10 Games That Deserve XBLA/PSN Remakes
With HD remakes continuing to be popular on Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network, here’s a selection of 10 games that we’d like to see brought back.
Die Hard Trilogy
One of the definitive early titles for the PS1, Die Hard Trilogy was a noble attempt to blend three different games together on one disk. While each of the games were rough around the edges, they were still good fun, making it easy to ignore any shortcomings.
Die Hard was a third person shooter with McLane battling through each floor of the Nakatomi Plaza. Die Hard 2, a first person on-rails shooter, aping the style of games such as Virtua Cop and Time Crisis. Finally, Die Hard with a Vengeance was a timed arcade driving game.
It was also great due to its brilliantly dumb voice acting, with a Bruce Willis impersonator delivering such cracking lines as “What? No Turkey?” when picking up a health pack. The soundtrack was awesome too.
Why it deserves a remake: It’s three games in one….. And it’s Die Hard ! What that’s not enough? Well they could stick in Die Hard 4 complete with Jet Plane surfing.
Rumoured to have been in production but unconfirmed, a remake of TimeSplitters 2 would be a perfect title for the Xbox Marketplace or Playstation Store. The classic shooter had an emphasis on beating records, making it ripe for online leaderboards.
Then there‘s the superb multiplayer, featuring tons of ridiculous characters including my personal favourite, a bear with a Fez. It was packed full of game modes, like the great Infection; forcing players to try and remain the last man standing by avoiding the virus carrier. It also featured an in depth map editor which could be adapted to allow sharing between friends online.
Why it deserves a remake: While most modern shooters take themselves too seriously, TimeSplitters 2 is a throwback to a better time. A time where you could run around with a sawn-off shotgun as a Monkey.
MicroMachines 2: Turbo Tournament
Sega Mega Drive/SNES/PC
One of the best multiplayer experiences on consoles in the early 90’s, MicroMachines involved racing miniature cars around household settings. Race courses included Snooker Tables, DIY tables and the Bathtub. Most memorably though, you could race around the rim of a toilet seat, being almost impossible to not fall off every few seconds.
The Sega Mega Drive version was something of a oddity, featuring a cartridge with two built in controller ports. This J-Cart enabled players to double the multiplayer capability of the console from two players to four without any additional adapters.
Why it deserves a remake: Simple really, the game is still remembered fondly by many and would offer a unique multiplayer racing experience online.
Theme Park/Theme Hospital
PC/Playstation/Sega Mega Drive
Before Peter Molynoux was known for making false statements and increasingly poor Fable titles, he created two of the greatest business simulation games of all time. His company Bullfrog, responsible for such classics as Magic Carpet and Dungeon Keeper, were also behind Theme Park and Theme Hospital.
In Theme Park you had to build and run an amusement park from scratch including placing shops, rides and designing rollercoasters. Staff had to be hired, stock levels controlled and bank loans kept in check. There were also lots of little fun details, such as the infamous trick of raising salt levels on fries to make people buy your overpriced ice stuffed drinks.
Theme Hospital, whilst seemingly a much less interesting scenario was just as time-consumingly addictive. It was also much funnier than it’s predecessor featuring an array of ridiculous diseases including The Squits and The Uncommon Cold. Here it was important to keep an eye on the wellbeing of your patients as well as pleasing the administrator by filling your Hospital with plenty of seating and Kit Kat vending machines.
Why it deserves a remake: Yes, they’re both available on the Playstation Network as PS1 classics. They deserve to be given a new lick of paint and discovered by a whole new audience.
An early title for Sega’s Dreamcast in 1999, Toy Commander was a surprisingly difficult game wrapped up in a misleadingly cutesy style. Players took control of a variety of toy vehicles to complete loads of challenging missions set around the house of Andy, a not too-subtle nod to Toy Story. The little scamp regularly overflows the bathtub to flood rooms in his house, as well as constantly pestering the poor cat.
The missions were so imaginative and unique; it really did feel like being a kid again. The tutorial required players to make breakfast, by piloting a plane to knock eggs into a pan of boiling water. Another example of its fantastic design was the level where you explore the depths of the toilet to find and kill the leader of a cockroach infestation.
The multiplayer mode was also great fun, allowing gamers to compete in split-screen dogfights around different rooms of the house. As was the case with many Dreamcast titles, it’s a real shame this game wasn’t played by a wider audience.
