Throughout the last decades, we have seen quality RPGs that have gone dormant for quite some time.
Here are some of these RPG series that need a comeback.
This game came out on the original Playstation in 1998, with a sequel that came out the following year on the same port, and then a new one the year after that, but this time it was released as a handheld version for the PSP.
It was based on a novel released in 1995 under the same name and the game would be like a continuation of that work.
It follows a police officer who is witness to some weird freaky biological phenomenon in the big apple where living beings either mutate into monsters or simply spontaneously combust. A real horror fest.
Parasite Eve is much different from your typical RPG. It was actually SquareSoft’s (now Square-Enix) first M-Rated game.
It has a Resident Evil survival horror feel to it alongside the RPG mechanics, such as leveling up by gaining XP and upgrading your weapons.
When you look back you see that graphics-wise, the games haven’t aged very well, but with today’s technology, having a new game or simply a remake of the original game, you be magnificent, to say the least.
Another of these RPG series that needs a comeback is Lufia. Released for the Super Nintendo in 1993, it had a sequel a couple of years later also on the SNES, then a third in 2001 on the Gameboy Color. They came up with an action RPG for the Nintendo DS in 2010, which differs from the rest of them, not being a turn-based RPG. The first sequel actually acts as a prequel to the original game.
The story is fairly simple. For the first entry of the series called “Lufia: Fortress of Doom”, there is a floating island in the sky on which there is a fortress which is occupied by four powerful Sinistrals who have plans to rule the world. Your job is to stop them in their tracks.
As for the second opus called “Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals”, which is as I said is a prequel to the first game, it is set about 100 years prior to the events of the first game and it tells the story of the origin of these Sinistrals.
It was produced by Taito and also Natsume who have created a lot of good quality, especially on the Nintendo Entertainment System. See my article about Hidden NES Gems to find out which ones.
As mentioned previously, this one is a classic turn-based RPG, it packs a good story with a good variety of characters that you level up through random encounters.
The battles remind me of the Dragon Warrior series, as the enemies face the screen instead of the opposite side of the screen, much like the early Final Fantasy games.
I know I had enjoyed them on my first playthrough and I should probably revisit them in the near future, but then again why revisit an old-school game if Natsume would come out with a new game?
It would certainly put them back on the map. Would they revert to the old battle system or continue as an action RPG like their DS port game if that were to happen?
Either way, I would be certain they would not disappoint.
The Lunar series made its debut on the Sega CD back in 1992 in Japan to be released at the end of the following year in North America. Since then, it has made its way onto various other consoles, with a sequel, a prequel, and multiple remakes of the first game called “Silver Star”. It was last seen in 2010 in North America, appearing on the PSP as one of those remakes.
It tells the story of a planet called the Blue Star and its moon that is called Lunar (a.k.a Silver Star). Long story short, the planet got corrupted by an evil god which was defended by a “good” goddess, she had won, evil had been sealed away, but the planet could not be saved, so she transferred everyone to Lunar.
To protect the new world, the goddess had created four dragons and prophecy had been told about a champion, a Dragonmaster would gather all four dragons’ power and save the world. So you are the protagonist in his quest to become that said Dragonmaster.
The series was quite popular mostly in Japan, as it also took shape of mangas and novels, adding even more popularity to the brand. The games themselves we quite fun, with great soundtracks and great animated cutscenes.
Back in the day, I believed it was ahead of its time mostly with these cutscenes, great dialogs, and a cast of characters, paving the way and raising the bar, inspiring other video game companies based on Lunar’s greatness.
Shame we had not seen anything new in the last decade from Game Arts, the series producer. It would be great to have a new story to tell or simply keep up with their trend and release yet another remake, but on more recent platforms with stunning graphics, HD/4K animated cutscenes, voice acting, great control, and design.
Breath of Fire
Breath of Fire was among the popular RPG titles that came out on the Super Nintendo. The first one was released in 1993 and a sequel followed the next year, both on the SNES console.
