Boston (TheNextXbox) – The Xbox and the Xbox 360 were both highly-successful consoles. One thing that is clear though is that a console is only successful as the games that it has on it. Ask any Nintendo gamer out there and they will tell you this first-hand, it is all about the games and the first-party as well as third-party support that goes along with the console. The Xbox brand itself has had many successful franchises tied to it, but some of them have gotten lost in the shuffle in a sense. Today, we wanted to go back and take a look at five lost Xbox franchises, and weigh how likely it is that they are going to be making a return on the next-generation Xbox 720.
Microsoft has some stellar franchises in its first-party arsenal, especially with companies such as Rare on board. Microsoft has produced some stellar first-party exclusives for its console. Some of these that immediately come to mind include Halo, Forza Motorsport, Project Gotham Racing, and Fable. There are some franchises though that would be first-party exclusives from Microsoft which we have not heard much about, and we will a few of them today.
The Perfect Dark franchise originated back on the Nintendo 64 with a release back in the year 2000. The game was a huge success, selling 2.5 million units on the Nintendo console. Rare was hard at work on a second game for the Nintendo GameCube until Microsoft purchased the game developer, making them a first-party Microsoft developer going forward. This lead to the release of the Xbox 360 launch game, Perfect Dark Zero. The game helped solidify the launch of the Xbox 360 and managed itself to exceed the 1 million mark in terms of unit sale.
Since the release of Perfect Dark Zero though, we have only seen the franchise re-surface with a remake of the Nintendo 64 original being released on the Xbox Live Arcade. There may be something cooking over at Rare though, as the developer is once again being rumored to be working on a new Perfect Dark game, most likely for the next-generation Xbox 720. Whether it will be a reboot of the now cancelled Perfect Dark Core that was in development remains to be seen. Either way, we do not believe we have seen the last of this franchise.
Chance of Xbox 720 Reboot – 80%
Blinx released as a platformer for the original Xbox, taking advantage of the Xbox hard drive that was built-in to allow you to go back in time during the game. Blinx 2, a sequel to the original, also released on the original Xbox in 2004. The original Blinx did decent at retail, but never really set the world on fire. Many gamers thought that the original was overrated, and the gimmick of being able to go back in time was a bit overblown more or less. Still, Microsoft saw enough value to give the game a sequel in 2004. Blinx has gone dark since that time though, most likely due to the fact that the sequel never really found the audience Microsoft was hoping for. With no rumors of a reboot in sight and the lack of familiarity gamers have with the overall brand, this cat may have run out of lives.
Chance of Xbox 720 Reboot – 15%
Kung Fu Chaos
Kung Fu Chaos was one of those games on the original Xbox that was absolutely loved by gamers who got their hands on it, and played through it with a group of friends. The game was released in 2003 and was developed by Just Add Monsters, published by Microsoft Game Studios. The game was very creative in that you would control characters who would be fighting through what was supposed to be the shooting of a kung fu movie. The game did not receive the best reviews from critics, but it was touted by gamers as a great multiplayer experience. Unfortunately, this franchise has not seen the light of day since, but we believe there is still hope. The lack of multiplayer on this original game over Xbox Live is what did this one in. A full-blown sequel ith Xbox Live multiplayer support could result in this game having a great following on Xbox Live.
Imagine if the game was given features such as a level creator, with gamers creating their own kung fu movie scenes that you could fight through, and share online with the rest of the world. We think there is real potential here, and it is potential that Microsoft may see sooner rather than later.
Chance of Xbox 720 Reboot – 40%
Kameo was another game developed by Rare, and was initially intended to be a big release on the Nintendo GameCube, but with the Microsoft purchase things changed quite a bit. After years of delays, Kameo made its way as a launch game for the Xbox 360, releasing day and date with the system on November 7, 2005. The game was well-received by critics and gamers and sold fairly well for this type of action-adventure release. The Xbox 360 was hyped as more of a gaming console for hardcore gamers and fans of shooters, this broke the mold a bit. We have heard very little about Kameo since the initial release and start of this particular franchise, but we would not be surprised if Microsoft tried to resurrect, just not anytime soon.
Chance of Xbox 720 Reboot – 20%
This franchise is the most interesting on the list in our opinion due to the fact that the game has a lot of history behind it. Banjo-Kazooie was a huge hit from Rare on the Nintendo 64 when it made its debut in 1998. This spawned a few sequels in the form of Banjo-Tooie, as well as portable releases on the Game Boy Advance. The franchise made a return and an introduction to Xbox gamers with Banjo-Kazooie Nuts & Bolts on the Xbox 360 in 2008. The game on the Xbox 360 was a change for the franchise, as it altered the tried and true gameplay gamers experienced. This was received with some mixed reviews, but ultimately the game was considered a success and was complimented by the release of the original on the Xbox Live Arcade.
Banjo-Kazooie is one of those well-known franchises that Microsoft would be crazy not to go back and reinvigorate. Rare has been rumored to be working on a new release for the franchise, and we could certainly be seeing these old friends again in the next-generation.
Chance of Xbox 720 Reboot – 75%