By the time you reach the bottom of this feature page, we'll be nine games and franchises into our Resident Revival feature. To be fair, we're obviously not the first publication to run any such list or idea, but in doing some research, we can say with confidence we have not only the most eclectic list ever-produced, but the most believable.
It's easy to just appeal to popular thinking. There are certain games that just speak to a specifically large audience across the board, but we wanted to avoid that pitfall by thinking long and hard about what would actually make sense now, or into the future. It's one thing to have a wishlist -- we all have fond memories of some game that made a massive impact on our gaming past, but it's quite another to actually work out what, in modern context, would make sense.
With that in mind, we hope you've been enjoying this list so far. There are only six games to go across two days, and as we've promised, we'll also be collating your own votes and suggestions in a reader feedback supplemental feature, but for today, the third day of Resident Revival, here are the latest three games we feel would transition to the modern, or future, age of gaming:
Original Platforms: Amiga, Apple IIGS, DOS (then infinitely ported)
Aside from the original platforms mentioned in the header, Another World has been ported to a huge number of platforms including, but not limited to: SNES, MegaDrive, 3DO, Mega-CD, GameBoy Advance, Atari ST and even modern moible devices.
I have fond memories of walking into a Tandy back in the day where the opening cinematic to Another World was being demonstrated on the latest hardware as not only a graphical and cinematic marvel, but also an audio beast. Now you can play the game on iOS and Android.
Still, what Another World did for games was introduce a player-extension component, in that the game’s protagonist was your every-man (scientist) and no real hero by definition, long before Gordon Freeman, and his transportation to another world
essentially transported the player there. The alien he befriends early on spoke a language we, collectively, didn’t understand, yet our plights converged. This other world
was a dangerous place, and we both had to escape -- no matter the cost.
Despite the core gameplay component being that of a 2D side-scrolling adventure title, limited weapons, alternating fire-modes required to beat equally-equipped enemies and a number of environmental puzzles (the rolling ditch being especially awesome) left the game a stand-out in the crowd, regardless of its of cinematic flair (probably its most lauded feature at the time). Graphically it was an incredible game to look at, but best of all was the 2D, drab-coloured realisation of the alien planet we were sent to -- the game’s art-direction still gives me chills to this day, and overall, its importance in adventure games moving forward cannot go understated.
Reason for Revival:
Like yesterday’s Loom posting, a modern imagining of Another World would need to be limited in its “shooter” elements. Too many games today empower players in ultimate ways. Defining a proper survival experience like the one felt in Another World would be paramount in its revival, and the game would need to utilise more lateral puzzle design and solution mechanics to remain true to Chahil’s original opus.
Moreover, on a visual plane we’d need to be looking at an utterly alien world where everything, the ground included, could be perceived as dangerous territory. The alien lifeforms would need to be more alien than human, and that language barrier that was experienced in the original game would need to be expanded on as a proper gameplay system (think ICO, but even more in-depth). You could take alien environments to new levels as well with various gravity, space-time and matter exploitations that would challenge what players know about our world -- truly crafting a new Another World
Original Platforms: N64
Blast Corps was built on the idea of destruction, where the goal was to essentially clear the path for an out-of-control truck bearing a nuclear missile that would literally wipe out an entire civilisation the instant it touched a single cubic centimetre of concrete. Seriously, this was a fragile piece of machinery, where even a small wooden crate could spell the end of mankind -- which was very fitting for a videogame.
Blast Corps would actually be Rare's first release on the N64 (along with Killer Instinct Gold) after the major success they'd had with Donkey Kong Country on SNES. They would go on to make some of the most memorable games on the system as an official second-party developer for Nintendo including: GoldenEye 007, Diddy Kong Racing, Banjo-Kazooie (1 & 2), Jet Force Gemini, Donkey Kong 64, Perfect Dark, Mickey's Speedway USA, Star Fox Adventures and Conker's Bad Fur Day. As well as a number of GameBoy and GameBoy Advance releases.
