Ross is a writer, educator, and performer who lives and works in NYC. When he's not doing any of the aforementioned activities, he's playing video games.
As if we didn’t already have big enough backlogs on our consoles, our staff decided to get together and pine for all the sequels we’re jonesing for. Here are all the titles we’re itching to see come out before too long, if they come out at all. But if Psychonauts can do it, anything’s possible.
Mario + Rabbids 2
Aside from Nintendo and Ubisoft, God only knows if Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle will get a sequel, but goddamn do I want one. Yeah, I admit it was a bizarre crossover: Rabbids are some of the weirdest video game characters ever created, so I think most Nintendo fans, myself included, were wary when the cracked out little bunnies first invaded the Mushroom Kingdom. But Mario + Rabbids proved to be one of the best tactical turn-based games of today. Given its success and the fact that we haven’t seen any new DLC packages since the Donkey Kong expansion last year, I suspect that Nintendo has a sequel in the works, and finger’s crossed, I hope I’m right. I need more Mario + Rabbids in my life.
Split/Second: Velocity 2
I have already recently gushed about my love for the original Split/Second, a fantastic, adrenaline pumping, arcade racer. The game was all about big set pieces, explosions, and destruction. This was no Gran Turismo or Forza Motorsports, it was less about a player’s driving ability and more about their capacity to destroy. Build up a meter and use it to wreck other racers, bring down buildings and literally change the track. The concept of the game was unique, It’s incredible that nobody has expanded on this idea, and whilst the 2010 original still holds up today (check it out on Steam and Xbox Game Pass), it would be insane to imagine what Split/Second 2 would look like in 2019 and beyond.
Rayman has been a big part of my childhood, so to see Ubisoft release a new game for it in 2011 in the form of Rayman Origins just basically made my year. The gameplay was tight, the levels innovative, and it was a real blast going at it. Then 2 years passed, and the next installment in the series, Rayman Legends, was released. They had done more of the same but just made it a little more forgiving, which was what most of us wanted anyway. The gameplay was still immensely satisfying, and the introduction of the music levels was nothing short of genius. However, ever since 2013, things have been quiet on the Rayman front (I’m talking about a new entry for the consoles here), and I’ve been really missing this game. If Ubisoft decides to do another one, it has to be soon before the game fades back into obscurity.
Star Fox: Assault 2
I fondly remember playing Melee and thinking Fox and Falco’s blasters were so cool. With Star Fox: Assault, Nintendo finally gave our furry friends the ability to walk (we don’t count Adventures) and shoot guns. The story of Assault was sadly somewhat forgettable except for one grand sacrifice by Pepper, but I miss playing Star Fox so much! Star Fox: Zero was ultimately a letdown and not the experience fans were waiting for. There’s so much that can be done with the franchise if only Nintendo would give it a shot.
Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door 2
I know that there are already a few sequels to this game, but none of them have been true RPGs like this one. Even though I still think Super Paper Mario is a fantastic game, Sticker Star and Color Splash just…well, they aren’t even Paper Mario games (in my eyes) to start. In the first entry on the N64, the paper aspect was just an aesthetic the game had, then in The Thousand Year Door, they added paper mechanics like Mario turning into a paper airplane or boat in order to solve certain puzzles. The future games literally revolved around these paper mechanics but for some reason still had battling without any real RPG mechanics at all; so to me, there was no point to the battles in the first place. The Thousand Year Door was special for so many reasons; every chapter had a different atmosphere whether it was a dreary town that was cursed, solving mysteries on a train like in Murder on the Orient Express, or fighting your way up the ranks in a wrestling tournament.
The partners were another huge part of the game, all of them being different but familiar species of the mushroom kingdom (you even got a baby Yoshi that could be different colours), and they provided dialogue and expositions since Mario doesn’t talk. They helped you solve multiple puzzles with their special abilities. And oh man, what made this game stand out from the rest of the series was the battle mechanics. Fighting on a stage with a crowd that grows bigger the better you do? Badges that give you different abilities? Doing tricks in the middle of your attacks to entertain the crowd? There is a reason I replay this game every year and why it was easily my first pick for this article. Please Intelligent Systems, do what you do best and make great RPG games, but do it with the Paper Mario series. Make Paper Mario great again!
