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Next-Gen Game Facelifts article

Gamers all have fond memories of games that amazed them when they were younger and technology was less advanced. Some of these games stand up to the test of time and are still as fun today as they were when we played them many years ago. However, some games have not aged that well, and are best left in memory. However, regardless of how well the game has aged, few of us are content to leave these gems in the past. With developers regularly reaching back and revamping old titles, we at CCC wonder which old titles would we like to see get a next-gen facelift?

D'Marcus Beatty, Co-Site Director

One game that sorely needs a next-gen update is EA's Mutant League Football. This underappreciated sports game used the Madden engine to pit teams of mutants, robots, and monsters against one another in a mix between football and war. Games were played on hazardous fields that had pits, mines, and even the vacuum of space sucking players that strayed too close to the edge of the field. There were a number of inventive and dangerous plays that involved bribing the referee, killing a biased referee, and rigging the ball to explode. Players could even be killed if repeatedly tackled.

This was a violent game years before violent games were cool. With new technology, the game could look realistic, but the humorous tone of the game would demand cartoonish visuals, although blood would and should be available. Its release should revitalize the franchise, making the announcement of Mutant League Basketball, Hockey, and Baseball a given.

Another game that I'd really like to see revamped is the Road Rash series. The Road Rash games on the Sega Genesis were insanely fun, allowing gamers to race motorcycles while fighting off other opponents with sticks, bats, and even chains. There were updated sequels, but none of them seemed to have the magic of Road Rash 2 and 3. A next gen version would include updated graphics of course, but maybe more weapons and even attack moves. EA could even take a page from Mercenaries and GTA and allow you to hijack bikes from opponents, leaping from bike to bike until you cross the finish line.

Since both of these games were created by EA, hopefully someone from the software giant will see this and put it into action instead of focusing on rehashing Madden every year.

Next-Gen Game Facelifts article

Maria Montoro, Co-Site Director

I keep thinking and trying to come up with an older game I've played and I'd like to see revamped and launched into the next generation of gaming; a few ideas have come to my head, but I come up with the same conclusion for every one of them. Is there really a good enough reason to make this game look newer? A next generation remake means primarily a graphics upgrade and the possibility to play it all over again with the game consoles that we have now. That's nice and everything; however, I think old games have a character and represent the era when they were created. Many games that have been remade, like Rampage, lost their charm when they appeared in newer consoles. Others, such as the GTA series, have turned out to be good and also profitable for the creators. Still, in most cases I think remakes just make the game lose its personality and uniqueness.

With that said, there is a game that I would enjoy if it was turned into a next generation title, as long as it was a sequel, rather than a remake: Sheep Raider. Most of you are probably thinking "What the heck is that?"

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Sheep Raider is a Looney Tunes game I discovered a few years ago and I absolutely loved it. It came out for Sony's first PlayStation, developed by Lyon House and published by Infogrames (now Atari).

Daffy Duck presents a popular TV show starring Wile E. Coyote's cousin, Ralph, who is the main character of the game. Even though he's supposedly the cousin, he looks and acts exactly like Wile. That's why this game is so much fun. Roadrunner and Wile's adventures have always been my favorite, and this game hits it right on the nail, allowing you to act and think just like good ol' Coyote would, but without the risk of falling off a cliff. You'll have to figure out how to grab a sheep from Sam's crop in order to finish each stage. While the main idea is quite simple and is repeated throughout the game, the true fun of this title resides in the cartoony, humorous events that will lead you to become the new owner of the sheep in each level. You'll find tools inside ACME's mailboxes and you'll use them in different, funny, and imaginative ways. Sometimes you will even combine the objects you found in a way that only somebody like our friend W. E. Coyote would. Of course, there are plenty of rockets, dynamite, catapults, and see-saws that capture the fun of the show beautifully.

