Over the years, releasing older games on newer platforms has become a common situation. The games industry already has many classics people may look forward to reliving or experiencing for the first time. Collections, ports, remasters, and remakes are now a big part of console libraries.
Bandai Namco is a big publisher that has looked at its past titles and brought some of them over many times. To mention a few recent cases, we had the Katamari Damacy re-releases, Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series, the unfortunate Tales of Symphonia, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R, Pac-Man World Re-Pac, and many others. We even have Baten Kaitos I & II HD Remaster on the horizon.
However, there are many other games Bandai Namco could and should try to make more accessible to new players. As such, we decided to make a small list with the titles we feel need to be in modern systems.
Klonoa Handheld Games
I know Klonoa had a recent re-release for its two mainline titles, but the series has more to offer. Besides a PS1 beach volleyball game that would be interesting to see again, there were three platformers and one action RPG made for handhelds, most on the GBA.
Though some may argue these games, especially the Wonderswan’s Moonlight Museum, are a little simplistic, more Klonoa is never a bad thing. As a big pack with quality-of-life features, it would be a good follow-up to the Phantasy Reverie Series, and seeing the 2D sprites in high definition would be nice.
However, Klonoa Heroes: Densetsu no Star Medal would be the most impressive revival here. The game mixes up top-down action adventure with RPG elements. Players can level up and change their equipment as they explore the dream world in a completely fresh way. As a title that never came West back in the day, a new release with English support would be a dream come true.
Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins to the Moon
Back in the Wii era, there was a very special game developed as a partnership between Bandai Namco and Tri-Crescendo called Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins to the Moon. It was a unique action-adventure game that XSEED thankfully brought west back in the day.
With a bleak, post-apocalyptic environment, the game proposed a human drama of loneliness. As a young boy called Seto, we must explore Tokyo ruins, searching for survivors after the death of the only human he knew, his grandfather. This place only has ghosts and a mysterious merchant lurking, but he finds a silver-haired girl.
An HD edition of Fragile Dreams on modern systems would let players know this older gem. Maybe a second time would be the charm to having the audience notice how impressive its ambiance is.
Summon Night series
Once upon a time, there was a small Japanese developer called Flight-Plan. They had RPGs in their blood and made various exciting titles, with their flagship being the Summon Night series, which they got to make under Banpresto, a division absorbed by Bandai Namco back in 2008.
While Atlus published a few action spin-offs in the West, only Summon Night 5 and 6 had English releases, thanks to Gaijinworks. These games are strategy RPGs with a dash of dating sim elements, elemental summon partners that may vary, and multiple endings.
All the mainline titles were available on the PlayStation Vita with PSN Classics or PSP re-releases in Japan. Unfortunately, we never got the same level of fanfare in the West. An HD Remaster Collection would be an opportunity to fix that. Bringing back the spin-offs, such as the Swordcraft Story series, would also be worthy of celebration for RPG fans.
Project X Zone
Mixing different IPs into a new game is a curious option we sometimes see in the industry, even going as far as crossovers that combine two (or more) companies. When Namco decided to make a collab title with Capcom, instead of making a fighting game with their characters, they allowed Monolith Soft to create a strategy RPG.
Back on the PS2, there was NAMCO x CAPCOM, which allowed players to use MegaMan Volnutt, Chun-Li, Morrigan, Klonoa, KOS-MOS, Heihachi Mishima, Stahn Aileron, and many others. Then they made two spiritual successors on the 3DS called Project X Zone and Project X Zone 2, adding Sega and even a few Nintendo guests to the mix.
Having these weird conversations about how Phoenix Wright worked to save the hide of Yakuza members and now they’re fighting together should always have a place in the industry. These games are frankly absurd, deeply entertaining tactics RPGs that would be great to see again on a current system like the Switch.
Digimon World series
Digimon has many titles that would be interesting to see again in modern systems. Despite having video games since 1998, the series never had any remaster, only some re-releases with enhanced content like Digimon World Re:Digitize Decode on the 3DS.
While there are many options Bandai could pick, we’d advocate for collections of the multiple game lines. The more likely options here are packing together the PS1 Digimon World games, the Rumble Arenas, or the DS Digimon Story games. Adding quality-of-life features, art/music galleries, and online features (especially for Rumble Arena) would make them appealing.
Other choices include Re:Digitize Decode, the Tri-Crescendo PSP adaptation of Digimon Adventure, and the Battle Spirit fighting series. Out of all of those, producer Habumon has already mentioned he was evaluating what to do with the original Digimon World for a new release. If they haven’t chosen yet, we suggest a collection with quality-of-life features to get that out of the door without getting in the way of the upcoming Digimon Story.
Tales of series
Ever since Tales of Berseria in 2016, the only console Tales games released were Tales of Arise, and HD remasters of Tales of Vesperia and Symphonia. The latter’s new edition had many issues, but it’s also important to note the game was one of the few older ones already available on PC. As much as it is a classic and a turning point for the series, many other games are currently in a much worse availability situation.
For instance, while Symphonia and Vesperia had remasters of their PS3 editions, the other titles available on the Sony system were left behind as exclusives to the system. The list includes Tales of Xillia, Xillia 2, and Graces f, all of which are a blast to play.
The series is also so rich in options it’s frankly absurd we don’t have more remasters, like Tales of Destiny Director’s Cut, Tales of Destiny 2, Tales of Rebirth, Tales of Abyss, Tales of Innocence R, Tales of Hearts R, or Tales of Eternia. The fans would even appreciate a new Tales of Phantasia edition, as it’s already been about 10 years since the last re-release on iOS.
I would love to see a proper remake of Legendia, a Destiny Director’s Cut port with quality-of-life features, or a Hearts R port that included the original DS game as an extra. Having any Japanese-exclusive titles, like Rebirth, Narikiri Dungeon X, Radiant Mythology 2/3, or Twin Brave, come over would also be a huge moment. Bandai Namco should seriously make them already instead of more mobage that end up in EOS in just one year.
Ar Tonelico Trilogy
This one may sound odd to most people who know the games, but the Ar tonelico series is an IP of Banpresto, like the Summon Night games. As a result, bringing it back would likely depend on having a new partnership between Bandai Namco and Koei Tecmo.
Ar tonelico is a Gust franchise of RPGs created by Akira Tsuchiya. The series takes place in a world where songs are magic weaved by a female-only race called Reyvateil. Connected to humongous towers of ancient technology, they give form to their feelings through these powerful spells.
There are two games on the PS2 and one on the PS3. The trio offers unique combat mechanics due to Reyvateil’s song magic buffing the team and counting as an ultimate attack that keeps getting bigger. The soundtrack includes some epic songs, and the story offers impressively creative lore and fascinating character development as players literally dive inside the girls’ minds.
.hack//G.U. had a good remaster in .hack//G.U. Last Recode back in 2017, but we’re still waiting for the original series to return to modern systems. The developers, CyberConnect2, have already mentioned they’d love to do it, but they need Bandai Namco to greenlight the project before they can work on it.
Only available on the PS2, the original tetralogy is usually referred to as IMOQ as an abbreviation of the titles (Infection, Mutation, Outbreak, and Quarantine). The games revolve around a fictional MMORPG called The World. As one of the players, we control Kite and start playing the game, but our life changes forever after an incident.
Kite will now have to search for clues of what’s going on in The World, digging deep into its secrets. Just like Last Recode, IMOQ could have an HD remaster that improved the controls and added some quality-of-life features. Throw in .hack//Versus as a bonus, and we could have an impressive pack, maybe even a must-play if it also had .hack//Link to make it so we can dig into the whole series on current systems.
Solatorobo and Tail Concerto
Since we’re talking CyberConnect2, another important series of theirs is the Little Tail Bronx franchise. Before Fuga: Melodies of Steel, previous console games were published by Bandai Namco. These include Solatorobo on the DS and Tail Concerto on the first PlayStation.
Little Tail Bronx is a steampunk series about a future inherited by furry creatures. Both games are action-adventure titles about using a dog-controlled small mech to grab enemies and explore sky islands.
While both titles are classics that would make a great double pack, if it was necessary to pick one, having an HD edition of Solatorobo would be an impressive feat and worth checking out. The game is a considerable step up from Tail Concerto with tighter controls and a much better-developed narrative.
Originally developed for the PS2, Xenosaga was Tetsuya Takahashi’s second try at giving birth to the worldview he had in Squaresoft’s Xenogears. His team at Monolith Soft would eventually expand the Xeno franchise with the help of Nintendo in Xenoblade, which finally seems to have hit a comfortable stride to realize his ambitions.
But even if Xenosaga stopped prematurely, when we consider his original intentions, the trilogy is widely beloved as a big RPG classic. Fans have been craving for a remaster for years now, but so far, there’s no sign of Bandai Namco caving in, which is extra weird when we consider Monolith’s Baten Kaitos is a much more obscure option.
Xenosaga tells the story of scientist Shion Uzuki and a prototype battle android called KOS-MOS. Inspired by religious and philosophical elements, the game explores a futuristic setting having players fight an ancient alien race and later find out sinister details about reality.
Many other options could have made the list. As a Gundam fan, it’d be epic to see Dynasty Warriors Gundam Reborn or the Gunpla-focused Gundam Breaker 1 and 2 back, now in the West, with English support. There are also the SD Gundam G Generation and Super Robot Wars series, which could have epic re-releases, as well as other more obscure options like remastering Federation vs. Zeon DX or Level-5’s Gundam AGE games.
Beyond the mecha fan options, Bandai Namco also has dormant titles like The Tower of Druaga and some classic IPs such as Time Crisis and Ridge Racer that could come back as well. If I could pick one obscure re-release out of left field, I’m craving a Keroro RPG: Kishi to Musha to Densetsu no Kaizoku remaster because that action RPG system based on Tales of Hearts is fire. I doubt that’s happening anytime soon, but hey, let’s keep wishing.
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