6 Games that Deserve Sequels (But Won’t Get Them)

6-games-that-deserve-sequels-laser-time

Article by contributor Nicholas Long.

So many games these days rely on becoming major blockbuster franchises, and publishers often have a multi-game deal signed with developers before the first game has even shipped. However, not every game series or developer is so lucky, and some truly inventive or unique games sometimes end up selling or reviewing poorly.  Here are a few games that should have sparked huge franchises but didn’t quite make it into sequel territory.

Folklore

Laser Time, sequel, no sequel

Why it deserves a sequel: Folklore is probably Game Republic’s most interesting original IP. However, being an early PS3 exclusive is likely to doom even the best game to obscurity. Folklore is a unique experience, not simply in terms of its imaginative environments, but also because of its truly inspired gameplay. The usual RPG has the player scrounging its fictional setting for conventional weapons to fend off enemies. See, in Folklore, you use the enemies themselves as weapons, gaining their power by literally pulling their souls out with a yank on the controller via the Sixaxis motion sensor (a control option that was rarely put to good use). The entire game radiates personality in each of its unique visions of the afterlife, and it’s all wrapped in a mystery involving a death in a small town. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that should have garnered much more enthusiasm from the gaming community.

Laser Time, sequel, no sequel
A few good pulls should do it.

Why it won’t get one: The game has a relatively small following, even among the most devoted Playstation fans. Add that to the fact that Game Republic shut its doors in 2011, and it seems unlikely that Sony will want to do anything with this particular property. A real shame considering it’s one of the most interesting, albeit flawed, games of the last generation.

The Legend of Dragoon

Laser Time, sequel, no sequel

Why it deserves a sequel: Even though the project likely started as an attempt to cash in on Square Soft’s success in the genre, The Legend of Dragoon was one of the more interesting JRPGs to come out in the PS1 era without the words “final” or “fantasy” in the title. The combat innovated by means of the Addition and Guard systems. Likewise, the Dragoon transformations added a lot of variety to how battles would play out. Sure, the dialogue suffered from somewhat strange localization and the story was rife with typical JRPG clichés (trite love story, hero with a destiny, etc), but the game was a solid start to a franchise that would never come to be.

Laser Time, sequel, no sequel
You may laugh now, but Dragoon transformations looked great in 1999.

Why it won’t get one: It’s been 14 years since the game’s Japanese release, and despite being recently released for download on the Playstation Network and fan petitions, it seems unlikely that another entry in the series will ever come out. Additionally, protagonist Dart is in fact a cancelled DLC character for Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale. So if the hero of the game can’t even get a cameo in a game meant to highlight beloved Playstation franchises, it seems safe to assume that the series is all but done.

Bulletstorm

Laser Time, sequel, no sequel

Why it deserves a sequel: Bulletstorm’s frantic style and unapologetic over-the-top nature made it a breath of fresh air in a genre dominated by Call of Duty and other realistically grounded, gritty shooters. The characters of Bulletstorm spend most of the game creatively cussing and excessively drinking while trying to get out of a situation that, in any other shooter, would have likely been handled in a much more somber way. Sure, there were moments where the game tried to show some actual character growth, but the focus was always shooting an enemy in the balls while lassoing him into a lethally spiked alien cactus to get a new gun. Bulletstorm is the game that parents and politicians are afraid of, and it’s fantastic.

Laser Time, sequel, no sequel
Skill shots in full force.

Why it won’t get one: Unlike developer People Can Fly’s debut Painkiller, Bulletstorm didn’t have the same franchise potential according to its sales numbers. People Can Fly have since moved on to established franchises like Gears of War in favor of making any more attempts to create their own IPs. Additionally, the founding members of the studio have broken off to form their own company, The Astronauts, so it looks even less likely we’ll see a Bulletstorm sequel in the future.

Vanquish

Laser Time, sequel, no sequel

Why it deserves a sequel: Platinum Games sought out to reinvigorate the cover shooter with Vanquish the way that they had previously reinvigorated the hack-and-slash genre with Bayonetta. Vanquish succeeded at shaking up the slow and sluggish pace of most third-person cover shooters by literally attaching rockets to your character’s legs, allowing you to jet from one cover position to another. Not only that, but you could actually shoot at enemies while sliding around battlefields on your knees. With all the standard conventions of both the cover shooter and the hack-and-slash genre alongside a smart health system that was tied to other key abilities like bullet time, the game was one of the best shooters of this generation.

