Fanatical Five | Top 5 Franchises We Want to See Next-Gen Sequels Of

As I was cleaning out my basement (no it is not fun, but you never know what kind of gems you’ll find), I came across a bunch of old Playstation, Xbox, and PC games that I must have stashed away to make room for newer games. Looking at their covers, I got a strong feeling of nostalgia. However, games that I once cherished as a child have almost been forgotten in the mix of modern gaming.

So in light of remembering some, what I deem classics, I am going to go over five games that I feel deserve sequels, or in some cases, another sequel.

 The Dark Cloud Series

DarkCloud2

Originally released in May of 2001, Dark Cloud pretty much consumed all of my PlayStation 2 free time that was not spent on Final Fantasy X. This action RPG had so many unique features that are, mind-bogglingly, not present in any game that I know of. More than a traditional RPG, Dark Cloud saw players collect “Atla,” which allowed them to rebuild the world outside of the procedurally generated dungeons. Once collected from dungeons, the Atla would transform into trees, houses, ponds, and villagers, all of which were arrange-able pieces of the landscape. After certain aspects of the world were rebuilt by the player, you could than interact with the villagers and learn about special quests to obtain powerful items. Although rebuilding and establishing a town or village to one hundred percent wasn’t required, it was certainly well worth the effort.

The story of Dark Cloud is told in fairy tale format, with the plot developing from the pages of a book found in a ruin. The gist of the story surrounds a Dark Genie being awoken by an evil military group that plans on taking over the surrounding continents. This is where the main character, Toan, comes into the mix and is given the task to stop the Dark Genie and also the military force. Along the way, and in traditional RPG fashion, players recruit other characters to the party, who they may control instead of Toan. Although the story sounds pretty run of the mill, the presentation, gameplay and also the ending are all fabulous and still worth the time to play Dark Cloud.

Level-5, who also developed the sequel Dark Cloud 2 and 2013’s Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, hasn’t ruled out the possibility of a third entry in the series. Although it never came to fruition, the latest rumors were that the game was going to be shown at E3 2014.

 The Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Series

Knights of the Old Republic
Malak is missing his jaw and Revan wears a mask to remind him of the Mandolorian genocide… you could say they are badasses

The sole reason I bought the original Xbox (yes it sounds crazy since everyone else bought one for HALO: Combat Evolved), KOTOR was the finest example of what the Star Wars franchise could become in video game format. The fact that the only installment after the original game and KOTOR II: The Sith Lords, is the MMO The Old Republic still baffles my mind. In fact, if the only connection you have with the series is the MMO The Old Republic, do your self a favor and go back and play the first two games, preferably back-to-back.

The game takes place approximately 3,000 years before the rise of the Galactic Empire (aka Ep. IV A New Hope). Fallen Jedi, Darth Malak, a Sith Lord who was once Darth Revan’s apprentice, has unleashed his army against the Republic. The game opens with players choosing what their characters look like, and also what class they ultimately become. After surviving an attack on a Republic ship, and having no memory of how you ended up there, you take on the herculean task of uncovering your history all the while taking down Malak’s forces.

Similar to BioWare’s more recent space opera, Mass Effect, the game offered a light and dark option that controlled whether characters become Jedi or Dark Jedi. Depending on your actions and responses in conversations, your meter would lean towards one way or the other. Most of your actions would determine what characters you could recruit and how you were viewed by your party.

Although the gameplay is fairly boring, click on an enemy and your character attacks until you or the enemy is defeated; the true star of the game is the story. With a twist ending that was hard to foresee and player choices that actually affected the outcome of the game, KOTOR was one of the best games on the original Xbox.

KOTOR II: The Sith Lords is also well worth a visit if you are looking for a plot emphasized game.

Too Human

Too Human
I’d be angry too if they recalled my game and destroyed it!

Unless you have played Too Human, you probably only know about this game for its ridiculously long development cycle, Silicon Knights’ former president Denis Dyack’s attack on gamers, and the outrageous lawsuit that Silicon Knights waged against Epic Games. Oh and forgive me for not mentioning the fact that this game was banished to the underworld when a federal judge deemed it necessary for Silicon Knights to retract all copies of the game and than destroy them. The game and everything associated with it was even wiped from Xbox Live.

