Let’s be honest, the resurgence of Crash Bandicoot has been one of the most amazing stories of 2017 in gaming. The game has been selling N. Sanely well (see what I did there) and seems to indicate that a gamer’s love and nostalgia for dormant franchises’ return leads to large sales numbers (if done well of course). There is no doubt that the reception of the N. Sane Trilogy will encourage developers to blow the dust off a few more beloved franchises in the hopes of utilising nostalgia to bring in sales, so in the spirit of that – here are five platformer series of yester-year that I feel should make a comeback of their own.
Last Original Release: Mega Man 10 (2010)
Ever since the last original Mega Man game released in 2010, fans of the series have been vocal of their desires for new Mega Man titles. Whether it be the original series, or the Mega Man X, Legends, or Zero series variants, fans of Mega Man are dedicated and their rabid desire for new games has been plastered across forums all over the Internet, yet somehow it hasn’t seemed to reach the ears of those over at Capcom.
Blue Bomber aficionados have had a rough time since the last original Mega Man title in 2010. The series producer Keiji Inafune left Capcom shortly after the release of Mega Man 10, and later launched a highly successful Kickstarter campaign for a Mega Man spiritual successor titled Might No. 9, which was meant to be a way for Mega Man fans to quell their appetites for a Mega Man title. As we all know now in a post Mighty No.9 world, the game failed to recapture Mega Man’s grace and charm, leaving Mega Man fans as famished as ever for more Mega Man games.
Capcom have been releasing original Mega Man games to modern day consoles in the form of Mega Man Legacy Collection and Legacy Collection 2, which comprise Mega Man 1-6 and 7-10 respectively. Releasing these games may just be a simple cash grab for Capcom, but if Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 can drum up enough sales when it releases on August 8th, we may just see a new Mega Man title and that would be something worth getting excited for.
Last Original Release: Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier (2009)
After Naughty Dog moved on from Crash Bandicoot, they jumped straight in to the Jak and Daxter series, which started off as a collectathon platformer before melding in to a platforming third-person shooter in Jak 2 and Jak 3. There was even a vehicular combat spin- off. As is the way with Naughty Dog IP, the Jak and Daxter Trilogy was critically acclaimed with Jak X also being reviewed favourably.
After Naughty Dog left the franchise for greener pastures in the form of Uncharted and The Last Of US, the series continued in the form of a Daxter spin off (simply titled Daxter), as well as Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier, a title that would utilise the gameplay style of the original trilogy. Daxter was reviewed highly, while Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier was overlooked by the majority of gamers (despite being favourably reviewed by reputable game sites), likely due to the games shortcomings in comparison to prior releases.
Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier would become the last released Jak and Daxter series title and despite the clamouring of hardcore fans, the franchise is yet to see a new entry. The original trilogy was released on the PS3 and the Vita in 2012 and 2013 respectively and in April 7, PlayStation stated that the trilogy as well as Jak X would be ported to PS4 by the end of the year. Thankfully, Jak and Daxter has not been forgotten, and the numerous rereleases indicate that the game could still be in PlayStation’s mindset for the future. We can only hope…
Last Original Release: The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon (2008)
This pick is obvious, but the fact that this franchise is on everyone’s HD rerelease wish list is a testament to just how great the Spyro series is. Well, maybe not the entire series, but the first three were pretty damn good. Much like Crash, Spyro was never the same after their initial developer left them behind. The charm that Insomniac Games brought to the original trilogy seemed to fade out once they left the series in 2000 and Spyro was palmed around development studios as if he was some sort of volleyball for the decade that followed.
Spyro games continued to release from 2001 through to 2008, but no one seemed to really care, the franchise had gone down a different path with the Legend of Spyro trilogy and fans of the series had come to terms with the fact that Spyro wasn’t who he used to be. Seemingly the final nail in coffin was when Spyro was announced to be spearheading the initial Skylanders game in 2011. Spyro was initially a way to draw people to the Skylanders franchise, before he fell away behind the slew of characters that built up the Skylanders series. However, Crash Bandicoot endured similar treatment to Spyro before he met what seemed to be his demise in the late ‘00s, so Spyro fans can hold out hope of the purple dragon making a return also.