Laser Time, sequel, no sequel
Try not to shout, “Hell yeah!” while sliding on your knees to get a headshot.

Why it won’t get one: Although the game received a healthy dose of praise from critics, it didn’t quite break a million copies sold. Additionally, Vanquish was the last title in Sega’s limited four game deal with the developer. Add to this the fact that the studio’s best game (the aforementioned Bayonetta) needed a Nintendo exclusivity deal just to get its sequel, and it’s easy to see why gamers will be waiting for a long time for Vanquish 2.

Comix Zone

Laser Time, sequel, no sequel

Why it deserves a sequel: Comix Zone is a great example of style over substance. The game is a fairly standard brawler with various enemy types and power ups. The latter-day Genesis title features a protagonist who may be the most stereotypical 90s character of all time: Sketch Turner. Comic book artist and part-time rock musician, Turner is pulled away from his undeniably amazing life into his own comic book by one of the villains he created. The thing that makes Comix Zone so interesting is its presentation. The game is literally like playing through a comic book. When your character is finished with a wave of enemies or a puzzle, you jump through the panels of the comic. You can even make paper airplanes from the environment in a last-ditch effort to fend off foes. Comix Zone had a fair share of awesome bosses as well, making this game a Sega classic that fans of the 16-bit era could really get into.

Laser Time, sequel, no sequel
Enemies would be drawn to you. Get it? Because like “drawn” like a comic…

Why it won’t get one: The game is 18 years old now, so gamers who didn’t grow up with a Genesis in their home wouldn’t even recognize the name. Also, Sega has tried and failed to reboot a few of its older franchises, so they probably won’t attempt to drag any more titles back from the dead. Still, there may be someone interested enough in Sega’s history to pull this one out of the catacombs.

Sonic Generations

Laser Time, sequel, no sequel

Why it deserves a sequel: Sonic Generations is a lifelong Sonic fan’s dream come true. Clever references and a great sense of humor made the game feel like it was made by people who truly loved the brand and paid attention to the biggest criticisms of the series. Indeed, one of these criticisms is addressed in the very first cut scene, where all of the friends the blue blur has acquired over the last 22 years are removed from the equation. This begins a fantastic journey through Sonic history with 2D and 3D versions of levels from every major installment in the franchise with remixed music of the original stage tracks. There is so much for longtime fans and newcomers to enjoy that it’s impossible not to want more of it.

Laser Time, sequel, no sequel
I’ll be playing this again if anyone needs me.

Why it won’t get one: While there’s still hope that the hedgehog’s best outing in a decade will get a sequel, Sega has publicly stated that they have no plans for one. This reinforces the growing idea that Sega just doesn’t know what to do with Sonic. He’s profitable and an important piece of gaming history, but they’ve been floundering since Sonic Adventure to find out how to make a 3D Sonic that consistently works. Sonic is faring no better in 2D with the disappointing Sonic 4. Sega has been throwing everything at the wall with their mascot, and even though the recent Sonic Lost World has been met with praise, Sega seems to want to ignore the one game that stuck.

Nick likes to write about video games. You can see more of his stuff here, and you can follow him on Twitter here

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18 thoughts on “6 Games that Deserve Sequels (But Won’t Get Them)

  1. Folklore was cool, but I’m not sure how different you could really make a sequel. Acquiring lots of different weapons that you can map to all your buttons seems like something that should be done again, though, even if it isn’t the same universe.

  2. Sweet article, and I fully agree with both BulletStorm and Vanquish deserving sequels. Both games spiced up the gameplay of their respective genres, and to me, were far more fun to play than your traditional shooters. It’s a real shame that neither got the love they truly deserved.

  3. Knowing there won’t be another Bulletstorm weighs heavily on my heart. Having a really good shitty future is a rare thing, and Bulletstorm’s was hella shitty. it also had a good sense of humor about itself. I guess Borderlands kind of feels that niche but the writing in Borderlands isn’t quite as good.

