I remember when 007 Goldeneye came out for the Wii and thinking that it was so cool to not only be playing a graphically updated version of an awesome N64 game, but also that it was changed to fit the modern style of gaming, built from the ground up to in terms of narrative and gameplay to become a mixture of that old-school shooter we all knew and love and a modern shooter that has refined what the original Goldeneye had done so well in the past.
Nowadays, we mainly get graphically updated ports of classic games like Star Fox 64 or Ocarina of Time, which is nice especially when they can benefit from the new hardware like how the Star Fox 64 3DS game added gyro controls or how the Zelda touchscreen helped make the Water Temple a bit more bearable, but it seems like it’s really rare that we actually get a full-blown remake.
I feels strange sometimes that the gaming industry is like this, since movies get remakes all the time. Think of the 2010 Karate Kid compared to the original. Everything about the movie was different, it was made more epic, but it also kept a lot of the same themes. It just had a different way of telling its version of the story, and not only was that okay, but it actually made something that was much better than the original. So why does this not happen more with games? At first I thought it was because games are about the experience and that no gamer would want to pay to have the same experience again, but then why do people freak out when something like Okami HD is announced when that game isn’t that old or the people most wanting a Majora’s Mask update are the people who have probably played it the most? I suppose that unlike films, it would be hard to reinterpret the experiences of a game especially since most people would rather just play the original. Me on the other hand, I actually look forward to remakes. It was something I was really disappointed in about Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary. The successors to Bungie of the legendary Halo franchise had a chance to really show us what they can do, by reimagining the first Halo game ro fit what could have been their own unique spin on the series, and it turns out to be exactly the same game that I played all those years ago. Everything that had evolved from the game series up to that point, especially from its prequel game Halo: Reach, wasn’t integrated into the main game which could have provided a deeper and new experience to Halo veterans while still letting newer players to the franchise feel at home with the current Halo standards while experiencing the epic narrative. They could have least fixed the monotony of the Library level.
So, today I’m going to speculating on how certain game remakes could be handled. What I am taking into consideration is which game is important enough historically to be remade, what benefits it could have in being adapted to a more modern style of gameplay, and what newer benefits it could gain from advances in hardware. And the first game on the list is unsurprisingly from the Sonic the Hedgehog series.
This game and it’s sequel are not only among the best games on the Dreamcast, but for the longest time, they were also considered the top of their class when it came to the modern Sonic franchise.
For Sonic Adventure, the main reason I would say to be remade is that it had a pretty epic storyline that goes a lot deeper the more you know about old world religion. The monster of the game was Chaos, the water god of destruction who once flooded the whole world. Get it? Chaos, as in the state of existence before anything existed? Also, according to the Book of Genesis, before God did anything to the world, there just existed this ever expansive ocean. Also, the flood is found in a lot of creation myths but even before knowing all that, I thought Chaos was one of the coolest bad guys ever made.
On top of that, I really liked how the story was kept broken up into pieces and while the characters never seemed to get the whole story, the player eventually did. Other stories such as the only belonging to Tails and Gamma were also really well-written and while the Sonic series moving to a lighter tone is seen as a good thing, I think something was lost, although it was lost even while in their grimdark phase. But what about the gameplay? Sonic Adventure had a really great variety of levels with themes and gimmicks that would work for any Sonic level. This is where the modern gameplay should take over though. Sonic Generations proved that Sonic Team knows how to make inspired-by levels really well. They paid tribute to Speed Highway in that game and I would like to see the other levels given similar treatments.
The problem I foresee though is that one of the weaknesses of the game was its loads and loads of characters. While Sonic and Knuckles got a bulk of the main story and had really solid game mechanics, only Tails and Gamma got good character driven stories with Gamma being the better of the two. Amy was a little pointless and Big was just worthless. I could foresee a Sonic Adventure remake dropping those two and maybe taking a cue from Sonic Adventure 2 and try having each character in just one big storyline that the player would trade off on. It might be hard for Tails since most of his story is with Sonic and his gameplay gimmick was that he raced Sonic, but maybe stages could be divided into two or more acts that force you to play as Sonic for one of them just running and platforming and Tails in the next racing. The other problem I see is that in Generations, they already remade the final boss. Granted, it wasn’t fought as Super Sonic, so they could still tweak it a bit, but it definitely has less of a shock value when they put out all the stops already.
The Legend of Zelda
I played the original The Legend of the Zelda game on the 3DS via the ambassador program and I don’t like it. I’m not really into old school games like that where if I don’t even know what to do then I just put the game down and play something else. However, ever since the actual Zelda timeline revealed that the first Zelda game actually takes place in a timeline where the Ocarina of Time Link failed to stop Ganon I’ve been hoping that the first game could be remade to tell a deeper story with all that in mind.
Kind of like how Skyward Sword paid lots of tribute to various elements in the Zelda franchise, this could be another game filled to the brims with references to past Zelda games, especially since it would be from the perspective of a world where everything has gone horribly wrong. This could also be done in a top down manner like Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks, but if it was a console game, it would be cool to have the Wii U utilize the game pad for some kind of mix between 3D and 2D Zelda. I also wouldn’t mind more combat focused puzzles like in Skyward Sword so that it feel likes it’s own game.
Of course, with all these changes it is probably more likely that Nintendo will just make a completely original Zelda game instead of recycling the plot to the first game and putting all this effort into new mechanics. Heck, they could even pull a bait and switch, and extend the original game’s story by adding in a second part that someone continues even after Ganon is defeated.
Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
I’ve already ranted about how I think the Star Wars games are just losing control of their canon. The Force Unleashed 2 alone kind of thrown a monkey wrench into continuity while the first one only left it battered and bruised. The new Star Wars game, 1313, is now suppose to feature a bounty hunter and take place between 3 and 4, and while I can’t imagine how more of the films will be ruined forever by it, I can at least remember when the games used to add to the films and other sources of canon, not take away. I remember a game called Shadows of the Empire and I had it for the N64. It was game that had everything epic about Star Wars. It started off at the Battle of Hoth as you played as Dash Rendar delivering cargo to the Rebel Alliance and then helping them defend their base while they evacuate. Afterwards you then had to escape from Echo base on foot, fighting snow troopers, wampas, and even an AT-ST. Now every time I watch The Empire Strikes Back, I just know that Dash Rendar was there and that the fighting continued long after the Empire took over the base.
Afterwards there were train battles, swoop races, flying missions, and you fought against some pretty iconic villains like Boba Fett and IG-88. Historically, the game is also the major nexus point for the Star Wars franchise and I’m little surprised that none of the Shadows of the Empire media is ever remembered. For one, the success of it showed Lucas that Star Wars was still relevant, and so encouraged him to actual release the prequel movies which started the Clone Wars era. The Battle of Hoth level alone inspired the Rogue Squadron series, one of the most beloved Star Wars game franchises. Right now, I could see no problem in Lucasarts celebrating this game by remaking it, and I could even see it being very similar to Uncharted. Hey, 1313 is basically Uncharted in Star Wars…so there we go.
That’s really all I can think of for right now. I’m sure everybody has their own opinions on what games should be remade and I think a large part of it is based on the game we’ve grown up. I know a lot of people would like to see a Final Fantasy 7 remake, but I just didn’t grow up with it so I have no idea how it could be improved. If you have any ideas on how classic games can be updated, leave a comment. We would love to hear your thoughts.