The Lost Games of this Generation

This E3 has come with a stark revelation; we are heading towards the end of the current console generation. Perhaps the scalable nature of recent technology (henceforth known as the Switch -Xbox One X scale) will prolong it but the standard 5 years is almost over. E3 2019 will likely announce new consoles across the board for a holiday release Armageddon. With us so far in though, there are a few games which have surprisingly absconded from the current generation.

Bioshock

Nope. HD re-releases do not count. Bioshock Infinite, whose studio Irrational  had a troubled development and post launch, is long gone. The story lines of Rapture and Columbia have been sewn up but in a Legend of Zelda kinda way the ending (SPOILERS) of Infinite allowed for – no pun intended – infinite sequels; ‘there’s always a man and there’s always a city’. Bioshock 2 – outsourced from Ken Levine’s studio – was unfairly knocked and arguably shipped a deeper game than the original or sequel. Therefore another developer assigned by 2K Games would not be out of the question. No logo, leaked art (we know Ubisoft aren’t involved then…) or anything have been shown. If this game exists, could/should it be coming to Ps5, Xbox One X2 or Switch 2.0?

Banjo-Kazooie

Having been on hiatus since Nutz and Boltz on 360 (a creative marrying of Diddy Kong Racing and the original games), Banjo and his breegull companion are due a return. Although well received, N&B was a huge departure from the N64 games’ template. It suffers from what we call the GameCube effect. Mario Sunshine, Wind Waker and this game would all have benefitted from being the game AFTER a standard entry in the series. If they had followed Mario 64 2, Ocarina of Time 2 (Twilight Princess?) and Banjo 3 – closely sticking to the original formula- they would all have been welcomed in open arms. A word of warning though; look at Yooka-Laylee. The game straddles the collectathon template whilst attempting to tap into the grand openness of the current era. Banjo and Kazooie need to tread carefully in order to avoid becoming Microsoft’s Sonic; meandering confused across 3D planes. 

Castlevania

This is the generation the ‘Souls’ genre really took off. Dark Souls 2+3, Bloodborne and Nioh can all take credit for that. There have been a vast number of ‘Metroidvania’ 2D, smaller titles too like Guacamelee. Yet, despite reinvigorating the brand in the previous era, there has been no Castlevania. Either a 3D game akin to a ‘Souls’ game or a full, HD side-scrolling adventure are conspicuous by their absence – like Metroid was prior to E3. With the upcoming Netflix series I wonder if Capcom is ready to let Dracula out to feast again?

Half-Life

Maybe Half-Life is destined to be video games’ Firefly; left incomplete and sought after year upon year. Maybe Half-Life 3 is actually a Steam Sale meta-game. Maybe Valve know they can’t ever make a game which matches the hype and hopes attached to the series. The original was a benchmark for PC shooters in the 90s and kept the momentum going with a sequel, episodic expansions and engine spin offs like Team Fortress. Gordon Freeman – like Banjo – is in danger of becoming irrelevant to modern audiences unless the next game makes an appearance. At this stage though, it seems as unlikely as ever. 

Honourable mentions:

  • Pokemon Snap
  • Wario 
  • Spyro the Dragon (not including Skylanders)
  • SEGA’s Virtua series
  • Knights of the Old Republic
  • Advance Wars

Which long forgotten series would you like to see before the generation is out? 

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2 thoughts on “The Lost Games of this Generation”

  1. Some of these series are so ‘behind the times’ that I don’t see them releasing anytime soon. Their publishers would have to take the risk of creating games that might only cater to the nostalgic. However, with the retro revival of the SNES and NES classic, anything can happen.

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    1. Absolutely. We reviewed Gears of War on X1 recently and it felt like a relic of the last gen. I reckon Bioshock will skip to ps5 era. Banjo looks to be done. The right studio could reinvigorate castlevania or half life mefinks

      Liked by 1 person

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