There were a few other games after the initial two, for a total of six games. Two were released on the Playstation One, then another came out on the Playstation 2.
It was last seen in Japan on mobile devices in 2016 as an online game but was taken down the following year.
Although the stories of each game are different, with no apparent timeline, there are usually two recurring protagonists.
The main character is a blue-haired boy named Ryu, which is a descendant of a dragon clan, who is able to unleash their inner dragon and transform into one.
A second recurring character is a winged girl named Nina, who is part of a wing clan, which the people once had the ability to fly, but had lost that ability along the way throughout the years.
They both meet up at some point during the adventure along with other memorable characters and they depart on a common quest to ultimately defeat either a deity or a powerful demon of sorts.
Although linear, the games are usually a lot of fun. A classic turn-based JRPG, with character leveling up, equipment, towns, and shops.
I believe Capcom started strong with the series, but the popularity slowly declined which I personally think is a direct result of the quality of the games that were seemingly going downhill.
The company has no current plan to revive the series, due to strong competition in the genre, but there are other companies willing to give it a second wind.
This one is a fan-favorite, beloved game by SquareSoft, released in 1995 on the SNES and spawned a sequel on the PS1 in 1999 called Chrono Cross.
Chrono Trigger has to be the most in-demand of all the RPG series that need a comeback. With Square-Enix not giving what the fans want, the fandom took the matter into their own hands by making unofficial fan-made sequels of the game, with the most “complete” one of them all being called “Flames of Eternity”.
The story of the first game is all about time traveling, going back and forth between the present, past, and future.
The party learns about a creature that has been dormant below the earth’s surface millions of years ago and will awaken at some point in time destroying life as they know it, so their mission is to prevent this from happening.
The sequel takes place a few years after the first game, in the “same” world, but in a part of the map that was not part of the original, with a new set of characters.
The protagonist is facing an alternate reality where he had died as a child and must uncover the truth of what happened which, at some point, intertwines with the events of the first game.
In 2001, there was another fan-made sequel for the series in the works, it was to be called Chrono Break, which had great potential based on the early screenshots, but the project was put to sleep in 2003 with no plans of waking it up.
Square-Enix has plans to revisit old games to either give it a remaster or remake, but no words as to if Chrono Trigger is among those plans. Here’s hoping.
Honorable Mention: Castlevania
This one is slightly different from the rest of these RPGs. Although it is not a turn-based battle system, the gaming mechanics is of an action RPG, still considered to be a Role-Playing Game nonetheless.
Since the original release of Symphony of the Night on the PSOne in 1997, it has defined a new genre in video gaming that the fandom called “Metroidvania”, which is as the name says, a mix of any Metroid games and any 2D Castlevania games since SOTN.
In these Metroidvanias, your character has stats, levels up, equips themselves with gears, and weapons, and has access to special abilities.
There is a vast map to explore and backtracking is a must after acquiring certain abilities or items to visit previously unattainable areas.
In each “chapter” of the series, in most of them the main antagonist Dracula is reborn along with his castle and set out to terrorize and feed off of the villagers and it is up to a member or close relative to the Belmont clan to put him to rest once again.
It is definitely one of those RPG series that need a comeback as they have fans still hungry for more since the not-so-popular reboot in the Lord of Shadows timeline.
With the recent popularity of the Castlevania animated series released on Netflix, it is a reason more for Konami to jump on the bandwagon, take advantage of the situation, and revive Dracula once more, while the “blood” is still fresh.
There you have it, the selection of my 5+ RPG series that need a comeback. If you are not familiar with any of these, I invite you to give them a try. Guaranteed fun.
For sure, all we can do now is hope for the best and hopefully at least one of these will make its way back with new content or even get the remake treatment that seems to be trending these days.
Knowing that the demand is there and the fans are out there letting their voices heard, developers cannot simply pass by these opportunities and not make the most out of them, because that is how business works. If they make it, they will come. Heck, it worked for Final Fantasy 7, didn’t it?
Enjoy and get your game on.