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6 deeply inappropriate but disturbingly plausible FPS reboots to ruin your childhood with

Flashback

The original was: A subtly hardcore, cinematic platform adventure with stunningly smooth, rotascoped animation and clever, deliberately paced action. Amnesiac hero Conrad Hart had the same cautious but acrobatic demeanour as the original Prince of Persia, employing two similarly asymmetrical sets of physical abilities depending on whether his gun was drawn or not. A bit niggly at first, but it heaped loads of satisfying tactical planning upon the navigation of Flashback's environments. As did Conrad's shield, which could only absorb a few hits before requiring a manual recharge at a power point. Without it, he was insta-dead, so it needed very careful use.

How and why the suits would 'update' it: "Regenerating shields!? An amnesiac hero!? Only one gun!? Why, Flashback already has all the tropes of a modern FPS! And if that famed animation managed to be impressive on mere 16-bit hardware, just imagine how we can lovingly pay tribute to its legacy now that we've spent so much money on the game engine arms race!"

How the spirit of the original would be 'reimagined': You wouldn't need to find power points. Conrad's shield power would still be manually maintained, but you'd just have to press a button to power it up again. Though there would be an option to switch it to auto at the start just in case that was too complicated for you. He would retain his two differing states of combat readiness, but this time around they would consist of "armed" and "really f*cking armed", for use when dealing with normal enemies and really frigging big enemies, respectively.

Oh, and to keep the platforming cinematic and graceful in the midst of the increased combat, jumping would be semi-automated, requiring the player only to highlight one of several prescribed options and press a button in order to trigger a five-minute, third-person jumping cut-scene. But, you know, choosing the right prescribed option would heap on the tactical planning, just like in the original Flashback. Each cut-scene would cost five million dollars.And obviously the whole game would be set in the original Flashback's grimy city streets section. Gritty urban environments and all that.

Dizzy

The original was: A damnably charming series of 8-bit fantasy platform adventures, starring Dizzy the egg and his Yolk Folk friends. Dizzy would walk, leap and roll around various fantastical landscapes, collecting items in the traditional Graphical Adventure style in order to solve puzzles, ingratiate himself to - or thwart the plans of - NPCs, and usually defeat whatever foul scheme the evil wizard Zaks had come up with this time. The Yolk Folk were the usual spread of broad cartoon stereotypes - Dylan was the hippie stoner, Grand Dizzy was the Elder, Denzil was the 'cool' one, Daisy was the, er, girl - but the writing was knowing enough to keep things fresh, and the tunes were some of the most blissfully bloopy stuff to come out of the whole era.

How and why the suits would 'update' it: "What, we have the rights to that one? Yeah, we might as well do something with it. Someone is bound to recognise the name somewhere, and they're probably old enough to have some money now. FPS? Yeah, FPS is big. Bang it out. But let's make sure we grit it up a bit. That whole 'stories that grow up with their audience' scam totally worked for Harry Potter."

How the spirit of the original would be 'reimagined': Zaks has kidnapped the YolkFolk (again)! But this time he's brainwashed them and turned them against Dizzy. So our ovoid hero is going to have to kill them senseless in order to get to Zaks for one final, apocalyptic smack-down of heroic vengeance.

But don't think that this is just some throwaway cash-in on a favourite old franchise. Oh no. As any video game marketing man with a direct vested interest in the product would tell you, FPS Dizzy would be a serious, worthy work. Murdering your childhood heroes. It's like a metaphor for the very human condition of growth and maturation. Jonathon Blow would probably love it, and the game would get tons of indie cred. But like all the best creative works (and Harry Potter), it would also have loads of profit potential, given that the use of yolk instead of blood would mean that kids could play it too!

Also, collecting weapons is just the same as collecting the puzzle objects of the original games. You even have to press Enter to pick them up! Authenticity!

Zork

The original was: One of the earliest interactive fiction games (read: Graphical Adventure without the graphics) and an ancestor to everything that came afterwards. Consisted of nothing but text, but obviously benefited from the fact that the human imagination has the best graphics around. Responsible for any and all memes relating to being eaten by a grue because it's too dark.

How and why the suits would 'update' it: "The human imagination had the best graphics around until our new game engine! Although we have nothing but The Utmost Respect For The Original Game (tm), it was totally let down by not showing you things. And did we mention that our new engine can render atmospheric caves really well? And everyone knows that 'atmospheric' is modern FPS shorthand for 'too dark', so that whole grue thing would work perfectly."

How the spirit of the original would be 'reimagined': Basically you'd be shooting stuff in caves. But it would nick that whole "torch or gun, decide now" mechanic that everyone hated from Doom 3 and call it an innovative and refreshing modern reimagining of the core values of Zork. Because, you know, grues and stuff.

October 18, 2011

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18 comments

  • rxb - October 19, 2011 6:38 a.m.

    Good article Dave. Although a bit sad that this is what gaming has come to.
  • Mezolitik - October 19, 2011 2:26 a.m.

