6 franchises that could make a next gen comeback
Gaming's next generation has officially arrived. Right now, the focus is on the consoles, but what will really make or break this generation is the games. Launch titles have given us a glimpse of what the new consoles are capable of, but it's safe to say that the best is yet to come.
It's likely that we'll see a mix of new IPs and major sequels in the future. However, now is also the perfect time to revive flagging franchises. Improved technology will allow developers to revitalize brands in ways they couldn't before, and a limited game selection mean people will be more likely to give something different a shot. Here are six faded franchise that are in the perfect position to make a next gen comeback:
The first two Wild Arms games were among the best RPGs the original PlayStation had to offer. The wonderfully weird westerns allowed you to use tools like bombs and grappling hooks to explore the game's world, which was unusual for RPGs at the time. Unfortunately, later games took the series further and further away from the wild west setting that made Wild Arms so unique.
Now is the perfect time for Wild Arms to return to its roots. Many gamers have lamented the shortage of quality JRPGs in recent years, and a new Wild Arms game could get people excited about the genre again. Imagine exploring a massive wild west style world on your PS4, searching for treasure as you try to cross rough terrain. It's the kind of RPG that could do a next gen console justice.
In the late 90s, Crash Bandicoot was everywere. There were party games, kart racers, and the platformers that made Crash a household name. Whether he was fighting mutants or collecting crystals, gamers loved spending time with the genetically altered bandicoot. However, his star soon faded. Crash made a few appearances on the Wii and Xbox 360, but the reviews weren't great. More games were planned, but they were canceled early on.
If Naughty Dog could be persuaded to return to the series, the Crash Bandicoot franchise could almost certainly be revived. Lots of people have fond memories of playing Crash titles, and 3D platformers are due for a resurgance. Crash was once a gaming icon, and he could definitely become an icon again.
For me, no multiplayer experience has ever measured up to frantically scrambling for stones and umbrellas in the Power Stone games. The four player 3D arena fighter was an absolute blast as long as you had friends to play alongside you. Sadly, the series ended when the Dreamcast did. A PSP remake was released in 2006, but finding people to play against was a challenge.
Now that online multiplayer is commonplace, Power Stone has the chance to broaden its appeal. It may not contain the iconic characters that Super Smash Bros. does, but from a gameplay perspective, it could certainly go toe to toe with Nintendo's popular franchise. Hopefully, Capcom will give Power Stone another chance to shine. It's a fantastic fighter, and it deserves an update.
I didn't realize how much I missed Star Fox until I received the Arwing in Animal Crossing. Suddenly, I longed to be back in space, fighting strange adversaries alongside friends who would never say die. The Star Fox series has grown tremendously since it began, and it'd be a shame if it doesn't get a chance to evolve even further.
There's no lack of interest in a new Star Fox. Everyone from Shigeru Miyamoto to Hideki Kamiya has said they'd love to work on a Star Fox title. Unfortunately, this hasn't led to new games being released. A remake of Star Fox 64 was released for the 3DS in 2011, but there hasn't been a console Star Fox since 2005. It'd be a welcome addition to the Wii U lineup.
Survival horror and dinosaurs are a delightful combination. At its best, Dino Crisis was a non-stop thrill ride, combining challenging puzzles with pulse-pounding action. At its worst, it was frustrating and filled with hokey storytelling. Still, it's hard to deny the appeal of being startled by a raptor who's suddenly leapt out of the bushes.
In its heydey, Dino Crisis was often referred to as "Resident Evil with dinosaurs", and it'd be great to see the franchise develop the way Resident Evil did. These days, zombies are a little overplayed, and many gamers would welcome the opportunity to face off against dinosaurs instead. If a Dino Crisis game utilized some of the Kinect's new features, it could be one of the most intense survival horror games ever made.
Technically speaking, Pokémon Snap was never a franchise. There was a single game in 1999, and despite its popularity, there's never been a Snap title since. Pokémon Snap never quite lived up to its potential - it was extremely short, and only 63 Pokémon could be photographed - but it was still a blast to play. The way you interacted with Pokémon made them feel like real-live animals, and pulling off a great shot was extremely satisfying.
These days, Pokémon Snap's potential seems endless. Just think of the ways the gameplay could be expanded with the gyroscope on the 3DS or the Wii U controller. Imagine having the chance to photograph all 718 Pokémon. If Nintendo's looking for a system seller, they don't need to look any further than Pokémon Snap.
From indie games to AAA blockbusters, the next generation means we'll have all kinds of new titles to enjoy. Hopefully, we'll see a few old favorites reappear. If there's a franchise you'd like to see make a triumphant return, be sure to mention it in the comments!