My Top 10 Forgotten Favorites
When I applied for a job here, in the additional skills section of my resume I very subtly placed the special ability, “able to beat Mega Man X in under two hours.” They didn’t put me on the spot, but if they had, I probably would have gotten nervous and died a lot fighting Sigma. I can though, I promise. I just can’t have anybody watching.
I am a big fan of the Mega Man X series, but I’ll talk about that more below. I want to see a new Mega Man X, but there are a lot of other games that I want to see sequels or updates to as well. These are the games I love and have fond memories of that have seemed to disappear. I want to see these games make a return.
My opinions of course do not represent the staff of Game Informer, nor do they represent yours, so be sure to tell me what games have become forgotten that you think need to make a reappearance.
1. Jet Force Gemini
Jet Force Gemini was ahead of its time for a few technological reasons. It strived to be cinematic before that word was a common description for video games. It featured surround sound, widescreen display options, and a story with galactic scale, even if the narrative details were only passable. You hopped planet to planet as either Juno, his twin sister Vela, or their rocket-footed dog Lupus and you shot bugs. Lots and lots of bugs. You also saved anthropomorphic koala bears who were getting hassled by the bugs.
It was a game that wanted to be a technical showcase for the Nintendo 64, and at the time it was. A modern Jet Force could jump the scale up significantly, throwing millions of bugs on-screen at one time for you to shoot your bullets at. For the time being, we'll just have to stick to Earth Defense Force to get our space-bug-killing fix.
2. Blast Corps
Blast Corps is another Nintendo 64 title that could greatly benefit from a modern physics engine and destructible environments. In Blast Corps, there is a nuclear weapon slowly traveling by truck, and you have to clear the way so that it doesn't hit any bumps in the road. This is done by demolishing everything it the vehicle's path, be it buildings or trees or anything else that can be knocked down with a good hard shove. You had access to the typical demolition methods, like dump trucks and tractors, but you also had access to mech suits that could cartwheel through buildings to break stuff.
A new Blast Corps would be a perfect downloadable title, as the game is made up of short time trials, requiring you to clear paths before the nuclear truck shows up. Throw in the Half-Life 2 physics engine, maybe some of those Red Faction destructible environments, and a dash of slow motion, and we're in business.
I have no confidence about a future Earthbound title (called Mother in Japan), nor do I have confidence about even getting the one that released for Game Boy Advance in Japan, but this is a list of wishes, so here it is.
This isn't the sort of game that necessarily needs a graphical or technological update, because the gameplay was full of fun, functional, classic RPG trappings. I would, however, like to see the same comedy and randomness featured in the original, updated for our current humor sensibilities. It won't be happening, but maybe if I close my eyes and wish as hard as I can, Nintendo will at least translate the sequel and make it available for download on the 3DS.
4. Killer Instinct
Rare has had a quite a few games already featured on this list, and it's because back in the Nintendo 64 era, they made some of Nintendo's best titles. Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat have benefited greatly from recent updates. The trick is to not stray too far from the original formula, and I think it's time for Killer Instinct to get a go. It's been too long since I heard that deep-throated announcer proclaim "Combo Breaker!" as a werewolf gets stopped short of annihilating a man made out of lava.
5. Downhill Domination
If I had to describe Downhill Domination to someone who has never heard of the game, I would refer to it as SSX on bicycles — but only to offer a bit of context. The game is far more than that. It's a game that will quickly catch you by surprise. It doesn't look like anything special, with cover art of a guy simply riding a bicycle off-road. He doesn't even look as though he is being particularly challenged by the terrain. Once you start though, it's pretty obvious what makes Domination special. It's the sense of speed and nearly 90 degree angles of the mountains you're riding on. Downhill was not some clever alliteration used in the title. They meant it. You're pretty much skydiving half the time. Also, you can throw water bottles at people to knock them off of their bikes.
Downhill Domination would benefit from a current-gen update for obvious reasons. Better graphics, better physics, and online multiplayer would all be welcome additions, not to mention the sense of speed could really be ratcheted up with blurring and other modern effects. It's another title that I believe to be long dead, but I can dream, **BRAAAHHHH**.
