Each and every year there are a number of game revivals, some being great and some being not so great. Last year we saw the first 2D Mario title on a home console since the Super Nintendo, and last gen we saw the first Metroid game, also since the Super Nintendo. Even on the non-Nintendo front, rebirths can be seen. On the Xbox 360, Banjo and Kazooie starred in their first title since their last outing on the Nintendo 64. However, not all of these rebirths are any good. Some of them are better off just being forgotten, but there are also some games that deserve a rebirth that may not get it.
Sonic the Hedgehog is in a huge need of a retro-revival, and that is exactly what he is getting. Sonic has not starred in a home console 2D side-scroller since Sonic & Knuckles back on the Sega Genesis. Sonic the Hedgehog 4 is taking Sonic back to has 2D roots, and has sonic fans hoping that this will be the title that returns Sonic to his former glory. Its music is nothing compared to the music of past Sonic titles, and unfortunately its controls may not be either. I still have high hopes for the title though, and being the huge Sonic fan that I am, will have all the chaos emeralds the day it’s released.
I mentioned Banjo-Kazooie earlier, and that is one example of a game that needs a retro-revival. Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts was nothing like the titles on the Nintendo 64 that made the duo famous. It was more of a cross between a Lego and a driving/flying game. Banjo needs to go back to his roots, even if this rebirth will be on the Xbox 360. Maybe Rare thought that they couldn’t make a platformer that could hold a candle to Mario, and decided to shift focus altogether. As for why they butchered the way the duo looks, that is beyond me. They should have left the old look intact. Whatever the case, the Banjo games on the N64 were fun, and a Banjo-Threeie may be just what the doctor ordered to return some respect to the once great series.
This console gen we have seen the return of 2D old-school Mega Man games, and they are just as challenging and frustrating as their older brothers. Mega Man 9 and 10 are both great examples of a proper revival. Capcom took exactly what players loved about the older Mega Man titles and then made two new games with that love at its core. Playing one of the two is like a step back in time, and is just as much fun and frustration as any game you could possibly want.
3D Dot Game Heroes on the PlayStation 3 may not be a Zelda game, but it takes the classic Zelda formula and runs with it to give players a nostalgic experience akin to that of A Link to the Past. The gameplay, story, and items are something right out of a Zelda game, and everything comes together in a neat package which costs twenty dollars less than an average new PS3 game. This game is one to look into, if like me, you have become disillusioned with the Zelda titles on the DS and want a Zelda-experience to tide you over until Zelda Wii.
During the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis era, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a label to trust. Their 2D titles, The Hyperstone Heist and Turtles in Time were similar to Streets of Rage and were packed with great music, action, and hours of fun. When Turtles in Time was remade, it had lost all the charm that made the original so great. I would still like to see one of the two aforementioned titles hit the Virtual Console, but would be just as happy with a new 2D turtles game that was actually good.
Here’s a series that might surprise some people, Resident Evil. Resident Evil 5 was clearly the worst title in the series. I have played and beaten every RE save Code Veronica, and it is time to take the series back to its roots. I loved re4, and it may be my favorite in the series, but the originals were all amazing as well. re4 and especially the early titles had atmosphere and music that you couldn’t find anywhere else. Being inside the Raccoon City Police Department was chilling and memorable, two things that RE5 wasn’t. I would love to see RE2 remade like RE, but if I can’t have that I would be happy with a RE6 as long as it is closer to re4. They’ve already ruined Wesker, what else could they do wrong?
Now this title may not have been released this gen, but I believe that the best rebirth in the history of gaming deserves a mention whenever the idea of revival is brought up. This title, of course, is Metroid Prime. Retro Studios had a huge task on their hands, to make a great Metroid title, when there hadn’t even been one since the Super Nintendo. Not only did Retro change how Metroid was played, they even invented a new genre, first person adventure. Instead of 2D sidescrolling, Metroid Prime was 3D and first person. It played like a first-person shooter, and yet there was much more to it than shooting everyone in sight. The classic powerups made a return, and there are even some new ones to enjoy. The graphics and music are top notch, and still look great, even today, going on 8 years since its release. Metroid Prime is the greatest revival in gaming history and if you haven’t played it yet, go buy it now. You will be hard-pressed to find a better game.
Those are just a few revivals, and there are many more, from Street Fighter IV to Bionic Commando, and there are many more yet to come. There are also many titles that also deserve a rebirth, such as Kid Icarus, and a new console Kirby title.