The Monthly Question: February 2016


Hello everyone, and welcome to The Monthly Question. Every month the PS Nation writers will answer a question giving you a chance to get to know them a bit better. More importantly, this is a great chance to discuss video games and other related topics, as well as to discover great new games. The majority of questions will be focused on PlayStation and video games but not all of them.

Rocket League became an overnight sensation when it released last summer for PlayStation 4 and PC. What most people forget is that Rocket League is a sequel to Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars. While it did not sell well enough to warrant a sequel, the folks at Psyonix knew they were on to something special.

A lot of polish and some minor tweaks to the gameplay, and they turned a game most people have never heard of into a game of the year contender. Psyonix is not alone with Rocket League. There are many great games out there that could become something really special given a second chance.

To shine a light on those great games, I asked the PS Nation writers:

Which game or game series deserves a second chance?

Rey Barrera (PSN ID: sindred)
I would say Kingdoms of Amalur. It was a very stylized RPG put together by some very talented folks, and featured writing by my favorite author, R.A Salvatore. Unfortunately, it didn’t do well, despite being a great game with a promising world for further adventures. I think the world might be more receptive to it now that games like Skyrim and The Witcher are capturing more attention.

Matt Engelbart (PSN ID: WithSwordAndGun)
The Order: 1886 is a controversial game. While I do love this game, it does feel like Ready at Dawn spent so much time building their engine and developing the world that they forgot to make a game. They have said they want to do a sequel and I think Sony should give them the chance. They already have a gorgeous engine, interesting lore, and a sequel would give them a chance to really nail the gameplay.

Check out our review of The Order: 1886.

Keith Dunn-Fernandez (PSN ID: son_of_ottie)
I think a new Viewtiful Joe sequel would be awesome for PS4 and Vita! We haven’t had one since PSP. The first game was a great side-scrolling action beat ’em up with a fantastic art style, great sound design and superb humor! The second one was weaker, however. Then the PSP and 3DS entries were not well-received. The game has been shared by Sony and Nintendo across several platforms, which I hope wouldn’t be a hindrance for more. With Nintendo being so schizophrenic in its business model, and hints that their upcoming console, code named: NX, will include some type of hand-held functionality, who knows? ANYWAY! Just about any time someone asks this kind of question I go right to Viewtiful Joe.

Ben Palmer (PSN ID: CNPalmer)
This is an easy one for me. It has to be Knack. Knack was much overlooked launch title and a new IP that didn’t get much love from anyone other than those who took the time to play it. It provided a pretty decent story, showcased the power of the PS4 for a launch window release, and definitely had re-playability for completing the story modes, building each unique Knack “version” and certainly giving the grind to trophy hunters.

I think a sequel to this platforming hidden gem is much deserved since there is so much more than can be done with the characters and universe. It had the opportunity to be this generation’s Ratchet or Jak, but fell flat without much advertising support or retail push. Fingers are crossed that in some backroom, developers are hard at work at the sequel in time for E3 šŸ˜‰

Check out our review of Knack.

Emrah Rakiposki (PSN ID: Dat_Deerty_Dude)
Even though I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the first one, I’m gonna go with WATCH_DOGS. After some lukewarm critical reception because of a boring protagonist and a sub par open world rendition of Chicago, I think that Ubisoft can create another franchise on Assassin’s Creed’s level by addressing those issues.

The implementation of the hacking mechanics can be fleshed out a bit more creatively and a setting with the livelihood of GTA or The Witcher is a must. I’m excited to see what Ubisoft can do with the imminent sequel WATCH_DOGS 2. Let’s hope that this time, the game we’re shown early on is actually the one that comes out.

Check out our review of WATCH_DOGS.

John Payant (PSN ID: johnnyp70)
The Legacy of Kain series began in the early days of the original PlayStation with the release of Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. Known for great story, graphics and voice acting, this series had four more entries over the PlayStation and PS2 eras. The series gave the world both the fantastic character Kain and the equally fantastic writer Amy Hennig, who of course moved on to writing for the Uncharted series.

Kain was such a well realized character (much more than just a vampire), as were most of the supporting characters as well. Last seen on PS2 in 2003’s Legacy of Kain: Defiance, I believe this series is ready for another go around this generation. After playing a game like Shadow of Mordor, I can certainly envision the next chapters of Kain’s, well, legacy, playing out beautifully on the current generations of consoles.