Okay, so if this game has so many things working against it, why is it that I incorporated it onto this list? Well, it is pretty simple. I had one hell of a time playing it. The story was good enough to warrant me to keep playing, but it was the combat system that I really enjoyed. All of your characters attacks were controlled via analog sticks. This allowed for some seamless and fluid animations when you were facing off against waves of enemies. Also, I am a sucker for loot based games and Too Human boasted a bunch of equipment to grab, à la Diablo.

In addition to undertaking the game in single player, a friend of yours could jump into your game and the two of you could cooperatively tackle the story from the beginning. If you thought defeating the minions of Loki was fun in single player, it was a lot better to do so with a friend.

Unfortunately, it seems that Too Human has the slimmest chance of all the games being listed to get a sequel.

Jade Empire

Jade Empire screenshot

I was pretty conflicted on placing two Bioware related titles on the list, however, I think most people will agree that Jade Empire definitely deserves a place on any list regarding sequels. Honestly, I could have replaced KOTOR and Jade Empire with Neverwinter Nights and Baldur’s Gate  and I would still have loved my list. The fact that Bioware has such a deep pedigree with RPGs never ceases to amaze me.

When Jade Empire was first released, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. I knew that I loved martial arts movies, Chinese mythology and Bioware’s previous RPGs, so I felt pretty confident that this game would be good. But I wasn’t exactly prepared for how good it would be.

With heaps of martial arts movie references, Jade Empire is bound to please the fighting fan in all of us. There are deadly groups of assassins, rival schools, hidden identities, and comical side characters. There is even a brawl in a teahouse, where tables and meat carts can be smashed and used as weapons.

The amazing part of Jade Empire was the level of detail that Bioware placed into it. If you are an RPG fan or even an action-oriented player looking for a fun combat system to mess around with, Jade Empire should definitely be in your backlog.

Warcraft RTS

WoWScrnShot_010213_205208

First off, let me say that I understand that Activision Blizzard is dedicated to World of Warcraft, but with player numbers in a decline, it may not be out of the realm of possibility to see a Warcraft RTS game within the next couple of years. Plus, within the past few years Blizzard has been making sequels to long dormant series’ Diablo and Starcraft, so it may just be a matter of time before we see Warcraft in RTS format.

The last game in the main series to be focused around real time strategy was Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and boy was it awesome. Playing as six different races, including those found in the expansion pack, you had more than enough options to sink dozens of hours into the campaign or the highly addictive custom game mode. Although the campaign is fun in its own right, the custom games were the highlight of Warcraft III. Being a highly addictive genre, many RTS games make you want to play another couple of minutes. Warcraft also fits in this mold. There were times were I would sit in front of the computer for a few hours and build well developed strong holds only to watch them crumble in front of me. Whether you are able to manage your units effectively or not, doesn’t really determine how much fun you will have here. Since the game comes with a bunch of customizable features, everyone will find something to enjoy.

Whether a direct sequel that continues the story found in Reign of Chaos and The Frozen Throne, or a new storyline that takes place elsewhere, I am more than willing to sink hours into this gem.

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There are tons of games that have been omitted from the list.  Not because I didn’t think they were good enough to place here, but rather that I tried to pick the Top Five games that I would love to see make a comeback in some form. Perhaps in the future if one of these titles gets a proper sequel, we will do another list with 5 more games. Also, if you think I goofed and missed an opportunity to place one of your favorite games on the list, let me know in the comments below.

Notable Omissions:

Legend of the Dragoon: If this were a top ten list, it would have definitely been on there. I had even wrote the reasons why it should make the cut but it missed by the slimmest of margins.

Half Life: I’m sure many people are clamoring to get their hands on the third iteration of the franchise, but I honestly think they are a bit overrated.  I was only placing it on the list so that fans could finally see another installment.

Alan Wake: For the most part, I loved this game. I am a fan of horror, when it is done well, and Alan Wake was nothing short of brilliant.

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