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Let's see an update!

Next-Gen Game Facelifts article

I would give almost anything to see this game get a modern day update. While there have been a couple of games that were similar like Wrath Unleashed and chess kombat in Mortal Kombat Deception, they either didn't play well or just didn't recapture the same feeling that was present in Archon. I would like to see this new Archon game released exclusively on the Xbox 360 because I don't want motion control involved in any way. I would also like it to have at least an online versus mode and perhaps even some downloadable content to keep the game feeling fresh.

This new Archon game should be fully 3-D on the chessboard and in combat. This would add quite a bit more depth to the game, specifically in the combat sequences. It should also include a wider variety of pieces/characters to choose from. More medieval and mythical characters could be included as well as some more modern styled combatants. They would still need to be balanced equally by position but this would really spice up the experience. Players should also be able to customize their own set of pieces. Being able to choose your own characters for each piece (rook, bishop, etc) would be an excellent addition. This way you could completely tailor your strategy around the pieces that you have chosen. Players could further customize their experience with downloadable characters and arenas over Xbox live.

Archon was a great game for its time and really deserves a new iteration. While I still love the original, I would be ecstatic to see it updated and brought out for the Xbox 360. If the new version was made as well as the original was for its time, I really think it could be a huge title. I would also like to see new gamers be able to enjoy a game that brought me so much joy when I was younger. Until then, I will continue to dust off the Atari XE occasionally and will continue to keep my fingers crossed.

Next-Gen Game Facelifts article

Matthew Walker, Freelance Writer

Next month, Lara Croft is getting a face lift. More specifically, the first Tomb Raider that was on the PSOne, is getting a face lift and a nose job. Sgames have been re-released to utilize the newest technology and have provided a fresh update for the new generation of gamers. What about the other games that were not as high profile as the recent remakes? Which of those deserve remakes? There is definitely one that springs to mind - Parasite Eve. There was not a game that I can think of that keep me glued to my PlayStation more than this title when it was first released.

The story revolved around Aya Brea. Aya is a NYPD rookie attending an opera at Carnegie Hall on Christmas Eve. During the show, a catastrophic fire breaks out. We are treated to a CG intro that shows several brutal deaths. Aya and the actress, Melissa Pearce, are the only two unharmed by the fires. Aya confronts Melissa, she is told that her mitochondria need more time to develop and then Melissa disappears backstage. After a short history on Melissa, we find out that she calls herself Eve and a few other mentions of the mitochondria in her cells. After cornering Eve, she mutates into a flying abomination of her former self and disappears into the wintery night.

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From this point on, we set out on our journey to bring Eve down and, along the way, discover a few interesting things about the lead character Aya. A sequel even followed the title. Mixing the RPG element that Squaresoft was known for and blending strong survival horror elements that were sweeping the market at the time, it became a sleeper hit almost instantly. There are a couple of things that could be approached differently now. For starters, they could combine both games into one. Doing this would intertwine the story even more so than it was before. Now they would be able to drop more hints in the first half of the game about the second half.

An update in graphics would undoubtedly be expected and what better timing. With systems like the PS3 and Xbox 360 on the market, Aya and her gruesome enemies would get a nice makeover. Tweaking the enemies a little would present an experience that rivaled the initial response to the title. In several games today, lighting and shadows play a huge part in the psychological aspect of the survival horror games. Updating Parasite Eve in this manner would surely have some gamers staying up all hours of the night wondering if the mitochondria in the animals around them had gone rogue.

As for gameplay, that is a whole new ball of yarn. Originally, from a third-person perspective, the remake would give options of either the original viewpoint or first-person. Of course, now that I think of it, why not use the Resident Evil 4 vantage point? It worked really well there and I think it would here. They could also change up the weapon changing schematic, as well, to make it easier. For online game play, they could use the Chrysler Building option from the first one. Instead of one player climbs the floors, you would be able to take on several players on each floor, and whoever had the highest score after the round would move onto the next floor. Each floor would have the best of the last floor competing to move on. At the top would be the best player of the whole building and if you make it to the top and defeat the player, then you become the new king or queen. How long could you hold on to it?

Next-Gen Game Facelifts article

Justin Conte, Freelance Writer

Of all the games in need of a next-gen update, Final Fantasy Tactics tops my list. Some may argue that the title is getting a sequel on the DS, but many seem to forget the series began, and was at its most glorious, on the original PlayStation console.

Final Fantasy Tactics did the Strategy RPG in a way yet to be rivaled by any comer, and that glory needs a new installment. There's still room for improvement though. The addition of new jobs would be a welcome change. Even more compelling would be the idea of taking my characters online to battle against other Tactical addicts. The most compelling addition for me though, would be a co-operative mode where a number of players would have to combine tactics and work together to defeat the opposition.

The gameplay itself could use a few tweaks. For one thing, give me access to all the job classes the game has to offer. Make it difficult as you would like, but don't have it so there is no possible way for my main character to become a Holy Knight if I wish. It's disappointing toward the endgame to have the main character be overshadowed most of the other characters. By the end, Ramza was more of a burden, only in the battles because he was required. Another addition I'd like to see would be dual-class characters. Allow me to combine powers as I choose, so if I'm willing to master both the Firaga Spell and the Knights sword, I can channel both into a Fire Blade ability. Such addition would add greatly to the variety and strategy of the game, and keep players coming back for more.

Final Fantasy Tactics deserves to be more than a simple handheld title, and this writer truly hopes Square eventually gets their act together, allowing the series to continue along the glorious path the original paved. Until then, this remains the sole PlayStation title among my library to still see regular game-time.

Next-Gen Game Facelifts article

Amanda Kondolojy, Freelance Writer

One series that I would like to see adapted for the Nintendo Wii is the Pokmon Stadium series. Now I know that there is a veritable plethora of Pokmon games out there, and some might charge that they're all the same, but I would like to think that they're all pretty different. And I have never encountered a Pokmon game that was more fun then the two Pokmon stadium games for the N64.

Sure, the gameplay was really simple, but that was part of its charm. You didn't have to be a die-hard Pokmon fan and know all the vital stats on different Pokmon to enjoy the game. You could be a Pokmon novice and still play a great game. All you really had to do was pick Pokmon, develop a strategy, and test your skills. It was a great "pick up and play" type of game that was wonderful if you just had a hard day and wanted to come home and de-stress. In addition to the battle mode, there was also a mini-game mode where you could go through mini-game tournaments with your friends. While this may not sound cool or inventive now, at the time it really was. Pokmon stadium was released in Japan a year before there ever was a Mario party. And Wario Ware wouldn't come out until the Nintendo's next console appeared, the GameCube. Pokmon Stadium really found a winning formula in its brief time on the N64, and it's discontinuation to the GameCube was highly unfortunate.

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