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Games Entertainment

Which Game Series Would You Reboot? 1120

Franchise reboots are all the rage these days in Hollywood, and the trend is starting to creep into the games industry as well. The Guardian's games blog is running a story discussing a few examples and pondering likely candidates for future reboots. Quoting: "If anything, the concept of the reboot makes more sense in the videogame sector than it does in movies. For a start, games are complex entities, with each new iteration in a familiar series adding many, many hours of fresh narrative content. Entering, say, the Zelda, Resident Evil, Half-Life, Dragon Quest or Metal Gear worlds at this stage must be massively intimidating — even if the developers go to great lengths to make each entry work as a singular, self-contained entity within the canon. Also, videogames are going through a paradigm shift in terms of popular appeal at the moment. The faithful audience of young males has been joined by new demographics brought in by the Wii, PC casual games, and now the iPhone. Many of these people may be vaguely aware of long-running game brands, but won't have a clue about the key characters, sign post events and basic gameplay mechanisms." So, which series (or individual title) would you like to see rebooted?
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Which Game Series Would You Reboot?

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  • Deus Ex (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thisnamestoolong ( 1584383 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:00AM (#28851369)
    This game NEEDS to be remade -- the story, characters, and gameplay mechanics are just about the best ever, but are trapped in an awful game engine with atrocious AI. Even with the major flaws, I still play through it about once a year. I would LOVE to see it remade with a modern engine, with all the rough edges smoothed out (and without the dumbed down, console-friendly interface of the PoS sequel!), and the story line and environments fleshed out a little bit further. That would be beyond an epic win.
  • Final Fantasy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 2names ( 531755 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:00AM (#28851371)
    I would reboot Final Fantasy and make many of the characters less cheesy. I would also make the subject matter a bit darker and the interactions more free form. I think it would also be nice to have a non-turn-based combat option.
  • Games of my youth! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by confu2000 ( 245635 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:00AM (#28851373)

    X-Com! Star Control! Especially given that the most recent sequels were horrible.

  • X-COM (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:02AM (#28851401)

    The original UFO Defence AKA Alien Unknown is still the best game in the genre TO THIS DAY. The franchise has only gone down hill from there, and nobody has been able to replicate a modern version of the original, although several have tried.

  • by ragethehotey ( 1304253 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:02AM (#28851403)
    The greatest arcade sports game in history, this game is begging to be remade for xbox live, the simplistic game mechanics yet deep skill still holds up to this day.
  • Sonic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) * on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:02AM (#28851409) Journal

    This is obvious. Every 3d Sonic has sucked starting with Sonic Adventure (which sucked just a little) and has gone downhill since. Dump all the stupid characters and give it a 2d perspective again. Sonic Rush comes close, it would be nice to see a game of that quality hit a major console.

  • Hrmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by acehole ( 174372 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:04AM (#28851435) Homepage

    Syndicate ...and if I was being blasphemous, The last ninja

  • Sega franchises (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wandazulu ( 265281 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:04AM (#28851443)

    Sega had some great games in the 90s that I'd love to see done again:

    - Crazy Taxi (how about a multiplayer version, everyone competing for fares?)
    - Jet Set Radio (that funky Tokyo-esque rollerblading game with its awesome soundtrack never gets old)
    - Shenmue (hell, forget the reboot, I just want to see the damn storyline finished!)
    - Sonic (on second thought, no, forget Sonic)

  • by RogueyWon ( 735973 ) * on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:08AM (#28851513) Journal

    Guess what, the number 1 candidate I'd have named is getting a reboot. Mechwarrior. My head tells me that disappointment is still the likely outcome, but my hearts looks at the material they've put out so far and jumps for joy.

    Other good candidates?

    Wing Commander - it was the series that defined "cutting edge" gaming for a generation. I'd love to see this done properly on modern technology - including the heavy story emphasis and cheesy cutscenes.

    Eye of the Beholder - this would need to be done properly. RPGs these days tend towards big open worlds, which can be great. But I'd love to see a decent, non-Diablo-style RPG which takes a classic, claustrophobic dungeon setting (running on a decent, modern engine) and places the emphasis firmly on survival and puzzle solving, rather than making friends and becoming the Grand Trademaster Caravanlord of Little Wizzlington.

    Star Control - Pretend the third game never happened, just give us either a decent sequel or a franchise reboot in the style of the second game.

