Dream developers for flagging franchises

Sometimes a fresh outlook is all that's required to shake an old series up for the better. And following on from the rumour that Heavenly Sword studio Ninja Theory may be taking over the reins on the next Devil May Cry, we've had a think about what our dream match-ups of developer and franchise would be. And we've decided they would be these.

Resident Evil

Reason for the change: Resident Evil used to be a powerful blend of visceral exhilaration and suffocating, atmospheric dread. Now though, it has lost its way and become a bloated Hollywood impression of its former self. Suda 51'sGrasshopper Manufacture could take it back to its roots.

With No More Heroes, the studio proved it can do uncompromising in-your-face brutality with rare flair.With Fatal Frame IV, it produced a genuinely unsettling survival horror experience, even without HD technology to work with. Blend both of those talents, mix in the fact that ex-Silent Hill Producer Akira Yamaoka has just joined up, and that Suda is a friend and collaborator of Resi creator Shinji Mikami, and you've got a no-brainer for a potential reboot.

Tony Hawk

Reason for the change: Over the last few years, the Tony Hawk franchise has painted itself into a corner using its own rapidly-haemorraging lifeblood, and now has nothing but an unloved motion control board with which to splint its limping body back together. It went as fas as it could with its original gameplay model, ran out of steam, and has now been superceded by EA's Skate. But we don't want TH to become a clone of EA's boarding game. That would be pointless. No, we want a new direction.

Skate has stomped all over Hawk's old turf, so we want to see the more veteran series strike out anew and properly follow the half-arsed downhill direction it's toyed with over recent editions. And we want it made by the old SSX3 team. There's been a gap in the market for a downhill racing/stunt running board racer ever since SSX went quiet a few years ago, and if TH could drop the past andgo as balls-out and show-boating crazy as the snow-based series used to be, it could be that very game.

Pokemon

Reason for the change: Easy. Pokemon has never had one. The series is good and all, but it's been the same kind of good for the last 14 years, with only tweaks and preening along the way. It's become stale and needs a massive shake up. And as every Pokefan has been saying for years, an MMO is the way to go. BioWare's world-building skills are second-to-none, they know the online RPG field, and they've proven with Sonic Chronicles that they can take other people's cartoon mascots and make them work well in their own genre of choice.

Doom

Reason for the change: Whatever anyone tells you, Doom 3 was a great game. Its sole problem was that it only provided one half of the old Doom formula. Tippy-toey, creeping fear was in abundance. Not so much though,the adrenaline-charged massacres in whichwhen yougleefullymarauded against 10, 000 demonslike a drunken viking berserker who'd just discovered plasma technology.

Visceral Games could easily provide the whole package. Think Dead Space. Think Dante's Inferno. The studio's CV so far is a 50/50 split of cold, terrifying space horror and no-holds-barred demonic murder, with no fear of who it might offend with its uncompromising imagery. That's a tasty gore cocktail, all things considered, and it's a perfect brew to splatter all over a new Doom game.