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The Sunday Seven: Most Wanted Franchise Comebacks

Brendan Griffiths
Features, Most Wanted Series Comebacks, Retro games, The Sunday Seven

The Sunday Seven:  Most Wanted Franchise Comebacks

Maybe it’s seeing Stallone and Arnie back in the cinemas recently that has me feeling nostalgic and hankering for the good old days. I even had a good root through some of my older games that I’d packed into the attic. Or perhaps I can’t blame it on the return of the aging action stars, it’s more likely to be the amount of kickstarter campaigns for retro game reboots, studio closures, stagnating sequels and brand retirements that made me think about what games from years gone by could lift gaming out of this over-familiar slump in which it finds itself.

The Sunday Seven:  Most Wanted Franchise Comebacks


Seriously, how bloody awesome was Onimusha!? The Feudal Japan based hack ‘em up titles were one of the most respected series on the PS2. The third game even managed to have a storyline that involved modern day Paris and still be brilliant, in no small thanks to a chain-blade wielding John Reno.

It may have relied on many pre-rendered backgrounds, but they were frequently jaw-droppingly gorgeous on the PS2, just imagine what they could do with today’s or even the next-gen’s technical grunt. Capcom have flogged the Resi series to an embarrassing death and there’s only so much they can do with Street Fighter.

A lack of enthusiasm for the setting can’t be blamed for the series’ disappearance. Just think how many Dynasty Warriors games have been released this generation. Actually, don’t, it’ll make you sad. Well Capcom, if you’re not going to bother with this, at least think about bringing back Okami or Dino Crisis.

The Sunday Seven:  Most Wanted Franchise Comebacks

Streets of Rage

We’ve seen re-releases on old Mega-Drive collections, but nothing approaching a sequel or even a HD repaint. If the considerably inferior Double Dragon (don’t start, just deal with it) can get one why not this Sega classic? This scrolling beat ‘em up had a large number of fighting moves that puts the competition to shame. A move into full 3D environments would be unnecessary and would remove the fundamental style of the series that make it such a joy to play. Sega were working on a 3D version back on the Saturn, but it was canned (it looked awful).

I’m only thinking of a simple PSN/XBLA release, hell it wouldn’t even cost that much to make compared to most of Sega’s other titles. Come on Sega, we need something to make us smile before you whore Sonic out to the Mario gang again.

The Sunday Seven:  Most Wanted Franchise Comebacks

Prince of Persia

Specifically a follow-up to the 2008 game please. No, wait! Come back! Admittedly, this is something of a personal choice, as this game never properly finished its story. A fantastic -and brave- ending to the main game left me stunned, but ready to accept it as final. Then Ubisoft released an epilogue chapter as DLC, which ended abruptly at a point that left the story in the air as gamers were left waiting for the next bit of DLC that never came. When Forgotten Sands came out a few years later it reset the story once again leaving us with a very average product, shunted out in time for the tepid movie.

Everything about the 2008 game just nailed it. It wasn’t just the effortless platforming and climbing. The new cell-shaded style gave the game a real sense of identity, enhanced by in-game events as you cured areas of darkness, allowing colour to flow back into the world. Elika was a fantastic companion throughout the game, slowly warming to the Prince over the course of their journey. Her AI was spot-on too, pulling you out of death drops when required being a favourite. Most AI characters are usually an obstacle to navigate, but here the game was designed to allow the two characters to react smoothly, with even swapping sides on a narrow beam proving no problem.

The combat wasn’t to everyone’s tastes as it required subtlety rather than mashing Square and Triangle until, RSI set in. So perhaps a happy medium needs to be reached. If the increasingly stale Assassin’s Creed series would stop selling so damn much, then we might be in with a shot of seeing the Prince and Elika return.

The Sunday Seven:  Most Wanted Franchise Comebacks

Medal of Honor (World War II era)

EA’s recent decision to take the series “out of rotation” due to poor sales and critical reception surprised no one. The FPS series desperately needs a return to its roots and by that, I mean World War II. Sure, at one point years ago we were inundated with WWII shooters, but the boring sandy hell holes of Generistan are done thanks to the like of Battlefield, COD and MOH all aping each other.

