Everyone knows the tastes of Super Mario Bros. and Sonic the hedgehog. These are the mascots that spawned massive franchises that have spanned decades. Of course, their popularity has led other companies and studios to attempt to create their own mascot to compete with the titans.
This has led to years of experimenting with mascots. Some were successful but others died after their first game. For one reason or another, they fell into obscurity never to be seen again. With the likes of Spyro, Donkey Kong Country, and Crash Bandicoot make massive returns, others might as well.
ten Gex the gecko
After a lackluster start on 3D0, Gex made a name for itself on the Nintendo 64 and the original PlayStation. Gex was a wise gecko who travels from world to world to collect items and beat missions, similar to Super Mario 64.
Gex stood out mainly because of his seemingly limitless number of jokes that were usually famous references in television and film. Since Square Enix restarted many Eidos properties, including the tomb Raider series, Two Ex, and Hitman, Why not Gex? He would just need a few tweaks to make him more unique and he could be the dead Pool Game.
Originally a mascot for the short-lived TurboGrafx16 console, Bonk is a cave boy who sets out on bizarre adventures. Weird might even be too tame a word to describe the Bonk Games. The titular caveboy travels through time and eats different candies and meats that transform him into monsters, some giving him special powers, including the ability to project howling words from his mouth. A literal text comes out of his mouth.
In a way, it’s easy to see why Bonk was not so successful. Not only was it too strange for its own good, but the matches could be beaten in a day. However, this did not prevent the Bonk games to be fun and become a cult.
8 The legendary Starfy
The best way to describe Starfy is an underwater version of the iconic Kirby Games. While not the same, there are many similar game mechanics and level structures. In Japan, The legendary Starfy saw four games on the Nintendo DS, but only one came out internationally and it was the fifth game on the adorable starfish.
Despite positive reviews and being one of the best-selling DS games at the time in 2008, The legendary Starfy never had a follow-up. The character, levels and design of the game were adorable and easy for kids to enjoy while providing a fun experience. Sequels could have turned the franchise into a classic series for Nintendo.
7 Ecco the dolphin
Along with Sonic, the Sega Genesis had several mascots who tried and didn’t see the same success. One of them was an aquatic adventure about a dolphin trying to save the world from aliens. Ecco the dolphin could be described as a precursor to Metroidvania style games.
The center of attention was exploring and rewinding while taking on enemies and solving puzzles. Although a little tedious, the seeds were planted for what could have been a great franchise. There was a reboot on the Sega Dreamcast but it was forgotten with many games on the neglected console. Maneater shows that marine life gameplay can be done justice.
The creators of Rare were simply too ahead of their time for this character. Conker came out when the idea of a crass title, “M for Mature” was considered too taboo. Conker’s Bad Fur Day became a cult classic because it was almost like a Family guy parody of the collect-a-thon platforms at the time.
Sadly, it only got a less-than-stellar sequel before Rare was purchased by Microsoft. Now, Conker appears to have been sealed in a safe somewhere. With the popularity of bizarre adult comic cartoons such as Adult Swim’s Rick and morty and games like Borderlands, Conker could easily come back and appeal to the adults.
5 Glove maker
A living glove who goes on an adventure to save his master from a corrupt version of his glove brother. It was one of the few collectible platforms from the late ’90s that stood out for its unique mechanics and puzzles featuring the transforming bullet.
A sequel was in development but due to a simple miscommunication, Hasbro Interactive ended up buying too many units for Glove maker. Therefore, Glove maker, although she is successful, did not collect enough money to pay for these units. So, during the production of the second game, it was canceled with a lot of hope that it would even return to this day.
Of all the mascots, Fang looked like it was going to be the weakest of all. Originally conceived as a spin-off of Yoshi Super Mario 64, it became its own game on the original PlayStation. Fang: Legend of the Gobbos has quickly become a cult gem for its cute characters, exceptional music, and more unique gameplay.
After a sequel, Fang would disappear and be forgotten. It’s a shame because if Sony had kept it, it could have been another classic with their Crash Bandicoot series.
Unlike many others on this list, Banjo-Kazooie was successful as a new mascot. From Rare, Banjo-Kazooie was one of the most popular Nintendo 64 games along with its sequel. Unfortunately, after Microsoft’s takeover of Rare, Banjo didn’t return for years until the oft-maligned spin-off Nuts and bolts.
The Bear and the Bird have made their biggest comeback as DLC fighters for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Many hoped it was a sign that a real third game was in the works. However, nothing has emerged apart from his spiritual successor: Yooka-Laylee.
2 Jim earthworm
Jim is a worm in a super costume that turns him into an intergalactic hero fighting an evil raven and a fish in a bowl. Weird, crazy and hilarious combined with a beautiful animation resembling the cartoons of Warner Bros. From the 1990s, Earthworm Jim was an action platform game out of the ordinary.
Both games have mixed insanity with staggering difficulty that rivals the likes of Cuphead. The two original SNES games are classics while the third game on the Nintendo 64 was the character’s last.
1 Jak and Daxter
So far, many Naughty Dog characters including Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, and even Unexplored have had their chance to shine in the modern game. How has Jak and Daxter remained stooped? The games were a mix of Super Mario 64 and Metroidvania. It made for an unforgettable trilogy of action-adventure games.
Even the fourth game was arguably one of the best action racing games of all time. So since Naughty Dog and Sony brought their franchises back, Jak and Daxter deserves the same treatment. Whether it’s a remake or a sequel, this fun sci-fi / fantasy series has been dormant for far too long.
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