For a while following the PS4’s release, the world got a little out of hand with the remaster stuff. No longer were we reviving old classics, but rather adding a few textures to a two year old game. I’m using the royal “we”, obviously, as I couldn’t code Snake 2 if I had a hundred years and it only needed to go one direction.
Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised to see on the site this week that Turok 2 is getting a fresh paint job. That’s exactly the kind of game I want to see get remastered, so I decided to compile a list of my own for your derision and scorn. Have a look at my likely poor choices, then let me know in the comments what you’d like to see done next.
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2
Now I’ve gotten the disappointed headshake around these parts for having ignored the Skate series and other, but nothing can top the elegant, addictive simplicity of THPS2 for me. Once you’d completed the missions on every stage you could spend hours trying to rack up single tricks in the millions. There was something flawless and smooth about the whole gameplay experience that I haven’t managed to find since.
Even the third instalment, while similar, threw in some strange, convoluted missions and quirks in attempt to keep things fresh. They totally nailed it, if by “fresh” you mean “what the tapdancing f**k is this has Tony Hawk been snorting shrooms through a vial of mercury”.
I just want to manual jump between fifty benches again, but be able to do it without clawing my eyes out and in a game that can manage to start itself in the hellscape nightmare-prison that is Windows 10.
Much like snap bangles and kissing your cousin, over time it feels like Quake 1 has lost the appreciation it deserves. The creepy cultist atmosphere is let down a little today by the dated graphics, which fails to scare the spoiler younger generation can’t suspend disbelief for anything with jagged edges.
What I’d love to see for this is a full graphical overhaul, along with an online multiplayer mode and full modding abilities that the map-making community could sink their teeth into. As we’ve seen with the surprisingly large Doom 1 and 2 community, these old-school FPS titles lend themselves very well to custom campaigns.
The multiplayer of Quake 1 withers and dies in the shadow of Quake 3, but it was frantic, claustrophobic and fun as hell. All it needs is a few more pixels.
I’ll be upfront – Diablo 3 is great. If you haven’t played it in a while, it’s not the Danny DeVito-Bill Cosby sextape that it was at release. Blizzard have hammered it into something epic with the expansion’s Adventure Mode, which spares you ever having to sit through that godawful story-line ever again.
But I still want Diablo 2 back. If I can get greedy, I’d love to see a similar kind of Adventure Mode implemented into a full remastering of the original game. Diablo 3 is fun, but the massive overhauls to the way characters build means that now you’re led down pretty specific paths when it comes to skill trees and itemisation, which essentially turns the game into an extended loot hunting quest. Diablo 2‘s more free-form skills and stats setup left things a little more open to variation, and on top of that it meant you really had to commit yourself to one path with any given character – no takesies-backsies like 3 has.
Throw in proper PVP and multiplayer support, and I think you’d be printing money with this one.
Old-school point and click adventure
This one feels a little bit like cheating, because these ARE getting some kind of a resurgence. Day of the Tentacle just got the treatment, and (be still my beating heart) so is Full Throttle, one of my favourite games of all time.
I don’t know if it’s nostalgia or self-loathing, but this is a genre I have extremely fond memories of, it defined my childhood gaming. The so-called “walking simulators” like Firewatch have filled this gap for me quite nicely, but little can top wasting seventeen hours on a game you can’t finish because you didn’t pick up something you needed but didn’t know existed. Truthfully, a remaster of Space Quest would probably drive me insane. I don’t have the time or the patience anymore to deal with the absurd unfairness of those old Sierra titles, and I’d cave and look up a walkthrough and hate-eat a tub of ice cream and cry in the shower till the water runs cold and I’m left to reflect on all the choices I made in life that led me to this moment.
So maybe I don’t want the remasters (except you Full Throttle, always you baby), but what I really want is something that gives me the same feel except much, much easier.
You may be wondering what in the blue hell this is at this point, but believe me when I say this was Battlefield before Battlefield was cool. In fact, it came out a full three years before Battlefield, which means that franchise owes it’s success to this particular underappreciated ugly duckling.
I’ve spoken about this game before around here, but basically it was a massive, open-world game that let you drive everything from a scooter to a blimp. I’d spend hours on LAN parachuting out of bi-planes to seize control of my mate’s blimp. This lasted until we discovered DotA, which consumed our lives like a dying star.
Still, I’d love to see this one get the dust blown off of it and get a little love; as I remember it had a pretty sweet campaign as well. It got mostly panned by critics, who pointed out the game’s many flaws that were not apparent to twelve-year-old me. But this quote from GameSpy reflects my feelings exactly: “Here at GameSpy, we saw the diamond in the rough. If you played on a LAN, with that one particular map … It was one of the greatest multiplayer games ever created.” Boom.
So NAG collective, what would you like to see get the old spit and shine? Let me know in the comments, or tell me why my choices are horrible.