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Top 5 Forgotten Xbox Exclusives... That Deserve Sequels Right Now!

Jonathan Lester
Jet Set Radio Future, Otogi: Myth of Demons, Panzer Dragoon Orta, Phantom Crash, Steel Battalion, Top 5

Top 5 Forgotten Xbox Exclusives... That Deserve Sequels Right Now!

The original Xbox didn't manage to secure an enormous volume of titles compared to the PS2... but like the Dreamcast before it, the quality of its exclusives are absolutely spectacular. Many displaced SEGA franchises and several brand new experiences found a new home on Microsoft's fledgling 'arthouse' console, but the likes of Halo CE and Project Gotham soon erased them from our memories.

Allow me, therefore, to take you on a pretentious trip down memory lane- to when owning an original Xbox actually granted us access to some of the best niche games ever coded rather than rehashed sequels and multiplatform melange.

In the three days that this article has sat, unloved, in our pending folder, no less than two of these games have now been given spiritual sequels. It seems that there is a God... and apparently, he rather fancies Kinect as his control input mechanism of choice.

5: Steel Battalion

Top 5 Forgotten Xbox Exclusives... That Deserve Sequels Right Now!

Steel Batallion is a Mech simulation that takes the “simulation” aspect very seriously. Every aspect of your massive walking tank could be tweaked, manipulated or otherwise operated by your skilled hands... and one of the most beautiful/ludicrous peripherals ever conceived.

At the time, people scoffed at the notion of shelling out a couple of hundred quid for a game and its peripheral... but the success of Guitar Hero and even ludicrous special editions indicates that consumer habits have seriously shifted over the years. The decline of the plastic peripheral market and global economy may have reverted our tastes back to the frugality of yesteryear... but many of us still dream of a sequel.

4: Panzer Dragoon Orta

Top 5 Forgotten Xbox Exclusives... That Deserve Sequels Right Now!

Panzer Dragoon was one of the Saturn's classic franchises, but rail shooters soon fell from grace in favour of more advanced game experiences. However, Panzer Dragoon returned us to Giraud's beautiful and bizarre world of destroyed beauty and an insane ecology dominated by genetically-engineered war machines. The graphics are still impressive today; and both the story and visual impact are quite unlike anything else on the market.

Full-price rail shooters are still seen as taboo in these harsh financial climes... but the success of similar games (such as AfterBurner Climax ) on PSN and XBLA suggest that the time is absolutely right for a downloadable sequel or reimagining. Fingers crossed.

3: Phantom Crash

Top 5 Forgotten Xbox Exclusives... That Deserve Sequels Right Now!

Most mech sims take a po-faced approach to war, with plenty of stern voice acting, gutted cities and gunmetal grey to go around. Phantom Crash took an entirely different tack, however, pitting trendy Japanese teens against each other in a slick mechanised bloodsport set in familiar Tokyo locations. Combat was genuinely fast, stylish and pumped full of adrenaline- but the traditional dull context was replaced by quirky animé cutscenes and genuinely thought-provoking stories of social segregation and redemption.

Mechs are awesome. This much is obvious. But Phantom Crash showed us that they could be fashionable as well.

2: Otogi: Myth of Demons

Top 5 Forgotten Xbox Exclusives... That Deserve Sequels Right Now!

Raikoh is not your stereotypical game protagonist- and Otogi is an action game unlike any other. The silent and stylish undead assassin has been summoned to slaughter the demon hordes and redeem his honour- and can use a range of airborne abilities to ensure that he rarely touches the ground. And use an enormous selection of unlockable weapons to devastating effect.

What sets Otogi apart from any other action game is its unique sense of style and Zen serenity. Sure, the object was to kill loads of demons with big swords- but there isn't a single blaring guitar or vulgar one liner to be found. The atmosphere was cool, calm and genuinely refreshing; utilising copious cherry blossoms, profound silence and the haunting strains of period Japanese instruments that cut sharper than any sword. Even the menus were watercolour masterpieces with background music that still brings a tear to my eye at the vaguest recollection.

Pretentious? Yes, a little. But Otogi's mix of brutal airborne action and subtle tranquillity is sorely missed.

1: Jet Set Radio Future

Top 5 Forgotten Xbox Exclusives... That Deserve Sequels Right Now!

Jet Set Radio (or Jet Grind Radio for absolute purists) was one of the key reasons to own a Dreamcast, and is considered by many to be one of the finest games ever made. However, the franchise soon shacked up with Microsoft after the Dreamcast went under… and despite the unusual partnership, Jet Set Radio future improved on the original in absolutely every respect. The quirky cell-shaded presentation and groovy foot-stomping soundtrack still remained intact, but JSRF removed the restrictive time limits and small arenas in favour of expansive open-world exploration. The massive verticality of each stage allowed players to experiment with jumps and grinds at ridiculous altitudes, and actively encouraged us to climb anything we could see. The cell-shaded graphics lend the game a timeless quality that still looks sharp and stylish today.

All five of these classic games are crying out for a next-gen sequel, but none more so than Jet Set Radio Future. The mix of gameplay styles, breakneck racing and laid-back exploration would definitely thrill a new generation of gamers today (making a mint in the process)... and we hope that more publishers look to the original Xbox for inspiration and revivals in the future.

