Monday, October 13, 2008

Can We Have....

While we're talking about my unabashed enthusiasm for a new Parasite Eve game, could I run through some of the rest of my gaming wishlist? These are games that desperately need to happen.

Vagrant Story 2: I'm not sure why Vagrant Story does not have memorial plaques installed in its honour in major cities worldwide. This is one of the most criminally underappreciated games every produced. In the absence of some kind of national moment of silence, it's clear that the Vagrant Story genius should be honoured in the manner traditional among the gaming industry - which is to say, by means of a sequel.

A new Blackthorne game: Whenever Blizzard want to remind people they've made games other than Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo, they tend to drag out The Lost Vikings. That's a bit of a shame, because they should instead be drawing people's attention to Blackthorne, their 90s action platformer which worked a little like a cross between Abe's Oddyssey and Flashback. It's a property that needs some loving. And speaking of which...

A new Flashback game: Fade to Black never happened. Never happened. Which leaves Flashback sitting lost and alone with a "to be continued" ending that was never adequately consummated. This franchise is just ripe for a quality platformer in the style of the original to be developed for, say, XBLA or Wiiware. Providing, of course, that you can work out who owns the rights to it these days.

A non-Molyneux Syndicate game: Syndicate was full of great ideas. Cyberpunk corporate warfare, brainwashing crowds of people, tactical real-time lynch mobs. But it was by Peter Molyneux's then company Bullfrog, and their motto may as well have been "great ideas, woeful implementation". Much like other Bullfrog titles Magic Carpet, Dungeon Keeper, Populous and Power Monger, Syndicate hid its good points under a mountain of dubious pacing, poor level design and horrendous user interface. I would love to see someone competent take a crack at this franchise; unfortunately I think the rights are still with Molyneux in his new company Lionhead.

A Bethesda-made Ultima game: I love Ultima. Yes, despite everything that happened to it after Ultima VII. The rights to it are languishing a bit now, and in any case it's kind of run into the ground. The style of Ultima greatly influenced developer Bethesda's Elder Scrolls games and I can't think of anyone better suited to getting the property back on its feet. Right as I write this Richard Garriott is in outer space so there's never been a better time to steal the IP while he's not looking.

A new Road Rash: Haven't you heard? EA makes good games now. Or so I'm told. They still have the rights to bash-em-up motorcycling franchise Road Rash so it'd be great to see them do something with it. I'd say a good place to start for updating it would be to look at Criterion's Burnout franchise. I'm really jonesing to beat some bikers with a length of chain.

A new Star Control: Give the rights back to the creators. They've promised that they'll erase Star Control 3 from continuity and give us a real sequel to SC2. None of that "the Precursors evolved into cows" rubbish.

A new Azure Dreams: Did you play that thing? It was like a Pokemon-Roguelike-dating sim. Better than crack. I'm talking the PlayStation version, not the GBC port.

Duck Hunt: ... as a survival horror. Because that would be awesome.

I live in hope. Developers and publishers, take notes. These ideas are all filled with win, and you must implement them immediately. I know where you live.

9 comments:

Grant said...

You forgot to add:

KID ICARUS II GODDAMMIT, NINTENDO.

Greg Tannahill said...

It's a good thing you're excited enough for both of us about that concept.

But it does bring me in a round about way to the question of where the hell is my next-gen ActRaiser?

SPLastic said...

The idea of a survival horror duck hunting game is intriguing... I can picture it as being similar to that Kiwi horror movie, Black Sheep.

While letting Bethesda have their way with Ultima seems like a good idea, I think it'd probably be best to see what they make of the current franchise they're working on.

Greg Tannahill said...

Duck Hunt X

A man...
A dog...
A swampland where nothing is quite what it seems...

What begins as a simple hunting expedition to Lake Vigilance becomes something more when a mysterious mist falls. Terrifying winged shapes appear in the skies, and out in the mist something unspeakable is lurking. As night begins to fall, long drowned secrets rise to the surface and amidst the marshes the hunter becomes the hunted.

Only your dog can navigate the mists, and only your shotgun can hold back the monsters. Low on ammunition and pursued by an unstoppable foe, can you survive....

... the Duck Hunt(TM)?

SPLastic said...

Now all that you've gotta do is pitch it to Monolith Studios (F.E.A.R. and the subsequent expansions) or Valve (I'm not going to justify an example here). If they accept it, we should see a polished version by 2015.

One sequel I'd like to see is The Neverhood 2 - Wikipedia the original. One of the first games I ever played (on my Uncle's PC).

Greg Tannahill said...

I played the Neverhood. I loved the claymation art style to death, but the puzzle design wasn't quite so snappy. I'd be cautiously in favour of a sequel or remake, though.

Nick Novitski said...

At blizzcon this past weekend (and, presumably, in past years as well) there was a kiosk of Blizzard "classics," which included both Lost Vikings and Blackthorne (as well as Radical Pyscho Machine Racing, the lesser-known (I'd never heard of it) precusor to Rock n Roll Racing (also in attendance)).

I played both, because I had liked both before. Blackthorne should and could be remade (A recent indie game that I thought was called "iij" but can't now find is a simple proof, damn my eyes), but Lost Vikings deserves to be recognized as the 19th greatest game of all time.

Nick Novitski said...

Aha! It's Iji!

Also, I feel that I should express agreement with all of these, except for Azure Dreams, of which I can only express shock at someone else claiming to have played it. An under-appreciated (under-aware-made-of?) classic.

As far as Actraiser, while you're waiting for the sequel it deserves (Actraiser 2: what the hell happened?) you can always (if you haven't already) try a patch-translation of the original Japanese game, since the American (english) version was set to easy mode. I'll let you know when I beat the Sphinx.

Greg Tannahill said...

No, no, ActRaiser was exactly the right difficulty. In fact, I probably would have been happy to see the platforming bits ripped out entirely - the god game was where it was at.

I can't fall in love with Lost Vikings. I've tried, but it combines my arch-nemesis, the platformer, with my secondary arch-nemesis, the simultaneous control of multiple characters. I find the whole thing frustrating and have repeatedly given up after the first few levels.