People love to complain about the amount of sequels that come out every year. I, however, am a big fan of sequels that manage to not drop in quality level and add something to what has been established. Sequels to games are not exactly the same as making one for a book or movie. Advances in development techniques make it so that there is always something new cropping up that could be used to bolster an established intellectual property. I think sequels should be thought of more like when an artist creates a series of paintings. Often they do this to hone their craft and improve their art to perfection.
In that spirit I want to present games I think deserve a sequel. Many of these are older titles that were overlooked or just lost over time. Some are more recent games that will probably never see a sequel, but deserve one. There are also a few big name games in here that for some reason or another have never gotten the follow-up that they deserve.
Sega Genesis, 1994
This Genesis title doesn't get a ton of love from the classic games crowd, but my best friend Jimmy and I played this strategy/action hybrid more than almost any other genesis title. It had a playable, but rather unremarkable single player- but where this game really shined was multi-player. You chose a team of different mixed class warriors. There were Soldiers who were nimble, but had to be in the open to fire their machine gun which could spew bullets, but these bullets weren't very powerful. Chuckers could cause a pretty good area of destruction from afar with their grenades, but died pretty quick if not hidden behind cover. The guys with flamethrowers could kill an enemy very quickly, but they had to be right on top of them to do so. The best character was the guy with the rocket launcher, but he could only fire diagonally and was an utter sissy when it came to taking damage. All the action in this game took place on a single screen which was littered with rocks and debris to hide behind. You would tell your squad where to move by placing an X on the map where you wanted them to move.
General Chaos was a pretty simple game that would never need to see a full $60 retail release if you wanted to make a sequel to it, but a place like PSN or Xbox Live would be a great home for an online version of General Chaos' mayhem.
Strike Series (Desert Strike through Nuclear Strike)
The Strike series would never work as an isometric shooter in today's market, but if someone took a game like Mercenaries and removed all the on foot sections, bolstered the uses of the helicopter and threw on a grappling arm then I could see a modern version of this series working very well. The action was pretty basic- destroy enemy targets, save captured citizens or soldiers – all while making sure you had an ample supply of bullets and missiles.
Simple, fun and open world before the GTA series made it hip.
Comanche was one of the many videogames that I sucked at as a kid, but even though I was not the most ace pilot in the world I had more fun blowing junk up using this blocky PC helicopter simulator than almost any other game I played as a kid. While Desert Strike offered up more accessible and fast moving action, Comanche made you feel like you were really fulfilling a role more than most other games I played as a kid. With the right flight stick you could perform pretty amazing maneuvers, and I think that console remotes of today are more than capable enough to give you the right mix of control and button layout enough is large enough to offer all the strategy fans of this series expect.
While games like Ace Combat have pretty much wiped away most memories of Comanche, I would be there on day one for a modern take on this series.
X-Wing / Tie Fighter
Publisher – Lucasarts
Another flight simulator, the X-Wing games were also some of the most fun games I remember playing as a kid. While Lucasarts has made more Star Wars based flight simulators, most have taken on a much more arcade style than the original X-Wing. This is another series that I think would have a good chance of working better with today's machines and controllers. While Lucasarts was probably wise to give this series a bit of a rest since many people were getting more than a bit fed up with its penchant for throwing escort missions at players, the time seems right to bring this series back. I would even be willing to play an escort mission or two to see this one become a reality.
Xbox 360, PC – 2007
Publisher Microsoft Games Studio
Shadowrun has the best chance of being the least popular game on this list. Many scoffed at the rather passable graphics this game offered and bad word of mouth really kept this game from having a chance at doing well. What people missed was a really strategic, team based FPS that had really cool classes and un-lockable skills and tech that kept every game fresh and fun to play. The Shadowrun community was one of the most fun ones I have encountered with an online FPS, and was free of many of the griefers that can plague Xbox Live.
What is so funny to me is that a large part of why Shadowrun got bad reviews was because there was not much there in single player, and because they simply did not offer up enough levels. That kind of reminds me of the complaints for Left 4 Dead. So, even though Left 4 Dead is a much better game I credit Shadowrun for paving the way for acceptance of its rather measly 4 levels and weak single player… I am probably wrong there, but whatever.
I would love to see a sequel to this that is similar to Left 4 Dead, but used real players instead of directed A.I. I think that if they used the basis of a multi-player shooter and added in more goals than Shadowrun's simple capture the flag rip-off… Well I would buy it at least.
Nintendo 64, Playstation – 1997-2000
Publisher – Capcom
Legend of Zelda mixed with Megaman… even I didn't think it would be fun when I rented it back in the day. What I discovered was a game that has some pretty easy to spot flaws (so-so graphics, annoying characters) that was also a ton of fun and had unmet potential that should have been expanded on beyond Megaman Legends 2.
While Capcom seems content to throw rehash after rehash of Megaman titles for the DS, for some reason they seem unwilling to mine this off-shoot again.