Overall, with the meteoric success of Crash Bandicoots return and Spyro being owned by Activision like Crash is, the original Spyro the Dragon Trilogy remaster is almost guaranteed to happen in the coming years. Now all we must do is hope and pray that Spyro receives similar treatment to Crash.
Last Original Release: Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 4 (2013)
It may just be because I am Australian, but Ty the Tasmanian Tiger had such a strong allure to it when the original title released in 2002 for the PS2 Xbox and GameCube. A game featuring the Australian outback and Australian marsupials, developed by an Australian studio (Krome Studios), there was just too much Straya in the game for my young self to ignore. The franchise’s mainline titles were all 3D collectathon platformers similar to the competition at the time such as Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter and Sly Cooper. The original title sold over a million copies, and the subsequent two titles would gather less sales than the previous.
The short-lived Ty would fade in to obscurity after Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 3: Night of the Quinkan released in 2005. The series developer fell on hardships of their own, disappearing in 2010 and resurfacing in 2012. Ty the Tasmanian Tiger was slated to make his return when Krome Studios reappeared in 2012, much to the elation of fans of the series. Sadly, the game that they were teasing released in 2013 on Windows 8 tablets and PC as Ty the Tasmanian Tiger. The new release was 2D side-scrolling Ty game, that was immediately disregarded by the vast majority because of the titles departure from the 3D collecathon platforming that made the franchise what it was. The side scrolling Ty game would be rebranded in 2015 and released on Steam as Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 4, but fans were still very vocal about their desire for a 3D title, but it seemed as if their requests had fallen on deaf ears and that the franchise was officially over.
Thankfully, Krome Studios heard the cries of the series’ fans, releasing the original title to Steam Early Access in 2016. The Steam release saw the original undergo the HD upscale treatment, with increased textures and 60fps being goals that the title implemented before being given an official release in December of 2017. Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 2 is currently undergoing the same early access treatment as the first game, giving fans of the series a way to experience the games again. Overall, Ty the Tasmanian Tiger is slowly but surely garnering relevancy again, with the hopes of a new game being released after the Ty 3 remaster being a realistic possibility.
Last Original Release: Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament (2002)
The question that is often asked of me when I mention Klonoa is probably what you’re asking yourself right now, “Who’s Klonoa?” Well, Klonoa was Namco’s attempt at making a mascot platformer in the late ‘90’s. The franchise was revered by a niche audience, but the games never garnered enough sales for Namco to warrant continuing the franchise. The mainline games Klonoa: Door to Phantomile and Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil were 2.5D platformers that focused heavily on emotional storytelling, an aspect that most platformers tend to avoid, in favour of solely focusing on gameplay. The greatest thing was that the franchise didn’t falter with their storytelling, managing to tightly wrap gameplay and story together, and this was the main reason that a small yet highly dedicated community formed a fondness for Klonoa. Handheld spin offs would release on the Gameboy Advance in 2001 and 2002 and Klonoa: Door to Phantomile would be remade and rereleased on the Wii in 2008 in Japan and 2009 in the United States and Europe (simply titled – Klonoa). The Wii Klonoa game would sell on 160,000 copies, indicating to the now Namco Bandai that Klonoa would never become the platform icon they wanted him to be.
The death of Klonoa is a sad case indeed, it’s disheartening seeing a solid series of platformers constantly overlooked and I honestly don’t think we will ever see a return of Klonoa, BUT I AM FOREVER HOPEFUL! Besides, if we live in a world where Bubsy can make a comeback, anything is possible right?
I am only human, so I am certain I have missed some other titles. What titles would you like to see brought back from the dead?