These days, it seems that gamers are all about nostalgia. For some, it’s a statement on their distaste of the current state of the gaming industry while others just want to relive their youth by picking up the games they played in the days of yore.
When it comes to HD remasters, titles from the PlayStation One era of gaming tend to garner plenty of attention. In 2017, the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy was revamped and packaged as Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and on Sept. 21, 2018, the Spyro series will be re-released as the Spyro Reignited Trilogy. It doesn’t stop there, either, as MediEvil, Nightmare Creatures, and Fear Effect were all revealed to have a remaster, a reboot, and a remake in the works by three different studios.
As gamers continue to suffer from nostalgia-fever, it’s likely that other PS1-era games will be given the HD overhaul. The following is a selection of five possibilities that fans would clamor for.
The pink-haired creation of Whoopee Camp spawned a sequel and then just vanished into gaming history until its quiet reemergence on the PlayStation Network in 2011. The quirky side-scroller pit titular Tomba against a horde of mischievous pigs that hindered his broad adventure. Despite the simple looking gameplay, Tomba was surprisingly deep, offering side quests that would give completionists of today plenty to work with.
Tomba’s playful world was given a minor graphics overhaul and voice acting in Tomba! 2: The Evil Swine Return. The sequel stuck to the side-scrolling format but, when compared to its predecessor, is a little rough around the edges and could use some high-def TLC.
The Tomba! series would fit right at home on the Nintendo Switch, joining the growing library of side-scrolling adventures. Even though it may not have a vast fan base like Crash Bandicoot, it would likely garner one with improved graphics and tighter controls.
Legacy of Kain
It is true that the Legacy of Kain series made its way onto the PS2 and Xbox with Soul Reaver 2, Blood Omen 2, and Defiance, but the original PSX titles, which were also ported to Windows, are classics that have outperformed their predecessors. Fans of Legacy of Kain were teased with the potential release of an online game titled Nosgoth, named for the fictional world the series takes place in, and a sixth entry, Dead Sun, but neither project came to fruition. With a thirst for more left unquenched, a remaster of the original two Legacy of Kain games would be exactly what nostalgic gamers need.
The Gothic setting of Nosgoth would look spectacular with the high-definition treatment and the blood feud between Raziel and his creator, Kain, is the type of rich storytelling that is dwindling in this age of multiplayer-centric gaming. Legacy of Kain would fit well into the genre of challenging games that cater to a niche, but still large market.
The Syphon Filter series spent three well-received entries on the first PlayStation console before moving on up to the PS2 and PSP. Syphon Filter’s Gabriel Logan predated Splinter Cell’s Sam Fisher by three years but joined the stealth shooter genre a year after Solid Snake returned in Metal Gear Solid. Though Metal Gear drew plenty of attention for its in-depth story, Syphon Filter proved to be more challenging as it had a much greater focus on stealth.
Logan’s initial mission spawned a new genre known as “super-spy” and included stealth-action elements coupled with puzzle solving. The game’s depth was impressive for a PSX title and, with a minor revamp of the controls, would likely hold up today.
The last Syphon Filter game released in 2009 and all remained quiet about the series until November 2017, when Gematsu’s Twitter account revealed that Sony had filed a new trademark in Europe. Since then, there hasn’t been any word as to why, but chances are fans would not complain if an HD remaster wound up being part of Syphon Filter’s return.
Sony Interactive Entertainment has trademarked Syphon Filter in Europe. https://t.co/XrPQDwRkgL— Gematsu (@Gematsu) 1510347748.0
In 1995, Crystal Dynamics, the developer behind Tomb Raider, introduced PlayStation gamers to another adventurer, one that was quite a bit more unconventional than Lara Croft. Gex preceded the Geico gecko as a fast-talking amphibian and spawned two sequels that were all relatively well received.
The original Gex was a side-scrolling platformer that saw the titular gecko bouncing between different television worlds. The follow-up, Enter the Gecko, and the third entry, Deep Cover Gecko, swaps out the side-scrolling for a fully 3D world. Gex didn’t quite have the same star power and longevity as Crash Bandicoot, but the gecko’s risque wise-cracking and eclectic worlds could shine again through an HD touch-up, so long as some of the series’ shortcomings, like stuttering frame rates and minor control issues, were addressed.
Three years after Capcom sent players to the Arklay Mountains of Raccoon City, Shinji Mikami set his sights on the remote fictional island of Ibis Island. Dino Crisis took everything that made the first Resident Evil a classic and somehow integrated dinosaurs without feeling like a complete rehash. The prehistoric survival horror title featured its fair share of jump scares and a story that was a different spin on laboratory-tests-gone-wrong.
Capcom followed the success of the first Dino Crisis with an action-packed sequel. Since Dino Crisis 2 completely removed all elements of horror, it appealed to a different crowd with fast-paced gameplay, powerful - and upgradeable - weapons, and a larger roster of dinosaurs. Where the Resident Evil developer took its big misstep, however, was with the third entry, which released on the Xbox. Dinosaurs-in-space and the lack of series protagonist Regina failed to appeal to the original fan base.
Though murmurings of Dino Crisis 4 have been on and off since 2014, there’s been no confirmation from Capcom that there is a future for the series. Even if a sequel isn’t possible, an HD remaster, or even a complete remake like the one Capcom afforded Resident Evil, would please fans greatly.