These Sega Genesis games deserve the Castle of Illusion treatment
With Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse and DuckTales Remastered as two highly anticipated remakes that are giving kids of the 80s tears of joy, there's so much potential for nostalgic HD remakes. We already made a list of Disney classics that deserve to get the HD treatment, so I'll leave Disney games off out of this article – even though I'm a firm believer that Mickey Mania and The Lion King deserved more than honorable mentions. If you're screaming “Where's Aladdin and Rescue Rangers?” check out that article.
As a gamer who spent a lot of my childhood with a Sega Genesis, I have a soft spot in my heart for more than a few of those games. The following list of Genesis games more than deserve HD remakes, and I'm sure more than a few gamers would agree.
X-Men 2: Clone Wars (1995)
I spent my Saturday mornings doing two things: watching the X-Men animated TV series and playing X-Men 2: Clone Wars on the Sega Genesis. While the first X-Men game (released in 1993) was good, Clone Wars improved every aspect of the first game.
Everyone I knew owned this game. The 16-bit characters, when combined with the amazing backgrounds and levels, really popped, much more than those of the 1993 game. Controls were tight, there were great playable characters, and the platforming and action could not be beat by any other superhero game of the time.
With HD graphics and an improvement to the already good soundtrack, X-Men 2: Clone Wars could bring the X-Men back to video game glory. The game was already one of the most balanced games of its time, so with some tweaking to the levels – and maybe adding a few – Clone Wars could be a really special HD remake.
And it had Gambit. I freakin' love Gambit.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist (1992)
There have been a lot of great Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Games. Out of the Shadows from Red Fly Studios and Activision looks to continue the TMNT legacy when it releases this summer. But one of the most fun Turtles games I've had the pleasure to play is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist on the Sega Genesis.
The Hyperstone Heist was a really good adaptation of the TMNT TV show it was based on. It wasn't as amazing as Turtles in Time, but that was arguably the best TMNT game ever made. Since Turtles in Time got a remake in 2009 for Xbox LIVE and PlayStation Network, I'm thinking it's only fair that Hypterstone Heist get the HD remake treatment soon. It wouldn't be smart to do this right now with Out of the Shadows releasing soon, but in about a year, I could TMNT: The Hyperstone Heist as a nice downloadable title for Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii U.
Tiny Toon Adventures: ACME All-Stars (1994)
Best sports game of all-time? Definitely not. But it's time the Tiny Toons get a little recognition again. The truth is Tiny Toon Adventures: ACME All-Stars was a fun little sports title from Konami starring Buster Bunny, Babs Bunny, Plucky Duck, Hamton J. Pig, Montana Max, Elmyra Duffy, Shirley the Loon, Fifi La Fume, Calamity Coyote, Little Beeper, Furrball and Dizzy Devil.
The sports included basketball, soccer, bowling, Monty bashing (which is just like Whack-A-Mole), and an obstacle race. Players were able to put together their teams from these characters, and there were different courts and fields to play on. Tiny Toon Adventures may be forgotten by a lot of people – and be unknown to a lot of gamers – but so was DuckTales. HD graphics and fun gameplay could make Tiny Toon Adventures popular again.
Demolition Man (1995)
As much as I wanted to put the True Lies video game up here, the truth is I played a lot more of Demolition Man. Now, there have been a lot of bad video games based on movies, but Demolition Man was a nice little action game with run-and-gun gameplay. There were two different types of stages – a side-view platformer-type and a top-down shooter view. In both, the controls were really good for their time, and players were able to fire their guns in eight directions.
Was Demolition Man an amazing movie? No. It was a fun, better-than-average sci-fi action flick with Sylvester Stallone hunting down a blonde Wesley Snipes. But the game captured the movie almost perfectly – from the action and levels to some of the comedic elements and lines. “Bad aim, blondie!”
And the game keeps track of your MDKs every level. Murder, Death, Kill.
Comix Zone (1995)
I have nothing but good memories of Comix Zone. In its time, the gameplay, graphics and soundtrack were all amazing. Yeah, it was a little hard, but Comix Zone had the “it” factor. The bright colors and comic book feel were so damn charming. It felt like you were actually playing inside a comic book.
The mix of action and platforming was really solid, and even though the game was a little short and at times really difficult, the game was so so much fun that you didn't really care.
There have been multiple ports of the game in the past few years. In 2007, it was released on the Wii's Virtual Console, and in 2009 it was released for Xbox LIVE Arcade. In 2010 and 2011, Comix Zone was made available for Xbox 360, PS3 and Steam as part of the Sonic Ultimate Genesis Collection and SEGA Vintage Collection. None of these featured HD graphics though.
With a graphical update, and maybe choosing a more modern soundtrack that's still in line with the original, Comix Zone could move from cult status to must-have downloadable release.
Star Trek: The Next Generation “Echoes from the Past” (1994)
I was semi-Trekkie as a kid. My dad watched the original Star Trek series. I've seen all of the movies and watched a bit of TNG, DS9 and Voyager. I love the J.J. Abrams Star Trek films. But the first Star Trek game I played was Star Trek: The Next Generation “Echoes from the Past” on the Sega Genesis.
Playing the game as a 10-year-old, I was beyond frustrated at times. I don't think I ever beat it. But I remember thinking that this was the closest thing to an accurate Star Trek game that could ever exist. There were space battles, diplomacy, away missions and space exploration. I could access Conn, communication, engineering, the transporter room and the main computer.
I've played numerous Star Trek games since, but none of them have left their mark on me like the Genesis game did. Was it a perfect game? No, definitely not. But as an HD remake – complete with some tinkering to the controls and the away missions/space combat – this would probably become the undisputed best Star Trek game ever. And who doesn't want to see the HD polish of a sophisticated Patrick Stewart, or the undeniable seduction of Jonathan Frakes?