Bloodrayne  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Bloodrayne  RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Queens of Blades: Top 10 sword-swinging divas https://www.gameskinny.com/00ti1/queens-of-blades-top-10-sword-swinging-divas https://www.gameskinny.com/00ti1/queens-of-blades-top-10-sword-swinging-divas Wed, 02 Sep 2015 02:30:02 -0400 David Fisher

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This brings us to the end of our top 10 list of sword-swinging divas. I have got to admit... unlike the Girls with Guns list I did last week, this list was actually quite difficult to come up with. It's great that there's a decent selection of swordswomen, but the problem is that not many of them are well known or playable.

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I guess this is where I leave it to you, readers! What other sword-maidens can you come up with? Where would you put them on this list? Do you disagree with my placements? Leave your opinions and ideas in the comments section below!

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#1: Nariko - Heavenly Sword

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When people think of swordsmen with a god complex, over-the-top fighting, and twin chained blades they often think of God of War's Kratos. When angry feminist extremists ask me why there isn't a female "God of War", my answer used to be the most obvious: "Athena's Revenge" doesn't exactly fit the character. However, ever since 2007 I've been able to avoid getting slapped across the face by pointing at this beauty here.

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Nariko is the oppressed heroine of Heavenly Sword, a character who has literally spent her entire life being belittled by her clan on the grounds that ever since her birth she "should not have been." Everyone believed Nariko to be a curse, a portent of doom, and she eventually accepted this as truth. However, this would not stop Nariko from becoming the savior of her people by wielding the Heavenly Sword, fully aware of the fact that it would consume her soul as a result.

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Aside from essentially being a copycat in terms of gameplay to Kratos from God of War, Nariko is one of the strongest female protagonists in the history of gaming. Why? Because she literally takes the place of the male hero without any modifications for the sake of gender roles. When she says that a deity "would be reborn, in the body of a mortal man" she is quite literally quoting the archetype of a Kratos-like hero. As such, she is the embodiment of the female power fantasy.

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Nariko - to date - is the only female character who does this without a love interest, without losing a loved one, nothing. She doesn't even have the tired cliché of a woman using her cunning or agility over brute strength. She slaughters her enemies with brute force alone, and does this because it is her duty as the hero. Nothing will stand in her way of saving her people. Plain and simple.

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Since Nariko is such a stellar representation of what a warrior lady should be like, she earns the spot of #1 on this list.

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#2 Bastila - Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

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If Darth Revan is the most powerful Jedi in the history of the Star Wars universe, then Bastila Shan is the most powerful female Jedi. Why? Because she was the one who took Revan down during the Jedi Civil War.

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Bastila Shan is by definition one of the most force talented Jedi in the Star Wars franchise. Able to use the power of Battle Meditation, Bastila is capable of micro-managing entire armies while simultaneously demoralizing their enemy. On top of that, Bastila is a skilled Jedi Sentinel, capable of adeptly wielding force powers while combining them with various lightsaber techniques.

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While fighting alongside her commander - and later lover - Revan, she is an unstoppable force. To this day, she is considered one of the greatest Jedi of the Old Republic. Her legacy has continued on for generations, survived by Jedi Grand Master Satele Shan in Star Wars: The Old Republic.

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Considering the fact that she is arguably the second most powerful Jedi in the Star Wars universe, Bastila Shan earns the place of #2 on our list of female warriors.

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#3: Sonya - Heroes of the Storm/Diablo III

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While the Barbarian's official name in Diablo III can range from 5up4h_S14y3r to Barbie thanks to the name-your-own-hero system, her canonical name is found in Heroes of the Storm as Sonya.

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Sonya is a simple barbarian. She sees demon, she hits it until it is dead. Sonya's dream date consists of hunting demons, collecting legendary items - usually only to smelt them at the armory later, and killing the Lord of Terror, Diablo. Her other interests include: smashing boxes, destroying tombstones, and defiling sacred temples... or maybe that's just my play-through.

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In any case, Sonya definitely gets my seal of approval for being a stand-up kind of gal. With a huge list of abilities used to smash, decapitate, and otherwise mangle demon hordes, I can't imagine a better candidate for the 3rd on this list.