    And finally (and this is what gets me flamed)... Half-Life. I didn't like Half-Life 2. I've replayed it a couple of times trying to "get" it and I still don't like it. The changes with the game-world of the first game are too jarring and badly explained. The idea of the mute protagonist just Does Not Work in the context of a more open-world game like Half-Life 2. It certainly doesn't work when you try to make said protagonist out to be some kind of a Messiah figure. Pretend HL2 never happened and go back to the feel of the original.

  • Shadowrun (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pingh ( 1130313 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:08AM (#28851519) Homepage
    We need a true shadowrun game. Nothing at all like the multiplayer shooter MS released. A true old school cyberpunk game. On a completely unrelated note, MDK could use revisiting.
  • Re:Space Quest (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) * on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:10AM (#28851587) Journal

    I don't think we need a reboot of the Space Quest franchise as much as we just need another Space Quest game.

  • Re:Deus Ex (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kell Bengal ( 711123 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:18AM (#28851741)
    Amen! The game was a tour de force, -despite- its short comings. How often can you say about the game "Well, it was terrible but it rocked my world." That was what Deus Ex was to me, and I played it years after it was released when it looked pretty old and the graphics were stale. It was a compelling, thoughtful, atmospheric and well-written piece of art. It was everything its sequel was not.
  • Re:Final Fantasy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hotawa Hawk-eye ( 976755 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:20AM (#28851779)

    Aside from FFX-2, each Final Fantasy game has been more or less independent of its predecessors, so essentially the series gets a small reboot with every game. And as for the non-turn-based combat option, FF12 came close -- each character still takes their turns, but it's less "your guys go, then the enemies go" and more of a "do your stuff, then wait for a cooldown" system.

    I agree that I'd like to see a darker Final Fantasy -- while most of the FF games deal with the end of the world as a consequence for your party's failure, that's too broad a penalty. It doesn't hit you in the gut like Aeris's fate in FF7 or Cyan's family and General Leo's fate in FF6. [Damn you, Kefka!]

  • by heathen_01 ( 1191043 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:20AM (#28851795)

    Starwars Battlefront II doesn't scratch that itch for you?


    Battlefront II is a first-person shooter/third-person shooter video game.

    X-Wing is a space sim .... complete with capital ships.

  • Tetris (Score:2, Insightful)

    by NES HQ ( 1558029 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:21AM (#28851801)
  • None (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:24AM (#28851863)

    I would not want to reboot ANY series. Let's get something new and original, instead of churning out the same things. Every game has had their time and people have their personal connections to them. Let them be memories of good times and leave it at that.

    Let me reiterate, let's have people make some new and interesting games. The sequels, prequels, and remakes are usually unnecessary (although I concede some games in concept were very good but implementation was bad, and could use a 'remake', but in the form of something new as well), and attempt to squeeze more plot and ideas out of a concept due to a lack of originality in the designers.

  • Flight Sims (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Coffee Warlord ( 266564 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:25AM (#28851901)

    Give me a remake of Red Baron, and to get my WW2 fix in as well, Aces of the Pacific/Over Europe, and I'd be a happy man. (Throw in another vote for TIE Fighter and/or Wing Commander as well).

    Just seems nobody even tries to make a good flight sim game any more.

  • by Jestrzcap ( 46989 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:26AM (#28851903)

    I just finished buying all the original Lucasarts adventure games that were released on steam (Dig, Monkey Island, Indiana Jones) as well as the new Monkey Island game (+episodes). My fiancee had me pick up the Wallace and Gromit games.

    What I'm saying is, I'm still an adventure game junkie, and, if I have anything to say about it, any kids I have will be too. We need more of them.

  • Re:Space Quest (Score:3, Insightful)

    by popo ( 107611 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:29AM (#28851961) Homepage

    ... a plot shamelessly stolen from Planetfall.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planetfall [wikipedia.org]

    "The game starts with the user assuming the role of a lowly Ensign Seventh Class on the S.P.S. Feinstein, a starship of the Stellar Patrol. Overbearing superior Ensign First Class Blather assigns the player to mop decks, not exactly the glorious adventures promised by the recruiters on Gallium. But a sudden series of explosions aboard the ship sends the player scrambling for an escape pod, which eventually crash-lands on a nearby planet."

  • Re:Deus Ex (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mr. Underbridge ( 666784 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:42AM (#28852277)

    Just played it again, and now that you mentioned it, the graphics do look dated. But at the time, I was too into the game to notice. And I would get the rewrite, or reboot.

