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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?