Top 9 Video Games That Deserve a Reboot
Not long after introducing my wallet to the Playstation 3, I've come across multiple package-deals and trilogies on Amazon, finding that Sony are re-releasing older games for their console with revamped graphics, audio capabilities and extra features. I can understand the idea behind it, as some of these games may have been unplayable before or preferable on PC, and with a few tweaks rather than a simple port, the game can become an instant classic for console. But there's simply not enough out there that's being done to show the current generation what the older games were like, what appeal they had and how they revolutionized the way we look at them today. In this article in response to EJ Lambert's Top Five Video Games That Need a Reboot, I'll be talking about what games in my opinion should be re-released to tell the world that the older generations really were the better ones.
Number 9: Tomb Raider
The original Tomb Raider series on PS1 was an absolute sham. Behind Lara's triangular chest and cubic legs, heavy English accent and locking the butler in the freezer there was an unplayable mess that we today call Tomb Raider. The biggest complaint I have even to this day is the control, both movement and camera alike. Jerking the analogue sticks, the d-pad and mashing the triggers sums up Tomb Raider's gameplay pretty well, because one could hardly progress due to a simple flaw that could easily be ironed out. If this were solved, many a player would have seen the capabilities and vast joy that made the series the first exhilarating adventure game on the PS1, and possibly the last. That is until something like Uncharted came along.
What's the most memorable thing about this game besides shoddy control? Shooting tigers, drowning or caves? Those are the only things most of the playerbase saw, even on the PC, however on computers it was far more tolerable. A re-release would do this game justice, fixing the flaws that prevented us from doing simple platforming and seeing the rest of the game. This re-release isn't for vanity, it's a requirement.
Number 8: Assault
An obscure PS1 title that didn't sell all too well thanks to poor advertisement and horrible graphics. It was a game that was released at the wrong time, when the bit wars were coming to an end and Sony wanted to distribute the better looking games rather than the half-decent and playable ones. The gameplay is absolutely fantastic, adding far more to the run 'n' gun genre, a chunk of gaming that was disintegrating like teeth in a glass of cola. And I feel this game deserves a re-release because of how fun it was.
The visuals would obviously need an improvement because very few of today's players have earned the right to become Gamers, and lack that little thing called imagination. So new alien concepts and area designs would have to be remade considerably in order to get some appeal, though the gameplay can remain the same. It's a great way to kill time and - if you're careless - your character multiple times due to a single jump.
Number 7: Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins
Super Mario Land 2 was an awesome game, adding far more depth and freedom to a series that was just a linear, run-'n'-jump goomba-stomping romp. The game received positive reception and so much so that it saw the Game Boy equivilant of a platinum label! So why do I request a remake? Simple: it's just that good. The current generation of Super Mario games fail to add anything particularly new or interesting, and what's worse is that these games are blown out of the factories faster than bullets from a gun. What one game has another removes, but that wasn't the case with Six Golden Coins.
There were six bosses on this island, each having a golden coin of their own and it was up to Mario to liberate them. The fact that you got to choose which boss to face first as all were unlocked, and which levels you do leading up to them says a lot more than you think. For one thing, that choice no longer exists in current Mario games, and the pickups are mostly the same or make you ridiculously overpowered, whereas here that's hardly the case. The upgrades Mario receives are fun and rewarding to get and they have their uses, not just obscure ones that you might need at a specific time.
Definitely a game that deserves more attention - a sidescroller available on all Nintendo consoles that would open our eyes to the stale bread that is today's platforming.
