May 22, 2022

6 Classic Games That Need a Remake (…please)

ABG reminisces on games that made our miss-spent youths, and we pray to the gaming gods that a remake or two are on the way

Remake

A couple of weeks back I made Senior Editor for Any Button Gaming. I’ve had a lot of hobbies in my lifetime, but this was my first promotion. And whilst the financial incentive might have been, well, absent, this ascension to the upper echelons of management did come with one tantalising perk. I gained access to our gracious leader’s steam library. Lucky for me, he’s quite the collector.

But take your time to shuffle through the endless hentai simulators and you might just find a diamond in the muff. For me, this came in the shape of Two Point Hospital, which is above all else, a masterful love letter to 90’s Bullfrog classic Theme Hospital. Perhaps the pinnacle of tongue in cheek business management sims, I spent a lot of time toiling with Bloaty Head and The Squits in my misspent youth, and I regret nothing. Two Point is a remake in all but name, and it got me to thinking; if I had a magic wand, what other games might deserve this level of tribute.

So in the remake-wake of Final Fantasy 7, and as the Resident Evil reboot hits its second year, what other games deserve a 2021 sprucing up? Here at ABG, we love lists as much as old games re-imagined. So slip on your Ninja Turtle PJs, grab a carton of Um Bongo and relax into a haze of nostalgia as we run you through which classic time-sinks are top of our wish lists.

Dungeon Keeper – Olly S

Dungeon Keeper
Ol’ Horney and his Dark Mistress

It’s not often you get to play to the bad guy, and back in 1997, it was practically unheard of. That was until Bullfrog’s utterly inimitable dungeon simulator Dungeon Keeper let you grasp the wheel of misfortune with both hands. How deliciously tantalising it was to ditch the do-gooding of the hero mantle and instead pitch yourself as a malevolent force, slowly turning the once picturesque landscape into a hell-scape as your dungeon empire expands, spreading its rotten fingers insidiously across the world.

A game where doing it wrong gets the job done best. You are, as in many of Bullfrog’s most memorable titles, an ethereal (anti) god in control of building your evil empire, in this case, a dungeon full of gloriously grotesque minions hell-bent on causing chaos. This was the climax of Bullfrog’s dark sense of humour, encouraging you to miss-treat your workforce, literally slapping them into submission. The attention to detail was sublime, too; recruit a spider and it’ll fight any flies inhabiting your grizzly underworld. Slap a Dark Mistress and she’ll bend over for more. But lest you toil with Dungun Keeper’s poster boy, the Horned Reaper, and you’re in for a bad time. Dungeon Keeper 2 followed with the necessary graphical upgrades, losing nothing of the genius of its predecessor.

The days of Isometric God Sims are but a distant memory

But just imagine this sensational game in gloriously 4k, with RTX turned up to 11, all of your misanthropic minions rendered in glorious Unreal splendour.  The original even contained a feature well ahead of its time, allowing the disembodied player to poses one of their creatures and experience their creation in 3D. So giddy this wistful fancy gets us in 2021, we’d even be prepared to see it get the Frostbite remake treatment. But heed us well EA, you’d better do something with the IP soon. After all, your creatures are getting angry.

Gun – Chris

Gun

Back in 2005, Activision released Gun, an open-world Western, packed with minigames, a cinematic story, and some sweet quick draw action. Developed by Neversoft, it released for PC, PS2, Gamecube, Xbox, the 360 and PSP (an impressive little port). Released within a year of Red Dead Revolver, it’s interesting that the much more celebrated Red Dead Redemption in 2010 borrowed far more from Gun than it did its own predecessor.

That’s because Gun, in our opinion, is possibly one of the best Western games ever released. It was an open world, back when open worlds were kinda new. It had a sprawling story with Hollywood level actors, such as Thomas Jane, Kris Kristofferson, Lance Henrikson and Ron Perlman. It had satisfying gunplay. It was pure popcorn.

Yeeee haw!

Why is this ripe for a remake? Because despite sharing some similarities, this is a very different game from Red Dead Redemption 1 or 2. Those games are excellent – we aren’t stupid. Boy, are they long though. In the case of RDR2, we’d argue they sit more like a cowboy simulator than a fun romp through the old West.

Gun

Gun is the equivalent of a short Spaghetti Western. There is an open world but it is small enough you can traverse quickly. There are side missions but they tie very much into the narrative overall and are never overwhelming. The focus is on telling an over the top tale of revenge, corruption, and, er, mystical gold jewellery. Did we mention it was over the top?

