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13 PlayStation 2 HD remakes we’d like to see

Shadow Hearts

Although obviously overshadowed by Final Fantasies X, X-2 and XI, the obscure Shadow Hearts franchise carved out its own place in role-playing gamers’ hearts by somehow blending gothic horror and goofball humor. On one hand, you had sheer terror: demons possessing priests, harvesting of souls, serial killers and the end of the world. On the other hand, you had a fat, alcoholic cat that knew Drunken Fist kung-fu and a flamboyantly homosexual vampire-turned-wrestler who bludgeoned his enemies with a huge, frozen tuna.

Amazingly, it all worked, perhaps thanks to meaningful characters and epic-yet-personal storylines. Shadow Hearts even had continuity, with the characters and events of one game spawning and influencing those of the next. Sadly, the series’ third (and admittedly weakest) entry was its last, but all three deserve a second shot at lush, HD-quality life. [Ed note: Actually, so do the PS2-era Shin Megami Tenseis, while we’re wishing].

 

Frequency/Amplitude

Granted, visuals aren’t really the focus of Harmonix’s pre-Guitar Hero/Rock Band releases, so this is more GR wish fulfillment than something that could actually happen. There would also probably be licensing hurdles to overcome, what with two catalogs of music that A) contain groups that could ask for more money and B) are songs that could date the series to a specific 2001-2002 time period. However, the gameplay is so alluring, we want to share it with an audience whose only exposure to this type of game includes a pile of plastic instruments.

In a way, you can play Amplitude right now on PSP – it’s called Rock Band Unplugged, and it more or less handles identically to our PS2 obsessions. The only catch is that it’s dressed up as a Rock Band game, and lacks the ultra-trippy backgrounds from Frequency and Amplitude, which, to bring it full circle, would undoubtedly look fuggin’ amazing in HD. Audio may be the focus, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try to have a fabulously psychedelic seizure.

 

The Mark of Kri/Rise of the Kasai

Mixing Disney-style animation with M-rated violence is hardly a new idea. But Mark of Kri perhaps did it better than anyone else in the entire decade, effortlessly blending vibrant worlds with gory finishing moves. Kri was a true PS2 gem, offering up a distinct visual style and an amazing combat setup that let you fight groups of enemies with actual combos and skill, not button-mashy silliness. Other abilities, like sending your bird to scout the path ahead, broke up the action and turned it into a Metal Gear-ish stealth affair.

Its sequel didn’t turn out as well. While the style and combat remained mostly whole, the reliance on an irritatingly idiotic AI partner (the hero’s sister Tati) soured the entire experience. In an HD remake, it could be possible to finally add online co-op (or same system, we’d take that too!), fixing the game’s most glaring flaw and perhaps endearing a whole new generation to this should’ve-been-a-blockbuster franchise. Plus, those animated cutscenes would probably drop our jaws all over again.

 

Primal/Ghosthunter

In case you missed them, Primal and Ghosthunter were a couple of relatively obscure games made by Sony’s European arm (although Ghosthunter was published by Namco in the US). Primal, released in 2003, was an adventure starring a gothy young woman with a gargoyle sidekick and the power to transform into different species of demon (something that may or may not have been influenced by the legendary SNES game Demon’s Crest). Ghosthunter, meanwhile, was an alternately goofy and horrifying adventure that had a lot of similarities with the ‘80s Real Ghostbusters cartoon.

Aside from their paranormal bent, the two games had a few things in common: neither of them had spectacular gameplay, for starters, but they made up for it with gobs of creepy atmosphere and some high-end stories and presentations (particularly Ghosthunter, which featured Sir Michael Gambon voicing one of the most fascinating game villains ever). And both ended up largely ignored and forgotten at retail.

It’s a shame, really, because in spite of their flaws, these are both top-flight productions. An HD makeover would be a perfect way to highlight that, while giving them a second chance with a new audience that might be a little more accepting of subdued adventure games. Sure, it’s wildly unlikely, considering that neither game sold well enough to merit further attention from Sony, but this list is about what we want to see – not what we think we will.

 

Silent Hill

Instead of flailing around aimlessly in an attempt to restart the ailing Silent Hill series, maybe Konami should revisit its strongest work and spruce up Silent Hill 2. There’s very little argument that SH2 is the strongest entry, telling one of the best videogame stories ever with one of the creepiest, most disturbing villains of all time. The only problem is that its 2001 fog-swirling technology is a bit out of date, and could stand a Homecoming-esque upgrade. We wouldn’t mind a few other tweaks, but we’d be happy just to play through it as-is, with Trophy support.

