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With the eighth generation consoles now on sale, HD Remasters are slowly becoming common practice amongst developers and publishers, and us here at Gamer Crowd decided take a trip down memory lane thinking of both games and franchises that deserve a new lease of life. So here’s the first article of Remaster, or Reboot”.  This article contains the personal views and opinions of the authors.

 

1 – Command & Conquer Red Alert  PC 1996

 

C and C RA

 

Ritchi

The original C&C Red Alert series, to me, are the best games in the whole Command And Conquer universe, besting both the Tiberium and Generals games. I can still remember the first time I got playing the original games on Playstation, woefully doing the skirmish sections totally wrong and not deploying my MCV leaving me with an abysmal army. Once getting to know how to play the game however, it quickly turned into my favourite.

I found the campaign entertaining, and the inclusion of full FMV sequences an absolute joy back in the day, having not seen them used in games before. The gameplay was fresh and exciting, and had me hooked, from the original game, Aftermath and Retaliation. The bonus Allied missions where England is overrun by giant ants was a particular highlight.

Red Alert 2 (and Yuri’s Revenge) is a game I still occasionally play to this day, and took the RA series from great to fantastic. The campaign was at times bonkers, what with time travel, massive Soviet invasion of the U.S.A, Einstein and psychic powers, but that’s what made it ultimately unforgettable and amazing. The skirmish section was given a slight twist by introducing country specific units, such as the Russian Tesla Tank, Korea Black Eagle jets, American paratroopers, and of course, Yuri.

Red Alert 3, for me at least, was where the series took a nose-dive. Perhaps I was too engrossed by RA2, but I couldn’t get into the game one bit. I can’t really point out any specific flaws since I didn’t play that much of the game, and this was during launch week circa 2008, but I know I haven’t touched the game since, and have had no desire to, until writing this section which makes me want to see if it really was as bad as I remember.

Remaster or Reboot? Reboot. Being my personal favourite universe, I would greatly love to see a reboot of the Red Alert spinoff remade, including the cheesy FMV sections, outrageous storyline and more Yuri.

 

Liam

So admittedly, I have never actually played much of the Command and Conquer series, probably about 10-15 minutes at most, however, I used to be quite an RTS gamer. I used to quite enjoy playing some LAN games against my sister. It would be quite nice to see an RTS make it back into the spotlight of gaming, as it seems to be a genre that is severly neglecting in this modern day and age. So with that said, I can’t really make much of a comment on the originals.

Remaster or Reboot? Reboot. With the RTS genre dwindling, I think it needs a new lease of life. And old classic surely has the allure to its old fanbase, and the right formula to bring some success back into the game.

 

Final Verdict: Reboot

 

 

2 – Future Cop L.A.P.D  Playstation 1998

 

Future Cop

 

Ritchi

Ah Future Cop L.A.P.D, such a classic and remarkably enjoyable game, even today. This is the game which stole the majority of my free time, or more specifically, the Precinct Assault mode. The campaign was quite enjoyable, had a few funny quips, decent gameplay and a good soundtrack, however it was the multiplayer mode which drew me in.

In this modern time, where couch co-op is seemingly extinct, firing up my PS3 with this game is almost like a breath of fresh air, despite the fact its far from new. Sure the game could do with some updated, analogue stick controls, but apart from that, the game is still as good as I remember.

Precinct Assault. Sky Captain. Red Flying Fortress Activated. These are words that bring memories flooding back, all with a cheeky smile. This game mode may have featured only 4 levels, but had 10 levels of AI difficulty to challenge, varied level designs each with its own unique look and feel, and I played it almost solidly one summer. Such a simple concept of sending your units to the enemy base to capture/win was somewhat fast paced and frantic, especially if your opponent sent out a Dreadnought and had him/herself armed with special weapon upgrades. Capturing turrets or destroying enemy units earned points which could be spent on more hovercraft units to seek out and destroy the enemy base, flying units to defend your base, capturing outposts which put your units closer to the enemy base, and the all important Flying Fortress and Dreadnought, upgraded variants of your units.

Remaster or reboot? I could swing either way on this game. On one hand I found the original amazing, so an upgrade to HD with online multiplayer would be perfect. On the other this was the only game in the series, and hasn’t been seen since, except a PSN release, so stepping into the hovertank of X1-Alpha once more would be even more perfect, with newer weapons, bigger multiplayer maps and online support. Having to pick one option, I vote for Reboot.

 

Liam

This game really brings back memories. I never actually played the full game, but I remember the demo being a blast. The split screen co-op made it great fun, and I can remember racing around the area in my transformed state. I have always had such a fascination with mech based games, starting with MechWarrior 3 on the PC. This was one of the very first games I played a demo for, but it left a real impression. Somehow, for a game of its genre, on such an old platform, it managed to make the controls feel so intuitive, and give you a great impression of control. Admittedly, with the idea of mechs and robots being quite defined by edges back then, it really gave the feeling of a realistic mech to me.