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#4: Rayne - Bloodrayne

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7 years before we got the sexy power-trip video game that was Bayonetta, we had Rayne of Bloodrayne origin.

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With Rayne, what you see is what you get. Besides her obvious sex-appeal design, Rayne is a confident, sarcastic, intelligent, and somewhat deadpan character. A dhampir (half-human, half-vampire) brought up as an assassin, Rayne's number one talent is killing absolutely everyone in the most brutal way possible. This means tearing people in two, spinning them around on her blades and cutting them up into pieces, or simply taking a bite into her prey and drinking their blood. She is not your professional assassin type though, for constantly flirting or taunting her opponents is basically second nature to her.

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As a result of her dhampir blood, Rayne has a number of vampiric abilities such as feeding on her enemies, enthralling opponents, super-high reflexes, and a number of strength enhancements.

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With this repertoire of skill and power, Rayne earns a spot at #4 on this list.

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#5: Momohime - Muramasa: The Demon Blade

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Momohime is the female protagonist option for Muramasa: The Demon Blade. According to the instruction manual, Momohime is a "princess of Narukami who has been possessed by a demon", the demon in question being Jinkuro. A talented warrior, Momohime's abilities are only enhanced after she is possessed by the spirit of Jinkuro - a fallen demon warrior who seeks to reclaim his demon blade.

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Over the course of her journey, Momohime slays countless hordes of Japanese mythological creatures and warriors using the Oboro Style of fighting. With a demon blade of her own, she is a nearly unstoppable powerhouse of destruction. However, she does lose some points due to the fact that her personality - outside of her fusion with Jinkuro - basically boils down to protecting her betrothed, and others she loves.

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As such, Momohime gets the 5th spot on this list.

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#6: Hildegard von Krone - Soul Calibur IV

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Hildegard stands as one of the most respectable characters on this list. Unlike the greater portion of female characters in the Soul Calibur series, Hilde is not sexualized in the least, choosing to wear gratuitous amounts of armor instead. Not only that, but Hilde uses a unique fighting style in the game that blends together quick swordplay and a spear. Hilde is also one of the few newcomers to the Soul Calibur series that has fought both the Soul Calibur veterans, and the newcomers since Soul Calibur IV was the last game to feature many of the original cast members.

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Oh, and she's technically fought Ezio Auditore, Yoda, Darth Vader, and Starkiller too... so I guess there's that.

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This set of accomplishments places Hildegard von Krone at #6 on this list.

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#7: Impa - Hyrule Warriors

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While Princess Zelda displays her skills with a sword in Hyrule Warriors as well, it's Impa who best represents women in a battlefield setting. Cool, collected, and able to effortlessly wield a sword almost twice her size, Impa is the toughest of the tough. In Hyrule Warriors, Impa is constantly on the vanguard against Ganon's forces. Whether it be the fire-breathing King Dodongo, The Imprisoned, or even Ganon himself, Impa is ready to take them down.

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Since Impa usually takes the back seat in Legend of Zelda games, I'm glad to see what Team Ninja did to her character in Hyrule Warriors. This iteration of the classic Legend of Zelda character gets the spot of #7 thanks to her over-the-top delivery of enemy horde desolation.

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#8: Ciri - The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

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Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon, the Lion Cub of Cintra (ain't that a mouthful?) is the secondary protagonist of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and is a talented sword-fighter, much like her adopted father, Geralt. She tends to prefer a faster-paced style of combat, dashing between enemies before striking them with her two-handed sword, making her a lethal foe to face. However, her abilities are somewhat limited as she only has the ability to quickly teleport around.

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I could go on to rant about her backstory, but it is so convoluted that I probably wouldn't be able to do it justice. You can, however, check it out on this wiki or, you know, play the game yourself.

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Considering her limited skills, and her somewhat basic concept design, Ciri gets the spot of #8 on this list.

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#9: Lyndis - Fire Emblem 7

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If I had to choose a swordwoman to best represent the females in Fire Emblem, I would have to choose none other than Lyndis. While Lucina is the fan favorite nowadays, Lyndis is much better, and for a number of reasons at that.

