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Top 10 Franchises in Need of a Revival - Page 2


The only other Nintendo franchise that needs to be rebuilt is Star Fox, a series that seems to have more in common with Sonic the Hedgehog than Mario. Overloaded with annoying characters and stretched in far too many directions that have nothing to do with the original game's core gameplay concepts, Star Fox has disintegrated into an incoherent mess that Nintendo seems intent on forgetting. It is entirely possible, however, to create an immersive spaceflight simulator using the Wii U that is true to the ideas that gave birth to Star Fox in the first place. The graphics of the SNES and N64 weren't really capable of delivering on the premise, but modern hardware most certainly can handle it. With the recent 3D remake of Star Fox 64 doing pretty well for itself, Nintendo should take the hint that there are still fans out there hungry for more.


Of course Chrono Trigger is on this list.


This is probably the saddest entry on the list, because there actually was a sequel to the mind-bogglingly awesome horror game Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem in development. Alas, the company behind the title, Silicon Knights, is all but dead thanks to the colossal flop that is Too Human and the pretty weak X-Men Destiny. There is also an ongoing legal dispute between Silicon Knights and Epic Games, which continues to sink the company, and late last year, it was reported that Silicon Knights now consists of fewer than five people. To be perfectly frank, as much as I've loved Silicon Knights' most original creations (Blood Omen, for example), I can admit that the company is not the greatest game developer out there. If Denis Dyack, president and founder of Silicon Knights, were willing to sell the rights to Eternal Darkness to a company with the money to develop a proper sequel, it is still possible that we will see the darkness make a glorious comeback. Alas, I consider that about as likely as Silicon Knights actually recovering from the hole it finds itself in today.


I have never hidden my love for Psychonauts, one of the most scandalously underplayed video games of the last generation. It is a cult hit among those who have actually played it, and it remains one of the most innovative platformers ever created. The most maddening thing about it, though, is that the ending is deliberately left open to expand the universe and story, leaving you hanging with the promise of another big adventure just around the corner. Tim Schafer, the genius behind the game, has not been shy in discussing his disdain for doing sequels, but interest in revisiting Psychonauts has remained constant, with Markus Persson working to raise funds for the project over the last year (his fundraising efforts came to an end in February, though). The last game Schafer developed was the Sesame Street Kinect project Once Upon a Monster, and he recently announced that he is developing a point-and-click adventure game called Broken Age. Seriously, dude, just make Psychonauts 2 already!


There is no series I'd rather see resurrected, however, than the Legacy of Kain. It's another franchise I've already written about extensively, but I can think of no other that is more in need of development. Every game in the series is stellar; the overarching plot is one of the most original, complex, and consistent stories in video game lore; the characters are fascinating and multi-dimensional; the universe and mythology are incredibly deep and interesting; and the cliffhanging conclusion of the last game is one of the most frustrating unresolved cliffhangers of all time. With what the companies that currently hold the rights to the series, Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics, have done with Tomb Raider, there are no good excuses left for why Kain is only seen as the occasional cameo in other games.

For the most part, I don't care if the above franchises are revived through a sequel, reboot, or remake. I just want to see what they can bring to modern gaming along with their nostalgia. Thief: The Dark Project was a truly innovative game that helped create the entire modern stealth genre, but there is no guarantee that there is a place for Garrett in a world where Splinter Cell, Batman: Arkham City, and The Elder Scrolls have already co-opted and improved upon his toolkit. In other words, there's a good chance the new Thief could suck. This is true of every potential revival listed above, but as with Thief, I'd rather see each franchise crash and burn while trying to reach the sun than see it languish away in obscurity forever, because there is still a chance that some of them will achieve enduring greatness for years to come.

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-e. magill 4/16/2013


Copyright 2013 e. magill. All rights reserved.