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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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  • Kid Icarus! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Daetrin ( 576516 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @09:59AM (#28851313)
    I'm not sure if it really counts as a reboot since there's only been one console version so far, but i'd really like to see Kid Icarus! Rumors about it keep popping up from time to time along with vague statements by Nintendo, so hopefully it will actually get done at some point!
  • Space Quest (Score:5, Interesting)

    by noundi ( 1044080 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @09:59AM (#28851339)
    A humorous game series about a deep space janitor solving mysteries. There is no better plot.
  • Descent! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kilz ( 741999 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @09:59AM (#28851343)

    I would love to see a remake of any of the descent series remade. I still have each of them and from time to time have to play them even though they are getting old.

  • Wing Commander (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Faizdog ( 243703 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:01AM (#28851391)

    The original Wing Commander games were great. For some reason the gaming industry has moved away from space fighter simulators. Which is disappointing, that was an early genre that was a lot of fun.

    I particularly have fond memories of Wing Commander Armada, which combined in strategy elements. You had to explore planets, mine resources and build factories and ships, and you had to do it carefully. When your fleet met the enemies, it switched to the traditional fighter simulator. Even then though, you had a fleet of ships with goals, and you could switch control between them.

    I'd love to see Wing Commander, or some other space fighter, done with today's technology.

  • by Darth_brooks ( 180756 ) * <clipper377&gmail,com> on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:02AM (#28851407) Homepage

    Grim Fandango. Just for the thought of being able to roam around in a full 3d environment with Manny would be awesome. Not that was a game that had style.

  • by Drakkenmensch ( 1255800 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:04AM (#28851445)
    Dual solo campaigns (rebels and empire) and massive multiplayer dogfights, complete with capital ships. Hell yeah.
  • Contra (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:06AM (#28851477)

    A remake of contra would be epic to say the least.

  • ReVolt! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Gen. Malaise ( 530798 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:08AM (#28851517) Journal
    Old Acclaim IP was purchased by the tard that runs Throwback Entertainment. They aren't doing anything with it unfortunately.
  • Sim Earth (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bhima ( 46039 ) * <Bhima.Pandava@gmail. c o m> on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:14AM (#28851655) Journal

    OK, I know this would be the best selling game in the history of games... but I've been pining for an updated Sim Earth lately. There is so much going on with climate science I think it would be really interesting.

  • by TomRK1089 ( 1270906 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:24AM (#28851853)
    Half Life 2 is "open world?" I love the game, but it's totally linear. There's a series of arenas connected by narrow passages. Episode 2 had slightly more space, what with the driving sequence at the end, but even that was still an arena. And Gordon was mute all through the first game, so I don't understand why you feel it "works" in that one and not in the sequels.
  • Commander Keen (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:24AM (#28851857)

    I still religiously play Commander Keen every year or so. Even today, bouncing mushroom, slugs, and kid heroes in football helmets don't get old. I would love to see a remake, as long as it stays true to the original series.

  • Gorz (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Smegly ( 1607157 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:25AM (#28851877)
    Reboot of Zork! [wikipedia.org]
  • by 1c3mAn ( 532820 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:25AM (#28851885)

    The Microprose Turn Based Strategy Games have always been high on my list of wanting another game. Maybe not so much a redo as just get either series started again.

    GalCiv is a good game but somehow it just doesnt have the feel of MOO1 or 2. I played MOO1 for hours on end, and the sequel though not as hard as the original was also a very fun game. MOO3 was rushed and it shows.

  • Crusader Series (Score:2, Interesting)

    by OldBaldGuy ( 734575 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:32AM (#28852041)
    Loved those two games: Crusader, No Remorse and Crusader No Regret.
  • Re:Hrmm (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ran93r ( 671906 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:33AM (#28852057) Homepage
    Starbreeze are supposed to be working on a new Syndicate title although it remains to be seen how faithful to the original/s it will be.
  • by houstonbofh ( 602064 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:35AM (#28852097)
    Spaceward Ho!

    But I have no idea how to reboot that one.
  • Easy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by d4nowar ( 941785 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:37AM (#28852141)

    Alpha Centauri!