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Let's talk about her character first. Lyn is a 15 year old young woman from the plains of Sacae. While living there, Lyn has fought off numerous bandit attacks after her mother and father were slain. It was not until a wandering tactician came about that she eventually learned that she is the granddaughter of the Marquess of Caelin (basically the king). In her time traveling across the war-torn landscapes of the Fire Emblem world, Lyn has fought numerous assassins, archers, knights, and even a dragon! That's quite the rep for someone who's younger than her fandom rival, Lucina.

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Then there's the matter of plain old statistics. While Lucina has a slightly higher luck and resistance rating at level 10, Lady Lyndis pretty much doubles or at least surpasses all of Lucina's other stats at the same level. These differences only get further separated once the two become great lords at which point Lyndis actually triples Lucina's resistance while everything else gets doubled. When equipped with the Mani Katti, Lyn's critical hit ratio would rise so high that she would basically make minced meat out of Lucina before she even had the chance to blink.

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Besides, who could possibly turn down a girl with this awesome critical hit animation?

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All of this lands Lyndis at #9 on the list.

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#10: Wonder Woman - Injustice: Gods Among Us

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In Injustice: Gods Among Us, Wonder Woman is both the bad guy, and the good guy. Depends on which world, I guess. What is constant, however, is that she kicks butt. Hard.

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Wielding a sword and a shield, Diana is able to take on just about every other superhero in the game. In fact, she is such a great warrior that she is the only one the alternate world Superman could possibly imagine replacing his long-time love interest Lois Lane with. Considering her abilities are almost identical to the Man of Steel's, who can blame him?

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Considering the fact that Wonder Woman is a superhero (meaning she's just about invincible thanks to plot armor) there might be some questioning as to why she doesn't rank higher on this list. There are two simple reasons: the first is that she's not technically a video game character, and second is that she is better known for fighting with her fists. Want to argue against me on that? Go ahead. But this Amazon is only getting the position of #10 on this list.

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Honorable Mention: Sarah Kerrigan - Starcraft

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Okay, so technically Sarah Kerrigan doesn't use blades in game. In fact, she rarely uses them at all. But we do know two things about Kerrigan: when Narud takes on her form to fight her, he uses a Psi-Blade, and when she is the Queen of Blades she uses her exceedingly sharp claws to cut through the tough armor of enemy tanks. While these don't necessarily count as "swords" or "blades" per se, Kerrigan gets an honorable mention on the grounds that if Wolverine can get on a list with sword masters, then so can she!

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Besides, what kind of list about the "Queens of Blades" would this be if the Queen of Blades herself wasn't on it? Huh?

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(Tough crowd...)

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Last week I did a top 10 list of gun-totting women in video games, but after a bit of research I found an even less represented group of females: sword maidens! Just about every top-10 list about masters of the blade in video games has a slew of beefed up males. Few of them - if any - have women! Seriously guys, women with swords are awesome too, right?

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So today I'm going to fix that void, and fill it up with this top 10 list of sword-buckling heroines! To fit the criteria of this list, the character must rely on some form of bladed weapon during combat (excluding daggers), and be able to take on at least one enemy twice their size or multiple enemies at once.

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With our criteria set, let's take a look at the Top 10 Video Game sword-swinging divas!

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10 Game Series That Need a Comeback https://www.gameskinny.com/bkcol/10-game-series-that-need-a-comeback https://www.gameskinny.com/bkcol/10-game-series-that-need-a-comeback Mon, 15 Jun 2015 08:06:28 -0400 Anne-Marie Coyle

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Shenmue

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If ever there was a game that deserved a comeback based on hype alone it's Shenmue. Highly praised by fans and critics alike, its high-production budget meant Shenmue featured what was perhaps the most realistic interactive world of its time. It's highly detailed graphics and open world exploration blew gamers away.

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The problem with Shenmue was that it was released on the Dreamcast. Given the huge lofty sum it cost to make, the platform that didn't have an install base large enough for the franchise to turn a profit. Shenmue did get a sequel which was released on the Dreamcast as well as the original Xbox. Shenmue II provided a more refined experience with a bigger emphasis on combat than its rather slow paced predecessor. It ended on a cliffhanger with a third installment planned, however, that has yet to become a reality.

