The big thing these days is to reboot or update classic brands. Video games are really one of the best industries for that. We have seen many franchises reinvent and reboot themselves over the years. Some franchises have been able to do so successfully. However, there are still some franchises that are dormant or in hibernation. This week, I want to look at franchises in need of new-gen video game updates.
HONORABLE MENTION: MDK
As a third-person shooter, MDK was ahead of its time. I loved the world, characters and sense of humor these games brought to the table. I would like nothing more than to see a new-gen update of this franchise to explore the further adventures of Kurt Hectic, Max the six-legged dog and Dr. Fluke Hawkins.
The classic Nintendo versions of Contra and Contra III on the Super Nintendo were some of my favorite classic games. In the past several years we have seen some updates of the franchise, such as Contra Evolution and the downloadable title Hard Corps: Uprising. But I would like to see a major developer give this franchise a fresh coat of paint. Konami would not have to reinvent the wheel with a reboot of the franchise, but I would like to see something that could truly bring the Contra franchise into the 21st century with new graphics, visuals and perhaps an evolution of the classic gameplay. Bring back Bill Rizer and Lance Bean and make something happen, Konami.
4. Earthworm Jim
In the 1990s I was all about the Earthworm Jim games and the short-lived, but awesome, animated TV series. The Earthworm Jim games had an odd premise and hero, but they were incredibly fun and imaginative experiences. I would like to see a proper update of the Earthworm Jim franchise, hopefully developed by Double Helix and creator Doug TenNapel. I will even accept HD updates of Earthworm Jim 1 and 2, but just make it happen!
3. Fire Pro Wrestling
Fire Pro Wrestling Returns is probably one if, if not my favorite, pro wrestling video game. What the game lacked with flashy graphics it made up for in gameplay and the sheer amount of customization options. I want to see another update to this franchise available for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Maximo was a great game and one of the highlights of my days with the PlayStation 2. It was basically the heir-apparent to the Ghosts ‘n Goblins. Unfortunately, the franchise never got another follow-up after Maximo vs. Army of Zin. These games were a fun evolution of hack and slash/platform games, with a great art style. The further adventures of Maximo are overdue for an update, so Maximo will hopefully find Sophia.
1. Legacy of Kain/Soul Reaver
This is another franchise that has been long dormant since 2003. Fans have been avidly awaiting some sort of continuation of the franchise for many years, but the stars have been unable to allign. Series director Amy Hennig moved on, and now she is at Visceral Games. I do not know if this is even possible, but I want to see a true continuation of the saga of Raziel and Kain. And I am not counting Nosgoth.