In the first round of Remakes and Reboots I wrote, I jumped on the bandwagon of some long dead franchises that probably won’t get revisted. Surprisingly, since the article was published both Wizardry and Front Mission games were released. While the Wizardry game was more of a remake, Front Mission’s reboot took their franchise in a direction that led to mediocre results at best.
Now I come to you with another half dozen games that were successful in their day that should be revisited.
NBA Street – remake
These games were excellent expansions on the whole NBA Jam concept and they spawned a host of other sports games that received the same treatment. Still, it was amazing how the “Street”Â moniker or game style was probably better suited for basketball than any other sport they tried it on.
I doubt there would be a reason to reboot this series as the games that they made were both really good. At the very least, the remake could have more of the recent NBA stars within them along with an HD title slapped on the cover but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! This game was fun and challenging (a little) all at the same time. The trick maneuvers and over the top dunks and passes made this game into a joy to play. The legends as bosses were an even better idea.
EA is sitting on a hit here that NBA Elite and NBA Jam just can’t touch!
Star Wars Battlefront – Remake or reboot
So I had to add this game to my list as an apology to a friend for not having it on the first list. Of all of the Star Wars games that have been made, the Battlefront series is arguably the most popular. Thanks to the whole Battlefield 1942 structure of gameplay, players could jump into a large scale battle with iconic Star Wars vehicles and stormtroopers whether they were on or offline.
To say the least, playing this game (or any of it’s sequels) today is still a lot more fun than about half of the shooters and FPS games released. The music and atmosphere captured in the Battlefront series was legendary and surprisingly was left alone since the domination of Halo and Call Of Duty clones took hold of the market.
Still, there is nothing like taking over the roll of Darth Vader and wading through the masses of Rebel troops!
Double Dragon – reboot
There are many fond memories of DD1 and DD2 back in their NES days. As simplistic nods to Bruce Lee’s “Enter the Dragon” movie, these games were the core of what co-op games should be. Much like Final Fight and Streets of Rage, Double Dragon just seemed to be the granddaddy of them all. So many other Beat “Ëœem up genre games came about soon after that you lost count after a while.
There was such joy in launching foes into others with effortless shoulder throws. Then there was the powerful jump and reverse kicks that always seemed to do the trick. Or how one thrown punch could miraculously hit any number of people that were within it’s range.
Still, it kind of scares you what a reboot would do to the series. Golden Axe Beast Rider had its day in the sun and it failed miserably. But if you look at the success of the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World game, you could see how both a remake and reboot could still make for a perfect Double Dragon experience!
Def Jam Fight For NY/Vendetta/Icon – reboot
Honestly, when this franchise first hit the scene with Def Jam Fight For NY back in 2005, I thought that EA was really onto something. The whole premise of licensing hip hop stars to a video game that was as fun as these games were (for the most part) seemed to be a sustainable idea. Sure, you had the problem of only being able to license artists under the Def Jam label, but the artists that were at the time made for an exciting list of stars. Method Man, Redman, Ludacris, Snoop, Big Boi, T.I., Lil Jon, The Game, and Ghostface Killah all made appearances in this series that saw great potential under wrestling game veterans Aki and less than favorable results under EA.
Since Aki rarely brought their Fire Pro Wrestling titles stateside or when they did they were filled with Japanese pro wrestlers that few of us knew, these early Def Jam games were a consolation prize. In fact, these games were probably better or more fun that the host of WWE games that Yuke’s and THQ spat out over the last decade.
Some may have thought that constantly attributing violent fights to hip hop was a bad idea, but in the virtual world, it was quite welcome and enjoyable!
Jade Empire – remake
Here, I would be satisfied with Bioware simply returning to the franchise that gave it the tools needed to make Mass Effect and Dragon Age II so great. Here their old RTS style RPGs faded away to the more modern action RPG model that they use today.
Jade Empire had finally put me in the shoes of my very own Kung-Fu master with a storyline the involved more than ridiculous Street Fighter or Tekken storylines. As with all Bioware games, the story of Jade Empire allowed you to craft your own type of hero or heroine in an epic tale that always left room for varied replayability. As your character leveled up and learned new styles, you could even increase your ability in chosen styles for better effectiveness and lethality. The storyline had you fighting alongside a number of different characters that had their own style, personality, and backstory for you to explore. As you progressed, you learned more about them as well as the land that you were to explore. It was without a doubt one of those games where the story had an epic sense of adventure climaxing with a superb ending.
Though this is currently an Xbox Arcade title, the graphics are outdatde and the emulation isn’t quite right. HD graphics for a beautifully executed title would be what Master Sifu recommends!
Wing Commander – reboot & remake
There is not enough I can say about these games. From the very first time I encounters the Kilrathi to the RPG styled space combat sim called Privateer, I loved this series. The unfortunate existence of Wing Commander Arena barely tarnishes the legacy this game left. I remember flying the different fighters like the Hornet, the Raptor, and the Scimitar. The original game was even ported over to the SNES at one time bringing its cinematics and drama with it in a way that never lost its appeal. Though playing the original game now may pale in comparison to other gaming experiences, this game holds a huge nostalgia factor that cannot be denied.
Space combat simulators have almost become a lost genre. With Dark Star One being the only console port in recent memory, these games seem to have either fallen into the “lack of innovation” barrel or the just plain “lack of gamer interest” barrel somehow.
With that in mind, who better than the granddaddy of them all to revive the genre? I mean, Ace Combat isn’t quite a flight sim and it certainly doesn’t look as if they’ll take their action into space anytime soon with that franchise. This is just the right thing to do in order to shake up the FPS infested market!
Ah yes, once again I have managed to date myself, but this time I think it is in a good way. Some feel like gaming is hitting a stalling point by barfing out the same formula of a recent hit over and over again. Sometimes its just good to go back into the golden age of gaming and apply a bit of innovation to a proven hit.