So in order to clear the path for this runaway apocalypse, players took control of various vehicles ranging from dump trucks (with exceptionally difficult controls that became a pain to master), to motorcycles with attached rocket launchers, to even giant robots that could perform somersaults with enough power to destroy entire office buildings. On concept alone Blast Corps was an intriguing premise and one that came long before the name Rare was synonymous with N64 greatness, but its execution was absolutely stellar.
The genius of Blast Corps was in the amount of variety it seamlessly offered players through the blend of time trials, racing, puzzle, action, and some truly great secrets and easter eggs. As players tried to beat their times to obtain gold medals through increasingly difficult levels that more often than not required split second reflexes, the reward for doing so was essentially the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, with new interstellar levels opening up on different planets that featured completely different gravity that altered each vehicle’s core mechanics and physics -- which was a massive boon for the game at the time.
In essence this meant that the game truly rewarded the player’s perseverance, each step of the way, and even when you thought it was over, the entire game was mirrored in addition to platinum medals being revealed that served to both lengthen the game indefinitely while additionally causing premature hair loss, and more than a few broken controllers.
Reason for Revival:
There’s clearly a market for a game like Blast Corps, which was released on a console without any networking capabilities and was built around obtaining medals and rewards for doing the impossible, and beating times that over and over again initially seemed impossible. Clearly the social aspect of modern games will add a competitive dimension to the core game on offer, with players vying for Leaderboard spots, and potentially playing against other player ghosts to try and shave those milliseconds off each run.
But the true reason why Blast Corps should see a resurgence comes directly from the advancements in modern gaming engines and their handling of physics and explosions. By implementing modern destruction models and vehicle physics, even the very same Blast Corps will feel fresh which will instantly add a layer of unpredictability and an extra level of excitement. So, pretty please Rare, stop playing around with Kinect and bring us a new Blast Corps.
Smuggler’s Run (Series)
Original Platforms: PS2, GameCube
Before being acquired by Rockstar as Rockstar San Diego, the studio was known as Angel Studios. They've also been pinpointed as one of the main pioneers of open-world racing thanks to the classic Midtown Madness. And while the Midnight Club games are awesome, it's the truly open (in a racing sense) Smuggler's games that brought them to this list today. What they're working on now, is anyone's guess...
Smuggler’s Run was developed by the studio now known as Rockstar San Diego. You know, the dudes who made that little Red Dead Redemption game.
At any rate, Smuggler’s Run was your typical Rockstar mature-minded, criminal-leaning type of game where you played, oddly enough, a smuggler, doing border runs in a range of vehicles across massive, expansive levels. Your goal was to deliver your illegal goods to their destination while avoiding border patrol, other smugglers and even the CIA.
What made the game so endearing was its fast-paced driving action, excellent car physics and seat-of-your-pants pursuits. Missions did tend to get a bit repetitive, which was a shame, despite their being three iterations of the game which originally launched for PlayStation 2 in 2000, yet despite this, the sheer fun of driving, pursuit, exploration and basically breaking the law was too good a job to pass up. This, married with the large environments made the game a must-play for driving and arcade game fans alike, and cemented the niche idea in the annals of great driving games forever.
Reason for Revival:
Red Dead Redemption and Midnight Club should be reason enough to sell anyone on this concept. Imagine dusty, desert planes with the RAGE engine and its amazing physics and myriad vehicles to deal with those environments and the emergent pursuits we should all be envisioning.
Obviously it would be Rockstar handling the game again, and as long as they left cut-scenes and any attempt at a deep story out of the experience, this would be an absolute winner. We can also envision horseback missions (ala Red Dead and Euphoria), dynamic weather that changed each environment, and the previously mentioned emergent gameplay with a marriage between world ecology, NPCs, rival gangs and, obviously, multiplayer similar to that of Red Dead Redemption and its Lobby-based system that is still one of the most important additions to multiplayer of recent times.
In fact, after saying all that, it’s amazing this hasn’t happened yet. C’mon Rockstar, pull your socks up.
So once again we've wrapped another day with another three games. How do you think Day Three fared? Don't agree? Let us know. Agree? Let us know. Have better suggestions? LET US KNOW!
You can catch Day One here
and Day Two here
, and remember to check back tomorrow for title's 10 through 12. Share this, talk about it, just get involved.
To be continued...