What video games would you like to see make a comeback?
At a Namco Bandai Tokyo Game Show event, Masaaki Hoshino, producer of the SoulCalibur series, said SoulCalibur 2 HD coming to the Wii U "isn't out of the question." That's awesome. Sales of the game on PSN and XBLA, and fan outcry, will help determine if the game will come to the Wii U. Now, I reacted not quite as positively as a majority of the gaming community when we learned yesterday that some popular games from Wii Sports were coming to the Wii U -- complete with HD graphics and online features -- for $10 each. Love the idea, hate the price. Nintendo and developers, as well as gamers, should wholly embrace popular titles from past coming to the Wii U. SoulCalibur 2 would be a welcome addition. I'd play the hell out of that.
There's a wealth of opportunity to make HD remakes of games that are, most likely, not going to ever get a sequel -- not just for the Wii U, but for any console. These are just ones that I'd personally like to play in HD glory. I'll try to justify each decision, but odds are if you didn't like these games before, my justification won't matter that much to you.
1. Gladius - 2003 - LucasArts, Activision
This is one of my favorite games of all time. I can't find exact sales numbers, but everything I can find says that the game sold poorly. The game's Wikipedia page says Official Xbox Magazine called it one of the "best Xbox games most people never played." A compilation of critic's review scores of Gladius shows predominantly really positive scores, and the game's average Metacritic scores sit at 82, 78 and 79 for GameCube, PlayStation 2 and Xbox, respectively.
Gladius has the play build a stable of gladiators and then battle other schools of opposing gladiators for fame. There was multiplayer, multiple classes, experience, quests, and gear, and it employed a swing meter to go with its turn-based tactics.
It already lived on a Nintendo console, so it's not a far stretch that a HD remake -- or hell, just putting it on the eShop -- could find its way to the Wii U. Also, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are going to have strong launches, but there will undoubtedly be a dry spell of good games at some point after launch. Gladius in HD could fill in nicely as a retro title on Xbox Live and PSN.
Where it gets tricky is how it would come to life. Gladius was published by both LucasArts and Activision, and LucasArts titles are now owned by Electronic Arts. My guess is that since LucasArts also developed the game, that EA would now have the rights to it. If it needs to be co-published again, I doubt Activision and EA would work together. Also, can anyone see this as an iOS/Android mobile device game?
2. Shenmue and Shenmue 2 (Obviously) - 1999 and 2001 - Sega
You had to see this one coming. I've come to accept that the gaming world will never get a Shenmue 3 to complete the saga. If it does happen, I'll be exuberantly surprised, but it's not going to happen. So please, Sega, Microsoft, whoever wants to, pay what you need to and secure the rights to make and HD version of Shenmue and Shenmue 2. This is way overdue. Shenmue sits at an 88 on Metacritic, while the sequel has a score of 80. With both games, the average user score sits between 9.4 and 9.7.
As one of the greatest game creators of all time, Yu Suzuki crafted a masterful open world adventure game. Shenmue was a game ahead of its time, but it has a strong cult following and a really passionate fanbase. While the first game was only on Dreamcast, the sequel was on both the Dreamcast and Xbox.
Shenmue is a magical experience -- from it story and weather system, to the characters and wealth of minigames. Could it come to live on consoles once again? You always have to have hope.
3. Brute Force - 2003 - Microsoft Games Studios
Brute Force, the 2003 third-person shooter developer by Digital Anvil for the Xbox, was a hugely hyped game. It didn't quite live up to that hype, but it was still fun, especially when you and three of your friends got together to play the four-player co-op campaign.
Out of 45 congregated reviews on Metacritic, 32 of which are positive, Brute Force has an average rating of 77, with the user score just a little higher at 80. Still, the game broke Xbox sales records for first day and first week sales, beating out Halo. Yeah, I didn't believe that either. It's a fun action-shooter, but is it the tactical squad-based game we were promised? No.
At the very least, Brute Force has a place in Xbox history, and an HD downloadable version -- either on the still-supported 360 or on the Xbox One -- would be a nice nostalgic addition.
4. Battle Arena Toshinden 2 - 1996 - Playmates Interactive
Battle Arena Toshinden -- released in 1996 on the Sony PlayStation -- was not a great fighting game, but it was fun as hell. Maybe it's because I'm not amazing at fighting games (I simply hold my own), but I managed to win 88 straight games against my brother and cousin one night. Yes, I still remember that; it's one of my proudest moments.
It was a simple 3D fighting game with simple combos, but I was good at it. Fo, Mondo, Gaia -- I could play 'em all. Oddly enough, even more fun than winning was reenacting what each fighter would say in Japanese when they won.
And that 90s intro... remember when almost every game had real people in its intro video?
What games do you want?
Those are my choices, whether you agree with them or not. But what do you want to see? What three games would you absolutely buy if they got HD remakes? Do you yearn for some not-so-great fighters like Masters of Teras Kasi, Shaq Fu and Street Fighter: The Movie? Or would you rather enjoy a high-definition Ocarina of Time? Let us know in the comments below.