Franchise Revival

adam_headOver the last decade or so the entertainment industry has been keen on looking backwards for the next big idea. Sequels have always been a safe bet to get the audience’s attention and consumer dollars. This has been true both for movies as well as video games. As gamers, we are very familiar with looking forward to an onslaught of sequels, especially with the upcoming holiday season. One look at the big holiday releases this year and you’ll see a lot of titles followed by numbers or subtitles (Fallout 4, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, etc…).

Above and beyond the traditional sequel formula however, lately the next evolution of rehashing an idea has been the “reboot“. Where instead of staying on the same path but revisiting the franchise with new stories, characters or features, the IP itself resets and starts over with a new twist.  We have seen this work with popular franchises lately such as Tomb Raider and Devil May Cry.

But newest to this trend of giving the audience something new, yet familiar is the franchise revival. This seems to be the next big thing in the medium of film and television. The formula of returning to a dormant franchise with the same characters and story and picking up “years from where we last saw them” is proving to be a very successful trend in entertainment. Star Wars: The Force Awakens, X-Files, and (my favorite of the bunch) Ash vs. Evil Dead have all recently banked on our nostalgia and love of classic stories and our desires to see them dusted off and back in action.

This trend of revival is finally beginning to see representation in the medium of video games with the upcoming Shenmue 3, and it got me thinking about what games and worlds from yesterday I would most like to return to. The following is my short list of revivals I would most like to see.


Klonoa – Klonoa: Door to Phantomile was such an incredible game with fantastic characters, worlds, story, gameplay and music that it seemed a no-brainer that this would be a franchise-building hit. Except it wasn’t. Aside from a pretty middle-of-the-road sequel on PS2 and a handful of forgettable Nintendo handheld titles, the world of Klonoa has never seen a follow-up that does the original justice.

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The ending of the original title (spoilers follow) saw our hero literally ripped from the world you spent the entire game saving and cast into a blackhole with no indication of what the future might hold for any of these characters. In my perfect revival, we would see Klonoa mysteriously return to Phantomile some 20 years later, reunite with Huepow (maybe now the King!) and set off on another adventure to save the world. Classic stuff, right?


Mega Man Legends – While this is kind of a popular and obvious answer, the Mega Man Legends series from the original Playstation is just begging to have it’s story continued. the first two games did such a great job of establishing a colorful cast of characters, a huge world filled with adventure and a surprisingly deep narrative that could support many entries to come.

Capcom began production on a 3rd entry a while back, but ultimately the sequel was scrapped. The fans are still hoping that a sequel will happen, and although the odds are slim, a continuation would almost certainly be succesful.


Crazy Taxi – Even though this is not a storied franchise it is a series that I think needs a comeback. Were severely lacking in the “arcade” racing genre these days and Crazy Taxi is as arcade as it gets. Having not seen a major installment in two console generations now and with SEGA needing a hit like never before, Crazy Taxi seems primed to come back with HD visuals, blazing frame rates and maybe even some new modes.

Imagine flying through the Bay Area in your convertible cab competing with other online cabbies for the same fares. Racing to get to a customer hailing for a cab before other online drivers get there first. Maybe side-swiping your opponent and trading paint to get the larger fare. This could be a fresh and exciting competitive online multiplayer experience.

You’re welcome, SEGA.


 

Do you have a series that you’d like to see come back from dead? Is there a story left untold or characters you’d like to return to? Let us know in the comments section below and share with us your thoughts!


 

elliefade

This week’s speed painting is Ellie from The Last of Us. Check out past speed paintings in our gallery and leave suggestions for our next speed painting in the comment section below.

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