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A masterpiece is the eyes of those that did play it, could the series really live up to the hype and distance itself enough in today's more competitive and technologically-advanced market? There's only one way to find out.

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Onimusha

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Another Capcom franchise that has been tossed to the wind, Onimusha was Resident Evil minus the zombies and with a lot more Samurais and who doesn't love Samurais right? Well, apparently Capcom, as they've seen fit to leave the series in limbo since 2006. Well, unless you count the browser-based card game Onimusha Soul released in Japan in 2012... but it was awful, so we'll forget that happened.

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Depicting legendary figures from Japanese history and retelling their stories with a supernatural twist, the Onimusha series always adapted and evolved, providing a new and exciting experience deviating from anything the franchise had produced previously. Onimusha 2: Samurai’s Destiny wowed with its intricate player choice and new lead character. The third entry pushed the series even further, into modern day France in fact, and featured French actor Jeno Reno kicking some Genma demon butt.

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Originally conceived as a trilogy, the popularity of the series spawned a follow-up Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams on 2006, modernising the series with its fully 3D environments rather than the pre-rendered backdrops used in the earlier entries. Almost 10 years later and there is still not even a rumor of a revival. Come back, Nobunaga, all is forgiven!

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Crash Bandicoot

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You would struggle to find someone who played games in the late nineties that didn't play Crash Bandicoot. Long before Naughty Dog developed the blockbusters it's known for today, it was home to the humble bandicoot. Platforming was king in the early days of PlayStation and Crash was a prominent mascot for Sony's original console.

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But as platforming fell out of fashion, so too did this series. After four installments, development of Crash games was split between Traveller's Tales, responsible for Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex and Crash Twinsanity, and Vicarious Visions, who created a number of handheld games for the series. However, neither of these studios quite managed to capture what made the originals so enjoyable and addictive. More recently, the development of Crash has been the responsibility of Radical Entertainment, who rather drastically altered the character for Crash of the Titans.

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Poor Crash hasn't been seen since 2008's Crash: Mind over Mutant, despite rumors that both Sony Computer Entertainment and Naughty Dog may bring the series back. Let's hope so as there now exists a generation of gamers who know one of gaming's most iconic mascots as nothing more than a washed up has-been.

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Dino Crisis

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Dear Shinji Mikami,

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Can you please explain just what incarnation is going on in your latest horror game The Evil Within? Why is it so disjointed and why the heck does everyone keep ending up in baths?! On second thought, could you just get back to making the phenomenal Dino Crisis.

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Yours sincerely, Every Gamer Ever.

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Last seen in 2003, with its last decent entry going back as far as 1999's, this is a series that's almost as extinct as the ferocious reptiles it features, well give or take several million years. The point is that technology has advanced so much since the early Resident Evil-style survival horror featuring the fixed camera angles and tank controls of the series heyday.

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Were the series to be revived now with same atmosphere that made the first two so intense, HD graphics and the kind of radical overhaul in gameplay seen in Resident Evil 4, we could have something very special indeed.

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Shadow Hearts

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Perhaps… no, *definitely* one of the most underrated RPGs in existence is Shadow Hearts. The original was a skillful blend of horror, inherited from its prequel Koudelka, and turn-based role-play. Both Shadow Hearts and its sequel Shadow Hearts: Covenant showcased genuinely fascinating plots and a host of memorable characters. It’s a series that had a commendable uniqueness in its atmosphere; one minute it had you bewildered by its goofiness and the next reaching for the Kleenex as it delved into themes of love, loss and sacrifice that cut right to the bone.

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Another aspect that set Shadow Hearts apart from the flock was its battle system. Dubbed The Judgement Ring, in order for a character to attack they had to hit specific areas of the ring, miss and the character didn’t get to take their turn. This engaging method tested player’s reflexes and made battles in Shadow Hearts harsh yet satisfying.

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2006’s Shadow Hearts: From the New World was more of a spin-off than a sequel, keeping the combat mechanics established in previous games, but foregoing the dark atmosphere of its predecessors. The game was met with a less favorable reception and poor sales of the series lead to developer Nautilus closing its doors in 2007. This is a series that deserves a revival or in the very least an HD collection, if only to garner it some degree of the recognition and success it so justly deserves.

