The remastered versions of NiGHTS and Jet Set Radio were great. We haven’t seen further HD remasters of Saturn and Dreamcast titles, unfortunately, but if Sega were to release remastered games from their previous catalogue, which games would you like to play? And which games would make sense?
I think these five games would make the most sense:
Jet Set Radio Future (a much smoother game than Jet Set Radio, this would be a natural follow up to the JSR port).
Panzer Dragoon Orta (the most refined Panzer shooter; graphically it still holds up quite well compared to the aged visuals of the Saturn trilogy).
Skies of Arcadia Legends (the enhanced version of the Dreamcast classic).
Shenmue I and II (given that Shenmue III is happening, these would be welcome; apparently Sega are looking into it, but there are licensing complications).
Games that I would like to play remastered versions of, but seem less likely:
Panzer Dragoon 1, Zwei, and Saga
Shining Force III trilogy (translated)
Ecco: Defender of the Future (I feel the difficulty would put a lot of gamers off, but it would look great in HD)
Gun Valkyrie? (I only played a demo of it, but it seems suitable for an HD remaster)
The Xbox games would be top of the list for being the only ones you couldn’t easily emulate. That kind of sets a lifetime on them unless newer ports or a decent original Xbox emulator ends up happening. It would be a dream come true to see them unrestricted by 480p and have them run in glorious high resolutions.
Other than the ones listed, it’d be nice to see some of the Japanese Exclusives. I would love to see a remastered bundle of the Sakura Wars games.
Really the only one that I can think of at this point is Panzer Dragoon Orta. This is the only game I can’t emulate. Virtually everything else Sega has made that I love is available via emulation or Steam (by official emulation). If Orta did get rereleased, I can finally ditch my 360 which hasn’t been turned on in two years aside to play through Orta once.
The only way I think Sega could justify re-releasing those games is if they did it as a sign of goodwill to their fans. Sega will reward loyalty.
They should just make a new damned game already. Shining Force IV. Same gameplay, with Grandia 2 style graphics and art. Obviously less colorful (maybe).
Even if they just made it for Japan, it would be progress. I don’t think my idea would actually be that costly to make, especially if fans rally around it.
So, “Sega”, if any of you are listening, keep in mind that medieval fantasy isn’t going anywhere. Similar strategy/RPGs also fail to impress me like Shining Force. Rename a sequel if you believe the name is too esoteric.
I always preferred Army of Light anyway, but that would have to be a subheading for something else I imagine, if it were used.
Definitely Panzer Dragoon Orta on PS VR. Rez Infinite on PlayStation VR turns the game into a completely different experience, and I’m entirely convinced the same would go for Panzer Dragoon Orta. Jet Set Radio Future is my second choice. Skies of Arcadia, sure. Shenmue: the game really has aged. I think it needs a more comprehensive remaster, just HD isn’t good enough.
Do people really want a Shining Force IV from the current SEGA, given the drastic tone shift the series took?
Good question. The goal, IMO, would be to build up a loyal fanbase by creating a unique identity. Is there a demand for a Shining Force-type strategy/RPG? I believe so, mainly because this series is much more accessible and relevant than all the alternatives. It doesn’t need to be grandiose to be great.
Blizzard, for example, have always had a huge hardcore fanbase. Sega could have a fanbase of similar size and scope. Neo and Exa seemed to try to ride a certain trend, which was shortsighted.
All this beautiful lore shouldn’t go to waste. It’s something Sega should seriously consider at least during better economic times.
The Shining Force series is finished. With Shining Soul, Sega started a new series (a reboot). It wouldn’t make sense to return to the old continuity at this point. I can’t think of any series that has returned to the old continuity after a reboot (actually, I think Prince of Persia did this, but it seems like a rare exception). Either the series continues on with the new continuity or it’s rebooted again.
IMO, if fans really want a new Shining Force game they could make a low budget spiritual successor themselves. Camelot kind of did this with the Golden Sun series, except that it wasn’t a strategy RPG. However, it retained a similar art style and music to the Shining games; it was in many ways a great spiritual successor. With tools like Unity it’s becoming increasingly easier for small teams to create 3D games, so long as you don’t set your expectations too high. My point here is that it isn’t Sega that is the barrier for creating a successor to Camelot’s Shining Force series.
Here’s the problem: there are no fans. Any fans that existed in profitable numbers gave up already.
The series isn’t finished. I don’t care about Camelot. They were dead to me the moment they decided not to support the Dreamcast. They can make games for Nintendo from now until the end of time.
SF needs to be reinvented. Medieval fantasy is still insanely popular. Art style trumps graphics.
Maybe the lore could be re-used. We shall see. Sega have a brand recognition problem outside of Japan. Maybe we should just let them die. I’m fine with that too. There are better brands (such as Sony). Since all that matters is winning anyway.
I’m not entirely aware of the circumstances that lead Camelot to leave Sega, but I’m sure they had their reasons. No one should feel obligated to work on a series or at a particular company forever. Artists generally don’t want to keep making the sequels until the end of time either; creative people like to try new things (while often retaining continuity with their previous work). Why not look at the Shining series as a complete saga that started with Shining in the Darkness and ended with Shining Force III? Aside from the untranslated games it could be seen as a complete artwork.
