[You know you want to see him back]
Annnnnnd introducing…..SEGA Sequel Saturdays. The new feature where we discuss what we feel would be the perfect way to do sequels to some of our favorite SEGA games. This week, I tackle Vectorman, a pretty awesome SEGA Genesis run-and-gun platformer that was developed by BlueSky Software and published by SEGA. Though an attempt was made to revive the character back on the PS2 in 2003, the game was cancelled. All hope shouldn’t be lost, though. I still definitely think it’s possible to make a great next gen Vectorman game, and if you hit the jump, you’ll see how I’d go about reviving this Genesis icon for the current gen, and you can express your own ideas as well.
Vectorman takes place in a post-apocalyptic setting, where the humans have abandoned Earth, which has been destroyed by their own doing. Orbots have been sent to Earth to clean up the mess, and Vectorman’s one such Orbot, who takes it upon himself to stop a rogue Orbot from seizing control of the planet. The character’s got “SEGA Mascot” written all over him, right down to the way he grooves to his music as he soars in his spaceship at the start of Vectorman 2. His character design’s also inspired, his body looking like it consists of tiny spheres being magically held together. This allows him to transform into pretty much anything, and the possibilities for this in a 3D game are so endless that I’m amazed nobody’s tried it yet.
[The visuals were pre-rendered, making it look great for a Genesis game]
My vision of Vectorman 3 would feature a solid mix of running-and-gunning platforming and scenes of all-out action. I don’t think Vectorman should stray too far from its platforming roots, and the levels would still consist of lengthy platforming-like segments, mainly in 2D. This would be mixed with fully 3D segments of all-out action, with an increased focus on shooting, combat, and cinematic set pieces. In these sections, Vectorman would have a variety of dodges, slides, and stylish shooting moves to fire upon multiple enemies at once. The shooting would not be slow, cover-driven Gears of War-style shooting, instead focusing on a fast-pace, true to the series’ roots. For the 2D segments, the levels would contain multiple paths, and score would be kept and powerups used to unlock different paths and secrets, giving you incentive to replay levels to beat your score. The game would use health packs which would be found in dead enemies, not regenerating health. Gameplay would be very much powerup-driven. This would not be simply a platformer, nor would it simply be a shooter. It would preserve Vectorman’s platforming/shooting mix, though it would have an increased emphasis on the shooting and the action, while still preserving what made Vectorman what it was.
What would make Vectorman 3 awesome would be the endless potential offered by the character’s ability to transform into anything. In the Genesis games, he could change into cars and tanks, he could change into underwater vessels, bombs, and many other things. This would be done by collecting powerups throughout the levels, similar to how it was done in the Genesis games. But there would also be scripted levels and bosses devoted to other forms. A fight against a boss may take place in the sky, as you and he exchange fire dogfight style, or there could be underwater sub battles, or freefalling, or anything, really, that the developers can think of. A sense of cinematic flair would be present at all times during these.
Cutscenes would be humorous and over-the-top, but very exciting. Vectorman himself has the potential to be a funny and likeable character, and there’ s of course the possibility for other Orbots he can interact with and even maybe the option for co-op play (no more than 2 players, though,) and online/offline multiplayer. There could be “score the highest” types of games, racing, and deathmatch, and who knows what else, with all the different power-ups that would offer endless options for different gameplay styles.
The graphics would be a mix of the bright and colorful and the dark and grungy, much like the first Vectorman game. The setting would be futuristic, with plenty of abandoned hi-tech cities and underwater levels, plus, again, the sky’s the limit. Vectorman 1’s final boss took place in a tornado….anything goes. This would be a HD game, though the controls would be simple enough to get the hang of. The difficulty would be adjustable, with different scoring charts depending on the difficulty selected. Vectorman 3 would feature online leaderboards.
BlueSky Software is unfortunately no longer around, but if Sega were to choose a developer to make the ideal Vectorman game, I’d go with either Platinum Games or Amusement Vision. Platinum for their cinematic flair, Amusement Vision for their fast-paced arcade-style action. The music would be faithful to the techno/trance style soundtrack of the original series, but of course updated to next gen standards to sound more complex and trippier. Posted below is a cool song from Vectorman 1, and it’s a sound that would be preserved, but ramped up and expanded on, for my ideal Vectorman 3.
My vision of Vectorman 3 would be a game where anything could go. No two levels would look or feel the same, the many powerups that can be created could make every single level feel differently. The game’s regular levels would mix 2D platforming and shooting with 3D action and shooting/combat areas. Cinematic levels, kind of like extended bosses, where Vectorman would change into a new form for their entirety, would be entirely 3D and feel very different from the main levels, consisting of non-stop action, with any type of gameplay that the developers could come up with. Bosses would be epic in scope and intense. Difficulty would be moderate, but with the option to make it brutally challenging. I would feature funny, exciting, and visually impressive (but skippable) CG cinematics between levels. This would be a brand new game, not a clone of the first 2, and a full retail release.
I feel like it would be great to see SEGA revive one of their classic mascots in a stylish and exciting game where you could always expect the unexpected. Vectorman seems like the perfect vehicle for some over-the-top and unpredictable 3D action, plus some old school 2D platforming, and I think it could do very well in today’s marketplace. If you haven’t gotten to play Vectorman, check out the first (and, in my opinion, far superior) Vectorman game on the Wii’s Virtual Console or in Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection on the PS3/360.
Have your own ideas for a new Vectorman? Feel free to share them in the comments section!Ad: