Google+

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

 

The Top 7... '90s games that need HD remakes
We're not graphics whores, but an update would really benefit these aging classics


 


The truth about the Final Fantasy VII remake
Why there's still hope for the most requested remake of all time


 


Ugly polygon "babes" of yesteryear 
39 terrifying monsters we used to think were sexy

We Recommend By ZergNet

104 comments

  • ChrisCultista - September 17, 2010 11:31 p.m.

    "Ratchet & Clank" "Jak and Daxter" Couldnt you just make 1 HD and play it twice? Muhahahah...
  • cj12297 - September 17, 2010 11:35 p.m.

    i would so buy kingdom hearts, metal gear solid and prince of persia
  • DaveBoyle - September 17, 2010 11:35 p.m.

    The only 2 remakes I want to see are Grand Theft Auto and Crash Bandicoot 1 - 3, we can just pretend that everything that happened after Crash Team Racing never happened :)
  • Ampatent - September 17, 2010 11:36 p.m.

    Yes, but all this "Only on Playstation" bullshit does not fly. The GTA series was ported to the 360 as well, why can't it be HD'd for it? I would definitely want to see a Silent Hill 2 redone in HD though, regardless of the console it's on.
  • Stabby_Joe - September 17, 2010 11:46 p.m.

    Timesplitters? Unlikely but I'm still wishfully hoping for an online version.
  • GamesRadarMikelReparaz - September 17, 2010 11:47 p.m.

    @Ampatent: Actually, that's a really good point - the GTA Trilogy box shouldn't have the "Only on PlayStation" wing at all. Fixed!
  • Raiden145 - September 17, 2010 11:49 p.m.

    FF HD's OMG PLZ COME TRUE!!!!! also the metal gear and kingdom hearts...also GTA CRAP I WANT ALL OF THEM !!!! X_BOX FANBOYS SUCK OUR HD DICKS!
  • AnonymouZ - September 18, 2010 12:14 a.m.

    hell, the first three i thought were the only ones that matter... but ima agree with the whole damn list... especially cuz shadowhearts was something i wanted to buy at sometime... and couldn't. an HD version would rock.
  • Schnipke - September 18, 2010 12:23 a.m.

    I would get the majority of these, though I'd go for Shadow Hearts first since I soooooo want to play the first two
  • jimsmells - September 18, 2010 12:23 a.m.

    Um, where's spyro?
  • FelNaRj - September 18, 2010 12:34 a.m.

    Shadowhearts HELL YEAH!! my favorite JRPG form PS2 days!!
  • thefreakysurgeon - September 18, 2010 12:42 a.m.

    Jak and Daxter would be pretty fun. I've never played any of the games in the series, but yeah they'd be pretty cool. Ratchet and Clank would also be alright.
  • Broken360 - September 18, 2010 12:42 a.m.

    @Ampatent- "Only on Playstation" because its only Playstation doing it! Write a #u@k!n6 letter to Microsoft and see how badly they'll rip off their consumers price wise, just how they do every time.
  • onewingedantista - September 18, 2010 12:59 a.m.

    Where's Battlefront/Battlefront II?
  • onewingedantista - September 18, 2010 1 a.m.

    @JimSmells On the PS1
  • justinbanda - September 18, 2010 1:01 a.m.

    I would be a day-one buyer of the Final Fantasy, Devil May Cry, and Prince of Persia sets. Having Metal Gear and Grand Theft Auto collections would be nice, too. The rest are pretty 'meh' to me, especially on the last page. As for Kingdom Hearts, I think I'll wait for the 3DS version. But great mock-ups, GR!
  • admjwt - September 18, 2010 1:02 a.m.

    id get every single one of those remakes excpet for allthe ones on page 3. never heard of any of those. adn also MGS i never really got into the seriesi so i probably wouldnt buy that one either
  • GamesRadarMikelReparaz - September 18, 2010 1:09 a.m.

    @admjwt: You've never heard of Silent Hill? I don't believe you.
  • sleepy92ismypsn - September 18, 2010 2:26 a.m.

    I love this article. I would buy most of these collections. I've never played a Ratchet and Clank game or a Devil May Cry game So those collections would be a good way to get into those series. I don't own the Jak & Daxter games anymore so I really want that to happen.
  • garnsr - September 18, 2010 4:07 a.m.

    I want a Castlevania collection more than anything, especially if it had the Gameboy ones and everything. And I'd love a compilation of Compile shooters. But those are much older, and they don't seem to be making those kinds of compilations any more. But trophies are a real incentive to play these old games, I just got 100% on GTA IV, which would have seemed absolutely pointless without getting a trophy, but was only modestly crazy when I got a gold trophy (and this summer's dearth of games was the only reason I took the time.) Getting 100% on the earlier ones would be totally insane.

Showing 1-20 of 104 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000

OR…

Connect with Facebook

Log in using Facebook to share comments, games, status update and other activity easily with your Facebook feed.