With Larry "Major Nelson" Hyrb kicking off the official E3 countdown next week and speculation running wild over possible new hardware specs, we can easily assume that a lot of people are anticipating the announcement of the next Xbox console. And while we do have to wait for a few months for the official news to come down, that isn't stopping us from thinking about what great franchises the company could bring back into the forefront.
Obviously we'll see a few Xbox 360-based favorites return, including Halo (as part of an ongoing trilogy that started with Halo 4) and Fable (to some extent), but there are some that we haven't seen in a while that could use a new entry, just for the sake of pleasing the fans and providing something that newcomers could get into as well.
Being the speculative people that we are here at Prima, we've come up with a list of franchises we'd like to see again on the Xbox 720, just because we feel like playing them again. Microsoft, at least think about bringing these games back. Please…?
The last time we saw Crimson Skies was back on the original Xbox, a bold adventure that was a blast to play, either on your own or with friends. For some strange reason, Microsoft neglected the franchise on the Xbox 360, opting for third parties to release their flight sims instead. But we believe it's time to return to these pirated waters, with even more online multiplayer options, a bigger world to explore and, of course, that beloved aerial combat that was such a hit the first time around…
Even though Microsoft only produced one Conker game in its lifetime – after Rare produced the original Bad Fur Day on Nintendo 64 – Live and Reloaded was a great time on the original Xbox, featuring fantastic graphics, fun multiplayer and, of course, that raunchy humor that we had gotten used to from the original game. (Where else can you find a pile of enormous poo singing opera?) We'd love to see Conker come back to some extent, and while we probably won't get a fully-loaded retail release, he could at least come back in downloadable form, perhaps with a kart racing game (mature-rated, of course) or maybe even another take on his previous adventure. Just as long as the Great Mighty Poo comes with him…
What the heck happened to this series? After a stellar debut on the Xbox and a sequel that managed to be even better, we haven't heard a thing about it. Day 1 Studios did very good work making you feel like you were in charge of your own walking robot, even though you faced opposition that was larger and more heavily armed than you. It's time to bring this series back to some extent, complete with a layout of new multiplayer features and a "create your own walker" customization tool. Oh, and more mechanical spiders. We loved crushing those things.
We know, we know. We haven't seen either of these franchises in years, and Microsoft's been running into trouble with re-registering the domain for Killer Instinct. But still, how fun would it be to see these two franchises again in some new form? The original Battletoads could easily see an HD makeover, as well as new levels and online co-op, so three players could work through evil rat and thug armies. And as for Killer Instinct, why not just call it KI and re-release an HD version of the first two games, rather than trying to tinker with something new? We'll take the classic feeling of these games over nothing at all, honestly.
It's been a good few years since we heard a peep from the Crackdown franchise, and even though Crackdown 2 wasn't as good as the original, we still couldn't get enough of running wild in a power suit and pounding criminals into another stratosphere. Crackdown 3 would be an ideal game for the Xbox 720, complete with an expanded cityscape, more missions to complete, and multiplayer challenges to throw down, whether you were teaming up with people or threatening to cut them down to size.
This may seem like a long shot, especially since the original game didn't sell gangbusters, but why not bring this fun platforming hero to a new medium? Voodoo Vince almost seems like he'd be ideal for the downloadable market, the star of his own Xbox Live Arcade game. It can even be an HD remake of the original, as that featured savvy puzzle solving, fun action and imaginative level design. For that matter, we'd even take a little Tork: Prehistoric Punk as well.
Kung Fu Chaos
Even though Just Add Water is rather busy these days producing Oddworld HD titles for the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita, there's no question they could easily slip back into the wacky competitive multiplayer world of Kung Fu Chaos. Featuring a number of lavishly designed sets, hilarious character design (the director even gets in on the action) and over-the-top fighting antics, Chaos would be perfectly suited for a sequel, with even bigger sets to fight on and the ability to unlock special effects (super moves) that could clear the screen of opponents. Cross your fingers for this one…
Project Gotham Racing
Finally, even though we realize that Bizarre Creations is long gone from the racing market, the Project Gotham Racing franchise shouldn't dare be forgotten. Microsoft has a new studio, Playground Games, that has proven themselves worthy of great arcade racers with 2012's Forza Horizon, so why not assign them to work on a new PGR, one with more worldwide locations, better online implementation and the return of the Kudos point system? This is one we'd easily get behind…even though Forza Motorsport 5 looks like a lock for the new system. There's always room for one more good racer, right?