There’s a lot of controversy that surrounds the remaking and remastering of older titles. A mass of the gaming community seem to question why developers would bother going back to revive an older instalment to a series to make it playable on current generation consoles and up to scratch with their graphical abilities when instead, they could be developing a whole new instalment to the series altogether, a game that could utilise the power of these consoles outright. Although I see the logic in that ideal, I have to admit all the same that I am a sucker for being able to play a title I used to love and put hours upon hours into on my current console. In light of that, I’ve compiled a list of five titles I’d love to see remade. I’ve deliberately used the word ‘remade’ as opposed to ‘remastered’ as the titles I’m covering in this list are primarily for older consoles, featuring clumsy game mechanics that would fair much better in the current gaming market after some fine-tweaking and re-imagining of sorts.
1- Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters | PS2/ PSP 2007 (High Impact Games)
I thought I’d start with the obvious in this list as anyone who knows me will know I have bottomless love when it comes to anything regarding the Ratchet & Clank franchise. Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters was the first spin off game of the iconic PlayStation exclusive series and also the first in the series to make it onto handheld (PSP) where is saw great success way back in 2007. Size Matters was developed by High Impact Games, a video game developer made up of some of the former members of Insomniac Games – R & C’s original developer. The story oozed with classic Ratchet & Clanky-ness in which whilst on a much needed vacation from hero-hood, the famed duo found themselves on a mission, saving a young girl from strange robots.
As every Ratchet & Clank game is (and always will be), Size Matters was fun, vibrant and a challenging yet somewhat mellow play. With it’s initial appeal to the younger generations intertwined with some subtle adult humour, Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters was a great title for all ages and definitely a game I’d like to see remade, especially after seeing how the first Ratchet & Clank instalment on PS4 turned out. Perhaps Insomniac can get their hands on this spin off and instate some fresher, less clumsy game mechanics and bring it back.
2- Dog’s Life | PS2 2003 (Frontier Developments)
Back in the day, my mum would always pick up the latest copy of the Official PlayStation Magazine for me which traditionally came with a demo disc featuring an assortment of demos for upcoming games. I have OPM to thank for my initial introduction to not only the Ratchet & Clank franchise, which has since become my favourite game series, but also a whole bunch of underrated gems; Dog’s Life is one such title. Ever wondered what it’d be like to be a dog? The things you could get up to or just how different your general outlook on the world would be? Well, Frontier Developments put to rest those questions in their release of this totally bonkers game back in 2003. In Dog’s Life you play as Jake (presumably a Beagle) who goes on a mission to rescue his abducted love interest, Daisy. As you trail your four paws through the collection of vastly different locations within the game you can chase chickens, steal food from stores, learn tricks and even toss faeces at passersby as they curse you for being such a mangy mutt. Dog’s Life definitely centred itself around it’s admirable sense of humour and certainly offered a great deal that other games couldn’t at the time.
Traversing the game could be done from a 3rd person view in which the player could take in the charming and rather quaint rural settings within the game accompanied by it’s pleasantly memorable soundtrack or tap triangle and hop into 1st person view also known as “smellovision”. This view opened up a whole new ball game as you found yourself navigating the nooks and crannies of the more suburban settings in search of different coloured smells. Obtaining a set of one colour permitted you access to a bunch of mini games in each area. Winning these would then allow you accumulate bones and move on to the next area, given you’d collected enough. Although games have evolved hugely since the release of Dog’s Life, I still think there’s a place for a humour-centric, amusing and more lighthearted title like it in today’s market that’s swamped with more serious open-world games. I can’t imagine this underrated title would ever see a remake, but every dog has it’s day as the saying goes.
3 – Sonic Heroes | PS2/ Xbox / Gamecube / Windows 2003 (Sonic Team USA)
I’ve never considered myself the biggest fan of the Sonic series as I’ve only indulged in a select few titles amongst the mass that have infested the gaming world since it’s initial release back in 1991. Aside from the side-scrolling Sonic Advance titles on GBA and Sonic Sega All Stars Racing (or Sonic Kart to put it more crudely), the only other Sonic title I unquestionably enjoyed was Sonic Heroes which lived in my PS2 disc tray for months at a time. The story met the typical standards of a Sonic title, beat Doctor Eggman and his minions to ultimately prevent his plans of world domination however, Sonic Heroes amounted to so much more. You had the choice to play as one of four Sonic Teams: Team Sonic (Sonic, Knuckles and Tails), Team Dark (Shadow, Rouge and E – 123 Omega), Team Chaotix (Espio, Vector and Charmy) and Team Rose (Amy Rose, Big and Cream). Each team represented a difficulty setting for instance Team Rose featured easier, shorter levels whereas Team Dark would see longer levels with much tougher enemies. Team Sonic maintained a middle ground difficulty and Team Chaotix levels were solely mission based.
Each team you played as saw a different angle of the story so playing through as each differing team was like playing a new game, really pushing that replay-ability element that absorbed hours and hours of my childhood – and that’s not a complaint. Sonic Heroes considered itself more of a 3D platformer. I loved the gameplay element of swapping between the characters of the teams you played as, each harnessing the powers of either speed, flight or power and then being able to tackle the linear levels of the game differently dependant on how you swapped out the most forefront member of your team. The versatility of this game was ingenious and that combined with a beautiful, morally rich story and a bouncy, lively somewhat typical Sonic soundtrack, Sonic Heroes was definitely a title that sat at the top of my pile of PS2 games. I’m almost craving a good Sonic title to enjoy on current gen consoles and even more so an opportunity to play through this title again. A girl can dream right?
