Reviving the Past: 10 Nintendo Games that Should Be Remade
Ever since the start of the 7th generation of video game consoles, retro gaming has experienced a growth in popularity. Between the Wii Virtual Console, Xbox Live, and the PlayStation Store, early generation games are available on all three major gaming consoles. During the same time, many old games and franchises were remade or re-imagined on the new consoles. Games originally released for the Nintendo Entertainment System have received especially high attention in recent years, including new versions or remakes of A Boy and His Blob, Dragon Warrior IV, Bionic Commando, Excite Bike, Super Mario Bros. 3, and Mega Man. With the renewed interest in NES games, presented below are 10 more games that deserve to be reinvented on the current generation consoles.
T C; Surf Designs: Wood amp; Water Rage (LJN) – This little known cartridge took advantage of the surfing and skateboarding trends that were popular during the mid 80’s. While neither sport is quite as popular 20 years later, the Nintendo Wii is the perfect platform for a new version of this classic. The Wii motion controls would make for a great play experience and the Wii Balance Board would be absolutely perfect for those who actually have surfing or skateboarding skills.
Kid Icarus (Nintendo) – This unique platform action game has always stood in the shadow of the popular Metroid video game, due to both similar game play and close release dates. With the introduction of Pit, the main character of Kid Icarus, as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, there is a growing movement in the gaming community for a modern remake of this game. Modern systems, able to better simulate flight and ranged combat would make the perfect platform for the bow wielding angel to once again fight the forces of Medusa.
Blaster Master (Sunsoft) – Despite being an excellent game, Blaster Master suffered from the lack of computing and graphical power in the NES. During the game, you controlled a futuristic, hopping tank that your character would occasionally hop out of to fight in boss monsters with guns and grenades. The premise was unique and the game switched from a 2d to partially 3d perspective at times. Despite this, the NES didn’t have the computing power necessary for this game and the screen would flicker badly during boss battles and sprites were unimpressive during tank portions of the game. The modern console could easily bring back the good parts of the game, similar how combat is done in Halo, and leave behind the flaws.
Arkanoid (Taito) – This game seems practically to have been designed with the Nintendo Wii in mind. Originally packaged with an alternate controller that allowed you to smoothly control the movements of the paddle, Wii motion controls would almost perfectly mimic this control scheme. A modern Arkanoid would likely keep the blocks and paddle, but could easily be designed to be a 3-D game and the modern systems have enough power to add a host of new features, similar to some of the modern Tetris games.
The Adventures of Bayou Billy (Konami) – Konami had a brilliant idea with this game, but the actual implementation was less than stellar. Riding on the popularity of Crocodile Dundee, this game featured a knife wielding, gator wrestling good ol’ boy trying to save his kidnapped girlfriend. The game was broken up into side scrolling street fight stages, driving stages, and shooting stages that used the light gun. Few enough people actually owned the light gun and the control pad was a poor substitute in these stages. A Wii remake would combine the stages more seamlessly and the Wii Remote is a perfect substitute for the light gun.
River City Ransom (Technos) – This side scrolling beat em up is a cult classic among retro video game fans. The game combined attribute increasing and skill gaining mechanics that were common in role playing games with a standard fighting game. These mechanics are reasonably common in action games today, but were nearly unheard of when this game was released. The limited controls of the NES prevented the learned fighting skills from being that exciting. With current controllers that sport more than 10 buttons, this game could finally show off the incredible fighting styles and powerful attacks that were only hinted at in the original.
The Guardian Legend (Broderbund) – This is yet another game that simply needed a more powerful system to fully show off its splendor. In this game, you control a robot that transforms into a futuristic space fighter, similar to the robots featured in the RoboTech or Macross series. Robot and space fighting missions were entirely separate and used significantly different controls. The space flight missions were nearly as hard as most space shooters of the time, which is to say nearly impossible. A modern version that toned down the difficulty of the flying portions and smoothly transitioned between robot action and flying action would be a perfect way to resurrect this series.
Star Tropics (Nintendo) – This game was one of the earliest action role playing games. Surprisingly popular given the intense competition of good games on the NES, it had a single sequel, but never gained much traction beyond that. The main weapon of the main character was a yo-yo. In the 2-D world of the NES, while the animation was different, this amounted to little difference from swinging a sword. Current consoles could easily make the yo-yo combat much more interesting and Wii motion controls could potentially make a remake significantly more fun than the original.
Crystalis (SNK) – Crystalis was basically a much more intense version of The Legend of Zelda. The graphics were crisper, the game was longer, and the main character had more weapon options, but game play was nearly identical. As both Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess have shown, the modern console is a perfect fit for this type of game. The rich storyline of Crystalis and exciting combat that requires you to constantly switch weapons could be better realized than ever before on the current generation systems.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Konami) – Despite consistently being acknowledged as one of the most brutally difficult games of all time, this game was remarkably popular for its time. With both side scrolling and top down levels and a frightfully difficult swimming level, the game featured multiple innovations in gaming. Oddly, the one place it failed was in differentiating the four turtles. Donatello and Leonardo had longer reach weapons than Michaelangelo and Raphael, but otherwise there was no difference between the characters. A modern remake could keep the light hearted appeal of the early game, but differentiate the four characters better and hopefully make the swimming levels less brutal.
Remakes of a game are often hit or miss. For example, Bionic Commando Rearmed, which closely keeps to the original game, is actually considered superior to the original while the new Xbox 360 and PC Bionic Commando 3-D game is considered to be one of the worst games of 2009. Some of these games would be best will a full makeover that takes advantage of modern console controls and graphics, while others would be better with just small improvements. Big changes or small, any new version of these games would be welcome to many eager fans.