  • Re:Space Quest (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:38AM (#28852163)

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

    Sierra had one in the works (as in at least parts of the game were playable) about 5-6 years ago, but it was canceled. I don't think they ever disclosed publicly that they were working on it, but I know someone who was on the dev team. It sounded like they were staying pretty faithful to the spirit of the originals, although that may have been their downfall - sci-fi comedy is sort of a niche market, and Space/King's Quest-style old-school adventure games definitely are. Sierra is (or was at the time at least) basically the most cancel-happy publisher of all time, so I'm sure it didn't take much for them to get cold feet.

    Posted anonymously to protect the guilty.

  • by autoevolution ( 1519077 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:39AM (#28852207)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beneath_a_steel_sky [wikipedia.org] would make an awesome movie.
  • Oregon Trail! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jammindice ( 786569 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:43AM (#28852281) Homepage
    If you're going to reboot an original you gotta do Oregon Trail!

    not that it was really a series, but put in a better map, better hunting, different hazards, more types of supplies, open-ended route selection like gps navigation or something, roving bands of indians to deal with, much much more!!

    i still have the old version on a flash drive with an old mac emulator and play it every now and then, so much fun hunting, i always max out the number of bullets i can take with me!

  • Classic C64 - MoM (Score:2, Interesting)

    by knightorc ( 1607223 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:45AM (#28852329)
    I would love to see a remake of EA's Mail order Monsters. My friends I spent hours, weeks, months playing it. Ok Ok, I break down, we spent years playing. Actually I still do. It still holds my interest.
  • by Talonius ( 97106 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:49AM (#28852429)

    The originals - Pool of Radiance, Curse of the Azure Bonds, Secret of the Silver Blades, Pools of Darkness. Wrap them in one long game. Tie them together a little more neatly. Remove the reliance on journals. (Although I will admit the translation wheel and journal were awesome in the day, now they only serve as a distraction -- dig through the box, find the manual, read the entry - and that's only if I've managed to forget what the entry was, which isn't likely.)

    Remaking the games and giving PoR and CotAB the Fix command in camp would be nice. Updating the graphics would be nice. But the game play - what I refer to as fantasy based squad level combat, not role playing - could be hugely improved. You could add role playing elements by expanding the options in the games for solving the puzzles. Make the players think more in quite a few of the situations they found themselves in.

    Though, SotSB could probably be left out to die. I don't have many fond memories of it. And this probably doesn't qualify as a reboot so much as a remake. And WotC, or whoever holds the AD&D license now, would insist on using 4e rules which would change the flavor of the game entirely...

    Dungeon Keeper would be a fantastic game to see re-imagined. Eye of the Beholder. I'd enjoy seeing what some of the darker personalities of the world could do with the Warcraft lore, given the chance. Space simulations need to come back -- picked up FreeSpace and FreeSpace 2 at Good Old Games (http://www.gog.com [gog.com]) and loved 'em; they're made even better with the FreeSpace Source Code Project [indiegames.us] created by the source code release by Volition. (Hm, have they already been rebooted, or just remade? There are several new campaigns...)

    Wing Commander would be awesome to see revived. Ultima would be a fantastic series to see reimagined, especially the first three (which I never liked all that much due to the space portions). RIP Origin. :|

  • Re:Space Quest (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Albanach ( 527650 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:49AM (#28852435) Homepage

    What about a new version of Elite?

    Or is it impossible to improve upon such a classic?

  • Re:Wing Commander (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jeffasselin ( 566598 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <ednilocamroc>> on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:49AM (#28852437) Journal

    Yep, Wing Commander is a game series that could really use a good reboot. Start with the same premise with the same characters, and see where it can take you. I liked 1/2 and loved 3/4, I wonder what modern graphics technology could do with this series. And as others mentioned, space sim games are really lacking nowadays. The last good one I played was Freespace 2.

  • Re:Gorz (Score:3, Interesting)

    by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:50AM (#28852453) Journal

    Today's gamers are not going to sit-around playing a game that requires reading.

    And if you add graphics, then it isn't Zork anymore. It becomes just another 3D puzzle/maze like Zelda or Starfox Adventures.

  • Carmageddon (Score:3, Interesting)

    by British ( 51765 ) <british1500@gmail.com> on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:52AM (#28852515) Homepage Journal

    I would love to see a modern-engined Carmageddon reboot. Sure, the 3rd one(TDR) was horrible, focusing on the missions. The reason for that is that even the developers realized there wasn't much to this game. The enemy cars often got damaged and just randomly veered around. There was no sense of urgency except to kill peds to keep your timer from running out. Ergo, missions were put in(some I could not solve even with cheats).

    It was just fun to drive around & do stunts, mixed in with car combat & running peds down. Veered into sandbox-style games. It was a zen game. Let's see this redone with a modern game engine, perhaps with destructible environments and such.

    Probably nobody else is going to agree with me, but I had to mix it up a bit.

  • by trav242 ( 645556 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:54AM (#28852543)
    Duke Nukem is in serious need of a Reboot! Don't you agree? I even know the perfect studio to take care of it...
  • Re:Descent! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by autoevolution ( 1519077 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @10:56AM (#28852589)
    Descent was good but Descent: Freespace and Freespace 2 were great too. In particular the epic storyline, intrigue, unpredictability, immersion and voice acting, I feel, is unrivaled even compared to todays games. The missions would start off with really detailed briefings planning how everything should work, making the player think that everything will go according to the briefing, then nothing goes as planned, just like in real life. There were missions where you don't even win or aren't expected to win, whereas nowadays your games are like this "heres the missions go do it, oh you succeeded horay!".
  • Magic Carpet (Score:2, Interesting)

    by orange47 ( 1519059 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @11:10AM (#28852825)
    without a doubt; in my opinion that's one of best games ever. I wonder why there weren't any more games like that, probably too complex for true 3D?
  • by FlyingBishop ( 1293238 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @11:10AM (#28852829)

    Well, you make enough of them bots to even the odds, and give imperial PCs the ability to jump to any bot-piloted craft at will.

  • Re:Shadowrun (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @11:19AM (#28853021)

    Personally, I preferred the Sega Genesis version of Shadowrun. Pretty good story, lots of options and a decent world to explore but it could be drastically improved with todays technology. Imagine a huge open world SR game with customizable characters, a dab of the thief series, a huge cast of characters to interact in many ways, a way of joining with other players to do a run and you would have an epic game.
    My guess is that it will never happen because Fanpro, the current owners of SR are idiots. Just look at SR4 and the MS shooter of the same name for proof.
    But a man can dream!

  • by Bobfrankly1 ( 1043848 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @11:27AM (#28853175)

    Balance would probably be an issue, with TIEs being mostly paper dragons compared to XWing. There's a reason standard imperial tactics require you to outnumber the rebels 3:1 before engaging...

    One step towards resolving this is spawn timing, Imperial forces with an 0-3 second spawn delay, rebel forces with a 8-12 second spawn delay. There are other ways to resolve this, it just requires game designers to be creative. (creative, whuts that?)

  • Nueromancer... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by f8l_0e ( 775982 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @11:30AM (#28853235)
    Back in the 80's my parents bought me the game for my 8086 5mhz 512k CGA computer. It was a neat game. The mechanics of it were very much like scumm. The music was catchy (written by DEVO) even on PC speaker. It wasn't until years later that I read the book. After reading it, I definitely wanted an updated version of the game.
  • Re:Flight Sims (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Guysmiley777 ( 880063 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @12:05PM (#28853805)
    Sims were a victim of the success of gaming as a whole. Why devote a massive game budget (like Falcon 4.0) to target a tiny segment of the customer base when you can just go after the lowest common denominator with something like Ace Combat 71?
  • by El_Muerte_TDS ( 592157 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @12:09PM (#28853863) Homepage

    Crusader: no remove/no regret aged terrible. A while ago I tried to reply the games, it partially ruined my fond memories of it. I would love a reboot of the series.

  • by yossarianuk ( 1402187 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @12:13PM (#28853955)
    Wings, Rocket ranger and 'It came from the desert' were outstanding Amiga games from the 80's. The graphics were about the best there was at the time, The Music in all the games was excellent and all 3 games (except Wings) combined strategy elements with (fun) action sequences.

    I played Rocket ranger for about 10 years and never once was able to finish it .... (there was no save)
  • Re:Descent! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kevin42 ( 161303 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @12:26PM (#28854187) Homepage

    As one of the Kahn developers (another one of them is sitting in the office next to mine), and one of the programmers of Descent 3 I have to respond.