    Maybe my standards are lower, but I played it recently and the graphics were perfectly acceptable, provided you didn't get 6" from an object so you notice the texture flaws. But why the hell would you be doing that anyway?

    But there's more to graphics than texture detail anyway. The *original* Deus Ex did a very good job with color balance and saturation, resisting the "wouldn't it be cool if everything were brown?" temptation that the sequel fell prey to. The shadows were very well done without being "let me put my monitor's brightness up to 100" annoying where there's no contrast.

    Where graphics are concerned, I'm much more worried that they get color and contrast balance right than textures. Deus Ex's graphics were perfectly good enough to be immersive, and there was nothing annoying that brought me out of the game. Which, given the fantastic storyline, was all I needed.

  • System Shock! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by coreyfro ( 123833 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:43AM (#28852283) Homepage

    System Shock was too far ahead of it's time. The interface was inventive, but not in a good way. The creatures were scary, but had no AI to speak of. The graphics were cutting edge...in the 90's. And they game play has inspired the industry in so many ways, what would happen if the industry returned that inspiration?

  • Re:Sim Earth (Score:3, Insightful)

    by popo ( 107611 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:46AM (#28852343) Homepage

    ... without the wacky Gaia crap... yes.

  • by 0p7imu5_P2im3 ( 973979 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:46AM (#28852349) Journal
    'nuff said
  • Chaos Engine (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ronin X ( 121414 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:47AM (#28852379)

    Chaos Engine!

  • by MeanMF ( 631837 ) * on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:50AM (#28852463) Homepage
    What Ubisoft did to Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon after they bought the Tom Clancy franchises is a travesty. They're in desparate need of a reboot back to their realistic, tactical roots. Recent games in both series have turned into poor imitations of action movies. The latest R6 game even had a climactic boss battle where you, on foot, have to take down an attack helicopter while dodging left and right on a tennis court to avoid its missiles.
  • Re:Final Fantasy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nickruiz ( 1185947 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:51AM (#28852487)
    Have you tried the Star Ocean series? It's almost what you're looking for there. They need to work a little on the cheese, but the gameplay is incredible.
  • Thief? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shemmie ( 909181 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:58AM (#28852619)
    Speaks for itself... it had brilliant game play, a very twisty-turny plot with magic and undead galore, mixing medieval with technology with magic - the story could go pretty much wherever the story-teller wanted it to.
  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @11:13AM (#28852881)

    Most of the games that have been mentioned are or were gems. Maybe of their time, but they were really good. They don't need a reboot. They need a makeover. The formula was right and the game in a new dress would rock again.

    I think what we should be looking for is games that had a great idea but went off in the wrong direction. Where the original idea was novel, stunning, the foundation of a truely great game, but the game itself was lacking in some way. Or games where the first installment was awesome but they botched it with the sequels.

  • Leisure Suit Larry (Score:2, Insightful)

    by KneelBeforeZod ( 1527235 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @11:13AM (#28852893)
    That game was awesome before it went 3D
  • Re:System Shock (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Guysmiley777 ( 880063 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @11:20AM (#28853037)
    Bioshock was a pale shadow of the masterpieces that were System Shock and System Shock 2. I've never, ever been scared and immersed while playing a game like I was in SS or SS2.
  • by wandazulu ( 265281 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @11:28AM (#28853189)

    I agree...DNF became an industry joke to the point that it totally overshadowed the game itself, along with DN3D. The fact is, the game was a lot of *fun* to play. Quake was the "better" game in having a real 3D environment, but it wasn't a lot of fun; level after level of stone walls and wooden beams.

    It's too bad that any version is unlikely to see the light of day because of intellectual property laws and all that; theoretically all you'd need to do is take the Quake 3 engine and start building some levels. Hell, even a fan-mod Duke Nukem would be welcome.

  • by micahfk ( 913465 ) <whiteaznguy AT micahfk DOT com> on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @11:50AM (#28853579) Homepage

    StarControl really had a great storyline--this honestly could be rebooted in a variety of ways:

    Classic Reboot: Making it another space-adventure game
    RPG/MMORPG Reboot: Playing as a character race for any of the main offshoots
    Single player Reboot: You fighting as the humans to free other races in a single person (or dual-player) mystery/adventure

  • Re:Marathon (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ephemeriis ( 315124 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @12:13PM (#28853953)

    As I used to tell snarky Halo fanbois, "I liked Halo better when it was called Marathon". It always seemed to go over their heads tho.

    There were definitely similarities. Maybe more than I ever saw, since I only played the first Halo game. I could easily imagine both Halo and Marathon taking place in the same universe.

