Sometimes it seems like there are more remade, refinished, or re-imagined titles than new IP being released. Even with the variable deluge of reused content threatening to suffocate us, three Geeks suggest a few more games that they would like to see get a nice new coat of paint…
Super Mario 64
This is the game that arguably defined 3D. When I was first introduced to the N64, and played 3D video games for the first time, this was the game that blew my mind. SM64 was seminal. It proved how to move around in three-dimensional games, and pioneered camera control. This game has an established legacy.
But on a more personal note, this game holds a special attraction to me. I spent hours just exploring the overworld, and there’s so much to do and see even outside the levels. This has been something I’ve missed in recent Mario titles, and getting to explore this world would bring back that sense of sheer wonderment I haven’t felt in nearly twenty years. The gameplay could use some polishing, but overall it holds up (after all, Mario’s simplistic play elements seem to be unaging, and could very well outlive us all). Since Nintendo’s “remakes” tend to be more than just a new paint job, I’m sure we could see some fantastic new levels–perhaps a previously unexploring wing of the castle, mixing new levels with reimagined ones from even earlier Mario titles?
Even the thought of this is getting me excited!
I’ll admit, my first selection was about getting to play an old favorite through new eyes, and sharing that game with the upcoming generation of gamers. This selection is a bit more self-serving: I have never played Chrono Cross.
Chrono Trigger is one of my favorite games of all time. It’s beautiful, with haunting music and a gripping storyline. It was fantastic, and nearly perfect. I don’t know that it can really be improved over the DS remake that already exists. 32 bit graphics are nearly perfect in their artform. However, the 64 bit graphics can get a lot of benefit out of a fresh coat of paint, and while I haven’t seen much of Chrono Cross, I imagine that a little sprucing up couldn’t hurt. And it would open this game up to the many of us who weren’t able to share in it the first time around.
Star Wars Jedi Knigh II: Jedi Outcast
If I hit the lottery today, after buying a new Mercedes, the next thing I would do is find the team from Raven and LucasArts that built Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. This is absolutely my favorite game of all time. In my opinion, this is the best Star Wars story ever told in a video game. The length is a solid 15 hours, it looked amazing at release (2002), and no Star Wars game prior to or since has ever given the player better control over force powers. In fact, of all the Star Wars games from the years, this was the first to capture the magic of the original series. It’s both mystical and relateable. This game needs a remake for only a few simple reasons.
Remaking Jedi Outcast is an opportunity to update the game with higher resolution textures, enhanced physics, and motion-captured character actors. Honestly, the sounds and music are perfect and don’t need any work. Perhaps an upgrade to digital 7.1; but otherwise it’s fantastic. Sure, you can download it on Steam today, but unless you’re comfortable editing .config files, you can’t get the game to run well in non-windowed mode. Even in the highest resolution available, that old Quake 3 engine just doesn’t stack up. This game needs to be introduce to a new generation of gamers who can grow up to become developers, artists and sound technicians who know how to make a great Star Wars game.
One man took up the call. I’m hoping he can get it done!
Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
It’s hard to believe and it makes me feel like an old fart, but kids who were born in 2000, when Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask came out, will soon be in high school. Let that resonate a bit. While you do that let me remind you that Majora’s Mask was the sequel to the highly acclaimed Ocarina of Time. Where most franchise sequels attempt to stick to the same formula, Majora’s Mask restricts the game’s timeframe to a three-day cycle and allows the player to wear masks, transforming Link into different creatures, each with their own abilities. While maintaining the same dungeons and puzzles system, and everybody’s favorite wind instrument, the Ocarina, Majora’s Mask felt familiar and yet, brilliantly fresh in a way that too few sequels can claim to be.
Flash forward 11 years and surprisingly Nintendo and Grezzo, the co-developers for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D for the 3DS, created a remarkable, yet faithful upgrade to a game that is regarded by many to be flawless. Majora’s Mask can benefit from the same upgrade, not just visually, but mechanically as well. The jumping and attacking mechanics of OOT were re-done to help give the game a more familiar feel to those who never held a Nintendo 64 controller. Majora’s Mask could benefit form those same upgrades and at the same time, it would be nice to see a better save system than trying to backtrack to an OWL statue to save your progress.
So after seeing such a well done remake in Ocarina of Time 3D naturally that raises a question: When does Nintendo make an upgrade to one of the most spectacular sequels of a time? With the recent cameo of Majora’s Mask hanging on the wall in Link’s home in a Link Between Worlds for the 3DS and the addition of Skull Kid as an assist trophy in Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U, it seems as though Nintendo is hinting at things to come. It just seems right, doesn’t it? How unfair would it be for a generation to grow up without experiencing such a profound game? And Ocarina of Time 3D came out when many were asking if the 3DS was worth buying. With the Wii U facing the same questions one must wonder if this classic sequel finds its way into the realm of HD. One can only hope.
Metal Gear Solid
Before I played Metal Gear Solid, I had no concept of stealth in gaming. I was quite content with shooting, jumping, and running around as much as I needed to in order to defeat my foes. MGS forced me to think about and plan how I would approach a room full of armed soldiers, with limited tools and weapons at my disposal. I found it challenging, nerve-racking, and also, immensely rewarding. But the gameplay wasn’t the only thing that had me fascinated. MGS provided me with what so few games had at its time – a SOLID storyline. In many ways, I felt like I was watching a movie more than I was playing a game – a concept that the series has not diverted from over the years.
I realize that it’s impossible to make somebody have the same feelings I had when I first played Metal Gear Solid, but I have complete confidence in this game’s ability to immerse the gamer in its action and story. With such an impeccable legacy and timeless enjoyment, it seems only fitting that this PlayStation classic be revived and remade, allowing gamers to appreciate this classic in a new way. And with the infamous MGS director Hideo Kojima revealing in an 2013 interview that he’s searching out a company to remake the original MGS with the Fox Engine used in the development of MGS: Ground Zeroes and MGS 5: The Phantom pain, it’s rather difficult to keep my excitement at bay. He went on to point out that it’s his desire to update the “outdated mechanics” to have it match up with some the mechanics we’ve become more familiar with in recent MGS games.
I understand some purists would like for developers to leave their old titles alone and focus on making something. Some would say that it’s disrespectful of a games legacy to update it would fresh visuals and mechanics. I have to disagree with those folk, though. I believe that this would be a great way to honor such a wonderful classic revolutionary game.
What do you think? Tell us in the COMMENTS what game YOU would like to see remade!