    First off, the Kahn/Kali days were loads of fun, playing Descent 1 over the internet back in 1996 is a great memory I still have.

    IMO, the problems with D3 was that we never got the scale right for flying. D1/D2 had a feeling of speed because the tunnels were smaller and simpler. In D3 the designers tried to achieve a sense of massive complexes, which meant larger rooms and tunnels plus outdoor terrain. The problem there was the sense of flying fast was lost. I think this is the thing that disappointed most Descent fans. But I don't think that is what kept it from being a commercial success. I think the problem there was 1) feature creep made the development of D3 cost too much, 2) As you mentioned, the game was released in an era that had loads of hardware video card driver issues, which lead to tons of returns, and IMO the biggest issue: 3) Descent fatigue (lots of people bought D1/D2 because it was a unique idea, but by D3 they had already been there and done that).

    Contrary to what you say though, D3 wasn't primarily developed for Glide. It was originally developed for Glide, but that's because at the time development started that was the only real option. A lot of effort was put into OpenGL, but there were constant driver issues causing us grief.

    Also, I'm not sure what you mean about complaining about the use of TCP/IP for the online game play. I wrote the network layer for D3 (the same layer is used for other games including Freespace II if I remember correctly), and it used only UDP/IP for in game play. 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).

    I'd love to be involved with Descent again, but I really doubt it will happen.

    BTW, my son was born right after D3 was released, and he really likes to play it now, which is pretty cool.

  • Re:Magic Carpet (Score:2, Interesting)

    by walsingham1 ( 1238556 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @12:26PM (#28854197)
    Absolutely - Magic Carpet gets my vote 100%. Probably one of the best games I've ever played - I have so many fond memories of shooting fireballs at bees and nuking enemy castles... ahhh, memory lane. Mind blowing graphics for its day, too. Can you imagine a Wii version, using that Tony Hawks skateboard affair as the carpet? How cool would that be? Or on the iPhone: tilt to steer? Hey, I can dream.
  • Re:Gorz (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Toonol ( 1057698 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @12:27PM (#28854217)
    They sit around all day text messaging each other. I think text adventures have a shot at a comeback. Not in the exact same form; I think a leap forward in parser intelligence will probably be required. It needs to be a little more forgiving. The text format itself is not a deal-breaker, though.
  • Re:Descent! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kevin42 ( 161303 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @03:42PM (#28857553) Homepage

    IMO, a large part of the problem is how closely the network code has to be coupled with the rest of the game. All game state data has to be transmitted, as well as the position, orientation, velocity, etc. Add in scripted events, and there's no simple general purpose solution to reusing the network logic.

    Also, the internet is so unpredictable and varying in capabilities it is really hard to tune for bandwidth, loss, and latency. I know a lot of Descent 3 players were telling the game they had T1 speeds when they really were on dialup. That caused lots of dropped packets, terrible bouts of delayed packets (which looks like horrible lag), etc. All because they tried to send too many packets in too short of a time, thinking "faster is better" would give them a better experience.

  • Myst (and/or Uru) (Score:2, Interesting)

    by master_runner ( 958234 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @03:47PM (#28857631) Homepage
    Remember the Myst series, and the spin-off Uru series? The franchise is almost surely dead at this point, and in the time leading up to it's death Cyan Worlds was working against a tight budget of time and money. This resulted in some official works violating canon and general confusion and drop in quality. Nonetheless, I think the world and concepts they developed still have enormous potential. It would be nice to see another game from them that better explains the world (which would make it more approachable by new players), perhaps starting at the discovery of the cleft by the DRF and going through the restoration (the DRF/DRC and the Restoration were covered in the spinoff Uru series), with integrated history lessons going over the fall of D'ni and the events that followed that (which was the focus of the Myst series).
  • Commander Keen (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kzieli ( 1355557 ) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @07:25PM (#28860509) Homepage
    Yes give us more commander Keen.
  • Re:Two Words.... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @12:01AM (#28862149)

    Burger Time Deluxe! [usatoday.com]

    (Not to be confused with Burger Time Deluxue, released for the original Game Boy in 1992.)

  • by rusl ( 1255318 ) on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @04:34AM (#28863473)


"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN