Retro Gem to Next-Gen: 3 Classics In Desperate Need of a Sequel

Three Games We’d Love to See on Our Next-Gen Consoles

All of us have a few beloved titles of yesteryear that we can’t believe aren’t getting the next-gen treatment. Here are my top three.

Battletoads

Ripped, humanoid toads fighting beergutted, humanoid rats? With appendage-morphing finishers? In space? I don’t know how this one dropped off. The original Battletoads was released at the end of the NES era as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles clone, and was arguably among the best looking games for the system. A few sequels followed, culminating in 1993 with Battletoads in Battlemaniacs for the SNES. Players controlled either Pimple or Rash in a quest to save the world from the clutches of Volkmire (pretty much a tree) and the Dark Queen. The first couple beat-em-up levels were pretty easy, but the speeder bikes…

Horny toad. Ha. Betcha didn’t see that one coming.
…oh God, the speeder bikes…

Battletoads would make an awesome third-person action game. Especially if it got darkened down a little. Moody, surreal levels…genuinely frightening were-rats…think Batman: Arkham Asylum with tongue kills.

Actraiser

Enix released this game for the SNES back in 1990. Actraiser cast players in the role of the Master, a powerful yet mortal being awakening from a long slumber to reclaim his world from the demonic Tanzra and his Guardians. The game’s most intriguing feature was its action/strategy hybrid gameplay, which had players alternating between simplified Castlevania-style sidescrolling and top down city building strategy.

The Master would clear an area of its demons and Guardian…
…and then direct his Angel in the rejuvenation of a continent and its population.

Building cities led to health upgrades and new magic powers, which led to clearing new areas, which led to building new cities…and so on. Sounds repetitive, but trust me, it was a blast.

Actraiser 2 was released in 1993. The game was absolutely gorgeous, but it dropped the simulation sections entirely, becoming little more than a mediocre sidescroller. The original game was rereleased for Wii’s Virtual Console in 2007.

Square Enix certainly has a lot going on these days, but it would be a terrible missed opportunity to let the Actraiser series fade away entirely. A downloadable sequel in the style of the original would be fantastic, but an entirely new action/RPG/strategy game a la Dark Cloud 2? That would be divine.

Earthworm Jim

“Groooovy!”

It’s a lowdown dirty shame that this series hasn’t kept up with the consoles. Originally released by Shiny in 1994, Earthworm Jim was one of the most quirky, challenging, and downright bizarre platformers around. The titular creepy crawler donned a supersuit, picked up a blaster, and set out to save Princess What’s-Her-Name from Psy-Crow and Queen Slug-For-A-Butt, whipping puppies and launching cows along the way. The game saw a great sequel in 1996 and numerous rereleases over the past decade, including the upcoming Earthworm Jim HD for XBLA, PSN, and WiiWare.

Earthworm Jim 3? It happened, but it was not groovy. After the terribly disappointing Earthworm Jim 3D for N64, which had no ties to Shiny and was based more on the EJ cartoon than the previous games, the series went dark.

There is, however, a glimmer of light at the end of this small intestine (remember that level?) – the 2010 Earthworm Jim movie. That’s right, movie. Not too many details yet, but it seems legit. Hopefully, the new interest generated by a feature film will lead to an all-new game…which hopefully won’t share the fate of other games based on movies based on games…

…like this one.

What franchise do you want to see back in action? Let us know in the comments.