    Although I don’t think I agree with Generations. Not that it’s a bad game, but that it’ll get a sequel. I mean Generations was basically just building off of Colors, which was building off of Unleashed. Lost World took a different turn but it and the Sonic Boom games are more like spin offs than continuations of the series. The kingdom hearts dlc was a weird tie in though: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2mKo5KAkps

  4. God damn it I love Platinum. Vanquish needs a series. Fuck a sequel, series please. K thanks. It reminds me of a 3rd person shooter revamped Megaman Legends. I will take more of that. Yessir. More weapons like Megaman styled weapons would be cute too. Hell there are already quite a few.

  5. I would settle for a HD Remaster of Comix Zone. I’d buy that shit in a heartbeat. Dont even need a sequel. You’d have to put in a “New-Non-Make-You-Lose-So-Fast-Because-Even-Punching-Enemies-Chips-Away-At-Your-Life” mode in.

    I think I would have to agree with the rest of this article though. Except Sonic. Let that go. Take it out back. Put it out to pasture.

  6. Bulletstorm, talk about an underrated game. It’s unfortunate it didn’t get the attention it deserved. It offered a fresh take on the FPS genre with its fantastic gunplay and had a pretty decent story to go along with it.

    I would love to see a sequel, I wonder if Phil Spencer feels the same way…

  7. I was considering saying that Vanquish shouldn’t get a sequel because of the fact that it was a closed narrative, but then I remembered exactly how pants-wettingly amazing every second of that game was and how little anyone other than myself cared for the story. So instead, I’m going to tell you that you’re stupid for including Generations. Sonic has had way too many ill-fated chances at becoming relevant again to risk the chance of seeing another young girl make out with the blue shithead or having to play another hours long stretchy armed werehog segment. Otherwise, fine article. Congratulations on being the only human alive to mention Folklore in 2014.

  8. Agree on Bulletstorm and Vanquish, and I’ll ad:

    Crimson Skies – Easily a top five game for the original Xbox. I don’t know anyone who played it that didn’t love it. The game was an absolute blast to play.

    Mutant League Football – Why, oh, why hasn’t this game been updated? Come on EA! Just reskin the NFL Blitz engine you now own and call it Mutant League Football!

    1. Yeah! Yeah EA!! Make that shit!! (they own that right? I assumed) XFL be damned. This is the real XFL. With Bones mother fuckin’ Justice.

  9. Judging by the other comments on this article, I’m not original in saying this, but you are so fucking right about Bulletstorm and Vanquish, those games were so fucking fun and original and different, but no one ever talks about them anymore. I wish the crazy things that Vanquish did with movement and the brilliant point-based, creativity rewarding gameplay of Bulletstorm could have been more influential on the modern gaming landscape, but neither game was able to penetrate the zeitgeist enough, and that’s a real shame.

  10. I second Comix Zone. The soundtrack and art of the game could easily pass as a modern indie game these days:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGrkN6NaN5w

    Too bad it was hard as balls.

    I would also add Dark Messiah of Might and Magic. It was made by Arkane Studios (Arx Fatalis and Dishonored). It had the best first person melee combat I ever had the pleasure of playing with. It also had a buggy release, which was the focus of criticism upon the game’s release, which is funny because the game was completely fixed sometime later with patches and it ran much smoothly. I can’t say the same for say, a game as well received as Skyrim, which uses an horrible engine and, to this day, still has problems (and the combat system is nowhere near as fun). Funny enough, Zenimax later bought out Arkane Studios…

    Maui Mallard is also a good candidate, as that game really did have a sequel planned.

    I guess I should write my own thing then…

  11. Not to surprised to see it isn’t on here, but I think Golden Sun should really get another game. I know these games mostly “1 and done”‘s and Golden Sun has had 3 game; I still really think Golden Sun is a great series. It’s a really really simple RPG, with lots of character and great art/setting. It plays all of it’s simplicities to their strengths and each 3 have been great games.

    I am practically foaming at the mouth for a 4th one, and if Nintendo ever announced one for the Wii U or New 3DS, I’d be pennyless in seconds to buy either console for it.

  12. Great article and agree especially with Bulletstorm and Vanquish. They were two amazing shooters of the past generation.

    I would also like to add a new Jet Set Radio game. Just the possibility of a open-world JSR on the XboxOne/PS4 would make me a very happen person. I guess that is why I’m looking forward to Sunset Overdrive.

  13. platinum always sell far less than they deserve, which is a shame because they always make the most creative and fun games around. i really hope they don’t go the way of clover.

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