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So, what's left to remaster?

Sinan Kubba, @sinankubba
February 1, 2015
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Has there ever been a time when the word "remastered" was so prolific in the conversation, outside of the George Lucas household? Gaming was so incessantly nostalgic in 2014, you'd think it was closing after ten years.

In just the last year we've seen polished-up re-releases for Saints Row 4, Resident Evil, The Last of Us, Grand Theft Auto 5, Halo 1-4, Fable, Diablo 3, Kingdom Hearts 2, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Metro 2033, Metro: Last Light, Indigo Prophecy, Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy X-2, and many, many more. And don't forget, glossy PS4 and Xbox One encores for Dark Souls 2, Borderlands 2 and The Pre-Sequel are on their way in the next few months.

Whether you like it or not - and I'm aware plenty do and plenty don't - gaming is still knee-deep in Remaster country. With the saying "When in Rome HD" in mind, I asked some of the Joystiq staff to tell me what games they'd most like to see remastered, however unlikely those remasters may be. Sure enough, most of them delved into the realm of pure fantasy.





Brave Fencer Musashi & Threads of Fate
The great golden age of Squaresoft has been over for more than a decade now, and while some of its more wild experiments from that period like Parasite Eve have been preserved on digital platforms, more still remain uncollected. An awesome comedy action RPG, Brave Fencer Musashi embodied everything great from that period; it was experimental, warm, and eminently replayable. Only spiritual successor Threads of Fate has made it to PSN. A package collecting both, touched up for HD machines, would be perfection.
Chances are: As likely as a big-headed samurai appearing in a fantasy land tomorrow.


Legacy of Kain series
On balance, the Legacy of Kain series is excellent, and it showcases some of developer Crystal Dynamics' best work. Great gameplay ideas, wonderful writing and performances. And, let's face it, the late Tony Jay's role as the Elder God is something everyone should experience. If Square Enix could wrangle the rights to the original Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain from Silicon Knights, that would be just super, too.
Chances are: About as probable as Kain and Raziel becoming best friends.


Battletoads
Rare's 2D beat-em-up is infamous for its insane - some would say unfair - difficulty, which has seen something of a resurgence in recent years. Games like Super Meat Boy, VVVVVV and even last year's Shovel Knight prove there's still an audience of gluttons seeking punishment, and the numerous rage quits sure to be induced would be great for YouTube. Since Microsoft owns the license, a re-release/remaster/reboot on the Xbox One would make a lot of sense. Hey, if they can bring back Killer Instinct and Phantom Dust, why not the Battletoads?
Chances are: Uh, did you see Phil Spencer's shirt at the Windows 10 event? His chest is our crystal ball to a toads-filled future, friends.


Power Stone 1 & 2
Oh, the things Capcom could add to the Power Stone games with modern hardware! No longer would you need three friends in the same room for maximum excitement, no longer would the games feature endless loading times, and with the added screen real estate of modern HDTVs, the expansive, changing stages could be captured whole without shrinking the characters to tiny, flailing dots. I'm not opposed to Capcom's ongoing efforts to remaster every game even tangentially linked to Street Fighter, but it's a crime that the company's largely successful attempts at mating fighting game basics with the hectic chaos of a four-player party game has only ever been re-released in a no-frills PSP compilation.
Chances are: Slightly more likely than a 1080p Quiz & Dragons remaster


Final Fantasy VII
It's arguably the most cherished game in the series, and a true remastered version would be phenomenal. No, I'm not counting the upscaled PS4 game. But it's been long enough that our collective nostalgic love for the game shouldn't be tainted by a full-scale remaster. That may be quite an undertaking, but few games are as deserving of that treatment as Final Fantasy VII, which seemed to offer everything a traditional RPG can, and I'd argue it set the stage for RPGs to come. From chocobo breeding to monstrous weapon-hunting, the eerie calm of Nibelheim to the Vegas-like pomp of the Gold Saucer, I was captured by its world and all it contained. I'd love to see it reborn with all the bells and whistles of modern consoles in mind.
Chances are: As likely as your friend from grade school claiming they found a way to save Aeris. Boy, you just want to believe some days.


Spyro the Dragon trilogy
Spyro the Dragon deserves better than the treatment he's gotten at the hands of Activision, where he was used to help sell the Skylanders franchise. Now don't get me wrong, the Skylanders formula is great for many reasons, but let's be honest, it no longer needs Spyro. Let him go where he belongs: sprawling, colorful worlds with personable enemies that are just begging to be roasted and headbutted into gem-dropping oblivion as he leaps and glides across challenging obstacles. Oh, and can we get that soundtrack remastered too? I only ask so that people stop thinking my phone's speakers are broken when I use it as a ringtone.
Chances are: Only '90s kids will get it.


Bubble Bobble trilogy
Bubble Bobble, Rainbow Islands and Parasol Stars featured a depth of programming belied by their cutesy exteriors. Taito's trilogy rewarded players who read between the platforms and paid attention to the patterns, and particularly to how the litany of special bonuses were doled out. Even as a kid, I could tell these games stood out from their peers. As an adult, I think they offer clever, intricate design that would still stand up today. Most recently Taito's sent out tweaked re-releases or visually blasphemous remakes, but all these games need is a faithful lick of paint and the addition of online co-op. Oh, and maybe some more music. That Bubble Bobble ditty can get pretty annoying after the 145th repeat.
Chances are: Don't burst my bubble - or my bobble.

That's what Team Joystiq wants remastered, but what games would you pick? Whether it's the Mass Effect trilogy, Destruction Derby, Half-Life 2 or Super Mario RPG, go fill up the comments with your hopes and dreams, however hopeful or dreamlike they may be.
[Images: EA, Activision, Square Enix, Capcom, Microsoft]












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