It looks like Sega has been listening to their fans. According to a recent "Road to 2020" presentation hosted by Sega, the Japanese publisher is planning to undergo two major projects for packaged video games. They want to provide "challenge for new IPs" and undergo a "revival of major IPs."
That's right. Sega wants to take some of their IPs and revive them over the next couple years, selling them as major titles akin to Persona 5 and Yakuza 6. That's a huge deal. We could see Sega revive franchises that they've ignored since the Sega Saturn and Dreamcast years. We'd love to see some of our favorites brought back to life.
What does Sega have planned? For now, it's hard to say. But here's our wishlist for Sega.
Space Channel 5
Music rhythm game Space Channel 5 first came out for the Sega Dreamcast in the US back in 2000, and the game has been one of Sega's most memorable 21st century franchises ever since. Taking place in the 26th century, players take on the role of Ulala, a reporter for the titular Space Channel 5 station. Ulala works to use her dance moves (and investigative skills) to fight the alien Morolians, who are kidnapping innocent people and forcing them to dance as their hostages.
Sadly, the Space Channel 5 series hasn't seen many releases over the years. The latest game was a 2016 VR demo, Space Channel 5 VR: Ukiuki Viewing Show, and that's about it. However, seeing how Sega was eager to demonstrate their franchise's virtual reality capabilities with the series, it's not unlikely that Sega wants to take the brand and revive it with a major release on PC and consoles later on down the road. For now, we have to wait and see -- but we'd like to dance with Ulala again if we can.
NiGHTS into Dreams...
Do you remember NiGHTS into Dreams..., the Sega Saturn hit that revolutionized 2.5D gameplay? We certainly do. NiGHTS was developed by Sonic Team, and led by some of Sonic Team's greatest developers, including Yuji Naka, Naoto Ohshima, and Takashi Iizuka.
Players take on the role of two dreamers, Elliot and Claris who can merge with the nightmaren NiGHTS to defeat Wizeman, the evil ruler of Nightmare that wants to enter the real world. NiGHTS into Dreams... uses a mixture of 2D and 3D gameplay that was pretty unique for its time: players can walk around the world freely as Claris or Elliot, and merge with NiGHTS to enter a 2D flying platforming segment that leads into a boss battle.
Of course, the NiGHTS series is notorious for its lack of releases. A sequel, NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams, was released in 2007 for the Wii, but the game was received with mixed review. It just didn't quite hold up. However, Takashi Iizuka is interested in making a third NiGHTS game, and this might be a great opportunity to do it right.
Now here's a real classic Sega Saturn game. Burning Rangers, also developed by Sonic Team, came out at the tail end of the Saturn's development cycle: and it was a pretty solid game nonetheless. Players take on the role of elite futuristic firefighters, called the Burning Rangers, and get to work saving citizens caught in burning buildings by collecting energy crystals from fires. Instead of focusing on destroying or killing enemies, Burning Rangers was designed as a rescue game. And it worked pretty well for its time.
So could we see Burning Rangers come back over the coming years ahead? It's not quite as likely as, say, the Space Channel 5 or NiGHTS franchises. But Burning Rangers is still beloved by many Saturn, Sega, and Sonic Team fans alike. It would be amazing to see the game receive a sequel -- or at least a remake.
Imagine flying on a dragon, shooting monsters and evil Imperial machines while flying through a 3D world. Welcome to Panzer Dragoon, one of Sega's most popular '90s series. The original Panzer Dragoon came out for Saturn in 1995. That game introduced the world to the Panzer Dragoon series, where players fly through a postapocalyptic world, tracking down an enemy creature or dragon on top of their own.
The Panzer Dragoon series saw quite a number of games, with everything from the critically acclaimed RPG Panzer Dragoon Saga to Panzer Dragoon Orta on the Xbox. But time went on and the Panzer Dragoon series hasn't seen many titles since. The Xbox One saw a spiritual successor in 2013, Crisom Dragon, but that title largely received mixed feedback from reviewers. Maybe it's time for Sega to rekindle this series and bring back a proper current generation title for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
What classic Sega franchises deserve a major revival? Share yours in the comments below.