This return would allow the series to inject fresh perspectives into the forgotten era that video games once cherished so dearly. The weapons really made the old MOH games tick. Nowadays the guns fire so fast there’s no talent required, with the only challenge coming from the sheer numbers of enemies. The WWII setting would allow devs to dial back the bullet frenzy in favour of sneaking through small European towns, looking out for snipers. Of course, there are always opportunities for a hidden tank around the corner to strike terror into gamer hearts again.

The Sunday Seven:  Most Wanted Franchise Comebacks


Possibly the most requested return on the list, but Crytek remain indifferent. However, they have agreed to allow a group of modders to use Timesplitters assets with the CryEngine modding tool and even provide support if a decent team of enthusiasts can be assembled.

Timeplitters’ brand of multiplayer is just what modern gaming needs. Games today essentially release with the same dull variations on deathmatch, CTF or domination. Timesplitters had a broad selection of modes and allowed for vast flexibility when tailoring matches, with even the PS2-era online game proving a successful hit for years. At this point, many of us would settle for a HD collection, as long as there’s online functionality involved.

The Sunday Seven:  Most Wanted Franchise Comebacks

Legacy of Kain

Take your pick whether you want another Soul Reaver or Blood Omen title from this series or maybe a combination of both again allowing Azreal and Kain to flex their skills together. Azreal specialised in shifting between spectral existences opening up different doorways, while Kain’s main purpose was being the most bad-ass vampire in existence with a range of deadly skills in both open combat and stealth providing a varied gameplay experience.

Quality third-person action games are becoming increasingly rare on consoles this generation, namely thanks to a few low scoring ones putting off publishers. Could this undead pair bring the genre back? Or should someone else lead the charge?

The Sunday Seven:  Most Wanted Franchise Comebacks

Battlefield: Bad Company

While the main Battlefield series certainly isn’t going anywhere, I like to think that DICE haven’t completely forgotten about the boys in Bad Company. The likable bunch of US Army misfits have had two solid adventures so far and have provided great story campaigns for the single-player side of the brand adding a team atmosphere to events without forcing you into a squad leader role, you’re just one of the guys.

The last standalone Battlefield (3) game was criticised for a poor single-player campaign. Why can’t the two exist in one package? Bad Company for the story and Battlefield for the online action. You know, like Bad Company 2 did in the first place. It’s not rocket science, EA.

As always, we’d love to hear what you have to say. What game series do you miss? Go as far back as you wish. My Commodore 64 collection didn’t inspire anything from me and I would have dived into my other box of Mega-Drive titles, but there was a spider so nasty looking on it I could see the bastard smile.

Add a comment16 comments
JonLester  Feb. 3, 2013 at 22:04

Timesplitters and Onimusha need to come back, frankly I'd settle for a crossover if absolutely necessary.

Speaking personally: I would relish a return to the original Quake, Star Wing/Fox, Rogue Squadron, Jet Set Radio, Panzer Dragoon, Phantom Crash and Otogi, just for starters.

Last edited by JonLester, Feb. 3, 2013 at 22:19
Shained  Feb. 3, 2013 at 22:38

Never did play the third Onimusha but loved the first one.

Out of the list the one I would want most is a new Legacy of Kain, loved that series.

I'd love a new Dino Crisis and Syphon Flter (a proper one!),

fellermelad  Feb. 3, 2013 at 22:51

We need reboots for Desert/Jungle/Urban Strike and also for Road Rash. These were my favourite games back in the day on the Mega drive. Please make it happen EA.

bggriffiths  Feb. 4, 2013 at 01:14

Timesplitters and Onimusha need to come back, frankly I'd settle for a crossover if absolutely necessary.

Speaking personally: I would relish a return to the original Quake, Star Wing/Fox, Rogue Squadron, Jet Set Radio, Panzer Dragoon, Phantom Crash and Otogi, just for starters.

Wow, Panzer Dragoon! I clearly didn't find my Saturn box when looking up stuff for this piece. Rented the old Xbox game and tried on my 360. Kept crashing though. Backwards compatibility issue or damaged disc. Was really enjoying it though. I'll just have to dig out the Saturn version.

bggriffiths  Feb. 4, 2013 at 01:17

We need reboots for Desert/Jungle/Urban Strike and also for Road Rash. These were my favourite games back in the day on the Mega drive. Please make it happen EA.

EA were working on Road Rash a few years ago, there's a rough video knocking around the internet. Canned before formerly announced sadly. Would love to see it make a comeback though. Bikes in Burnout has been the best thing since.

