Lovers PlayStation in general and Sony’s first console, in particular, they are living a dream that they would hardly have believed a few years ago. And is that all those players who were teenagers when the first PlayStation came out (PS1, PSX, PSone …), they are now an age when nostalgia is a very powerful component. Companies know this, and they’re giving us remakes of great titles from the late ’90s.
The last one was Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2. A compilation that Activision will take out of the manga, which will arrive on PS4, Xbox One, and PC next September, and which will bring the two original games of this magnificent – and unfairly forgotten – saga with a remodeling worthy of the current times. Although, as you may already know, both games will bring much more than a graphic review, since they will count with the same content as those and many others.
However, we can find examples of all kinds in recent years. Since Sony’s own games like MediEvil, even other titles closely associated with PSX but that had been developed by other companies, such as Resident Evil 2 or Final Fantasy VII. And best of all, we’ve had remakes of all kinds. Some more similar to what a remaster would normally be, with a development similar to that of the original titles, such as could be the Crash and Spyro trilogies (also from Activision). And others, with the ability to remain faithful on the one hand, but offer different experiences at the same time. Without going any further, the RE2 Remake itself and also FF VII Remake.
But here the question is … have we already seen everything? It is evident that in the future remakes will continue to arrive (of the two types, in addition). However, nobody knows what they will be, on what platforms they will arrive, or what the companies’ approach will be like. Therefore, today we want to travel back in time, remember those mythical times of the first PlayStation, and choose a total of 10 games that we think to deserve such a remake. as it has happened with all the mentioned previously. And furthermore, we will try to explain how we would like them to be focused (or how we think they can be better suited to them). Obviously, many other games will be left out, but we invite you to also tell us about your personal list, either through comments or on social networks. Can you come with us?
Alundra, also known as The Adventures of Alundra is one of those titles that they have become a cult game. Comparisons are very easy. And many have called it “The PlayStation Zelda”. And yes, it actually makes a lot of sense, because the similarities are more than reasonable (even in the aspect of the protagonist himself). But if we were to stay alone on that it would be a serious mistake. And those who have played it and who have exploited it well know it. Because Alundra is a real gem at all levels.
It offers the great virtues of the Zelda in 2D as A Link to the Past, as a huge, coherent map, full of secrets, charismatic characters, and backtracking. And also dungeons of enormous quality and very numerous as well. But it also contributes something that makes this game something unique: a very mature and extraordinary plot. We are Alundra, a boy who has the ability to enter the dreams of others. And by the chance of life, we are going to stop at a town (Inoa), where its citizens are being ravaged by a curse. Your nightmares are more real than ever: they can die in them.
The concept is simple, but the execution is brilliant. All Inoa characters have great charisma. And there is hardly a secondary that does not have prominence throughout the game. And the game dares to touch on subjects as profound as death, religion (sects, demons …) or love. And it does it brilliantly and with one of the best translations – almost poetic – that a video game has ever had. The icing on the cake is marvelous and unforgettable Kohei Tanaka’s soundtrack, as well as dungeons with sparkling puzzles and spectacular bosses.
We could talk for hours and hours of this game. But … why does he deserve a remake at this point? The answer is simple in this case: still an exclusive PlayStation title. And it is not easy to find it in its PAL Spain version, at a good price, and with the included map. Also, the Store version is USA Import, so it is completely in English. In any case, the clearest example of how this remake could be approached is found in the wonderful The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening on Nintendo Switch. That is, a remake that retains the same playable development and the same 2D aesthetics (the game had a lot of depth as well), but that adds small playable innovations that make it more accessible in topics such as inventory. Even you could add some extra dungeons, collectibles, or minigames for all types. Ultimately, it’s the kind of game that, even if a simple Final Fantasy VIII Remastered-style remasters is to come, people would buy.
2. Gex trilogy
In this case, the comparison is more than evident. If Crash Bandicoot or Spyro have been able to update their trilogies, Why couldn’t gex do the same? Platforms are back in fashion and so are anthropomorphic animals. Even more so if they are “cool” style, which at that time was worn a lot. Crystal Dynamics may be very busy right now, but Square Enix would do well to order a company a new version of the three titles in this saga.
On the one hand, the first Gex, which is the only one that had identical versions on other platforms than PlayStation. Curiously, it is one of the star titles of the extinct 3DO. And you can also find it on the PC. In addition, it is one of the most special (and the most retro), since its development is totally 2D, with mechanics and style very similar to that seen in the Donkey Kong Country trilogy on SNES. It is also a very demanding game and with an exquisite difficulty curve.
Very different are the following two. First, Gex: Enter the Gecko. A game that already follows in the wake of other 3D titles of the time, like Spyro itself, and which, while retaining many of the original’s hallmarks, also offers a slightly different development. It has several levels of very different settings and the way to collect the remote controls of each phase (something like the stars in Super Mario 64) it is also very original. Humor is still his great hallmark. Especially with the “adult” comments that dropped the good of Gex. Fortunately, they were not translated and, when we were children, we did not understand them all. This was also released on Nintendo 64 and GBC, although they were somewhat different versions of the original. Especially the laptop one.
And finally, there is Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko. The last of the original trilogy and also of the saga, after all. It was a very nonstop title compared to Gex 2, but it also added a lot more variety in development. Very much in the style of the change between Crash 2 and Crash 3. Basically, because a series of costumes for the character was introduced as well as a lot of vehicles. To this day it is still highly recommended for platform lovers who believe that they have already seen everything. Of course, the new trilogy would look great if the two 3D games were remade from scratch, as has been the case with Spyro and Crash by Activision. And it could also mean a new starting point to give you a second chance a character that had a lot of potentials and that quickly faded. Incidentally, all three are available in the European Store and with PAL Spain versions.
3. Medal of Honor + Underground
Another company that has been shown very interested in the development of remasters and remakes has been Electronic Arts. And although it has generally been based on updating titles from the previous generation to the current one (from PS3 / 360 to PS4 / One), it has also already dared with something older. In this case, with the revision of the Command & Conquer saga. But… How about the great Medal of Honor? That saga that in its day could rival Call of Duty. That FPS franchise that was able to make our hair stand on end with a cinematographic staging and really spectacular.
Now that, without a doubt, it is in the doldrums and has been completely replaced by Battlefield, we think that the best way to recover it would be precisely by recovering the work already done with two of his best deliveries. Curiously the first ones. Both exclusive to PSX (although Underground had a portable version for GBA). We know it is a difficult task because there is many license issues (Spielberg, music by Michael Giacchino), but it would be fantastic.
What did they contribute to the genre? A lot of things. Input, A novel AI, with enemies that acted very intelligently, advising colleagues, taking cover … In addition, both were very realistic games and that recreated World War II in a very faithful way. We could even shoot the enemies’ helmet and take it off, with brutal animations. Also, those were the times when there was no checkpoint everywhere, no automatic regenerations. You had to heal yourself with objects from the stage and that made the experience was even more realistic.
In addition, both games had quite fun multiplayer modes that, updated, could get to work today too. Even if it was with bots. On the other hand, they were quite long games, replayable thanks to multiple secrets, and very well worked at all levels. It’s a shame that today’s shooters focus more on service-based and online gaming, as there were times when they would go out titles as exceptional as this without creating open worlds and without the need, either, to create a constant hallway feeling. Masterly. None of them is available in the Store, by the way.