Five arcade classics that need the current gen treatment

Throughout my childhood I spent the majority of my pocket money and time in arcades, bashing buttons in co-op shooters or gunning around circuits in what was then the latest and greatest in electronic entertainment. Fast forward to today and we have access to some cutting-edge tech that both push the boundaries of realism and allows us to get engrossed in a story along with mind-blowing mechanics. Everything from racing games to platformers, co-op adventures and thumb-numbing beat-em-ups. Although there’s a lot out there that you could sink your teeth into, that little kid in you wishes that those arcade classics could somehow break out of the vault with a re-imagined world and gameplay you just KNOW would do those titles justice. Here’s a list of such games that might do a great transition onto a new playing field. And, NO, we’re not talking about HD remakes.

Ridge Racer

Arguably one of the best arcade racers of its time brought you hours of high octane fun either against the AI or other players. Although the selection of cars was limited, it didn’t stop you from getting into that seat at the arcade and trashing Ferrari, Lambo and Porsche look-a-likes around “scenic” road courses for hours on end.

After looking at gameplay of GT Sport in VR, I imagined Ridge Racer being reintroduced with the same technological advancements with the same premise of getting into a car, shutting up and driving till your tank is on empty. I’m not talking about a simple port to run in VR, but a whole new game built with the sole purpose of pushing the technology to its limits. If you look at all the racing games currently out in the market, there’s a tad too much seriousness tied to them, offering realistic controls, accurate telemetry and true to life physics to boot. I hunger for a pure arcade racer that doesn’t punish you for cutting over corners or taking a shortcut over a parked truck with a ramp hanging off the back. Bliss I tell you.

Double Dragon

There have been many iterations of this co-op brawler since it took the world by storm back in 1987 (yeesh, I’m old) and we saw it come to the then consoles. It kept the same format for quite some time and embellished on the story a bit. This year we saw Double Dragon IV release on PS4 earlier this year promising the same addictive gameplay that we were first exposed to in the games very first release. In 1993 we also saw Double Dragon crossing paths with Battletoads, another arcade brawler that gave us countless hours of fun. There was also fighter adorning the Double Dragon name that didn’t really go up against the plethora of fighters out at the time but still had a decent offering.

Back to the game at hand, Double Dragon has been a side-scroller for most of its existence, but does it have to stay that way? Looking at games like Ninja Gaiden that also started out as a side-scroller, there’s almost no reason why Double Dragon could venture into the third person world. Just imagine taking on all the bosses in the original, but now it’s in 3D third person awesomeness? Now imagine it using the Unreal 4 engine. Sounds amazing, right? Now throw Battletoads in the mix…. Dead.

Golden Axe

Lo and behold the brawler that gave us scantly dressed men and women (and a dwarf) wielding massive pieces of historic weaponry taking on trolls, demons and all sorts of ghastly creatures. They had potions that unleashed fire a fury on their foes. Yes, there are games with similar mechanics, but Golden Axe would feel so at home if it got the same makeover.

Given that there are only three characters to choose from, I don’t see it being that much of a task to introduce a fourth for 4-player co-operative play with friends online. Possibly in 3rd person view as well, the then bright and colourful word could be swapped out with something a bit grittier and the effects for the potions could be killer. Even Warframe comes to mind, minus the primary and secondary weapons of course and just all out melee battles with enemies. I believe a version of Golden Axe that played like God of War came out on the PlayStation 2 back in the day, but considering the limitation of the tech then compared to now, there’s a lot of room to play with.

Contra

Dawid recently took a trip down memory lane and it sparked an idea. The idea that Contra needs to be brought into the 21st century. How, you ask? Let’s take a look at how Army of Two made its success with its close-quarters co-op gameplay and slap the Contra story onto it with today’s graphic enhancements and boss fights. I don’t know about you, but I’m already drooling at the prospect.

You could say Contra was one of the titles that spurred the rise of shooters as we know it. whether it would translate well into a first-person shooter is yet to be seen, but the idea would make for a cool game none the less. It’s also known as one of those titles you needed to beat either solo or with a partner sitting on your couch as a kid. Resident Evil 5 was a great game to play co-op bar the clunky control scheme, but with a bit more freedom and not having to stand dead still to shoot, Contra could do oh so well in it.