4 – The Legend Of Spyro: A New Beginning | PS2/ Gamecube/ Xbox 360/ Nintendo DS/ GBA 2006 (Krome Studios)
I’ve always dabbled in a bit of Spyro, I mean, what’s not to love about being able to play as a cute little purple dragon that charges round with a dragonfly companion whilst collecting gems? I even stuck with the series when Spyro saw his makeover in the Skylanders series – for the first instalment anyhow. Hope of a remake of the original Spyro trilogy is floating around the gaming community right now and although I’d be happy to see one of my more favoured PSOne titles seeing the same do-over as Crash saw in the N.Sane trilogy, I’d much rather uphold my unpopular opinion of hoping to see The Legend Of Spyro trilogy remade. This reboot to the series saw Spyro stripped of his cocky exterior and with heavy focus on narrative and character development gave him a backstory, new friends and it worked wonders – the Tomb Raider (2013) treatment if you will. The Legend Of Spyro series started with A New Beginning – and a new beginning it was, in which our purple scaley friend scoured the beautifully designed, platformer-styled levels of the game looking to uncover his true identity.
Unlike prior Spyro titles that focused on the more platformer aspect of the game, The Legend Of Spyro series was centred around it’s combat. Button mashing as waves of enemies charged at you, trying to knock them into the air as to start a slow-mo aerial melee combo was nail-bitingly intense and remarkably fun all the same. In Dawn Of The Dragon the game series broadened it’s horizons by gifting Spyro with actual flight (AT LONG LAST) and I sought heaps of joy from flying around the gorgeously lavish levels, especially the Valley Of Avalar and I can only dream of how phenomenal this would look when paired with the capabilities of the current generation of gaming. Voiced by Elijah Wood, Spyro came into his own as you played and it was the first time I’d seen Spyro have a more in depth character and it made the game totally immersive, so much so that the follow up games in the series became serious tear-jerkers. I’d without question put this down to the on-point voice acting from the star-heavy character casting. Krome Studios’ The Legend Of Spyro: A New Beginning was an apparent love child of a great 3D platformer and a strong, indulgent narrative and I’d love the opportunity to lose myself in this series again.
5 – Croc: Legend Of The Gobbos | PSOne/ Sega Saturn/ Microsoft Windows 1997 (Argonaut Software)
Platformer games are a genre I’ll always have a soft spot for. Amongst playing more intense titles such as the likes of The Last Of Us, I will always revel in the opportunity to play a much less demanding come down game where not much more is asked of me than jump your way through these bubbly, colourful levels, collect these extra bits if you want and beat the boss at the end. Croc is where this soft spot originated and it’s probably the game I want to be remade most. Everything about Croc: Legend Of The Gobbos was fun and adorable, even the story was just one big “awww” in which King Rufus of the Gobbos (squeaking orange bundles of fuzz with huge eyes) raises abandoned Croc (short for crocodile obviously) as one of his own before one day being abducted himself by evil Baron Dante, leaving Croc to put his teachings to the test to save Gobbo Valley.
Croc was 3D platforming at it’s best. Croc’s simplistic levels were alive with bright colours that sat hand in hand with a beautiful OST that sits amongst my fondest of memories even now and it worked so well in contrast with the dull greys and evil reds that riddled the enemies or the shadowed horizon that surrounded each initially welcoming level. Navigating the cleverly constructed levels brought me oodles of enjoyment, taking out enemies with a tail spin and a “KAPOW” and listening in adoration of Croc’s various other little grunts and effort noises as he pulled himself up ledges and hopped between floating platforms. Although at the time Croc (as most more dated platformers did) featured clumsy control and camera mechanics making the game a little frustrating at times, it brings to light what it would perhaps play like given that all had a good revamp. Croc was on par with Crash for me back in the day and I’d love to see it make a comeback. I will however, settle for it being made a PSOne classic on the PS Store as a close second if you are reading PlayStation – wink wink.
When you look at the success of the Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy it brings to light the question of how other more clunky, dysfunctional platformers from way back when would fair if they saw a similar remake. I definitely feel as if there is a place for more dated platformers in today’s market as I find it hard to believe Crash’s success as of recent was purely based off of nostalgia. To reiterate, games dominating the market of today are far more serious, intense and generally more demanding of the player and as much as a challenge goes appreciated, it’d be nice to have a few more mellow games floating around to dip into in between. Furthermore, you look at the more recent success of Bluepoint Games’ Shadow Of The Colossus remake that’s seeing 9 & 10’s out of 10’s across the board and it really does show that there is a demand for being able to replay older titles still and that some gamers will always jump at an opportunity to have another go at a title they used to love. It also more importantly presents an opportunity to those who missed out on playing an older game a chance to give said game a go.
What games would you like remade, if any? If not why aren’t you particularly keen on the idea of remakes? Feel free to comment your thoughts on this topic below.