lineup while capitalizing on the much desired by fans (as apparent by the success of the Yooka-Layle Kickstarter) 3D platformer genre.

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