Altered Beast

Fantasy, mythical creatures and beasts of old with the ability to shapeshift into one yourself? This game got me hooked the minute I knew how to shapeshift. Battling hordes of minions and characters with magical powers was the order of the day as you travel across the land of ancient Greece to assist Zeus in getting back his daughter, Athena. That alone seems like a single player game with the chance to level up your character to become even stronger or learn new abilities. You’re backed by a Greek God after all. Something like God of War comes to mind, but this time, you’re not limited to just dual wielding swords.

Expand on the number of creatures you could potentially morph into and this becomes a game that sprouted from such humble beginnings with the potential to become something great and vast in its scope. You could take it even further and introduce co-op missions online that’s not necessarily removed from the main story, but gives you a chance to form a clan and battle the evil forces that thwarted humanity’s existence. The possibilities are virtually endless.

I could go on and on about so many titles that could perhaps make a great showing if given the chance with today’s tech, but I’d rather save you all from my endless drivel and leave you with some honourable mentions.

Time Crisis
Outrun
Space Harrier
After Burner
Soul Calibur
Daytona USA
House of the Dead

Got any titles you wish could step into a time machine and come out the 2017 end with a new wardrobe, world and everything today’s tech has to offer?

I Game, I Design, I wish I could Game Design.

  • ALTERED BEAST IS NOT A CLASSIC, IT IS AN ABOMINATION, THANK YOU.

    IT IS, AND ALWAYS HAS BEEN, A KAK GAME.

    • eVolVee

      To each his own I guess.

  • Also don’t get the Altered Beast love, but Contra. Contra on current gen is something I’d very much like, but Konami…

  • Valshen

    Me reading this list when it reached Altered Beast
    https://media.giphy.com/media/3ov9jNfsMbfFYiegZa/giphy.gif

    • eVolVee

      Why you do dis to meee?

  • Gustav Minnie

    Sunset Riders….. nuff said.

    • Holy shit. Yes! YESS!

    • eVolVee

      Very good idea, sir/madame/android.

    • SND MND

      YES!

  • whoo!

    there’s some good stuff there.

    [and contrary to everyone else here, i happened to like altered beast.]

    i’m not sure that you could do these games justice in the modern era, though. cheat codes would turn into “money unlocks” and they’d find some way to hide the ending behind a paywall. plus…you’d lose all the charm of the pixelated graphics and ridiculously 80’s style of some of the games in question.

    the problem with arcade games in the modern era is that they were designed as coin guzzlers, and i’m not sure how you’d deal with that, exactly.

    things i’d love, in no particular order:
    toki.
    black tiger
    mr wardner [though, i could do without the completely creepy tone of the opening couple of minutes of that game.]
    wonder boy in monster land.
    new zealand story

    and to a lesser extent, stuff like:
    rastan
    knights of the round
    car action
    lady bug
    dragon breed
    and r-type

    i COMPLETELY miss how colourful those games were.

    • I look at that list and I’m like – You would love a Switch.

      • how so?

        • I feel there are many games on it that lends itself well to that experience you’re after. Lots of side-scrolling shooters (for example) appearing on it, and growing in numbers.

          • ah.

            fair enough 🙂

            didn’t think of that. i was thinking that – somehow – nintendo had gotten licenses to some of the stuff i mentioned [and i hadn’t heard about it.]

          • There are just many a great 2D experiences showing up on it. You would have a great time playing on it, and it’s portable of course.

          • awesome. i haven’t been paying attention to the library much past the aaa releases [and shovel knight.]

  • Any of the Strike games I would pick up in seconds. Flying around with my heli putting out fires and rescuing stranded civilians.

    • Jungle Strike is still the top game in the series, IMO. But yeah, I wouldn’t mind them to bring that back. It’s EA, and we know that’s never happening.

      • Indeed. Jungle Strike is a foot ahead of Urban Strike.

  • Wesley

    Ridge Racer! Unfortunately, i dont think we will ever see another good one again since it was bought out.

    I really wouldn’t mind a Ridge Racer Type 4 remake. The career mode was the most epic in a racing games IMO, along with the way to unlock cars.

  • SND MND

    Agree with most on the list, not sure about Altered Beast though. To me Contra is candidate for greatest game ever made, but, a remake would like, a clash of COD and Metal Gear Solid? Seems to be in that melting pot

    How about Ninja Master’s (Hao Ninpo Cho) for a good PS4/X1 remake?

  • Abduraghmaan Van Oordt

    Donkey Kong!

  • Admiral Chief

    Blackthorne pleeeeeez

    • I’ve not even played that game… which is weird for retro me.

    • SupaPsychoJ

      Loved this game!!

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