    A couple things I liked in Marathon, but missed in Halo:

    Marathon had a real sense of the unknown. You didn't know who the enemy was. You didn't know why they were attacking. You didn't know what they were capable of. The first level where you encounter a hunter was creepy as hell. You kept reading about them in the terminals... Kept seeing mentions of their howl... And then you finally get jumped by one.

    Halo, on the other hand, seemed very routine. Even when you the player encountered something new, the attitude of all the NPCs around you was "oh, here's another badguy, same as last time." You got the distinct impression that Master Chief and his cohorts have been fighting this war for a very long time, and there's nothing new about any of it. Even the Flood, which was a surprise to the humans, was well-documented by the Covenant.

    Marathon also had terrific diversity in enemies. You had the Pfhor - who came in a half-dozen different varieties. Different weapons, different armor, different threats. You had the S'pht, which were just plain creepy. Then you had all the assorted slave races... The little bug-guys, the big ol' hulks, the flying things that lobbed missiles at you...

    Halo, on the other hand, seemed to keep throwing the same kind of enemies at me. Some of the little grunt guys, some of the bigger elite guys, and occasionally someone in a tank or something. There was never the feeling of "oh, he's different, I wonder what he does?" Only "oh, they gave him a different weapon this time."

    Finally, Marathon had a weird kind of metephysical thing going on. You'd periodically get Durandal rambling on about the end of the universe, or the embodiment of chaos, or Childe Roland... It was never clear if he was just raving, or if he'd tapped into something deeper. Kind of reminded me of Moorcock's eternal champion [wikipedia.org].

    Halo had some incredibly-long backstory with the flood and the halos and some progenitor species and whatnot... But it didn't seem to get terribly mythic.

  • Re:Sonic (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Eli Gottlieb ( 917758 ) <eligottlieb@nOSPaM.gmail.com> on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @12:15PM (#28853987) Homepage Journal

    From what I've heard, the short sections of Sonic Unleashed that took place in "daytime" were pretty cool and Sonic-y. They just made up a minority of the game.

    I can't believe nobody else has said Sonic. And while we're at it, let's have a Nights into Dreams sequel that doesn't make me go through crappy platforming levels just to fly.

  • by dreadpiratemark ( 450962 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @12:33PM (#28854339)

    No One Lives Forever (NOLF) 1 and 2 were the games that first made my wife (I know, I know, insert standart /. joke about the unlikliness of a 'wife' existing) enjoy PC gaming. Every now and then we'll still yell "AAABBBIIIGAAAAAIIIILLLLL" at each other and smile. Good campy humor combined with good stories in a FPS that works for both men and women? NOLF 3? Yes please!

  • Re:Descent! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Sleepyhead5 ( 1246752 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @03:00PM (#28856839)
    The first thing I thought of when I saw the headline was Descent: Freespace 2. Few games have ever drawn me into the story like Freespace and made me feel like I was really out there in space were anything could happen and there was little to protect me. I loved almost every minute of it.
  • Re:Descent! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Blakey Rat ( 99501 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @03:07PM (#28856955)

    I think a lot of the complaints about laggy play were unfair given the networks people were playing over (no fast action game works well when pings get to 700ms or more).

    Tribes did ok. It was the exception, not the rule though-- a lot of games in that era (like MechWarrior III) were simply terrible.

    BTW, do you have any insight on why network code seems to be one of those things that's never a "solved problem?" I mean, I tried America's Army 3 the other day, and it was as bad as MechWarrior III... it was crazy. There have been so many hundreds of games with good netcode, do they just go out of their way to make things suck?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @03:11PM (#28857041)

    First of all I would like to say that Grim Fandango is my all time favorite PC game. I am an avid pc gamer and usually don't go back and replay many games but I have replayed this game 6 or 7 times. Now with that said I don't think this game needs a 'reboot' that would imply that it would be remade. Grim Fandango holds up to this day because of it's artistic styling. Yes they could improve the models and make them smoother perhaps even increase the detail of the textures but the improvement wouldn't be as massive as if they remake something like Kings Quest or Legend of Kyrandia or one of those older games. The interactions while they relied solely on the keyboard were not a problem either, they were simple and easy.

    A sequel I would like to see but I would worry that they would screw it up and if they did 'reboot' it I would TOTALLY play it but my point is that I think it still holds up today unlike some of the other Sierra/LucasArts/Westwood adventure games of my youth.

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson