The long history of video games has blessed gamers with countless franchises and series. Many of them continue to thrive well, while others have sadly been lost to the sands of time. Those that remain forgotten may occasionally see a revival thanks to spiritual successors.
These titles aim to emulate one another in terms of mechanics, design, and genre but with a different coat of paint. Like Playtonic's Yooka-Laylee, which is the 2017 spiritual successor to the Nintendo 64 3D platformer, Banjo-Kazooie.
This was anticipated given how Banjo's current owner Microsoft has not invested in the IP since the Xbox 360 days. But things may not be as bleak every time. Certain spiritual successors aim to one-up or try their own spin on the formula.
Take Bethesda's The Evil Within, for example, which follows in the footsteps of Capcom's Resident Evil. But enough about those; here are five upcoming spiritual successors to acclaimed long-running or forgotten titles and franchises.
These games embody the spirit of retro classics
1) Bomb Rush Cyberfunk
If there is one title associated with the SEGA Dreamcast console, it has to be Jet Set Radio. The underrated parkour game is a cult classic these days. Fans have been clamoring for a modern successor that brings back the same crisp cel shaded art style, fast-paced parkour, nostalgic graffiti culture, and a banger soundtrack.
Publisher SEGA has been busy with Sonic and Persona ever since. Thankfully, someone else has stepped up to do their job: Team Reptile. The new indie studio has undertaken the challenge of creating an experience that lives up to Jet Set fans' expectations, and from the footage so far, it at least looks the part.
Hit the streets, show off stylish moves and challenge the open-world city's crews for takeover when Bomb Rush Cyberfunk comes to PC and Nintendo Switch. It's scheduled for release sometime later in 2022.
2) Eiyuden Chronicle
Suikoden is a name not many modern JRPG fans would be familiar with. The PS1 classic from Konami is renowned for its mature narratives and engaging combat. 505 Games aim to rekindle this magic with the upcoming Eiyuden Chronicle games. Yes, there are two of them.
Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is a 2.5D hack & slash action RPG from Natsume-Atari. After an earthquake devastates the town of New Neveah, players must embark on a journey to rebuild it. There are dungeons with dangers of all sorts - which players will overcome via fast-paced combat. This one launches on May 10, 2022, for PC, PS4, XB1, Switch, PS5, and XSX|S.
But the main focus here is the sequel, called Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes. Developer Rabbit & Bear takes notes from Suikoden, featuring inspired turn-based gameplay, a focus on narrative, and a similarly massive cast of 110 recruitable characters. Hundred Heroes is set for a 2023 release. Suikoden director Yoshitaka Murayama is also on board for this journey.
3) Lost Eidolons
Despite how popular Nintendo's Fire Emblem series of strategy titles are, it's surprising how few games have tried to emulate it. Lost Eidolons from Ocean Drive Studio is one of those handfuls to do so. The upcoming strategy RPG is set in the land of Benerio laid, ruined by the corrupt ruler Ludivictus. A mercenary named Eden must rise against this injustice.
Gameplay is turn-based, with movement occurring across a grid. Perspective shifts to a third-person camera during attack sequences, like the 3D Fire Emblems. But during overworld exploration, it shifts to an over-the-shoulder view like The Witcher 3.
Players can pick from multiple classes to set up their characters, like Cleric, Berserker, and Battle Mage. Foes, meanwhile, range from standard soldiers to fearsome beasts like a giant serpent. It will be out sometime in 2022 for PCs, XB1, and XSX|S.
4) Freedom Planet 2
The original Freedom Planet from 2014 was a surprise indie that took a leaf from an unlikely page: that of SEGA's Sonic. With similarly fast-paced movement, winding platformer levels, collectathon gameplay, and lighthearted charm, the inspiration from the blue hedgehog's adventures is evident. The upcoming sequel builds upon this idea.
With Kingdom Stone's destruction, the water dragon Merga has risen from her ancient slumber. Peace must be brought back to the kingdom of Avalice with the help of a cast of four playable characters: Lilac the Dragon Girl, Carol the Wildcat, Milla the Hound, and Neera the Frost Knight. Each of them has a different playstyle, but they will be thrust into a wild adventure into the unknown.
5) Sea of Stars
Tired of Square Enix giving Chrono Trigger the cold shoulder? Disappointed by the recently released Chrono Cross remaster? Well then, Sabotage Studio has you covered. Set as a prequel to the 2018 action platformer, The Messenger, the upcoming RPG Sea of Stars is a nod to RPGs of the SNES era.
Sea of Stars promises a deep narrative with characters boasting rich backgrounds. The gameplay is turn-based and very much reminiscent of Chrono Trigger. However, it adds its own spin with real-time inputs, unlike the Mario & Luigi titles. Exploration is backed by detailed 2D art and animation. All in all, it seems to be a beautiful package.
It will arrive on PC and Nintendo Switch in the holiday season of 2022.