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Hakael avatar 6:46 PM on 02.20.2011  (server time)
A decade without Skies of Arcadia II.

In some other reality, an evil version of myself has already played and beaten Skies of Arcadia 2. A game that should rightfully exist in our reality but has yet to see light. It's hard to think that the last time I played and beat Skies of Arcadia was nearly a decade ago while in college. To this day I have warm, fuzzy memories about Vyse and the Blue Rogues soaring across the sky, doing battle with the Valuan Empire and the occasional arcwhale. But we've seen no sequel. One may argue that sales numbers just weren't there for Sega to continue on, while it's obvious that many still have fond memories of the lovable air pirates as seen by their cameos in Valkyria Chronicles, a game that didn't see much better sales than Skies, but has seen two sequels on PSP.

Maybe I'm just grasping at straws, but has Sega dropped the ball on every franchise opportunity they've had in the last 15 years outside of Sonic and Virtua Fighter. Many could argue that they've let Sonic slip into obscurity. In my experience as a sales clerk for a good period in the last decade I can say that while Sonic games review numbers have slipped and he's fallen from retro gamers graces, he is still loved by younger audiences. It wouldn't be so bad if Sega didn't tease us about it constantly featuring fan favorites in cameos for their cash cow Wii tennis and racing titles. We'll never see another Jet Set Radio game, but we'll get to see Beat race Big the Cat and Ryo Hazuki from Shenmue on a Super Monkey Ball track. That's not to say that Sega is the only offender here, I could go on for hours about Capcom and my lust for a new Rival Schools game... but I won't do that, my therapist has cautioned me about the dangerous road of pain and destruction that leads me down, and while he's just a guy I see occasionally at the local bar I trust his opinion.

The big question here is why do we see so many games with great reviews fall into obscurity while a new Dynasty Warriors or Tales game is almost a guarantee regardless of how well it does? When does quality translate into sales? When does poor quality hurt them? I could argue about series with annual iterations like Call of Duty or uninspired shooters that seem so prevalent taking over developer and publisher resources so we don't see as much innovation in other genres, but I won't do that. So I sit looking at my old dreamcast collection, remembering how innovative the titles were and how a vast majority of the titles ended there, or shortly after the systems own demise and I wonder what games that evil version of myself in Earth 2 has played, which ones I've played that he never saw? Then my eyes find Hotel Dusk and I remind myself that a sequel is coming for that, so all is not lost.

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