Number 6: Telroboxer
This game was a pain to get, and I needn't tell anyone in the UK how hard it is to obtain a Virtual Boy at all. Yes, Telroboxer belongs to the red baron known as "Virtual Boy", a Nintendo console that was supposed to have an emphasis on virtual reality, but instead became one of the firs and worst 3D-only consoles. The reason why this game out of the 22 VB games that exist makes it to my list is that it was actually a joy to play. Telroboxer has the player take control of a robot and fight against others using only your fists. The controls were pretty good, very fluent and the different d-pads and triggers had different functions. The best part was when your robot was destroyed and your character's glass eyes shattered, making some of the best use of 3D I've ever seen. This game would be perfect for something like the Playstation which uses 4 triggers and a D-pad adjacent to four buttons, whereas on something like an XBOX it wouldn't work as well due to less emphasis on triggers and analogue stick placement. It's also be great for something like the Nintendo Wii and its motion control, where one could block and throw punches with the nunchuck or the Wiimote - we've seen it in Wii Boxing, so let's see it for other consoles. The Kinect.... not so much.
The first improvement that should be made is obviously the colour - the fact that this game was only in red and black can really strain your eyes, even when you're not pushing your face into the console. It's very nice in terms of novelty, but with health and safety regulations in place for video games nowadays, it's not going to remain. So some colour would be nice. The visuals could have two modes as well, one being completely revamped, the other being the 2.5D ones with better effects, as well as sounds. The gameplay wouldn't have to change that much, except for updates to the control scheme.
Number 5: DooM
Even though everybody knows what DooM is and what it entails, fewer and fewer people are playing it and fully appreciating how one of the most violent and bloody video games of existence came to be. While Wolfenstein was arguably the first FPS game made, it was the same company that improved upon the genre and added some of the finest innovations in video gaming.
By upping the quality of it and making custom missions far easier to access, a remake of DooM would further increase iD's popularity after such games like RAGE and the latest Wolfenstein games. There's no denying that the soundtrack is a classic but to modernize it and throw in some real instrumentals as well as incidental music, and you'd have the most kickass OST of the decade. Plus, it'd even inspire would-be map designers if players could craft their own levels - it's not as though anyone at the moment is doing a good job of designing multiplayer arenas and battlegrounds.
The DooM 3 reboot is simply not good enough; fixing the torch bug (I refuse to believe that having to swap your weapon for sight was an innovation) and adding some extra levels doesn't cut it. But a total revamp of the original DooM and even more weapons would be enough for me to get the next generation console!
Number 4: Warcraft 2
Even though WC2 had a considerable lifespan and huge replayability, it suffered greatly from variation, and if things weren't done to the dot you could expect to have your entire base eradicated and take hours to rebuild. When the PS1 controller wasn't all that comfortable using just the D-pad (the game doesn't support analogue sticks), playing this game could've been a nightmare due to it wearing on your hands, and rather than lift oneself from the muck after being obliterated, the game would instead be turned off and replaced with M&Ms: Shell Shocked.
I find that given more mission objectives and finally a controller I can use (don't forget it didn't support the Playstation One Mouse), this game can become a hit. It doesn't require heavily updated graphics and sound, because a lot of its aesthetic appeal comes from the gritty pixelated Orcs and Humans that are our glorious armies. Of course it wouldn't hurt to include a revamped visuals and soundtrack mode, for those who like that sort of thing. Let's take some of that glory from Reign of Chaos and hand it to the game that really allowed base building and none of that namby-pamby tempa-settlement rubbish.
Number 3: Dungeon Keeper
I wouldn't expect anybody to know or remember this title, even if you are a 'hardcore' strategy or simulation gamer. Dungeon Keeper was a fantastic little title that spawned two sequels but was still hardly known, especially in US regions due to poor distribution outside of Europe. But what made this game so great, and why in the Hell will it need a remake? Well, it was great because it combined elements of Overlord and your usual strategy game, only this time rather than play the hero and destroy the armies of Hell, you control the later and defend against the former! However I find this game deserves a remake because of just how obscure it was, and how few have learnt from its mechanics. Can you imagine Civilization Revolution with a DooM skin? I can, and with a remake of DK (no, not Donkey Kong) it can become a reality.
