Video Games - What Should They Remake Next?
Hollywood appears to have been running on fumes when it comes to fresh ideas for a long time. If it's not another superhero blockbuster, a remake of an old movie, or a reboot of a struggling franchise, it often seems like there's precious little else of any consequence hitting theatres. Similarly, while the problem has been nowhere near as widespread in gaming, both the PlayStation 4 in the first year or so, and now the Nintendo Switch, found themselves absolutely inundated with remasters of games from previous generations in order to pad out the line-up of titles available for the systems.
Reboots and remasters are nothing new for gaming, but when it comes to fully fledged remakes of older games there's less examples to go around than one might find in another medium, like movies or television. Currently, PS2 classic Shadow of the Colossus is on sale for PS4 having been rebuilt from the ground up and treated to a gob-smacking 4K graphical overhaul, while last year the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy found itself breaking the hearts of gamers around the world by reminding everyone just how hard old school platformers could be in Vicarious Visions remade N-Sane Trilogy. Both of these remakes offer little in the way gameplay changes or extra features and exist solely as love letters to the past. They play very much the same, but they've been given a fresh lick of paint to drag them kicking and screaming into the present day.
But do these games need that extra lick of paint? Can't we be content to just play games as they once looked, warts and all? While there's certainly a case to be made for that, I think that there's also an argument for some games to benefit from the technological advances the industry has made since the time they were released. Gamers around the globe have been hankering after a remake of Final Fantasy VII since only a couple of years after it first launched on the original PlayStation. And there's a good reason for that; Final Fantasy VII, even at the time, featured a bunch of questionable design choices on a technical level, and suffered from some sub-par translation. Graphically, the game was widely praised at the time for the cut-scenes, but it was almost instantly dated, and it contains no less than three disparate art styles that don't mesh particularly well.
Now, I still love Final Fantasy VII, and there's nothing wrong with that, but I also understand the argument for bringing the technical fidelity of the title more in line with the quality of the storytelling, or the battle system. Other games like Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil, equally marred by the quirks of the time period in which they were released, found themselves remade to critical acclaim, retaining what made them popular in the first place, while ironing out some of the wrinkles.
When considering what does or does not warrant a remake, one has to think about what we're hoping to achieve in the first place? It doesn't matter what you do to a game like Tetris graphically, as it's the gameplay that matters most and they nailed that the first time. But would a game like Mario 64 play a little better today with the benefit of dual analogue sticks, and wouldn't it be wonderful seeing it with high definition textures? Ocarina of Time might well have been one of the greatest games ever made in its day, but wouldn't you like to play it again looking a little more like Breath of the Wild, with a control scheme that's a little more up to date?
One of my favourite games when I was growing up was Streets of Rage 2 on the SEGA Megadrive / Genesis. I had a real thing for side scrolling beat 'em ups that you could play co-operatively with a friend, and that one was just the pick of the bunch for me. The original Streets of Rage was actually the first game that I played with my fiancée, who herself is a massive gamer. Our second date was beating Streets of Rage and eating take-out. It doesn't get much better than that. For all I enjoy playing the Streets of Rage games in all of their original glory, I'd love to see a modern remake of the three games with a complete graphical overhaul and a few tweaks here and there in the gameplay department. HD graphics, remixed music, and online co-op play for people who hate talking to people in real life - what more could you want?
Another series that I've always wanted to see remade is the Dizzy games on ZX Spectrum. There's not much hope of this ever happening, but I'd love to see Dizzy - one of my favourite childhood games - revamped in the present day with a high-def sheen. Throw all of the games together into one package, stick them on PlayStation 4 with trophies and whatnot, and you can take my money right now. Alas, that's probably never going to happen.
Team Sonic have been making sub-par Sonic the Hedgehog games for almost as long as they've been making Sonic the Hedgehog games, so why not go right back to basics and just remake the original three games, looking and sounding like new titles? That's surely got to be better than churning out another rubbish 3D platformer where he turns into a werewolf or something. What about games like Castlevania: Symphony of Night, or Super Metroid - classic titles that could perhaps benefit from an enhanced level of atmospheric storytelling with flashier graphics and updated sound design?
What classic games would you like to see updated with a modern graphical overhaul? Or are you against the whole idea of tinkering with a work of art from yesteryear?
The Wonder Boy III Remake was amazing, but we'd really like to see a new Alex Kidd