Damon Bullis (PSN ID: Zia74)
If it doesn’t have to be a series that was originally on a Sony system I’d say Rogue Squadron. With new movies in the Star Wars universe it is time to bring back space combat.

If it is a series that was on a Sony system, Army Men, the plastic figures. The time is now with the power of PSN to turn that series into a PSN based one that could be a lot of fun. You could even add other plastic figures similar to Toy Soldiers: War Chest.

Andy Richardson (PSN ID: andyscout)
Valkyrie Profile. I loved the first two games and it is a series I’d like to see revived. Fortunately, there are some similar options: Lightning Returns was largely developed by Tri-Ace and feels like a very modern version of Valkyrie Profile in many ways.

There’s also Exist Archive that just came out in Japan which looks to be a spiritual successor as well as the crowd funded Indivisible which is very clearly inspired by Valkyrie. Still, I’d love to see a proper Valkyrie Profile 3 some day, especially seeing as we got games that focused on two of the three sisters, and the completionist in me wants them to finish the cycle.

Check out the latest Podcast:

Michael Cwick (PSN ID: The1stMJC)
Condemned was an underrated franchise developed by Monolith Games and published by Sega. The series was a combination of the detective and horror genres and while it did not master either category, it still made for a fun time.

The detective aspect that focused on crime scene investigations was a bit shallow, but did show improvements from the first game to the second and might have been one game away from achieving greatness. The horror side of things, I felt, was right where it needed to be, straddling the supernatural and real world psychos.

Getting freaked out by mannequins and running from bears will always be fantastic gaming memories of mine. My only request would be for the franchise to look to current horror games for inspiration on ways to adjust its reliance on gun and melee combat.

Shawn Hiers (PSN ID: Smagg99)
My answer is Colony Wars. This PlayStation One space shooter was ahead of its time, with great graphics and story. With what the PlayStation 4 can do in terms of both of those areas, the game would be out of this world. It is time to dust off this franchise and give it a new lease on life. There may be hope with titles like Eve: Valkyrie and Star Citizen waiting in the wings.

Chazz Harrington (PSN ID: ChazzH69)
There are so many it’s hard to choose from Mad Max, Puppeteer, Crash Bandicoot, Max Payne 3, and countless others.

I know that I’ve cheated by mentioning a few already, but the game I most want to see getting a second chance is Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. It originally came out on the Nintendo DS and I still play the ported PSP version on my Vita. It still remains a technical marvel and it is a crying shame that it never achieved the sales Rockstar Games were expecting.

There has even been a mobile phone port on iOS and Android but it fails to capture the fun of the game and clarifies the need for button and stick control. I still yearn for a true Vita version and sequel, but fear that day may never arrive, so I will carry on playing this exceptional masterpiece that features a truly brilliant drug dealing mini-game, stunning soundtrack, and a wonderfully crafted GTA-world that fits in your pocket.

Jason Honaker (PSN ID: jh6269)
I don’t think this game “missed the mark” in any way, it had a sequel and several re-releases, but I would like to see a remake or updated version of Chrono Trigger and perhaps its sequel, Chrono Cross on the PS4 and/or Vita.

I’m sure there have been other JRPGs out there that I’ve missed that have accomplished this, but Chrono Trigger had these fantastic branching storylines that could be done in different orders. Depending on the order of events, you could change the way the story played out in very unique ways for a game of its time.

The last scenario is just one of many little charming things that the game has to offer, and I would really like perhaps an expanded game with content that had to be cut from previous re-releases. I know there were whole new sections added to the Nintendo DS version, but I’m sure if a PS4 or PS Vita version were made, there would be even more room for content that may have been left out.

My dream come true for the series would be a bundle with the first two games, fully remastered into HD, plus a 3D remake of Chrono Trigger with expanded content.

Your Turn
These are the games and game series we think deserve a second chance. Do you agree or disagree with our answers? What’s your choice? Let us know in The Monthly Question thread on the PS Nation forums.

Written by Matt Engelbart

Matt Engelbart

I love all things video games. When I am not gaming I am watching the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals, BBQing, and reading.

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