games / Columns

The Top 8 Games That Don’t Have a Sequel: Marvel’s Spider-Man, Super Mario RPG, More

October 22, 2019 | Posted by Marc Morrison
Spider-Man Marvel's Spider-Man PlayStation 4

Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball! This week, I’m here to talk about “singular” games. What do I mean by that? Well, I mean games that never had a direct sequel, prequel, or are part of a franchise. So, games that exist in a vacuum, or in a bubble. Games like Okami wouldn’t fit because it did sort of have a sequel on 3DS, same goes for Psychonauts, Life is Strange, Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines, and so on. With that said, let’s begin:

#8: Adera

Adera is still a pretty rad little Hidden Object Game. In fact, I think it’s one of the first ones I really got into, back when it came out in like 2012. You play as Jane Sinclair as she is trying to find her grandfather amidst a hidden society filled with unique technology. The reason I enjoy the game, even now (I literally replayed it last month) is because it actually has some decent production values (voice acting, graphics), the puzzles make some logical sense and everything just has a nice flow to it.

#7: Eternal Sonata

If you want a game about a famous composer of music, Eternal Sonata has got your back. The story is decent enough for the game, but the music and really, the battle system, were a ton of fun. Certain moves could change whether or not you were in sunlight or shadows, so you had to position your characters to best maximize their effectiveness. The cast of characters had some of the usual tropes, plucky orphan, warrior woman, princess, etc., but each had a good charm to them. Lastly, it had a decent art style, it was slightly anime but didn’t go overboard like some games tend to do nowadays. I wouldn’t mind a sequel to this, perhaps about Jerry Goldsmith’s life.

#6: Vanquish

Rocketing around the battlefield is the thing I remember most about Vanquish. That and the game having a really bonkers leveling up system. You would have to collect guns of the same type on the battlefield to actually upgrade your gun to a new tier. But, it was all about the sense of speed in Vanquish that still makes it stand out in third-person action combat. You could get from one side of the arena to the other, in record time, because of your suits boosters. This let you be way more agile when fighting foes, even compared to other Platinum games, since you could get around. The slow-motion stuff also helped.

#5: Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

There has become an entire franchise of Mario & Luigi games and Paper Mario games, but none of them can hold a candle to Mario RPG. Mario RPG, for all its critical/commercial acclaim has never had a direct sequel to it, probably because Square owns a chunk of the franchise, or certain characters (Geno, Mallow), and Nintendo doesn’t want to pay. Well, Nintendo should pay. While certain Paper/M&L games are fine, none of them still hold a candle to Mario RPG’s music, gameplay, and just general coolness. I love that Mario, Bowser and the Princess have to all team up to try and save the land. Sorry Nintendo, having stickers in a battle isn’t the same thing. It’s time for Nintendo and Square to partner up again and finally make a new one (or at least an HD version) of these games.

#4: Marvel’s Spider-Man

Now, there have been a TON of different Spider-Man games over the years. Most of them crib either from the comics, or are direct adaptions of the movies. Spider-Man is on here because it actually takes a somewhat familiar story but adds on a lot of different twists to make it wholly unique. I enjoyed that Norman Osbourne was a big part of the game, but was actually only in it fairly briefly, or that he wasn’t cackling like a jackass during his appearances. Or that Mr. Negative was a big part of the story and the game showed his dual nature well. It also helps that the combat, graphics, writing and audio were all excellent in the game.

#3: Lost Odyssey

While Eternal Sonata had a light-hearted and somewhat easy to follow story, I’m still not 100% clear on what happened in Lost Odyssey. What I am sure of is that the battle system is amazing, the way you gain new abilities is interesting and that it’s still one of the most underappreciated RPGs ever made. The battle system had shades of Shadow Hearts, or Legend of the Dragoon in it, forcing you to time a button press to do extra damage to foes. Half the people in your party were immortal and could link with other characters, copying their abilities and powers. And while there is some ugly Unreal Engine pop-in by today’s standards, the game is still pretty impressive from a visual standpoint. I desperately wish this could have come to PC at some point, because it would be a new lease on life for the game.

#2: Bully

Forget Red Dead and GTA, the sequel that Rockstar should have been making is one based on Bully. I would love a new game, set in a different school/environment but kept some of the same principles as this game. Meaning, you have to follow the rules, go to class, be on a schedule, and only gradually does the school/town open up to you. This helps familiarize yourself with the area more and makes it seem much homier than just Liberty City, or the openness of Redemption 2. If they ever do make a sequel, I wouldn’t mind a cameo from Jimmy, but I wouldn’t have the game be about him again. It’s also time for them to have a female protagonist in the lead.

#1: Shadow Complex

The only Limited Run game I actually own is Shadow Complex on the PS4. I have, at last count, 4 copies of the game: Xbox 360, PS4, PC (Epic Account) and PC (Steam Release). This shows how much Shadow Complex I love. It’s just so incredibly well-designed, all the upgrades make sense and can be combined in some useful and fun ways. The story is decent enough, but could be expanded on a lot more in a sequel. Imagine if they made a game that was like twice as big, and had even more stuff for you to hunt down and collect. Metroidvania’s have come back in a big way recently, and I would happily throw down some cash to Kickstart a Shadow Complex 2, even if Epic has all the money and could easily fund it themselves. They just don’t do it because they are cowards.

For comments, list your favorite singular games and why.

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