Four Video Game Franchises Due For A Comeback

One of the truths that we’re going to have to accept about movies and video games is that companies are going to continue to mine our collective childhoods for the next big thing. While everything doesn’t need to be resurrected or be given a gritty reboot- Bomberman: Act Zero, I’m looking directly the %$#& at you- there is a lot to be said off of riding that wave of nostalgia. I’ve come up with three four games that I’d like to see come back in some capacity, and included some ideas on how to bring it to the current generation. Let’s begin!

Strider
Noteworthy Addition: RPG Elements/3D World

A Strider reboot should take a lesson from the likes of God of War, Devil May Cry and Ninja Gaiden (but only if you ignore NG3). Give us some interesting locales mixed in with some RPG elements and a unique assortment of enemies to creatively dispatch, and we’re good to go. And really, who wouldn’t want to fight a massive mechanical dragon high above a city as a futuristic ninja in all of its 3D glory? Strider on the NES touched on some the possibility with incorporating RPG elements, and I actually wouldn’t be too upset if they took some storyline cues from that one, inspired by the manga. If Capcom could come up with a happy balance between the two cannons, I’d be a happy camper.

A Winner Is You

Pro Wrestling
Noteworthy Addition: Expanded Roster/Create-A-Character

Pro Wrestling on the NES was hard. But it was also fun, and had some pretty memorable characters. I can’t see anyone land an enziguri in wrestling today without immediately thinking of Fighter Hayabusa’s Back-Brain Kick. To make it stand out against the current reigning WWE franchise, I’d go for a more colorful and light-hearted approach ala Punch-Out. Expand the roster, add a story mode, create-a-character and try not to take itself too seriously, and I can see a new generation of gamers wanting to be just like Star Man.

Whoever made these custom figures, by the way, is now my hero.

River City Ransom
Noteworthy Addition: 4-Player CoOp/More Character Customization

I think this falls somewhere in the Idea Spectrum neatly between Obviously Awesome and License to Print Money. The original RCR is one of the most beloved games of the 8-bit era with its quirky sense of humor (“BARF!”), impressive length for a side-scroller and addictiveness not unlike crack. We were graced with a spiritual successor with the recent Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and to call the reception positive would be a rather gross understatement. Stick to the old-school side-scrolling vibe of the original, but offer up an option to design the look of your character and perhaps some more leeway in customizing his (or her!) moveset. Now, imagine tearing it up with three of your friends with their own unique characters, and you’ll see why my inner geek is now touching himself in a rather impure manner.

Def Jam Vendetta: Fight For New York
Noteworthy Addition: Ignoring the crap-fest that was Icon

I had actually completed this list and was ready to publish, but after a nostalgic conversation with one of my coworkers I knew that I had to add this one. “But wait!” you say. “Didn’t they make a sequel to this one already?” Why yes they did actually, and it was a sequel that ignored just about everything that made the series awesome. I believe Doc (Redman) best summarizes my feelings about Def Jam: Icon at about the 0:09 second mark.

There really isn’t a whole lot I would change here- just update the graphics for the current generation, give us a few more fighting styles, and I think we’d be good to go. Even if they wanted to move away from the whole Def Jam thing, that game engine was damn near perfect for a new gritty street-brawler if they wanted to re-brand the franchise. Just give us some memorable characters and a decent storyline, and perhaps the fans will forgive you for that barrel of ass that was Icon.

Thoughts? Additions? Omissions?

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