It’s not perfect. The politics & portrayal of women and Native Americans are undoubtedly problematic. Some of the violence is of the era when games were trying to shock. Horses don’t have brakes in real life, something a remake could easily remedy.

Still, we would love to imagine what a fully realised remake could be with top acting talent combined with up to date mechanics and a stunningly realised world.

The Legend of Dragoon – Mike

Legend of Dragoon

Setting aside the smash Final Fantasy hits we all know and love, the original PlayStation was home to many forgotten gems, one in particular being: The Legend of Dragoon.

Released on December 2nd of 1999, developed by Japan Studio and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment; The Legend of Dragoon is an outstanding RPG that, while fun, definitely shows it’s age in 2021. Classic remake material.

Outdated visuals in itself isn’t enough to warrant a re-make, however the timing based mechanics threw a unique spin on classic turn based JRPGs. Here’s a genre that doesn’t get enough love in recent generations, however the success of titles such as Persona 5 prove there’s room.

Apparently there is talk of Bluepoint games working on a re-make, but there’s been very, very little details. In the meantime, we can dream.

Oh, and I’ve already gushed about Dune.

Star Wars: Bounty Hunter – Rob

Let me take you back to 2002. Star Wars: Attack of the Clones had just released into cinemas (to somewhat lukewarm reviews) and we have a host of movie tie-in games to look forward too…or not in some cases.

However, one game rose above the rest and planted itself firmly in Star Wars fanboys hearts… Star Wars: Bounty Hunter.

Set 10 years before the events of AotC, you play as notorious Bounty Hunter Jango Fett as you hunt down the leader of the Bando Goro, the Dark Jedi Komari Vosa.

Released on Gamecube and PS2, Bounty Hunter was praised for its production values and core mechanics but was criticised for its somewhat repetitive nature and camera issues, especially the GameCube version.

Dead or Alive… You’re coming with me

So why does it deserve a remake?

If recent Star Wars games have taught us anything (Jedi: Fallen Order, Squadrons, Battlefront etc.) we’ve come a long way since 2002 and updating its graphics and mechanics by throwing it into EA’s Unreal Engine or DICE’s Frostbite would not only improve the game overall by making it look and sound gorgeous, it would be perfectly timed since we’ve all recently been hooked by another Mandalorian.

This is the way.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic – Jason

Really? Another Star Wars game? Yes, we’re all nerds here. But, to my shame, I have never played Knights of the Old Republic. So why would I want to make a remake? For precisely that reason.

Ok, so I kind of lied, I have played Knights of the Old Republic for like two hours about ten years after it came out. I vividly remember standing in front of an enemy not pressing a single button as both combatants repeatidly missed one another with a blaster.

But Knights of the Old Republic has been built up as a really great Star Wars game, and I’d love to give it a run through with some modern day upgrades to the gameplay and graphics.

Total Overdose – James

[though, it was a toss-up between that, The Saboteur, and Tomba!]

Total Overdose

It might seem a bit uncouth these days to want more GTA clones, but this one was a little different. I’ve had a fondness for the Mexican-ised presentation of things for a while now; Dios de la Muertos sugar skulls adorn my room and braceletted wrists. Plus, tequila! But, I’ve often thought to myself, “why?” I’ve never been to Mexico, never learnt Spanish, and don’t particularly like being hot. So what is it?

Well, maybe it was a combination of Once Upon a Time in Mexico, the Spy Kids movies [Danny Trejo, mothafackers!], and Total Overdose that spurred me on.

See, Total Overdose was as out-of-it crazy as Saint’s Row was circa-The Third. Only it was doing it about a decade earlier. Bullet time? It had it. Weird power-ups that saw you don two mariachi guitar cases replete with submachine-guns? Throw them in! And bad-as-Mierda acting? Well, since you asked so nicely! Total Overdose felt more like a B-movie action movie than a GTA knock-off, and it’s a feeling that made as little sense as you can surmise from what I’ve just said.

Whilst it wasn’t the best of games out there at the time (2005. Ahh, to be 15 again], it held enough of a spot in my heart that I bought it on GOG. God bless the internet. However, the next question is; “why should Total Overdose get a remaster?” Are you fucking kidding me? In a world where games are super realistic to the point of depressive, who wouldn’t want to play as a deep undercover Mexican DEA agent who has a power-up known as, “Sombrero of Death”?

YouTube player

But these are just some of our favourite games of yesteryear, and is by no means an exhaustive list. What would you have resurrected from the archives of old? Let us know in the comments below. Who knows, maybe we’ll start a Kickstarter.


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