Why it deserves a remake: An undiscovered classic with a lengthy, challenging and inventive single player. That’s even before getting to the fun multiplayer mode. Just please don’t mess it up like the recent Dreamcast ports.
Day of the Tentacle
While there’s been a recent resurgence of the adventure game, it seems to be slowing down a bit. Telltale Games are continuing to lead the way with their array of licenced episodic titles including the enjoyable Back To The Future series.
Lucasarts have produced HD remakes of the popular Monkey Island series, but they’re neglecting one of the real classics of the genre, the hilarious Day of the Tentacle. The game, developed by Dave Grossman and Tim Schafer, is not only one of the funniest games ever made but is still considered to be one of the best games of all time and the benchmark of point-and-click gaming.
Why it deserves a remake: One of the best adventure games of all time still hasn’t been re-released, despite the Monkey Island series being treated to stunning HD remakes. While your at it Lucasarts, give us Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1,2 or 3
With Tony Hawk: Ride boards currently stinking up all second hand shops around the country, it’d be really nice to see Activision bringing back the style of the classic games. Ok sure, the last few Neversoft titles weren’t perfect, but they still had some of the charm of the early games in the series.
Really most of us would be happy with the chance to simply play any of the classic first three again with remastered graphics and online multiplayer. It’s pretty much a no brainer as well, with a remastered version of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 already becoming a hit on the App Store. It’s this second game that most fans would probably love to see, but for some real nostalgia we need the 1999 original.
It might not be quite as good as the almost perfect second and third games, but it has a special place in the hearts of many. It featured the brilliant Downhill Jam level, which allowed players to race to the end instead of going for score.
Why it deserves a remake: They’re still fun and just as addictive as they were back in the day. Remaster the graphics and include online multiplayer and leaderboards, you have a certified hit. Make it a trilogy pack and it’d be news to really rejoice over.
Hogs of War
Yes, it was pretty much a complete rip off of the Worms games, but it also managed to put the concept into 3D not only first but arguably more successfully. The single player was also far more enjoyable than it’s fellow turn-based series.
Each player took charge of a different army of pigs, all with grossly stereotypical accents and dialogue. While Worms had a host of silly voices ranging from stiff-upper-lip to brummy, Hogs of War had the great Rik Mayall voicing a variety of characters including the British Tommies. It was silly, fun and looking back, mildly offensive. It still remains memorable to many who played it back in the day.
Why it deserves a remake: It did a great job of putting the Worms formula into 3D with the added bonus of comedian Rik Mayall.
What is there to say about GoldenEye that hasn’t really been said already ? Its influence is still felt today, as well as being regarded as the template for modern multiplayer shooters. Unfortunalty, while the interest is still there to see the game re-released, there’s all sorts of legal wrangling involved over both the James Bond licence, as well as Rare now being owned by Microsoft. It was even reported at one point that Rare had completed work on a HD remake, only to be refused agreement between all parties involved for its release at the last minute.
Rare did somewhat soften the blow by releasing a decent remake of it’s spirtiual successor Perfect Dark, compete with a handful of multiplayer maps and weapons from GoldenEye. Years earlier EA also tried to fool gamers into buying its completely unrelated GoldenEye: Rogue Agent. How did they get around the licence issues? By having the player take control of an agent who literally has a cybernetic gold eye. Oh dear.
Why it deserves a remake: One of the best shooters of all time is now showing its age. Sort out the licensing issues and give us a faithful remastered version. Not a Wii version of Call of Duty with Daniel Craig.
The Simpsons Arcade
While Konami have released a HD remake of TMNT: Turtles in Time, many still want to see them give the same treatment to the arguably better Simpsons Arcade. A scrolling beat em up, the original arcade cabinet featured the voices of the cast and is a great tie in to the animation style of the early days of the cartoon.
Choosing between Homer, Marge, Bart or Lisa the game allows four players to smash their way through a series of levels and boss battles in search of a kidnapped Maggie. It was made all the more fun being stuffed full of in jokes and references, as well as appearances by characters from Matt Groening’s Life Is Hell comic strip.
Why it deserves a remake: It’d be a great four player co-op experience for fans of the show. It was also the first Simpsons game ever released and after stinkers like Simpsons Wrestling, it still might be the best.
Which games would you like to see remade or remastered for the Xbox Arcade or Playstation Network ?