With the recent announcement of Hardware: Rivals getting a reboot on PS4, we take a look at Sony’s extensive back-catalogue of franchises and IPs to see what we’d most like to see make a comeback on the PS4 or PS Vita.
And you thought that right analogue stick was reserved for moving the camera around in third-person games? Not in the world of Ape Escape. The stick was used for numerous inventive tasks as you tried to capture gangs of very cheeky monkeys. Early on, you’d use the right stick to lash out with a net to catch them. Before long you’d be tweaking it to track them via radio signals, or row oars on a boat, pull back your ammo in a catapult and many more features. Despite some well-received adventures on PS1 and PS2, the only appearance on PS3 was a disappointing on-rails PS Move title.
If anything, this one’s on the list because the original game became oddly rare not long after launch. Hell, it’s still at least £20 for a used copy on eBay. This action RPG and its sequel Dark Chronicle had elements of town building with resources you’d find out in the world -way ahead of its time 15 years ago. This town-building aspect seems to be in everything today from dozens of Facebook games to console-giants like Metal Gear Solid V and Fallout 4. Of all the unused RPG licenses Sony hold (let’s give a shout out to Folklore and White Knight Chronicles), this one seems like the best fit for current trends.
Jak & Daxter
If it wasn’t for Insomniac being inevitably drawn back to their excellent Ratchet & Clank games, the action platforming genre would be dead and buried on Sony consoles. Jak & Daxter was an astonishing achievement back in 2001 on PS2, a huge platforming adventure set in an expansive world without a single loading screen. The series went off the boil a little as it tried to ape GTA (stealing vehicles in a city) and Ratchet & Clank (guns), but we’ve always quite fancied it for a reboot, although Jak’s angsty personality can go. Naughty Dog have stated on numerous occasions that they’d be interested in going back, but we’d settle for a new team if they didn’t have the time.
This PS3 kart-racer features the best track-editor I’ve ever used. Being able to upload and download new tracks meant this racing game should have lasted years. Sadly it was let down by the ridiculously aggressive AI and lengthy load times that meant it was incredibly hard to stick with. You’d spend more time waiting for multiplayer events to load than racing. If the series was to come back, these issues would need to be addressed, as would not being able to race user-generated tracks in ranked modes.
This odd little thing would be a perfect fit for the PS Vita and its touchscreen. For reasons unknown, you’re tasked with sawing off parts of flying ships by directing your eager-beaver (not actually a beaver) to destroy huge ships piece by piece. The original PSP game is still on PSN and it’s also backwards-compatible on the Vita.
Primal had huge amounts of hype and generally scored well, but we’re guessing it sold like Okami cakes as we’ve never even heard a whisper about a sequel. If you spot Primal on PS2 going cheap, you really should pick up a copy. The game starred Jen and her gargoyle sidekick and had new weapons and powers unlocked over the course of a long adventure. It’s been way too long for a straight up sequel, but a reboot could be worth investigating as the original occasionally felt like it had been scaled back to work within the technical limitations of the PS2.
Oh Pursuit Force. If ever there was a game I desperately wanted to like more than I actually did, it was this one. This PSP title put you in the boots of a suicidal future cop who decided the best way to take out crims in a car chase was to leap from his car onto theirs and drag them out by hand. What a legend. It was quite hard though and the on-foot shooting sections were utter pants and not helped by the PSP’s solo analogue stick. We’re so ready to give this one another chance.
Where the hell is Sports Champions on the PS4? The PS3 PS Move games were amongst the best motion-controlled games ever made and just about justified owning Sony’s long-since abandoned motion controllers. I was close to buying a PS4 camera years ago, but the cheap deal sold out. I’m glad it did, as sod all has been released for it in years. It’s this shocking lack of support that makes me very cautious about potentially spending a new console’s worth of money on PlayStation VR. I’ve said as much in this feature: Sony let the Vita and Move die. Is Project Morpheus already doomed?
The Order: 1886
As disappointing as the original was, it would be a shame for all the work building an interesting setting, not to mention those incredible graphics, to go to waste. Ready at Dawn surely have plenty of feedback on what went wrong (too many walking cutscenes, QTEs and not enough actual gameplay). That ending totally sets up a sequel too.
This one is highly unlikely for a while given the dissolution of Sony Liverpool. The iconic antigrav racer was key in promoting the original PS1 to adults in the UK and it’s a shame that Sony didn’t have the team prepping a PS4 game, especially given the ridiculously late launch of the flaccid DriveClub. All is not lost though, as a bunch of former WipEout devs have banded together to form R8 Games and their rather familiar-looking Formula Fusion is on Steam’s Early Access now. Better yet, a PS4 version is in the works.
Those are our picks, we’d love to hear what Sony games you’d like to see rebooted or at least given a sequel. Here’s a list of their properties to jog your memory. Actually, feel free to let us know any sequel or reboot you’d like to see regardless of the license holder. We’re still on for that Final Fantasy VII Remake, right? Pretty sure that wasn’t a dream.