The Six Forsaken Franchises
A look at some game franchises that are due a comeback.
Vectorman (Mega Drive. 1995-1996)
If you haven’t played either of the Vectorman games then do yourself a favor and either get a Mega Drive emulator, a Sega Collection disc, go on your Wii virtual console store or log-on to Steam because, as a side-scroller, you’ll be surprised at how well they’ve aged. When Vectorman was released on the Sega Mega Drive in the mid-90s, it looked stunning…often referred to as Sega’s Donkey Kong Country. A sequel was released just a year later and raised the bar for graphics on the Mega Drive yet again. Unfortunately that would be the last of Vectorman as the developers, BlueSky software, were forced to close shop in 2001. A few years later however, a Vectorman titled was announced for the PS2, though it was canned shortly after. It’s unclear who owns the IP now but whomever they may be, they should take a page out of Nintendo’s book. Because if the Japanese giants have taught us anything, it’s how to keep a franchise from the 16-bit era alive and kicking.
Panzer Dragoon (Saturn, Game Gear, R-Zone, PC, Xbox. 1995 – 2003)
If you were one of the few who owned a Sega Saturn, this series needs no introduction. The on-rails shooter was a launch title and one of the prominent series on the system. The first Panzer Dragoon even got ported to the PC . Sega and in-house developers Team Andromeda released 3 Panzer Dragoons on the Saturn and a couple on handhelds. After Sega stepped out of the hardware business, they eventually released Panzer Dragoon Orta on Microsoft’s debut console system in 2003. The game was critically lauded but remained an Xbox exclusive and no one has heard of the series since. That is until last year’s TGS, when the creator of Panzer Dragoon unveiled a Kinect game called Project Draco. However, Yukio Futatsugi was adamant that the game was not a Panzer Dragoon and only loosely inspired by the series. One wonders why he would choose to disassociate the game from such a fondly remembered franchise
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