In regards to video game consoles, Sega always came in at least second best to the competition. The Sega Master System and Sega Genesis were both beaten in sales and popularity by the NES and SNES respectively, while the cult classic Sega Dreamcast basically came in last place during its generation. Despite a relative lack of success with consoles, Sega has either published or developed some of the greatest classic video games over the years. With the current popularity of retro games, it is a perfect time for Sega to revise and republish some of those classics. The following are the ten games that most deserve to be revised and re-released on modern gaming systems.
10. Ecco the Dolphin (Genesis) – Ecco the Dolphin was rather unusual for a Genesis game because it didn’t have the kind of violence that the Sega Genesis was renowned for. It was also surprisingly popular, given such an unlikely premise. The original game earned high marks for exceptional graphics and smooth game play. A PS3 or Xbox 360 remake could easily allow comparable graphics. Underwater games are rare and a richly detailed underwater game with child friendly game play would be a nice change of pace for either of these systems.
9. Comix Zone (Genesis) – The very premise of Comix Zone practically requires a Nintendo DS remake. The game is set in the pages of a comic book where the character actually breaks the fourth wall of the comic by literally ripping through the pages at times. The stylus of the DS would be a perfect way to represent the ability of the character to redraw pages and would make the game feel even more unique than in the original.
8. Golden Axe (Arcade) – Games like Ninja Gaiden and Gauntlet Dark Legacy show exactly how good old action games can look with modern graphics. Golden Axe was an arcade hit, in part due to gorgeous visuals and in part due to game play that was surprisingly non-difficult. Online play would add a whole new dimension to this classic action game and the game is basically perfectly designed for capture-the-flag style competitive games. The name already sells. The only thing it needs is a good developer.
7. Space Channel 5 (Dreamcast) – If any remake could drive sales for Xbox 360 Kinect, it is this classic rhythm game. The original game play of Space Channel 5 was a button based rhythm game. But, the appeal of the game was the insanely dynamic graphical representation of the game play, combined with a truly unique art style. Kinect would allow this game to finally be played the way it should have been played from the start, with full motion dancing and movements.
6. Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker (Arcade) – Sure, Michael Jackson isn’t as popular today as he was in the 80s, but despite his death (or possibly because of it), he is still a household name. This unusual arcade game was actually surprisingly good, combining good music, good game play, and colorfully amusing graphics. Due to the quality of Blu-Ray discs, the PS3 is probably the best console for a remake, since it could easily include full music videos without any potential space constraints.
5. Phantasy Star II (Genesis) – The Phantasy Star series was the hidden gem of role playing game series, commonly overshadowed by the more popular Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest series. It is a shame, because the games were truly exceptional and Phantasy Star II, the best of the series, may have been better than all of the competition. The game has been re-released on the Wii Virtual Console, but it deserves a full remake with cut scenes, better graphics, and slightly modernized game play. With any luck, a successful remake could kick start the series.
4. Shining Force (Genesis) – Practically the granddaddy of tactical role playing games, this series suffered nearly the same fate as the Phantasy Star series, because it was released on the Genesis. Despite being wildly popular with those who knew of it, it simply wasn’t a well known game. The story and game play of this game basically defined all the stereotypes and standards for the genre. Tactical games are much more popular today than they were in previous console generations and a remake would be a great way to re-introduce this series to those too young to have ever played it.
3. Altered Beast (Arcade) – This game basically screams potential. No longer limited to side scrolling 2D graphics, nothing is stopping this from being a beautifully rendered 3D action game with game play similar to God of War. The transformation mechanic offers a plethora of ways to enhance game play and between the fantastic enemies and varied lycanthropic forms of the hero, cut scenes would be amazing. It is a game that simply is begging for someone to develop it.
2. Jet Grind Radio (Dreamcast) – This anthem to rebellion and counterculture is just about a perfect fit for the Nintendo Wii. The motion controls of the Wii remote and nunchuk would be perfect for simulating both inline skating and double fisted spray painting. The stylized cel shaded graphics would translate well to the Wii, despite being technologically weaker than the competition. The original game was truly impressive and it deserves to be revived on a modern system.
1. Space Harrier (Arcade) – For all intents and purposes, Space Harrier was an early attempt at pseudo-3D graphics, and did a remarkably good job of it, given the state of the technology. The impending release of the Nintendo 3DS creates the perfect platform this classic game to be remade exactly the way it was intended to be played. Rail shooters may be a little dull for console games, but they are perfect for handheld games and the name value alone should sell this game well. Sometimes the advance of technology synergizes perfectly with a game concept, and if this classic were remade, this would be one of those times.