Look...one way or another, we need a Psychonauts sequel. Hell, the game pretty much sets it up at the end. And I don't care what medium it happens in, as long as it happens. But an animated series seems like it would be a perfect fit, since it sounds like it would allow things to swap seamlessly between stories of Psychic Summer Camp shenanigans at Whispering Rock to those of Psychonaut field missions, journeys into various mental worlds that allow for some extreme therapy, looks back at old-school Psychonauts adventures and comics hinted throughout the game, and much more. And the game already has its own cast of literally colorful characters set up, along with the sharp humor for each one and an Invader Zim-esque visual style that'd look terrific in animation. Given how much of a huge cult audience the game has built up over the years (shame that audience wasn't around when the game actually came out), there are definitely a ton of people out there who'd love to see this happen. So come on: Whispering Rock and its pyrocougars aren't going to revisit themselves, people...
I don't exactly know at what point in the last ten years the gaming hive mind suddenly decided that the Shantae games would become a new cult classic of sorts, but thank god they did. WayForward's charming adventures about a ridiculously cute half-genie guardian have made for some terrific games, but the series definitely needs more recognition...so is an animated show the next logical step? Well, given how the upcoming Shantae: Half-Genie Hero planned to have full voice acting and TV-quality animated cutscenes, why the hell not? And given how we didn't get said voice acting and cutscenes because we didn't reach those Kickstarter stretch goals, I'd say this is a damn good way to start making up. Hell, judging by the Kickstarter's bonus chapters alone, WayForward clearly has a ton of stories planned for Shantae and the motley residents of Scuttle Town that would make for great episodes, so let's get on it!
...By the way, you can still donate money to Half-Genie Hero's funding via PayPal here. *cocks shotgun* Get on that too, people.
Given how the developers of Awesomenauts pretty much admit that the game is a straight-up tribute to '80s Saturday morning cartoons, this one kind of seems like a no-brainer. Heck, even the plot seems like a no-brainer: In the year 3587, robot armies hire groups of various mercenaries to duke it out in order to get them to victory. See? Even the plot is straight-up Saturday morning. Of course, what helps it stand out is the insanely colorful cast that makes up these mercenaries, including Cold War monkeys, space vikings, alien surfers and sea creatures turned '20s gangsters. And seriously, how could you not want to see those guys duking it out on a weekly basis? Heck, making an animated series would allow the Awesomenauts to expand even a little further outside the MOBA arena. While there are a few aspects that may have to be toned down slightly to get it to the airwaves (notably, this is the only game on the list to be rated T for Teen), I say this is one trip into '80s cartoon tributes worth taking. Speaking of video games that are tributes to cartoons, though...
2. Sly Cooper
The Shorter Pitch:
*cocks shotgun, aims it at bound and gagged executive's head* MAKE IT. F***ING. HAPPEN. NOW.
The Longer Pitch:
And so we come to the last member of the Sony Platformer Trinity, and yes, I deliberately ranked this one much higher than the others. But not because of blind fanboyism, mind you (though that did help), but rather because much like Awesomenauts, the Sly Cooper series is a gigantic tribute to the Saturday morning cartoons of our youth. In the case of the Sly Cooper games, however, the inspiration leans a little closer to the Disney Afternoon works of the late '80s and early '90s, complete with countless anthropomorphic critters and a vibrant cel-shaded style that does everything possible to replicate the feel of those toons. And you can't tell me that the globe-trotting adventures of a master raccoon thief and his childhood friends and crew wouldn't make for great cartoon fodder on its own. Between the animated promo cartoon for Thieves in Time seen above and the promo comics released for the second and third games, we've already shown that the series has the chops to move into other worlds beyond the games, so why are we stalling on this?
...Well, there is the fact that since Thieves in Time ends on a teaser, we'd probably have to make another game to get things tied up first and oh golly gosh, you mean we'd have to make another game as well? Yeah, totally didn't plan that out. Time to persuade some people...*cocks shotgun*
1. Mega Man...Done Right
In 1994, legions of loyal Blue Bomber fans were granted the gift of a Mega Man cartoon. But while we had hoped for something that was as true to the series as possible, as originally planned by this...
...in true Trojan Horse fashion, this is what we actually got...
Flash forward nearly twenty years later. Capcom's reputation is going down the crapper and needs improving, the Mega Man franchise is getting ignored, Keiji Inafune's successor Mighty No. 9 just showed that the series has a ton of devoted fans, and the '94 series still remains a huge joke among most. So why not throw the fans a bone and give Mega Man a new cartoon already (not counting the Battle Network-inspired anime)? Come on, it has a simple plot that still allows room for a ton of expanded adventures, story, and mythology, a huge cast of characters including enough Robot Masters and villains to last at least three seasons, a perfect hero and role models for kids, and a sweet-looking 2D cartoon style. And don't say that you can't make something like this work, because Archie Comics' current Mega Man series has been telling smart, kid-friendly and action-packed tales almost perfectly on a regular basis. Just adapting those comics would be enough, but going above and beyond to give one of the most legendary video game characters the animated treatment he deserves would just bring smile to entire generations of gamers everywhere.
And if Capcom's too lazy to do that, then I say we just help make a Mighty No. 9 animated series. Your loss, dicks.
Well, that's all for my ramblings on certain video games that need cartoons. Granted, I stuck mostly to more kid-friendly material here, so if you know of any games that would make for good adult cartoons, or just any good potential game-to-cartoon ideas in general, or maybe just any initial thoughts on Sonic Boom or the other two game cartoons, why not let your opinion be known in the comments? Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go repair this shotgun...seems its been over-cocked...
Previously by Kyle LeClair: