By Bryan Smith on August 2, 2015 at 6:37pm
When you got a great video game, you know it’s something you’re going to love and want to revisit again and again. That is, until those pesky things called “life and time” rears their ugly heads. Now we have games that suddenly scream “dated” and the flaws are as easy to spot as a full body tattoo at a nudist beach. So, what do we do with problems from an old game? We fix them? In the event that a sequel doesn’t do the trick, then we go to remakes.
Ah, remakes. We certainly love them when they work. Or we loathe them when they don’t. When they do work, though, it makes us appreciate how far we’ve come. What makes a game a remake by definition? Using the “Resident Evil Remake” structure, we can say that a remake builds almost exactly off the original, makes the game look better, fix any glaring problems, include additional content, and just overall say, “I’m better in every field.”
For example, take a look at “Resident Evil Remake,” one of the best remakes of all time. Look at everything it did. The graphics and atmosphere are some of the best to this day. The controls are better while offering limits of what a lone person can do in a tight situation. A whole new boss was included and didn’t feel needlessly tagged on. More modes were added to make playthroughs even harder. The only thing that the original game had over “RE Remake” was the cheesy voice acting, which is hard not to love for how funnily awful it was.
So instead of counting down the best remakes this time around, we’ll be looking at potential remakes. Games that are just screaming to be made to try and make them better. A big rule to this list is that the remake can’t be officially announced. I’m looking at the “Final Fantasy VII Remake.” Oh, and it can’t have a remake to begin with. No double dipping. Remasters don’t count. The game has to be remade from the ground up and look brand new to count, such as “RE Remake,” “Metroid: Zero Mission,” “Super Mario. All Stars,” and the like. Lastly, I don’t think that games from the sixth generation on should be remade at all. Seems a bit silly to make a remake of a game that isn’t all that old to begin with and still has time to age.
Of course, this will be one of the more “your mileage may very” kinds of lists. What you may want as a remake will greatly vary with mine. So comment way what you want to see why I list off what I want to be seen remade.
10. "Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards"
This is one of my favorite “Kirby” games. Best… probably not. The charm and interesting power combinations made me enjoy the game. With that said, however, I think the game needs some tweaking. Out of all the “Kirby” games, the movement feels stiffest. Kirby doesn’t have a lot of natural movement. He stops dead in his tracks even when he runs and his flying is a bit sluggish. Speaking of the flying, other than the “Super Smash Bros.” series, this is the only “Kirby” game that retains his copy ability that doesn’t let Kirby fly infinitely. I’d imagine because of the 3D limitations that the limit was put in, but “Kirby’s Return to Dreamland” lets you do fly without end.
The game itself is strangely lacking Meta Knight. I think his involvement to the story would have been great… for a “Kirby” game. In addition, I think some stable abilities could be added in, like Sword, Wheel, and the like to add more combinations. As awesome as Darth Kirby is with his double lightsaber, a proper sword would be nice.
9. "Donkey Kong 64"
This entry was originally going to be for “Super Mario 64” until I remembered that there was a remake for the DS, and yes, there was enough changed to count as a remake. Damn technicalities… So I’m going to throw the bone to the other big 3D platformer with open-world collectibles for the Nintendo 64 to “Donkey Kong 64” (that Nintendo can do. Sorry Rare fans, you have to talk to Rare and Microsoft to budge on those). I remember a lot of things for this game. Others have too, and unfortunately there isn’t a whole lot of fondness from others.
The most infamous reason people might stick their noses up at this game was because of the collectibles. The Guinness Book of World Records (in the 2008 book) clocks “DK64” for the most collectibles (not consumable pickups) ever in a game: 3,812. All of those are mandatory to beat the final boss of the game. Look, I know “Donkey Kong” games can be hard, but that is a lot to do. I beat it as a kid, though. Certainly remember throwing myself at the game just to beat it.