    You forgot Bubble Bobble FPS. And you just ruined my childhood! I loved Dizzy, but it went to the dogs in the end. Quite surprised that it hasn't been re-made yet.
  • IceBlueKirby - October 18, 2011 4:09 p.m.

    lol, I like "an insatiable lust for killing" as an inventory item. I just wonder where modern FPS heroes keep that, seeing as, "realistically," there's no room for that in their inventory with those two guns and four or so grenades. Maybe it's small enough to stick in their boot, and that's why they like kicking things so much? Who knows. I've never played any of these besides Sim City and Shenmue, but I wouldn't be surprised to see any of these remade as an FPS. That said I think XCOM sounds pretty cool, and since I never played the originals it won't be stepping all over my nostalgia. Not sure about Syndicate yet though.
  • Tenlo - October 18, 2011 12:30 p.m.

    Why can't we just bring Dizzy back full stop, come one an egg with boxing gloves what's wrong with that as a main character!
  • Rhymenocerous - October 18, 2011 11:55 a.m.

    The only way I'm buying the new Syndicate and XCOM is if they include the originals on disc. Seriously, I would make those two purchases... I no longer have my SNES for Syndicate, and my XCOM is now simply FUBAR for some reason. Also trophies/achievements would be AWESOME.
  • Fetalspray - October 18, 2011 11:52 a.m.

    'apocalyptic smack-down of heroic vengeance' my new band name lol
  • Bawheidbob - October 18, 2011 11:34 a.m.

    I like write ups like this one just to get a reminder there are people out there playing games where old games are still Dizzy/Monkey Island and Flashback.
  • wintergnut - October 18, 2011 10:47 a.m.

    I don't get all the rage about the new syndicate. The original wasn't a strategy game, it was an arcade shooter that just happened to use isometric view. Sure, it had some strategy elements like augmentations and persuadertron, but the new one still has them.As for your squad, it was always better to keep them together, so turning it into an FPS would make sense.
  • bitcrusherrrr - October 18, 2011 10:37 a.m.

    Kid Chameleon, the US goverment creates a headset that transformers US soliders into terrorists and other enemies of the free world so they can infiltrate and destroy them. Shinobi, ninjas go high tech red steel meets vanquish. Tetris, cold war era shooter where the USSR drops mutated cubiod shaped paratroopers on the alies. Street fighter, follow guile as he takes on shadaloo in a wartorn near future with quick time event hand to hand fights.
  • EnragedTortoise1 - October 18, 2011 8:49 a.m.

    I'd be completely fine with these remakes if they just changed the name. If the Syndicate reboot was just named something different, I'm sure it'd be more widely accepted. ...That said, I'm sure XCOM and Syndicate will be great games. But if this really becomes a big trend, then something's gotta give.
  • bass88 - October 18, 2011 6:52 a.m.

    Other games include: Streets Of Rage (it'll be like Urban Chaos: Riot Response but with Axel and mullets) Mortal Kombat (it's dilly-dallied with other genres so it may as well tackle this one while it's popular) Tetris (where our hero takes on corporate entites by collasping their tower "blocks" against others. It'll be like Mr. Houghton's SimCity idea meets Jenga) Metal Gear ("Why the hell would you use pillars to hide when you can use them for cover? Phew! Fixed that broken game.") Twisted Metal ("Okay, last game didn't sell as well as we hoped. How do we sell this to the masses?" "Well, a lot of people think the vehicles are stupid." "Okay, we'll get rid of them. Anything else?" "Should probably change the characters. People don't think clowns carrying rocket launchers is realistic." "Yeah, let's turn them into gruff-talking marines. There hasn't been a game like that in, like, three days. And speaking of realism, wouldn't they only be able to carry two weapons at a time? "Yup. We should definitely implement that. We can also save money by just putting a HD filter over the levels from Black." "Great idea! Damn, we are creative!" "That's why we're the publishers."
  • taokaka - October 18, 2011 7:08 a.m.

    I know I shouldn't, but I really want that streets of rage reboot but only if they can up the mullet ratio.
  • rabidpotatochip - October 18, 2011 6:51 a.m.

    Came here to see Zork in the list, leaving happy! Also, if you want the best eaten by a grue meme ever listen to MC Frontalot's "It is Pitch Dark".
  • taokaka - October 18, 2011 6:44 a.m.

    This article has made my day, not because of it's great content but because I made a comment about all the possible terrible revivals of old franchises as FPS's on the syndicate reveal article and I believe that Mr David was so inspired he dedicated this entire article to me. Thank you Mr David, I know you're my biggest fan but this takes the cake for the best thing all my legions of fans have done for me.
  • Korvak - October 18, 2011 5:47 a.m.

    What are you doing man!! You can't give them ideas!
  • chrisbarker1980 - October 18, 2011 5:11 a.m.

    I have full confidence that all these will be made in the next ten years.... Since the arrival of HD remakes, Syndicate was always on the top of my list to get a HD make over. So when I first saw the headline that it was getting a remake my heart leaped, but then with the click of a mouse button it was crushed under a avalanche of seething anger and resentment by three simple letters...FPS.
  • bitcrusherrrr - October 18, 2011 4:57 a.m.

    You got shenmue all wrong, make it just like stranglehold, John Woo presents: Shenmue The revenge.
  • GR_DavidHoughton - October 18, 2011 5:02 a.m.

    Yeah, fair point. The revenge-driven killing spree could also work. Using a Space Harrier cabinet as cover, using sailors as human shields, and throwing out one-liners like "That wasn't such a LUCKY HIT for HIM!"

Showing 1-18 of 18 comments

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