E3 2015: Shenmue finally gets its sequel – what other games are in need of a follow-up?

The gaming industry has got a reputation for endless sequels — but there are long-neglected games highly-deserving of a follow-up

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The Independent Tech

There are statements and then there are understatements. So brace yourself for one of the latter: News of Shenmue 3 at this year's E3 has gone down pretty well.

In truth, it is turning out to be one of the year's biggest ever gaming announcements, bringing to an end a frustrating 14-year wait for titbits of information that, up until now, were never forthcoming.

For Sony, which announced the game during its press event, it could not have come at a better time. Hours earlier, Microsoft had been exciting gamers with its own raft of announcements and many thought it could not be bettered.

But by dusting off a critically-acclaimed franchise that originally set the Sega Dreamcast alight when it was launched in 1999, PlayStation 4 and PC gamers are being promised a treat.

Shenmue has already had a sequel – it came two years later – but the fans have longed to see it come back.

They have proven to be so determined that not even the little matter of $2 million has become a barrier. Just hours after Shenmue 3 asked for crowdfunding on Kickstarter, it raised that target and, even as this article is being written, the amount keeps going up and up.

With more than 31 days to go, it looks set to be record breaker, surely pleasing Japanese game designer and producer, Yu Suzuki. But are there are any other games that we'd like to see return? You bet there are...

Clive Barker's Undying (2001)

Horror writer Clive Barker lent his name to this blisteringly fun, first person, atmospheric shooter and he also voiced of one the characters, Ambrose. But should the 62-year-old ever fancy a shot at a follow-up, it would be widely welcomed.

The game combined superb sound with a fast pace and gorgeous graphics and Clive brought extra depth, advising the programmers to step back and see the game with a fresh pair of eyes. As a result, it oozed atmosphere, jolting player nerves with its horror while boasting insane firepower.

Publisher EA was disappointed with the sales, though, and it cancelled the console versions of the game as well as multiplayer patch for PC. That makes a sequel very unlikely which is a shame since Undying made you very grateful for living.

Grim Fandango (1998)

Last year at E3, Sony revealed a remastered Grim Fandango and we saw the results in January this year. Still, we'd love to see a sequel to his compellingly poignant, satisfying and very funny 3D graphic adventure game.

Creator Tim Schafer infused the title with a host of likeable characters and quirky flair while producing a beautiful storyline inspired by film noir classics such as Double Indemnity. His writing is also crisp and the game is logical, bringing brings about a healthy element of humour without being too obvious.

With slick pacing and one of the gaming's most iconic heroes – Manny Calavera – anyone who plays it will never forget the experience. A sequel, we are in no doubt, would hammer so many others into their coffins.

Oasis (2005)

Not many people would go mad for a turn-based strategy game that has been described as Civilization meets Minesweeper but there is something about Oasis that makes it so compelling. Released in 2005 following more than two years' work, it is simple and engaging and has proved popular enough for people to cry out for a sequel (why not check out the iPad version Defense of the Oasis released in 2010 in the meantime).

The game revolves around a 10 by 10 grid on a single screen. You click to reveal a tile and try to find the glymph of power while mounting a defence against the barbarians. As a casual game, it takes some beating, achieving a fair few awards in the process. Little wonder - a brisk jaunt through a map or two of Oasis leaves you begging for another try.

Psychonauts (2005)

We make no apologies for including two Tim Schafer games in this list since Psychonauts has recently “celebrated” 10 years without a follow-up and that has left us begging for more. We just know he will have many ideas for fresh concepts but given that this criminally over-looked unique experience suffered poor sales, we're likely to be left with a one-off classic.

Still, this was a finely honed and polished platform game collect-em-up environment in which you use various psychic abilities to enter enemies' minds and battle against their inner demons and fears. The result is a laugh-out-loud hilarious tale of psychics, mental baggage, paranoid milkmen, bullfighters and bacon - but Schafer believes the market had changed by the time the game arrived and so suffered greatly for it.

Perfect Dark (2000)

Martin Hollis is a gaming hero: not only did the company he worked for, Rare, amaze everyone with Donkey Kong Country, he produced GoldenEye 007 which became a classic for the Nintendo 64. But the game we want to see a sequel to is Perfect Dark. It was an acclaimed first person shooter centred around a future agent called Joanna Dark written, ironically enough, in the darkest, gloomiest, windowless office in the Rare building.

We've seen a remake of the game on Xbox Live Arcade for the Xbox 360 in 2010 and we've enjoyed a prequel, Perfect Dark Zero, but 10 years on from that, we think it's high time for something new. We can only live in hope that Joanna returns once again.

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