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Classic Games (Games) Entertainment Games

Resurrecting Old Games, What Works? 381

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the waiting-for-a-daikatana-sequel dept.
There has definitely been a resurgence of old games being made new again through various methods. Unfortunately, any time you reinvent an old classic you risk either alienating the original audience or not making it appealing enough for the a new audience. "Capcom has been at the forefront of the recent remake boom, re-imagining a number of their classic titles as downloadable games. Bionic Commando, for example, was given a high-definition 2.5D makeover, and a rockin' remixed soundtrack with Bionic Commando: Rearmed. Capcom also re-released a new version of Street Fighter II on the way, with the lengthy new title Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix. Interestingly, both games are coming out near new entries in their respective franchises: Street Fighter IV and Bionic Commando. But the question remains, how do you decided what games will still appeal to the current gaming audience? " What games can be counted amongst the success stories, and which can be chalked up as utter failures?
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Resurrecting Old Games, What Works?

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  • pong (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Xaositecte (897197) on Monday December 29, 2008 @05:15PM (#26262303) Journal

    it's a conundrum;

    Anything with a strong amount of Nostalgia for it is going to suffer from the fans who still play it proclaiming "they changed it, now it sucks" - See: Fallout 3, or any remake of Master of Magic ever done.

    At the same time, some really great work has been done with remaking old games. I, for one, LIKED fighting the Enclave alongside a Giant mecha that spewed anti-communist propaganda.

  • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Monday December 29, 2008 @05:24PM (#26262429)

    But the question remains, how do you decided[sic] what games will still appeal to the current gaming audience?

    I would guess the same way you'd do any market research. Come up with ideas, run them past your target market, have them fill out surveys and see which ones are most likely to be well received.

    The whole "resurrecting an old game" idea is really nothing but marketing anyways. Old games ran on 6502s or 68000s. Today's processors are orders of magnitude better. The only thing these new games have in common with their old counterparts is the name. And since that's the case, it's not really a special case. Only thing you'll most likely get is a slight marketing boost from people seeing a familiar name.

    So I'd have to say "nothing unusual".

  • by SpicyLemon (803639) on Monday December 29, 2008 @05:28PM (#26262479)

    Mega Man 9 is awesome. I'm glad they stuck with the 8 bit graphics (and stayed 2D). I hate it when 2D games go 3D. It almost never works out well.

    The castlevania games have stayed 2D (for the most part) and are pretty fun too. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is in my shortlist for best game ever.

    I think too many games focus on the graphics these days and forget that better graphics does not equal more fun. Pac-man, Donkey Kong, Space Invaders, Missile Command, Joust etc weren't fun because we could tell what the blobs were. They were fun because the game's mechanics were solid and simple enough for just about anyone to understand. They take 5 minutes to learn and lifetime to master.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 29, 2008 @05:48PM (#26262727)

    Pure genius. Sir, posts like yours are why I frequent /. Thank you!

  • Re:pong (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Narishma (822073) on Monday December 29, 2008 @05:55PM (#26262781)
    Fallout 3 is a sequel, not a remake. Another game that changed radically in a sequel (for better) is Resident Evil 4.
  • Re:question (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Surt (22457) on Monday December 29, 2008 @06:06PM (#26262887) Homepage Journal

    Because ultimately the state will finance their survival, and it's a good reproduction strategy for your genes.

  • by teg (97890) on Monday December 29, 2008 @06:10PM (#26262923) Homepage

    One reason is personal taste, of course, but I think games in the past had to rely on something else than games typically do now

    Just a myth... back in the "good old days", many eye-candy-only games were made too - not just the good ones people remember. Sure, there were "Rainbow Island", "Impossible Mission", "Lemmings", "Elite" and "Psi-5 Trading Company" and "Wizkid" - but there were plenty of games we have forgotten. "Space Ace" and "Dragon's Lair" spring first to mind, but there were tons of "looks great, plays bad" games on the Amiga as well - and on the CBM64, even though the "graphics candy" bar were a bit lower.

    The worst period of "eye candy" was probably when the CD-ROM was introduced... e.g. "the 7th guest"

  • Chrono Trigger DS (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Fozzyuw (950608) on Monday December 29, 2008 @06:14PM (#26262967)

    Releasing games is a great strategy. A) The legwork is done. B) You can shine it up. C) Customers who missed it the first time get another crack at it.

    This works very well for games that were great for a reason. Chrono Trigger DS is my current fav. game. I never got to play it on the SNES, but the DS version is simply awesome... even if the graphics are pretty old school.

    Likewise, Super Mario World DS, while not truly a remake, shows how the old formula can easily work in the modern generation.

    I've also enjoyed Final Fantasy games on the DS. Stuff I never got to play on the NES because RPG's never appealed to me then.

    Should companies do it? Yeah. For what games? Games that were obviously good for a reason. Final Fantasy 7 comes to mind. They could completely remake the game with higher quality graphics and cut-screens (using the models from the movies) and I'm sure it'd sell like hotcakes on all the systems... if they didn't have a lock-in with Sony.

