Gaming Remakes and Reboots: A Wish List

Game publishers are looking for ways to make good money off of a sure thing. At times, this means “Ëœsequels’ to old franchises, but as of late, we’ve been seeing a rash of remakes and re-releases.

The latest news bit in this fad is the HD re-release of Halo. Planned for late 2011, the momma of FPS blockbusters is set to give the Flood and Master Chief an HD overhaul (hopefully in the style of the Reach game engine).

We’ve seen Tomb Raider get this treatment as well as Resident Evil, and even Super Mario Brothers (without the HD of course). We’ve even seen Sid Meyer’s Pirates, Street Fighter, DOOM, and Mortal Kombat make their successful returns. These are all well and good, but it seems as if now they are trying to revamp or redo games that really don’t need to be redone.

While the remake of Perfect Dark as an arcade title on XBLA and PSN was brilliant given its amazing story, original weapons, and nostalgia, the remake of Goldeneye wasn’t quite as welcome. Not only was the game redone, it was made into a full length game release with a price point that I’m sure many found questionable.

We’ve also seen Bionic Commando, Rygar, Gauntlet, Spy Hunter, Golden Axe, Splatterhouse, and Dragon’s Lair, which honestly were not needed. Ok, maybe some of these remakes were really wanted, but the remakes that came about for all of these games were nowhere near what classic gamers were hoping for.

So, I’ve decided to do my own recommendation of “Ëœclassic’ games and franchises that deserve HD treatment or just plain remakes for the current generation.

Wizardry

Ok, I know some of you are probably moaning when you see this choice, but bear with me. Wizardry was a very unique dungeon crawling RPG where you could create as many characters you wanted, for the most part, and there was NO GAME FILE SAVE! In order to “Ëœsave’, or continue using the characters, you had to return to “Ëœhome base’, or the town, to save. You basically took your party into the dungeon, and if the whole party died, you had to remember where they died and take another party into the dungeon to recover the bodies, or else you’d lose the characters and all their equipment. Even then, you had to revive them with a character’s magic or the church’s magic, and there was a chance that if the revival didn’t work that you would permanently lose that character.

A little over a year ago, others here at DieHardGameFan even debated for a remake or reboot of this hardcore RPG series. Imagine applying that gameplay to an RPG game engine like Bioware’s Dragon Age or Bethesda’s Oblivion! It could really open up that casual “only want to play for a few minutes to see what loot I can find” feel to RPGs that might invite more to take a chance on the game.

Here is what I suggest. Wizardry was the king of permanent death and challenging gameplay coupled with a classic dungeon crawl experience. How about expanding upon that which made Wizardry great by introducing elements to the game that would possibly destroy or weaken found loot? Also, place a system that ages the characters and lessens their physical attributes (as was done in some of the Wizardry games) so that uber-characters eventually fade and die off? That would most certainly keep things interesting.

Anyways, I’ve heard that there is a version of Wizardry to be released in Japan (no news of US release as of yet) on the PS3. Entitled Dungeon of Imprisoned Souls and another called Town of Imprisoned Spirits, RPG heads here in the States may have their wishes granted at some point.

Onimusha

I’m surprised most gaming sites don’t usually clamor for this franchise because the storyline was actually pretty amazing. The puzzles, the elaborate weapons, and the classic bosses made Onimusha a truly unique series that had a wonderful and dramatic storyline to follow.

I have to admit, I’ve only played completely through Onimusha 3, which had actors Jean Reno (the guy from The Professional) and Takeshi Kaneshiro (Jin from House of Flying Daggers) as the heroes of the story. The time traveling storyline was great, and the music truly set the tone of a modern world invaded by ancient feudal Japanese demons. Ok, if you haven’t played it, I’m sure it sounds odd. Regardless, this game was great and deserves remake treatment, even if the rest of the series doesn’t.

With four games to progress the storyline, a remake saga that updates each game would be an excellent undertaking for Capcom on a franchise that surely deserves credit.

X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter

Ok, honestly… why LucasArts hasn’t managed to find a way to capitalize on this flight sim now with the golden age of console online gaming is beyond me. There is such a void of good (let alone great) flight combat sims that it is ridiculous. Throw in the Star Wars Universe and you have a sure fire hit! I mean, it’s bad enough that the Battlefront series underachieved and was as poor as it was, but the flight combat sim franchises of X-Wing and Tie Fighter never really made their way to the consoles.

What better time to update to HD and revive a hit?!! I mean, it’s that or do another Lego game at this point.

MechWarrior

So, A LOT of mech loving gamers are at such a loss for GREAT mech games that Dynasty Warriors: Gundam and Armored Core are the closest things to average that we can get. Those games are even seemingly average even though they appease that itch for massive mech destruction. I even gave Chrome Hounds an honest try for a time before the appeal for that game ran dry.

In steps the greatness of Activision’s old MechWarrior franchise. I’m not talking the 3rd person view MechAssault franchise that had its quick burn in the original Xbox days. I’m talking full out strategy and simulation status where we used to see Mechwarrior game pods in certain Dave And Buster’s arcades.

