No way! What, that actually came out?
It's not easy being a games journalist. There you are, playing games and accepting bribes (is jokes, there's very little actual game-playing in the job) and then someone asks you to write a list of things you've forgotten about. How do you even begin to do that? How can I recall something of which I have no recollection?
Fortunately, I've become so entrenched in Apple's way of life, I was able to ask Siri for a list of sequels I've forgotten about and the resulting list was full of 'oh yeah!' moments. For whatever reason, the gaming world just simply never talks about these games any more. Get ready to say 'oh yeah!' too, and not in a Kool Aid Guy kind of way. If you *are* the Kool Aid Guy, then you'll say it with double the enthusiasm. Win/win.
Parappa The Rapper 2
Parappa represented everything that PlayStation had become when he kick-punched his way onto our standard-def screens in 1997 (unless you're Japanese in which case you got it in 1996, which is amazingly early in the console's life when you think about it). But the kind of creative explosion that gave birth to the Parappa pup didn't quite continue over into PS2's early life
Which is why Parappa The Rapper 2's release came and went without any real fanfare. It suddenly felt dated, didn't fit the early PS2's ethos, and hardly anyone bought it. Oh, and it was over in under an hour. And the music wasn't very good. Basically it wasnt fit to wear the beanie hat of the classic original. Parappa... you rappin' BAD.
Crazy Taxi 3: High Roller
Crazy Taxi 2 is hard enough to remember (you were driving around New York and jumping over cars by pressing Y you don't remember it at all, do you?), but the second sequel to the iconic original game is even harder to recall. A surprise Xbox exclusive, it features the original arcade game's city plus a Vegas-style environment, and night driving. And flames behind the wheels when you Crazy Dash.
Am I selling this yet? Put it this way: I am personally one of the worlds biggest Crazy Taxi fans. I own the Dreamcast original, the PSP version, the Xbox Live remake and even the Game Boy Advance attempt. I've played the Gamecube and PS2 ports and I also own Crazy Taxi 2. But Crazy Taxi 3 means nothing to me. That's how much attention this game commands.
The House of the Dead 4
The original The House of the Dead is an arcade classic. So too, HotD2, which is also essential Dreamcast gaming. HotD3 on Xbox (and, incredibly, Wii) is an entertaining diversion, but it felt like the end of a trilogy before the series changed tack with the brilliant HotD Overkill. Which is why it's amazing to note that The House of the Dead 4 not only exists in arcades, but actually came out on PS3. Yes, you can buy it now.
And it really is a true House of the Dead game from the original template. The same camera movement, the same graphical style (with added sheen), the same awful voice acting it's even got the same font that HotD 2 uses. In terms of home ports, it was released on PSN rather than as a boxed release, so perhaps that explains the lack of fanfare. But still, House of the Dead 4. Who'd have thought it?
Bubsy in Fractured Furry Tales
Bubsy sucks. I know it's too easy to jump on the Bubsy-kicking bandwagon (I'm guilty of that too, remember the pet shop feature?), but Bubsy 2 was just so awful, so abhorrent, he deserves every last bit of venom spat in his pitiful, nauseating direction. But after the abysmal Bubsy 2 and before the abomination referred to as Bubsy 3D, there was another Bubsy sequel.
It was a Jaguar exclusive, which is why you've almost certainly never played it. It was set in various overused fairy-tale settings, and featured 2D gameplay like that of Bubsy 1 & 2. The level design is disappointingly basic, the collision detection on the platforms finicky, and it's got Bubsy in it. So pretty much as awful as you'd expect. I love the way there's a screenshot on the front of the box. Y'know, cos the game just looks that good. Cough. Anyway, after this one, I dont think there are any more nasty, Bubsy-shaped surprises lurking in history. Phew!
Excitebots Trick Racing
Excite Truck was a Wii launch game and it is way better than it first appears. Absolutely wonderful arcade racing action with huge jumps, environmental deformation on a massive scale (level a hill in two seconds with the right pick-up (exemplary truck-based pun sadly not intended)) and an excellent ranking system that awards up to five stars for every little awesome thing you do. Give me a sequel right now.
It... received a sequel. Oh. Ah, but instead of trucks, the vehicles in it are bug-shaped robots. Ladybirds, butterflies... there's even a frog-shaped one. A frog isn't a bug, but it's still a freakin' mechanical, racing, frog-bot. What's not to like? Everything, apparently. The hype leading up to the game's release was so small, Nintendo only released it in the US in microscopic numbers, and neglected most other territories altogether, including ol Blighty. It's only the sequel to one of my favourite Wii games (and one I still sometimes come back to, even now), so no need to ACTUALLY RELEASE THE DAMN THING, eh? Meh.
Most people have at least heard of OutRun 2 and you've possibly heard of Turbo OutRun if you like your '80s arcade games. Maybe even OutRunners, which was a super-sweet multiplayer arcade cabinet in the mid-1990s and even got ported to Genesis, albeit stuck in split-screen mode throughout. I have a copy for my Nomad.
It wasn't actually made by OutRun's original creator, AM#2, instead outsourced to a company no-ones heard of, which is rather telling. It does have the traditional fork in the road at the end of each stage, and it even features a convincing 3D effect whereby roads appear underneath the overpass youre driving on, before joining up seamlessly a little further ahead. But the game itself is a bit bum. Yes, 'OutBum', if that's what you want to call it. I'm not going to stop you. We're now in 2014 so rocket-powered cars are presumably only 5 years off. How exciting.
Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc
Rayman brought 2D 32-bit platforming to the masses, showing off the then-new generation with amazing colours and smooth animation. Then Rayman 2 became the second-best 3D platformer on N64 for a while (OK, that's debatable but it was pretty awesome), even holding up convincingly when ported to Dreamcast and PS2. And 3DS. And iOS. And PSone. Basically everything. It's a very good game.
But for all the steps forward that Rayman had made in his transition to 3D, his second 3D outing, Rayman 3D: Hoodlum Havoc, was instantly forgotten by everyone. Sure, its got enhanced 3D visuals compared to its predecessor, adds in some new power-ups and sees a welcome (right?) return for Globox, but it doesnt offer anything that screams play me. Predictably, it made the comparative splash of a grain of sand falling into a bowl of syrup next to the wide-rippling impact of Rayman 2s arrival. Poor Rayman. At least his new games are good, but--tellingly--they're nothing like Hoodlum Havoc.
Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures
Can you believe there is actually a numbered sequel to Pac-Man? Strangely, however, its tagline is 'The New Adventures.' Did Pac-Man ever go on adventures in the first game? I thought he was stuck in a maze with some ghosts and a load of pills. I suppose that could be an adventure, but not a particularly wholesome one. And so Pac-Man 2 is... a cartoony side-scroller? What?!
It's a sort of point and click adventure where Pac-Man emotes with his face. That's progress for you. I mean, in the original, the best that Pac-Man could do to 'emote' was open and close his mouth, or open his mouth so far he ingested himself and disappeared. Which, coincidentally, is pretty much what happened to this game. Still, another classic example of box art being tweaked for the American audience... (see above)
The original Croc: Legend of the Gobbos is a lovely little 3D platformer on Saturn, PC, and PSone. Having started life as a 3D Yoshi game pitched to Nintendo (and turned down), this 3D Yoshi became a Yoshi-shaped crocodile instead and the rest is history. With a PSone, PC and why doesnt this Croc ever blink, ma? (and, indeed, 'where's Croc's head gone, ma?' if you loaded the game incorrectly) Sega Saturn version, Croc was a multiformat success, and went on to be Argonauts best-selling game. So, obviously, a sequel was needed.
But Croc 2 is something and nothing. It reviewed poorly and turned out to be the last Croc game in the short-lived history of Croc games. There were allegedly plans for a Croc 3 and he was rumoured to be getting a karting spin-off around the start of the PS2 era. I'm sure I don't need to tell you what's wrong with that sentence. Amazingly, there was also a Game Boy Color version of Croc 2, which is even less well-remembered. In fact, I suspect someone is mocking up shots and putting them on the internet to trick me. I DONT KNOW WHATS REAL ANYMORE.
Blue flowers? I don't get it...
Theyre forget-me-nots. See? BotanyRadar FTW. But are there any more games that I've forgotten to remember I forgot? Do let me know in the comments. And if anyone points out that I once forgot Modern Warfare 3 actually existed, I'm afraid we can't be friends any more. It was live for all of five seconds before I remembered and changed it. FIVE SECONDS.
And if you're looking for more, check out Game characters no-one ever picks and What if video game characters were sold in a pet shop?