Okay, FEZ offers an incredibly creative perspective on 2D pixelated games, mainly because it goes beyond two-dimensional limitations by allowing players to move the map around in a three-dimensional way. You play as Gomez, this cute little creature who is tasked with saving his little world by maneuvering in and around fantastic puzzle-scapes. I really enjoyed the simplistic complexity of this game (if that even makes sense), coupled with an amazing art style and build that all around make the game pleasant to play and pleasant to look at. A sequel to this title could be great, and I’d say that the game’s developer — someone who was so passionate about making FEZ the best it could be — would pull some serious innovation out of his sleeves. Unfortunately, it just adds salt to my already salty attitude that Phil Fish basically rage quit the gaming industry after he pledged there would be a sequel to FEZ, so I doubt we will see anything related to this title in the future. Big RIP, but at least we can continue to play around, solve puzzles and spend more time appreciating all that FEZ has to offer.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game 2
For those who didn’t know, Ghostbusters: The Video Game was the sequel we were never going to get in movie form. With Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis adding their talents to the story and Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson and a few other names from the original cast contributing their voices, everything seemed to come together nicely to create this amazing game that placed you in the iconic overalls as a fellow Ghostbuster. However, there is another game from this franchise that has held a special place in my heart for some time, and that is the Commodore 64 release of Ghostbusters.
From the intro screen that gives you the chance to sing along to the Ray Parker Jr. hit this title got me pumped and excited before the game even started. Yes, it was a simple game but the premise was fun and exciting: to start your own Ghostbusters franchise, buying a car and equipment and going out on the hunt for apparitions. If the concept were to be modernised for this series we could have our choice of cities, research and development division, staffing issues, equipment meltdowns maybe even a catastrophic event response team.
I’m thinking combat mechanics from the likes of XCOM, borrowing some diplomacy elements from Divinity: Dragon Commander and maybe throwing in some multiplayer aspects where the world and events in your own city are influenced by other players success or failure in theirs. Ah to dream!
The Darkness III
I’ve never been a big fan of first-person shooters, and thought most were repetitive and boring but playing The Darkness II changed my mind and helped show me what the genre could be. If there’s an interesting mechanic in addition to the gunplay that provides more combat variety, then I’m usually intrigued. Based on the Top Cow comic book series by Marc Silvestri — and not to be confused with the band of the same name –, the first video game adaptation of The Darkness was developed by Starbreeze and released in 2007 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. In 2012, The Darkness II was released for the same pair of consoles, this time developed by Digital Extremes. While both The Darkness and its sequel have some differences — including the first having a more realistic art style and being more akin to an open world and the second was more comic-book-like as well and more linear with a number of different chapters — both were relatively well received. Both games feature mafioso main character Jackie Estacado using his newfound demonic powers to take on both rival mafias as well as more supernatural threats, all the while dealing with an inner struggle to keep control, a trope I’ve always found fascinating. While the first game featured both gunplay and select darkness abilities, The Darkness II added a feature known as “quad-wielding,” where Jackie use his two demonic tentacle arms to pick up and throw objects for various purposes at the same time as wielding two guns. The second game also added a co-op campaign called “Vendettas” for up to four players online or single player offline. In Vendettas, players can choose from one of four hitmen with their own specific darkness abilities and special weapons.
Since the true ending of The Darkness II is technically a cliffhanger, it’s surprising we’ve heard absolutely nothing about a potential third game. It’s possible that maybe yet another developer would make the third entry, with Starbreeze running into financial trouble recently and Digital Extremes having their hands full with Warframe. Although both Id Software and Arkane are owned by Bethesda and not 2K, I’d be curious to see what a potential third entry for The Darkness would look like if made by either of them. Since Doom features demons and fast gunplay and melee and Dishonored has abilities similar to some of those seen in The Darkness and The Darkness II, I think these developers could provide an exciting new take if it was possible.
With Grandia HD Collection making its way to the Switch, the world at large will finally get to experience the best JRPG battle system (I said what I said, internet!). Unfortunately, the 3rd entry in the series is not getting the remaster treatment and is probably stuck in some legal rights limbo. So as I cry my weeb tears, awaiting news on that, it got me to thinking: why stop at “just” remasters or remakes? No, what I want is a full-blown sequel. And damnit, I want it all! A loveable cast, a smaller scale storyline (enough with the doomsday scenarios, JRPGs) and the best battle system to have ever graced our screens!
Build on the previous entries and reach for the heavens, GungHo Online Entertainment!
So which of these would-be sequel are you most excited about? Some of them are long shots, for sure, but with demand comes supply, so raise your voices for the sequels you’d like to see one day. Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and if you don’t ask, the answer is always no.