Try, try again
For as many original games that get made every year, there's something compelling about playing (or replaying) some classic titles in a new context. Remakes can have a rejuvenating effect on games that changed the medium back in their day, introducing people to timeless games that might've never gotten the chance to experience otherwise. Plus, remakes have the added benefit of catching up the visuals and gameplay with current industry standards. But nothing stays current forever.
Gaming has been around long enough that there are now a good number of remade games that could use some new packaging. As Capcom is doing with Resident Evil HD, the multipatform recreation of the 2003 GameCube REmake, publishers seem ready to return to their games once more to rechristen them all over again. So here are seven more remakes in need of a new coat of paint. At least they'll be up to date for another decade...
Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes
When it first came to the PlayStation, Metal Gear Solids use of music and full voice-acting were revolutionary at the time, as was the mature subject matter, while MGSs 32-bit graphics weren't looking so groundbreaking in 2004. That's when the unexpected trio of Konami, Nintendo, and Silicon Knights got together to make one of the most epic game recreations of all time: the GameCube-exclusive Twin Snakes. Silicon Knights handled programming while Konami redid all the cutscenes and voice work, all with the amount of care the iconic title deserves. Its worth revisiting for any MGS fan, but that unique collaboration is also why Twin Snakes may never be experienced elsewhere.
Firstly, the GameCube-exclusive game is littered with Nintendo Easter eggs that would need to be removed to go multiplatform. Then theres the fact that developer Silicon Knights got sued into oblivion in 2012, so I doubt they could be that helpful. Hideo Kojima and company would be better off starting from scratch when returning Twin Snakes anyway, dropping the unneeded gameplay additions and over-the-top cinematics in favor of a stripped-down restoration to the original iteration. Im sure MGS5s FOX engine could handle it--just dont recast Snake with Kiefer Sutherland!
Persona 3 Portable
Whenever someone asks me the best way to play Persona 3 (which happens all the time), Im torn. The PSP version, sometimes referred to as P3P, is certainly the most convenient to play, but the outstanding JRPG just feels so compromised by the hardware. Yes, there are new characters and dungeons added to P3P, but to fit it all on the PSP, the striking anime cutscenes were removed. Replacing lengthy animation with a still frame and a brief, written description of whats happening is not what Id call great storytelling.
P3Ps situation is even more frustrating because Persona 4: Golden only got better with its Vita re-release, adding new scenes and features without losing a step. Seeing as the PS2 versions of Persona 3 and 4 run on the same engine, whats preventing P3P from getting the same Golden treatment on Vita? Atlus remakes nearly all of its games at least once, so maybe its only a matter of time before it returns to Persona 3 once again.
Super Mario Bros. Deluxe
The NES version of Super Mario Bros. is one of those games that people return to again and again, with the layout of World 1-1 burned into the minds of nearly anyone that has ever touched a video game. Given the number of times Nintendo has re-released SMB, many forget that the game got a full-on remake for the Game Boy Color. And, dare I say it, Super Mario Bros. Deluxe might just be the ideal way to play the title. For one, the updated map interface and save system makes for a smoother experience, and it integrates all the Super Mario Bros. Lost Levels content as a post-game bonus, making it feel more complete than any other version.
The 1999 title is easy enough to find, but nowadays the GBC graphics and screen size are holding it back. Perhaps Nintendo should reexamine this edition by combining the content with a more visually impressive remake. Take the Super Mario All-Stars' 16-bit graphics and graft it onto the design of Deluxe to create the ultimate version. If timed with the games 30th anniversary in 2015, itd be a better tribute than the quickie port job All-Stars received on the Wii U.
Final Fantasy VI Advance
Square Enix remakes its Final Fantasy games again and again, but hey, the audience loves to buy them. FF fans are some of the most nostalgic in gaming, always ready to give another 60 hours to replay their favorite entry. Many did just that with the multiple remakes of Final Fantasy VI, and the GBA version is easily the standout of the pack. The updated translation makes the story flow better than ever, and the SNES graphics transferred perfectly to the GBA. The only problem is that the straightforward remake seems a bit paltry when viewed next to some of the more recent revisitations of FF.