I finished this game and felt really accomplished, proud of myself, and amused like never before with a game. If they made a sequel, which is rather impossible, they could just add more levels, new puzzles, and new objects to help Ralph Coyote be the best. That's all I would really need to buy the game again. The upgraded graphics are a given, since this game would have to be released for one of the new "three" (you know, Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii).

Unfortunately, it's not likely to ever happen, so I'll just have to wish that they make new games like Sheep Raider, with the right dose of humor and puzzling elements.

Next-Gen Game Facelifts article

Jonathan Marx, Freelance Writer

There's a ton of really good games I'd love to see brought back to life. Unfortunately, they're mostly arcade classics that don't have enough content to warrant a full release on the next generation systems. I want to see games like Qbert and Burger Time revamped and brought to the virtual console, but I don't think they'd be good candidates for a reworking and a subsequent blockbuster release. In general, old games were made in an era when story was secondary to gameplay, and simplicity was valued over complexity due to technological constraints. I don't think a game's nostalgic effect upon gamers necessarily translates into its candidacy for a remake. The games of old that did have depth of content have already been remade and then remade again. For example, Metroid, Metal Gear, The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros., Sonic, and Castlevania, to name a few, have all been remade several times because they had either good stories or great characters that lent themselves nicely to modernization. Gameplay is actually irrelevant and is subject to massive change. If a game has been left in the past it's probably for the best.

If I were a developer I guess I would go with those games that piqued my interest as a kid for reasons other than just how they played. Some games that could be worth a second look would be Shinobi, Rygar, Altered Beast, Golden Axe, Contra, Pitfall, Heavy Metal, Kung Fu and PunchOut! All of these games have interesting elements that could be used in a second telling. Of course, these games would have to undergo massive changes in order to find success with the modern gamer. Keeping a game true to the original is one thing but allowing it to stifle creativity is a major misstep. This is evidenced by games such as Contra and Pitfall which were re-released but never really modernized. Their gameplay was left almost wholly intact and so they were less successful because they were old hat. There was nothing new to hold our interest. If some of the great games of old are brought back but are only given a graphic polishing, their developers are in for some trouble.

If I had to narrow my choice to just one game I would have to go with PunchOut! It was always very fun. It had great characters and would lend itself nicely to the Wii. Revamping the graphics, expanding the career mode, developing more characters, adding in online play as well as player vs. player and motion controls would make for a sweet remake indeed. This is the kind of attention that must be paid to an old title if success is to be found in the present gaming culture.

Next-Gen Game Facelifts article

Adam Brown, Freelance Writer

While growing up in the 80s, there were a plethora of great games. Or at least they were great for their time. The biggest problem with video games is that many games that you enjoyed in your youth do not withstand the test of time very well. As the industry progresses and games keep getting better, going back and playing a game that you loved ten or fifteen years ago can sometimes be a sobering experience. Usually when this occurs, you realize that you liked its gameplay but the older controls and graphics really detract from the overall experience that you now expect from a video game. This is why many games receive updates and remakes on newer consoles. Fans still love these old games but they want them to be at least on par with the current state of video games. Unfortunately, not all of the great games of the past have gotten this chance to rise like a phoenix from the ashes of their older, almost difficult to play, earlier forms.

The most prevalent case of this, at least for me, is with the game Archon. When I was young, my parents bought me an Atari XE instead of a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). This initially infuriated me since the NES was huge at the time and had a ton of great games that I wanted to play. Once I got over the anger, I realized that I just loved good video games. The XE had a good supply of great games as well including Crystal Castles, Defender, Missile Command (built in), Robotron 2048, Super Mario Bros. (now included in virtually every GBA Mario title), and, perhaps my favorite, Archon.

Archon was a game that perfectly mixed strategy and combat. It was basically a top-down chess game that, when two pieces occupied the same square, had the pieces battle in an arena to see which would be victorious. These pieces consisted of mythical and medieval characters like knights, dragons, banshees, and golems. Any piece could win in a fight but the weaker characters were harder to win with. This was a great game that I spent countless hours playing and still revisit to this day.

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