Have a classic Xbox exclusive that you want to bring to our attention? Drop us a line and make your case in the comments!

Add a comment23 comments
Jerec  Sep. 17, 2010 at 19:38

I loved my Steel Battalion, and only sold it when they were closing the online servers.

I also hated Jet Set Radio.

Ivan_the_inebriated  Sep. 17, 2010 at 20:13

Great list. Incase anybody didn't know; Phantom Crash did have a sequel it was called: S.L.A.I and was on the Playstation 2. (Steel Lancer Arena International) It wasn't quite as good as the original but it did have a fair bit more content and online play; I recommend checking it out if you enjoyed the original and also owned a PS2.

Jimmyjimmyo  Sep. 17, 2010 at 20:41

Steel Battalion has a sequal coming out next year on Kinect as does Panzer Dragoon, I would love to see a 3rd Otogi game though.

Jet set is getting a rerelease on live as well next year

Jonathan Lester  Sep. 17, 2010 at 20:52

You're absolutely right about Steel Battalion and Panzer- and as I explained above, Microsoft managed to beat me to the punch while this article was awaiting release. We can't wait.

The Jet Set Radio re-release is only for the original Dreamcast version rather than JSRF. It's still going to be worth picking up, but I can't help feeling that we're long overdue for a full sequel.

Mienaikage  Sep. 17, 2010 at 22:13

Jet Grind Radio for the purists? That's just what the silly Americans called it, Jet Set Radio is the original name :P

aklsdfoajsdf  Sep. 18, 2010 at 00:05

KOTOR 3? Sure not exclusive but yeah
and shenmue 3

Jim  Sep. 18, 2010 at 00:08


George  Sep. 18, 2010 at 00:09

"1. Jet Set Radio Future"


Jonathan Lester  Sep. 18, 2010 at 00:23

Good shout- worth at least an honourable mention. Currently Snoopy: Flying Ace is the closest we can get to this little gem.

phantom crash  Sep. 18, 2010 at 01:21

phantom crash + online = mech mw2
plzzzzzzzzzzzzz make phantom crash

Andrew  Sep. 18, 2010 at 01:32

Agree with Jim!

CRIMSON SKIES!!!! I cannot understand how this game has not received a sequel yet!

jak d ripr  Sep. 18, 2010 at 01:48

Nice list although I would probably replace otogi with either crimson skies or phantom dust but thats how opinions usually work. As for the news of the sequels im not sure if im excited yet, I have a pretty good idea how the new panzer dragoon is gonna work and i don't think i like it one bit(youll stand in front of the camera and sway left n right to control the dragon whilst training the dragon prolly works like kinectimals) and honestly i don't see how a new steel battalion would work without the outlandish controller.

Hopefully MS either prove me wrong or allow us to use regular controllers with these games.

John  Sep. 18, 2010 at 01:50

Orta wasn't bad but I'd still put Rez ahead of it as the best of the rail shooters, while the gameplay was much simpler it's always felt more immersive and the stunning 1080p XBLA version makes Orta look and feel a bit drab.


Steven  Sep. 18, 2010 at 01:59

I currently own around 40 original Xbox titles including Panzer Dragoon Orta, Otogi and Jet Set Radio Future. I previously owned Steel Batallion as well but was never too interested in Phantom Crash.

Unfortunately, money talks and if a game won't move around a million units these days, developers & publishers just don't seem to want to be involved. I see zero chance of a new Panzer Dragoon or Jet Set Radio title. Phantom Crash is one of a million mech titles.

I would really love to see From Software make a new Otogi. Those two were wonderful games, like a more "high brow" Devil May Cry. it's a crying shame that the best of your list-Otogi and Panzer Dragoon Orta-aren't backwards compatible on the 360. Another sign that we shouldn't get our hopes up.

Leon  Sep. 18, 2010 at 03:18

Blood Wake wasn't the greatest of games, but with a bit of a graphical upgrade and a decent story attatched to it, I'd gladly buy a new release.

DevilDogMatt  Sep. 18, 2010 at 03:45

Jade Empire!!!!!

Phil McC  Sep. 18, 2010 at 07:28

Jade Empire /thread

Other xbox games i'd like to see a sequel to:

OutRun 2
Crimson Skies
Voodoo Vince
ToeJam & Earl 3

Matt Gardner  Sep. 18, 2010 at 11:53

Yes to Conker...I'd love to see the return of the filthy-mouthed furry fiend. Alas, now with Rare branding themselves in family friendly pastel colours, this seems about as likely as the Pope turning Taoist.

Still, one can dream...

Big fat affirmatives to Otagi and JSRF too.

I agree with Mr Ripr above though...button options or bust

d  Sep. 18, 2010 at 13:31

If you're not generic, you're pretentious.

Jonathan Lester  Sep. 18, 2010 at 13:36

I'd rather be pretentious any day. :)

Borris Jonno  Sep. 18, 2010 at 14:37

You missed out Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath.
What a game.

Jonathan Lester  Sep. 18, 2010 at 14:51

I'd love a full sequel to Stranger's Wrath- but there will be an HD remake.

Sam Parsons  Sep. 19, 2010 at 00:54

Just buy a copy of the original. I picked up a PC version for one whole pound, and it's definitely up there in the top five pounds that I ever spent.


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