For whatever reason, sequels that people really, really want simply do not get made. We'll get the Call of Dutys, Marios, sports games, Ass Creeds and other games that people expect rather than demand, but the stuff we really want just does not surface! In this article, I'll dream up some sequels I'm dying to have, and hypothesize how they could get made right. Feel free to add your own in the comments!
(PS, the title is a reference to Czech San Jose Sharks player Tomas Hertl, pictured, who responded "This is dream!" in broken English to a reporter after scoring four goals in one game during his rookie season. Us Sharks fans love our Teenage Mutant Ninja Hertl).
Mega Man X9 by Inti-Creates
The "classic" Mega Man series got two throwback sequels, but Mega Man X has never had such love. After two terrible PS2 sequels and a baffling spin-off RPG that followed a mediocre PS1 effort, the Mega Man X series has gotten no love at all. The popularity of Zero got him his own series, but X himself has been totally ignored (even despite a Marvel v. Capcom 3 poll that had him voted #1 overall for the most wanted MvC3 character addition!). Frankly, the Mega Man X series is overdue for a sequel. The series is incredible, and despite a handful of "meh" titles between X1 and X6, it still has a metric fuckton of potential.
In my mind, Mega Man will die a slow death at the hands of a modern Capcom I wouldn't even trust to manage a campfire. Mega Man as a franchise would find its best success in the hands of Nintendo, and given that the franchise's best titles of the last few years have been on Nintendo consoles, it seems like a no-brainer. Who should develop it? Well, Inti-Creates! They're effectively been making Mega Man X games since the since Mega Man Zero on the GBA. After the excellent ZX duo of games and the massively underrated Azure Striker Gunvolt, I couldn't possibly trust anyone other than Inti-Creates to do Mega Man X9 some justice.
Mega Man Legends 3 by Retro Studios
We're not leaving Mega Man yet. MML is a series that has become increasingly beloved over the years. While initially berated as a poor transition to 3D by idiots, the series has found a massive amount of love from gamers since its release. While there are many (like myself) that fell in love with the series while it was new, there are also many fans that encountered the game after reading all the praise it was getting, as demonstrated by the high prices on all three entries in the series (especially the Tron Bonne spin-off). It has been one of the most-demanded sequels for years, and it was regrettably cancelled (again, by idiots) after an exploratory development process was begun within Capcom.
Now that Nintendo owns Mega Man as detailed in my above scenario, there's one studio that I feel could do MML3 right: Retro Studios. Mega Man Legends is not incredibly dissimilar to Metroid Prime. There's an emphasis on exploration, on beautiful, ruined environments, on a lost society that drives the story... Both games are "shooters" that break the mould. Obviously, Keiji Inafune and a creative team of his choice should be brought in to handle the story and art design, but Retro could potentially do an amazing job by using what they learned with the Metroid Prime games and adapting it to the flooded world of Mega Man Legends.
Half-Life 3 by MachineGames
Half-Life is a weird game franchise. Both main games in the series had overdue retail releases, followed by delayed expansions. Half-Life 2: Episode 3 is vapourware, and even the hypothesized Half-Life 3 is a complete enigma. With Valve seemingly changing focus to hardware and digital distribution, it's unlikely that Valve will ever game another game up to its high standards.
MachineGames created the best AAA shooter of last year, Wolfenstein: The New Order. It somehow manages to pull off an intelligent, poignant story while still maintaining the fun (and often goofy) gameplay of iD shooters, like Wolf 3D, Heretic and DOOM, that defined their genre. The game gives multi-player the finger while giving the player a 20-hour campaign that never gets dull. So who better to craft the next Half-Life? Half-Life 2 has an intelligent story, a long campaign, no mutli-player (aside from mods), and goofy gameplay (FUCK YEAH, EAT SAWBLADE, HEADCRAB ZOMBIES!). It mirrors Nu Wolf in many regards, and I think this Swedish dev could do a better job at delivering a fantastic game in a timely manner than modern Valve can.
Sonic 4 by WayForward
Yeah, I know the Sanic 4 already exists as an episodic piece of shit, but I like to pretend post-Genesis Sonic never happened. While some people are into it, most people are not at all fond of 3D Sonic, Sonic Advance, and efforts in the meanwhile. Myself, the only Sonic game I've enjoyed since Sonic & Knuckles - well, aside from Knuckles Chaotix - was the 3DS version of Sonic Generations. Sega just has no idea what to do with the franchise to make a good game, nor are they listening to the heaps upon heaps of feedback from fans and critics that clearly identifies what makes their good games good and their bad games bad. Sega is now saying it's getting out of designing console games completely, and in their modern incarnation, I'm not too concerned. All we'd be losing is Valkyria Chronicles, and they didn't even feel like the second-best entry in the series was worth releasing in the west.
So why not give WayForward a crack at the series? They're mostly known for the fantastic Shantae series, but WayForward has taken licensed properties like Aliens and Thor and made fantastic games where nobody would have expected them. (Seriously, check out Thor for DS - not 3DS, that's a different dev - and Aliens: Infestation. These games are fantastic!) Honestly, if there's any developer that knows how to make a platformer inexplicably fun, it's these guys. Sega, if you're reading, make this happen! Make a $20 Sonic with beautiful WayForward sprite animation, and put it on my eShops!
That's all for now.
Those are the three I thought of while I was in the shower, and I really wanted to write them down. But there are HUNDREDS of games out there that could use a sequel from competent hands! Do you have an idea for the Next F-Zero? Mischief Makers? Valkryia Chronicles? Tell me in the comments!
Also, Sega needs to localize Valkyria Chronicles 3 for a good console. :3