    Needless to say, I've benefited greatly from being able to play timeless classics again, for the first time. =P

  • Re:Desert Bus (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Icegryphon (715550) on Monday December 29, 2008 @06:16PM (#26263001)
    You are sick human being. There is a reason that game was never released.
  • by MMC Monster (602931) on Monday December 29, 2008 @06:17PM (#26263015)

    M.U.L.E.?

    Considering how often it was called a revolutionary game, it's surprising that there's only been a couple remakes, with none of them working on modern hardware and internet aware. :-(

  • Re:pong (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 29, 2008 @06:25PM (#26263081)

    You know how many people would absolutely kill for a remake of FF7 with modern graphics? And FF8, for that matter.

  • by ukemike (956477) on Monday December 29, 2008 @07:16PM (#26263543) Homepage
    I recently reinstalled X-Wing Alliance and it works great. Back in the day I didn't have a joystick, and I used the mouse. I have a thrustmaster so some such thing now, and it works great, but I can't get it to support yaw when I twist the handle, which naturally makes me a total wanker in dogfights.

    This is definitely a game series that should be done again with modern graphics, AI, online play, team play, etc. Just as long as it stays a "simulator" type game instead of the video gamey stuff they've made recently.
  • by White Flame (1074973) on Monday December 29, 2008 @07:34PM (#26263713)

    Nintendo's release of old games to the Wii is absolute genius. Those games were so popular for a reason. It wasn't for their killer graphics - it was because they held your attention and entertained you for hours.

    That has little to do with the age of the game. The ratio of garbage to memorable has most likely stayed similar. These old "classics" are just the very few games that have survived the quality filter, out of myriad lumps of crap.

  • by Eil (82413) on Monday December 29, 2008 @08:10PM (#26263997) Homepage Journal

    Nintendo's release of old games to the Wii is absolute genius.

    No, it's something the die-hard gamers have been begging Nintendo (or someone) to do for at least a decade. It's not a coincidence that every time a new console or handheld is hacked to run homebrew code, emulators are the first applications to be ported. Nintendo could have made a killing many times over by selling PC-based emulators and game ROMs online at something like $1 a pop, but instead they chose to sue and harass the emulation community. (I.e., their fans. Sound like a familiar story?)

    But what irks me the most about the Wii thing is that the old games are pretty damned expensive. According to this page [wikipedia.org] NES games average $5 and SNES games average $8. That's quite a lot of money just for a trip down memory lane.

  • by MBGMorden (803437) on Monday December 29, 2008 @08:30PM (#26264177)

    Very true. I've been playing video games since the Atari 2600 days, and there have always been a myriad of crappy games out there. Just as an example, during the 2600 days after video games became a hot commodity, there were "game companies" out there hiring anybody who could write code at all and cranking out anything they could think of as a video game. Most were pretty terrible. It put such a bad spin on the whole video game scene that until the NES came out many had assumed that the entire concept of the "video game" was to be a passing fad.

    For every system I can think of though, out of the hundreds (possibly thousands in the case of Playsation 1 & 2) of games released for them, I can remember maybe 10 to 12 really stand out titles that I'd really want to go back and play.

  • by Gaian-Orlanthii (1032980) on Monday December 29, 2008 @09:51PM (#26264703)

    What about reissuing some old games simply because they won't run on modern PCs? I don't mean console-to-console ports I mean cases where a game ran on Glide or DirectX 3 or whatever and won't even install anymore.

    I've got a few games like Machines, Independence War/Independence War 2, Little Big Adventure and Battle Isle 4 and the last time I played these gems was back in the 20th century. I'd KILL to see someone rewrite them so they'll run on my Quad-Core powered twin-linked HD4870 8Gb gamer rig with its 2Tb storage and 40 inch plasma widescreen!

  • Re:pong (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Blakey Rat (99501) on Monday December 29, 2008 @10:16PM (#26264859)

    But it probably shouldn't have been called Fallout 3 since it is such a radical departure from previous games.

    Ok, you have a different definition of the word "radical" than I do.

    Fallout 3:
    1) Has (virtually) the same setting
    2) The same enemies
    3) The same leveling system
    4) The same targeting/criticals system
    5) Extremely similar plotlines/quests
    6) Even a virtually identical inventory system! (Which is something they should have changed, IMO)

    What is so "radically" different about Fallout 3 compared to the other games?

  • Re:pong (Score:3, Insightful)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @09:42AM (#26267729)

    Film and TV remakes generally are disliked because people loved the original and the idea of going back and "updating" them seems offensive when the originals were just fine to begin with. Such unnecessary meddling has become the trademark of lame filmmaker wannabes (like McG) and washed-up former greats (like George Lucas and Ridley Scott).

    There are, of course rare exceptions to this rule. Scorsese's remake of "Cape Fear" and Ron Moore's remake of "Battlestar Galactica" are both far superior to the originals. But those are very rare exceptions.

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