HD Remakes for the Xbox 360?
One new gaming trend which I’m sure will become a booming success do to its great profitability is HD remakes. Starting with the God of War Collection more and more of these are starting to pop up: the Sly Cooper Collection, The ICO/Shadow of the Colossus Collection and now rumors of similar games for the Mortal Kombat and Splinter Cell series.
It’s clearly a very good idea. The current generation of gamers may or may not have been able to explore these games when they were released originally, and even if they were, they never could in HD. What’s more is that the lack of backwards compatibility on current generation consoles may mean they have to splurge on a number of expenses, just to enjoy a classic.
So with the official announcement of the HD remakes for ICO and Shadow of the Colossus, the ball is pretty much rolling on this. I’ve just got one question: Why hasn’t Microsoft started cashing in on the idea? The original Xbox has a plethora of good games that could be remade in HD for the Xbox 360. Xbox Live’s games on-demand service provides a good number of Xbox classics, but again, these are in standard definition with many of them being rendered with incredibly dated graphics and engines, but this in no way makes them bad games.
In fact, many Xbox exclusives received glowing reception back when they were first released. I’ve compiled a small list of games that I think would be glorious remakes, and while I realize that not all of them are first or even third party titles, I don’t see the reason to let them stay dead because Microsoft didn’t own them. There’ll be no easy choices like Halo either. I’m sure an arrangement could be made to satisfy all the involved parties in the purchasing and selling of six to eight year old IPs from the last console generation. So let’s begin shall we?
The DOA series
The Dead or Alive series was the premier fighting game series for the original Xbox. DOA3 possessed some of the best graphics of that console generation. It was universally acclaimed for its graphics, mechanics and um…dynamics. Tecmo (now Tecmo Koei) had created one of the defining fighting games of the generation. A few years later DOA Ultimate was released for the Xbox and it contained 2 full games.
The first game was the arcade version of the original DOA. This marked the first time that many Americans had the opportunity to enjoy the birth of the series. The second game was DOA2, a remake of DOA2:Hardcore from the PS2. The remake had better graphics and mechanics, along with more content and the ability to utilize Xbox Live for online gaming.
I think that MS should obtain the rights from Tecmo and remake DOA 1-3 in HD and include some new content like stages, costumes and update the characters to all the games. For example, Christy and Hitomi should appear on the first DOA with downscaled mechanics to fit with the play of that game. This would certainly hold us over until the release of the heavily rumored DOA5.
From the now overtly successful developer Bioware, Jade Empire brought a fantastic and unique experience to the Xbox when it was released. The game features groundwork elements that have bled over into Bioware’s more recent ventures.
The game boasted colorful and detailed graphics and environments, fun real time combat and open exploration to take on side quests and more. It was truly one of last generation’s best games, and I’m positive the game would capture a new audience and re-capture those passionate fans that played it religiously when it first came out.
Just YouTube the game and check out its distinct visual flair and shameless eastern ambience. Now imagine that in HD. Awesome. Another thing that would make this game even better is multiplayer, which was one of the biggest requests when we thought there was going to be a JE sequel (hint hint Bioware). Jade Empire is available via games on demand, but this game could be so, so good as a current gen title.
Brute Force is a multiplayer third person shooter created by now defunct developer Digital Anvil. The game was set over multiple planets in distant universes. The game featured very tactical, squad based gameplay with a variety of classes and weapons. The widely varying and uniquely done stages hid numerous power ups and special guns.
The campaign could be played with up to four friends and a variety of multiplayer modes gave the game an expanse of replay value. Summarily, Brute Force featured superb gameplay, graphics and a delightfully group based play style. The game may have been slept on beside other space shooters of the Xbox era, but it would certainly be a very good game.
An HD remake would enthrall shooting fans everywhere, with tactical gameplay that is only nearly matched in the drones of mundane military shooters. But the biggest reason to remake the game would definitely be the lack of Xbox live. That’s right; the game featured a wonderfully done focus on squad play and multiplayer was only available locally or via system link. This game needs to happen.
Jet Set Radio Future
Certain games have such powerful swag, ambience and distinct characterization that we find ourselves returning to them even years after they’ve released. The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time and Okami are two examples of this. No matter how much time goes by, these games still possess a powerful flair that separates them from all other video games.
JSRF, from dissolved developer Smilebit, is one of these games. Everything from the colorful art, the urban culture and setting, the fun and simple gameplay all the way to the phenomenal soundtrack, most of which is on my iPod, and unique characters makes this game a work of art. JSRF is one of those games that never got the acclaim or attention it deserved, and while it may not be the most profitable game on this list, it is arguably the most deserving.
The game simply spills with urban culture and busy city vibes. The HD update could contain online multiplayer, refined gameplay elements and of course, gorgeous new graphics. However, please leave the soundtrack alone. Skating games seem to all fit into a certain category these days and JSRF may have been the very last of its kind. This game should definitely make a comeback.
I think that by now I have formed my point. MS has a huge pool of titles to choose from and while they may have to do some negotiating they can definitely make it happen. I mean, they’re MS and they can do whatever they put their wallets, I mean minds to. I can think of a dozen or so more Xbox exclusives that we’d like to see in HD, and they see how well the reception is for Sony. So I guess on that note, it’s only a matter of time. Here’s to hoping when they do get this started, they pick one or all of the games I’ve listed.