But to keep the “collection” theme going, toss in Silent Hill 3 (also good) and Silent Hill 4: The Room (eeeeeeeh) and we’ve got the series’ heyday all in one place. By the time we play through each again and re-acquaint ourselves with psychological horror done right, Konami may have found a way to make this franchise work again. We’re still all for a Resident Evil crossover, guys!

Sep 17, 2010

 

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104 comments

  • jordan-ryan-campbell - August 24, 2012 10:03 a.m.

    honestly, i think def jam fight for new york was incredible, and if they put that out for ps3 i would ditch icon, well i already have anyways because icon sucked!
  • Oblivion2500 - March 25, 2011 6 p.m.

    Why Silent Hill 4!?!? Why can't company remaster PSone games!?! I would love to have Silent Hill 1 along with 2 and 3, but not 4...Silent Hill 1 would look cool in High def and better texture + models + sounds... Now that something I would buy...
  • Fabian313 - February 21, 2011 1:08 p.m.

    IS THIS FOR REAL:O?! Can someone mail em or something? is this just some ideas or real news?
  • classicsnes - October 22, 2010 10:09 p.m.

    I would get Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter, GTA, Kingdom Hearts, and Silent Hill definetly, and maybe Devil May Cry and Metal Gear. I can't wait for Sly Collection next month and Ico and Shadow of the Colosus next year, I also want God of War Collection.
  • duanejensen - October 18, 2010 8:14 p.m.

    star wars battlefront
  • VercettisShirt - October 18, 2010 6:50 p.m.

    The Kingdom Hearts re-release MUST include the Final Mix content.
  • seabassuk - October 18, 2010 12:04 p.m.

    Include the original Metal Gear Games (even Snake's Revenge) in HD along with the Metal Gear Solid games and you got yourself a deal :D
  • sokolske - October 1, 2010 7:59 p.m.

    oh shit not to mention time splitters that game was amazing. and they should have the cartoony crap just make it better like borderlands.
  • sokolske - October 1, 2010 7:54 p.m.

    i think they are coming out with a sly copper hd edition for ps3 and ssx saga in hd??? cmon it wood be amazing.
  • Darkmessiah24 - September 22, 2010 12:43 a.m.

    If they're making a 3rd Zone of the Enders, they need to re-release the originals from the PS2 on the PS3.
  • DVTC - September 21, 2010 2:52 p.m.

    ahhhh,, I never thought of that,, silent hill.
  • lincc289 - September 21, 2010 1:42 p.m.

    go!go! About you, fashionable tide Story will start from here! http://fogz.eu/8tthy
  • SeattleSound - September 21, 2010 12:31 p.m.

    Star Wars Battlefront 1 and 2 would be awesome.
  • chrisbarker1980 - September 21, 2010 9:55 a.m.

    Bushido Blade. Simply the best fighter ever made.
  • blynd_cyte - September 21, 2010 9:22 a.m.

    I'm probably one of maybe 17 people world wide who even remembers Naval Ops: Warship Gunner and may be the only one looking for a re-make, but that game was a lot of fun. The story was a bit thin (think Ace Combat - cheesy dialogue and dramatization), but the level of customization for your ships was one of the most comprehensive examples of customization in a console game I've seen (and very easy to use). Fewer things are more satisfying than decking out a massive catamaran battleship with ridiculous amounts of firepower and sailing it off to conquer the seas. But I guess I'll have to keep dreaming on that one...
  • db1331 - September 20, 2010 6:31 p.m.

    To this day I still don't see the difference between Ratchet & Clank and Jak & Daxter.
  • NightCrawler_358 - September 19, 2010 12:50 p.m.

    man this is a great article! I would buy all of these if i could! PS2 had so many great games!
  • PiTzI - September 19, 2010 6:39 a.m.

    Zomg, I would get the "Jak & Daxter", "Kingdom Hearts", "Ratchet & Clank", and the "GTA" collections as I've played the majority of those games on the PS2 and they're definitely worth playing again! I'd also get the "Silent Hill", "Metal Gear" and "DMC" collections as I've never tried any of those. Great list! Hopefully, most of these will show up in a couple of years
  • FinderKeeper - September 19, 2010 3:06 a.m.

    how could you guys leave out... *ooooooooookkkkkkkkaaaaaaaaaaaammmmmmmmiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii*

Showing 1-20 of 104 comments

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