Breadster  Feb. 4, 2013 at 05:25

Onimusha: my most wanted sequel since the start of this console generation. When are they gonna make another one dammit!? The only thing that worries me is Capcom's recent practice of getting other companies to make sequels of their games. Oh and seeing what they've done with Resident Evil...

Streets of Rage: one of my favourite scrolling beat-em-ups so yeah I wouldn't mind seeing a new 2D one.

Prince of Persia: I loved the way it played and the graphics and everything but the fact that you basically couldn't die just ruined it for me. There was just no sense of achievement.

Medal of Honor: not too interested in seeing another one, I don't see what they could do with WW2 that would make it feel fresh.

Timesplitters: definitely yes, epic multiplayer game!

Legacy of Kain: loved those games, I'd like one where you can play as both characters again.

Bad Company: no thank you. Sure the single player is better than BF3, but that's no achievement, it's still incredibly boring. BF is all about the multiplayer anyway, and that's better in the main series.

I'd like to see a comeback of good Final Fantasy games, the recent ones are garbage. I'd also like Team Ninja to give the Ninja Gaiden IP to Itagaki with an apology and make a Fist of the North Star game before Koei **** on it any more with their garbage Dynasty Warriors clones. I'd like to see Battlefront 3, Mortal Kombat Shaolin Monks 2, a Revenge of Shinobi style Shinobi game, and a new Tenchu that allows me to forget Tenchu Z exists.

davidpanik  Feb. 4, 2013 at 09:35

Going very old school here, but the Magic Carpet franchise definitely deserves another outing.

MattGardner  Feb. 4, 2013 at 11:31

X-Wing/TIE Fighter and Rogue Squadron would be high up there for me, and I crave a new TimeSplitters title immensely. I'd love to see a new Jedi Knight, also all and more of Mother/Earthbound, new Wave Race and F--Zero please, too.

Oh, and Thief 4 can't come soon enough.

phil16  Feb. 4, 2013 at 13:26

Freespace 3 for me. One game (except for maybe tie fighter) that balanced a great plot and a great game and the story has so much more to tell...

Breadster  Feb. 4, 2013 at 13:37

Definitely Jedi Knight, good shout.

CarlPhillips  Feb. 4, 2013 at 13:37

Freespace 3 for me. One game (except for maybe tie fighter) that balanced a great plot and a great game and the story has so much more to tell...


Oh, and Anachronox. A return to that game would be lovely.

Last edited by CarlPhillips, Feb. 4, 2013 at 13:46
RustySabre  Feb. 4, 2013 at 15:50

From the list I'd say the one I'd like to see most is Streets Of Rage. I played all the re-releases on the iPhone, and they were certainly fun, but I'd love to see a new chapter in the franchise. From the comments the one I'd love to see the most is Road Rash. Of course at this point I'd settle for a re-release on the iPhone. Nothing like running over a biker after you've knocked them down with a bat or chain.

One that I don't think was in the comments (I'll admit I just skimmed them) that I would love to see return to the limelight - if it was ever there - is Mail Order Monsters. I used to have a blast with this game, and in an era where DLC reigns supreme, the idea of ordering monsters and their parts from a virtual catalog makes perfect sense. C'mon EA, you know the time is right.

Kopite211  Feb. 4, 2013 at 18:33

Legacy of Kain for me, good shout. Also Timesplitters.

Realhoneyman  Feb. 5, 2013 at 00:33

A few decent requests on here so I'll try not to overlap on them.

Fighting Vipers springs immediately to mind (it had loads of character and a hyper-real feel to the fights). JSR and Panzer Dragoon Saga have already been mentioned.

In addition, I'd like to see a sequel to Garou: Mark of the Wolves, Guilty Gear XX# (add additional symbols...), Gekka no Kenshi or Cardfighters Clash but hardly anyone works in 2D sprites for fighters anymore (prove me wrong SNK/Arc System Works).

Last edited by Realhoneyman, Feb. 5, 2013 at 00:36
kinkinkaid  Feb. 5, 2013 at 11:26

A new Onimusha please!
One that DOESNT include machine guns and robots... I loved the first two games in the series.

0Mario64  Feb. 23, 2013 at 15:15

Micro machines v3 - Ps One

Parappa the rapper - Ps One

Point Blank - Ps One

F-zero X - N64

Zombies - Snes/Megadrive

Wave Race - N64

Dizzy - Amiga

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