After some of the gaming triumphs of the past decade, all eyes are looking forward to what 2020 will bring for our favourite industry. But, after the release of a new Super Monkey Ball game at the end of 2019, perhaps the past is a good indicator of where to go next. Here are some picks of game series that deserve a 2020s comeback – hopefully the new decade will give these games some love.
We will start with the most likely choice, because it has already been announced that a new Pikmin game is in the works. In this strategy and puzzle series, you play as a spaceman who directs a horde of plant-like creatures (the eponymous Pikmin) to collect items and destroy obstacles. However, that description does not do the series justice – the Pikmin games are challenging but completely charming, forcing you to balance your desire to explore with caring for your team.
The last Pikmin game was a disappointing 3DS offering in 2017, which stripped away Pikmin management and offered puzzles that were far too easy. But, with the Switch, we now have the perfect platform for an in-depth Pikmin game, so hopefully we will see it soon.
Hogs of War
Here is an obscure offering for you, but one I loved as a kid. The 2000 PS1 game Hogs of War was a turn-based strategy game loosely based around World War I – the major difference being that everyone fighting is a pig. You control a squad of pigs, and can assign them a class that grants them access to certain abilities and weaponry. The key to the game is to win the war by taking out the enemy. But, as you sit through Rik Mayall’s fantastic narration and listen to him voice all of the different nationalities with some fantastic impressions, the real challenge is not dying of laughter.
It has been remastered, but we are yet to have a new instalment – but, as these kinds of battle games grow more popular, there is a gaping void for one that is tactical and hilarious. A new Hogs of War is just what we need, and I would love to see the series have a 2020s comeback.
Sly Cooper, a raccoon thief who led a crew of animals those elaborate heists at the expense of other criminals, was a stealth PS2 and PS3 series comprising of four instalments, all of which were well praised. But, after the poor sales of the 2014 Sly Cooper, the series was cancelled, at the expense of gamers everywhere. Everything about the games worked – a captivating cast of characters and genuinely engaging story, bolstered by solid mechanics and a cel-shaded art style that looked beautiful.
So, why not take advantage and bring it back? There is a lot of love for the series, and if it was hyped up as a big Playstation title, it should more than get the sales that it truly deserves. Nothing needs changing, per se, so bring back the developers for another hurrah.
I know that the iconic Bandicoot has not technically vanished, with two remasters in recent years, but there has not been a new platforming entry in this series since 2008’s dreadful Mind over Mutant. The remasters have proved an appetite for new Crash adventures still exists, so hopefully 2020 can bring one to our consoles. The key is simple – you need platforming that is tough to the point of almost being unforgiving, and to strip away the stupid gimmicks that ended the series in the first place.
There is a lot of nostalgia for Crash at the moment, and it would be mad not to capitalise – if you played the new games as a child, you will be my age now, with your own console and disposable income. From a business perspective, it just makes sense. And, as games must toe the line between accessible and tough, the emergence of a new Crash platform adventure is the perfect game for a 2020s comeback.