Final Fantasy III and IV both got massive reboots on the DS, completely redoing the graphics in 3D, as well as adding voice acting and orchestrated music. But just as fans were primed for other classics to get the same treatment, the publisher shifted to lower-cost smartphone remakes. Final Fantasy VI is to many the pinnacle of the series, so its a shame to see it get less TLC than its predecessors. After the surprise success of Bravely Default, Square Enix needs to get that team back onto the FF bandwagon and give VI the royal treatment it deserves.
Tomb Raider: Anniversary
Lara Crofts 1996 debut mixes impressive 3D exploration, dynamic action, and sex appeal, making Lara one of the breakout stars of the 32-bit era. However, time hasnt been all that kind to the original, so its understandable that in 2007, Laras then-new dev team at Crystal Dynamics updated the experience with Tomb Raider: Anniversary. It brought the gameplay more in line with the then-recent reboot, Tomb Raider: Legend, but now that Ms. Croft has been rebooted once more in the last seven years, Anniversary is getting long in the tooth.
Tomb Raider: Anniversary also had the bad timing of hitting just as developers were moving from the PS2 to 360, meaning Lara got caught mid-leap onto HD hardware. Today, the 360 and PS3 ports of Anniversary cant compare to detailed world of 2013s Tomb Raider, and just imagine how dated Anniversary will look next to Rise of the Tomb Raider. Square Enix needs to start planning now for Laras 20th anniversary in 2016, so having Crystal Dynamics update Anniversary as a new-gen experience sounds like a fitting tribute.
If you were an impressionable kid in the early 90s, you may have fallen under the sway of Hulkamania and the other thrills of pro-wrestling. At the time, no game better captured the feel of WWF television than Wrestlefest, a 1992 arcade fighter that featured over a dozen favored grapplers. Seeing a pixelated Ultimate Warrior bodyslam Mr. Perfect will still give some fans the chills. So news of a Wrestlefest remake excited the inner child of many wrasslin' fans, but all that anticipation vanished when the letters "iOS" were attached to the remake.
Yes, WWE Wrestlefest took inspiration from the original arcade grappler, but replaced the classic roster with current stars, added in touch controls, and smoothed out the graphics to make it look more like a Flash game. Publisher THQ completely missed the point of why fans wanted to see Wrestlefest return, seemingly just digging up the brand to market its mobile experiment. Now that 2K Sports makes WWE games, theres a new chance to give Wrestlefest (or any other classic WWE title) the real reboot it deserves.
Skies of Arcadia Legends
The Dreamcast was Segas last gasp as a console manufacturer, and it was doing some of its best work ever near the systems end. Skies of Arcadia is a whimsical JRPG cut from the same cloth as Sega classics like Phantasy Star and the Shining series, but with a flavor all its own. It was overlooked in 2000, though it got a second chance as a Legends remake on the GameCube. Unfortunately, that just gave consumers another chance to ignore it--but maybe the GC remake just needs to be reconfigured for HD to finally give the Arcadia the popularity it deserves.
Sega has HD remakes of Dreamcast standouts like Sonic Adventure, Jet Set Radio, and Crazy Taxi, so its time for the publisher to keep dig a little deeper and excavate this gem. The cel-shaded style of Skies of Arcadia should follow Jet Sets impressive transition to HD, and it could be a nice way for Sega to test international interest in some more recent JRPGs that arent localized yet. And if Sega doesnt have the time, it could just pass Skies over to the newly acquired Atlus, a team that knows a thing or two about lovingly remaking RPGs.
Back for seconds
Those are the seven remakes I think deserve another chance, but what would you add to the list? Tell me all about it in the comments, then I just might remake your words into a new entry for this list. (I might even give you credit.)
And if you're looking for more happy returns, check out 12 most ridiculously re-released games of all time and 10 last-gen games that need Xbox One and PS4 remakes.