5 Video Game Franchises We Need Reviving

So during this lockdown, I’ve been watching some youtube playthroughs of video games (without commentary, of course) for, I dunno, I can’t even say “reasons” because there isn’t any, but I’ve been doing it anyway. There’s been the good, the bad, and the just kind of terrifying,

But there’s also been quite a bit of disappointment. Disappointment mainly at all these franchises that don’t really exist anymore, at least not to the same popularity. It confuses me as to why Bomberman isn’t still a big deal as you’d think online multiplayer would be perfect for that. Maybe the issue for that is the games are too long to be just quick “ok onto the next one” but too short to feel too much accomplishment, I dunno (I don’t play multiplayer online due to sucking at games and dying repeatedly isn’t a fun experience for me). So with that in mind, here’s five franchises I wish still had games.

F-Zero

Last Game: F-Zero Climax (2004)

That’s insane to think about. There are people who can vote who won’t remember one of these games coming out. To the point that I might have to explain it to people: racing games in really fast spaceships. It’s weird as these games have usually been used to showcase incredibly innovative ideas. From using Mode-7 Scrolling to simulate 3D environments on the SNES, to the X Cup which I still consider one of the greatest features in racing games. What it did was randomly created a track every time you played, I don’t mean “it picked a track for you”, I mean it created a new one. This was on the N64 so the fact it’s not still being used by other games now is weird.

How To Bring It Back

First off, keep the X-Cup, but allow us to save courses we like. As great a feature as it was, it could be frustrating to play an exhilarating course and then know it will never happen again (I once had a course with such a bad opening turn that almost every other racer fell off it). Similar to that, be able to create courses. This was able to be done on the N64 one, albeit only on the 64DD version. They could probably get away with doing a slightly lower-priced game with minimal tracks but the ability to share tracks online.

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Pilotwings

Last Game: Pilotwings Resort (2011)

I feel there should be an asterisk next to that as that wasn’t really a Pilotwings game, it was a flight simulation. Despite the aim of the game kind of being “get a pilots license” the game itself is so much more than that, taking in sky-diving, jet packs etc. Not really missions per se, more series of minigames based around flight.

How To Bring It Back

More minigames. Instead of just “fly through these rings and shoot this” add different flight styles. So you have old planes where the idea is just straight flight through rings with take-off and landing. But you also have planes like the Red Arrows where you have to fly in formation, and also some in which you have to do tricks. Add this attitude to the skydiving ones too; some are based on you landing in a certain place, some will be on flips before opening the parachute, and some will be staying in a formation with people. You could also potentially add more sports. This is where the main money could be made; DLC sports. So you add more sports post-release to keep the game in peoples minds. I’m not opposed to DLC on principle, I feel if it truly adds to the game and if it’s not stuff that should have been added originally then it’s fine. I feel if you put enough attention into this then the DLC for this could work.

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Paperboy

Last Game: Paperboy Re-Release (Xbox 360, 2007)

Well, I say 2007, that was a re-release with pretty much the same graphics etc as the original, so not sure that counts. I have fond memories of this game but it did not transition to 3D well. I think that’s because it’s a game where you have to aim sideways. In an isometric environment, this is fine because the high angles give you a good view of either side of the main character. But in a 3D environment, you either can’t see to the side of you that well, (so you can’t aim) or you can’t see in front of you, so you can’t drive.

How To Bring It Back

One way is to keep it 3D so it still fits into the modern age, but have it co-op multiplayer (either online or split-screen if on the same console). So one person does the bike controls and one person does the aiming. This is the kind of thing that would require intense teamwork to get through, and it will be either fun or a nightmare, but it will be interesting none-the-less. Another way is to forget the “aiming and shooting papers” part and make it more like Crazy Taxi where you just have to get to a certain spot as quickly as possible. Although then that wouldn’t so much be “Paperboy” as “Uber-eats Delivery” (actually that could genuinely work). Alternatively, keep it isometric and make the game so good that people don’t bitch about the graphics. If Mario can still do 2D platformers you can still do a game like this.

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Yeah it really didn’t translate well to 3D, this is uglier than my face

Rampage

Last Game: Rampage Total Destruction (2006)

Okay, there was a game released after this, but it was only in arcades so that doesn’t count. It’s weird as they had a film based on this out a few years ago (hence the arcade game) so you’d figure a console release would be a good idea. In this game, you essentially just destroy buildings as a giant monster.

How To Bring It Back

You destroy buildings as a giant monster, what else needs to be said? This is actually quite tricky though as the gameplay could be quite repetitive after a while. I suppose the best way to do it would be different monsters control differently, which would make it more puzzle-based. So you could have some that can’t jump, some that can range-attack etc. Alternatively, and this is going to be much less likely to happen but here goes:

License it to Warner Brothers so you can get King Kong and Godzilla. Yes it would go against the spirit of the films to have Godzilla as a destructor, but as if video game adaptations ever let a small thing like that bother them.

Potentially you could also have an online mode similar to Friday The 13th, where one person plays as the monster destroying everything, and the others play as humans trying to survive the rampage.

Personally, I wouldn’t need all that though, I would be perfectly happy just walking around destroying towns and cities for a while, but maybe that’s just me.

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Destruction Derby

Last Game: Destruction Derby Arenas (2004)

So, we end with the game that inspired this whole blog. A game where you not only race but also have to destroy the other cars as you do so. It had 4 games back in the day and is one of the only games which made me regret choosing Nintendo over Playstation (not in some “ideological warfare” way, in an “I’m 10 so my opportunities for having enough money to buy all the consoles is limited” way). More than any other game, this just seems fun.

How To Bring It Back

Focus on The Bowl arena, make it larger and use it as an online arena so you have a sort-of vehicle-based Fortnite, with the ability to use your winnings to upgrade your vehicle. Make that part free but have other game modes available for a price. When it comes to the game modes the courses available are important. I feel standard race tracks for this take away from its unique identity. You can either have the courses on streets so it seems like illegal racing (so no laps, just “Get to the endpoint”) or you can have it on dirt courses and give it a kind of rustic feel. If you do that you could have a standard race, and then a demolition derby at the end. Again, your winnings giving you the ability to upgrade your vehicle.

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Just look at that chaos, isn’t it wonderful

So, that’s the list, what ones did I miss out? Off the top of my head: Shinobi, Streets Of Rage come to mind but are there any other really obvious ones that I’m missing?