Nostalgia can sometimes sugar coat our memories of classic games of yesteryear, but in most cases there was a reason we have such fond recollections of those titles – they were bloody great. Indeed, in the 15+ years that PlayStation has been on the market, Sony’s consoles have seen a number of superb IPs that have been gathering dust over the past generation or two, and we think it’s about time they saw the light of day again. Sure, sometimes resurrecting old brands doesn’t always work (ToeJam & Earl 3 anyone?) but look at the success stories: Street Fighter IV, for example, is perhaps one of the best reinventions of a classic franchise to date following its lengthy hiatus in the late 90s.
With 2013 shaping up to be a great year for gaming – and rumors of new hardware ever looming – we think it would a great time to exhume some of gaming’s long-forgotten gems for another shot, whether that be on current machines or PlayStation 4/Xbox 720. Sure, we don’t expect more than an announcement this year, but to know they’re coming is enough to satisfy our high expectations.
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Vamp-tastic adventure series Soul Reaver remains one of the most fan-requested series to make a comeback, and from recent rumors a return could well be on the cards. Regardless, Soul Reaver would be a great IP to sink our fangs into after a lengthy hiatus; it’s unique blend of blood-sucking antics, puzzle solving and meaty combat would make for a great revival for the high-definition era of gaming. The game were fairly story-driven too, and weaved a compelling tale that kept us hooked throughout each new entry.
Alongside Onimusha, Capcom’s Dino Crisis is long overdue for resurrection. After the abysmal Dino Crisis 3 – which took the series into space and all but abandoned any connection with previous entries – the franchise died an unceremonious, quiet death. Essentially Resident Evil with dinosaurs, this classic survival horror franchise would be an ideal series to bring back from the dead, and no doubt give the fledging genre the shot in the arm it desperately needs. With the technology available, Capcom would be able to render hordes of scaly critters to combat and come up with some suitably evocative locations teeming with tension. Multiplayer wouldn’t be a bad idea either; perhaps we could see humans with limited resources fending off attacking Raptors or an inexorable T-Rex? Make it happen, Capcom.
Those of you who have grown up on a diet of Call of Duty and Uncharted will probably be scratching their heads, but back in the early days of the PSone, Crash Bandicoot shared the platform-hopping pedestal with Pandemonium. Starring a sultry sorceress named Nikki and her joker partner Fargus, this vibrant platform franchise never quite got the attention it deserved, although that was partly due to some glaring niggles in the design department. However, the concept is brilliant, and it would make a fantastic co-op adventure for current (or next-gen) platforms. We’d love to see the original’s sumptuous 2.5 visuals realized on new consoles, plus the addition of cerebral-based distractions alongside traditional platforming would make for a suitably challenging affair.
Parappa the Rappa
Okay, so music/rhythm games are nothing new in this day and age, but how many feature a 2D, cartoon rapping dog? Exactly. Parappa the Rappa became a cult classic in the PSone days, but slowly dropped out of the public consciousness until his appearance in the brilliant PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. Now that he’s back in the limelight, we couldn’t think of a better time to reignite the franchise once more. PlayStation Move could easily be incorporated here, which wouldn’t be a bad thing considering Sony’s waggle-stick is in dire need of a shot in the arm. Parappa is an addictive, idiosyncratic take on a popular genre, and we reckon a revival would definitely pull in the punters.
Capcom’s vampire-brawler actually has quite a decent chance of making a comeback this year. For one, the company is re-releasing two of the PSone fighters on PSN and XBLA in a couple of months, and series overlord Yoshinori Ono has expressed keen interest in reviving the franchise. Beat-‘em-ups are getting pretty stale these days (sadly, Capcom in particular is notorious for milking pennies out of Street Fighter fans with constant re-releases and DLC), but Darkstalkers is just the ticket to freshen things up.