Gaming Nexus' Picks For Remaking One Game

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posted 9/27/2006 by The GN Staff
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Charles Husemann: Combat

There's a perfectly good Duke Nukem Forever joke here, I'm choosing to go with the Atari 2600 pack-in game Combat.  I know what you're thinking, that's one of the worst Atari 2600 games ever and that there's a reason they gave it away for free for a reason.  For those of you who have never played a console with less than two buttons, Combat was a small collection of games that had you fighting other players in tanks and planes.  The games where very simplistic and usually only lasted a few minutes.

Combat

I'd make the collection a quickie style set of games like Warioware and HOTPXL with the catch that they are multiplayer.  You and up to three other people would select one to three games that will be put into a game deck.



Dan Keener: Qix
When the question was first posed of what classic arcade game you would like to see re-made, a list a mile long popped into my head.  After pairing it down to the likes of Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr, Dragon's Lair, Jungle Hunt, Q-bert and TRON, I finally settled on the 1981 Taito coin-operated drawing game of Qix.

Qix

It was a simple concept.  Draw enough lines to close off 75% of the screen at a slow (double) or fast speed and get points.  All the while, trying to dodge the pixilated "Qix" and the two "sparx" just waiting to destroy your marker.  While it doesn't seem like it would hold your attention or be much of a challenge, back in the day it did both (and ate many quarters as well).

Qix was released to the Playstation 2 and Xbox platforms in 2006 as part of the Taito Legends 2 disk, but I'm thinking of a re-make similar to the Xbox Live Arcade title Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved. You would be able to play the original game and an updated version to take advantage of High Definition and 3-Dimensional graphics.



Lydia Graslie: Monkey Magic

One game that I loved and still do love with an unnatural passion is Monkey Magic, released in the latter part of 1999 for PS1. This was a simple 2d platformer with a funky old-school kung-fu movie flavor and enough cheese to run Wisconsin's economy for seven years. The story was based off of a classic Chinese literature piece called Journey to the West(this was also used as the plot basis for the Dragon Ball anime series). Except instead of having humans as the protagonists, they used monkeys. Which is awesome.

Monkey Magoc

The reason this game excelled was because it executed simple concepts well. You ran, jumped, rolled, used magic spells on yourself and on other objects(such as fire, ice, shrink, etc.), and later hit stuff with a stick. That's it. It doesn't sound that awe-inspiring, but the fact that I could sit down in my ADD days of yore and play this game for hours and hours speaks pretty loudly. There were no unnecessarily complicated game mechanics to get bogged down in; the path to success in Monkey Magic required quick reflexes and tenacity. I always wanted more, no matter how many times I went over the same level or beat the final boss; something I find in few games I play today.

Porting this to a modern console would be easy in terms of raw pixel-crunching, but most likely difficult to sell without a team of clever developers to bring it up to speed. This is a game that would need some serious style upgrades. The retro B-grade martial arts theme worked well on the PS1, but with all of the advances in rendering and other pretty stuff it would probably need a total overhaul in today's market. I'm thinking cel-shading would work well. Developers would also have to make a choice about who they would want to sell this to. The 2D platformer genre is great but is increasingly getting more difficult to sell. Making the game 3D would increase its appeal to a wider audience, but it would also leave a gaping hole in terms of tight gameplay. Maybe they could throw in some crazy special attacks, like "Monkey Steals the Peach", where Monkey pulls a peach out of his enemy's ear like your uncle would pull out a quarter, then eats it calmly as the enemy explodes in the background. That would be cool. Or "Divine Judgement", where they get pulverized by a meteor and there are a lot of dramatic poses and giant Chinese characters in the background.

They should port this to the 360 because the 360 needs more titles like this. Or maybe the Wii, they could probably figure out a way to do some cool stuff with staff moves and that new controller.
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