If that’s the case, it’s also very doubtful that there are fans working at Sega who would be willing to make a Shining Force game true to the original series. Even if they made a strategy RPG, you would likely be disappointed with the result.
Because the series never reached its full potential.
You see things as market then reflection, rather than a reflection of an untapped market.
P.S. Sega don’t need Camelot to continue the series. It’s a business. They can find new people willing to continue the series. Camelot can make golf games forever. Good for them. I’m sure they need to make a living. I was under the impression they didn’t have the luxury of being bored.
I am in agreement that the simple, grid based gameplay of the Shining Force series could be continued and has the potential to evolve further. I just don’t see the need to use the Shining Force IP to do so. Start a new series, a spiritual successor, with new lore, but bringing across elements that made Shining Force great. Unless your point is that the lore or story didn’t reach it’s full potential? Because for me, those were always secondary to Shining Force’s definitive battle system.
You know, thinking about this more, I can’t help but look at the Golden Sun and Shining series (post Shining Force III) and come to the conclusion that Golden Sun is the successor the Shining series so much more than new Shining games ever will be. Everything from the speech bubbles over the characters heads, to distinct blue menu and portrait avatars, to the music from Motoi Sakuraba, makes it feel like a Shining game. The battle system of the Golden Sun games in particular is very resemblant of Shining the Holy Ark. The only major component that is missing is a title with Force style gameplay. Now imagine a 3D Golden Sun Tactics game for the Nintendo Switch with the distinct art style that defines Camelot’s RPGs. That’s the Shining Force successor we should be hoping for and I don’t think it’s impossible either.
I realize I was a bit too aggressive. I will make my case as follows:
Shining Force’s lore and world is stunningly unique. Armored centaur knights for example. SFIII took the story into a darker realm of political intrigue and infighting almost akin to the modern world except in a medieval fantasy world. The Republic was surrounded by impenetrable walls designed to shield people from a never ending darkness.
The graphics, while great for the Saturn, were limited by that platform.
My case is fairly simple actually. Fire Emblem games have been made up until recently. Why not Shining Force? At least, like we have suggested, use the lore somehow and begin anew. Start again.
Now I understand that the games industry is a business. I know this too well. Nevertheless, there are platforms where Strategy/RPGs still sell. Portable platforms for example.
What I, personally, would do at this point is make this franchise more successful in Japan and go from there. Make all types of games but make strategy/RPGs the main series around which the rest gravitate.
We might only see these games in Japan, but at least they would exist. We can go from there.
The ideas brought to life in these games are very powerful. IMO. The gameplay was always more accessible than FE, but at the same time, also had depth.
Letting this lore die would be a terrible waste. Now I understand Camelot’s motivations behind leaving Sega, but they should have understood Sega’s dire situation better.
Could we not experience something similar, but without it being a continuation of the Shining Force story though? Centaur knights aren’t unique to Shining Force; they can be found in Final Fantasy IV for example; a different IP could reuse this element. You could have a darker Golden Sun game similar to the way that the Saturn Shining games are darker than the Megadrive ones, or a new IP that takes some of the basic themes found in the Shining games and expands on them. New IPs always borrow elements from past ones. Shining Force obviously borrowed a lot from Fire Emblem.
It sounds like you want to relive Shining Force III in a very precise way, but with better graphics. I don’t think that will ever happen, besides perhaps an HD remastered version (and even the likelihood of that is questionable). Sega clearly has no intention of stopping the current Shining action game series. The strategy game that they did release, Shining Force Feather, was radically different from the Force titles that we played. If Sega did release a new game with Force style gameplay it would be part of the new continuity (like Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon) and they would probably use art from Tony Taka. I’m not ruling out the possibility that Sega would release a game purely for the old fans, as with Sonic Mania, but that’s a low budget title belonging to a much more popular franchise, a much simpler game than what you’re asking of a potential Shining Force IV.
The Shining Force series we know and love is long dead. Let it go.
Bringing us back around to the original topic, that’s why I think these HD remasters are great. They allow us to re-experience the magic of these older games, but with enhanced visuals. For certain IPs that are unlikely to see sequels that resemble the originals, this is the best that we can hope for.
The lore is all still there. The gameplay can be updated.
I say, take the lore, and the most popular gameplay formulas, and make a new RPG series. The potential for greatness is there.
The other alternative is for publishers to focus on what’s most popular (like FF) and use that as an umbrella to promote less popular games, which would be made simply because not everyone can constantly make big budget triple A quality titles.
I’m not wrong about the lore (Blizzard still make expansions for WoW). I’m not wrong when I say the gameplay can still sell (see: Fire Emblem).
I wish Sega would make PSO darker and more medieval as well then it would reach more people IMO.
It seems that devs have to adapt to an extremely polarized industry in terms of money, so there’s very little inbetween unless it can be made with a small budget. I would be fine adapting to that.
I keep forgetting that I need to be specific with my language. What separates SF from other tactical RPGs is the user friend gameplay, strong bonds, perfect dark colorful art, and the world in which it is set. STHA actually had a very unique story. Alien spirits that turn people into gods.
You’ll find many of these features carry over into the Golden Sun series. A main difference is the darker aspects of the Saturn Shining games, which were unique to the games on that console (the earlier Shining games were clearly designed for a wider audience). I’d like to see a spiritual successor that features the more mature feeling of the Saturn games, while still retaining the use of non verbal animations and text as the primary means of story telling.