Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Top Ten Franchises That Need to Make a Comeback

It's common in the industry for franchises to take a hiatus, even if they're at the height of their popularity. However, in most cases a series is shelved after an entry in it has poor sales. Regardless, SuperPhillip Central has compiled a list of ten franchises that we'd love to see return and make a comeback, regardless of what system it comes out on-- PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Durango, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC, Mac, 3DS, Vita, or any downloadable service. Simply put, these ten franchises are ones that have just been away for far too long for our liking.

10) Bomberman

One of the two "bombers" on this list (the other one will show up later), Bomberman is a character and series that we spent many play sessions lasting into the wee hours of the night. I personally I have great memories of Bomberman '94 on the TurboGrafix, as well as the multiplayer mayhem of Bomberman 64 and its sequel, the Second Attack. A Bomberman game was in development for the 3DS. It had adventure elements, like many of our favorite Bomberman games do. However, Konami purchased Hudson Soft, the developer of Bomberman, and then dissolved them within the company. The chances of the White Bomber's return are relatively slim right now, but we can still hold out hope, can't we?

9) Breath of Fire

One of my favorite RPG series from the 16-bit era was Breath of Fire. The series saw two releases on the Super Nintendo (they would later be ported to the Game Boy Advance), each with excellent presentations, music, and battle systems. The PlayStation saw two more entries in the series, adding an isometric view to the fun, and finally, the nontraditional Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter released released on the PlayStation 2. That was the last we've seen of the franchise. If you were with us late last year, then you should remember us listing Breath of Fire as one of Capcom's forgotten franchises we'd like to see return. Well, we're still waiting, and hopefully we see the return of Ryu and the gang.

8) Klonoa

A character from Namco whose ears hang low, they wobble to and fro, you can tie them in a knot, you can tie them a bow, you can throw them over his shoulder like a contin-- okay. Enough being cute. Klonoa is a unique character whose games are of two camps: platformers and puzzle-platformers. Both ooze with delightful charm. As Klonoa, you grab enemies and blocks and chuck them to solve puzzles and defeat other foes. The most recent Klonoa game was a remake of the very first title, the PS1's Door to Phantomile, and it appeared on Wii, simply titled Klonoa. How we at SuperPhillip Central wish to see our floppy-eared friend return for an encore. We'd even settle for a remake or HD port of Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil.

7) Jet Set Radio

Originally released on the Sega Dreamcast (R.I.P.) as Jet Grind Radio, this roller blading, spot-tagging series made the jump to Microsoft's initial home console offering, the O.G. Xbox, under the guise of Jet Set Radio Future. Both games consisted of tricky roller blading, which required great precision and terrifically timed jumps to reach more arduous areas of each level, and they both possessed a timeless cel-shaded art style. Sega hasn't completely forgotten about the Jet Set Radio series, as Beat, Gum, and remnants of the franchise have appeared in some of Sega's recent mascot sports titles. Still, just being on a character roster for Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed isn't enough to satiate our hunger for more Jet Set Radio.

6) Viewtiful Joe

Viewtiful Joe launched on the GameCube in 2003, and then was later ported with additional features to the PlayStation 2 the following year. Regardless of which platform you might have played the game on, the experience was essentially the same. You got an action-packed, innovative brawler with ingenious puzzles, great level design, a fierce challenge, an excellent soundtrack, and a humorous story. While the sequel that came in late 2004 did not reach the levels of its predecessor, the game was still a blast to play. Using Joe's unique powers to slow everything to a crawl, enter mach speed, and zoom the camera in to smack foes around senseless was an incredible feat. We maintain hope with the viewtiful one's inclusion in Marvel VS. Capcom 3 that Capcom hasn't entirely forgotten about Clover Studios' tremendous creation.

5) Prince of Persia

We haven't heard a peep from the Prince of Persia game series (not talking about that one film) since 2008's beautiful, cel-shaded installment that released on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, and Mac. It was meant to be a rebirth of the franchise. Instead, it put the series in an indefinite hibernation. There have been reports that another developer was working on a new installment of the franchise but it was canned mid-development. We have great memories of the series, starting from its humble roots and amazing technical innovations, and leading up to its 3D console efforts on the PS2, GameCube, and Xbox, among other platforms. If one day Prince of Persia as a game series does return, we will sound the fanfare and welcome the prince with open arms back to his throne.

4) Chrono ____

While there have been only two installments of the Chrono franchise, they have without a doubt left a mark on the gaming world, especially with RPG fans. The Super Nintendo's Chrono Trigger is still a masterpiece to this day, and the spiritual successor, the PS1's Chrono Cross, was also a grand game. The time-traveling exploits and parallel worlds made for an interesting gameplay experience and adventure. We know what you're thinking, however. The Square Enix of today is completely incapable of creating a competent follow-up and third installment to the franchise. We are hesitant to see Square Enix create a new entry in the Chrono line, but at the same time we can't help but want it as curious gamers. For all we know, they'd stick Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII in it (because they stick Lightning in everything nowadays). Still, we can only hope the Square Enix of the SNES, PS1, and PS2 eras makes a glorious return alongside a new entry in the Chrono series.

3) F-Zero

I recently sat down with the Wii U Virtual Console version of the original Super Nintendo F-Zero. It was one of the original SNES games that used the Mode 7 visual tricks of the system to produce 3D graphics. I was amazed at how good the game still was. Then I moved onto F-Zero X, and my passion for a new F-Zero game only intensified. I didn't wish to play F-Zero GX, because I knew it would make me delirious in my desire for a new installment. Just imagine a Wii U sequel in glorious high definition with 30 racers on the winding, looping tracks at breakneck speeds. Sure, the PlayStation's Wipeout series, another great futuristic racer, is a nice alternative, but nothing will compare to me like Captain Falcon racing with immense intensity on a Mute City track.

2) Metroid

The reaction towards the Wii's Metroid: Other M, a collaboration between Nintendo and Team Ninja, was decidedly mixed. The hyperbole, as gamers are known to partake in, was bad on both sides of the argument on whether the game was good or not. Some called it the best Metroid yet released (no), and some said when the game was on sale for $10 that it was still $10 too expensive (no). We will admit that the story left a lot to be desired, and the game was nowhere near perfect, but we loved our experience with Metroid: Other M regardless. However, we'd love to see Samus Aran make a highly anticipated return to a Nintendo platform with either a focus similar to Metroid Prime or a 3DS installment in beautiful 2D. We miss our favorite female bounty hunter, and we're not alone in our yearning for Samus's grand return.

1) Mega Man

Who else could make it to the number one spot than Capcom's own Blue Bomber? Sure, after Keiji Inafune left Capcom, the company has since turned their back on their mascot, but we still love you, Mega Man. It was reported by Polygon that Armature (former Retro Studios developers) were making an FPS Mega Man X game. There were even scteens and videos of it. While we don't agree with the direction Capcom wanted Armature to take the series in, we would have taken any new Mega Man game. Well, except Mega Man XOver, or whatever that mobile monstrosity was. Regardless, we'd love to see a new installment in the Mega Man series-- a Mega Man 11 or Mega Man X9 on downloadable services such as Steam, PSN, and XBLA. Mega Man is one of my personal favorite franchises, and Capcom's treatment of the Blue Bomber over the years recently has just been shameful.


What franchises would you like to see return from either irrelevance or hibernation? It's your time to make your voice heard. Talk to your fellow SPC readers about which series need to make that all-desired comeback in the comments section below.

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