This franchise has everlasting potential for Mech DLC, weapon system DLC, vehicle DLC and so on that could be added for new maps and even campaigns! The Battletech/Mechwarrior universe is so deep and rich and filled with various factions that a solid single player campaign could easily accompany a rich and challenging online multiplayer component that I’m sure a lot of PC gamers still to this day organize tournaments for.

Whoever owns this license needs to get on the ball!

In the meantime, there are a wealth of mods and Battletech related games created by fans. Netbattletech is an online version of the table-top game that began the US mech madness. Of course, if you are looking for a more visceral experience, Crysis owners can always nab the Mechwarrior Living Legends mod.

NARC

Honestly, I’m not entirely sure why I chose this game other than the fact that it was a legendary arcade game back in the late 80’s/early 90’s. With you playing as cops fighting the bloody and violent war against drugs, you shot and arrested your way through users, dealers, hookers, and crazy bosses up to one of the more memorable bosses I’ve ever fought against in a game, Mr. Big. The appeal of this game back in the day was that it was one of the first to use photo-realistic characters and such, just like Mortal Kombat did when it first released. The graphics were top of the line for their day, and the game was typically the loudest in EVERY arcade you went into, making you wonder what the heck was making all of that noise!

Now, as a remake they would definitely have to revamp this game somehow. The war on drugs as a key political point has been taken over by the Call of Duty/Medal of Honor style military campaigns. This new remake of the game needs to push aside the realism and go back over the top like the original game did. Use crazy and insane boss battles, ammo and rocket launcher powerups that lead to massive gory explosions, vehicle battles, and co-op goodness to make it a more arcade throwback kind of game.

Of course you’d have to completely dismiss the poor attempt of a remake back in 2005, but still, I think this game deserves another shot!

Front Mission (a la Fallout 3’s game engine)

Ok, I was a huge fan of turn based strategy games that were on the PS2, such as Front Mission, where you would use the environment and positioning to help you win battles. The missions were about flanking your opponent or disabling an enemy’s weapon system or mobility in order to gain the necessary advantage.

The dld school Fallout games were quite similar in how their combat was conducted, and Bethesda Softworks made an AMAZING update of the franchise with Fallout 3. Now, I know that Front Mission is owned by Square Enix, and this wish is more like a fantasy pick, but how much better would the Front Mission franchise be if they followed a similar direction?

TV Sports Basketball & Football

Wait, wait. Calm down and hear me out people. Most of you never heard of this old PC/Commodore 64 franchise that had its heyday. It was a generic sports game, and it gave you control of an entire league, complete with character creation and such. Nowadays, everyone is caught up with the pro league licenses and all, but there are sports nuts out there that relish the opportunity to create their own team with their own style of play and chemistry and putting them against the masses.

See, this game could be updated and taken into a direction that is similar to some of the online coaching sim games. There could be a massive pool of generic and created players that people could draft with special skill sets and talents and all. Then, you could create your own team with your own special name and logo and take them online against other people’s teams. Forget the standard format of single player league and such and just make the game an online masterpiece (much like the direction that new FPS games have gone). With this, you almost make the game into a sports MMORPG, where equal time is spent training, trading, and drafting for the team as actually playing. Total team control people!

Throw in a killer control scheme like NBA2k or Madden, some RPG elements similar to the 2k My Player system, and skill point rankings (to avoid noobs always getting trashed) and you have a winner! Players who don’t get over a certain amount of minutes per game would have their stats and overall rating decrease. Players that do have the minutes would have their performances slightly adjust their attributes weekly. Then, acquired skill point bonuses for milestones, wins, achievements, and such could be used to upgrade the entire team as the user saw fit. This way the teams could maintain some sort of balance to avoid uber-teams and uber-players.

Again, this is a fantasy pick, but it is a desire I’ve had for sports games for quite some time. This format could be used for virtually any team sport and would certainly liven up the sports game competition whether there was a professional league license or not!

Kingdom Under Fire

The ambition of this franchise is off the charts. Imagine playing a Dynasty Warriors game that has real strategy, difficulty, traps, and fantastic creatures all within the battles themselves and you have what the original Xbox version of this franchise brought to the table. They placed the hack n’ slash elements that a massive melee battle game should have and add a slew of RPG elements to the troops that you command as well as the generals that you control.

With loot to acquire for both general and troops, a class evolution tree for the troops, and tactical strengths and weakness for each and every choice, this game is ripe for a mega sequel. At this point, I’m sure some of us would be happy with a good old remake of The Crusaders as well as the Heroes games within the franchise.

For years (since 2008 I think), the sequel, Kingdom Under Fire 2 has been under development, promising another spectacular single player campaign and a MMO style online component. There are many that would love for this game to see the light of day on consoles sometime this year.

Well, there you have it! Sound off people and add your own wish list!

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    • Alex Lucard

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