Some franchises disappear never to be seen or heard from again. Others fall away after a less than well received entry. While the time is right for some gaming series to go the way of the dodo, there are some that need to be brought back into our loving arms. Here’s our top 5 in new Friday Feeling…
5) DINO CRISIS
The 3 Dino Crisis games have a devout following to this day. Originally developed by Shinji Mikami’s Capcom team and released in and around the Resident Evil entries back on the Playstation, Dreamcast, PC and Xbox, DC’s heady mix of gunplay, sci-fi, horror and DINOSAURS gained it a hardcore following. In fact, many of these fans clamour for a new entry on their shiny new consoles and with Jurassic World and Chris Pratt’s velociraptor buddies just around the corner, the time might just be right. The less said about Dino Crisis 3 the better though, yeah?
Or, the time Rare went full-on MENTAL. Originally developed as cutesy 3D platformer for the N64 (a la Mario 64); Rare took Conker 64 into a 3 year hibernation, returning to the public eye close to the end of the hallowed consoles lifespan as Conker’s Bad Fur Day – a hungover, pissed-off squirrel searching for his girlfriend in a land that didn’t want to do him any favours. It was a critical hit. After Microsoft’s purchase of Rare, Conker found a re-released on the original Xbox in a ‘Live and Reloaded’ remake guise, giving it the commercial success that it richly deserved. Not a lot has happened since then. Xbox (and Rare) fans went into meltdown at last years E3 when they thought a new Conker game was being teased – only to find out that a Conker skin pack was being made available for Project Spark. Proof, if proof were needed, that Conker has a ready-made home on Xbox One.
3) AGE OF EMPIRES
Look for Age Of Empires on your favourite internet search engine and you’ll find more fan-made announcement trailers for a full-on 4th entry (and a 5th bizarrely) than you’d ever need. Age Of Empires, along with Total War and Civ, was the PC gamers RTS series of choice between 1997 and 2005 – and it’s another series that Microsoft has kept under wraps for sometime (a free to play online version ran from 2011 to 2014). The fanbase is there, though. The series has sold over 20 million copies, and with XCOM proving RTS can work on consoles as well as PC nowadays, Age Of Empires deserves another go. Age Of Empires: Castle Siege, a tower defence game, was released on mobiles just last year, so maybe Microsoft still has the franchise in mind – could we see it at E3? An outside bet, we reckon.
2) MONKEY ISLAND
A sad one, this. It’s a series many a gamer grew up playing (yours truly included) but has laid dormant for 5 years – and that was only due to a couple of beautiful remasters of the original entries. The last original release was back in 2009 from a fledgling Telltale Games, but the rights reverted back to LucasArts and are now at Disney who, sadly, have no plans to develop a new entry. The rights are there, though. Who knows – maybe the stars will align and people who worked on the originals, like Tim Schafer and his Double Fine studio, Ron Gilbert or Telltale Games, will buy back the rights so that we can FINALLY discover the secret of Monkey Island.
1) RESIDENT EVIL
The Resident Evil franchise is in a mess. The last two full entries were poorly received and there seems to be a number of different spin-off’s coming out on a regular basis. Too regular, in fact. I hate to use the term REBOOT, but if any series was in need of one, then this is it. It needs to go back to basics – an emphasis on horror and survival, a story that needs to be reset, and a focus on just what type of game it wants to be. Resident Evil 6 wanted to be a bit of everything and was all the worse for it. Done correctly, Resident Evil Reboot (yikes!) could be a monster in the very best kind of way.
– Dave Green @davidpgreen83