Welcome to this week’s, “Sequel, Spin Off, Start Over or Stay Dead?”Â Each week we’re going to look at a dormant franchise that was once pretty popular, but for some reason has disappeared into the sands of time. Diehard GameFAN staffers will have four options for what they want to have happen to the series and you can see them in the title of this piece. For a little more detailed description see below:
Sequel – A direct sequel to the franchise. This means if it used sprites and was in 2-D, that’s how you want the next game to be as well. This might involve putting the game on a handheld system instead of a console, but it keeps the nostalgia and classic feel alive.
Spin Off – This is where you take the characters or a specific character is a totally different direction from the established franchise. Examples include Luigi’s Mansion, Hey You, Pikachu!, Shadow Hearts (From Koudelka), and so on.
Start Over – This is a reimagining of the series from the ground up. Perhaps it’s time to bring the series into 3-D. Perhaps you want a totally different control scheme or to throw away the old continuity. In a nutshell, this is taking the brand name from the old series and that’s about it. Everything else is new and re-envisioned.
Stay Dead – This is pretty obvious. This is a toxic franchise that you don’t want to see return in any way shape or form. Let the dead rest.
This week, I felt it was time to take a look at series that has been dead since the 8-Bit era. Even so, the characters and the games themselves are so timeless, gamers have been begging HAL Labs to release another game in this series. However, since 1994 HAL has turned a deaf ear on requests for more entries into this series. Let’s see how the Diehard GameFAN staff feels about a return to The Adventures of Lolo franchise.
Alexander Lucard – Sequel
The Lolo trilogy was my favorite puzzle series during the 8-Bit era. As it had cute characters and some brain teasing puzzles, I preferred it even to Tetris. I purchased the Virtual Console re-releases as they came out, but I’d still love to see HAL give the series a graphical upgrade and some brand new puzzles.
The Adventures of Lolo is exactly the type of game that Wiiware and even DSiWare is made for. Give us fifty or so levels that can be easily downloaded for about ten dollars with extra optional levels that can be obtained for a little more cash. The graphics don’t have to be top notch since it’s a puzzle game, and many gamers would love to see the same 8-Bit visuals for this series remain intact ala Mega Man 9. Of course I’d like to see it on the 360 or PS3 as well so everyone could enjoy it, but something tells me as it is a HAL game, it would be a Nintendo Exclusive.
Christopher Bowen – Sequel
I bought Arkanoid Live on XBLA for $10 a few nights ago. I even bought one of the $3 expansions with it. Why did I do this? Because I love Arkanoid. To me, it’s more than just a Breakout clone; it’s the best one.
I feel the same way about Adventures of Lolo. It’s not the best puzzle game, but it’s true to my heart. However, even without the benefit of rose-coloured glasses, Lolo had some fantastic games for the NES that are truly appreciated by fans, but ignored or forgotten by everyone else.
I think once someone plays a demo, they would suck up a new Lolo game in a minute. It’s cheerful, happy, could look really good with a modern makeover and high definition, and allows for near-infinite playability. You want to have a few levels relegated to DLC, fine, whatever, just make sure to give us something to play. I would easily buy a sequel to Adventures of Lolo for even $15, just because modern technology allows the game’s strengths – the fact that there’s a lot of existing stages, and the potential for even more – to truly shine.
Ashe Collins -Sequel
I think a sequel to this on either Xbox Live or on the PSN or even Wiiware would be fantastic. Sure there’s a re- release of the original on the Wii, but people have fond memories of the original and I think a new sequel would go over well. Hell, bundle the original title with it if you don’t want to put it up as a downloadable content title.
You can never have enough decent puzzle games out there.
Guy Desmarais – Sequel
This is exactly the kind of game that can be developed for cheap and put on any downloadable service to great success. The series is a great concept that can be exploited almost endlessly as long as you can come up with new puzzles. There’s no reason why HAL cannot take some time off from whatever Kirby game they are making right now to give us a new Lolo. Put that on WiiWare for ten dollars and you have exactly what the service needs. Nintendo seems to be concentrating on WiiWare more than the Virtual Consol lately, so in order to make it work, they need some flagship titles. I think that a sequel to a popular Nintendo game of the past is a great way to do it.
Aaron Sirois – Sequel
Given the attention and focus that puzzle games have on the DS, it seems like it would the perfect time for another Lolo game to be released. It’s a simple game. It isn’t going to require a particularly long development time or system pushing graphics. They could probably push one out in a year and have a sleeper hit.
Then again, perhaps I’m just biased because I really want a Lolo game for the DS. Mostly because I still haven’t found a puzzle game that sucks me in for it yet. Sure, Prism, Meteos, Professor Layton, and Dropcast were all fun. They just weren’t as engrossing to me as something like Lumines for the PSP.
My DS needs some classic puzzle gameplay. Lolo would be just the ticket.
D.J. – Sequel
This series strikes me as a title that is perfect for the digital distribution format. Even remakes of the original titles with a graphical update placed into one package would be the ultimate deal for action puzzle fans. However, the series is overdue for a sequel, especially seeing as Nintendo has no problem rehashing any other franchise under its wing for the DS or Wii. Current technology would allow for level editors, allow players to trade or download created levels, extra levels created by the developer could be sold or freely distributed through Nintendo’s online stores, wireless co-op or time attack battles could be arranged, the game could allow the choice of characters between Lolo and Lala along with new characters (maybe squeeze in a Lololo joke for the Kirby followers) or even some of the enemies to provide unique puzzles based on a special ability the character has … I could really go on and on here. A fresh update for the game would definitely fit the game plan Nintendo has going on for the DS and there is no reason it couldn’t work on the Wii as well. Lolo is one of the few franchises Nintendo is sitting on from HAL’s NES era that hasn’t been rehashed to death by the company and with such a huge gap between games, a new Lolo has a shot at being a game that fans of the series won’t hesitate to pick up, while still being a fresh title in the minds of the younger or casual crowd.
Dave Olvera – Spin Off
I vaguely remember playing the Adventures of Lolo as a child and, frankly, did not really care a whit about the game. Considering I was knee deep in the Magic of Scheherazade can you blame me for not really paying attention to a cute little puzzle game?
My opinion waffled between stay dead and spin off and I will tell you why: the Lolo series is known but the only real attention it may get is from the fact Hal makes Kirby games. I am not sure that the Lolo series has enough draw to warrant another go around but then it occurred to me that with save as you go being a key part of gaming today that the long, arduous advancement through the puzzle rooms is more accommodating. Puzzle games are very well suited to hand held gaming platforms and a remade Lolo would be able to slay some time while waiting for an appointment, during a traffic jam or one of those boring feelings talk that always seem to come up.
With the more proactive mechanic of actually being able to attack some
adversaries with limited bullets and the inclusion of a little thread of storyline (always nice to see a North American release getting something extra), the original Lolo was not so bad and with the advancement of gaming platforms a new Lolo could be a fun diversion.
Hell, if someone is going to try to make a new Red Dawn, a new Adventures of Lolo is hardly a travesty. The only problem I have is that, to be honest, I just don’t find anything truly outstanding but, conversely, I find nothing to deter the idea of a spin off/remake. Unlike the previous game featured, Hydlide, there is no large taste of horrible that comes with Lolo nor is there a love that could be tarnished should a new Lolo be created. In essence, because Lolo left only a small mark on me the idea of a contemporary remake or spin off is fine; there is an opportunity to create something either equal or greater to the original. There is plenty of room in the market for another puzzle game – especially a puzzle game where the puzzles are not contrived or just bizarre in how they appear in game (I am looking at you, Professor Layton).
Mark B. – Start Over
Lolo, as a character, has been MIA for too long to just make a sequel and expect people to care. The character, on his own, is little more than a round blue… thing, so even those who played his games on the NES might blank out when trying to remember who he is. Trying to make a straight sequel of the Adventures of Lolo games seems counter-productive. Even if the games are released as part of some sort of compilation or on the VC prior to making a new game, there’s no way of knowing for certain that these re-releases would actually re-introduce players to the character. Quite frankly, Lolo, whether I like his games or not, isn’t exactly memorable.
That said, the alternative is to simply start over with the character, revamp the original games, and release them for cheap on the DS or Wii, which would essentially allow the developers to release the old games with enhanced visuals, and that’s actually not a bad idea at all. It’s cost-effective, since it only involves updating the visuals, and you wouldn’t need to pay anyone to redo the stages or design new ones. It gets the character’s name out in the world and gives the fanbase for the character the chance to say, “These games were awesome when I was a kid and they’re awesome now” without the possibility of someone completely screwing up the game by designing terrible stages that everyone hates. And hey, the old fanbase will more than likely love the games all over again, as most of them probably haven’t been devoting their weekends to playing the games over and over and frankly, the games will probably feel new to them as well. I mean, I’d buy them.
Well, most of the participating DHGF crew seems to want Lolo to return in classic form. Maybe someday HAL will finally get off their duffs and give it to us. In the meantime, what do you think should happen with the cast and crew of the Lolo games?
Next week, we’ll be covering one of the hardest and most beloved fighting game series from the 16-Bit era.