There are a lot of games that really overdo it when it comes to sequels. Studios and publishers hit onto a winning formula and then flog it to death year on year (I’m looking at you Assassin’s Creed!) until people are sick of it. Then there are those other games, the ones that were great fun but may have been a little too niche to be a massive commercial success. The games that had great ideas and stories but never garnered enough attention to warrant a follow up. So much wasted potential…
Rules! These are games that were the only one in their series at the time of writing (not including spin offs) and I have to have played them. Games that are rumoured to have sequels on the way do not have sequels and so can be included. Finally, these are my opinions only, if I didn’t include one that you would, either I didn’t play it or I don’t agree. On with the games!
Skies of Arcadia
Skies of Arcadia from Sega came out on the Dreamcast in 2000 (There was a rerelease on Gamecube in 2002 as well). This was an era full of fantasy based JRPGs and I think a lot of people saw this one as just another one trying to get in on the Final Fantasy crowd. But this was different. Skies of Arcadia was a sky pirate adventure RPG with a huge world to explore. Whilst it did have the usual JRPG features such as exploring ancient temples and those damned random battles, it did plenty different. You could go pretty much anywhere fairly early on once you get access to your pirate ship. Some areas were locked off for story purposes but you had a lot of scope pretty much from the get go.
Also, ship vs. ship battles! Whilst the mechanics weren’t hugely different to a normal battle, a 1 v 1 fight between ships was a great sight. The special abilities look really good from harpooning enemy vessels to charging up a laser cannon powered by moonstones. The world was really engaging with plenty to find. In fact, a side quest has you exploring the world and making discoveries before your rival can over the course of the whole game. The story is fairly standard JRPG save-the-world fare, but the world was The world is really why I feel this deserves a sequel. The story was wrapped up nicely by the end but there was a really interesting universe to explore. It could follow a new group of adventurers, or a different region of the world. It’s a shame there won’t be a chance to explore more of this world.
My experience of Platinum Games has been nothing but good. Bayonetta, Anarchy Reigns, Transformers: Devastation…and Vanquish. Platinum are really better known for their melee action games in a similar vein to Devil May Cry & co., but this was a shooter more akin to Gears of War. Gears of War on amphetamines. This is a third person cover based shooter turned up to 11. Rocket packs let you knee slide around at enormous speeds before dropping into slow mo to blow up a bunch of robots who are distracted by a cigarette that you flicked ahead of you half a second earlier. Because you’re such a bad ass.
Major enemies are HUGE in scale, firing away with thousands of missiles and physical attacks at once. They’re like hyper speed Dark Souls bosses. The plot is pretty uninteresting in my opinion, being just standard space marine nonsense. But that’s not why you play this, it’s blisteringly fast paced fun that it knows exactly how insane it is. Too many cover based shooters these days are about big burly soldiers in two metric tons of armour, slowly battling through enemies. I’d love to see more games like Vanquish and would dearly love to see a sequel.
I’m a massive fan of From Software’s Souls series. I’m also a fan of Lovecraftian horror. Put these two things together and you get Bloodborne, a game that is nearer to perfect as pretty much any game I’ve played. The story, whilst obscure, is fascinating once you delve into it, the combat is intense yet perfectly tuned to test you throughout the whole game, and the art design is wonderful, packed full of varied environments and grotesque enemies.
Just looking through my screenshots of my playthrough made me want to start again to experience its adventure once more. I really can’t overstate how much I enjoyed this game, from it’s top notch graphics and sound to it’s tough as nails boss encounters. I don’t know how a sequel would work in terms of plot, but another adventure in its world is something I’d deeply enjoy.
This. This is the big one for me. In spite of its spin off (American Nightmare) there is still a huge amount of story here that’s still crying out to be explored. Alan and his wife take a trip to Bright Falls (which might as well be called Twin Peaks) which leads to Alan’s wife seemingly being kidnapped. From here, it seems that what Alan writes comes to pass, leading to some very interesting (and well foreshadowed) set pieces. This game is absolutely dripping with atmosphere thanks to great visual and sound design.
The gameplay involves the use of light to protect yourself (as well as attack) the darkness. It’s very intense for a lot of the game (especially on Nightmare difficulty), but the combat does become a little samey towards the end. There’s also some slightly dodgy platforming from time to time. I’m still eager for a sequel to this in spite of these flaws, mostly due to the strength of the story.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
A little earlier, I mentioned Platinum Games and how I’ve not really had a bad experience with their games and I neglected to mention this utter gem. Now within the rules I feel I can include this one as even though it’s part of the Metal Gear universe, it is entirely it’s own game. This is such a major departure from Metal Gear Solid. You play as Raiden, a cyborg ninja with a cyborg dog buddy fighting robots with a samurai sword. You can use slow motion at various points to carefully aim where to swing your sword to slice enemies into pieces, a skill that’s used very effectively during boss fights. The story is totally bonkers, because this is involved in Metal Gear, so I had no idea what was going on. The gameplay though, is a perfect blend of defending, parrying, and attacking at the right time. It can be rather challenging at times, but it never feels unfair.
The soundtrack fits the game perfectly, lots of crazy guitars and angry vocals. I once heard it described as music that, when combined with the gameplay, makes you feel like to could suplex a planet. I’m not sure if that’s high praise or not, but it’s pretty damn accurate. This is another game that feels like it was more interested in being a really polished, fun experience rather than something designed to grab as many sales as possible. That coupled with Konami being Konami (and Konami is the worst) means we’re unlikely to ever see a sequel to this, which is a damn shame to my mind.
Some games that I wanted to include but couldn’t for various reasons. Call of C’thulhu (I’m not sure how well it’d work in a modern context), Power Stone 2 (already a sequel, I know!) and FTL (if only to increase the number of different types of encounter) could all have interesting or downright fun follow ups!
What do you think? Did I miss one that you’d love to see a follow up to? Do you agree? Let me know!