Feature

Long-Lost Friends: Sony Franchises That Should Return

by Matthew Kato on Feb 20, 2013 at 06:39 AM

Everyone is looking forward to a new era for Sony with the PlayStation 4, but the company's past still holds plenty of promise. We take a look at some of the dormant franchises Sony could tap to bolster its new console.

It's not hard to guess that games like Gran Turismo, Infamous, and God of War will hit the PlayStation 4 at some point in its lifecycle, but what about other Sony series like Syphon Filter? Have we seen the last of them forever?

Here's a list of some of the relatively dormant franchises we'd like to see on the PS4 (in no particular order). Some of them may have to be given to new developers since the original studios may now be defunct or weren't internally owned by Sony, but if the company still owns the property, we'd love to see it happen!

Got one of your own? This list isn't definitive, so feel free to add it in the comments section below.

The Getaway

Last Entry: The Getaway: Black Monday (2004, PS2)

Developer: Team Soho

It was a shame that Sony couldn't make the British gangster/open world really work in the PS2 era, and we'd love to see a revival on the PS4. The series was known for its graphics but not its gameplay, so hopefully any comeback would contain a few lessons learned on that front.

Arc the Lad

Last Entry: Arc the Lad: End of Darkness (2005, PS2)

Developer: Various

Although the last Arc the Lad title (subtitled End of Darkness and published by Namco here in the U.S.) featured more action-RPG elements, we'd welcome the return of the franchise's old school, Tactics-based strategy gameplay. However, this could make it almost prohibitive to release on a home console. Thus, perhaps the only realistic hope for a return for this franchise would be in a downloadable format or on the Vita - unless the series found a way to merge its tactical roots with modern action-RPG sensibilities. Speaking of handheld tactical games: How about another Jeanne D'Arc?!

Colony Wars

Last Entry: Colony Wars: Red Sun (2000, PS)

Developer: Psygnosis (absorbed into the now-defunct Studio Liverpool)

The branching paths of the space fighter combat game would fit right in with today's titles. You could easily add multiplayer to bring it up to date (including online play), keep the upgrade system, maintain an ethos of high production values, and delve more into the game's universe. Just don't give it Move controls, please.

Continue on for more hopeful candidates

Ape Escape

Last Entry: PlayStation Move Ape Escape (2011, PSN)

Developer: Japan Studio

It's too bad this cute series has gotten away from its action/platforming roots and chased diversions like the party game/on-rails antics of PlayStation Move Ape Escape. The main PS2 games' use of gadgets and their different gameplay possibilities would be very welcome – as would more simian mischief in general.

Jak and Daxter

Last Entry: Daxter (2006, PSP)

Developer: Naughty Dog

As time went on, the main series seemed more and more caught between two eras: one when platforming games were prevalent and another as consoles created large-scale worlds. Thus, expanding the series' flirtation with open world gameplay would be a natural fit for any potential new game in the series on Sony's upcoming platform. Plus, we already know Naughty Dog already had plans to make a new entry for the PS3.

NBA

Last Entry: NBA 10: The Inside (2009, PSP)

Developer: SCE San Diego Studio

The series had a penchant for less-than-stellar gameplay – but we liked that it tried to do something different at the time for sports games by adding its story-based The Life mode.  This is something that other sports titles have explored since then (from Fight Night Champion to NBA 2K11's Jordan Challenge), and we'd love to see more of in sports games.

Alundra

Last Entry: Alundra 2 (2000, PS)

Developer: Matrix Software

Alundra never really got going for Sony thanks to the disappointing Alundra 2 (published here in the States by Activision, no less), but the series' Zelda-esque action/RPG format is one that gamers will never tire of. Furthermore, its darker tone and Alundra's ability to enter people's dreams could be fertile ground to explore.

The Legend of Dragoon

Last Entry: The Legend of Dragoon (2000, PS)

Developer: SCEI

At the time of its release, The Legend of Dragoon's was perceived to be chasing the success of Square's Final Fantasy series. Regardless of this possibly ignoble origin, the game has its own alluring features – including the timed-button presses of the Addition combo system and the ability to transform into a Dragoon and thus perform magic. The Legend of Dragoon has its detractors as much as its admirers, and some smoothing out of the timing and general balancing for Additions in particular could go a long way to making everyone a fan.

Syphon Filter

Last Entry: Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow (2007, PS2, PSN)

Developer: Sony Bend

It's always been a bit of mystery when this series never appeared on the PS3. It's developer, Sony Bend (who also did Bubsy 3D), seems to have become more interested in making handheld games, but perhaps the generation off has recharged their love for IPCA agent Gabe Logan. Renovations to the franchise's conventional third-person action will have to occur, and a new hook found in an increasingly crowded pool of titles in the genre.

Dark Cloud

Last Entry: Dark Cloud 2 (2001, PS2)

Developer: Level-5

We're pretty sure that developer Level-5 owns the rights to this property and that another installment is a longshot, but we'd love to see more of this series' action/RPG stylings. The series featured weapon-crafting, dungeons, town building, and much more. It also had a vibrant art style that was a precursor to the studios' work with Dragon Quest and Ni No Kuni. BTW, we'd also "settle" for a return of Rogue Galaxy!