Allow me to describe a scene from my Saturday that I’m sure you’ll be able to relate to: I sit on my sofa and take a good look at my TV and PlayStation in front of me. “What should I play?”, I think to myself. I scratch my chin and I furrow my brow; well, what am I in the mood for? It’s not like I’m limited by choice; I have so many games, all of which have so much for me to do. After debating with myself, saying “I could play this…” and “It’s been a while since I played that”, a familiar voice pipes up in the echo chamber that is my brain, and says “Just play what you always play.” And so, I do!
It’s not really a question of when you’ve done this, but how many times you’ve done this. It’s because all gamers are creatures that enjoy familiarity, and we love what we can easily recognise and reaffirm ourselves with; it’s why we’ve been spoiled with all these remasters of our most beloved games – some of our first games no doubt – with the likes of Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon soon to be reunited on PS4 in all their old glory, as their halcyon adventures from the PS1 are polished up to the sparkly shiny quality of PS4 graphics. The N-Sane Trilogy has already been very well received, and also served as a blunt reminder that platformers for kids were actually pretty challenging and have become much softer over the years (I’m looking at you, Knack).
So since now is the perfect time to hope to see your favourite old game once again, let’s look at some potential candidates for remasters that we’d love to see:
I feel like I didn’t appreciate Dead Space enough at the time; that’s not to say that I didn’t love it, because I loved everything about it. I think I just took it for granted; it had all the makings of a great franchise, and I just thought it would still be around now. It’s been almost 10 years since the original Dead Space, and looking back it really paved the way for games like Alien: Isolation, The Evil Within, and perhaps even saw the Resident Evil series return to its roots; Dead Space was dubbed the “unofficial Resident Evil 5” due to its similar play style to the untouchable Resident Evil 4, but with a focus on tense survival horror as the RE series steered towards action-focused multiplayer that culminated in the messy explosion that divided fans in Resident Evil 6. It’s sad that the Dead Space series would take the same route but would not be given the same chance at redemption that RE had; EA shut Visceral studios down last year. If EA weren’t set on being the irredeemable supervillains of the gaming industry, maybe we can look forward to stalking the catacombic halls of USG Ishimura once again in a terrifying remaster. Please, EA? Do something that we might like you for, for once.
Nintendo, we need to talk about Samus. Has she done something wrong lately? Is she a bit of an embarrassment at dinner parties? It’s just curious as to why she gets so much less love than every other one of your mascots. Her last major outing was Other M, which made everyone agree that it was best that she should stay a silent protagonist. It’s good to see Metroid Prime 4 is on the horizon, but the fanbase is so starved of any Metroid Prime action that it might just rip it apart like a pack of wolves. Samus Returns is a step in the right direction and serves as an apology for the rather insubstantial Federation Force, which still baffles me; a Metroid game when you can’t play as Samus, but a random space spud with a gun? That’s about as good an idea as an Alien game when you play as one of the marines! Wait a sec…
Metroid Prime remains a fan favourite due to how well it translated everything that made the original Metroid series such brilliant 2D platformers into a 3D shooter. It’s true that the Metroid Prime trilogy was remastered for the Wii, but it’s just not quite the same thing considering the Wii had much weaker graphical capabilities than its competition at the time, and we can all agree the motion controls are best left to the past thanks to all the unwanted rheumatism they’ve inflicted on us (I’m still recovering from Skyward Sword, for many reasons). The Switch is a perfect platform for a remastered Metroid Prime, and with the latest instalment on the horizon it should give many of us a satisfying starter before the main event.
The Bond Collection (Agent Under Fire, Nightfire, Everything or Nothing)
Cast your mind back to the early 2000s: you spin the wheel on your brand new iPod to listen to The Rasmus, and you’re on your way to Blockbuster to rent a movie. Pierce Brosnan is James Bond and you’re thinking about renting The World is Not Enough to get you excited for Die Another Day. As you peruse the shelves of Blockbuster, something catches your eye in the dust-laden corner of the shop; are those James Bond games? And they’re not movie tie-ins? And they’re good?!
These were the good old days when EA developed and published a series of Bond games that weren’t rushed out to tie in with the latest of 007’s cinematic escapades. They all featured their own original story, and the series would eventually include Brosnan’s honeyed vocals. They had good gunplay that echoed classic Goldeneye, great driving sections, and were just a whole lot of fun in the way that is the opposite of how a secret agent is expected to operate. After all, Bond is no stranger to great games, as Goldeneye is one of the most influential games of all time. Pierce Brosnan has since been overshadowed by Daniel Craig, who has a Goldeneye remake under his belt now. Maybe it’s time for Pierce to come back and reclaim his title as the best Bond in gaming? I’m sure that we could get him to voice them all this time, unless he’s too busy making Mamma Mia 3.
Side note: technically 3 games, but we’d have to put them all together to justify reselling them at retail price. Throw in From Russia With Love as well. Why not!
Star Wars: Rogue Leader (Rogue Squadron II)
There are a lot of Star Wars games out there; I mean a lot. It takes a lot to stand out among them, but if you ask most people what their favourite was, Rogue Leader would definitely one of their prominent favourites. Released on the GameCube in 2002, it was received well by everyone instantly and is probably one of the best games for the system. It has you playing as the unsung heroes of the Star Wars series, the X-Wing pilots. It was praised for its fantastic visuals and was hailed as the closest we’ll get to flying in an X-Wing (which isn’t too ludicrous when you think about it). Cult hero Wedge Antilles was also in the game, just to really lodge it firmly into the place of every fanboy’s heart.
Piloting games are a niche that could use with filling in today’s market, and the flying sections in the latest Battlefront are fleeting at best. The original developer has said that they would love to see it on the Switch, so now seems like a perfect time to get back in the seat of the one of the most famous starfighters in sci-fi, with polished graphics that could dazzle a new generation, and bring back beloved memories of early 2000s Star Wars that don’t involve Jar-Jar.
Side note: can we make Pod Racer VR happen as well please?
Tony Hawk’s Underground
Tony Hawk turned 50 this year. Let that sink in for a second. If you were like me, you probably thought he was just an ageless entity. There’s only one reason that Tony Hawk’s name is so fondly remembered and immortalised forever, and it’s Tony Hawk’s Underground, or THUG as it was known in the streets back in 2003.
There was a time when skateboarding games were the gaming industry’s gold standard; everyone had to try and make one, and most of them were laughed out of the skatepark as they shrivelled in Tony Hawk’s ollie-kicking shadow. Truly, he was a merciless god.
Now great skateboarding games with Tony Hawk’s name on them remain firmly in the past. The most recent outing from Mr Hawk was Pro Skater 5 in 2015, which was not only the worst Tony Hawk game by a long grind, but an embarrassment to anyone who paid money for the broken pitiful excuse for a game. THUG would greatly benefit from a remastering, as graphically its characters have aged as well as papier mache models that’ve been left out in the sun for 15 years. The gameplay is still so vibrant and responsive that it would be impossible to not let a childlike glee take you over when you play it again. Just don’t change the soundtrack, and this is one remaster that will have everyone going underground.
So there you go; what did you think of the list? Do you agree or disagree? Share the game that you’d most like to see get remastered in the comments section!