After a recent discussion, we decided as a staff here at Darkstation to write about games we wish were announced but unless a miracle happens probably won't be announced. Almost all of us here at Darkstation put in our dream announcement that probably won't happen. Today is part one of our three-part multi-editor feature. Enjoy!
Star Wars: Republic Commando 2 by Allen Kesinger
Star Wars: Republic Commando ranks high on my list of the greatest video games based on George Lucas’ space opera. A squad-based first person shooter, the player fought in the Clone Wars through the helmet of “Boss,” the leader of Delta Squad. Though clones of Jango Fett, Delta squad prominently featured four distinct personalities, such as Scorch’s pyromaniac flair and Sev’s “shoot first” disposition. As brothers, Delta performed special ops for the Grand Army of the Republic, trading blaster bolts with Geonosians, Dooku’s Droid Army, General Grievous, and Trandoshan slavers. Bolstered by fantastic sound design and an amazing soundtrack that made use of Mandalorian battle hymns, Republic Commando succeeded on the strength of its presentation and solid shooter gameplay. I really want a new Republic Commando because there is so much story left to tell. What happened to Sev at the end of the game? Is he alive? Was he captured by the Separatists? What about Order 66? Were the Commandos given the same conditioning as the rest of the Clone Army? If not, what would that game look like? If so, how crazy awesome would it be to play a level where Delta has been absorbed into the 501st? Theirs is a story that is begging to be told!
Top Spin 5 / Grand Slam Tennis 3 / Any Tennis Game by Joel Szerlip
On the heels of Roger Federer capturing his 18th Grand Slam victory, I was reminded that it has been five years since the release of Grand Slam Tennis 2 and six since the release of Top Spin 4. These were the last two major tennis video game releases and since then we haven’t heard a peep out of either 2K Sports or EA Sports about revitalizing their tennis franchises. I have so little hope in either of them bringing back these franchises anytime soon. And what a shame that is. The sport of tennis (especially in the men’s game) has never been better or more competitive. We are in desperate need of one of these companies (or a newcomer) to give intense tennis fans like myself an outlet to enjoy the sport of tennis. I just won’t be holding my breath for a new game soon, so I might be buying an Xbox 360 and dusting off my copies of Top Spin 4 and Grand Slam Tennis 2.
A Panzer Dragoon Saga Sequel by Jukka Piira
I dare say Panzer Dragoon Saga was even better than Final Fantasy VII, both Japanese RPGs still fondly remembered today - for different reasons. Saga was put out in the dying hours of Sega’s ill-fated Saturn console so it never met the big audience it deserved and the few copies of it around the world are sought-after collectors’ items (no, I won’t sell mine!). The game took the dragon flying aspect from the Panzer Dragoon on-rail shooters and turned it into a beautiful, haunting and evocative RPG adventure sweeping over a mystical, war-ridden landscape. I always imagined the sequel would pick up from where the game was left, with the mysterious drone girl Azel now as the heroine, searching for the original protagonist Edge who went missing after the final battle. Alas, even a HD remaster of Panzer Dragoon Saga would be impossible as Sega has allegedly lost the source code. Nevertheless, it costs nothing to dream and if I were to choose the developer for the sequel, I’d go with PlatinumGames. Based on their excellent work on NieR: Automata, I bet they would make a beautiful game worthy of the series’ heritage.
Shadow Hearts 4 by Grant Gardiner
The Shadow Hearts series was a ludicrous blend of characters running the gamut of a shapeshifting demon, a pro-wrestling vampire, and a flamenco guitar player all thrown into historically inaccurate versions of the Russian Revolution, the United States at the height of Prohibition, and World War 1. The first two games blended traditional JRPG elements with horror components while the third installment opted to ditch the horror aspect. Despite the somewhat macabre tone the first two games took, they still managed to weave in some very bizarre and eccentric humor throughout. But it was this hodgepodge of genres and tones that cemented the Shadow Hearts series as a standout for me. Even though it may seem that many triple A games of recent are formulaic and paint by numbers, there are still some off-kilter ones like NieR: Automata and Gravity Rush 2 that are finding a wider audience and spreading out beyond their niche fanbases. If Shadow Hearts 4 were to come out today, I believe it would have a respectable chance at reaching a large audience. However, the developers, Sacnoth, (later known as Nautilus) were dissolved in 2007, so hopes of Shadow Hearts 4 becoming a reality are virtually non-existent. But there's still fan petitions, right? Remember that fan campaign called Operation Rainfall that netted the Western releases of Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story, and Pandora's Tower? Well... that was an exception to the rule and it was more about localization, not resurrecting dead franchises. Point is, if there's even a 0.5% chance that the Shadow Hearts series is revived in some capacity, I'll take those odds.
Come back on Wednesday May 3rd for Part 2 of our 3 part series.
I'm the Owner & Editor in Chief of Darkstation.com. After spending seven years as the reviews editor I took over the site in 2010. The rest is history. Now I work with our amazing staff to try and bring you the best possible video game coverage. Oh and I really like sports games.