So how can this be remade, other than the obvious HD graphics? A general thought would be to tone down the collectibles a lot. Another thought would be to have the other characters playable and give them certain abilities to their advantage. Have Dixie, Cranky, Candy, and Funky Kong as playable characters in addition to the original five. Even with the number of the collectibles, that would at least clear up some of the annoying missions. I despise that bug racer so much…
8. "Crash Bandicoot" Series
I may be cheating with this one… technically… but hear me out on this one. I think, at the very least, Naughty Dog should revisit the first “Crash Bandicoot” game and remake it. The second games in the original trilogy where near perfect, aside from some unfortunate gem collecting. The first “Crash Bandicoot” is still hard as balls because of limitations.
The save feature is the obvious flaw to fix for “Crash Bandicoot.” For those who don’t know, in order to save the game you’d have to either get a gem, as in get all the boxes in a single level without dieing once, or get a bonus level from three Tawna, Cortex, or Brio tokens and make it through the bonus section without dieing. That is a bit much just to save the game. So I think Naughty Dog should just go back, implement the save system from the second/third game, make the bonus levels worthwhile to complete that don’t give you anything, and give Crash his abilities from the second/third game or make Crash move like he does there. Throw in a few level tweaks and we got something here.
7. "NiGHTS into Dreams..."
I feel bad for NiGHTS. He/she has such a big following for the first game (not so much the second) and it suffered because of Sega’s extremely awful marketing for the Sega Saturn. Revealing the system and then releasing the system on the same day while developers weren’t aware of the decision? Not cool Sega, not cool. That, and in addition to Sega’s recent business outings aside from “Alien Isolation,” I think Sega really needs to consider going back to a beloved game.
Not much can be said on what exactly should be done for a “NiGHTS into Dreams…” remake. I’d imagine the graphics would just look stunning beyond comprehension, considering how vivid and beautiful the game was before. Perhaps the only other thing that might be done would be giving new players an easier time to get accustomed because “NiGHTS” needs a pretty good understanding on how to operate, let alone get good scores.
In a similar vein to Sega and squandering franchises, Nintendo is really guilty of not giving certain franchises the attention they deserve. Insert “F-Zero,” “Punch-Out!!,” “Star Fox,” and especially “Metroid” here. That leads me to the “Mother” series, otherwise known as “EarthBound” here. They’re insistent on calling the series “EarthBound” here, seeing “Earthbound Beginnings” was finally given a proper localization for North America.
If Nintendo is so… what’s the word? Nervous? Stubborn? I don’t know. If they’re so keen on not giving “Mother 3” a localization, which they known fans want from what was seen at E3 2014, the very least they can do is try and gauge interest again with a remake. Instead of a 2D version, though, how about a 3D remake? There was an “EarthBound 64” in development and technology is more advanced now. It wouldn’t hurt to try again.
5. "The Legend of Zelda"
That’s right. The very first game. My first thought would have been “The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past,” but I remembered that was practically a flawless game. Certainly closer to “Ocarina of Time” anyways with its Navi, Water Temple, the stupid owl, and what have you.
So why the first game, exactly? Simple - it’s hard as balls and it becomes impossible without a map or guide. Whether people like it or not, in order to do any speed runs or beat the game at all you need to know where things are. Without that map or knowledge from a guide, that isn’t happening. Ever. In order to brute force your way through blindly, it would probably take 100 years just to understand where things are, how things work, and why things happen. The original “Legend of Zelda” will make you bow down if you have no knowledge of the game prior.
So, with that, I think a top-down game like “The Legend of Zelda: Link Between Worlds” would fit a remake of the very first game well. Make it pretty and tone down the difficulty but make exploration as fun. Add some new stuff that couldn’t be in the first game. I know there must have been loads of content that had to be excluded because of the NES’s hardware limitations. I can’t imagine a remake of the original being that hard to complete.
4. "Dino Crisis"
Fighting dinosaurs. How can you go wrong with that? Well, it was more along the lines of surviving the creatures, but the idea still makes for a great video game concept that really hasn’t been exploring fully. “Dino Crisis” came pretty close with the “Resident Evil” formula, but there were a few niggling things that held it back. Other than the fact that Microsoft and Capcom done goofed with “Dino Crisis 3.”
