Thursday, September 7, 2017

Sequels, Please! - Games That Need Another Entry (Back to School Edition)

Sequels in media are a common practice, and in the world of video games it's no different. However, rather than just focus mostly on story, video games need far more than an interesting tale to get people to purchase the next game in a franchise. I'm talking things like new features, improved gameplay, a new gameplay hook, an evolution or even a revolution in the series' basic design, and so forth. There are good reasons why many mainline Mario games are so vastly different from past installments to the upcoming Super Mario Odyssey on Switch (save for the presentation of the New Super Mario Bros. series). They may be sequels, but they do so much to change how each entry plays and possess some kind of unique hook that distinguish them from one another

Then, there are games like the ones on this list that either stopped receiving sequels or haven't received a sequel period. That's what "Sequels, Please!" is all about, this reoccurring article series on SuperPhillip Central. Seven more games I desire to see sequels for turn up on this edition's list.

When you've seen my latest selections, let me know if you agree/disagree, or simply which games you can't wait to get sequels for!

World of Final Fantasy (PS4, Vita)

Many Final Fantasy games released these past few years, and many were disappointing for one reason or another: the game was incomplete, the execution was off, what have you. One game that reminded me of the good old days of the Final Fantasy series (from the Super Nintendo to early PS2 days) in an extremely wonderful way was World of Final Fantasy. The game was a whimsical take on the formula with a dash of monster-collecting thrown in for good measure. We didn't have edgy heroes, boy band rejects, or anything of the like -- it was pure, distilled Final Fantasy goodness that had one thing the series has been missing for a long time now, charm. Thankfully, it was more than just whimsy and looks that were appealing to me. There was the robust combat with which monsters you used and which level of stacking (a unique feature within the game) was the way to go about devising a strategy. Exploration offered plenty of opportunities for discovery as well. All in all, World of Final Fantasy was divine, and I hope Square Enix has another chibi style adventure in development.

LittleBigPlanet 3 (PS4, PS3)

The concept of LittleBigPlanet was a mind-blowing one: one part platforming adventure, another part creator studio of level-making capabilities (yeah, yeah, PC gamers, you already could do that years ago -- don't rain on our parade!), LittleBigPlanet was a series that engaged players, charmed the pants off players, and allowed them to create pretty much anything they wanted. Further sequels would add more complication to the creation tools (though quite helpful for innovating designs) and more gadgets to play around with, but by the third game, LittleBigPlanet as a series was running on fumes. It didn't help that other side entries on PlayStation's portable offerings quickly turned a refreshing series into a "please, no more. We've had enough" type of affair. On top of all that, LittleBigPlanet 3 released with some downright frustrating bugs and glitches, including save file wipes. However, once the game received a fair share of patches, LittleBigPlanet 3 offered the most potential for budding creators and happy gadders alike.

Ape Escape (PS1, PS2, PSP)

I want to continue our PlayStation theme here with a series that debuted on Sony's original console. However, unlike Crash Bandicoot, PaRappa the Rapper, and Hot Shots Golf (now Everybody's Golf) that released recently on the PlayStation 4, Ape Escape has been out of action for its mainline adventures since the PlayStation Portable, and that game was merely a handheld version of the original Ape Escape. My argument here is that Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy lit up the charts and received positive feedback from both players and critics alike, so it would be very nice to see some other classic PS1-era franchises see returns in the present day aim to do the same -- PlayStation franchises from yesteryear tickling longtime PS fans' nostalgia bones. Obviously, Ape Escape was never the unofficial mascot of the first PlayStation like Crash Bandicoot was so it wouldn't be as well known, but aren't we due for another game to go bananas over, Sony Computer Entertainment?

