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The Sequel You Deserve
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on May 18, 2009   |   Episode 95 (Show Archive)  

   


Speaking of sequels, when the hell is Nintendo going to get around to Super Mario Bros. 4?
In this day and age you can't go very far without running into a video game sequel. Most of the top selling games of last year (and every other year for that matter) are sequels, all from franchises that you can't get enough of. It doesn't matter if it's an E-rated Smash Bros. game or an ultraviolent M-rated romp like Grand Theft Auto, what matters is that they are sequels. But never every game has a chance to finish its story. Some games are plucked in their prime, leaving their faithful followers high and dry.

I'm talking about games like Shenmue, Zone of the Enders and Eternal Darkness, all games that have a large cult following that is demanding another installment. In some cases it's just because people love the universe and can't get enough, while other times a final installment means closure for some of your favorite characters. It doesn't matter what kind of game it is or who makes it, it's never fun when you invest so much time into a series only to see it forgotten about or ignored.

In this very special Defunct Games article we've decided to look at ten of the most asked for sequels and see if they are likely candidates for another installment. These games either have cult followings or unfinished business (or both), so much so that you still hear people argue about them on message boards. Will your favorite franchise eventually see another installment? Find out now when we look at The Sequel You Deserve.

Shenmue III (Sega)
[ Most Recent Installment: Shenmue II (2001) ]

ZOMG! It's a Shenmue III cover, it has to be real!
Why It Should Happen: Shenmue was one of the most ambitious games Sega ever made, going way over budget and much more complicated than anybody could have predicted. To make matters worse, this hugely expensive undertaking (which offered a go anywhere, do anything open world that preceded Grand Theft Auto III by more than a year) was a collosal flop. Neither the original nor the sequel (which was only released on the Xbox in the U.S.) made a dent in the sales charts, which ultimately led to the indefinite hold of the third (and final) chapter in the Shenmue series.

Why It Could Happen: After failing to secure big sales for the new Sonic the Hedgehog and Golden Axe games, some have suggested that maybe Sega will go back to a series with

"Do you know where I can find some sailors?"
a die-hard fan base. That game would be Shenmue III, a title that hardcore Dreamcast lovers have been demanding for eight years now. Plus, there's nothing worse than ending a story two-thirds of the way in ... and Sega knows that.

Why It Won't Happen: While the fans may demand it, the truth is that Sega has almost no reason to release Shenmue III. At this point Sega couldn't just reuse the engine that powered the first two games, they would have to rebuild the game for the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360. This process would be expensive, and in the current economic crisis, the last thing Sega is going to do is take a chance on a franchise that bombed twice already. The other worry is that the established fan base (the vocal minority that yells and screams about this game online) won't be there when Sega ends up doing this. And to make matters even worse, new fans would be confused by all of the hype and gravitate towards the other, more established franchises that challenge Shenmue.

Chances of This Game Coming Out: 0% - I know that a lot of Defunct Games readers want this (trust me, I get your emails every couple of weeks), but it's just not going to happen anytime soon. Currently Sega has no incentive to develop this game.

Heavenly Sword 2 (Sony)
[ Most Recent Installment: Heavenly Sword (2007) ]

Seriously, with artwork like this I have to wonder how Heavenly Sword failed to win over a large following!
Why It Should Happen: It's easy to understand why Sony would put so much effort into promoting Heavenly Sword. Going into 2007 Sony felt that they had the next God of War, an violent beat-em-up full of cool weapons and an angry protagonist. At that year's E3, Sony went as far as to suggest that Heavenly Sword could be their off-year God of War, much like what Microsoft is doing with Halo and Gears of War. But alas, this was not the case. Heavenly Sword failed to attract much attention at the retail level and eventually died. But fans of the original know that the game set up an interesting world full of compelling characters. It would be a real shame if Sony capped Heavenly Sword at just one game.

Why It Could Happen: While it's true that sales of Heavenly Sword fell well short of expectations, Sony has to realize that there

Oh ... that's right!
were a few factors that led to this. For one thing, at the time of its release the PlayStation 3 was struggling. What's more, very few new IPs were successful on the PlayStation 3 that year. And then there's the problem with advertising, which made this game look like God of War-lite. But there's hope, because another low-selling new IP from 2007, Naughty Dog's Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, got the go-ahead for a sequel. Sony isn't a company that calls it quits at one, just look at Jumping Flash and The Mark of Kri.

Why It Won't Happen: With God of War coming out, will anybody actually need a Heavenly Sword sequel? I can hear the forum arguments now: why buy Heavenly Sword 2 when you can buy the real-deal in God of War 3? And while I bring up Jumping Flash and The Mark of Kri, it's hard to ignore the fact that those games cost significantly less to develop. In this day and age of billion dollar losses, Sony may not be willing to take a chance on a franchise that fumbled right out of the gate.

Chances of This Game Coming Out: 50% - Mixed metaphors aside, this is really a toss-up. On one hand I can see Sony trying again a sequel a year or two later. However, they may be so busy with established franchises (God of War, Gran Turismo, Sly Cooper, etc.) that they forget about Nariko and Kai.

Eternal Darkness 2 (Silicon Knights)
[ Most Recent Installment: Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem (2002) ]

Although fitting for the game, the artwork didn't do the game any favors.
Why It Should Happen: Introduced to the world as Nintendo's answer to the mature games market, Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem quickly became a cult favorite amongst the GameCube's small adult audience. This Silicon Knights developed game features several characters and different eras, each filling in part of a bigger story about demons and sacrifice. What set it apart from other survival horror games (such as Resident Evil and Silent Hill), was the game's use of tomfoolery. As your character became more and more scared, the player would see ghosts and other strange events that are not there. In one memorable scene the game tricks you into believing that the game crashed and, to the player's horror, erased your save data. Now that's just evil!


I'm sure I'm not the only one to immediately think of a Jim Carey movie when talking about Eternal Darkness!
Why It Could Happen: Denis Dyack, Silicon Knights founder and industry lightning rod, has already hinted at a second installment to this low-selling GameCube game. And with the critical and commercial failure of Too Human, the company may be looking to mend some fences and give their audience what they have been demanding for years. If the interest is there and Dennis is already thinking about it, then there's really no reason why Eternal Darkness can't be the game that follows their mystery Sega game. Of course, a lot of this rides on whether or not Microsoft opts to release Too Human 2 and 3.

Why It Won't Happen: If Microsoft decides to go through with the proposed Too Human trilogy, that means that Silicon Knights will be busy for another four or five years. By that time will the target audience even remember the brilliance of Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem? What's more, Nintendo may have something to say about Eternal Darkness 2 hitting a system other than the Wii (or whatever the current Nintendo system is in five years).

Chances of This Game Coming Out: 75% - Assuming we've seen the last of Too Human, I wouldn't be surprised if Silicon Knights announces Eternal Darkness 2 in the next couple of years.

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