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Weekend Hot Topic, part 1: Most wanted video game remake

Metal Gear Solid – should it get the Resi treatment?
GameCentral readers decide which classic video games they’d most like to see get a remake, from GTA: Vice City to Panzer Dragoon Saga.
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Onibee and inspired by the recent spate of big budget remakes, such as Zelda: Link’s Awakening , the upcoming Final Fantasy VII Remake , and news that Bluepoint are working on a major new remake for Sony .
All manner of different games were suggested but the most consistent comment was that the game in question should be difficult to get hold of in its original form and genuinely in need of a modern makeover, rather than just being a randomly picked classic.

Snake head
I know there’s one theory that Bluepoint’s secret new game is a Metal Gear Solid remake and to be honest that’s exactly what I hope it is. Despite being such a massively important game it’s actually quite difficult to get hold of in its original form and the GameCube remake has never been released to my knowledge.
The obvious problem is that Hideo Kojima would not be involved but I’m going to be controversial and say I don’t think that’s necessarily a problem. Although he clearly has a lot of talent he can be very overbearing and doesn’t seem to accept other people’s opinions, which leads to a lot of his games seeming bloated. Basically, he needs an editor but that seems to have become less and less likely the more famous he got.
I’ve read that he was actually against the original translator of Metal Gear Solid because he didn’t translate things exactly, and yet I think that’s why that game had the best script. He also made some really weird changes in the GameCube remake, none of which I think are good.
So I’d be happy for someone else to come along and just present the original game with updated graphics and gameplay, similar to Resident Evil 2 in that keeps everything good about the original but just moves it into the modern era.


Publicly unavailable
My dream remake would be Panzer Dragoon Saga. I always enjoy remakes as they’re much less common than remasters and so are usually done with a lot more care and attention. But while things like Resident Evil 2 and Final Fantasy VII Remake have aged they’re still playable in their original form and you an easily get hold of them. Panzer Dragoon Saga is impossible to play on any modern format and costs hundreds of pounds second-hand.
I’m lucky to have a copy but the graphics are so old that it really is hard to get new players interested in it. And yet it is a great game and still my favourite role-playing game ever. I would love to see a full remake with modern graphics and techniques, not only to make the game look and sound better but to simply make it available again.
Apparently the old files have all been lost so a remaster is impossible, so a remake is really the only option. I’m not hopeful but that’s my dream.


Modern control
An era that certainly needs remakes rather than remasters is the early 3D age. As someone who really enjoyed the Resident Evil 2 remake I’d love to see a number of other PS1/N64 get the same treatment. It’s not just the graphics but the controls that didn’t age well for a lot of those games. For that reason I actually have two N64 games I want remakes for: Jet Force Gemini and Glover. Both games have unique ideas even by today’s standards but both are virtually unplayable due to the controls – which was the case even at the time.
I am convinced they would make excellent modern games if they were to be built from the ground up. Obviously, I would want Rare to develop Jet Force Gemini and in an ideal world Nintendo to make Glover as a Mario type platformer with puzzles.
Glover was not universally praised (though Edge gave it 7/10) but it has a lot of potential in the right hands, while Jet Force Gemini was a lot more interesting but suffered too many gameplay flaws. I’d say Rare would enjoy another crack at it.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

Too much effort
This one seems obvious to me but the fact that Rockstar seem so uninterested in the concept I think most people have given up. You could argue that each new generation of GTA is a semi-remake of the previous ones but I’d still like to see proper remakes of the PlayStation 2 era of games. Vice City most of all, because I doubt they’ll ever go back to the ‘80s again, then San Andreas, and then GTA III (which is the most like GTA VI and V).
It seems so obvious I don’t know why it didn’t happen years ago, especially as Rockstar has done nothing new with GTA, outside updates to GTA Online, for so long. They’ve obviously got the staff, talent, and money so I guess they just don’t want to for some reason.
Seems weird given how important the games are, but then video games are always weird about their history and only seem to celebrate it when it doesn’t involve too much effort.


No requests
I’m aware that this sounds really pompous but the gaming remake I’d most like to see is no remake at all. I’m not hugely opposed to them but I’d be content if one was never announced again.
I think I’ve bought one ever, which was The Secret Of Monkey Island one on the Xbox 360.
Despite the constant stream of horror stories about worker exploitation in the industry over the last few years, man hours are ultimately still a finite resource in video game development and every one of them used to produce a remake could have been used on something new instead.
Even with something like the Resident Evil 2 remake, which objectively was a dynamite game, there’s a tinge of disappointment to it because for me it feels like Capcom putting their hands up and saying ‘we haven’t got it anymore’. Like they’ve forgotten how to build something from the ground up and get people excited about it. Where do they go once they’ve remade them all?
I accept there are shades of grey, like perhaps for storyline reasons a sequel or prequel to a game might not be feasible so the only way to feed the appetite for more that’s out there is with a remake. I also accept that some remakes have got a lot more passion behind them than others, like to bring the game to a wider audience or to right some sort of wrong from the original.
It also can’t be denied that a remake must often make a lot of financial sense because as we know, nostalgia is usually a pretty bankable commodity. They can also be a means to an end in trying to drum up fan interest in a full-blown sequel.
But ultimately, they just feel a bit lowest common denominator to me and I’d rather see more risks being taken on new things. I won’t labour the point anymore.


Better than the film
There are a lot of games that at first seem like a great idea but I end up realising that remaking them would break what made them great in the first place and that I’d rather just replay the original, warts ‘n’ all.
However, I thing Star Wars Episode I: Racer could be dragged kicking and screaming out of the ‘90s.
I wouldn’t change the mechanics much, but I would expand the track roster and embellish the number of routes around each track. I would also love to see the upgrade paths expanded.
What I really want though is a glorious ray-traced environment (audio and video) to battle your way through with all the advancements in particle effects, physics, and textures being so much further along now than then that I’d expect it to look more realistic than the film in many ways.
Antony White

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

A hint of magic
I am not overly keen on remakes or remasters of games I have enjoyed in the past. I do however like the idea of updated versions of games I missed originally.
Having never played them I have no idea if Dino Crisis or its sequels were any good but they looked interesting. A third person remake similar to the Resident Evil 2 remake seems like a no-brainer to me, dinosaurs are a great adversary and have obvious appeal. There is no other explanation as to why I played so many Turok games and (robot) dinosaurs were also my main motivation for playing Horizon Zero Dawn.
From a development perspective dinosaurs offer some advantages over human enemies. Similar to zombies they are not as intelligent as humans, so gamers are not going to be too worried about them being a tad stupid. Although unlike zombies, different types, such as velociraptors, were pretty intelligent and therefore different dinosaurs can be given different AI subroutines and different personality traits.
This way they would interact with each other in an interesting manner. I imagine something similar to how Bungie handled the Covenant in the Halo games, which helped to make those games interesting to play.
PS: Given the news of Capcom considering resurrecting dead franchises I am not sure if this counts as Inbox magic as I wrote the first draft of this email on Monday (even though I am only now sending it Friday afternoon).

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]
The small print
New Inbox updates appear twice daily, every weekday morning and afternoon. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.
You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word 4Player viewer features at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.
You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter .
MORE: Weekend Hot Topic, part 1: Mega Drive vs. SNES
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