Feature: XBLA Sequels We Want to See on Xbox One
Posted by Dave Letcavage
Did your favourite download make our list?
You don't need us to tell you how successful Xbox Live Arcade has been for the Xbox 360. Even if you spend just a few minutes time browsing the impressive catalog of games the service has amassed since its inception in 2005, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the number of high-quality releases crowding around every turn. What's surprising is how few of those great games actually received sequels. That realization got us thinking about our most-beloved XBLA downloads, and which of them we'd like to see get new installments on the Xbox One.
Thus this feature was born.
What we've prepared for you is our top six games that we'd like to see sequel-ized at some point during the lifespan of Microsoft's latest and greatest gaming console — preferably sooner than later, of course. So have yourself a read and then head to the comments to tell us what your #1 selection would be. Critically acclaimed or under-appreciated gem, it doesn't matter; just choose a game that you love unconditionally.
So with the proper introduction out of the way, it's time to get "two" it.
Greg Giddens: Some of my favourite XBLA titles have already got sequels or new versions in the works for the Xbox One: Minecraft, Trails Fusion, and possibly Shadow Complex. But there’s one title in particular that is crying out for an Xbox One version: Battlefield 1943. I spent well over 100 hours on this title back in 2009, collecting all the achievements and contributing to the Xbox community kill-count to unlock the Coral Sea map. It was a terrific game, set in the beautiful yet brutal tropic backdrop of the pacific theatre of World War II. Battlefield 4 certainly provides and visually stunning and exciting sets of combat scenarios, but there’s something about the weapons and vehicles of the 40s that brings out the best in this FPS series. With larger maps, an increased player count and prettier visuals, a new WWII excursion for the Battlefield series would be a welcome addition. It doesn’t even need to be WWII in fact. How about Battlefield 1913? You get that idea for free, EA.
Josephine Johnson: My arcade game of choice is Catan. Based on a board game that I've been playing since 1992, the Xbox version gave me an opportunity to play when my friends weren't available or I just wanted to kill a few hours. Sure, it wasn't as good as some other online versions of the game and it didn't offer any of the add ons or variants, but that's exactly why it needs a sequel! It would be great to see this released on Xbox one with the Cities and knights or Seafarers expansions. With people now tuning in to Wil Wheaton's Tabletop and (inexplicably) enjoying Big Bang Theory, both of which have featured Catan, there is a chance this could be a successful and popular title this time around. Despite some hefty bugs, the Xbox version had its merits. It was easy to play, the AI offered a reasonable challenge and instantly replaced players who rage quit and overall it successfully captured the spirit of the board game experience. With a little redevelopment and the addition of some game variants, I would purchase a sequel in a heartbeat!
Ken Barnes: For me, the original Geometry Wars was one of the purest gaming experiences that I've ever had the pleasure to...well...experience. The sequel had that little something extra. I remember how many times I wanted to throw the controller through the window as I logged on and realised that my friend had topped my score while I'd been offline. I'd remember how hard I had worked to best him last time, and how many times I had come close to losing that final life before hitting the big numbers. The pulsating soundtrack, the simple - yet beautiful - graphics, the controls...there's nothing even remotely close to GW2, in my mind. A sequel is highly unlikely of course, but that doesn't stop a guy from dreaming.
Dave Letcavage: To be honest, there are tons of XBLA games that I'd like to see get sequels, but none comes to mind with more urgency than Hydro Thunder Hurricane. With the original Hydro Thunder being one of my very favorite arcade machines of all time, you can bet I spent countless hours tearing up the waves in Hurricane. I'm already drooling over the thought of those next — err, I mean current — gen water effects and physics offering an even more dynamic experience than ever before. By beefing up the competitive online options and incorporating more boats and courses, you'd have all you really needed to justify another installment. Well, at least that would be more than enough to have me bouncing off the walls with excitement. And I can't be the only one, right? RIGHT?!
Wayne Davies: It's hard to deny that Limbo was and still is a fantastic game — even now it's considered as one of the very best XBLA games of all time. Developed by Playdead in 2010, Limbo is an intense platformer that uses a great physics engine to put emphasis on environmental-based puzzles. Part of what makes it so special is that there isn't any real narrative to speak of, making for a pure puzzle solving experience that openly lets the player interpret where they are and what is actually going on. All Limbo 2 would need is to be more elaborate with its puzzles and make the failed outcomes even more deadly. Currently Playdead are hard at work on what they call "Project 2", so let's hope it's actually a sequel to Limbo.
Anthony Bacchus: It's certainly crazy to think about, but my first downloadable Xbox Live Arcade game was Shadow Complex. I loved it back then and I love it now. I remember gushing over the old-school gameplay, the responsive controls and challenging bosses wrapped up in that fancy HD glory — all for a reasonable $15. It was the closest Xbox gamers ever got to having a Metroid game on their system, and frankly, I do believe it's time for a sequel. Shadow Complex reinvented what a downloadable game could achieve, and since its release in 2009, XBLA games have come a long way. I mean, is it really too much to ask for Chair Entertainment to give Infinity Blade a rest for awhile and set their laser sights on a sequel for Xbox One? With Microsoft's newfound focus on smaller developers through their ID@Xbox program (as well as recent positive feedback), I'm hoping we won't have to wait that long.
So what do you think? Do you agree with any of our selections, or are you pulling for a game that didn't make our list? Whatever your thoughts may be, make your way to the comments and tell us all about it!