Can't hardly wait
Weve marked our calendars. Weve devoured the screenshots and deconstructed each and every trailer that we could get our greedy hands on. Weve meticulously combed through the rumors to collect as much information about Grand Theft Auto V as we possibly could, but nothing seems to satisfy our craving for Rockstar's next blockbuster. Seriously, it's like being a kid on Christmas Eve all over again, but with Santa holding the presents out of reach and taunting us with their shiny wrapping paper and tantalizing online multiplayer.
But all of this time spent waiting for our most anticipated game of 2013 has us thinking--why should all the crude humor and sandbox violence stop at GTA? Which of our favorite franchises could benefit from a bit of Rockstar's trademark style? We've got a few ideas
Super Mario Bros.
The original: A plumber and his brother find themselves in the Mushroom Kingdom, a land where turtles have wings, mushrooms have faces, and numerous recreational drugs are hidden inside magical floating blocks. The only other normal human being is constantly kidnapped by a gigantic fire breathing turtle monster, and it's up to Mario to run, jump, and jump some more to save her.
The Rockstar remake: Italian immigrant Mario Marocetti arrives in the Mushroom Kingdom hoping to leave the past behind--to make a new start in a magical land full of opportunity. Unfortunately, fate seems to have something else in mind for the ex-mafia thug. He soon finds himself working as a "plumber" employed by the ruthless Toadstool crime family, roughing up entry-level bruisers of the Koopa Crime Syndicate for spare coins. Mario's story develops into a sprawling tale of greed, loyalty, shattered dreams and brotherly betrayal, but most people never make it that far into the game. Instead, everybody just makes jokes about his lame cousin Wario calling to hang out and play tennis all the time.
Gears of War
The original: Initially content to dig up liquid energy and fight amongst themselves, the humans of planet Sera find themselves in a losing war against subterranean alien-monster-bug creatures known as Locust. With their backs against the wall, Marcus, Dom, Cole, and that whiny, blond-haired know it all are willing to chainsaw anything that stands in the way to survive.
The Rockstar remake: Although Gears of War is already pretty bloody (and has some questionable morals), Rockstar ramps up the violence while taking the series in a much darker direction. Executions are hyper-realistic and absolutely brutal, offering extra points for inflicting as much physical pain to the unsuspecting target as possible. Meanwhile, the nihilism surrounding taboo plot points such as torture, suicide, and euthanasia spark controversies among lawmakers and parent groups. Gears 2 tries to top its predecessor with even more violence, but an AO rating from the ESRB leads to game delays and pixelated executions.
The original: Final Fantasy is probably the best known JRPG series around. The settings and characters may change with each new entry, but players can always count on dense stories, gorgeous cutscenes, and a guy named Cid to always make an appearance.
The Rockstar remake: Rockstar makes some enemies with its parody of the beloved genre. The usual tales of drama and romance are thrown out the window for a tongue in cheek story of an evil Chocobo trying to enslave the world with his army of harmlessly fluffy Moogles. Random encounters resolve with absolutely no input from the player, while cutscenes are intentionally filled with awkward pauses and overly dramatic dialog. But the real kick to genre norms is that the hero isn't just an effeminate young man, but the first example of an openly gay protagonist in a mainstream JRPG. Despite the easy opportunity for tasteless jokes, Rockstar's lead is instead remembered as the most likeable, compelling, and badass protagonist the series has ever seen. Go figure.
The original: Humanity has made some new friends by the end of the 22nd century. Several species from around the universe have come together to form an intergalactic republic where space ships, warp drives, energy weapons, and totally-not-anything-like-a-Jedi super powers are the norm. When a mysterious force puts the whole thing at risk, it's up to Commander Shepherd and friends to save the day.
The Rockstar remake: The future may be bright, but it's also a bit messed up. Humanity has made it to the stars only to find that every other sentient race in the galaxy is downright obscene. From the overtly phallic Erectians to the warm, tender Testiculoids, it's almost as if the universe itself were laughing at the entire human race. Things only get worse when the modding community stumbles on an explicit minigame featuring Commander Shepherd getting it on with a romanced crew member. News anchors jump on the story, questioning the mature-rated game's harmful effect on children until Rockstar is forced to recall the game and remove the already inaccessible scene entirely.
The original: Two paddles, one ball, hours of multiplayer fun. Things don't get much more straightforward than this simple game of back and forth. 3D? Particle effects? Colors? Don't make us laugh.
The Rockstar remake: Rockstar Games presents Pong is the surprise hit nobody asked for. Critics appreciate its instant accessibility, crisp graphics, and casually competitive split-screen while simultaneously praising the tactical depth of a well-placed corner-of-the-paddle shot. Players love turning off their brains and watching the little white pixel bounce faster and faster across the screen. Although many cynical consumers complain that this $40 diversion is nothing more than a lazy cash grab, the whole price tag thing is quickly forgotten when news comes out that those impressive ball physics are essentially a spruced-up tech demo for Rockstar's actual next big game.
The original: Get down and dirty with some of the most powerful machines ever created. Jump into your favorite model for a scenic trip, or put your skills to the test with challenges, routes, and cargo that'll put some real hairs on your chest.
The Rockstar remake: A loving tribute to the 20th century's golden age of rail travel, Rockstar's take on Train Simulator tells the tale of an aging conductor trying to outrun the changing world around him. When the introduction of commercial travel and the proliferation of personal automobiles threatens to drive his kind out of business, Jack Marston is forced to take on riskier and riskier jobs from a shady federal agent just to hold on to his old rig, The Redemption. Random events, such as speeding up to prevent train robberies or stopping on a dime to save track-tied damsels in distress, and an eclectic cast of passengers to meet along the way ensure that there's something here for train lovers of all ages (besides, we've got the perfect song to top the soundtrack).
The original: Open world mayhem at its absolute craziest, Saints Row doesn't concern itself with logic or reason. The street gang turned media corporation turned political party has been through a lot over the years, but nothing seems to slow down their love of money, power, and over-the-top theatrics. Skydiving, car surfing, zombie slaying, missile riding, alien crushing, levitating, and routine streaking are the norm here, with more meta jokes and pop culture references than you can wave a gigantic purple sex toy at. Nobody knows how to party like a Saint.
The Rockstar remake: Err let's wrap this up.
We can dream...
Excited for some open world mayhem? Think Rockstar should take a crack at any other gaming franchises? Let us know in the comments below!
You can also check out our real world consequences for Grand Theft Auto crimes and prepare yourself for multiplayer heists by checking out our online reveal.