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Number 2: Deathtrap Dungeon
You can tell I love dungeons to no end, but when it's the only atmospheric and in-depth environment without much need for storytelling that comes to mind, obviously I'm going to put them on my list. This PS1 game based off Ian Livingstone's original novel of the Fighting Fantasy series is quite the adventure game and I found myself playing it far longer than I'd expected. DtD has very little in the way of story, and gently puts you in the shoes of a treasure hunter looking for the ultimate treasure. Many have gone before you, but none have returned. So it's not as though this is a malevolent force at work and is destroying the world, but much like Warioland, this is one of the earliest examples of video game where you're doing something for your own gain. Especially in an adventure game, though in the books and TTRPGs this was a common theme. I don't know why but this only made me want to play the game further. In most at the time, if you were the Hero and you traded the game in, you felt as though you were letting the characters down. But here I kept playing on without a moment's thought of reselling this game, because of how much treasure there was waiting.
But what Deathtrap did was very clever, adding all kinds of never-before-seen puzzles and never was this game linear. The amount of traps and choices you had to make which your life depended on is beyond counting, and it nowhere in the game was getting a lift to come down as simple as pulling a lever. There'd be three levers, one that'd grant gold, one that would spawn an Orc and one that would cause fire damage over time. The lift required a button.... expect this kind of gameplay all the time.
However this game had the word "OBSCURE" branded on it with a big red rubber stamp, and very few today know about it. A shame really because many developers could learn from this, especially games like Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. As usual, I'd expect a full visual and auditory revamp, as well as fixes to the platforming aspects and control. Do this, and I'd be a very happy RPGer.
Number 1: Ultima Underworld, the Stygian Abyss
The Ultima Universe is grand and certainly one of the most inspiring, not to mention revolutionary. Not only did it radically change RPGs when it was first made and advanced the genre much faster than others at its time (save for strategy, which was developing quite well). But Underworld was the first game where I felt like I was in the game, or in a scenario which was very possible save for the monsters and sewer urchins. You could come up to me and say Dark Souls is its successor but based on what I hear the only thing it did in comparison was make rats kill you in a single hit, and base a bit of its gameplay in a sewer. In Underworld, everything you did was important and if you died or got lost, it was your own fault. You had to write your own notes and draw your own maps, find your own weapons and armour and learn all the safe spots to run to (because you will need them, even at the start), not to mention things we take for granted like food, rest and water. It's the perfect dungeon simulator and you start off with absolutely nothing, and I love it.
This game isn't all that hard, it's just that there's no handholding. There's very few quest clues or hints or scraps for your journal because you have to scribble them down on your map. It may sound like a chore but if so, you're not used to playing an RPG how it should be. It's an undiscovered video game theme that still to this day is buried underneath all the "soon-to-be hero" and "knight in shining armour" games, and that only makes the demand for this genre greater - survival and actual roleplay. Every NPC you meet will react differently to other actions, the tone of your voice, if you have a weapon sheathed or unsheathed, your stats and whatever you have in your pack to trade (there's a lot of trading for scraps of food). While your choices aren't as influencial as Heavy Rain, this was the most character development you'd ever hope to see in an RPG at the time, even more so than now I might add. Its lifespan is huge, possibly triple the longest RPG at the time on your first time round because the eight levels to this dungeon are the size of Cyrodiil each, and it's never as simple as uncovering the entire map because there's all kinds of puzzles and strategies and whatnot involved. Don't expect to complete this game in an instant; it's for people who have too much time on their hands, and far too little paper to jot notes down on.
If Underworld was to be remade, I'd have to request a few things. Obviously keep the original visuals and OST in case people want to replay it like that, but revamp the visuals and soundtrack to further add to the experience. Have different difficulty settings, and far more secrets. Oh, and let's stop the Headless(es) from breaking 11 axes in a single fight please.
As usual this was quite a hard list to make, because it's all down to personal opinion and there's not a single game everybody in the world can agree to being remade. However this list was to give some of these titles a bit more recognition because they certainly deserve it, and while that may be of no use to these developers I hope my list is something we can learn from. But it's time now to finish up, and ask: What games do YOU think deserve a remake, and why? Until the next time readers, I wish you all a pleasant day, and thanks for reading!