Namco is one of the oldest and most beloved companies in gaming. They’ve been relevant since the release of Pac-Man in the early 1980s, more recently publishing successful anime tie-in games and the Dark Souls series. The upcoming Elden Ring in particular is set to be a major release.
But in 2006, Namco merged with Bandai, a toy manufacturer with a few other enterprises under its belt. The Bandai Namco merger resulted in a large catalogue of intellectual property for the combined company. It has plenty of successful current franchises, but there are also a lot of legacies left untouched. Fans in the know have a lot of opinions about what properties Bandai Namco can and should revisit.
Reddit user texent75 is begging for the return of the .hack series, saying the series “deserves better than to just be swept under the rug.” The last game in this single-player role-playing game series was released in 2016. The series chiefly deals with a MMORPG characters become comatose playing. If the game within a game setup sounds familiar, Bandai Namco also owns the game rights for Sword Art Online.
The game’s setting is its primary draw, but it has also seen praise for its characters and world building. The series is also part of a large multimedia franchise that spans books and anime. But it eventually faltered critically, as the games were very similar to one another. But fans hope that Bandai Namco will let the series flourish beyond cameos and Japanese only releases in the future.
Splatterhouse is a ’90s beat-em-up classic with a wicked horror theme. You played as a Jason stand-in and hacked and slashed your way through genre staples. There was also an ambitious reboot of the series in 2010 that wasn’t quite acclaimed but is still remembered. Insane_Potato123 on Reddit really misses the 2010 reboot and “just wants to hear and see the game once more.”
Splatterhouse‘s reimagining was the work of comic book staff, having a very Todd McFarlane look. It also recontextualized the game’s plots in a bizarre lovecraftian story about a possessive mask. It even came with all previous Splatterhouses playable. If this series is to never return, a re-release or remake of underrated horror game would at least put the whole series on modern consoles.
We Love Katamari
Katmari Damacy Reroll was an excellent modernization of the PlayStation 2 classic. If you’ve never heard of Katamari Damacy, it’s a bizarre but fun game where you roll up objects into a ball. The remake was well regarded, but it made people like Redditor Slimedaddyslim “want a We Love Katamari remaster on Switch.” This sequel has been ported far less than the original.
We Love Katamari is an unusual sequel. It has a meta narrative that was a based on the characters reacting the first game’s success. This meta twist was somewhat controversial in its time, as it switched the gameplay to being more mission based. This does give the game longer playtime than the original, which would really do the sequel well on Switch.
Redditor Brainwheeze comments on a thread about a trademark register. Specifically about a trademarking related to the Klonoa series. They say they “Hope we get another game in the style of those two,” referencing the first two Klonoa games. Klonoa was great platform series like Mario with its last entry being on the Wii in 2008, so it’s due to return.
Klonoa was a fun 2.5D platformer about a guardian of the world. He makes his way through charming levels with a unique grabbing mechanic. It ends with a sad twist ending, continued in more obscure sequels and spin-offs. Fans of Klonoa are extremely dedicated, causing it to become a cult classic. They want a re-make or a re-release more than anything.
The racing genre has always been one of the simultaneously most niche and popular. They sell well but don’t always have devoted fan bases. But the Ridge Racer fan base has seen some resurgence with emulation, online servers remaining up, and arcade re-releases. But as Redditor DRAGONIUM341 points out with a meme called “Still Waiting, Namco,” there’s still no news of a new entry.
Ridge Racer is one of many early 3D racers. Like many of its ilk, it has unfortunately waned in recent years beyond mobile installments. This is surprising as the brand was previously memetically huge. The resurgence of its community hopefully preludes its return.
One of the original PlayStation’s staple RPGs was the extremely elaborate RPG Xenogears, part of a larger Xeno multiverse. In the modern day, the series is associated with Nintendo, with Xenoblade Chronicles being one of the best JRPG for them. But there was a missing link between PlayStation and Switch. That missing link was same team’s Gamecube RPG Baten Kaitos.
While not part of the Xeno brand, Kaitos is an excellent JRPG in its own right, even spawning a lackluster sequel. Redditor himherhis says “I miss Baten Kaitos.” With great music, unique battle systems, and a subversive story, who could blame them? Fans are hopeful that the trademark being renewed is indicative of more to come.
Speaking of the Xeno subseries, Xenosaga was also a entry in that series. And while they weren’t the most popular, they were beloved for how audacious they were. Much of the same love that is given to Gears and Blade can be given to the Saga games. Fans have been hoping for another Xeno game like the Xenosaga Episodes, but it doesn’t seem likely.
Reddit user WyrmHero1944 perhaps has a more reasonable expectation. They hope for a re-release; just a modern port of some kind. They say “it doesn’t even have to be a remake,” just some kind of acknowledgement of the series. But obviously some fans would want to see the series get a new release.
Gamers like Reddit user pcardina yearn for more light gun arcade cabinet games. They commented that they “wish they still made games like that.” On a board dedicated to nostalgia, the topic of the old shooter franchise Time Crisis came up. It was successful as a light gun game in arcades but actually made its way to consoles as well.
This on-rails shooter was more than another cabinet. It was top of the genre in its day. The gun click and the cheesy effects were sublime. Especially impressive given it’s in a genre not known for its Japanese development. But with arcade decay, this series might be doomed to fade. It’s hard to play with old copies, as it needs CRT technology to work.
Project X Zone
Super Smash Bros. doesn’t have a monopoly on the concept of a multiversal crossover. Of course Capcom is well known for this, and they’re involved here as well. Namco X Capcom were RPG’s featuring both universes in a epic multiversal plot. The series ended up getting more companies involved, turning into Project X Zone.
This series was a hit on the 3DS. It not only featured Bandai Namco and Capcom, but also Nintendo and Sega. This created a lot of dream dialogue and crossovers, where certain characters could interact for the first time. Redditor Scukojake say they “would love to get my hands on Project X Zone 3 on Switch.”
Pac-Man World was a series of 3D platformers from the late ’90s and early 2000s. It translated Pac-Man’s design from arcade maze game to 3D collectathon. And it worked well, running for three major releases, with 2 being the most critically successful. Reddit user Volt__Swoosh asks people to “imagine the possibilities for a new PAC MAN WORLD video game on ps5.”
Unfortunately, World returning seems unlikely. That might be odd to say with the last few years seeing platformer returns to form, but the World games didn’t appear in the compilation of games celebrating his 40th anniversary. So there’s a reason World won’t return. And that was their feature of Ms. Pac-Man, a character who has slowly vanished due to complicated legal ownership. Still, this series of games has its fans so it would be great to see Bandai Namco eventually re-release them in some way.
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