Some of us here at DYEGB are ardent detractors of the remaster program that has gained popularity amongst publishers this console generation. There’s no denying that remastering the right title can end up being money for jam, and seeing how much harder it is becoming for new IPs to break into the market of big franchises it’s no wonder that more publishers are looking back through their catalogue to find that revenue. While I’m not completely against the practice, I am of the mindset that new is always better. I rarely find myself wanting to go back and replay a title I have played once or twice before, especially if it is merely a fresh coat of paint on the remastered version. Full-blown remakes are something that I can get around, such as Resident Evil 2 (the greatest game of all time). However, I will admit there are a few games of yore, that if they got the remastered treatment I wouldn’t object to playing. For my nostalgic and your reading pleasure, here’s my list of titles that I think deserve another dance.
You can count on one hand how many games that I favour over Capcom’s Samurai slasher Onimusha: Warlords (spoiler alert: it’s two). It was one of the first games that I played through multiple times thanks to its brilliantly woven action and survival horror elements set in a captivating ancient Japanese period. Given that Capcom love a cheeky remaster (they’re not afraid to milk the same cow either) and how many of its back catalogue they’ve already polished, it’s a surprise that Samanosuke (or any of the early Onimusha titles) is yet to receive such treatment. Fans of the series have been beseeching Capcom to revive the dormant IP that saw its last full release in 2006 and it’s surely just a matter of time before we see it again. Capcom if you’re reading, I’d do anything for a remaster, let alone a reboot/remake.
If you’re getting a sense of déjà vu it’s because this isn’t the first time I have written about MDK. It was in my underrated PS1 titles article and to this day I still believe it to be a hidden gem. Its zany and fast-paced action gameplay plus its comical but engaging narrative made for a good time. Highly unlikely that we’ll see MDK again as publisher Interplay were trying to sell the rights to their IPs (including MDK) a while back, and with no mention of a buyer it would appear MDK is destined for a life in memory only.
To this day TimeSplitters 2 remains one of my favourite FPS titles; I don’t think I have ever been able to replicate the memories I created playing the four-player multiplayer with any other FPS since. Developed by Free Radical Design, the game received critical acclaim for its excellent multiplayer modes (split-screen), and given that it didn’t feature an online component I would hazard a guess that there are many people out there who would love to give it crack with their mates online. The first two levels of the campaign featured as an easter egg in the 2016’s Homefront: The Revolution, which was developed by Dambuster Studios, a studio made up of many former Free Radical employees. According to Wikipedia, Crytek currently own the IP and we can only hope that the powers that be decide to one day revisit the series. Otherwise the fan remake may have to suffice.
I’ve never been a huge platformer fan, with Abe’s Oddysee perhaps being my favourite from the genre. However, I thought this list should contain at least one platformer. One game I remember playing in my whippersnapper days is Heart of Darkness, a game about a young boy trying to rescue his dog from the Darkland. I remember enjoying the puzzle elements and using the plasma cannon to fry my enemies. Plus, being a kid at the time Heart of Darkness resonated with me as who didn’t dream of being a child hero rescuing their dog? I have no idea who owns the IP but whoever you are you should definitely bring it back
Much like the platformer above I felt this listed needed at least one fighting title. I wrestled with a couple different series before settling on Bloody Roar, after all, who doesn’t enjoy beating their mates up with an eclectic range of animals? Bloody Roar has seen five releases in its time with the most recent being Bloody Roar 4 in 2003 which was published by Konami. Given it has no links to Konami’s number one adversary Hideo Kojima, perhaps there’s hope that we could see the series again one day. One can hope anyway.
Another one of Capcom’s back catalogue gems. Maximo is a third-person hack and slash title that was released on the PS2 in 2001-2002 (depending on your region). The game focuses on a king named Maximo and his quest to rescue Queen Sophie who has been captured by the evil King Achille and his army of undead. The game is set in the Ghosts ‘n Goblins universe and is redolent of Sony’s MediEvil series. We’re getting a remastered MediEvil, why not Maximo too?
After developing the successful Broken Sword 1 & 2, Charles Cecil and the team at Revolution Studios wanted to do something different before focusing on the third entry in the series. In Cold Blood focuses on a captured MI6 agent who through flashbacks attempts to figure out who betrayed him. Despite the game’s mixed reception I quite enjoyed it, with the game’s story and puzzles standing out (it is Revolution Studios after all). Highly unlikely we’ll ever see it again but it would be nice
A story-driven FPS from the PS2 era, Black, saw players assume the role of Black Ops soldier Jack Kellar in his investigation into the smuggling and terrorist organisation known as Seventh Wave. Despite being a pretty straight forward FPS, Black was heaps of fun thanks to its fast-paced and constant action sequences. A lack of multiplayer limited its appeal but in this generation multiplayer would be a given. A sequel was in the works before that was cancelled and many of the development team went on to work on Bodycount. The original is playable on Xbox One via backwards compatibility, but we want a shiny brand new one. Make it happen EA.
It wasn’t until I was scrolling through a list of every PS1 game released that I remember Time Commando even existed. I reckon it’s been about 20 years since I played it, but what I do remember is that I highly enjoyed it, especially the game’s premise. Time Commando sees players control Stanley Opar who must travel through various time periods (such as Roman Empire, Prehistoric and the Wild West) to eliminate a virus that threatens the very existence of Earth. As different regions had different publishers I have no idea who owns the rights to the IP, if anyone still does. Whoever does, a full reboot built from the ground up would be excellent.
I debated on which racer to include on this list as there were many that I could have gone with. Ultimately my heart settled on Rapid Racer (or what some of you know as Turbo Prop Racing), the motorboat racing game from Sony’s London outfit. The main reason I chose Rapid Racer is that car racers are a dime a dozen and it’s been forever since we’ve had a decent water-based racer. Even a cheap digital only remaster would suffice. Plus, I doubt a full-blown retail release would sell boatloads…
In the words of Todd Howard, “it just works”.
Just kidding. Please, Todd Howard. Stop.
There are perhaps a couple titles on this list that have the potential to be remastered someday, mainly the Capcom titles. The rest however, are more than likely wishful thinking on my behalf. Everyone has titles from their past that they would love to see again, what are some of yours? Do you agree with any of my choices? Let me know in the comments below.