Remaster or Reboot? Reboot. I’d love to see the game given the ability to really customise your mech. Imagine being able to really customise your vehicle, from the weapons, to the type of vehicle it transforms into. Not just a police car, but possibly a tank or a bike, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The options to overload your vehicle with light or heavy weapons, choosing speed or power, and the ability to make your vehicle your own with your own paint job. I’d love to see more of the world too, from urban missions, to more of a countryside/wasteland environment. Though I’d love to take it into an MMOFPS direction, with the ability to place bounties on rogue future cops, larger scale co-op, and the potential to be the villain, leading to a large scale war. It has a lot of potential as a reboot of the original genre, or as a new genre.

 

Final Verdict: Reboot

 

 

3 – Silent Bomber Playstation 1999

 

Silent Bomber Case

 

Liam

Silent Bomber, has always been on of me favourites. Even now, I have never really seen a game like it. Admittedly, the gameplay left you very limited, as the combat was focussed on you just plating bombs to blow stuff up, but you could stack bombs, or even use different types against your foes. There was a real element of speed to it, being able to dash, you felt a sense of achievement planting a few bombs, dashing away, and detonating.

As you played the game, you earnt E-chips, to upgrade your character. Gaining the ability to purchase upgrades such as more bombs to stack and better range for planting. You had numerous ways to play, be it planting bombs as traps, or locking on to plant bombs directly onto enemies. It was nice to actually have the ability to blow up more than just enemies too. You could destroy gun emplacements, robots factories and even a few simple structures.

Remaster or Reboot? Remaster. To me, this game was really cool. It felt very arcade like, but it had a great story. The combat was fun, though at times a little repetetive. The story was spot on, and to me was really enjoyable. With todays standards, the massive graphical boost could really bring this game to life, and I would love to see this franchise rise from the ashes.

 

Ritchi

Seems I’m at a total loss to what this game is, having never played nor heard of it until now. I’ll be going purely off YouTube videos, Wikipedia and the words of my colleague with my thoughts on this title.

Silent Bomber actually sounds like a fun game. The chaining element of stacking bombs and liquid materials to create bigger explosions and earn more points is certainly an interesting concept, and I could definetly see the mechanics of this game being very fun to deploy, perhaps more so with a co-op partner or competitive multiplayer.

Remaster or Reboot? Reboot. In my opinion the advances of rendering technology since Silent Bombers release all the way back in 1999 could make for an improved, fresh take on this style of game, especially with a decent co-op experience.

 

Final Verdict: Tie

 

 

4 – Legacy Of Kain Soul Reaver Playstation/PC 1999

Soul Reaver PSX Case

 

Liam

To me, I will always feel like this game was way ahead of its time. There has been a huge rise in the love of vampires and a more fantasy demonic and mythical genres in recent years, not just in games, but in films and books too. With the rise of franchises such as Twilight and Vampire diaries, it is clear it has become the new trend. I remember being so blown away by the concept of this game back on the playstation, loving the concept of the story and the world. I got a real sense of character from Raziel, and he always seemed so cool to me.

Remaster or Reboot? Reboot. This game has real potential to capitalise on modern day trends. I would love to see Raziel further developed in his abilities, and the world to be further expanded. I have to admit I was never a fan of the spears you could throw, but the combat system could easily be overhauled. It has huge potential to be a hack and slash open world like Darksiders was. Though I was tempted to suggest a remaster, I know a reboot would really get the most from this franchise.

 

Ritchi

Perhaps the terrible thing about this game is I owned the pc version many years ago, however never even opened the box. It sat underneath my copies of Rollercoaster Tycoon and Commandoes games still pristine in its shrink wrap. Checking some youtube gameplay videos I can see why this game deserves some sort of re-release, and I wouldn’t mind firing up a copy one day. What was to be the latest game in the series, Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun, had its single player component cancelled by publisher Square Enix due to doubts of its sales predictions, its multiplayer section Nosgoth is now taking primary focus by developer Psyonix.

Checking YouTube for gameplay of Nosgoth shows what looks to be a very promising game, however my personal affinity for single player, story-driven games, means I’ll likely be giving this game a miss.

 

Remaster or Reboot? Reboot. The multiplayer direction Square Enix are taking LoK, for me, is a shame as I really enjoy the single player experiences. With games like Uncharted and The Last Of Us leading the way in story-driven games, the Legacy Of Kain series has the potential to be a real winner given the right people developing its story, and I feel Square Enix axed it too soon.

 

Final Verdict: Reboot

 

 

Well that’s it for now. Us here at Gamer Crowd will defintity revisit this topic in the future with more games we’ve been pondering over whether or not they deserve a HD lick of paint or a complete overhaul.