6. Advent Rising
Advent Rising was a game that had problems. The hype train leading the charge was far more impressive than the actual game, but it gave me enough of a taste that I wanted more.
The team behind Advent Rising has since moved on to become development studio Chair, and has brought us Shadow Complex and Infinity Blade, both excellent games. Chair clearly has the talent to produce great games, but it seems with Advent Rising, it was rushed to a release date.
The combat was fun, allowing players to shoot aliens and move objects and enemies with telekinesis simultaneously. The story began with more or less the destruction of the human race, save a few brave heroes, which is always a compelling start. The game ended suddenly and without a worthwhile conclusion. Advent Rising was never meant to be a single game, and it shows. Many elements of the game need some work, but it's nothing a bit more time and the benefit of modern consoles couldn’t help smooth out.
7. Jak and Daxter
During the PlayStation 2 era, Sony introduced three mascots to represent the console: Ratchet and Clank, Sly Cooper, and Jak and Daxter. The Ratchet and Clank series has already had quite a few releases for the PlayStation 3, and Sly Cooper had an HD re-release, with a true sequel on the way. With Jak and Daxter the closest we have gotten to a current-generation release were their cameos in PlayStation Move Heroes, which was far from their best hour.
Naughty Dog, the original Jak developer, is busy shuttling Nathan Drake around the world to shoot at bad guys and collect gold, so Jak is far from a priority. It would be nice, however, to see a new Jak in full HD with a huge bustling futuristic city to explore and jump on platforms with. On the PlayStation 2, Haven City was already a huge awe-inspiring metropolis with no load times. I can't even imagine what current-gen Jak city would look and feel like.
8. Drill Dozer
Game Freak, the development studio behind Drill Dozer, is a talented developer, but there isn't much leaving its doors that doesn't have the word Pokémon somewhere in the title. In 2005 the developer took a break from creating 'em all to make a little game called Drill Dozer for the Game Boy Advance.
Drill Dozer put you in the shoes, or rather the drilling vehicle, of Jill, who is out to avenge her father who was severely injured by the family’s rivals, The Skullkers. The gameplay is difficult to describe, but it's a platformer with some small rhythm elements. You have to shift the gears of your drilling vehicle forward and backward to adjust your speed, navigate tunnels, and fight bosses. It's one of the few titles that I completed every element of the game. I left no time trial or challenge level unturned or unbeaten, and I would love to be able to make the same claim for a sequel. The storyline implied future entries, but poor sales means a new Drill Dozer is sadly unlikely.
9. Mark of Kri
Mark of Kri did receive one sequel, the Rise of Kasai, but it was underwhelming when compared to the original. Mark of Kri looks like it could have been a Disney movie. The character designs and animated sequences look as though they could have been created by the people that brought you Lilo & Stitch. All that fades away though the first time you sneak up behind a soldier, grab him by the neck and smash the top of his head into a wall, revealing a red cloud of blood. Mark of Kri is incredibly violent, and incredibly satisfying. Each level reveals a new method or weapon for silently killing the bad guys and it all culminates into a final level where you are making as much noise as possible while you swing an axe decapitating anyone who is brave enough to get close to you.
A new Kri game could take advantage of the advances in cel shading that games like Naruto have been able to take advantage of. Online cooperative stealth killing, something that was attempted in the sequel but never quite met fruition, would also be pretty amazing. Kri was a beautiful, rewarding, and violent game that deserves to exist in this era of gaming.
10. Mega Man X
This entry is a bit of a cheat, because I don't want an updated version. Also, it's difficult to argue that Mega Man is forgotten. Mega Man X perhaps, but not Mega Man.
I want Capcom to take five giant Mega Man X 4 through 8 sized steps backwards and adopt what worked so well for the downloadable Mega Man sequels. I want Mega Man X9, but I want it to look and feel like the original Mega Man X. I don't want extraneous features or characters, just eight animal-themed bosses, straightforward platforming, and four capsules with upgrades. I'll accept a hidden Street Fighter reference, but only if it's cumbersome and nearly impossible to acquire.