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E3 Predictions - Part 3: Come Back To Us

posted 4 Jun 2012, 08:26 by Knuckles Sonic8   [ updated 4 Jun 2012, 08:55 ]
As much as I love announcements of new IP's, everyone can relate to the intense excitement that comes from seeing a series you've recently grown to love or have grown up with become relevant again with a new iteration. Concluding our set of E3 Predictions, Part 3 focuses on franchises that should be rebooted, see a revival, or make a comeback in some capacity at this year's convention. I've pinpointed a total of 12 different properties that fall under this criteria especially with the Wii U in mind. With that kind of range, hopefully at least one of the following will actually happen this week.

1. Scribblenauts
Having previously stated that they would be interested in bringing the series to the Wii, what better opportunity for 5th Cell to bring Scribblenauts back to its home on Nintendo platforms than an announcement of a new version for Wii U.

How it would work exactly, I'm not totally sure. Even though I’m a big fan of the wordsmith-pleaser, I have a bit of trouble envisioning what creative approaches could be taken to justify a Wii U version. Despite that, I still have a hunch that it may end up happening, and with the recent listing of Scribblenauts Unlimited, it certainly isn't out of the realm of possibility. Then again, the last time this happened (Mini Ninjas), it turned out to be a Kinect exclusive, so make of that what you will.

3. Crash Bandicoot
I think we all can agree that Crash Bandicoot has really let himself go, so much so that I think even he would clue in to his own fall from grace if he were not but a fictional character.

Without having much of a say as he's starred in mediocre platformers that have tarnished his good name and reputation as a provider of riveting gameplay for platforming fans, Crash Bandicoot has dwindled to become a guinea pig to the new, what is referred to as a "Street Fighter" style of ideas; bringing in creatures you can control by jumping on their backs using the marsupial's "jacking" ability. Worse yet, he's been a test subject to a host of varying creators and testers, unable to form a personal relationship with his influencers; something he once had been able to do when he was more than just something you could toss around without having anything backing its motivation or reason to be. The closest he ever got to that since the good old days was when Vivendi took over and educated him into a whole new way of life involving unexplored territory, the unforeseen pairing of him and his resistant archenemy as a chained-together team, and a much funnier outlook on things. Those were the days.

I hate reflecting on Crash Bandicoot as though he were a has-been; a washed-out musician with new tunes but not nearly the same spunk that resulted in his claim to fame. Now that Activision has much of the say as to what happens to this property in the end, let's hope they can actually bring it back to its former glory.
Oh who am I kidding. Just a good, smoothed-out game is probably the best we can ask for now that Naughty Dog is no longer in control, and even that might not be in the cards.

For those who are keeping the hope alive, maybe E3 2012 will be the time Crash breaks out of the barrel he's been put in and resurface as a relevant guide to what a fun platforming experience is like. The poor guy needs it.

5. Mega Man
After a host of classic throwbacks and the sting that came from the cancellation of what looked to be one of the most promising games for the series in a while, Capcom should think seriously about how they are choosing to handle the Mega Man property.

While I can't see a new entry coming to the Wii U right away, certainly a 3DS release isn't out of the question. And, again, after the whole situation with Mega Man Legends 3, which still has far-reaching effects on the community, you could definitely make the case that we deserve something to make up for this loss (not to mention the almost insulting apology that was issued).

Is there a possibility that the game they said was cancelled will return? No, if one thing is clear, I would never expect them to resume development on it. But with a bit of uncertainty plaguing the franchise as far as where it can go next as a developing franchise trying to stay modern, Capcom can't expect their fans to be satisfied with the likes of Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10 forever.

7. Yoshi
As this is Luigi's return to hero status and he's used to having people step all over him, perhaps it's time for Yoshi to do the same -- return to the spotlight, that is. After all, for a character that's had such tremendous popularity, you would think they'd be rolling out the red carpet for him. Okay, maybe not. We've seen evidence to the contrary in the past. But in all honesty, I do know I'm not the only one who wants to see Yoshi take on a role that isn't completely subservient.

Question is, if they were to go backwards and return to the style seen in one of Yoshi's earlier titles, which one would they refer to as a source of inspiration? Yoshi's Story? Even though I'm a fan of the game, even I can admit that that would be doubtful, in part because the pop-up aesthetic has already been capitalized by Paper Mario; we don't need two storybook experiences releasing at the same time. Yoshi's Island seems like a much more obvious pick, not just because of the reception surrounding it, but also due to the hint a few years back that it would serve as a basis for a new Wii entry.

Perhaps we'll now find out what that was all about -- if it was related to this announcement at all. Either way, I'll just be happy to see Yoshi in a new light once again.

9. Trauma Team
To help sell the Wii U as a platform where unique experiences happen even more so than the Wii, hopefully Nintendo has thought to ask ATLUS if they'd be interested in doing a new Trauma Center game to possibly meet within the system's launch window just like Second Opinion did on the Wii.

The Wii U seems like a natural progression from where the series was or is heading, but of course we don't want to rule out the 3DS either given the franchise's original roots. Personally, I would especially love to see them explore the Trauma Team setup in new, expansive ways that maybe can't be done in other formats. I can already picture how they might add to the forensics component by using the Wii U GamePad to dust for fingerprints, alter personal effects, and the like. Just thinking about these and other possibilities is giving me some ideas on how they could make this really stand out, and I really hope ATLUS has given thought to making a killer Trauma Center entry for the new system.

11. Elebits
In the past, there have been clues to suggest that Elebits was making a return to the Wii, and if you're like me and consider yourself a big fan of the original, such news might have had your heart palpitating for a while. Sadly, aside from the DS entry continuing the Elebits formula in a new way, we still have yet to see any sign of Elebits making a return to console form. But hopefully this could change now that we have the Wii U.

