5 Video Games Worthy of HD Remakes
It’s a sad fact that as time passes and hot new systems and game franchises draw us away from the classic games we love, it becomes more likely that newer generations of gamers will be unaware of or not appreciate the value of different looking and feeling games of old. Here are five games that don’t just deserve to be remembered, but also need resurrecting.
1. Super Dodge Ball
Release date: 1989
(Note: Though there have indeed been Japanese and English remakes and spiritual successors of Dodge Ball, these versions lack the distinctive art style and funky soundtracks that make the original so iconic.)
When Super Dodge Ball broke onto the scene it immediately cemented its place in the NES classics with its exaggerated kinetic violence. Choosing from a selection of national teams, you’ll scorch opponents with wicked fastballs in front of the Taj Mahal or smite your cold-war enemies with physics-defying power shots in Russia’s Red Square. Nothing proves your nation’s power better than chucking distorted hot-fire volleyballs into the face of an international rival, sending them flying from one side of the screen to the other, and effectively circumnavigating the world with the body of your victim.
Releasing Super Dodge Ball as an HD remake would not only fix issues with flickering sprites in the NES version, but it would bring the murderous joy of Dodge Ball to the masses once again. And let’s not forget the awesome 8-bit soundtrack, particularly that catchy player selection screen ditty.
2. Aero Fighters
Release date: 1992
In this top-down vertical-scrolling shooter, you choose one of four nations: the U.S., Japan, Sweden, or the U.K. Every pilot sports unique primary and secondary firing modes, which upon upgrades become more and more ridiculous and lethal. When fully upgraded, you’ll find yourself shooting up half the screen, which is nice because the other half will be full of enemy fire, and considering the game’s “one touch and you’re dead” rule, you’ll need all the help you can get.
Aero Fighters already has a defined arcade visual style and solid gameplay, but with some enhanced visuals and improved audio, a remake would give players a chance to experience the sense of sheer energy this game has to offer at perhaps an even greater level of intensity.
3. Sega Soccer Slam
Release date: 2002
Sega Soccer Slam brings a lot of fun things together into one sport: martial arts, gymnastics, pushing, punching, kicking, poor sportsmanship, and a little soccer. This over-the-top 3v3 soccer game has you abusing your opponents as much as you are trying to control the ball. Slide tackles aren’t just an option, they’re necessary.
The strengths of this game are its goofy characters, vibrant color scheme and art style, and the super kicks that give players superhuman acrobatic abilities to blast the ball into the corner of the net. Like the remake of Punch Out that was released on the Wii in 2009, this is a game that needs little change gameplay-wise, but could use some repackaging. Upgrading the intense visuals to today’s standards and tweaking the animations to benefit character expressions could make this game more attractive to new audiences while still sticking to the original structure of the game.
4. Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge
Release date: 2003
If you were to pick up a copy of Crimson Skies nowadays, you would probably be disappointed, as the story isn’t that engrossing. The real draw of this aerial shooter was its online component. Like a lot of old games, the now defunct and oldest generation of Xbox and Live no longer work, so there’s no way to appreciate the value of Crimson Skies’ exciting and rewarding online gameplay.
Maps like “Chicago” and “Badlands” had mountainous cover and skyscrapers that could be used to create routes, giving gameplay a great sense of cat-and-mouse chases. On the more open air maps you’d find that everyone had convened into scrambling clusters of fire and barrel rolls. Either way, each game proved to be intense, chaotic, and surprising.
Crimson Skies is like many games of its generation where scope and action were more easily achieved than brilliant lighting and beautiful texturing. An HD remake for Crimson Skies would provide a chance for a great online game to don a new coat of paint and renew its life through another generation of devoted players.
5. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Release date: 2003
Not only is Knights of the Old Republic a classic role-playing game — and the second best RPG of all time — but it set the standard for what gamers have come to expect from the game’s creators at BioWare. Later games, most noticeably Mass Effect, build upon the structure that was initially constructed in KOTOR. From an array of distinct worlds to explore, elaborate backstories, and nifty weaponry, to the cast of characters and companions that further immerse you in the greater story, this is a game that means to swallow you whole until you are sufficiently attuned to the Force and can cut your way out with a lightsaber.
KOTOR, as is, already has beautiful environments and character models, a compelling story, and a distinct audio design. Simply by beautifying visual elements through texturing, fixing some glitches, and improving the animations, you could almost make this 10-year-old game feel like new. HD remake or not, more players need to meet the companion assassination droid aptly named HK-47. HK, though he would surely disagree, is a load of fun, meatbag.