We all have our favourites games from yesteryear. Those games we see through rose tinted glasses and think “what if they were developed now with todays technology?” especially following the release of the Xbox One X or last years PS4 Pro. Or those criminally underrated or forgotten titles that we just wish could find a new audience. It has always been a great (and very polarising) topic among gamers.
It was the recent reboot of Resident Evil VII that inspired me to write this article. Resident Evil as a series had been in many people’s opinion in steady decline, however the latest instalment saw it totally reinvigorate itself with a new formula, mechanics and pacing that saw it go back and capture what made the franchise so special. This success then led me to think “what other games would benefit from a similar treatment?” “what other games would I like to see brought back to life?” With that thought in mind I delved into my own gaming history for IPs that I have particularly enjoyed and would love to see come back.
Without further ado, I give you 5 gaming franchises from yesteryear that I believe would benefit from a modern day reboot.
Lost Planet – Capcom
The premise behind Lost Planet was always a winner to me. Giant mechs, a hostile frozen planet overrun by giant bugs called Akrids (I’m a massive Starship Troopers fan) and great run and gun gameplay that relied on you to keep moving and killing in order to maintain your body heat from your fallen foes. Created and overseen by Keiji Inafune and released in 2006 the series saw relatively good commercial sales selling over 1.6million copies on the Xbox 360 alone. This success led to a couple of sequels and a spinoff that received middling reviews among the media that ultimately caused the franchise to be shelved…sound familiar?
The series always had a great concept and I genuinely believe a rebooted version would be amazing. With current generation power levels and the dawn of 4K and HDR gaming on the horizon, I can’t help but imagine what could be achieved with those hostile frozen wastes and gigantic enemy Akrid. I would personally double down on open world gameplay that was introduced in Lost Planet 3 and really go for that Horizon Zero Dawn vibe….except with Giant bugs and a lot of snow.
Parasite Eve – Squaresoft
Parasite Eve, when it released in 1998 was Squaresofts first M-Rated video game. Universally praised at the time for its cutting edge graphics and cinematic sequences, it was a “survival horror action JRPG” a genre all in itself (Think the combat/mechanics of FFXII crossed with the horror of early Resident Evil and you will be close). Parasite Eve also had a great story that saw New York police office Aya Brea try and stop Eve, the principle protagonist from wiping out the human race. It was a sequel to the horror novel Parasite Eve (written by Hideaki Sena) and was released when Japanese horror was undergoing somewhat of a revival making the game really appeal to fans after mature content.
With Japanese gaming now itself undergoing its own renaissance, it would be a great time to revive the series. Recent success of other survival horror franchises such at Outlast, Resident Evil and Evil Within show there is a real appetite for the genre at the minute and I could really see PE doing well with it own unique take. Graphic fidelity has now reached a point where the creatures and mutations envisaged in the original could now really be seen for the grotesque abominations that they were (lets be honest those low res poly’s from the late 90’s really don’t have the scare factor they used too) and see the series really going to town with the survival horror aspect.
Jet Set Radio – Smilebit/Sega
Ahhhh Jet Set Radio, launched at a golden time that saw many unique and quirky titles developed for the Sega Dreamcast. One of the first titles to pioneer the use of cel-shaded graphics (it even holds up well now) JSR was well received and critically acclaimed at the time for its unique look and great gameplay (if you could get used to the sometimes dodgy camera). The premise was simple, the player controlled Beat, the main protagonist and was tasked with “tagging” turf while evading the authorities in a near future Tokyo-to.
It was absolutely bonkers, especially when local law enforcement brought out an Apache Gunship helicopter just for trying to pull a “Banksy” on the side of a bus shelter. Most of all it was fun! Just looking at the amount of calls for Jet Set Radio future to be made OG backwards compatible shows this game would receive major love. I genuinely think fans could have something special with a new entry. I look at Insomniacs Sunset Overdrive, the huge open world and use of traversal and just think that would be perfect for a larger scale Jet Set Radio.
Fable – Lionhead
Released in 2004 for the OG Xbox, Fable was Microsofts flagship RPG. Having spawned 3 games total as well as an anniversary remake, Fable is held in high regard amongst Xbox fans for its charming story and dry British humour. Which makes it all the more painful when Lionhead Studios and their upcoming Fable Legends was shuttered, potentially meaning we wont get to see another entry in the series.
If any game desperately needs a reboot its Fable, I’m not talking Fable 4, a Spin-off follow up or anything like that, I’m talking full reboot of the IP. Go back to what made the first entry so delightful but bolster it with modern graphics, combat mechanics and no bolted on multiplayer (I’m looking at you Fable 3!). There was a good barometer of how well this would be received on twitter earlier this year. Just look at the groundswell of excitment when it was rumoured that Bethesda or even CD Projeck Red were developing the next entry in the series pre E3 this year, it was insane.
It would also re-affirm Microsofts position on being able to deliver SP experiences to it’s fan base. Something it really does need to address at the minute.
Dino Crisis – Capcom
Another Capcom entry, they really do sit on some fantastic IP don’t they? Dino Crisis was originally released in 1999 and was created and overseen by the legendary Shinji Mikami. That last sentence alone would make any survival horror fans excited.
Dino Crisis was effectively Resident Evils sister franchise when it was released. It borrowed heavily from the same game mechanics, inventory systems and graphical style but effectively added dinosaurs. Imagine if Jurassic Park and Resident Evil had a baby and you get the idea of the premise. It achieved decent success and spawned a trilogy that ended in 2003 but alas it hasn’t been seen since.
I just salivate at what could be achieved with this title using modern development methods and graphics. I mean, it was pretty scary running away from a “Low Poly” T-Rex in 1999! today it would be literally terrifying. Again, it was a title that garnered a lot of hype and buzz when there were rumours of a reboot in 2016. Showing that there is definitely an appetite from the gaming public for a reboot.
So there you have it, 5 franchises I believe would benefit from a modern reboot. Do you agree, disagree? what titles would you personally love to see? There are so many great gaming franchises out there, I would love to know your thoughts and favourites?
Please hit me up in the comments section or on twitter @GamerDaveyG