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Atlus' freedom to revive any classic Sega game is exactly what both parties need

Sega is giving its newly-acquired development studio Atlus complete freedom to revisit any of Sega’s dormant IPs. Basically a very public handing over of the keys to all the cars in daddy’s garage. This is what’s known in the trade as a Very Good Thing. Sega may have released many strong compilations and HD remakes of its old games over the past few years, but proper revivals have been patchy at best. Remember the new Golden Axe? Neither do I. What these classics need is a fresh approach--and that's where Atlus could (nay should) shine bright like a Chaos Emerald.

The story has come out via a translated article from Japanese gaming mag Famitsu, as reported by CVG News. According to the report, Sega Sammy’s Chief Operating Officer, Naoya Tsurumi, said: "I believe that the addition of genres is a crucial factor.

"Especially with regard to the fact that Sega have never excelled in RPG titles. With consideration towards Atlus' strengths, Japanese RPGs would be a prime example [of an added benefit]."

But don’t think that means Atlus will be limited to using an obvious RPG candidate like Phantasy Star or just bashing out further iterations of its own RPGs. If they can reimagine any classic Sega franchise then they're allowed to go ahead and do it. Tsurumi said: “While we have no intention of forcing this, we'd definitely love to have them utilize any of Sega's dormant IPs.”

Wowser.

I don’t think Sega will need to force anything. The list of games ripe for revisiting must be a mouthwatering prospect for Atlus. Imagine what could be done with, say, Streets of Rage these days. Exquisitely-animated 2D artwork, destructible environments and even unique enemies through the entire game could be combined with an RPG-style ability tree that lets you unlock special moves, call in support and recruit other fighters to your team for co-op moves. I don’t think the recently unearthed pre-alpha version of 3D SoR (pictured) was the right approach. Atlus would do better, I have no doubt.

Then there’s Burning Rangers, the existence of which has only really been acknowledged by Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed since its debut on Sega Saturn in 1998. The original was only really hampered by the hardware limitations of the Saturn. These days, it could revolve around the life of a young recruit like Tillis, going out on missions to save people from fires across a sprawling futuristic city. OK, so it’s a Sonic Team franchise, but they haven’t exactly done anything with it. Let Atlus have a crack.

Or how about Skies of Arcadia? There’s a fully-realised game world, beloved by a legion of diehard fans, just waiting to be revisited. It already fits the RPG template, has potential to impress on the new generation of consoles (just imagine the view from your airship on PS4) and has a recent-enough original entry to be present on sites like Metacritic (with two green entries, might I add?).

Panzer Dragoon is still owned by Sega, even though the core members of Team Andromeda left long ago and made Crimson Dragon on Xbox 360. Which came out on Xbox One. Anyway, point is Panzer Dragoon Saga turned the lock-on shooting fun into a sensational RPG with novel space management around battle targets.

A world where ancient yet incredibly advanced technology lies buried in the ground? Mystical dragons you can ride and fight with? If you can’t make a decent game out of that, there’s no hope for you as a developer.

Finally--dare I say it?--Atlus could feasibly make Shenmue 3. It’s an RPG with real-time combat, both of which are bread-and-butter for Atlus. Get Yu Suzuki on-board to oversee development and there it is. Shenmue 3. If ever there was a dormant Sega IP that was ripe for revisiting and featured RPG elements, it is Shenmue. Of course I'd rather see AM#2 do it, but let's face it, there's complete radio silence from them these days. Presumably because they're making Shenmue 3.

Atlus is both a talented and prolific studio that’s put out a great number of strong titles from the 8-bit era to PS3. The only real criticism that could be leveled at the company is that its offerings have been a tad niche. The Persona series is highly regarded, but it appeals only to a certain type of gamer. The more mainstream appeal of Sega’s best IPs is perfect for Atlus. Granted, the mainstream may have forgotten names like Streets of Rage, but surely today's gamers are just as interested in glassing virtual thugs in the face as they were in the 1990s? That sort of simple pleasure can be enjoyed by any generation. Er...

So I suggest Atlus takes each car in daddy's garage out for a test drive, settles on the one that suits its style best, and tweaks its engine so that it purrs once more. Sounds like Sega has total faith in the studio's ability. So do I.

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27 comments

  • laron-chunn - December 8, 2013 1:22 p.m.

    Can I just have teddy and sonic fight eachother .. am I the only one that feels like there's nonething but shattered dreams coming not holding my breathe okay maybe panzer dragoon saga :) and skies remake and sequel to kick off would be mighty nice ..
  • -Saatkvss- - December 3, 2013 3:05 p.m.

    alpha protocol 2. anyone?
  • laron-chunn - December 8, 2013 1:25 p.m.

    Dood out of all people .. your probly right lol here's our troll game coming out of this fusion
  • dangomushi - December 3, 2013 9:16 a.m.

    As much as I want a Shenmue III, it seems like the least likely business move ever.
  • Vonter - December 2, 2013 7:38 p.m.

    Was the Skies of Arcadia good? Both gameplay and storywise? I think it was by that time I played Evolution Worlds. Looks similar.
  • bbq4tw - November 30, 2013 4:52 p.m.

    Kid Chameleon in my opinion
  • dcbernman - November 30, 2013 8:30 a.m.

    Oh. My. God. Best damn gaming news I've heard in a long while! Great times are ahead!
  • john-noel-cleary - November 29, 2013 6:08 p.m.

    1st of..wow Atlus? To remake ANY of Sega's IP? Nice.. 2) make shenmue 3(and shenmue 1+2HD) on All current consoles(new gen as well) 3) Shining force 3 Complete all scenarios on all current console's(new gen as well) 4) skies of Arcadia HD 5)shining in the holy ark HD Give us all of that SEGA and we'd be happy,but dont make it just one console exclusive
  • cj-bartel - November 29, 2013 5:35 p.m.

    Shining Force , now that is a series that is just begging for a reboot ... though im not sure how a turn based party building strategy game would play these days ... But I would be super interested in seeing it ! lol
  • FoxdenRacing - December 2, 2013 9:10 a.m.

    Agreed wholeheartedly...I'd think I'd died and gone to heaven to get a console-sized, full-HD remake of the whole series. Tactical RPG has managed to break off into its own [though niche] genre. It doesn't get super-huge budgets and is content to work with sprites and hand-drawn fly-ins most of the time, but it's going strong. Disgaea's managed to become such a strong brand that it's getting portable remakes and even spin-offs with their own sequels.
  • Shnubby - November 29, 2013 1:47 p.m.

    I need Shenmue III! I've waited so long already D:
  • RebornKusabi - November 29, 2013 12:37 p.m.

    After playing Persona 4, Atlus fucking NEEDS to get their hands on Phantasy Star and get it away from this online shit.
  • jedisamurai - November 29, 2013 12:35 p.m.

    Panzer Dragoon and Burning Rangers... If one of those gets announced my poor heart might stop! Next you'll be telling me to expect a sequel to Sky Gunner...
  • StrayGator - November 29, 2013 11:49 a.m.

    Seaman.
  • james-myhre - November 29, 2013 10:53 a.m.

    shenmue omg i would be so happy for it to finally be made and make it amazing
  • Subgenre - November 29, 2013 10:16 a.m.

    I'm so fucking happy to see SEGA giving Altus the reigns of whatever franchise they want. Not only are Atlus' games consistently good but SEGA has an entire back catalog of IPs with untapped potential.
  • TheGreyWizard - November 29, 2013 8:04 a.m.

    There is only one Sega title I desperately want: VALKYRIA CHRONICLES 3 !! It only needs english test and it's done! At this point I'd be perfectly happy with a digital only version. And I would even buy a PSVITA just for this game. Of course I would love to play Skies Of Arcadia at some point since I did not own a Dreamcast or a Gamecube...
  • TheGreyWizard - November 29, 2013 8:06 a.m.

    Typo, I meant "english text".
  • JMarsella09 - November 29, 2013 9:20 a.m.

    Valkyria Chronicles is the only game I cared so much about that I imported it. The fact that it lacks an english release is a stain on the pages of video game history.
  • TheGreyWizard - November 30, 2013 6:32 a.m.

    I imported it also. Spent at least 100 hours in it. You're damn right. And that stain is particularly big, black and smelly...

Showing 1-20 of 27 comments

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