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Primal

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Strong female leads are a dime dozen these days, but who remembers the form switching, no nonsense Jennifer Tate from PS2 action game Primal? Having the ability to transform into not one, but four demon forms, take on all manner of otherworldly beasts with an enviable rock-chick coolness, save her boyfriend as well as various realms, there’s little this lady can’t do… well, except produce a sequel.

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Shortly after the games release, preliminary work did begin on a follow-up that would star Jen’s boyfriend Lewis. However, this would never see the light of day as developer SCE Studio Cambridge obtained a licence to produce a video game based on hit TV show 24. Development on Primal 2 ceased, the imaginatively titled 24: The Game was released in 2006 and sadly the studio has never looked back. In a time when console exclusives are more important than ever, Sony should look to revisiting this stellar single player co-op action adventure.

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Jade Empire

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Before there was Dragon Age, before there was Mass Effect… there was Jade Empire. The game drew heavily from features established in BioWare's previous game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Players could choose their gender, romantic interest, and moral affiliation. There was also a choice between six different characters, granting the player different attributes, such as a focus on strength or magic. Battles were a refreshing blend of spells and martial-arts-infused action RPG combat.

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The game was set in a fantastical kingdom that drew its inspiration from ancient China to breathtaking effect. A host of NPCs, a wealth of decision making that had a direct influence on events and a beautiful world to explore all make Jade Empire essential even seven years after its initial launch. It remains a prime candidate for a world that's definitely worth expanding on with a sequel.

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BloodRayne

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BloodRayne is another vampire game that deserves to rise from the ashes. Set during WW2, the original saw half-vampire Rayne going up against mutated Nazis and other unseemly beasts. Revelling in the extremity of its scenario, gore, and feisty main character, Bloodrayne was an over the top thrill ride. Its sequel, Bloodrayne 2, ended with the revelation that the Brimstone society, the shady organisation whose business Rayne’s been carrying out for the last 2 years now want her pretty red head on a pike. The game ended with Rayne proclaiming that “the next few years are going to be very interesting.”

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Unfortunately, they weren’t.

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A hard as nails side-scrolling platformer, that had absolutely nothing to do with its source material, a comic series and some of the worst video game to film movies known to man, made the years since Bloodrayne 2 distinctly uninteresting if not downright appalling. Its intriguing premise and captivating femme fatale make Bloodrayne a worthy candidate for a revival, not least to help distance its association with franchise-butcher Uwe Boll.

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Prince of Persia

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Back in 2003, there was a Prince who was the golden IP in the land of Ubisoft. However, the Persian Royal was usurped by the powerful Assassin’s Creed. In the years that followed Ubisoft established the open-world stealth series into a yearly franchise. Perhaps this has left the developer giant with limited resources to focus on bringing PoP back to its former glory, or perhaps they’ve simply run out of ideas as to what to do with the series.

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After a successful trilogy, a strange artsy addition and a lacklustre prequel that exists solely to cash in on Hollywood’s take on the series, the Prince has seemingly taken up residence in Ubisoft’s deepest darkest dungeon never to be heard from again. It's a series that may have lost its way slightly, but the time travelling acrobatics, stellar platforming and engrossing Arabian night’s feel of the earlier entries is definitely something that shouldn't be forever lost in the midst of time.

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Legacy of Kain

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The last time we saw Kain & co was in 2003's Legacy of Kain Defiance. The game was a blend of both the Blood Omen and Soul Rever series' with play switching between the ghostly Raziel and his arch nemesis the vampire Kain. Following disappointing sales of Defiance publisher Eidos put the series on hold.

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Recently, we've heard that a very different take on the series had been in development by Climax, the British studio responsible for Assassin's Creed Chronicles, but this was cancelled by Square Enix due to concerns over how the game would perform financially.

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However, the multiplayer element does live on in multiplayer game Nosgoth. Although set in the same world as LoK, it bears little semblance to the legendary series outside of that. The world of Nosgoth is so rife with lore and atmosphere and in a time that release schedules are overcrowded with zombie titles isn't it about time vampires were given the spotlight?

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While some series are milked to the teeth with yearly entries, some of the best series have been missing for far too long. Here’s a list of ten franchises we hope to see making a comeback in the near future. 

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