The one thing “Dino Crisis” suffers from is the setting being constantly focused on the facility. There are lots of gray walls… “Resident Evil” changed the environment occasionally, giving us a breath of fresh air from the mansion. Raptors are also a large number of enemies. In fact, they’re a bit too many in comparison to the number of other dinosaurs there could be. You’ll be fighting them the most, which seems a bit of a letdown.
The last thing, which is great… at first, is the dinosaurs are a menace. They’re fast, strong, and will kill. That’s great until I’m repeatedly killed because there really isn’t a way to get through a wall of raptors and my guns don’t kill them easily, even on easy and normal difficulties. That’s a problem compared to “Resident Evil” when the monsters can either be taken down without too much difficulty or be avoided. I think a healthier balance of difficulty, more variety of dinosaurs, more survival, and more settings in a remake would make “Dino Crisis” a fantastic game.
3. "Chrono Trigger"
One of the best games of all time, “Chrono Trigger” deserves more love and attention. Gameplay wise doesn’t really need tweaking or the fact that the visuals aged poorly here… though I’d love to see the characters in 3D with “Dragon Quest” visuals. The game really needs more attention that Square Enix isn’t giving them. That’s all. Go play that game and see why.
2. "Final Fantasy VI"
(No, I do not count the mobile version as a remake. That’s more of a port with better graphics than anything)
The debate to end all debates (for “Final Fantasy” anyways)- “Final Fantasy VI” or “Final Fantasy VII.” Marginally decent opinion here- I think these two are part of the greatest games ever made of all time. However, I think that their pros and cons put them at the same level… for me anyways. That is a conversation for another day. So “FFVII” got the remake first. I say the other most beloved RPG should get the remake treatment too.
I somewhat think that “FFVI” should have been remade first because I find a lot of glaring issues that people tend to ignore. The drop/luck rates are abysmal and I heard horror stories of grinding monsters for certain items. I think the story, characters, and the last section of the game needs some tweaking. Some characters are just there and not given a lot to do where certain characters greatly overshadowed others.
Am I saying this game is- before you even finish that thought… no. I still think it’s one of the best games of all time. I think that a remake, if done right, can make it even stronger. Imagine the opera scene in a full cutscene that Square Enix is known for. Square Soft back in the day went as far as they could with that scene with hardware limitations. Sprites can only get you so far when you go back to look at them. They tend to be… goofy when they try to be serious. Same reason with “Chrono Trigger” really. Now it’s time to let the Celes really punch people with the strongest of tearjerkers.
1. "Resident Evil 2 & 3"
Ok, obvious number one pick is pretty obvious. Just imagine the level polish put to the setting and atmosphere. We could get “Resident Evil Remake” levels of care with eighth generation technology. I would die happily knowing that while “Silent Hills” died by Konami’s hands, I have a remake for “Resident Evil 2” at the least.
Seeing that Capcom is, as of this writing, considering it with the R&D team proposing ideas, it’s just a matter of how this gets approached. God save Capcom if they only port the game with upscaled graphics of the original PlayStation version. The least amount of effort that’ll make people very happy is to remake “RE2” with “RE Remake’s” design in mind. However, that’s just scratching the tip. Imagine, if you will, this leading into “Resident Evil 3” being remade in the similar fashion. The setting would be done already (or a large chunk of it). Two beloved games given the “RE Remake” treatment would be fantastic.
The best thing they can do, however, is make one big combination of “Resident Evil 2 & 3.” Make both games the same level as “RE Remake,” but in one big game. In addition to the redone graphics, story, characters, voice work, and what have you, there could be even more things added. More areas to explore. More enemies. More bosses. The possibilities are endless or as far as Capcom can envision with Raccoon City. With all that said, I’d still be content with just “RE2” being remade.
Of course, I’m probably missing some that you want, but those are the ones that popped into my head first and felt right. So what remakes you want to see? I hear a “Final Fantasy XII” remake is rumored to be in development too, so lets keep this remake train going!