Ridge Racer (Multi)

We often take for granted how much we loved a franchise when it's finally gone. For generations, a new PlayStation system launch meant a new Ridge Racer, and we'd get replies of "but of course it's a launch title!" Regrettably, that's no longer the case because of two stinkers released back-to-back within the series: the Need for Speed: Underground wannabe Ridge Racer: Unbounded and the small on content, big on DLC PlayStation Vita launch title, simply known as Ridge Racer. Both games were the catalyst of the Ridge Racer franchise's fall from grace. Gaming fans miss you, Ridge Racer. We just want to see Kaz Hirai come up on stage and proudly bestow us with one more rally cry of "RIIIIIIIIDGE RACER"! We joked about it back then (but it was just one piece of the pie that was Sony's entire E3 press conference), but now we're sorry. Namco, do something. What I wouldn't do to take those turns like a pro with a exquisite drift in a new Ridge Racer game.

Red Steel 2 (Wii)

Being a launch title for the Wii, and I believe one of the first Wii games revealed, at least with screenshots, was Ubisoft's Red Steel. Unfortunately, the end result was nowhere near as appealing as the touched up screenshots used or the working motion controls shown via trailer. Red Steel was a travesty that sold over a million copies, but it turned many off of the Red Steel name instantly because they were burned by broken Ubisoft promises and the emptiness in their wallets where the $50 + tax for the game should have remained. However, the game's sequel, Red Steel 2, simply revamped its formula completely thanks to the help of Nintendo's new peripheral, Wii MotionPlus. You could charge into battle, aiming and shooting enemies down in your sights, pull out your blade to block attacks and sever foes in your way, or do a combination of both for one stylistic, cel-shaded Western adventure. Sadly, the toll was taken on Red Steel 2 by virtue of being a sequel to a game that pulled the wool over the eyes of Wii owners the world 'round. As foolish as this hope of mine might be, I'd love to see a pronounced evolution of the base gameplay and foundation featured in Red Steel 2.

Viewtiful Joe (PS2, GCN)

Capcom loves to kill its franchises after one entry doesn't perform to its usually unrealistic sales goals. Well, first they dissolved the company behind the game, Clover Studios and then Viewtiful Joe became such a franchise despite packing a lot of action, humor, novel gameplay, superhero combat, and 2.5D side-scrolling greatness. Through using Joe's FX gauge, our viewtiful hero could perform actions like slowing down time to gives his punches and kicks more power, assault enemies in a massive, fiery fury with Mach Speed, or zoom in for greater oomph in attacks. These abilities could be used in combination with one another, though the FX gauge would de-plenish much more quickly. The FX moves also assisted Joe with environmental puzzles in the game. Despite looking friendly to all players, Viewtiful Joe and its one mainline sequel as well as parts of its Nintendo DS entry were tough to get through. Unless, of course, you were a baby and needed to play Kids Mode. (Or just because you wanted to enjoy the game regardless!) Maybe enough time has passed for Capcom to bring back Viewtiful Joe from its vault with a newline entry. I know just the platform for it!

Pilotwings (SNES, N64, 3DS)

Along with the speedy, futuristic racer F-Zero, Pilotwings was one of the first Super Nintendo games using Mode 7 technology. At the time it was astonishing to look at and wonder how Nintendo could do that on the SNES. Now? Well, the visuals are dated, but the tricks that Nintendo used for the effect are still rather clever, especially when you consider what the team had to work with. The series would continue on Nintendo's next home console, the 64, serving as the series' first foray into real 3D. A launch title for the N64, the amount of freedom available in Pilotwings 64 was incredible for many a new Nintendo 64 owner. The most recent Pilotwings entry, Pilotwings Resort, launched with the Nintendo 3DS, and it featured a staple in the Wii area, the fictional Wuhu Island as its playground. Despite launching on the Nintendo 3DS, which still has games coming to it, that launch was several years ago, so it would excite fellow flyers and rocket belt wearers with a new Switch edition of the franchise. Just place in some new ways to play in the form of different vehicles and suits, even more ridiculous challenges and destinations, and I'm set!

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