While the development team might have originally hesitated to bring Elebits back to what it was originally for fear of being labelled as "repetitive" by some or not having enough ideas to justify a second Wii iteration, such fears should now fade into the background. Here's hoping that the original team has been drawn in by the many features of the Wii U and now has more confidence to bring Elebits back.

2. The Legend of Zelda
Prompted by the sales numbers for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and, to a lesser extent, the expressions and petitions that were made clamoring for such a thing to happen, I wouldn't be surprised if Nintendo announced that they were bringing Majora's Mask to the 3DS next. I don't see them going into great detail on it just because the 25th Anniversary was last year and to do so would be stealing Kirby's thunder. Nevertheless, I'd be a bit surprised if they chose not to pursue such an opportunity.

The next topic up for consideration has to do with Link's Crossbow Training. It's been said in the past that a sequel was pitched, and now that the Wii U has entered the picture, is there a chance we could see, if not that sequel, then a similar arcade-style premise as the basis for a new Wii Sports-like collection?

4. Wave Race
Dating back many years when gaming magazines were my primary source for news on the industry, I can think of occasions when I would open up a then-new issue of Nintendo Power and see ads for Blue Storm, prompting me to think how I might like to try the game if I had a GameCube (which was not within my grasp at the time). Back then, I was never thrilled by the N64 release, so each time I flipped the page, the closer I came to perishing the thought of wanting to try it at all. I never did end up playing it and from what I hear, I didn't miss out on an essential experience. Still, those who disagree on that point have been waiting very patiently for a new Wave Race to come.

I don't doubt that many at one point or another thought Wave Race was going to come back at the next E3. Little did such persons know Nintendo would almost completely ignore their pleas. Before it became official that ten years had passed since the last game, Nintendo made sure to sneak in a Wave Race nod into Wii Sports Resort, bringing back some of the folks from the original development team as a means of employing their own resources whilst saying underneath their breath, "This is as far as we go". Now it's officially been at least ten years since the last entry. Indeed, Wave Race is right up there with F-Zero as being in great...no...desperate need of a resurrection.

Giving the series new life on the Wii U would bound to impress by way of impressive graphical updates, a strong physics engine, and perhaps even online integration. No matter how you look at it, whether you choose to look at the minimal amount of similar offerings or the drive towards more racing games on the Wii U, it's certainly time for those waves to really climb again.

6. Red Steel
With a number of their key franchises making an appearance on Ubisoft's E3 roster, I couldn't help but think about the possibility of seeing Red Steel resurface this year.

With the company being one of the more enthusiastic supporters of the Wii U, it wouldn't be out of the question to see a third game in the Red Steel series get revealed this year. It's been said that Red Steel probably would not continue if the sales numbers didn't satisfy, and despite complaints that were expressed towards the game's positive Metacritic score not being further away from the range of mixed reviews, it's safe to say that the greater support shown towards the sequel both before and after launch may have given Ubisoft enough drive to bring it back for the Wii U. Besides, it seems like they're bringing everything else to the platform. Why leave Red Steel out of the equation?

8. Burnout
Closely following the announcements of DiRT and Project Cars confirmed to be in development for the system, perhaps it is at E3 that we will learn of a new Burnout project for Wii U. The series hasn't enjoyed the strongest of runs on Nintendo platforms when it has made such appearances, and with the last title proving to be a downgrade from the award-winning entry before it, Burnout Paradise, perhaps a new paint job is in order.

Past interviews have shown that the Criterion did at one point have interest in developing a proper title for either the Wii or DS, so when you piece together the promised online infrastructure with the new possibilities to expand upon their formula, it wouldn't be a huge surprise to see Burnout join the rush of racing games recently-announced to be on their way towards the Wii U.

10. WarioWare
When you look at how skillfully Nintendo made WarioWare: Smooth Moves a star title for the Wii in the way it showcased the versatility of the Wii Remote in creative ways, developing a new WarioWare for the Wii U seems like a no-brainer.

After focusing the second DS entry in the series -- the stellar WarioWare D.I.Y. -- focusing their attentions toward the Wii U is a step they should and hopefully will take. Many of the entries in this franchise have had their own main themes that proved to be more than just gimmicks. Much like Smooth Moves, Twisted brought about new innovations to the platform it was designed for, which says to me that Nintendo wouldn't just slap something together and call it a day like they might be tempted to do with a new batch of mini-games for an upcoming Mario Party project. With all this in mind, I'm very much looking forward to hearing Nintendo confirm that they are, indeed, working on such an endeavour for the Wii U, and I can't wait to see it shine as it touches upon the same pillars that the Wii U centers around.

12. Jet Set Radio
With SEGA developing re-releases of the original Jet Set Radio for multiple platforms, now's a good time as any to bring the franchise back. Myself included, fans of Jet Set Radio Future have been clamoring for a new follow-up for what feels like ages. There was a glimmer of hope a few years back when SEGA re-registered trademarks for a few of their past titles, but after it became known that SEGA rejected a pitch for it to come to the Wii, it was a really sharp reminder that SEGA didn't seem that interested in continuing the franchise as far as new titles are concerned. And to be quite honest, I'm not sure why that it is. I'm not saying that I think Jet Set Radio will see a revival at E3 beyond the showing of the Vita re-release, because quite honestly, I've almost given up hope on that entirely. This is more to say that Jet Set Radio deserves to come back in a strong way and it's sad to see that SEGA visibly isn't in agreement.