Some franchises, regardless of quality, just never become very popular. One such example is the Sam and Max comic and video game series, which most people never heard of but have never played. Sam and Max: Hit the Road was one of LucasArts’ classic adventure games, first released in 1994. The game was based on the late 80’s comic series by Steve Purcell, who worked at LucasArts. It featured the wacky antics of a 6-foot tall dog and a hyperkinetic rabbity-thing, a duo who called themselves the Freelance Police.
The world they inhabit is wacky and unconventional while being chock full of jokes and puzzles. Recently, LucasArts have re-released their classic Monkey Island series in the XBLA in special editions featuring updated art and voices, modernizing it while retaining what made it great. Now would be a perfect time for Telltale Games, who now own the franchise, to re-release the Sam & Max that started it all.
The two console generations previous to this one saw a rather large amount of Star Wars related video games. With this generation however, due to various changes at LucasArts, we have been limited to LEGO Star Wars, Clone Wars and Force Unleashed games. Back in the PlayStation 1 era when Star Wars games were much more prevalent we saw the release of Star Wars Episode I: Jedi Power Battles.
The Episode I in the title would suggest this was planned as a series which would follow the prequel films as they were released. Perhaps that was the plan but aside from a Dreamcast port and a GBA version (sans Episode I title) of the PS1 game a sequel was never made.
Jedi Power Battles was essentially a side-scrolling brawler akin to Streets of Rage or Final Fight. Changing the protagonists to Jedi and the enemies from street thugs to droids and various other space menaces makes all the difference. Power Battles was good mindless fun, playing alone or with a friend one could quickly go from level to level tearing down droids and battling bosses. It wasn’t ground breaking by any means but it was a fairly well executed take on the genre with a Star Wars skin.
During the late 90s and early 2000s, it seemed like Rare could do no wrong on the Nintendo 64. Responsible for massive hits like GoldenEye 007, Perfect Dark, Conker’s Bad Fur Day and Banjo-Kazooie, they cranked out memorable games dear to many gamers.
Jet Force Gemini might not be remembered in the same way as some of Rare’s other classics, but like many of their other titles, it was ahead of its time and pushed the boundaries of what the system could do. It’s epic scale, creative weaponry, surprisingly violent combat and emphasis on exploration landed it in the hearts of many, and would make a perfect HD remake for XBLA.
Last September, Sega taunted Dreamcast fans by saying that enough interest in Chu Chu Rocket! would be enough to bring the beloved puzzle game to Xbox Live Arcade. Given lukewarm critical and fan response to Sega’s latest XBLA offering, we think the company should do just about anything to make its fans happy right now.
Xbox Live Arcade is fast becoming a platform teeming with not only new and innovative titles, but reincarnations of amazing games from yesteryear. We here at XBLAFans have so many games we love and miss from our childhood days. Each Saturday we’ll feature a game that we feel would be an excellent fit to Xbox Live Arcade. This is XBLA’s Most Wanted. In honor of the Super Bowl this weekend in the United States our first title is Mutant League Football on the Sega Genesis.